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Chromedome looks the least interesting of Deluxe wave 2. I mean, it obviously shares a lot with the Combiner Wars Dead End mold family, of which I just happen to have a member here. If we look, we can see the most obvious similarity in the arms.
A close match in the hood backpack, and both have the torso covered by a hinged chest flap. The legs are the most overall different, but when you skip ahead to the transformation joints, it's pretty much the same thing.
Chromedome has been admitted as being strongly influenced, if not based on Dead End and company, because when initial engineering of the Titan Master gimmick was being done, a Dead End was said to be the test platform. There aren't any reused parts between the molds. Even the most similar parts, the arms, have all their specific details different. Instead we get a figure using an established engineering scheme, but taking the chance to refine it. At least mostly.
If there's one thing I think Chromedome does worse, it's the arms. On the Combiner Wars figures, the arms are sculpted a particular way so they look naturally and straight when the elbow is slightly bent. Chromedome doesn't have that, so to look straight they have to actually be straight. But this also makes them look short and stubby. I really wish the arms diverged more than they do, honestly, and of course in a more beneficial way than this. But it's the only weakness caused by borrowing from the prior toys.
Chromedome gets real feet, and an overall bigger footprint. The toes are a nice thing to have for stability. The proportions read well from the front.
The car canopy chunks make the back and some side views seem overly large and maybe a little messy, though.
Despite the mass of the shins, the leg joints aren't impeded. The thigh can get a bit absorbed when bending the knee. Between that and those canopy chunks, Chromedome will probably not play well with chairs, in the situation that you have a correctly sized chair and wish the figure to sit upon it.
I really like the look of the torso. The body has a good outline, even if it's usually hidden by the backpack.
The backpack is well managed too, fitting very close in with the body. Even though it's a lot of volume, it doesn't feel like it's in the way much.
And of course the face will be welcome by IDW comics fans, as it has a good resemblance to that version of the character. The neck clip for the Titan Master is among the more secure, so bobbleheading isn't a worry.
A lot of the robot's paint work is adding silver panels, as well as red on the chest.
The red on the forearms I would say is more in service to the car mode.
The face is entirely painted. The white covers the underlying brown plastic well, but at the cost of looking a tiny bit thick. It's unavoidable given how the remainder of the toy is colored.
Chromedome's deco is accurate to the character, so depending how you feel about brown and tan robots that either will or won't work for you. Chromedome certainly looks like a product of the 1980's to me in this way.
Besides the poseability we've already seen in the legs, the arms behave pretty much identically to a Dead End, Streetwise, or similar. You have I think a little more use of the hinged ball joint stems to get more shoulder range, but no real surprises. The head has the usual range plus a bit of tilt, and there's a smooth waist joint.
Transforming is just a little bit different from Dead End and company. Besides the head coming off.
That's part of it though, since the chest and hood come together much more easily without needing to move the head around at the same time.
Just make sure to bring the hood up and tab it in before you start transforming the arms.
The legs run almost exactly as you'd expect. You do want to be sure to not bring the arms in on the sides before the legs are in place.
Actually you pretty specifically shouldn't transform the arms until you're almost done. The only reason they aren't last is because closing the canopy is last. And we're done!
I've always liked Chromedome's car mode. It's so firmly retro-futuristic that it was dated almost as soon as the original came out.
The square shapes, hard corners, it looks like an ancient limited-polygon 3D model. I love how closely this toy adheres to everything that makes the design what it is.
It also makes it completely different from the Combiner Wars mold family whose engineering it borrows. As much as you can plainly read the elements in robot mode, all of that is hidden away in vehicle mode.
Now, the wheels surely have been standing out this entire time. Chromedome has the same thing as Wheelie with the wheels cast in translucent. I think if the hubcaps had been painted silver it would be a lot less obvious. Not perfect at all, but less obvious. I get the need to economize the number of separate mold elements in use, and to have a clear windshield for the driver, but I'm not too happy that this is the compromise reached. The wheels should have been paint dipped solid black at the very least.
The deco in this mode is a mixed result. The paint elements on the hood look really nice, and I dig the blue headlights.
The roof is okay, but starts to slip where the red only fills around the hinges. Letting that section be brown instead of red would have looked better, I think. Making the opaque part of the window sculpting black is about the only sensible option, but the edge of the roof got painted black too. Presumably the alternative was to leave it tan. The curse of Dead End returns with an unpaintable plastic chunk in the middle of the side panel.
And here's the funky part, and bear with me a bit because I don't know how well the camera will represent this. Starting with the hood and going to the left, there is brown ABS, brown paint over tan ABS plastic, brown nylon, a small area of brown paint, and then the brown paint behind the painted window. Every one of them is a different shade. Visibly at least even if the camera isn't quite getting it. There's a whole subtle spectrum of browns happening, and it's just perceptible enough to be annoyingly distracting.
The overall partsfit of the vehicle mode is really, really good. Panels fit very flush together, and everything feels really solid. This does include the canopy, which can actually be hard to open because of how tight the fittings are.
The Titan Master body is another reuse of Hyperfire. This is the third now, or fourth if you count the SDCC and exclusive single pack Brainstorms separately.
The body is wholly unpainted, which is very bad for the tiny head where basically no details are visible thanks to the slightly translucent red plastic it's cast in.
Stylor fits inside Chromedome, naturally. There's no way to secure it in the seat that I can see. It won't fall out of place when the canopy is closed, but maybe be aware when trying to pry the windscreen back open later.
I am 60% impressed with the weapons. Only 60 because the small gun is once again a reuse of the rifle that debuted with Blurr. I'm starting to think it's on a sprue with Hyperfire's parts.
The part I dig is the new style of Babyseat Cannon.
Look at Scourge's, for instance. The peg is on the side opposite the seat, so you have the hollow face showing when used as a gun. Chromedome's has the peg sticking up behind the seat, so as a gun the hollow side is down and generally out of sight. It's a wonderful development.
Also good development is the attachment to the vehicle mode. It tabs on the roof, sitting flush and tight to the car.
So invested in this is the gun that the side pegs can't even attach to the ports in the body panels. Those pegs have flared ends so they're just slightly too thick to work. Though as a result they aren't a good fit in the hands either. Unless you go from below. Honestly I don't know what these are here for at all given they don't fit well anywhere and there's a better peg with which to use this as a gun.
I like Chromedome quite a bit. I didn't think it would have a lot to offer given how little new it would have a chance to bring in engineering. But the majority of what it's trying to do turns out really well. And it still gets to assert a bit of its own design identity in the execution of some of the changes. Chromedome isn't perfect, but it's solid. Plus I find it really interesting to have an established design get taken and applied someplace new and see what new ways it can develop, and this shows that really well.
...So much so that I even almost want to preorder the TakaraTomy version with the anime style face too. I have a problem.
|Date||September 7th 2016|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
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