Realizing I had only a month to go, I called into question the need for packaging for Redline, at least for OTFCC 2003. Then I realized that part of what makes my projects unique is the full 9 yards that I take these things. I started altering the Steelskin Photoshop file that made up the pattern for the first box, but I soon learned that it was not a simple process converting it to a Decepticon box. I wanted to keep the established size of an Autobot car package. I spent a few long days working with the file to get it into Decepticon form. With more than 70 layers to start with, it was pretty confusing. What was I thinking 2 years ago?? I ended up re-scanning or re-creating most of the layers, but hopefully it will be easier to change around in the future, if such a need should arise.
|REDLINE Is a brash, impatient Decepticon who loves the smell of melted tires and flaming wreckage. Blown 426 Hemi engine produces 2000+ horsepower with land speeds topping 400mph. Blower motor reverses flow for jet pack mode. 6-Barrel Vulcan cannon fires 6600 rounds per minute of 20mm depleted uranium-tipped explosive shells. Multiple rocket launchers accurate up to 2 miles. Especially fearful of cosmic rust.||
Well, one out of two ain't bad. The foam started out as inserts for a new piece of furniture. It was taller and deeper than the box, which provided a little wiggle room for error. I sketched out the pattern for the figure and weapons, based on pictures I could find from Japanese G1 figures. Foam is not user-friendly to work with. I used a heated X-acto blade and X-Acto saw blade, solder iron, and a household iron. The blades were used to slice deep, the solder iron to make deep gashes, and the iron evened out surfaces and helped to round the corners. I did the whole thing in one night, as opposed to Steelskin's bubble taking 3 weeks. So when I die 2 weeks earlier from toxic poison and styrene shavings in my lungs someday, I will know I was still ahead of the game by a few days. I would not recommend the heated X-Acto method, as re-heating the blades caused some styrofoam to catch fire, and the toxic fumes were just raunchy. Plus it totally ruined both blades. But hey if you don't care it was very effective in cutting the foam, though if you keep a hot knife or iron in place the foam melts VERY quickly and can distort before you know it.
I made a miniature box printed on a sheet of paper and put the not-quite-to-scale 1/64 Charger inside. It gave me a pretty good idea of how it would look in the end, and I was inspired to go on. I had to look at Steelskin's box to figure out how to put Redline's box together. I had totally forgotten how I did it. I printed out each panel as a section, some joined, and with spray glue I layered the printouts over the cardboard. My wife was gracious enough to let me do this inside, as it was getting dark and our monsoon season was starting. The whole box assembly was done in one night on July 15, 2003.