Friday, 24 July 2015

TransFormers Collectors' Club BotCon 2011 (Timelines) Shattered Glass Turbo Tracks

(Femme-Bot Friday #28)
Because we all know this is actually Timelines Road Rage, right?

Road Rage is also a far more interesting character than Shattered Glass Tracks because, in robot mode, she's a mild-mannered diplomat while, in vehicle mode, she's a foul-mouthed speed freak, contemptuous of anything else on the road. Which must be awkward.

As is often the case, I've now written up a couple of variants of this mold without first dealing with either the original Classics Tracks or the slightly remolded Wheeljack version... so just to compound my heinous error, here's yet another Exclusive version of this Classics car...

Vehicle Mode:
Not that I've dealt with it here, but my biggest problem with the Classics version of Tracks was that, rather than replicate the iconic Corvette flame pattern on the bonnet, Hasbro went and redesigned his markings, turning them into some crappy 'tribal' tattoo pattern. Takara Tomy, meanwhile, gave him an awesome metallic blue paintjob and his traditional flame pattern... and it almost looks as though Fun Publications have used this same pattern for Road Rage. Making this even better, and even more suitable to being Road Rage rather than SG Tracks, is the ambiguity of the colour in the Autobot insignia on the bonnet and the roof. I guess it could be called purple... but, to my eyes, it skews very red... enough so that, against the red body of the car, it simply looks like a different shade rather than a different colour.

Aside from the flame decal on the bonnet, there's silver paint for the headlights, grille (front and back) and hubcaps, a long black line extending from the front fenders to the very back of the car and, bizarrely, the tail lights have been painted in a slightly orange shade of red, to differentiate them from the surrounding plastic. It's a shame the exhaust pipes didn't get a touch of silver, since it was going around, but it's not a terrible loss.

I've not bothered showing this mold's deeply unconvincing 'flight mode' - I'll leave that for proper Tracks, I think - or the fact that the missiles, stowed under the car's doors in the photos, can attach to the rear of the car via a rotating panel just behind the rear windscreen. Both these features are pretty neat, though the latter seems a bit pointless since the missiles connect to the robot using their C-clip attachments, so, unlike the G1 model, there's no real need to have them attaching to the rear of the car. Unless that's specifically for flight mode, in which case... oh dear...

Robot Mode:
The trouble with this mold as Road Rage is that the Classics Tracks mold looks even less femme-bot-like than the original G1 mold. At least with the Masterpiece figure they've been able to remold parts like the thighs to give a slimmer, curvier appearance... but then, on this mold, the thighs are the least of the problem. I like the way the legs form but, man, do they end up looking chunky, or what?

And since vehicle mold is no longer an unlicensed model Corvette, the chest ends up looking far wider than it otherwise might, giving distinctly un-femme-bot proportions along with the massively wide shoulders. There's no way to mitigate the bulk of the mold so, no matter what you do, this will never look like a traditional femme-bot although, compared to the likes of Strika, it probably would look feminine.

This being a BotCon figure, there's a fairly extensive paint job - the details on the outsides of the forearm are painted red and yellow, while the gunmetal kneecaps have some G1 sticker-like details stamped on. The wings also have a square detail on them, referencing Hasbro's attempts at redesigning the model's original Diaclone stickers, which featured a 'D' in that position. It's a bit of a shame there's no paint on the feet, referencing the G1 toy's sticker details, or even on the otherwise empty insides of the shins, but what's there works pretty well.

This is one of those BotCon exclusives which did not get a new head but, aside from its width, Tracks' head sculpt comes across as fairly androgynous. Of course, since they released it as Shattered Glass Tracks, it doesn't feature the lipstick given to the club's own Road Rage, as featured at the very beginning the Club's newsletter story, Battle Lines.

It also features the stock Tracks weapons - the pair of missiles and the 'black beam gun' that looks suspiciously like Wheeljack's shoulder-mounted missile launcher - which are pretty cool, but nothing special. I quite like the way the handgun folds up to stow away in vehicle mode, but that's about all there is to say...

Sharing the majority of components with the Wheeljack/Battlecharger mold, this naturally transforms in much the same way, the only differences being a slightly longer leg extension and the additional need to rotate the waist to get the legs into the proper position.

The differences to the legs and the fact that the knee joints are now effectively reversed makes absolutely no difference to the level of articulation offered by this figure. The whole Classics/Universe/Generations line has been pretty excellent with articulation in just about every size class, and the only problems have been with plastic tolerances on some joints.

This specific figure isn't without problems. When the head, chest and shoulders slide into place, there's a sense of when they're in the proper position on my Classics Tracks and Wheeljack, as well as on the two Timelines Battlechargers but, on this one... it feels a bit floppy. Things don't tend to fall back without being nudged, but it doesn't take much of a nudge to knock things about... which is particularly disappointing on a premium figure, and where there's zero chance of getting the offending part replaced (unless I pick up a cheap Tracks/Wheeljack and perform some surgery).

OK, let's just theorise for a moment that this is actually just a Shattered Glass version of Tracks. His bio paints him vainglorious... which ain't significantly different from 'real world' Tracks, except inasmuch as this version isn't described as being so proud of his paint job that he doesn't like to get into battles, this one actually revels in battle... I honestly don't believe that's enough of a difference to merit being an 'Evil, Mirror Universe' version of Tracks. Plus, the bio is just plain dull, like a lot of the Club's 'character' bios, so I have no guilt over choosing to ignore it entirely and treat this as Road Rage.

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