Last weekend I finally decided to start on this mammoth project.
The Dual Model Kit pair (Optimus and Bumblebee) came out in Japan for the TF3 movie, and are known to take several hours to complete.
I did the Bumblebee one at the start of the year, and it took about 3-4 hours... but it was only a third of the size/parts of the Optimus Kit. (which is why I've been putting it off)
To work my way up to doing it, I started off doing up the latest set of 9 Kabaya Model Kits... the ones that included Hotspot and the Protectobots.
This took a couple evenings in front of the TV... and I had the spare time while being off work from my appendix operation.
This was after I had done War For Cybertron Optimus & Hotspot, and was just starting Deathsaurus.
As you can see, each model kit was packed as a set of parts still on their sprues, plus a sticker sheet. For the big sets, the instructions were printed on the inside of the box (so you have to carefully cut up the box to see it), while the small sets had them printed on a piece of paper inside the box. And then there was the square of gum... sickly sweet, white chewing gum, that lost its flavour real fast, and isn't really necessary (but Kabaya have been putting in some sort of candy or sweet treat since the very first Transformers Model Kits).
I start off by cutting off each part and trimming the excess plastic (from where it was connected to the tree) with a hobby knife. Each part is laid out in their number order, making it easier to find when needed.
These are snap-together kits, but I have glue on hand, just in case something doesn't fit tightly enough (that isn't needed to come apart later for the transformation). Each kit is able to make one of two modes - robot & vehicle/alt-mode - but requires some disassembly to "transform" between the two modes.
This was when all three of the big ones were done, in their robot modes...
They only take about 30-60 minutes each to be fully constructed and have all stickers added, depending on how distracted you (I needed the TV on to keep me company, which meant taking longer to complete).
Then I did the 6 smaller kits... the Protectobots. (they have the four classic Gen1 Protectobots plus 2 new characters to allow you to form the combined "Defensor" if you don't have the Hotspot model kit)
This was the five classic Protectobots in vehicle mode...
And now for some comparison photos.
Deathsaurus and WFC Optimus next to their Toy versions.
And Defensor, which was originally released even earlier, in 1986... the third year of Transformers.
Now that those got me in the mode for model building, I cracked open my Optimus Model kit and spread out all the parts...
Damn... that's about 200 pieces.
You can see that they are all in different coloured plastics, with some transparent plastic parts, and even rubber parts (wheels and some internal parts). There are even some parts already painted with flame decos, but a sticker sheet was also included.
After about an hour, and only a page of the instructions, this was the end of "day one".
Since the main body frame came assembled, there's not much done yet that stands out.
Just like the Kabaya model kits, this one is also meant to be "snap-together", but I'm finding that glue is necessary on some parts that don't stay where they are supposed to be. (I also found this out from doing the Bumblebee, which is why I bought some model glue before starting this one)
Now that I'm back at work, I just don't have the spare blocks of time to sit down to do this now... so don't expect this to be completed any time soon.
This is a very long-term project.