Introduction: Desktop Decepticon: a Transformers Maquette

Picture of Desktop Decepticon: a Transformers Maquette

Here is another little project I've been working on for a while, I've just got around to finishing it finally! 

After really enjoying the first Transformers movie, I wanted to try and make a little Transformer model but didn't get round to it. Once the second movie came out I thought it was about time to follow through on the little sketches I'd done ages ago.

The idea came from the scene near the end of Transformers 1, where a phone gets fried with some Allspark energy and turns into a Decepticon. Now I'm not a diehard Transformers fan but I did grow up on the 80s cartoons and I have to admit, while the movie renderings of the Autobots was incredible, I was dissapointed by the unrecognisable, spiky decepticons. So, here is my little interpretation of what I think the Decepticons could have looked like in the live action movies.

This little Decepticon is made from an old Motorola V600. Before I go any further, I have to say that unfortunatly, this model does NOT transform back into a phone! It's got a bit of articulation, but that's as far as it goes!

Step 1: Gathering Parts and Planning

Picture of Gathering Parts and Planning

When it comes to a project like this, one made from re-using existing components instead of starting from scratch, it's important to try and figure out what you want to achieve with the basic parts you've collected, before you start cutting and gluing. This particular phone was a lucky choice to use, as it has an aluminium shell, and lot's of separate components, perfect to hack up into bits of transformer "armour"

I had a couple of VERY basic sketches and knew, for example that I wanted to use the phone's keypad as the breastplate for the transformer.

That said, once the basic skeleton was conceived, the rest of the time was spent making bits up as I went along! You'll notice the evolution of the head as the photos progress, he had at least three heads until I settled on one I liked! 

Step 2: Beginning the Build

Picture of Beginning the Build

I started by cutting the aluminium shell of the phone into sections that would become the "armour" of the Decepticon. I then started from the top, and began to make the head and neck. The neck was made from a film loading crank from an old broken SLR camera, this allows the head to turn.

Step 3: Shoulders and Arms

Picture of Shoulders and Arms

The next thing to do was the shoulders. I cut off the end of the base of the phone, then threaded the neck piece through a hole that used to accommodate the phone's main speaker. I then modified the hinge that use to join the front flap of the phone to the main body. I cut it in half then used the pieces as the shoulders, this allows a little movement in the arms.

Once this was done, I cut four pieces of 4mm aluminium rod (from BandQ) with a junior hacksaw. Then used a glue gun to attach the rods into the shoulder sockets, and into a pair of "hands free kit" headphones that I gutted then glued back together.  These acted as the elbows and the forearms.

I then started to cut the aluminium shell into appropriate sizes to use as the Decepticons arm armour. I used a demel with a cutting wheel to cut the aluminium. (wear goggles!)

Step 4: Torso and Hips

Picture of Torso and Hips

I used the opposite end of the phone base for the hips, then secured it to the base of the neck with a collection of washers threaded over a bolt. I did this in such a way that the torso can swivel on the hips. I then cut up another piece of the phone base to use as the anchors for the top of the legs, then cut more pieces of the 4mm aluminium rod for the legs.

The phone's keypad is a selection of plastic buttons attached to a rubber base, this makes it nice and easy to bend into a "torso" shape, but pretty tricky to glue into place. In the end I made small holes in the rubber, and used very thin wire to almost tie the keypad onto the skeleton. I then added a strip from the back of the phones cover to the middle of the chest to add to the armoured look. I used the rest of this piece to bulk out the back a bit.

Step 5: Legs and Feet

Picture of Legs and Feet

I continued to bulk out the legs with the left over strips and other bits from the phone. I've used the winding parts from a disposable camera for the knees along with some rubber washers. The feet are made from the frame of the top of the flip up lid of the phone.

In this shot you can see the wires of the superbright LED I've placed behind the old keypad. It stands about 7 inches tall.

Step 6: Fitting the Electrics

Picture of Fitting the Electrics

There is nothing complicated about the LED system here, just a bulb, a switch and a battery pack. I fit the parts into the model, then soldered the connections.

The first shot here shows the parts before they are secured on to the model, the second shows them fixed into place, as well as painted black, to make them a little less obvious.

Step 7: Finishing the Build

Picture of Finishing the Build

The final parts to finish now were the feet, which I wanted to make a bit "flared" like the original cartoons, and to fit the final part of the exterior of the phone, the plastic "lid" of the flip cover. I cut this in two and fixed it either side of the battery pack on the back of the model, to try and mirror the way the car doors are used on the movie Autobots, looking almost like little wings.

Step 8: Completed

Picture of Completed

Here is the finished Desktop Decepticon. As the phone was a little dented and scratched before I even started the project, so the "armour" on the Decepticon is a little scarred, so from the outset I decided this would be a battle hardened little veteran, so I've added a little weathering paint to enhance this feel. 

The photo below with the black background shows the model with the light switched on.


Madhurpokemon (author)2016-11-25

its awesome

Lima79 (author)2016-11-24

i really really really like this one, so how much lol


can it turn back into a phone-ish thing

bglaser2 (author)2014-01-04

The phone wasn't turned into a deception, just a psycho and out of control mini transformer.

RetroSteamWorks (author)2013-09-27

Super cool !

Tape-structable (author)2011-05-31

My try:
No articulation, I didnt plan well, and just used some glue to add everything, with the exception of the thighs to the hips, I used glue plus some screws to keep it somewhat stable.

Very messy. The glue didnt dry clear as I'd hope, but next try i'll be prepared! I have about 4 more old phones ready to transform.

I used pieces from the phone, earbuds, and a bent coat hanger for the internal support.

Thanks for this instructable! Very inspiring, but mine is nowhere near as good as your robot. Still was very fun.

trans4mation (author)2011-05-30

Now set it up with your phone company and put it on speaker. A TALKING ROBOT YOU CAN TALK BACK TO! :D

tcollt (author)2009-10-24

That is sweat!

arthur.nudge (author)tcollt2009-10-24

If you mean 'sweet' I totally agree. Awesome work.

badideasrus (author)arthur.nudge2011-02-17

lol! i don't care if it is a comment from two years ago, that still made me laugh.

survivletroop (author)2010-12-13

no, thats the motocon!

nichodo (author)2010-09-30

Wow! this is so cool.

Note: i found this on seibertron.coms energon pub forum for custom transformers.

sculptur (author)2010-06-30

i attempted to make one but yours is much better

gingerpete50 (author)2009-12-10

I used a cutting wheel in a rotary tool (dremel) You have to wear goggles! As this method spits out tiny aluminium shards! Once the cut is made you can file or sand the edge a little cleaner if you need to. It's easier to cut the lines straight if the wheel is one of the bigger ones.


taterkiller (author)gingerpete502010-06-14

how much would it cost to make me 3 of these

WuLongTi (author)2009-10-29

 Excellent job!  You just need to replace the Motorolla logo for a Decepticon one ^_^

KahlZun (author)WuLongTi2010-03-29

lol.. whats the difference?

mnmc10 (author)2010-03-15

superglue heats up a bit but quickly cools down too.

dagenius (author)2009-10-26

Woah! Awesome! Were the parts hot glued together, or some other method?

gingerpete50 (author)dagenius2009-10-27

There were also a few little screws here and there, but mostly superglue, It was all over my fingers for a week!

dagenius (author)gingerpete502009-11-05

Really? Painful..
Doesn't superglue get really hot when it dries? I used it to try to fix my glasses frame, but it melted the edge of the lense.   :(

Goodhart (author)dagenius2009-11-06
cyanoacrylate or superglue bonds to most anything (except oil) and does so, so well, it is very hard to remove without VERY concentrated Acetone (fingernail polish remover will break it down enough to get most of it off, but that will also dissolve many plastics).
dagenius (author)Goodhart2009-11-07

Yeah, I know that part. :)
But doesn't it get hot in the process?

Daleburden (author)dagenius2010-03-15

Superglue does not get hot at all. Like alot of glues that bond plastic it actually chemically desolves the top layer or the plastic and then when it dries it lets the two layer "melt" together and solidiffy.

Goodhart (author)dagenius2009-11-07
I have never experienced any heat after having gotten it on my hands....I don't know about more sensitive parts of the body.  :-)
dagenius (author)Goodhart2009-11-11

Oh, snap!

Goodhart (author)dagenius2009-11-11


Doddity (author)Goodhart2010-01-21

any superglue i get on my fingers comes off within a day generally? although i use really cheap stuff

Goodhart (author)Doddity2010-01-22
It normally takes a few days for me.....but I guess it depends on how much one does with their hands.  At my age, I don't do much manual labor anymore.. .
Doddity (author)2009-12-30

awesome i wanna try something like this but im snowed down with projects atm =) i'll post an instructable with credit to you if i get around to it

Doddity (author)Doddity2010-01-21

yea built it but not really what i was thinking lol still looks good =) thanks for the inspiration

jobergy (author)2009-12-08

i wonder if u take a model of a new 2008 camaro u could probably make bumble bee with the time and skill u have! future project maybe

lokiwon (author)2009-11-17

Being a fan of both movies and the original cartoon...i totally love this!

weasel999 (author)2009-11-16

demel?????   Dremel or rotary tool

Waffle2 (author)2009-11-08

hi! i really like that! but i am only a kid so i cant make one sadly. :'( but i was wondering if you could make me one? or if i could maybe buy one from you?

Miss_Stephies (author)2009-11-04

Great job! I love it!

astrong0 (author)2009-10-29

do you know how cool it would be if it went back to the phone... FRICKING AWESOME

Catskinner01 (author)2009-10-29

You forgot to list one critically important construction component: artistic talent.
Sadly, that's something I can't order online.  Great work, though; I'm jealous.

manimalito (author)2009-10-28

very nice , I can see it transforming back into a normal cellphonbe!

SinAmos (author)2009-10-27

I appreciate this build.  This is right up my alley. 

gingerpete50 (author)2009-10-27

Thanks for all your comments guys, I'm glad you like it!

yokozuna (author)2009-10-26

Excellent work, 5 stars.  I assume the 2, 5, and 8 are underneath the armored breastplate?  Is it made entirely of phone parts, or are there a few other bits and pieces snuck in to help? 

gingerpete50 (author)yokozuna2009-10-27

Your right, the other numbers are beneath the breastplate, all the keys are still attched to their rubber backing. It has a fair few other parts in there as well, not just bits of the phone. I have tried to keep the mass looking the same, as if all the extra parts were hidden within the original form. 

The extra bits are mostly from a broken old SLR camera, these are all details though, the main structure and armour etc is all from the phone.


zigge (author)2009-10-27

wow that so cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

T3h_Muffinator (author)2009-10-26

Wow!  Really nice use of an old phone - it looks incredible!

You have some serious talent, sir.

kyle.erwin (author)2009-10-26


Decepticon (author)2009-10-25

That is freaking sweet! I want one!

mrdepo96 (author)2009-10-25

 wow! awesome! you should try to make one that can go back to its original form. By the way, can the knees bend?

Chromatica (author)2009-10-25


Elemental Dragon (author)2009-10-25

I'll have to agree with you on my dislike for most of the movie Decepticons. Somebody probably thought the spiky look would be more menacing and more appropriate for the bad guys.

And I agree with the other comments that I like the look of your desktop Decepticon much better. Nice work.

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