Hasbro designer Sam Smith (@king_samlock) is back with a new look behind the design of the upcoming Studio Series figure, SS 105 Mirage from this year’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Lot of interesting tidbits about the new Porsche Carrera Autobot and the highly-anticipated Studio Series take on the character (including a note about a last-minute paint tweak for model accuracy).
SS-105 TF7 Rise of the Beasts Mirage
“Nah. That’s not real, man. I’m an alien”
Based on a modified Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8, we worked closely with the team at Porsche to bring this figure to life.
I love the unique subtleties that we executed for the film like the front plate delete that flushed out the front bumper, blacked out headlight trim and the blue on silver livery that was so iconic to the original character design. Given how limited the production run for this car was, the screen used examples were all modified to look like the wide body 964, but were each designed to execute particular driving sequences, like high speed reverse. The sound design however, used a true to life naturally aspirated RS 3.8 to capture its indistinguishable roar in the film.
But enough about the car, let’s talk the toy! Mirage was developed early on in the films production and even saw a major update to the upper body halfway through production. Based on the placement of the vehicle parts, we continued to develop the figure up until tool start. But car parts got to end up somewhere, which has always been a challenge for many of the live action character designs.
I had an awesome time working with Shu Umezu at Takara Tomy who did an incredible job of bringing a physical form to the transformation, and amazingly doing it while maintaining an almost completely uncompromised vehicle exterior. Generally the bodies of vehicle modes are intersected by non paintable nylon hinges, which work fine for molded base colors, but stick out on painted panels. In the case of Mirage, the entire exterior of the car needed to be painted silver, and include the blue livery throughout the vehicle design. In fact the only part of Mirages entire alt form that couldn’t be painted was the asymmetrical torso hinge on the roof.
This figure is covered in paint. Every exterior panel was captured in metallic bright silver and are accentuated by the metallic blue on the hood, spoiler and doors. Every exterior light, duct and grill recess is represented and the autobot badge on the hood was the cherry on top. Sadly the only part of the exterior deco that we weren’t able to budget for, was painting the Speedline wheels. Despite them being molded in ABS, painting the wheels would have further eroded the deco on the robot mode.
As for the robot, the deco on the head ended up changing prior to production, but all the preproduction samples depict him with a silver crest and a blue brow vs having a blue crest and brow. This was due to an update in assets, and was reactionary to the initial teaser trailer that went live late last fall. Rest assured this was updated prior to the production run and the figures hitting shelves should reflect that and match the look seen in these renders.