After completing Project: Steelskin, I took a little time off from Transformers building to make some regular models and play Grand Theft Auto 3 nightly. I quit my previously discussed crappy tech support job in Februrary 2002 and sold stuff on eBay for 3 solid months. See, in college I spent all my money on Star Wars stuff instead of drinking, etc. There was more than enough stuff. I had up to 62 auctions a week going, and that kept me plenty busy. When that ran out, I decided to look for another job much closer to home. I now work at RE/MAX Premier Realty in Tucson, a mere 4 miles from home.
Anyway, Around May 2001 the Fast and the Furious trailers hit theaters and TV. It looked like fun to begin with, but the scene at the end where the black Dodge Charger flips over was just mesmerizing. I had been fascinated with black Chargers since I saw the movie Blade. Blade drove a 1968 Dodge Charger in all black that was just sweet. Incidentally, I have a white Toyota Camry. That, in fact, is the opposite of a black Charger.(sigh)


I began imagining and doodling a black Charger Transformer around May 2002, after the Fast & The Furious DVD was released. All of the G1 cars were contemporary vehicles for their original design date of the late '70s-early 80's, so I decided to build the first muscle car Transformer! In August of 2002 I did a to-scale sketch of a Charger to serve as a guide for making the body panels. I also purchased the first donor vehicles: A Maisto Mercedes 500SL convertible (for the tires), and a Muscle Machines '55 Nomad with the correct style 3-port blower motor. There has been a surge of blown-motored toy cars lately, and this one happened to match the scale perfectly. I took some pics of everything together before I started building. I have many differently scaled Chargers including the 1/18 scale Fast & the Furious version, and oddly no two are consistent. Does anyone know what these cars actually look like!?
Project: Steelskin revolved around building a DeLorean out of a thrashed Sideswipe figure. I wanted Redline to be 100% scratch built from the ground up. No more mating body panels to a weird frame, no more un-gluable plastic, etc. I typically use two thicknesses of styrene: .020" and .015" The .020" sheets come two per pack as I typically buy them, and the .015" comes 3 to a pack. The difference is subtle but the flexibility sometimes comes in handy, and of course to make body panels firm you have to layer at least two sheets together with plenty of glue. This way they glue into a permanent warp shape rather than just being bent or heated. If you are making a to-scale TF, I'd recommend the .020 with two layers, or if you go with the .015 stuff do 2-3 layers for outer body panels. The thicker sheets allow for more curve sanding without going all the way through a layer. I've also been using sticks lately quite a bit, which saves a ton of time gluing stacks of styrene together. I use .125 x .125" and some other larger sizes to save time and make strong joints.

I began Project: Redline on August 15th, 2002. Progress was steady until about mid-September. It was about that time that our wedding plans began. Once the hectic schedule of planning a wedding got into full swing there was no time for projects. Redline sat on the back burner until the wedding was over in January.
Follow Redline's construction process on the "Figure" page.

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