Sidearm Sideswipe Head Fix Mod, Part 2

Welcome back to the second part of my guide on how to fix Sidearm Sideswipe’s head problems.  Today we fix a problem that might not happen on every Sideswipe, but is very frustrating when it does.


Sidearm Sideswipe Head Fix Mod, Part 2

Sideswipe’s head does not pop up.

This is  the problem that will only effect some Sidearm Sideswipes, as it is a QC issue where the excess plastic from the molding process was not trimmed away.

SSAS’s head is on a ball joint with a pretty expressive range of motion, but the ball joint itself is attached to a spring loaded base. It’s designed so that when you push the head down it rests in a notch that’s deep enough to hold position but shallow enough to release the plate and let the head pop up when disturbed.

When it doesn’t release, it is not easy to get his head out of there without a longer fingernail, a knife, or some kind of pointy device to get under his head and push it up. It shouldn’t take much, but transformers shouldn’t require tools to help you transform them. (I’m looking at you, Revoltech Macross VF1s!)

Otherwise, you can lift his chin up and wiggle it in hopes his head will pop up, but getting a grip on it to pull is not going to be easy.

Not to worry though! The solution to this problem is easy and only takes a couple of steps.


Step 1, Remove Excess Plastic

First, we need to unscrew the screws so we can take the gray torso apart from the roof of the car.



Next we remove the two screws that keep his trunk\chest armor attached.

He kinda looks like a cross legged little idol you might find in some lost temple on Cybertron.


Now remove the two screws from the side of the roof piece that his head and base plate are attached to.



Once you do that you should be able to see if there is any excess plastic around the edge of the baseplate. On mine specifically, there was a fine edge around the back where the plastic was almost transparent, thin enough it almost felt sharp. There was also a nub of excess plastic on the side, which is colored red in the next picture.


Trim those carefully. I used flush cutters for the nub and took a razor blade to the edge to shave the thin strip of excess plastic.

Be especially careful trimming the back end, making sure to just get the excess and not actually make the plate shorter. Otherwise your Sideswipe’s head will not lock into position.

Don’t worry, it’s very easy to cut a thin strip of plastic off without damaging the thick piece it’s attached to.

Once that is done, it’s time to take care of a design flaw in the mold itself.


Step 2, Remove Excess Ridge

If you look at both halves of the engine block \ hood piece, you’ll see four notches cut into the plastic, creating ridged areas.

The bottom notch is used as a catch. When the spring loaded base plate goes down and folds up, the tip presses into the notch to keep the head retracted.

So what are the other notches for? Appearances, maybe?

For whatever reason, they’re there and they don’t need to be. However, the only extra notch that gets in the way is the second one. When that happens, Sidearm Sideswipe’s head pops up, but not all the way. It’s still not far enough to get a good grip and pull it up, but you can tell it’s raised at least a little bit.

Thankfully, the solution to this is just to shave one of the ridges off. Since the other notches don’t get in the way, you only need to shave off one ridge. I’ve colored it in red in this picture, but make sure you shave it off on both sides.



After that, put Sidearm Sideswipe back together and it should be fixed. Mine still takes some coaxing on occasion, but it’s nowhere near the trouble that it was.

If you liked the guide, post a comment.

~Matt Booker

9 thoughts on “Sidearm Sideswipe Head Fix Mod, Part 2

  1. awesome guide man. mine has the first prob, but not the second. i’ll let you know how it turns out.

    thanks, man.

  2. Seems like there’s more stuff needed done to this figure than is worth the effort. Shame, I was considering getting him

  3. Thanks legendhiro and Geyser. Glad I could help!

    sparkless, it’s a nice mold aside from the head issues, and that varies based on qc, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it to people who either don’t want to mod it or would hate to have the head’s paint scratched.

    It is a nice Sideswipe, though.

    I’ve seen a lot of people with the wheels on the outside (like they go for alt mode) but if you spin them around not only do the details of the feet match up better but you can fold the front spurs back to make it look like he’s just standing on his wheels. The spurs in the back keep him nice and stable.

    And the transformation is cool, being nicely innovative around the torso especially. If they’d just not used the spring loaded head reveal then there’d probably be nothing wrong with the figure to fix.

    ~Matt Booker

  4. Just got this guy & did the 1st mod – mine doesn’t have the 2nd problem, but rather the exact OPPOSITE problem. The head won’t stay down…

    This is a bad issue b/c it means his head won’t stay retracted enough to spin around to & from alt mode – any ideas on how to fix this one?

  5. Take it apart and look at it. It might be that there’s some excess plastic making the edges not sharp enough to catch, or that you need to add a layer of glue to make the edges a bit more defined.

    ~Matt Booker

  6. They should have just not done the spring gimmick and had it raise up normally. You know Sideswipe is a convertable in the new movie so maybe they will do another mold or if they will just say his top is up. lol

  7. I’m looking this up since I’m having the same issue with my DOTM Blue Sideswipe (the Walmart one). It seems they haven’t fixed anything in the new version. Head won’t pop up on mine. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong until I saw the spring in the base. I haven’t heard any snapping or rubbing while transforming him, but with his yellow-painted head I’ll probably trim away some plastic to make sure it doesn’t get scuffed up. Thanks for the guide.

    I doubt I’ll find any differences, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I do. If I do I’ll add an update.

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