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A Plague of Insecticons
Okay, so I'm thoroughly into a Lego transformer building craze now, greatly assisted by picking up some old Exo-force sets on e-bay... meet the evil Insecticons, some of the more memorable characters from the original cartoon, and among the first Transformers to turn into creatures rather than vehicles.
About this creation
21st Jan 2011 - Now updated with closeups of the heads and some of the trickier joints, at the end, for those interested in building transformers.


For anyone only familiar with the Insecticons in the recent Transformers films, these guys are NOT small enough for Shia LeBoeuf to step on. They're great big robots, who on transforming are able to shrink down to the scale of insects if they want to be sneaky.


That said their insect modes aren't especially convincing... so from left to right, Bombshell is a boll weevil (possibly), Kickback is a grasshopper (with no tail), while Shrapnel is a, a, oh I dunno, something beetly. Just imagine them crawling up your back and don't worry too much about the details.


All the builds are pretty faithful to the original toys except that I added knee and elbow joints to all of them to make them more poseable. Also, I had to play with the colourschemes a bit - they are all supposed to use purple as a highlight colour, but I don't own any purple Lego, so they each got a slightly different paint job. I think they still look the part; let's meet them individually!




Shrapnel often acts as leader and spokesman of the trio, and is the master of electricity. When in insect mode, he can use his antennae to interface with and control most electronic devices. In robot mode, they can draw electricity from nearby power sources and release bolts of it through his hands. He's almost unstoppable in a thunderstorm. He also carries a grenade launcher loaded with exploding spheres that shower his targets with, you guessed it, shrapnel.




Kickback was definitely at the back of the queue when the cool insecticon powers were handed out. Shrapnel controls electricity, Bombshell controls peoples' minds, and Kickback can.... kick things. Quite hard, mind you. Still, his main skill is convincing humans or Autobots that he's their pal long enough to weasel information out of them which he can then blackmail them with. His preferred sidearm is a sub-machine gun.




Bombshell's name may come from the head-mounted mortar that lets him launch artillery shells several miles, but he's most feared for his cerebro-shells. In insect mode he can inject these into humans or Autobots, where they will travel to the cerebral cortex and insert probes into the decision-making neural centres, placing the victim completely under Bombshell's malevolent control. Even fellow Decepticons give him a wide berth, in case he decides to turn his attentions on them.

I was in two minds about whether to build Bombshell, because I'd used up most of my black tiles and curves on the other two, and he had the largest amount of purple (here recoloured to two-tone blue). In the end I couldn't leave the trio without it's third member though. Some parts of the build I'm really pleased with, but he is a bit rough around the edges and not as poseable as I would like. I feel a version 2 coming on!


Some more group photos to finish. These guys do lend themselves to group shots.


Do not adjust your screen, that's still Bombshell on the left there. He's just messing with your head....


Now for the technical photos:



Closeups of Kickback's head.


Shoulder joint - running from the shoulder through the piece the wing is attached to is a 'technic axle, 3, with stud' (shown here). The stud end is sandwiched between 2 standard technic bricks, which gives enough friction to hold a pose. I use this type of swivel joint a lot - Shrapnel's waist swivels the same way.


Ankle joint - you can just see the dark grey stud on the right pressing into a technic brick, providing (barely) enough friction to hold a pose. The other side of the foot is connected to the leg with a half-length technic pin.



Shrapnel's head - sorry those antennae don't make for good photographic lighting...


Close-up showing the cavity in the side where Shrapnel's hands tuck in insect mode. You can also see the back kibble (this is the second version of the insect legs - some of the photos above show the more realistic six-legged version, but they took SOOO long to to position that I replaced them).


Foot connection - in robot mode the technic axle at the back of the ankle is extended to give enough freedom of movement.


In insect mode the foot is rotated and the axle pushed in to give a snug fit.


Now this was the cleverest bit. Can you see the small fin sticking out of the leg? It's actually holding the knee joint up. It's only attached by a standard hinge brick but the bricks surrounding it make it surprisingly solid.


Pull the fin out and the knee slides into the leg. It's more elegant than pulling out a technic pin to achieve the same effect.



Comments

 I like it 
  August 20, 2013
These are great!
 I like it 
  August 11, 2013
I really like it! You are now on my favorites list. I love your skids too! I hope you can check out some of mine! Keep it up!
 I like it 
  August 11, 2013
I really like it! You are now on my favorites list. I love your skids too! I hope you can check out some of mine! Keep it up!
 I made it 
  November 29, 2012
Quoting Shahar Levy Great work! Is there any way to contact you concerning these insecticons?
What did you have in mind? I don't really want to post my e-mail address here but you could open a private MOCpages group and then invite me to join it.
 I like it 
  November 28, 2012
Great work! Is there any way to contact you concerning these insecticons?
 I like it 
  November 6, 2012
These are excellent! Good looking in both mode and with good articulation as well.
 I like it 
  December 14, 2011
Wait, wait! You forgot to mention Shrapnel's speaking problem in his bio, bio!
 I like it 
  August 25, 2011
Hi there, These are so cool. Shrapnel is my favourite. I also love your commentary - very funny. I didn't realise you had so many transformer mocs. Unfortunatly I can't see all the photos but they all look excellent. Will you be entering a new moc for the TF contest? Good luck if you do :). Glad you like my first attempt into the world of legoformers, I definitely want to build more.
 I like it 
  May 13, 2011
EPIC! I just watched the G1 episode A Plague of Insecticons, and the first time I saw Bombshell, I knew he was my new favorite! And when I came across this, man was I happy! Great job!
 I like it 
  May 12, 2011
Incredible and I hope all of you know that a plague of insecticons was also a g1 episode title featuring the Insecticons.
 I made it 
  February 1, 2011
Quoting Seth Higgins I like the close up additions. can minifigures fit in the cockpits?
They weren't designed for minifigs, since the original toys weren't supposed to be piloted (although the designs were taken from a Japanese toy line that DID have pilots, and the cockpits were left in). That said, with a little modification there'd probably be room for a minifig in Bombshell's cockpit, but not in Shrapnel's.
 I like it 
  January 27, 2011
I like the close up additions. can minifigures fit in the cockpits?
 I made it 
  January 21, 2011
Quoting Michael Crichton The only flaw I see is that they seem a bit on the large size compared to most of the other transformer MOCs people have been posting. Can you post some pictures of the transformation sequences, and close ups of the joints and faces?
I've now added closeups for Shrapnel and Kickback - Bombshell will have to wait for version 2....
 I like it 
  December 20, 2010
Wow! Great Transformers! would you mind commenting on this? http://mocpages.com/moc.php/238575
  December 20, 2010
"Good things: only person to do a train! I really like the overall look of the engine, especially the cow-catcher on the front. I'm still trying to figure out how it's attached." It took me a good part of an hour to get the design for the plow right. I would be VERY surprised if someone figured out how I built it.
 I made it 
  December 20, 2010
Quoting T.K . good, however im speaking to you about my link to the group on my MSC R3 entry, there was a link to the group added as a comment, so if im disqualified could you un-disqualify me, thanks.
Oops, sorry, I hadn't spotted that. Your score is reinstated!
 I like it 
  December 20, 2010
good, however im speaking to you about my link to the group on my MSC R3 entry, there was a link to the group added as a comment, so if im disqualified could you un-disqualify me, thanks.
 I like it 
  December 14, 2010
Great work. I really like the insecticons. But my favorite is proberbly Starscream. Overall these look very proffesional and the weapons look very real I thought they were the real toys. Good work.
 I like it 
  December 8, 2010
Awesome work on each one! These look great! Crazy thing though, I started an LDD one of Kickback a few weeks ago... It's kind of creepy how similar they look. LOL! Get out of my head! :) Just kidding. Oh well, yours looks way cooler than mine. Keep up the good work!
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Great work! This is taking the Lego Transformers theme to the next level.
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Wow! These are awesome! I thought the title said "A Plague of Infections" when I first read it. That would be awesome too :)
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Wow, incredible work and great detailing! On all three of them!
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
I thought the title said "A Plague of Inspections". LOL XD
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Amazing renditions. I think I can dimly remember some insecticon chewing onto the Autobot's base from somewhere.
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Just one insecticon would have been awesome. But 3? Simply amazing! Excellent work!
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Ah yes, the brightly coloured deluxe insecticons, glimpsed only on the fold-out sheet that came with your other transformers and never available in the UK - I shared your childhood frustrations Stu. Still, lovely job with the original trio. Forget the alt. colour schemes, they are very recognisable in both forms. Love the presentation shots for the individuals too. Great job.
 I made it 
  December 7, 2010
Quoting Dave Kaleta Brilliant! Bombshell was always a favorite of mine. I think you did well with the new color schemes, and both modes are quite acceptable to my tastes. Now do the deluxe Insecticons (not many people remember those).
Yes, the deluxe Insecticons were never released in the UK so I hope to exorcise a childhood frustration by re-creating them in Lego!
 I made it 
  December 7, 2010
Quoting Shannon Ocean Dude, these are EXCELLENT! Very faithful to the original and well built too, Their insect modes look great and the robots have nice posability to them too, not easy to acheive in Lego transformers. Hugely inspiring I must say! And I agree with Dave Kaleta: Deluxe Insecticons next?
Many thanks, it means a lot to get such a positive comment from you! And yes, the Deluxe Insecticons are on the list...
 I made it 
  December 7, 2010
Quoting Michael Crichton The only flaw I see is that they seem a bit on the large size compared to most of the other transformer MOCs people have been posting. Can you post some pictures of the transformation sequences, and close ups of the joints and faces?
Yep, I decided to go larger with these guys so I could get in more detail and use Exo-force joints, which give great stability but need quite a lot of space. That said I think they're similar in scale to some of Chris Roach and Orion Pax's transformer MOCs (both of whom are a big inspiration!) I'll make sure I take some photos of the transformation and heads and post them when I have time...
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
Dude, these are EXCELLENT! Very faithful to the original and well built too, Their insect modes look great and the robots have nice posability to them too, not easy to acheive in Lego transformers. Hugely inspiring I must say! And I agree with Dave Kaleta: Deluxe Insecticons next?
 I like it 
  December 7, 2010
The only flaw I see is that they seem a bit on the large size compared to most of the other transformer MOCs people have been posting. Can you post some pictures of the transformation sequences, and close ups of the joints and faces?
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
This is Quite impressive nice wook!
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
WHAT THE! WHERE'D THAT BUNNY COME FROM!? O_O
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
This three MOC are really perfect!!! Awesome job!!!
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
Nice work, man! I always loved the Insecticons (and their weird voices) and still have the G1 toys in storage. I would've liked to see these in their original color scheme, but they still look great in both modes. can't wait for more!
  December 6, 2010
Wonderful, these are just great! Lovely memories of the eighties coming back to me. I only had "Kickback" and a cheap clone of "Bombshell", never actually seen "Shrapnel". But your versions look very cool and I really wish I could try transforming them myself :) According to this http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Shrapnel_%28G1%29 Shrapnel is supposed to be a "stag beetle".
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
Awesome job! I've never heard of these guys but they're still great!
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
Wow! Wonderful transformers!
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
Oh yeah! This is what I am talkin about... a whole new level to your transformers creations. The bar has been raised!
 I like it 
  December 6, 2010
Brilliant! Bombshell was always a favorite of mine. I think you did well with the new color schemes, and both modes are quite acceptable to my tastes. Now do the deluxe Insecticons (not many people remember those).
 
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