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Transformer: Tracks


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#1 Ralph_S

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:43 PM

A few weeks ago the flickr car group, LUGNuts started a new build challenge, called 'cars too', with all participants building cars from the film Cars or it's sequel or any other anthropomorphic cars. I don't know the movie and wasn't too keen on building a car with eyes for a windscreen. My first idea was building an ultimate anthropomorphic car: a Transformer. At the time I was still building my Su-25 Frogfoot and it took me a while to figure out how to build the Transformer I wanted, but here it is: the Alternator Tracks.

In car mode it's a Chevrolet C5 Z06. This is the main reason why I chose to build this version of Tracks rather than a G1 Transformer or a more famous one: I reckoned that I could the car such that when placed among my other LEGO cars it wouldn't be obvious that it is a transformer. It has opening doors and a full interior with a steering wheel and seats and everything.

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Transformer Tracks (2) by Mad physicist, on Flickr

In robot mode it looks a bit stubby, but I am glad I could get it to work at all! These new-fangled Transformers are a lot more complicated than the Transformers I knew as a child. Getting everything to work is one of the most difficult things I've done recently with LEGO.
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Transformer Tracks (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr

Here's the full sequence from car to robot mode in 16 steps. Some bits are quite fragile -the doors and arms, but it works reasonably well.
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Transformer Tracks (3) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
(click the picture to see a larger view)
Building something like this made for a fun change relative to the things I normally do and I hope you'll enjoy the result.

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Ralph_S, 24 June 2011 - 06:58 PM.

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#2 MstrOfPppts

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:25 PM

Woooow, a fully functional Transformer robot without hurting the looks of the car mode with it's technic pieces and without any gaps! That is amazing! Really well done!

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#3 KielDaMan

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:30 AM

I have always had high regard for builders who can pull-off the tricky transforming functionality of a LEGO Transformers build, and with this excellent creation you're definitely one of them Ralph. What's even more impressive is that you were able to pack those difficult folding/twisting/rotating "transforming elements" on such a relatively small-scaled vehicle. This is truly a testament of your MOCing genius! :thumbup:

#4 Brickdoctor

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:53 AM

Great work. I always love seeing transforming LEGO Transformers, because the way builders cram all the joints into the vehicle is most impressive. That and the fact that it makes Kre-O look primitive.  :laugh:

#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 08:23 AM

Totally AWESOME 'Ralph_S', as always excellent design and construction from yourself.....Brick On 'Ralph_S'......Autobot's lets roll ! :grin:

#6 Ralph_S

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 09:21 AM

View PostMstrOfPppts, on 24 June 2011 - 07:25 PM, said:

Woooow, a fully functional Transformer robot without hurting the looks of the car mode with it's technic pieces and without any gaps! That is amazing! Really well done!
Thank you. Hiding that it can transform was the hardest thing. I had to make a few compromises with the looks of the car in the end -I would have preferred to use different wheels for instance, but I had to use wheels that can be stuck to a technic pin because of the way the rear is constructed, but overall I'm reasonably happy with the look of the car.

View PostKielDaMan, on 25 June 2011 - 06:30 AM, said:

I have always had high regard for builders who can pull-off the tricky transforming functionality of a LEGO Transformers build, and with this excellent creation you're definitely one of them Ralph. What's even more impressive is that you were able to pack those difficult folding/twisting/rotating "transforming elements" on such a relatively small-scaled vehicle. This is truly a testament of your MOCing genius! :thumbup:
Thank you :blush:

View PostBrickdoctor, on 25 June 2011 - 06:53 AM, said:

Great work. I always love seeing transforming LEGO Transformers, because the way builders cram all the joints into the vehicle is most impressive. That and the fact that it makes Kre-O look primitive.  :laugh:
Cheers. While looking at building a LEGO Transformer I searched the internet and came across the Kre-O sets. I think they actually look quite decent, but man, what a letdown that Transfoming means disassembling the model, getting instructions and building another model. Some bits do tend to break off when I transform mine, but only by accident. Dis-assembly is not required!

View Postlightningtiger, on 25 June 2011 - 08:23 AM, said:

Totally AWESOME 'Ralph_S', as always excellent design and construction from yourself.....Brick On 'Ralph_S'......Autobot's lets roll ! :grin:
Thanks. There were a few moments during this build where I was sure I wasn't going to be able to do it. At first the legs gave me a lot of trouble. They're still a bit short, but it's better than it used to be and I was able to use stiffer ball joints after a rebuild. Then they were very fragile and required another rebuild. The second really difficult bit were the arms. I had decent-looking arms for it at first, but no room left for hands, and at first, no matter how much I tried I couldn't get hands to fit. The solution was building the hands such that they can fold in too. It's a bit I didn't enjoy...

Cheers,
Ralph
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#7 David Thomsen

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 09:53 AM

This is actually very impressive... I'd be far more inclined to buy this than the Kre-O sets they're currently offering.

Although I'd love to have some of those Kreon minifigs. :wub:
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#8 Dick-Trom

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:30 AM

Those guns! Verry nice detail! :cry_happy:

I remember myself in the 80's when the series were on t.v. trying to fix one for myself... the agony!   :hmpf:

Really awesome MOC!

#9 Legostein

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:54 AM

Hello Ralph!

This is really exceptional! :sweet:

It features all the details and efforts you apply to all your great vehicle mocs, like opening doors motor hatch, seats etc. Nonetheless you have managed to make a fully convertible car out of this. The resulting robot is an impressive design on itself, and it's nearly unbelievable that you can turn those two into each other! :classic:

Thanks for sharing this with us!

Cheers,

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#10 Blackknight112

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

Wow, this is an amezing MOC! It actually transforms. It must have taken forever, to figure out how to do it.

Keep up the good work.
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#11 paanjang16

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 12:35 PM

Simply unbelievable!

Do you own the Takara Binaltech Tracks or Hasbro Alternator Tracks? It would be cool to see both of them side by side with this Lego rendition. I thought it is almost impossible to recreate a transformer let alone an alternator transformer with Lego, but you just made it possible. As an owner of the Takara binaltech tracks the robot mode looks almost like the real transformer!

#12 Ralph_S

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 12:59 PM

Thanks for all of the comments guys. I appreciate them.

View PostDavid Thomsen, on 25 June 2011 - 09:53 AM, said:

This is actually very impressive... I'd be far more inclined to buy this than the Kre-O sets they're currently offering.

Although I'd love to have some of those Kreon minifigs. :wub:
I'm guessing it would be a bit of a disappointment though. It all works, but the transformation sequence is a bit fiddly and in car mode the door sills tend to sag. It's not all pretty :sceptic:
One of the difficulties was that I want the various hinges to be stiff enough to keep the whole thing in shape, but not so stiff that actually operating them makes bits want to pop off. For some bits this worked out well -the legs for instance, but for the sills it didn't. They're a bit too floppy.

View PostDick-Trom, on 25 June 2011 - 10:30 AM, said:

Those guns! Verry nice detail! :cry_happy:

I remember myself in the 80's when the series were on t.v. trying to fix one for myself... the agony!   :hmpf:

Really awesome MOC!
I used to build Transformers back in the 'eighties -unfortunately I don't have any pictures of them- and at least in my mind they were quite good. They were far less complicated than this one though.




View Postpaanjang16, on 25 June 2011 - 12:35 PM, said:

Simply unbelievable!

Do you own the Takara Binaltech Tracks or Hasbro Alternator Tracks? It would be cool to see both of them side by side with this Lego rendition. I thought it is almost impossible to recreate a transformer let alone an alternator transformer with Lego, but you just made it possible. As an owner of the Takara binaltech tracks the robot mode looks almost like the real transformer!

I don't own the toy, I'm afraid. I agree the comparison would be interesting, although it would also show where I had to compromise  :grin: I worked out the sequence from looking at photographs that I found on-line of one of the original Japanese yellow versions.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#13 prvi svog imena

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 01:54 PM

Just perfect :) I thought that the autobot logo is a part of the outer car body, but a very clever solution, great job!

#14 Nightshroud99

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 03:12 PM

*huh*  :oh: *oh2*  I never thought something like this could be possible with LEGO. Your amazing!
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#15 prateek

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 04:39 PM

*oh2* Holy #$#@! this is too amazing for words! The vehicle mode itself is great, but the robot mode is very similar to Binaltech Tracks  :thumbup:

What a coincidence too, I am in the market for a Binaltech :laugh:

#16 Cecilie

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 08:12 PM

*oh2* I would never have thought that car could transform just by looking at it. Very good job at hiding it! The car itself is very nice, and in the transformed state it looks really cute :sweet:. I was a fan of transformers as a child, and I love seeing real transforming cars in LEGO, especially ones as well done as this :wub:.
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#17 Mr Man

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 09:00 PM

This is incredible Ralph_S a fully transforming transformer made of Lego, great job :thumbup:.
Incidentally does it come in any other colours?
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#18 Ralph_S

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 09:09 PM

View Postprvi svog imena, on 25 June 2011 - 01:54 PM, said:

Just perfect :) I thought that the autobot logo is a part of the outer car body, but a very clever solution, great job!
It was on the original version of Tracks. I guess the little roof that forms the chest of this version was a nod from the toy's designers to that original. It was one of the bits that caused me some trouble when building the model, because it takes up rather a lot of space underneath the car when in car mode -space that I would have liked to use to beef up the arms a bit.  

View PostNightshroud99, on 25 June 2011 - 03:12 PM, said:

*huh*  :oh: *oh2*  I never thought something like this could be possible with LEGO. Your amazing!
Thank you. Anything is possible with LEGO  :sweet:

View Postprateek, on 25 June 2011 - 04:39 PM, said:

*oh2* Holy #$#@! this is too amazing for words! The vehicle mode itself is great, but the robot mode is very similar to Binaltech Tracks  :thumbup:

What a coincidence too, I am in the market for a Binaltech :laugh:
I have to admit I'd never heard of the Binaltech/ Alternators kine until I started looking into what Transformer to build. They're perfect though, because on the toys it's also hard to see at a first glance that there's a robot lurking inside.


View PostCecilie, on 25 June 2011 - 08:12 PM, said:

*oh2* I would never have thought that car could transform just by looking at it. Very good job at hiding it! The car itself is very nice, and in the transformed state it looks really cute :sweet:. I was a fan of transformers as a child, and I love seeing real transforming cars in LEGO, especially ones as well done as this :wub:.
I posted a WIP picture on flickr a few days ago and people there noticed a seam running down the length of the hood and found the hinges in the front a bit conspicuous. In respones covered the hinges up a bit using tiles and came up with a locking mechanism that holds the folded legs in place a bit better, reducing the gaps. The point of a 'robot in disguise' is that it's, well, disguised :grin:

View PostMr Man, on 25 June 2011 - 09:00 PM, said:

This is incredible Ralph_S a fully transforming transformer made of Lego, great job :thumbup:.
Incidentally does it come in any other colours?
The toy was originally produced in yellow rather than blue, according to wikipedia at the request of Chevrolet, because their Racing team used yellow Corvettes at the time it was brought out. The G1 Tracks was blue and when the toy came out in the US, they made it blue too. I wanted a blue one, quite simply because I knew I had the parts required in that colour.


Thanks guys,
Ralph
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#19 OptimusPrime12380

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 05:59 AM

Sweet LEGO Tracks...as a diehard Transformers fan above all else, you did a great take of the Alternator/Binaltech Tracks. However if I could make a suggestion, to complete the look maybe somehow see if you could work in the flame on the hood?

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#20 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 06:25 AM

This is absolutely cool!  :laugh:
I love the compact design of the car and the perfect proportion of the robot!  :classic:
Thanks for sharing
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#21 Ralph_S

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:23 AM

View PostOptimusPrime12380, on 26 June 2011 - 05:59 AM, said:

Sweet LEGO Tracks...as a diehard Transformers fan above all else, you did a great take of the Alternator/Binaltech Tracks. However if I could make a suggestion, to complete the look maybe somehow see if you could work in the flame on the hood?

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I did look at making the flame, but felt that it would look crude if I'd do it with red and yellow plate and can't use a sticker because the plates are stepped. Tracks was also released without the flame job, I decided to leave it.

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 26 June 2011 - 06:25 AM, said:

This is absolutely cool!  :laugh:
I love the compact design of the car and the perfect proportion of the robot!  :classic:
Thanks for sharing
Well, thank you. I think it loks a bit short in robot mode, to be honest, but I couldn't see any way of making it taller.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#22 OrangeKNight

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 08:19 AM

Man, Now I want to make a Transformer.....but I'm so swamped with other projects!

Curse you! ;p

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#23 Bonaparte

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:03 AM

This is amazing  :oh:

I can't believe you pulled this off!

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#24 Legoless

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 05:38 PM

Pretty unbelievable that you managed to do this in Lego...

...but, can it dance as well as a Citroen C4?



#25 Captain Green Hair

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 05:58 PM

My jaw just hit the floor, this is really incredible Ralph!  *oh2*
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