It is great that my custom Power-Up Optimus Prime has been well-received by Transformers fans around the world! You can see the details of this custom here.
I also get loads of questions on how I went about creating my Power Up Optimus Prime, specifically the leg or foot. So, I thought I would share it here.
Basically, to create my version of Power Up Prime, you need two Leader Class Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF) Optimus Primes and two Leader Class Jet Fires. This costs a pretty penny but you can get good deals for used ones in auctions or toy flea markets.
I also used an assortment of parts from a Star Wars Crab Droid and Gundam figure parts.
To be really concept art accurate, you will need the light cylinders from a Transformers The Movie Leader Class Prime (you could use any cylinder-like part from any other toy truck or big rig.) Or, since you will have an extra ROTF Optimus Prime, you can cut off the cylinders which are mounted to shoulder armour panels.
Tools-wise, you will need a rotary tool like a Dremel with an assortment of cutter, sander and grinder tool heads. You will also need a strong fast acting epoxy.
If you choose to have the armour removable like my transformable Power Up Prime, you will also need tiny rare earth magnets.
When I first designed the legs, I realized that it would be impossible for it to be transformable unless the legs were switched. I explored an alternative for weeks but could not find a solution that would be concept art accurate or stable. So, I use one set of legs for the regular Optimus Prime and the custom set for the Power Up Prime.
The photos below show a custom Power Up Prime in the midst of being battle-damaged and painted, hence the irregularities in the paint colours.
Step 1: Getting the Basic Parts
a) Remove the top of the feet from the rest of the “sole” of the feet from the Leader Class Prime. You will need to hinge open the front grill “soles” and then unscrew the top part of the feet to detach. Next, use the rotatry tool to cut off the front of the feet so you are left with part from the band which is typically painted blue. Don’t throw away the rest of Prime’s sole yet, you need to cut off the front toes which will be used as toes for Power Up Prime.
b) Remove the feet of Jet Fire including the hinged jet turbine components. Use the rotatory tool to cut and sand the landing gear (still attached in the photo below) off as well as the part where the screw goes through for the hinged part (the round ring to the top right of the picture).
c) You will need to cut off the front of the 3-pronded kneecap of the smallest leg of the Star Wars crab. It is the backmost leg in the photo pictured above. This is the most appropriate toy that will fit in size and shape for the upper step of Power Up Prime’s foot. After cutting off the front of the foot, you have to use the rotary tool to basically shell out the insides of the this part of the foot. You need to create a shell cover that will fit over Jet Fire’s foot. This will take time and effort including filing and sanding with sand paper afterwards.
d) An additional cover is needed to form the 3rd tier of Power Up Prime’s foot. This is mainly for aesthetics and to be consistent with the concept art. This cover hides the end of the foot you cut from the Star Wars Crab Droid. You should be able to find a suitable part of variosu Gundam or similar armour prices. I can’t remember which Gundam figure or part it is front but it was not a piece that was leg related.
e) For the back support of Power Up Prime’s foot, I used the grey leg extension from the smallest leg of the Crab Droid. In fact, I also used the largest leg extension for the thrusters for the Jet Pack; so the Crab Droid is a must-have to create a good Power Up Prime IMHO. You have to cut this leg extension to shape so that it fits behind Jet Fire’s foot.
f) Dismantle the thruster covers from Jet Fire so they are split in half. Cut off about 2″ from the top of one half of each thruster cover. This will be cut to shape as an armour cover over Optimus Prime’s foot.
Step 2: Putting Everything Together
a) Epoxy the kneecap from the Crab Droid to the top of Jet Fire’s foot.
b) Epoxy the Gundam piece on top of the Crab Droid piece. It should slughtly overlap the cut off end of the Crab Droid’s parts.
c) Epoxy the Optimus Prime foot on top of the Gundam piece. Apply epoxy to the straight part of Jet Fire’s foot. You will need to flatten this part of Jet Fire;s foot first with the rotary tool.
d) Epoxy the Crab Droid’s leg extension to the back of Jet Fire’s foot. Epoxy the cylinder from Optimus Prime to the back of this leg extension.
e) Epoxy the two Optimus Prime toes from each foot to the sides of the Power Up Prime foot. I actually also used another flat piece from a Gundam figure as a brace plate to glue the toes to the uneven side of the foot.
f) If you do not intend to make the figure transformable, snap the Optimus Prime foot ball joint back onto the main figure so that the new Power Up Prime foot is attached to the main body’s leg. Epoxy the armour cover (thruster cover half part) to cover the Optimus Prime foot. If not, you will need to epoxy the tiny rare earth magnets to each part for them to stick together non-permanently (pictured below).
Paint as necessary.
Hope this helps! Any questions?
15 Mar 2012 Update: You can now bid on the custom Dual Model Kit Optimus Prime on Ebay HERE.