Introduction: Transformers: Astrotrain

Picture of Transformers: Astrotrain
Hi there! 

This is my final project in college, I wanted to redesign an old transformer from the 1980's cartoon Transformers in the new style seen in Micheal Bays movies. The character I chose is Astrotrain, a Transformer that could change form from robot to freight train. To make him more suited to be seen in Ireland I changed his alternate form from a freight train to the Luas found in Dublin. He isn't able to transform but he turned out to be one hell of a model kit! My project was 15 weeks long where I had to design the robot and the Luas and make a short video of the transformation. The model is made up of 220 individual pieces and stands 34 cm high.  

Here is a video of the robot in action!

Step 1: Designing the Luas and Astrotrain

Picture of Designing the Luas and Astrotrain

The First thing I had to do was make the Luas a popular Irish transport found in Dublin. Using my friend to stand beside it I took a few pictures of him beside it to make out a rough height of the Luas. once I made out the dimensions I begin to model it in 3ds Max in college, when the Luas was finished I designed the robot. Once astrotrain was finished I broke it down into individual pieces,saved them as STL files and sent them to the 3d printing company Shapeways located in New York.

Step 2: Sanding...

Picture of Sanding...

Once I had all the pieces I realised how much pieces I had to sand and prime! ...over and over again...

The first thing I did was get my dremil and drill a small hole into every piece and slot in a small rod which allowed me to prime and dry without the paint sticking to any other surface. After the first prime it was time to begin sanding with 600 grade sand paper.

When using the sand paper if you wet it first it makes the who process about ten times easier. once the pieces are all sanded back it is now time to stick the rods back into them and re-prime all the pieces. Its now time to sand again but continue moving up the grades up to 1200 grade sand paper and you will have a nice sharp finish on the 3d prints. 

Its now time for the paint job where I used acrylic paints along with a specially mixed can of spray paint to the metallic silver/purple paint job of the Luas transport. 

Step 3: Some Assembly Required.

Picture of Some Assembly Required.

Once all the pieces were painted it was now time to assemble Astrotrain.

Step 4: Astrotrain Finished

Picture of Astrotrain Finished


HTCTFM (author)2017-02-04

Do you still have the files for this? Using Pepakura, you might be able to make it a papercraft.

stonegill (author)2015-03-05

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what are you working on now?

At the moment I'm actually working on two projects. Since I still have the program I made this guy in I decided to make another transformer that could turn into a Dublin bus I'm just rendering out the final video for it now. The other project I'm working on is a magneto helmet from the x men comics. Again that's nearly done now so I'm planning on making an instructables for that one sometime in the future! Are you working on anything?

What program do you use?

Yes in fact, I'm working on some Lego transformers right now, and I'm also doing some sculptures in 123d Creature, here's a picture of the progress I've made on my Anime style robot bust.

After I painted it, it didn't look as "Anime style" as I wanted to, but that's okay.

that's pretty cool nice job!

Thanks! Here's the updated version, I added some dents and cracks and a little bit more paint, especially in the cracks, to give it sort of a "robot blood" look, if you catch my drift. Hope you like the update!

I think your new picture is easier to see because of the white background.

Aruns1 (author)2014-07-30

it's good.

Aruns1 (author)2014-07-30

it's good.

Aruns1 (author)2014-07-30

it's good.

Aruns1 (author)2014-07-30

it's good.

Aruns1 (author)2014-07-30

it's good.

Are these metal parts? Or are they all plastic?

I got all the pieces printed from a company called shapeways. All the pieces are printed using white plastic. Metal is way way way too expensive for me!

Okay, so you used metal colored spray paint then. (It's just such a great model that it gave me the impression that you used very expensive materials.) Keep up the good work!(:

Elimetal (author)2013-08-05

wooooow man that's a really amazing work Congratulation from Los Angeles, California I hope this will not the last one

davelynham (author)Elimetal2013-08-06

Thanks man I really appreciate it! I hope to make another one of a Dublin bus some time soon I just need to get my hands on a decent computer now to get me started!

dhiggins4 (author)2013-06-27

Really nice work, fellow Dave. Best of luck!

skavanagh2 (author)2013-06-17

This is seriously cool. The first time I saw the drawings it was soooo much more than my little non-engineering head could cope with. This final image is fantastic. As for the video.......I laughed out loud watching it, like a little five year old. It's amazing Dave. Fair play and huge congratulations :)

ChibiCiara (author)2013-06-16

Amazing! :D Astrotrain was awesome in the cartoon and awesom here. Good luck Dave!

iamchrismoran (author)2013-06-16


Dominic Bender (author)2013-06-06

Apart from the usual "thanks for sharing" all I can say is... *speechless*.

thanks very much!

HelmutHound (author)2013-06-05

Wow... What class was this for exactly? And how much did it cost to have the parts created, and the shipping costs, from new york?
And is the 3D max program very difficult to use? If so, is there a program similar a beginner like I could use?

davelynham (author)HelmutHound2013-06-07

My class is model making, design and digital effects in IADT. Over all it was really expensive since it was my final project before finishing college I figured it was worth it in the end. over all it was around 700 euro total and sorry I cant actually remember the shipping costs but i dont think it was too much extra. to be honest im more of a physical model maker im just starting off myself! My lecturer didn't like any of my ideas so I said how about I transform the Luas into a robot as a joke and they ended up loving it! I only started using max properly 15 weeks ago at the start of this project so it is pretty easy to use but apparently most companies out there are beginning to use Maya instead of 3ds Max

sonicrz (author)2013-06-05


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