B02 Production Model
Once I had my final molds made it was time to cast the 30 Bumblebees. I cast five complete units a day, then I baked the molds so they'd last. I kept going until the molds totally degraded and I got enough parts to make 32 units. I don't use mold release because it tends to build up in the mold and affect the resin after several pulls. I dyed black all the parts that would come into any surface contact with other parts during the transform. Each Bumblebee had 11 parts that had to be dyed either black or yellow or both, and with 32 units that meant I had to dye 352 parts. Then I masked off the large surface areas that needed to be yellow and I primed them. I brush painted them yellow using Testor's brand enamels. I hate working with enamels, and yellow is a really hard color to get good even coverage with, but I wanted the nice finish that only enamel paint could provide. Each Bumblebee had five parts that had to be painted yellow. Each yellow part needed four coats to get a nice even finish, so I ended up painting all 160 pieces four times. It was an incredibly repetitive, boring journey. I don't know how I did it. I know I listened to a lot of Radio Free Cybertron while I was painting!
Project Origins-Here's a really long essay I wrote about how the project came to be and what I was thinking as it all came together.
Picture Gallery 1-Early Prototypes-My first failed attempts are shown here. These are the early prototypes I made back in August of 2002 when I tried to make a cybertronian Bumlebee out of styrene and existing Bumblebee toys. I scrapped these when I changed my approach and decided to engineer the toy myself from scratch.
Picture Gallery 2-B00 Clay Prototype-Pictures of the very first working prototype I made. B00 was my name for the clay proto, which was the first major step in the rebirth of the project. It was the clay master from which I made the very first set of molds that the testshots were cast from.
Picture Gallery 3-B01 Test Shot-B01 was the name I gave to the resin test shot of the clay master sculpt. Once I made this I further refined the shape and then made the final molds from it.