The guy to the left is a recent custom painted Transformer called Thundercracker. Based on a classic Decepticon character, he’s a repaint of Transformers Prime deluxe class Starscream.
There is a little bit of history on how this guy came to be.
There is a new Transformers TV show out there called Transformers: Prime, and there is a version of good ol’ Starscream in the show. They recently released the first wave of toys from the show, and that is where this base figure originates.
I do watch the show, but have decided to not purchase any figures from the series. I’m trying to stop collecting TF altogether and move on to other things. In addition as I’m a completest when it comes to collecting, I just don’t want to start on yet another series.
So I had a friend who kept threatening to “gift” me a figure from the show as a gateway drug of sorts. He kept talking about when the toys showed up in stores, I’d be getting my own Starscream. With knowing that this event was going to happen, I concocted a plan to give it back to him customized.
Just before the new year, he ended up dropping a deluxe class Starscream in my lap. Time to get painting…
As in TF tradition, there are usually 3 characters called “seekers” that all share the same body/toy in the franchise’s history: Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker. With Starscream already in the show proper, that left Skywarp and Thundercracker as neither of them have shown up in the show or toyline yet. I had initial plans to make the toy into Skywarp, but then word came out that an official Skywarp redeco would be coming out in Japan. That made the decision to make Thundercracker a bit easier, and make it so my friend would have the seeker trio even earlier.
So using both the Classics Thundercracker figure and this already completed digibash as bases, I started to work dissecting the figure and getting it ready for paint. I removed all the screws, and pulled him apart as best I could making sure to note what pieces and screws went where. I made sure to wash the plastic with hot soapy water to remove the mold release chemicals and oils they use to make the parts come out of the molds easier. Then I prepped the parts with bits of wire and masking tape where needed.
Doing all the prep was a lot easier than I had thought with this figure. The figure overall is very intricate and complicated, but he was really, really easy to repaint. There was not a whole lot of issues getting this figure completed. The only slight hiccup was that I had to repaint his left-wing twice because the stripes were not symmetrical across both wings.
The paint went on very well, and I was actually able to use certain parts of the original figure as is, such as parts of his chest, making the whole process easier. It only took about of week of work; prepping, painting and waiting for parts to dry.
The unfortunate thing is that once he was all done and reassembled, I really had a fondness for the figure. Looking at him on my desk, I was very impressed with the final output. I had very strong emotions to keep him for myself. However, after a bit of hemming and hawing, and glares from Jessica, I decided to go through with the plan.
So the other day, Thundercracker was delivered to his final destination as intended. All in attendance were a bit stunned, and I got the reactions I was looking for so it worked out.
Some of the others were a bit jealous and already coming up with requests for their own customized figures. I’m not ready to do this for money, as then it’ll lose its fun when it becomes “work”.
Of course, I have other personal customizing projects to complete in the pipeline as I try to finish out my wild ride with this Transformers resurgence.
It’s also a foregone conclusion that Hasbro will release their own official Thundercracker as some point, as they always do, and it will be interesting how he’ll differ from my take.
I’ll still miss not having this particular figure on my desk though, but I do have a bunch of pictures to remember it by.