August 15th, 2007



August 31st, 2007



None, really.



1 wooden plate,
1 clear plastic ball,
2 Batman&Robin movie guns,
Spawn Steel Trap torso,
Samurai Skeletor gun,
Marvel Legends Weapon
base and parts, plastic tubes,
One light-up magnetic earring,
Drinking straws, 1 chopstick,
2 lego plates



Apoxy Sculpt, Citadel Paints,
Revell acrylic paint, Pattex Blitz
Plastik glue, Pattex Blitz glue,
hot glue, Magic Plastic, wire,
a plastic cup bottom, liquid latex,
1 cocktail prick, 1 CD

Points of



(Images stolen taken from Obscure Transformers Website which rocks almightily)

Character & Intent

Oh my, where to begin. Straxus. Straaaaaxus. Well, it's complicated,
yet simple. There are five words that should sum up the main appeal:
Transformer head in a bowl.

You see, when I was just a wee lad of little years and great enthusiasm,
I bought a few of the oversized Transformer "magazines" that were available
in my country of birth and living, Germany. These magazines were nothing more
but translations of the UK Transformers comics, collected to 2 issues per magazine
with some generic editorial stuff tacked on. I recall peeking into an issue in the store
while accompanying my parents' grocery shopping. What I saw while trotting past
frozen chicken and pizza confused and intrigued me:
Transformer head in a bowl.

I wasn't too firm on continuity at that time, so there were a lot of questions raised
and never answered. Why was this strange bot whom I'd never seen apparently in
charge of the Decepticons ? Why was he no more than a head ? And why, for heaven's
sake, does a robot need conserving fluid ?
All of this got buried in my subconscious for many years. Until that one fateful day when
I stumbled upon the wonderful Obscure Transformers Website. I just had to read all
the profiles, and very soon, I stumbled across the name "Straxus". And what did see ?
What came flooding back from my memory as if a dam had been burst by fusion blasts ?
Transformer head in a bowl.

Needless to say, was both fascinated and delighted. If you want to know more about this
actually quite interesting on-and-off head of the Decepticons, I suggest you go to the afore-
mentioned, very rocking website. It can tell you more than I could, and it does it so much
better. But for this, my page, it all comes down to
Transformer head in a bowl.


As you probably saw right away, I didn't concern myself with sticking to the
comic design in a direct way. It was practically drawn differently in every
appearance, and all I really wanted was to keep the visual "feel" true to
the source.

What kept me putting this one off for quite a while was my inability of finding
the most critical component - an appropriately-size plastic ball. After a couple
of weeks, I finally thought to look in a crafts store.
Yeah, I still feel stupid.

The head itself might actually have been the easiest thing. It is basically sculpted
from scratch, with the rings of the mouthguard portion made from plastic strips.
The strips seemed to be the most logical solution, as they basically mimic the
structure the head seemed to have in the comics. The plugs for the life-support
are just pieces of plastic tube glued into place, and the wires coming out the bottom
are mangled plastic strips and some nylon line.

The next step I undertook was to drill a few holes into the plastic ball, carefully
selecting the right size for the tubes going in. The top of the ball had to come off
completely, which wasn't a very hard thing to do by the way of the Dremel.

I then cut the bottom from a disposable plastic cup, glued it on top of the
ball (only attached to one of the readily-seperatable halves) and coated it
with magic plastic to add stability. At this point, I cut a few openings to
accomodate the pieces I would attach to the top of the ball and give them
a tight fit. Then, I used Apoxy Sculpt to create the visible surface of the top.

Attached to this are the gun of Samurai Skeletor (cut and sanded to fit),
lego plates to attach to the base and a small light-up kid earing, which
I didn't photograph in action (it just didn't provide enough light to be
significant, but its cylinder coming out of the bowl still looks decorative
enough). The Lego plate was sculpted over on the edges for a more
secure fit.

Speaking of the lego attachment system that keeps the sphere removable
to open up and take the head out - Here's how it works: The Lego plate
integrated into the sphere connects to another which is glued to two cut
drinking straws that contain actual wiring for stability. These straws are,
in turn, glued to a cut piece of a CD. This cut piece is glued onto two
more wire-filled straws and a chopstick, which are all hot-glued into the
wooden baseplate. Originally, the chopstick in the middle was not part
of the plan, but the wired straws turned out not to be up to support
the weight of the contraption - Straxus would've ended up at shin
level sooner or later with those and nothing more.

The machinery surrounding the sphere gave me a lot of opportunities
to use parts I never would've in any other scenario. The two tower-like
things on the left on the frontal shots are made from guns from the now
ancient Batman & Robin movie toyline, upside-down and partially re-
sculpted. The green mini-tanks attached to the bottom of the sphere
were part of one of those guns, as well. The terminal on the right side
of the pictures used to be the torso of Spawn's cyborg crocodile
foe Steel Trap. Only minor modifications went into this one - The former
gun turnplate was resculpted into the circular screen, holes in the side
were drilled and filled with plastic tubing to plug smaller tubes into and
the top and bottom were slightly sculpted over.
The central computer wall quite obviously used to be part of Weapon X's
display base, painted up to bring out the details. Another part of Weapon X's
accessories ended up on the very top of the (uh.. not a figure.. hm...
diorama ? Yeah, I guess that works
) diorama, modified with the tip of a
clear cocktail prick to simulate a warning light or maybe another instance
for the life-support fluid to run through. (What's up with that stuff, anyway ?
What does a robot need green goo for ? I never found out.)

The hoses/wires were mostly attached to pre-existing holes. Because it would've
been stupid not to do it that way. It should be noted that the tubes are what holds
Straxus' head in place. Yes, I know, you guess that. Did you also guess that I put
a wire into the bottom hose for stablety ? You did ? Aw hell. By the way, the pink
one is supposed to be an energon line. Okay, you knew that, too. Whatever.

The paintjob was on this was a very mixed bag. (Can you say "very mixed" ? Is that
technically possible ? Can something be a little mixed ? I guess not. But now I don't
feel like going back and changing what I wrote. Even though writing this is technically
MORE work. I'm weird.)
While painting most of the surface was fairly easy (prime, black basecoat, metallic
layer, some wash for dirt/rust) A few things required a little more attention. The most
maddening part might've been the Decepticon insignia ("insignia" is so much more
interesting then "symbol" ) on Straxus' forehead. I could've forgone it, as some artists
on the comic just put some sort of hyper-stylized symbol (damn - now I DID write
"symbol", after all) instead, but I really wanted it to be a Decepticon one ("one" ?
Now I'm getting lazy). I think it's kinda sorta fairly reasonably acceptable for the size.
Another HUGE problem was to create the illusion of green fluid inside of the sphere.
After several experiments with liquid latex, paint and transparency paste, I finally
figured out the right mixture when I left out the paste and only used trace ammounts
Revell acrylic paint (which tends to be somewhat transparent if spread thin) .
I had a little more fun painting the details of the computers, as it was pleasant and
easy to bring out some of the overlooked intricacies of the sculpts.

And this, as far as I can recall, concludes our tour de disembodied Decepticon.

All this without any "head" jokes - I'm proud.



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