Transformers Optimus Prime G1 variant WIP


Well-Known Member
OK, now that both the weekend and Halloween itself are past us, here's how things went:

SATURDAY NIGHT -- We went to the same large local / metro bar that we always do on Halloween, FunkyTown in Raytown, MO. It was apparent from the get-go that my costume was impressing people. And there wasn't much competition to speak of. But I was on my feet, in costume, for about 2.5 hours before the costume contest began. Everybody took their turns on stage for their 30 seconds of fame. But they seemed to make me stay up there a bit longer. They asked me to transform. I tried (knowing that this was NOT totally tested). My helmet ducked down into the cab. But the tops of the "ears" seemed to be catching on something inside. But what was worse was, the 9 lb. skateboard that was strapped to my chest had somehow worked itself LOWER by around 4-6 inches. Not low enough for anybody to SEE, but low enough to prevent me from BENDING fully. So, I had to abort out of that.

Now, I had to wait about 15-20 minutes before they'd call up the top 10 finalists. About 5 minutes into that wait, I started feeling REALLY hot. When I felt like I was getting light-headed, I quickly told my wife i was about to pass out and needed the costume off. She and my friends helped me to quickly remove it. Now, my wife had been stressing from the moment I put this thing on (despite me having worn stuff like this in past years). So this set-back just reinforced her fears! She tried to prevent me from putting it back on, when they asked the top 10 to come up. In previous years, I probably would have fought her on that. But, having won 1st place and 2nd place here multiple times before, I said to myself, it's not worth the fight and the possibility of passing out.

So, I went up to the stage manager and explained. He said "They've had a good enough look at you the first time, go up anyways". So, there I was on-stage with my helmet in my hands and the only other costume part on was my blue shoes.

Anyways, I ended up taking 2nd place ($500). First place was a skinny black guy dressed up as Bob Ross (the painter) and his wife or girlfriend was dressed as a painting. (He had a heck of an infectious smile!)

I had mixed feelings about the evening, in the end. I was disappointed that transforming didn't work. And I was disappointed about the overheating incident. BUT, I was also RELIEVED to take the darned thing off. It was very heavy (especially with that skateboard on).

So, here are some pics from the bar that night:

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My wife kept playing with my headlights. (They have a remote, which immediately failed, for some reason. But the lights themselves rotate through white, green, blue, and red, when you press them repeatedly.)

HALLOWEEN -- I just HAD to wear this in our neighborhood for Halloween. You see, we just moved to a new neighborhood about 10 months ago. We kind of figured we'd get a strong showing of kids here. In our old neighborhood, we were lucky to get 6 kids all night.

Anyways, at the end of the evening, I did try the transformation again, taking a lot more time to work through it. My wife had to remove my helmet first. I wasn't wearing any skateboard this time. So I knew I was basically going to just "lie down". But the tricky part was crouching. FunkyTown's stage has like a thin layer of carpeting on it. When I went on my knees there, I didn't slide. When I went down on my knees on my own concrete driveway, the skateboard wheels on the front of my shins started moving.

So, instead, imagine a ladder gradually collapsing by spreading its legs apart. That's sort of how I went down, like a big letter "A", with my toes on one end and my fingers on the other. When I finally got down there, I forgot to shove my shoulders forward...and then later was surprised that I didn't have the "front drawer" / "engine block" opened fully in front of me. (Oh, and I was wearing the wrong gloves too, because I accidentally left one at Funkytown.) So, my "rear end" is further from the cab than it should have been.

Here are some pics:

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Sorry that there are no full side-length pics. I tried to tell my wife how to take them but she thinks I'm too bossy.

After I got up from this, I realized that I'd taken a bunch of scraping damage on my right forearm, for some reason. Plus, the top flap flipped BACKWARDS instead of FORWARDS. A large side-piece of one of my feet had broken off. And, some damage that had started at Funkytown got worse: The right rear vertical plastic strut inside the cab had snapped. So when I took the cab off and put it on the grown, it wanted to lean or fall over. I'll have some repairs to do if I want to wear this again.

Honestly, before I do that, I need to add some padding in the tops of the arm-slots and the middle of the plastic bar in the back of the cab. I've got some serious scraping marks in those places. (Pass the triple antibiotic!) And I'd really like to work out this transforming thing properly, which will probably require some structural changes anyways.

HOWEVER, that said: I really LOVE how well the Plasti-dipped EVA foam worked out! And using "bars" cut out from a sheet of 6 mm plastic as internal supports, glued over the actual cardboard "box" of the cab, worked out very well. (It was just a pain to cut those bars out... straight...with just a hand tool.) The EL Panels were wonderful, as usual, but I found that this year they were a lot harder to get than years ago.

Anyways, thanks for putting up with all of my posts and lengthy descriptions! I sometimes find it's nice to come back and review why I did certain things or what I was thinking at the time.


-= Dave =-


Master Member
Dave,first off congratulations winning 2nd place (ka-ch$ng) and above all: a good first try.
Sorry about the heat-and-stress situation,not to mention the injuries.Dressing up should be fun,not a nightmare.I hope you recover soon !
I loved the lighting on your costume ! The eyes,headlights and light-up logo jump right out at you.
I can't think of anything else but watch youtube videos of those cosplayers transforming their cardboard versions (I assume you've seen this already) and perhaps look at a toy transformer to see where everything goes and hinges.
Looking forward to your V2 Optimus ! Oh,and keep it light and cool this time :coolI hope your wife has recovered from your adventure
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