With some Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket, RAC took a visit to his local hobby store yesterday and walked out with a Bandai stand designed for 1/144 model kits. He thought might be useful for toy photography, and it is! ...up to a point. Read on to find out how well a competing toy company's stand works with Transformers products.
The Hobby Base 2 is designed primarily for Bandai's Mobile Suit Gundam
model kits in 1/144th scale. As such it's really only designed to hold figures of a certain size and weight... but it does so reasonably well.
The stand has a pair of latches helping to support the main strut and lock the stand at the elevation of choice. Seeing as how clear plastic stands have a bad habit of shattering over time, this is a good idea. (Though as clear ABS, the same stuff Legos and such are made of, it may have a slightly better shelf life.) The stand has swivels at the top and bottom, as well as a side-to-side swivel beneath the top.
The top of the stand has a mounting point for five different mounts - again, each designed with HG 1/144 kits in mind. There's a pair of U-shaped pieces designed for ball-joint hips with support shafts of either 6mm or 7mm - but neither fits any Transformers I tried them with. It nearly
fit Kickback, but he's unusual in having a very narrow crotch and no kibble to speak of. There's a small tab that doesn't fit any TFs I had handy either. What does work fairly well is the 3mm post, which fits the sockets TakaraTomy has been including for their own Transformers Stand product.
Most but not all recent Legends and some larger figures have these. It fits well...
...but perhaps not as snugly as you might want. Also, while I didn't have any trouble fitting any Legends I tried on the stand, Titans Return Deluxe Chromedome was an issue; his back kibble and the shape of the stand didn't really get along.
The final mount replaces the 3mm peg with a 3mm screw, and may well be more secure. Didn't want to chance doing any damage to any of my figures with incompatible hardware, though, so I didn't try.
In the end, it's not going to be super-useful for most Transformers applications. It's good for small stuff with very little kibble in the lower back area... which rules a heck
of a lot of TFs out. But it does have its uses, and at $5 it's fairly cheap too.