|How I turned this...||...Into this|
Well, from the overlay picture you can plainly see that the two car bodies are distinctly different, as well as the wheelbase. Luckily for me, one of Sideswipe's first steps of transformation is to pull him apart to make him taller, which resulted in matching the DeLorean's wheelbase almost perfectly.
About a month and a half after I started the project in late November 1999 I decided to take lots of pictures of my progress with my new digital webcam. This worked out really well and it was easy to keep my work documented. The images are all thumbnailed for your convienence.
These pictures were all taken February 23, 2000. I had been working a few hours a day for 2 months by this time. At this time I had removed Sideswipe's roof and front wheels, and I had cut off parts of his front end and doors. From scratch (hereby known as white sheets of styrene plastic) I made all of the white fenders, doors, and roof panel shown in the pics. Everything in the series of photos that is white other than his legs was built from thin sheets of plastic, and everything else (usually in red or black) comes from the original figure. The last pic shows a half-completed right rear quarter panel next to the left rear completed one. These parts were extremely time-consuming to design and build especially at this scale. I had to make the entire set match the existing frame of Sideswipe. Another aspect of this project was that I wanted to make the thickness of all of the body panels the same as if Takara/Hasbro had made it. This made the figure less detailed but more durable, just like the real toys.
This illustration shows a cross-section of the fenders and the lower half of the doors. This shows the way I layered the white plastic at an angle, and how the doors were formed. The upper portion and roof section of the doors were two layers bent at the correct angle and held in position until the glue dried it in place.
This second series of pictures was taken on March 16, 2000. By this time the body panels had mostly been completed and a lot of work was going into connecting the body panels onto the old chassis. At this time I also wanted to make the figure's legs swing up and over to the front, rather than pull down and out like Sideswipe's. This took a mammoth amount of mental reengineering, and eventually I sat down and made a few cuts. The first picture shows the plastic runner piece that is screwed onto the metal portion of Sideswipe. The second and third pictures show that I cut off the top tube-like part of the piece and shaved and reglued it into where the slot is in the middle. This made it so that the wheel and the pivot piece within the rear sections are along the same axis. The white plaster-looking stuff is Sculpey III. This stuff is a pain to work with but I used it in several places to fill in gaps and to add weight. You have to bake it if you want to be able to cut and shape it. In this case I used it to make wheel wells. The metal rod seen in the other pictures eventually was used to maintain stability in the rear end and acted as a guidepost. Other pictures are of the roof T-section reattached to the frame.
This section of pictures shows the progression of the rear section. The small metal pin shown in the first pic is key in allowing the legs to flip around to the front. The rear section pieces become more fleshed out as they receive louvres (the slats on the back), feet, and a filled-in taillight section. The last two pics show the two nearly finished rear sections attached to the completely stripped Sideswipe Frame.
With the rear section basically done, I moved on to the front end. I worked on the front bumper and grille section for a while in April/May. I got to a point shown in the pics and I got discouraged and sidetracked with other projects. As it sits the bumper is there, and the fittings for the hood are in place. I wanted the hood on the figure to open a bit for a storage compartment, and it had to open the same way as on a real DeLorean (hinge in front). On a side note, I never removed the original Autobot logo from Sideswipe so some small part of it is still inside the figure as a tribute. I picked up progress on the car shortly and I finished the front fenders/arms. This involved only minor alterations to the original Sideswipe arms, including the small spacer made from the white plastic to accommodate a wider hood. I took some summer school and got an old dorm friend as a new housemate (there were 5 of us total) so I spent many of my days catching up and playing video games. When I worked on the project I was mostly sanding the body panels to perfection (this took a LONG time) and pics of this would not have done it justice. I moved in late June to another house with the same housemates, less 1. I didn't think about working on the project for about a month (relationship trouble), and when I finally did want to work again (all better now :) ) I couldn't find it. Moving sucks. The background color change reflects the move timewise. I picked up where I left off and worked on the front end some more. I made the air dam (which bolts onto the lower hood portion around the frame) and grille. The little "DMC" emblem on the front of the car was actually the very first thing I did way back in November 1999. I figured if I could carve a convincing "DMC" into the solid black plastic of a Lamborghini bumper I could do anything. Looks like I was right. The headlights were from a 1/24 scale Ford truck model project that didn't pan out about 7 years earlier, and the lenses had to be filed down to the proper size. I inserted chromed plastic pieces behind the lenses and it looks damn good when assembled. Last pic - "almost a robot."