As a person with no conventional artistic skills, one of the ways I like to express myself from time to time is by digitally recoloring photos of toys to be other things - Photoshopping! What-If Wednesday is a new occasional feature where I'll share my "what if?" recolors, either inspired by my own ideas, or sometimes from other source media. Our first What-If Wednesday takes on the Headmaster Bludgeon concept seen in the Magna Convoy comic this week, which we get only a limited view of. How might it look and work as a toy? Keep reading and find out!
eHobby's conceptual Headmaster Bludgeon uses Titans Return Hardhead as the base mold. It swaps in the Titan Master from Breakaway, with added deco to look like a stylized skull mask. It also was shown carrying Windblade's sword - whether from RID or the first Generations toy is largely irrelevant as the two figures' accessories are effectively identical.
For my take on this, I followed suit, though using the official renders of Quake as the starting point - the pose was a lot more conducive to what I wanted to do, while the official images of Hardhead were posed more awkwardly. Quake as a starting point had another benefit that was important: The pose and viewing angle were very similar to the renders of Breakaway, which made transplanting the head from one image to the other not just simply, but very natural looking.
The vehicle mode is just the end result of matching the presented robot deco. The comic offers no sign of trying to tie the shoulder and forearm sections together, which would leave them as you see here, oddly divided in color. I think if done for a real toy, I'd want to use some grey over the armor panel detailing on the sides to try to tie these parts together. Other than that, the vehicle mode doesn't look too bad for surely having been an afterthought to the whole process.
The other idea presented but that I didn't incorporate here was using the tank mini-vehicle Hardhead came with in Japan (originally seen on Titan Masters Terri-Bull and Skytread, of course) and giving it a deco based on Bludgeon's inner robot. That's fine for representing the remaining part of the character the larger figure can't so much, but it becomes a really killer idea when you remember that Pretenders such as Bludgeon used parts from their inner robots as accessories for the shells. Bludgeon's tank turret became a gun, and this Bludgeon would have a little tank that turns in to a gun. It's about the best you can get to remaking the ideas of the original toy without actually having a shell and inner robot.
...but I think the inner robot would still be represented: The Headmaster. Its colors as seen in the comic are based on the inner robot colors, so in one sense the Headmaster can be considered to be a form of the true Bludgeon on a new "pretender" transtector body. And with the mini-tank being designed as a Titan Master vehicle, Bludgeon the Headmaster can still become part of the representation of the inner vehicle mode.
This eHobby Headmaster Bludgeon concept is quite elegant on a range of levels. Dividing the larger body to resemble the more familiar Pretender shell colors of Bludgeon, with Titan Master and accessory mini-vehicle working together to represent the inner robot is inspired all on its own. Plus that allows duplicating a play pattern feature of the original Pretenders that probably doesn't get thought about very often. Making use of another toy's accessory that's able to interact correctly with this one is a nice cherry on top. There's no sign right now whether this redeco would be something that actually gets pursued all the way to production. Part of me really hopes that it does since it's clear a lot of thought went in it. But part of me knows if it did, it'd probably be quite expensive to import, and more than Bat Convoy, this feels like something I'd feel a greater desire for.
Thanks for reading the premiere article of What-If Wednesday, and keep checking back for future installments!
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