It is hard to even know where to start. When we first set up the idea of this convention there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to do an exclusive. And because I am very passionate about transformer toys in general, I decided I wanted to do an exclusive that would exceed all expectations, something that would literally be the best of the best. Did I achieve that?
Picking the character was very daunting in itself. Because of the Sharkticon theme of the show, I wanted to do something Gnaw or Quintesson related, but I couldn't wrap my head around any good ideas. As it would turn out, GetRightRobot would cover that angle for us at a later date. So I took a look at my Classics shelves and decided we needed more Decepticons, and they needed to be obscure characters otherwise there was a good probability Botcon or someone else might use them. Eventually I decided on Quake for two reasons. First, there were a large number of Generations Warpath figures available for cheap and Quake is a tank. Second, Mastershooter Collectibles had already committed to making Targetmaster partners for a non-existent Quake. It seemed like a no-brainer to me.
Originally I wanted to create 100 figures, but it became apparent quick there would be no way we could churn out that many in time since we had to hand-create these figures. So we settled on 50. And I wanted to include the Targetmaster partners with the main figure in a nice box presentation, so I worked with Captured Prey and Mastershooter to make this happen. Originally I hired someone local do design the head, but that turned out to be a mistake so I had to outsource that to a well known designer in the community. I was a little gun-shy of what happened at Slagacon a couple years ago where (through no fault of their own) their manufacturer took their money and ran. I wanted to try and keep everything as local as possible, which in the end meant I ended up doing a lot of the work myself.
|We could have kept the red on Warpath, but I wanted a fully repainted figure, so we went a little darker, more Decepticonish.|
We scheduled weekends where we would disassemble and clean the figures. Then during my free time I would tape them up and paint them with an airbrush. The taping took forever as I would usually do six to seven figures at a time. Since I have no painting skills I couldn't detail paint any part of it, so I would mask off areas I didn't want painted, airbrush it, let it dry and then mask off another section to paint. Fortunately we only used five colors so I got a good system down where I could get six figures finished each week. Even at that pace, it took over four months since I was using my free time to get it done. Once they were finished, I sent the figures to my friend Gatchaman who would reassemble them. And then he would send them back to me, and I would do any touch-ups that were necessary before adding the heads. The whole process was rather tedious and I really never want to do it again.
|The culmination of all my work|
|I hand drew the back of the box image from a still of the 1986 Movie|
|Very few images of the bottom of boxes exist. Luckily I had a couple on hand to pull from.|
Continuing on the design side, I completely created the instruction book, tech card, catalog and making-of booklet all by hand. I based the instruction booklet off of the 1984 books that used color photographs instead of isometric drawings of the figures. Taking the photos for that was not fun, let me tell you. And then trying to adjust them all to color match each other, ugh. But I threw in another easter egg on the instruction booklet: on the last panel that talks about the tech specs, I actually used our Allicon tech spec and those are my hands in the photograph :) The tech card was another fun project. I based that off the tech cards that came with the re-issues of the early 2000's, I was using 22 Starscream and 48 Astrotrain in particular. The back of the card has all the same info as the tech spec, it is just presented in a different manner. I also asked Flywheels if he thought I should have it all in Japanese, but he thought people might just think that was annoying and I tend to agree with him.
|Amazingly, the hardest part about these was folding them all.|
|Final Catalog, hmm, some familiar items on there.|
|Aftershock's Tech Spec for your viewing pleasure (pay no attention to the copyrighted name, lol).|