Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beast Wars Axalon: Botcon 2006 Art Contest Entry

I am branching out a bit here and am presenting a segment called “What’s He Cooking Up Now…” For the past few months, I’ve been working on a project to be presented at the annual Transformers Convention, BOTCON. Since this year’s theme and exclusive set was to be the cast of the Beast Wars, I set out to make a playset of their spaceship, the Axalon.

I knew going into this that I would not be able to make a “true” spaceship playset since the ship would have to be huge, so instead I planned to hit a few key elements and go for an overall feel to the display.

To begin, I started hitting up thrift shops, hoping to find enough bits and pieces that I thought would be usable. I ended up stumbling upon a plastic sled/snowmobile for $3 and a Power Rangers semi-truck for $1. These two pieces would make up the majority of the ship.

The snowmobile had its front “feet” removed and was cut in half along its circumference. The “feet” were also cut in half and they were attached to each side of the ship (as engines). The semi-truck was dismantled and luckily when two sides of the trailer were glued together, they were the exact size of the opening in the back of the snowmobile.

I wanted to add some more details to the front so I found some older Star Trek figures and scavenged 2 seats and a console. For the console, I scanned the original sticker into the computer and made a custom Transformers Beast Wars sticker instead. It had many elements that were present on the convention box set.

Now that the “bones” of the ship were in place, I started on the details and the paint. Landing gear was added to the front and back with some bolts and pvc pipe. Wing pieces were painted and added to the front (these came from a space ship toy that I found at the flea market for $3). A grab claw was added, it also came from the flea market space ship. On the floor portion of the back there was a raised circular portion that I thought looked like it could be the “holo” table from the show so I came up with a way to get the “Darksyde” ship to look like it was floating above the table. By the way, Darksyde is the name that the collectors club decided to call the ship of the Beast Wars Predacons.

By this point, everything was painted and I started playing around with the figures that would be used for the convention set. These figures were given different paint schemes for the set. Once I got to the convention, I opened up my set and placed those figures on the ship. When I saw the official figures on the Axalon, I was very happy with the final result.

Unfortunately, the Axalon did not win in the diorama category at the convention, but it did get many positive reactions from fans. I’m still puzzled by the pieces that did win, but alas, it was fun to build and seeing people’s reaction to the ship made it worthwhile.

Now that the convention is over, I should get back to cooking.



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