Mini-Cons 

     
 

I always liked the idea of "smaller" Transformers that could work with and augment the powers of their larger counterparts (with the exception of Headmasters; no character should be rendered incomplete because their partner didn't show up for work that day). So when they were announced, the concept of Mini-Cons sounded good to me. I will continue to add to this list as I fill in my 1/24 scale collection:

 

Minicon
High Wire - Not only one of the first Mini-Cons in the toy line & cartoon, High Wire was the first Mini-Con I completed. I started by carving the bike's body from heavy sheet styrene, then added the pedal housing, rear suspension, seat, and fork tube using various bits of plastic & wire. The handlebar/front fork is a highly modified unit taken from a 1/32 dirt bike toy, and the wheels are a combination of hubs from the same dirt bike and tires from an Evel Knievel toy. The pedals are about the only non-modified component here, and came from the 1/24 Schwinn that was included in AMT's '66 Buick Riviera kit. Finally, the headlight was made by taking a LEGO antenna base and cutting a headlight to fit the opening.

 

Minicon Grindor
Grindor - This rather unlikely Transformer was a pretty quick scratchbuild. The board itself is a simple piece of sheet styrene cut and shaped to represent a street longboard, with a set of trucks taken from a small skateboard toy. Grindor's markings, seams, and connector are simulated on the topside of the board with a custom made decal, while underneath there is a scan of the cover from the first mini-comic.

 


Downshift - Downshift presented my first Mini-Con dilemma. I wanted him to be the same size as the other Mini-Cons, but I didn't want him to just be a "shrunken" automobile. I decided that for figures like this, I would make them look like their prototypes as much as possible, but I would modify them enough to give them realistic Earth-based alt modes. My answer was to make Downshift a Go-Kart, modified from a Hot Wheels Riley & Scott MK III. After disassembling the car, I enlarged the driver's compartment and added a seat & padded steering wheel appropriate for a 1/24 scale Go-Kart. The new wheels & tires came from a 1/64 Indy car, and Downshift was finished using a set of custom made decals.

 

Minicon Drill Bit
Drill Bit - This was another figure where I had to do some interpretation to combine the Mini-Con's size with a practical Earth form. Drill bit is now a single operator mining/drilling machine; what was window glass is now access hatches, and the robot's head is now a fuel cap. The split tread on the prototype has now become a set of casters set behind a set of treads. Starting with a Matchbox radar truck, the drill assembly was completely scratch built from various parts box pieces, and topped with a drill from some dollar-store toy. I also weathered it a bit to make it look more like the prototype. Although the "truck" look is still there, I still like the way this one came out. Fortunately, the effect is lessened when Drill bit is put next to other 1/24 scale models.

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