Sunday, February 6, 2011

Custom painted Generations WFC Cybertron Bumblebee "Gold Bug"

A couple of months ago, at the peak of Generations Bumblebee availability and their price set at $8.04, I decided it would be a good time to give custom Transformers a try. With an initial investment of $8.04 for the figure, $5.99 for the Testors Inca Gold lacquer spray can, $5.99 for Testors gloss coat lacquer spray, $1.99 x2 of Testors paint bottles, $4.99 for an assortment of 25 Paint brushes and $2.99 for a metallic silver marker, I embarked on my journey that could yield one of two results- A cool figure or epic fail. I've only had a bit of experience in the past painting model kits and more recently painting my race cars, so I felt pretty confident.

I started by taking apart the WFC Bumblebee figure. Some parts are held in by pins so they need to be masked. Other parts like the windows that are painted on, also need to be masked. In other words, anything you don't want painted needs to be masked. Once everything was masked, I proceeded to spray the pieces by starting with a very slight misting to build tack on the surface since I wasn't priming nor did I prepare the surface. Thats right, no cleaning. This was to be a lazy man's job. So why did I use lacquer instead of enamel? Simple. Laquer is easier to work with, yields much better results for minimal prep oh and it dries fast as hell. After dealing with lacquers, I no longer use enamels for paint-jobs. They may not give the most absolute glossiest shine but its damn close. Especially when using Testors brand stuff. Anyways, once I gave everything a good amount of coats, I started to spray the clear coat. The clear coat not only protects the color, but it adds an amazing gloss. That way you can transform it several times without any chipping.

In the photographs, the difference in color may not be readily apparent, but in person you will notice the incredible metallic finish provided by the Inca Gold. It reminiscent of the Takara United WFC Bumblebee which has a metallic yellow paint application, but Takara only paints the parts that are visible in vehicle mode. I painted EVERY visible part. The Inca Gold has a more warmish hue to the color in comparison to the Takara. So how labor intensive was it? The only major labor was masking the parts I didn't want painted. and the weathering. The actual Inca Gold paint job only took a couple of hours. Seriously. It dries fast and I was handling the figure that same night. Since I didn't want to rush it too much I waited until next morning to finish putting it back together. My intentions from the start was to try and make a custom Transformer and slap it on ebay, but I liked the end result so much that I decided to keep it. I bought some blur paint to do Soundwave, but laziness took over. A wannabe Transformer toy at Walgreens once again sparked my interest in wanting to paint, so I'll be sure to show you guys that figure in a later post.

Once I put Bumblebee back together I took some shots of both modes so I can show it off. I was going to leave it looking like a brand new, off-the-assembly-line Bumblebee, but the I decided to weather the non yellow parts to make it look even cooler. I'm glad I did! I used a silver marker that actually applies wet and allows you to smear it before it dries. By smearing it looks like weathered metal. It does the job great. I love that marker. Then I used one of those little Testors enamel bottles to provide the rust color on the panels of the feet since feet get the most wear and tear.

It's hard to capture the metallic finish, but I assure you, it really wakes up the figure tons. I'm not a huge fan of Bumblebee especially after the mind numbing amount of variations available after the movie release.

Vehicle mode really shines, no pun intended! The thicker paint actually helps hold the figure together better. I assumed once the tabs would be slid in their respective slots, that the paint would have chipped off the tabs, but after a few transformations to show off the figure, I have yet to see a chip, let alone scuffing. This paint is very resistant.

Using that silver marker is very easy. Just apply strategic dabs where wear would be apparent and simply rub back and forth with your fingers. You want to rub in only one direction so it looks more natural. Notice the metallic look of his hands. It almost looks like he has black painted hands with very high wear on the paint and the metal is just starting to show through.

While I did not want to apply rust to any part of his body (I assume they are just made of a corrosion resistant alloy) I did decide to apply rust to the plates on the sides of his leg. You'll notice the rust stains run down as if water has been corroding it over time. The application of rust on only this part gives the effect that this part of his body is made of a different material, perhaps replaceable part.Also notice the silver markings also running down the feet. You want to make sure the feet show a lot of silver as this is a high wear area.

 If you haven't made your own custom Transformer, I suggest you track down a Transformer on sale or pick up an old one you have laying around and practice. It's tons of fun and gives you the satisfaction of making it just the way you want it.

Oh I almost forgot, since I painted over that weak Autobot logo it came with, I opted not to spend money and make my own using some very expensive water transfer paper I had from a while back. Once out of the printer, I clear coated the sticker and applied a sparkle to it. After soaking it in water, I slid it off the backing and applied it to "Gold Bug". Perhaps one day I will apply one of the Repro Labels Autobot decals. Sadly I never took a photo. If I get a chance I will update this post with a photo of my custom Autobot logo.

1 comment:

  1. or u could buy the united/takara one