Screen to toy: MPM-13 Blackout
More behind-the-scenes lowdowns on upcoming Transformers releases, this time following up on Transformers Tuesday’s reveal of Movie Masterpiece Blackout with Scorponok!
Design Manager Sam Smith (@king_samlock) gave us a nice crisp gallery featuring an extensive look at Blackout’s design concepts on Instagram, and followed up with some great shots of a Blackout production sample. Overall, this glimpse also gives us a good look at how Blackout will measure up against Studio Series Blackout, and next to fellow Movie Masterpieces of Optimus Prime, and Megatron and Starscream in both modes.
“[in Cybertronian] All hail Megatron!”
Time to talk screen to toy and overview a bit more of an in depth dive on Blackout. This was the first Movie Masterpiece figure that I have had the opportunity to work on, so I was thrilled to partner with Tomo Tatsumi at Takara.
MPM was a unique undertaking from a design stand point, as there were a number of additional stages for fine tuning the character. Studio Series set a high bar for this character, but Tomo quickly identified a number of areas that he wanted to improve on in order to deliver better articulation, a more screen accurate bot form, a complete vehicle mode, and to finally be able to deliver a 6 bladed turbine.
In addition to these improvements, we wanted to ensure that we were able to finally weaponize this character with more on-screen relevant weaponry and accessories. In the film we see Blackout utilize dual mini guns, along with a pulse cannon deploying from the center of the chest. We also wanted to start to introduce blast effects to the MPM line, and Blackouts weaponry was the perfect way to do this.
We got to work on finding an appropriate scale for the character, knowing from studio heigh charts that Blackout’s head would be slightly shorter than Starscream’s, while his upper back would be taller. The scale of this figure looks massive against the Studio Series but feels perfectly at home amongst his MPM deception faction members.
The figure is loaded with premium joints, some very clever engineering and some die cast pieces to add some significant heft to the over all design. The transformation, which at first can seem like a very daunting task, is actually very rhythmic, as it utilizes a lot of symmetry as you collapse and fold parts into the hull. In the end it deliver a near seamless representation of the Sikorsky helicopter.
For me, where this figure really gets the opportunity to shine? sheen? lack there of, (its a giant matte helicopter) is with the deco. There were so many fine details that we were able to balance this figure and vehicle mode out with. I truly enjoyed the task of combing through Blackout’s scenes frame by frame looking for subtle nuances to introduce to this figure. All of the screen used CH-53’s unique markings, lights, warnings, and insignias make their way onto the version of the character. We were also able to treat a significant amount of the exposed robot parts with metallic dry brushing to accentuate the sculpted detail.
Alright I think that’s enough coverage on this guy for a bit. There some Studio Series news I need to get back to covering off on. Stay tuned for more!
Sam also had some crucial followup info to share:
MPM BLACKOUT FEP 1
I woke up this morning… To some awesome feedback and had a lot of questions in regards to physical paint master vs production sample. So I wanted to help clarify some of the discrepancies. Paint masters are generated using grown parts prior to tool start, so they don’t account for base or molded colors. They are entirely painted, vs in production where you see parts molded in their intended color with paint and decoration placed on top of them.
The next series of photos depicts the FEP 1 production sample in RAW unmodified natural lighting, so I hope this can give you a better understanding of the intended look of the figure. There are a number of modifications still being made to fine tun the figure to match the paint master as close as possible. Ignore my crude poses, partial mistransformation and the sample numbers, it was 42 degrees this morning.
Hope that helps, but let me know if you have any further questions!
Show Sam some love on Instagram, and then join us in talking about this upcoming Movie Masterpiece on the Allspark Facebook page, on our partnered Discord at discord.gg/allspark, and on the Allspark Forums !