Dehumanizing Alliance Skids, Part 1

Those of you that have Skids know that he’s almost worse than HA Sideswipe when it comes to kibble. Some of you might even say he is worse, but I’d argue that Skids is more forgivable because he’s not meant to be a graceful deceptikilling acroswordman. He’s short, squat, and kibbly.

That being said, he shouldn’t be THAT kibbly. He’s got quite a bit going for him in regards to being the better of the deluxe figure, but kibble isn’t one of them.

Sure, I really like the way they did the kibble on his lower legs, the moving jaw is great, and that tophat is just dapper.

But from any kind of side view? He’s a hollow ball with arms and legs.

Okay, so maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but look at this.

skidskibble

 

You know, I’ve heard people say they didn’t want to have ugly seams on Sideswipe’s alt mode, and that’s why his HA figure has MOST OF A WHOLE CAR on his back, but Skids’s alt mode has a joint across the roof. Is his car not sexy enough to warrant such attention, or does the real thing have that?

I think the reason his alt mode doesn’t compact more is not for teh akuracy, but for teh gimmick.

His kibble doesn’t sit up so close to him because there has to be room in his back for two humans to stand.

So they can man a gatling gun that, since he’s a robot, is integrated into him.

So wait… He has a gatling gun that’s attached to him, and a gun on his arm… Not a gun that he holds, mind you, but weapons that are integrated into him.

And the humans operate them?

Isn’t that kind of like mounting a cat to your arm and saying, “Here, you control what this hand types.”

If I start writing kitty pidgin about cheezburgers, you’ll know what happened.

Unlike Sideswipe, there’s some easy ways to dehumanize Skids. The next two posts are easy and not exactly necessary, but today’s post is a must for all HA Skids owners that want to improve his kibble situation.

(The post after the next two should be a nearly necessary one too.)

Here we go!

 

Step 1,  De-junk the trunk.

This could have been a mod guide all on its own, so I’ve put it into substeps to make things easier.

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Substep 1 – Raise the roof.

This substep can actually be optional, but it’s much easier to do the mod if you get out your screwdriver first!

First you’ll want to unscrew the roof from Skids. You’ll have to do this in bot mode, and there’s a total of four screws in the T shaped piece that’s holding it on. The top three screws in the T are easy, but the bottom point of the T has a an additional layer to deal with – the windshield.

Here’s the layout.

Screw
Windshield
T piece (attached to the human stand inside Skids)
Roof

Because the T piece goes up into the windshield piece, and the windshield is also attached to the roof\rear of the car, you’ve got to get the screw out first, then the windshield, and then the T piece will separate from the roof.

Getting the windshield off can be a bit tricky. It has two posts that attach it to the roof\rear of the car, and it should raise up off of those, but the ‘back glass’ area needs to be popped out of the frame first.

Here’s a picture!

HASWhereToPush

Once you’ve got the roof detached, we can easily get to the parts that we need to cut.

Yes. This mod has you cut some plastic away from the figure. I shouldn’t have to point this out, but sometimes people complain. As always, this guide is written for people of all skill levels, and is trying to encourage you not to be scared about modding things. I figure out how to improve it and not break it so you can cut with confidence! :D

And really, if you’re going to pay this much for a figure, wouldn’t you want to fix it so it doesn’t suck?

(And the whole, “But I shouldn’t have to!” argument doesn’t count because it’s a moot point. It’s there, fix it and enjoy it or put up with it \ don’t buy it.)

Substep 2 – Cutting Corners

More specifically, cutting one corner in particular.

The roof is divided into two sections, the back end and the front end (where the hood \ bumper is attached). The joint that connects them is a pair of pin hinges with a swivel at one end.

The dark gray piece that attaches the two hinge joints is the piece we’re going to be cutting on. Don’t worry, it’s thick and sturdy and this doesn’t affect stability or durability!

On the hinge joint attached to the back end of the roof, the gray piece has a squared off end to keep it from rotating all the way around. Cut that off.

I just took a pair of flush cutters and snipped it off. Ironically, the cut itself doesn’t have to be flush, but you want enough of the squared corner chopped off at the otherwise rounded joint can rotate further.

Here’s a picture to illustrate, with the part to be cut off in red.

HASWhereToCutPart1

That should let the joint do a full 180 and flip completely over. Almost.

That bring us to the next substep.

Substep 3 – Cut the Ridge

There’s one other ridge on that middle joint that’s causing it not to rotate completely around to sit flush against the back end roof of the car. That’s easy enough to fix, so just take those flush cutters and trim it down.

You don’t have to cut it completely off, but enough that it ‘s out of the way.

Another picture!

HASWhereToCutPart2

Just one more cut to make so far!

Substep 4 – Unhook the Bumper

And by unhook, I mean cut off the hook.

That hook on the underside of the bumper used to attach the top half of the top of the car to the bottom of the back of the top of the car, but now it’s not needed and it actually going to get in the way of the next substep.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, so just take your trusty flush cutters and cut the hook off. If you want to get all pretty you could take a razorblade or some sandpaper and clean up the spot where the hook used to be, but the main thing is getting it off and out of the way.

No picture for this part, but really, do you need it? There’s only one hook on the thing, and it’s below the bumper. If you don’t know where it is then you probably don’t own HA Skids.

Substep 5 – New Transformation

Here’s where the substeps come together into the first full step of my Human Alliance Mod Fix Guide.

After you have put Skids back together, arrange the kibble the way you would have previously for transformation.

There’s no hook so you can’t latch the front bumper onto the back bumper, but instead of that you’re going to flip that whole half of the kibble (front bumper, hood, and windshield \ front of roof) up and around to rest right where the humans would’ve stood.

Angle the bottom of the kibble (the rear of the car) away from the legs as far as you can (you will get more range out of the legs this way than if the bottom of the car were sitting flush against the top of his hips), and make sure the dark gray piece we modded is now sitting flush the way I described it should.

Here’s a picture to illustrate that point.

SkidsGrayPiece

After that, fold down the hood and the bumper so where the hook used to be is now up against the top of the back of the roof. You can do what you want with the black bars, but I usually have them sticking out at an angle.

In the above picture you can see what I mean about the front bumper sitting flush without the hook on it. The black bars were down against the back half of the roof to let the camera take a picture of the circled area.

This cleans up the back kibble considerably, and I like the effect of the windshield peeking up above his shoulders. And, should you ever want Skids to

cheezburger

Erm. Lets try this again, should you can feed me cheezburger nao plz.

*detaches cat from arm*

*several bandaids later…*

I figured that wasn’t going to work out well. But if you should still want that line of thinking, you can convert Skids back to his mobile hoomin gun mode by transforming the kibble the way the instructions would have you do it. If you’re that keen on it, you can even not cut off that hook, but the front bumper won’t sit as flush as it should in the modded transformation.

And now, on with the pictures!

HASStep1Back

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HASStep1Side

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HASStep1Front

 

Backpack Comparison

 

Don’t like the doors sticking up? Don’t worry, there’s a fix for that too.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of my ROTF Human Alliance Skids Mod Fix Custom Guide!

~Matt Booker

33 thoughts on “Dehumanizing Alliance Skids, Part 1

  1. That’s a HUGE improvement! (Ironic that a huge improvement gets rid of the huge backpack!)

    BBQ AWESOMESAUCE.

    :<
    [r
    _L

  2. Mucho better, dude. Totally gonna get this now. I don’t think I’d use the back position for Mikala anyways. She’s much more full of lol straddling the hand canon.

  3. I don’t even own this figure, and I cheezburger nao plz can still see the improvement i can has nom nom nom that you’ve made here.

    And while strapping a cat to your arm does take a bit of pet me touch me pet me touch me pet touch me love me adjustment, I think it’s going to catch on and become oh hai dere omg fr rlz quite popular.

  4. The only HA that I would ever buy is Bumblebee, because of the massive attention to detail. The others just don’t seem necessary to me.

    Maybe if the Mikaela figure had a bit more detail…

  5. It looks good! Although what I like about the regular backpack is it seems to work for him, unlike Sideswipe.

    Plus, not that big of a fan with the lack of door hiding on your mod. They seem to be less well hidden.

  6. Legendhiro, Bumblebee is indeed pretty cool. He’s not exactly what I’d call movie accurate, but that’s not something I really care about.

    And speaking of non-movie accuracy, I actually really dig the door wings on Skids. So I have em moved up and splayed a bit more prominently than they can be. So General Tekno, the only real reason they wouldn’t be hidden as much is just because there’s not a massive bulk back there to distract you. Kibble amid kibble.

    With Skids slimmed up quite a bit, there’s nothing for the doors to get lost in. Still, they can be moved down more than I show them. I have them angled up, but they can go parallel to the ground just like in the first picture.

    I’m admittedly a fan of the door wings, though. :)

    Thanks for commenting everyone! You’re all welcome to stick around and interact.

    ~Matt Booker

  7. Heya Jeffery. I’m not going to fix HA Sideswipe.

    I had him, but really didn’t like him. There’s probably a nice fix that can be done for him. Cut the hood of the car in two and mount it on some joints that will let it fold up better, mimicking the deluxe figure more.

    But that’s not going to solve the problem of big, chunky arms and hollow forearms, big thighs and relatively stiff legs. I’m not just talking about the rubber hip pieces, but the legs having opportunities for joints and not using them.

    And then there’s the flimsy little forearm blades…

    If you like HA Sideswipe, that’s cool. But I fix figures that I really like, and it’s usually a flaw that’s stopping me from really enjoying a figure. HA Sideswipe has too many things that I don’t like about him.

    I’d more prefer somebody cast the mold in a larger size and release deluxe Sideswipe as HA size. :)

    Still, I’d like to see it if somebody fixed him.

    ~Matt Booker

  8. YOU BETTER BE WEARING A TOPHAT IF YOU WANT TO SOUND SOPHISTICATED.

    Sometimes I type in a tophat and don’t tell anyone, and then secretly laugh at how people do not suspect!

    ~Matt Booker

  9. legendhiro get your news at tformers.com they have stuff on their front page that gets updated but stay away from sybertron and allspark cause they suck.

  10. Or in the alternative, Hiro, you could check out the sites and go with the one(s) you like best.

    I don’t mean to slam Phantaman here, but personally, I don’t take the word of someone who gives vague reasoning like “they suck” as any sort of reasoning, especially when they can’t even be bothered to spell the names of the sites in question correctly.

  11. Barricade with Frenzy, (which kind of goes against the whole ‘Human Alliance’ motif, but who cares?) and Mudflap with Simmons. Though there’s talk of repaints of at least Bumblebee and Sideswipe as well.

    Frenzy_Rumble actually came up with a very nice mod to improve HA Sideswipe: make the car removable! The Corvette Stingray mode looks beautiful, but he far too expensive for a pretty car mode and a meh robot mode. Especially since the Deluxe does nearly as good vehicle and much better robot for a fraction of the price!

  12. I don’t really like parts formers unless it’s for weapon integration.

    It was probably painted nice, though!

    ~Matt Booker

  13. Hey on a side note. when you cut plastic it turns white from the stretch of the plastic during the cutting process… easy fix, grab a bic lighter and heat the part just enough to reflow the plastic, white is gone…

    Leave in the flame too long and it will darken so you will have to sand then heat again…

    just pass the part over the flame and never hold it in place over the flame

  14. Craig, I actually don’t have this happen very often. It has happened though, but a light shave with a razor blade fixed it up. Given that, and that I usually use very sharp blades, it makes sense that duller blades stretch the plastic a bit more than sharper ones.

    You know, I hadn’t even thought about the reason for the whiteness on it, but stretching plastic makes sense.

    Thanks for the tip, and next time it happens on a visible part without much shaving room I’ll try it out. :D

    ~Matt Booker

  15. I just got HA Skids today. I actually kind of like him being a little like a ball… But, he could use to tighten up that kibble!

    I also like how the doors are stealthy like a ninja;)

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