Customizing Transformers Class Notes

This year's Botcon had something fairly unique for those willing to spend a couple of extra days at the convention.  There were two classes, one held on Wednesday and one on Thursday, to teach people how to customize Transformers.  We had a chance to sit down and talk to Shawn Tessmann, who taught the classes, and whose work you can see in the amazing custom Predacons shown at Botcon this year.

The classes provided each person with parts to make two complete toys.  One was Galaxy Force Ramble (Cybertron Scrapmetal), which would be repainted into G1 Rumble.  The other was Galaxy Force Coby's Ramble, which has a new head, and which would be repainted into Beast Wars Inferno.

You can view some (hurriedly taken in bad lighting) pictures of the final product here.  Click the Read More link to get an idea what the class involved, and to read some Q&A with Shawn!

-The customizing class was originally going to be one class, but then they added the second class on Wednesday to accomodate more people.  Each class has between 17-22 people.

-Each person got multiple parts and heads to complete 2 figures.

-As it turns out, getting through 2 complete figures was a bit ambitious and time-consuming, and the first class was there from 9:30am to 10:30pm!  As a result, the second class voted to just do one toy (Rumble) in an attempt to get out at a decent time.

-The process started with the parts on a sprue.  They disassembled the sprue, scuffed some places on the parts, painted the parts, and assembled the final figure.


Q-Did you have a good time teaching this class?
A-Definitely, it was great.

Q-What would you like to see done differently in the future?
A-If we do it again we'd need some more tools and equipment.

Q-Did the two classes end up running differently?
A-The Thursday class was a lot better, we ran it more like an assembly line and got through the figure a lot faster than on Wednesday when we did two figures.

Q-What figures would you love to see repainted in future classes?
A-I don't want to ruin the surprise, but one I'd love to do would be Cybertron Snarl as Weirdwolf.

Q-How did you get involved in doing this class?
A-I approached Brian Savage and went to the GIJoe convention in Minnesota.  He liked my work and agreed that it would be a cool idea.

Q-What figures have you customized in the past?
A-Again, I don't want to say too much because I'd like to do them for future conventions.  One I'm especially fond of is the purple Ransack shown in the Club Magazine recently.

Q-Anything further you'd like to add?
A-I hope everyone who attended the classes enjoyed it.  If you did, please let Brian know!  That's the best way to get more of this type of thing in the future.  Also, if you were unhappy with anything, please voice your concerns so we can improve on the process for future events.