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Neo Sandstorm (triple changer) . Transforms into a skycrane helicopter into a futuristic dune buggy and finally a robot, with no parts removed. . HOW IT BEGAN Decision to build Neo Sandstorm was an "impulse" moment for me. I was browsing brickset.com for latest LEGO sets and saw the chopper from the Dino theme. This made me to lament my failure to buy a similar LEGO chopper from Creator theme few years ago (I practically ignored it when it's on shelves back then) . Finally it led me to more googling to find out more about this peculiar hollowed out helicopter known as  Skycrane. Then seeing photos of it being orange in color seems to be very strikingly beautiful..... it redirects me to more nostalgia moment of once owning (a hands-me-down from a cousin who had outgrown his toys)  a G1 Transformers triple changer called (drum rolls please...) Sandstorm. Too bad I sold it to a fellow transformer fan many-many years ago, regretfully. The toy above is a pretty well-done Transformer for a triple changer. Both alt modes are solid and looks like what they meant to be. Besides the short arms.. I can't seem to find any fault in it. The lack of articulation is just normal and forgivable here. THE MAKING OF NEO SANDSTORM (aka TRIVIA) I was almost deterred and nearly given up building this MOC  because of two major setbacks: Initially I can't find ways to make the rotor blades disappear in dune buggy mode (like the G1 toy) . With some trial and error... I decided to apply more hinges into them and make them fold  into a "hopefully" decent looking shoulder cannon. The buggy mode has FOUR fairly big tyres. "Concealing" two of them is hard enough, there's two more I need to find ways to hide them. Finally they end up "obscured" behind the cockpit, making the overall cockpit longer than a typical skycrane chopper. I actually took  2 weeks "downtime"  to wait for parts to arrive from bricklink.com sellers before I continue. Orange parts are pretty scarce in my inventory. Initially I don't intend to apply yellow colored parts in the MOC, but after finding out the only technic parts  I use to build the tail rotors are yellow (and no other colors available in my inventory), I need to balance things out by having yellow stripes running across the helicopter tail. Due to the fact that there are 4 tyres crammed in the chopper body, which actually forms the robot torso, I am unable to bulk up /decorate his crotch with more tiles or slopes. The back tyres for the chopper are not that strong. After a while... the backside will sag and the tyres will spread outwards. The nature of how his hands are build made it hard for him to really hold weapons firmly, so the payload cum cannons are simply connected to his hands via conventional studs.     I "cheated" a bit........ well not exactly. This is related to my purist view on using only LEGO "unmodified" parts. If you see the hinged component on top of the chopper windshield. I ran out of 4 stud length "wand" part (aka light saber). I am forced to cut a longer LEGO antenna to become 4 stud "wand" to utilise instead (observe the rough edge on the cut antenna used in the hinge) . I can choose to buy more "light sabers" from bricklink.com but they're pretty pricey . :P PHOTOS!! The payload doesn't connect securely onto the chopper. it dangles instead.              The underside of the buggy shows how the tail rotors are folded in snugly.         For a complete set of photos, visit my blog entry below: http://alanyuppie.blogspot.com/2012/05/lego-neo-sandstorm.html For transformation sequence between each modes , click below too! http://alanyuppie.blogspot.com/2012/05/lego-neo-sandstorm-transformation.html


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