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Customizing: The Budget Mech Part 2

I finally got to circle around to a project I’ve been dragging my ass on for months.

Last year, I talked about my love for mechs and my sadness about having so very few available for bigger scales. I discussed building some using the TNMT Playmates vehicles, the one I use often is the “Paleo-Copter,” thanks to the large cockpit and nicely self contained nature of the canopy pod.

I don’t think I got into much detail on the other two, but they were also kinda budget builds. Both use a Transformers Metroplex figure (older series) for arms and legs. I got these over time from different eBay lots, I think. Anyway, I disassembled the bots, and bolted the shoulders and hips onto the body after dremelling a channel in the body for the legs to fit.

The TNMT Copter-cabins have surprisingly nice details to them, like hand-holds, vents, rivets and so on. But because of their initially kid-friendly design, they mesh well with other designs. The first two are a little busier in the legs because of those Transformer parts, but it doesn’t stick out, at least to me.

On the other budget build, the Star Wars Walker legs line up even better. I really like the missile pods, also Transformers, but I stalled out afterward. I wanted to take this one more into that classic Mechwarrior look, but I didn’t have any good arm parts.

Well, lo and behold, a $5 Metroplex on the rack at Savers. Back to work!

Even though the Metroplex legs add more articulation, I kept the Walker ones on the build. Ultimately, a mech is going to stagger around, and the two swivel hip joints cover this pretty well. But the arms definitely benefit from some additional range.

I bolted them into the cabin similarly to the previous two. This means no rotation at the shoulder, but the arm can still swing out and bend at the elbow. For some arm-armament, I found the see cannons from a Bat-pod model kit I obviously bought. I don’t remember when or what for. But it supplied the cannons for the arms. I used a pair of these BB-firing gatling guns for the the other two, but I don’t remember where they came from, either. Sorry, too much stuff. But I do remember the utility crane is from another TNMT vehicle or playset.


I didn’t really have a game plan for color, so just army green on top of an aluminum and rust bronze is all I’ve done for now. Decals and markings are going to just be leftovers from my massive Cobra stickers collection. Similarly, the completed Cobra pair ended up in a dirty blue/black similar to my HISS tanks and other Cobra gear.

But while I was waiting for this one to get more parts, I did start one more. You might remember I reviewed the Knightcrawler from Mattel last fall, and Target has had these things consistently at 30 bucks. Well, I ended up getting a second for about 20 bucks, as an open box return. It’s eventually going to make for a great Metal Gear, I think. So far, though, I’ve just added some Lanard weaponry, like a turret from a Scorpion tank, and some smaller guns from one of their little “bravo” tanks. Just some more food for thought.

That’s about it for cheap mech builds, but if you guys have suggestions, recommendations, or if you just want to see me build more crap, please let me know in the comments.