Ironhide Week Part 3

Step 2 – First Backpack Fix

This first backpack fix is the most necessary out of all the mods to be found in this guide. The other mods don’t even matter unless you do this one. It’s also the most obvious of the bunch, and most people probably stopped here and figured ‘good enough.’

Not so fast, dear reader. That line of thinking is a slippery slope. Once you stop demanding the best of yourself, bit by bit it builds up until you are made of fail. Once that happens, it’s only a matter of time before you think The Tim and Eric Awful Awesome show is funny, and we all know what happens after that…

The moar you know!

So, you should know how crappy Ironhide is without any mods. If you don’t, go look at part 1 and you’ll see plenty of examples.  I will, however, give you a detailed shot of his current clearance issue.

Notice the central gray piece (the part the crotch is attached to) doesn’t even get close to touching the bumper. This is because of two molding issues on the  part that attaches his backpack to his, well, back.

Observe these two pictures closely.

The blue circled areas show where the rear wheel wells of Ironhide’s alt mode are being blocked by the plastic ridges on the sides of that middle backpack-attaching piece. The two ridges are there to provide extra strength for that middle piece. It’s all that’s holding the pack to his back, and it probably worked well the way it was designed. I’d guess that somewhere along the line, it broke during a drop test and extra plastic was added.

Hooray, safety!

No problem, though, because this part is easy enough to fix.

Remove the three screws that attach the backpack to that middle piece.  Next, remove the two screws holding his torso together (one on his gut and one below\behind his head.

Less competent readers will have trouble with that part, but I’m not providing a picture for how to remove the screws. If you can’t find them (or figure it out based on context), you probably shouldn’t even attempt the carving…

After the screws have been removed, gently pull his torso apart and you’ll be left with three pieces- his legs attached to a middle part with the head mounted on top, and the right and left halves of his torso.

Here’s a picture of the part we’re after, colored green for your convenience.

You should Do not consult my guide on how to hold a razor blade to see my preferred method of carving plastic.

Now that you haven’t done that, take your blade of choice and shave off thin strips of the plastic, like so…

Shaving only thin strips will make the job go quicker and easier. Trying to hack off a big chunk with just the razorblade can get difficult and dangerous.

If you look closely at the pic, you’ll see there are long notches on it. We can use these as a way to standardize the amount of plastic that’s needed to be cut. Less guesswork means more efficient cutting. Here’s an picture of what you should have after the cutting, enhanced to show detail.

For convenience’s sake, you can leave him disassembled until tomorrow’s post. But if you don’t mind doing it, put him back together and try him out. Doing so will help you understand the importance of tomorrow’s mod.

Before I go, there’s an issue that I’d like to address…

Some of you complained about the lack of funny pictures in the previous post. Likewise, some of you were probably offended by those previous insensitive attempts at funny pictures.

Well, I think I’ve come up with a solution for both situations.

Don’t worry folks. He got better. :D

(If you don’t get that joke yet, just click on the picture.)

Join me tomorrow for the second backpack fix!

~Matt Booker

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