"Masterpiece" combiners

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"Masterpiece" combiners

Post by Miss Trebuchette » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:40 pm

About a year ago, I started a thread on TFW about what people were "looking for" in a "Masterpiece" combiner...since then, there have been a bunch of new entries in the field (at least on the 3P front) including 2 Superions (Fanstoys & Zeta); 3 Bruticuses...(Brutici?) (MMC/Zeta/Unique Toys); and 2 Menasors (DX9 and XTB)...I don't think I'm missing any, but lemme know if I am!

In my opinion, I still haven't "seen" an MP combiner that I am willing to invest in, but I am holding my breath for review samples of the upcoming Menasors, MMC Bruticus, and the FT Superion. The Unique Toys Bruticus was SUCH a let down...their Onslaught and combined mode just do NOT do it for me...

Ultimately, I am not a place-holder kinda girl which is why I passed on the Toyworld Constructor/Devastator set (despite it's critical acclaim). I feel like all 3 modes are important with combiners, so I want combiners that are in scale with each other (and preferably using the same design philosophy), bot modes where the limb/torso bots are in scale with each other and fit into a clear TT MP aesthetic (either Yuki or Kobayashi), and vehicle modes that fit with non-combiner MPs (this means that Air Raid would have to scale VERY close with MP-11 and Breakdown would have scale VERY close with MP-12). I know this is DEMANDING. Am I holding out for perfection that might never come?

Do any of the new (or previous) "Masterpiece" combiners suit your collection? If so, why? What is important and what isn't? What are your thoughts and why?

Also, do we think TT will ever do an official MP combiner? That would really solve a LOT of this...
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Re: "Masterpiece" combiners

Post by domsalvia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:32 pm

What a tricky question!

I would love to see an official MP combiner as it would be super interesting to see the official take on how to do one. Extra parts? Trying to fit it in to the limbs? Leader bots having the extra parts as part of the alt mode? Most of all I'd be interested to see how they handle scale. Personally I like the scale to individual bots and let physics take it's course like with the Generation Toy/TransFormMission sets, I think the TFM Menasor is spot on for how it should be done for me, but I know people want BIG combined modes and that kind of thing isn't the scale a lot of people want. That would mean large extra legs and hips to plug cars on to etc.,

I think mostly for me, and again I know it's a bit divisive, I would want less toon versions, more MP12 and less MP33. A toon Menasor at that scale would just be a huge mass of unexcitement for my tastes, but going back to the extra detail of the MP10 style would be perfect!

You mentioned Superion and I have no idea how that would work. Again, scale to bot and let the rest fall as it may? MP11 is already very undersized for a jet anyway so I'd rather keep the bot mode to scale than force an oversized bot for an undersized jet. This is assuming limb bots are carbot sized, but if you think they are seeker sized then, how do the car combiner bots work? What about Groove? I think given we have carbots that are pretty much the right scale alt and bot mode would use that and the Stunticons as the scale benchmark myself. They make sense and are consistent with other bots for sizing. Then we come to the other teams and that siing makes no sense again :D

Transformers is a game of priorities and everyone has their preference, the biggest trouble for a combiner is there are 3 priorities to pick from, bot, alt, and combined, and while the Stunticons can probably get away with scale to car bot, I don't know how you make correctly sized bots for Constructicons and Aerialbots. Let's not get started on the scaling of Combaticons :lol: But yes, scale to to bot and live with the rest, however that works out, at least for my money.

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Re: "Masterpiece" combiners

Post by Miss Trebuchette » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:55 pm

domsalvia wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:32 pm
What a tricky question!

I would love to see an official MP combiner as it would be super interesting to see the official take on how to do one. Extra parts? Trying to fit it in to the limbs? Leader bots having the extra parts as part of the alt mode? Most of all I'd be interested to see how they handle scale. Personally I like the scale to individual bots and let physics take it's course like with the Generation Toy/TransFormMission sets, I think the TFM Menasor is spot on for how it should be done for me, but I know people want BIG combined modes and that kind of thing isn't the scale a lot of people want. That would mean large extra legs and hips to plug cars on to etc.,

I think mostly for me, and again I know it's a bit divisive, I would want less toon versions, more MP12 and less MP33. A toon Menasor at that scale would just be a huge mass of unexcitement for my tastes, but going back to the extra detail of the MP10 style would be perfect!

You mentioned Superion and I have no idea how that would work. Again, scale to bot and let the rest fall as it may? MP11 is already very undersized for a jet anyway so I'd rather keep the bot mode to scale than force an oversized bot for an undersized jet. This is assuming limb bots are carbot sized, but if you think they are seeker sized then, how do the car combiner bots work? What about Groove? I think given we have carbots that are pretty much the right scale alt and bot mode would use that and the Stunticons as the scale benchmark myself. They make sense and are consistent with other bots for sizing. Then we come to the other teams and that siing makes no sense again :D

Transformers is a game of priorities and everyone has their preference, the biggest trouble for a combiner is there are 3 priorities to pick from, bot, alt, and combined, and while the Stunticons can probably get away with scale to car bot, I don't know how you make correctly sized bots for Constructicons and Aerialbots. Let's not get started on the scaling of Combaticons :lol: But yes, scale to to bot and live with the rest, however that works out, at least for my money.
I agree with so much of what you have to say here!

1. Aesthetics:
This is most important to me and not one of the 3P's have nailed it yet for me in all 3 modes. Toyworld/Zeta's Devy, Superion, and Bruticus all look pretty good (to varying degrees) combined, but they just FALL APART in individual bot mode (Zeta's Superion is shaping well, but I am reserving judgment). Same with Gravity Builder (although I can't get behind their Devy combined mode). Unique Toys Bruticus is the opposite problem (at least with Swindle and Brawl): it looks GREAT in individual Bots, but looks "CHUG"-ish when combined. Except for the torso/Onslaught (which looks too "CHUG"-ish in Onslaught's bot mode for me. I would be imminently happy with the main combiners if they all looked like "themselves" in all three modes. Size, etc. is secondary (ish)...

2. Alt-mode/Bot Scale:

I think we are on the same page here. True scale is out the window, but intra-vehicle type scale is achievable.
So when I say scale, I mean alt-mode scale between combiner/non-combiner bots with the exact same alt-modes. As it is, there has been much said in various about how the TT MP cars (for example) aren't in scale with MP-10 OR the other TT MP cars. That's why I start with Air Raid and Breakdown. If someone could demonstrate how to get the same "size" bot mode out of MP-11 and MP-12, I think that would dictate size for all the rest of the limb bots (in my perfect world, at least). Groove would be oversized (obviously) and the Combaticons would be undersized. But let the bot modes (and limb modes) dictate the size of the alt-modes for non-Aerialbots/Car limbs (Stunticons, Streetwise, First-Aid, and Swindle). Fun fact, First-aid should be put in this design challenge as well because he has the same "licensed" alt-mode as Ironhide/Ratchet.

I think it would possible to get Aerialbot limbs down to a more Ironhide/Sideswipe height since having jet mess of a backpack for the Aerialbots is actually toy AND animation accurate! (as opposed to the Seekers).

IMO the Constructions are the "easiest" in terms of picking bot/alt-mode scale: Scale them all to Grapple in bot and alt-mode. If Devastator is taller (or a little shorter) than the Scramble City combiners, I wouldn't complain.

3. Combined mode: The only turn-off I have with parts-forming combiners is that at that price, I'd like the parts to turn into something that isn't PART of the torso-bot's alt-mode. Warbotron Onslaught and TFM Motormaster are exactly what I don't want. I'd like the option to leave the combiner kibble off in alt-mode but would also like it to turn into SOMETHING. Thigh parts could turn into a additional trailers for Motormaster, Onslaught, and Hot Spot or an under-jet cargo thing (think Skylinx) for Silverbolt...
In terms of Combined mode-size, I'm FINE with anything at least CW Devy in height. CW Devy isn't that bad with most MPs in terms of scale. Is bigger nicer? I guess? But I don't think it's the be-all, end-all. Give me Bruticus, Superion, Menasor, and Defensor at the same height. Devy can be taller or shorter for all I care...

Sigh...my queendom for an official combiner. That would solve the hemming and hawing I go through every time a new 3P combiner comes out....
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Re: "Masterpiece" combiners

Post by domsalvia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:10 pm

I didn't even think of scramble! I now need any official MP combiners to to be compatible with the other sets! It just got even more complicated!!!
And I'm also in for Ironhide as the middle ground bot scale, that should work for most bots. Very excited for GIANT Groove too! :D

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Re: "Masterpiece" combiners

Post by Miss Trebuchette » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:28 pm

domsalvia wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:10 pm
I didn't even think of scramble! I now need any official MP combiners to to be compatible with the other sets! It just got even more complicated!!!
And I'm also in for Ironhide as the middle ground bot scale, that should work for most bots. Very excited for GIANT Groove too! :D
I think the cool thing we are starting to see in official (and some 3P) MPs is something akin to mass-shifting. Designers are get VERY creative with how to "hide" mass in alt-mode or bot mode. MP-36 Megs & MP-39 Sunstreaker and Badcube's Warpath are excellent examples of each principle. I think it would be very possible to MP Ironhide-sized bots out of the MP-12/39 vehicle mold (for Breakdown) and a motorcycle for Groove. The bots would probably be a little hollow, but with the right engineering could make them FEEL solid/sturdy.

It's also why I REFUSE to buy an MP Motormaster where the bot isn't the ENTIRE vehicle mode (cab and trailer). If we can get MP-22 Ultra Magnus (where the mass of the trailer is VERY much preserved in bot mode, there is no reason we couldn't get an MP Motormaster with a fairly hollow trailer and cab that collapses in on itself to get a bot mode equal to (or a little taller than) MP-10.

I FULLY agree that once I decide on an MP Combiner, I want to get all my combiners from that company so I can Scramble!!! :D . I think this is why I am holding back on 3P MP combiners...I don't see engineering/aesthetics that I am willing to sink potentially $2000 into (the 2 main Scramble City combiners)

This is more a general 3P/TT comment, but I have been VERY disappointed in MP 3P recently. A few years ago, I felt that the engineering present in the better 3Ps was on par with the TT engineering. Figures like MakeToys Jazz, MMC Mirage, almost all the Fanstoys products, and Badcube Sunstreaker all come to mind (just to name a few). But after TT's last 6-8 MPs, but ESPECIALLY after MP-39, I don't feel that way anymore. Transforming MP-39 vs. FT Apache & Koot (for example), make the later feel...amateurish... It's not that either is bad (although Koot has some disappointing engineering decisions). It's that the TT MPs just feel a SIGNIFICANT step above...
It's me (Jenevieve)! Queer trans*lady who's been into robots since she was a little girl watching Prime die the first time in a movie theater. I'm JenApparently on Twitter and Whisky26 on TFW.

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