Robotech SDF-1 Papermodel

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by ThunderChild, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Active Member

    Cant wait to see your final build there RD! Please post pics when you build! :D
  2. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    all but 1 leg and shoulders done


    -Shifting main bow/booms
    -Shifting the bridge area
    -Final touches I plan on making
    -The original 1986 toys
    -Other SDF-1 makes (the "remake" and the "1986 cardboard box")


    main assembly will still require some central shaft through the white "mainbody" and blue "chest / leg/cannon-connect boxes" as seen in the one pic (you can imagine what it looks like though with the other pic showing them sitting nicely together).

    The upper legs don't actually attach to the main body but to the blue box which has the engine exhausts for landing when in ship mode (exhaust ports viewed as the "chests" in robot mode)... these where fit (on the original transforming toy) on a single metal shaft through the main body (got to work it out with a straw or wood dowel or something). When in robot mode a sort of "double-hinged sliding bit" (looks like a small set of thrusters) extends between this "blue box" and the "upper leg/thigh".

    (several "knock-offs" found it too hard to do this so they used two metal dowels through the main body and it was required to pull the blue boxes and thighs off and switch them in order to simulate the completed ship and robot forms... this unfortunately made the toy fall apart more easily and could not allow you to take photos of it in a sort of "mid-transformation" position. I might (probably won't) use this knock-off trick to make mine transform. (at the same time though, the only thing I can think of to allow a tight double-sliding hinge might be to find some kind of small transformer with extending arms or legs which I could remove and place inside the legs).


    I've drawn in what the bent paperclips and the plexi-with-beads kind of looks like (didn't make spares and they may need re-doing) ... did somewhat require some careful cutting and re-taping of finished boxes to put them in ... I did somewhat re-draw nad recreate the box-sides and then tape them on to provide extra support to some areas

    This "plexi-with-beads" was easier to do than some kind of extra little white box with a paperclip through each end (which is what the toy uses by the looks of photos of I have of the original transforming toy)... mainly because producing the exact size of mini-double-hinging box is hard and then to punch holes for a paperclip-hinge and produce anchors for said hinge (as my previous quick-draw unfolded parts posting tried to show)
    ...UNFORTUNATELY spacing is hard to judge as as a result the left one is a bit tight and the right one is a bit loose (actually had to put a few layers of thin scotch tape in to keep the joint from flopping all over the place)

    Because the main part of the booms are made from 2 long seperate pieces (one blue, one white) I did a "cheap/quick" trick where I simply squeezed the paperclip unbent rather than bend it and glue it to the inside... as a result the white tip comes off or misaligns rather easily... I may go back and either cut a sort of "slot" for the paperclip to sit in or rebuild the 2-long-pieces as a single-box (I'm not sure which yet as judging the length of paperclip to allow for smooth rotation while keeping pieces relatively tight is hard enough, nevermind bending the paperclip with small needlenose pliers)


    The leg (only one done atm) worked out perfectly. THe "upper leg / thigh" blue box will need a square hole in it to allow an extendable small white "spacer" with thrusters appearing on it for robot mode. (I believe GetterOne said he simply put an installable spacer in there to both hide the posts he used and support the body since the posts he used tended to slide back down). I'd do the same but I hate having to worry bout having pieces that might fall off or require special storage (to prevent loss or being vacuumed up by accident) when not in use.

    I don't plan on making mods to the rear-most white engine box to allow a slight shifting of its position (toy has this ability to help when standing it in robot form, probably due to loose hip joins). The SDF1 toy I have (7" non-transforming robot) has these legs attached directly to the main white body (preventing any kind of transformation and making it rather wobbly when standing). I've also seen knock-offs where the thighs attach directly to the body to provide better support when standing


    the bridge "T" piece (page A parts 5/6/7) and mainbody (page A part 1) requires minimal work to allow shifting ... just cut out a square C shape (drawn with black line... uncut side becomes "hinge" too allow bridge to shift from ship-position to robot position) and then attach this "flap-like hinge" to the lower part of teh bridge piece (page A part 5). It sits nicely in place in ship mode, but also slides inwards to allow the bridge/head to rotate into position


    I'll probably reprint all pages and re-tape them and then glue them over the highly-taped surfaces of my model as a kind of "full surface sticker" to help cover up all the tiny little bits where tape-ends are showing from taping the various boxes together. (this will also help provide some extra strength to larger surfaces to prevent them from "caving in" if held too tighly between fingers while transforming the paper-SDF-1

    The two main side boxes (which are 3-way connection boxes as the forward booms and thighs attach to before themself being attached to the side of the main white body box) may get redesigned and rebuilt entirely. Between the beads-glued-on-plexi for the shifting of the booms and the need to attach that extending white thruster (extends out of the blue "thigh" boxes) they are rather flimsy and physically weak and I know they won't last long.


    There are TWO versions of the toy produced in 1986.

    One (which I have) is a fixed 7 inch tall robot ($10 to $30 price range on ebay) and the only two things you can do is shift the booms from verticle to over-the-shoulder firing position (has an ugly round hinge which would prevent shifting of teh connecting point from front to top of the blue "engine/chest" blocks), and remove the Daedalus/Promethius carriers (which have fixed elbow joints so that they hang vertically cause it was a cheap matchbox way to allow fit the robot in a small box with minimal styrofoam). Several "knock-offs" are available in this "non-transforming" SDf-1.

    One was over a foot long in ship mode and was fully transformable (and often runs like $200+ bucks when seen intact on ebay). There are (to my knowledge of watching ebay) the "official" matchbox version and a few knock-offs (parts don't align quite right, tips of booms don't rotate, etc). This transforming one came with:
    -small projectile missiles which fired out of the forward white tips of the main cannon (one per boom);
    -fully jointed elbows,
    -16 or so small red plastic "turrets" (on pegs which slid into tiny holes on the various parts of the ship where turrets would be)
    -several tiny (1/3") plastic "fighters" which could be inserted (via a tiny post) onto the Promethius (the "carrier" style arm),
    -3 hinged compartments for landing gear (1 in body, 1 in each leg)
    -movable sides to the bridge (1 box and 1 small round yellow "dome" type bit on small pegs (sit directly on bridge tower in robot form, or on upper angled sides of the "page A part 5" piece when in ship mode)


    There is a "remake" which is mostly metal available through ebay, but it features basic space carriers (no Daedalus/Promethius) and an altered forward tip (lots of sharp pointy points). It doesn't hold together well (found video on youtube bout it... guy showed where parts can easily fall right off with a touch due to poor joints) and aside from "display only" purposes is rather well detailed for an expensive post y2k remake

    I also have pictures from a website of an ORIGINAL cardboard box that came with, get this, punch-out pieces of like printed 1/4" THICK CARDBOARD to make a SIX FOOT TALL transforming SDF-1. (its insane. The thing is about as tall as me and if it wasn't for the internal structure you could probably have a kid wear it as a costume.)

    Attached Files:

  3. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    Whew... big post there... sorry bout that... :D

    Most mods I've done are the cheap cosmetic type... a pin-hole here, a snip there, etc... its why I said I may have to do a few covering "over layer" type stickers afterwards

    To be honest, once I've got a fully-transformable 6.5" paper version I may try to print and build the final "large" transformable version (this being the "first-try half-size" version) that Thunderchild is planning as his final paper model release... (or I may just rebuild the few moving parts on this small version) ... not really sure... don't really have the room in my glass-enclosed curio-display shelving unit to store a foot-plus long model (barely room for this 6.5" version) :p
  4. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Its a little belated but excellent work on your first design TC ! :thumb::thumb:

    A P****** version of the Destroid Defender was one of my first models, I didn't have a clue what series it was from, but I LOVED that model..!! So a card version would definitely be a build cue - jumper..


  5. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    I went back and reviewed the transformation on my original-release VHS tape (bought 2nd hand from a rental store) of the SDF-1 transformation... yes, there is only ONE main pivot point which runs roughly through the shoulders. There is an additional pivot point for the rear-central body which has the bridge.

    Pictures s300181 to s300185 show the on-screen in-anime diagram that Chief Engineer Lang shows to Captain Gloval showing the transformation. As you can see, the legs "detach" off the main (central) body and remain attached only through teh upper chest area as two of the boxes "shift" along each other... they then "re-attach" to the central body once transformation is completed (for stability)

    in s300183 you can see the small "extension box" that happens ... its a bit hard to make out but just to the right of it you can somewhat see a "down arrow" ... just left of it is 2 circles (one is the new attaching point for the upper-legs/thighs/hips on the main central body and the other is corresponding point on the thigh/hip

    The easiest way to do this with a paper model would probably be to glue some cheap thin ("strip") magnets inside the central body and thighs/hips... this would allow the "thighs/hips" to somewhat provide support when you stand the model up in robot form yet still allow them to slide apart when rotating between ship and robot mode.

    Do to limited posting space I'll do a seperate batch of pics showing the first-time transformation in my next post.

    Attached Files:

  6. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    here's the TF in full anime color

    the SDF-1 transforming

    I've provided a "zoom in" on the "extension boxes" which keep the legs attached to the ship during mid-transformation (prior to the legs re-attaching in final form) ... they are small compared to the overall ship, but one good hit during mid-transformation could have caused an entire engine/leg assembly to be easily blown right off ... thankfully I'm probably the only fan who has noticed this flaw

    Course... we've all seen some rather fastastically complex transformers that are held together by like one small screw.

    LOL... imagining some noob going "hey, this screw's loose. Wonder what its for?" so he removes it and then the next scene is the ship doing an un-ordered saucer seperation.

    Attached Files:

  7. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    expanding box, shoulders, missed area on main body

    Here's a pic of the expanding box on my workup. The box slides fairly easily, but is tight enough that it should support the SDF-1 when extended and standing upright. In essence you make a small box which can fit into a small hole in the top face of the hip. You then cut out two extra bottom-faces for the small box but make it slightly larger than the hole. Glue the extra faces to the top and bottom of the small box. Now it should only slide so much in or out because the extra-sized ends prevents it from sliding all the way out or falling into the hip entirely. (see picture... better-qualty bmp included so you can zoom in for a bit more detail)

    And here's a pic of the revised shoulders. You have them upside-down and the overall shape is a bit off. (pin-hole for the long-gun marked with an X. A smaller turret should appear in the box-area. Turret is actually too small to build at this scale, but would be easily possible on a finished model if made at double-size of this first trial version.)

    As you can tell I did away with the bevelled edges on the shoulders: mainly because at this size their a bugger to cut and fold properly without them tearing or bending out of shape. Besides which, I needed extra strength and room to maneuver a tiny piece of bent paperclip for the long shoulder gun (which IMHO is only 0.5X to 0.66X the size it should be... if you compare it to the toy the long-shoulder gun should be about 1.3X the length of the shoulder. Easily fixed. I think getter-1 just inserted a painted toothpick into his to extend it.)

    Also, you missed the lower-foward tip on the central body. As you can see, when in ship mode, the booms will "sit" onto it. Both the cartoon and official toy have this extra bit. Its a relatively easy correction.

    Attached Files:

  8. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    arm shoulder forming up

    here you can see how I've arranged for turning long-gun turrets on the shoulders, as well as shoulders which can be transformed/rotated from ship-mode to robot-mode

    The 4-part shape of the shoulder is actually based upon close-ups from web-photos I have of the 18" high-detail 1986 transforming SDF-1. As you can see, the shoulder "rotates" 180 degrees (of a possible 360) around and then the piece within it rotates 180 degrees to swing the "arm" back down towards the engines.

    I know the instructions page I uploaded before wasn't perfect so I'll try to explain here what the differences are as the SDF-1 transforms.

    Once I've completed assembly (just got to figure out exact position for the main connecting pin throug the main body) I'll do up a series of pictures showing full SDF-1 transformation for those who are slightly confused.

    SHIP (start point)
    When in cruiser mode the long-gun turrets point out along/across the shoulder when in ship mode and point towards the front of the ship, with the Daedalus's/Promethius front pointing rearwards towards the engines.
    (Positioned as in "shipmode.jpg")

    When transforming the entire shoulder rotates 180 degrees so that the guns point towards the engines (gun-barrel still running along/across the shoulders) and then the barrels turn and point outwards (so they are no longer running across/along the shoulders). Daedalus/Promethius is towards the front of the ship but are upside-down.

    The middle-shoulder piece rotates 90 degrees out from the ship (The Daedalus/Promethius stick out "sideways" from main ship and are still upside down) and then they rotate 180 degrees at the elbows (Daedalus/Promethius turned back right-side up) and then rotate another 90 degrees so they are back to pointing toward the engines. (picture robotmode.jpg)

    long-gun turrets are no-longer running across/over teh shoulders and the Daedalus/Promethius rotate 90 degrees "upwards" from the elbow. This completes the arm/shoulder transformation.

    Attached Files:

  9. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    getting there

    here's 4 pictures showing transformation

    missing arm is almost done, but I need to do its long-gun turrets and then snip the pipecleaner and then attach it (easier to attach turrets before attaching to main body)

    As you can tell, my paper-model needs lots of work still.
    -Many joints are loose...
    -the booms don't quite sit right (will need to revisit the anime to recheck if they slide outwards slightly during transformation or what... seems a bit tight around the head in robot form)...
    -the leg extension boxes that come out of the thighs tend to fall back in (and on occasion, pop out, making an engine/leg fall off)...
    -I layered up some white electrical tape under those long-gun shoulder turrets cause teh paperclip joint was so loose they kept falling off and turning to point downwards...

    Overall though I'd say Thunderchild's paper model is both accurate and beautiful. My version is just kind of crummy cause making paperclip joints with the right tightness and installing the transformation stuff at this small a size can be really hard. (That and I kind of rushed my work too, but at least Thunderchild has great pictures for modification of his final larger version to allow its final version a full transformation ability.)

    I am strongly thinking of doing the larger version when Thunderchild releases it. Mainly because it'll provide room for better installation and assembly of joints.

    I tell ya, trying to punch holes into paper boxes with a thumbtack and then bending and installing a 1/4" (or smaller length) piece of bent paperclip is hard enough to do without damaging the box (or dropping/losing the bent piece of paperclip). Making it loose enough to allow for movement but tight enough to keep the two adjacent boxes from randomly sliding/rotating is even harder. Especailly in places like the shoulders where the box in question is 1/4" thick (or even 1/8" thick).

    Attached Files:

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  10. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Active Member

    Very ingenious! Great work so far RD!
    particularly interesting to me is the pipecleaner "bend-em" style arms. Nice solution to an intricate design puzzle there!

    I'm not really one of those "hardcore" papermodelers who say "nothing but paper", but I am planning the transforming SDF with no other media involved... it makes for some funky puzzles to solve! :D

    Good luck!
  11. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member


    actually after reviewing the toy pictures I've noticed that the forward white tips of the main cannon match up perfectly with the shape of the boom regardless of being in robot or cruiser mode... this means that your rectangular-shaped booms is wrong... they should be square!

    see picture below... see how

    I kept looking at it in both modes and I just realized it today. In effect this means your model (when viewed in cruiser form) has been squished in a left/right direction (that or stretched top-bottom wise)...

    from what I can tell the shoulders and arm-carriers (Daedalus/Promethius) are correct, but everything in between was squished by roughly 20%... most likely the results of working off a slightly distorted picture.

    Look again at the two pictures. See how the white tips of the long main cannon match the blue/white section behind them? Well when teh cannon opens up to fire these white tips "rotate" 90 degrees relative to the booms, but their shape still matches up the blue/white section behind them, so that means their hight and width has to be the same... which means they are square.

    Attached Files:

  12. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    I'll try to get pictures up of my corrected/rebuild version in the next day or so. All that's essentially left on it is the shoulders/arms and the turrets.

    I've followed the pictures I have on the toy much more closely then Thunderchild (whose version is probably closer to as it appears in the anime). I've also cheated some (pipecleaners planned for elbow joints, a nut/bolt/washer carefully hidden to allow parts to rotate both tightly and smoothly, etc).

    Mine does lack his nice surfaces though (all flat colors, none of those layer-on-layer rectangular blue varients and white varients. What's the term? Like some ppl do with the Star Trek models... an "aztec" type pattern? You know, to simulate where paint jobs are a bit off-color and various large metal sheets meet giving a kind of messed-up checkerboard type appearance to the armor?

    Then again, mine's all done in windows paint so what do you expect? Hand-pixeling in that kind of detail takes too long.
  13. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    the promised pic's

    As you can see, just the feet/engine's and arm/shoulders and turrets (and odd small bits like the back of the knees) left.

    Model length in ship mode is 9 inches. (well, 8.5 atm, but that's without the feet/engines, which are roughly a half inch).

    The main cannon booms are loose and I've used a clear elastic band (found in some Transformers packages) to hold them together (its causing a slight warping but its just till I can tighten up the beads and elastic string I've used for the shifting mechanism for where the cannons attach to the chest pods. A bit of tape will fix the warping once the cannon/chest gear is tightened or replaced.)

    Overall shape is, as you can tell by my earlier toy-picture posts, nearly identical to the 1987 SDF-1 toy (right down to transformation). This has resulted in a slightly more box-shape in a number of areas, but also simplifies construction and part endurance/stability.

    The whole hidden nut/bolt with washers thing really adds a lot of stability. Parts not only stay tightly together but can rotate along the bolt's length, and then you just put a drop of glue on the nut to lock it into place (otherwise rotating the parts will slowly loosen it). In my case I used #4-40 x 0.25" bolts (a pack of 14 bolts + 14 nuts is $2.00 and a similar sized pack of metal washers is like $1.50).

    Using nuts/bolts, internal plastic supports, and a layer of tape really adds to the shelf life. My oldest surviving paper model (a star trek ship) is now approaching its 5th year and it looks as good as it did the day it was finished. I can even wipe off the dust with a damp cloth without having to worry about making the materal wet (and thereby protecting the ink from becoming wet and running/smeering).

    Attached Files:

  14. the_gungrave_666_xD

    the_gungrave_666_xD New Member

    very cool that one eh?
  15. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    updated...more pictures...

    arms nearly finished
    -just tiny features like the bridge/conn towers on the Daedalus/Promethius left
    -2 long shoulder turrets left to build (going to try to find tiny nuts/bolts to fix them on as paperclips don't hold them on very well / don't hold position well)
    -used lego for the elbow joint (somewhat covered in paper to match color)

    turrets all on except for:
    -2 turrets on top side of main cannon missing their little cannons (made the barrels too long, need to shorten the barrels to fit when the main cannon rotates open/sideways)

    non-turret feature in the "behind the knees" area (odd white round shape)

    All in all, model is complete minus some tightening up of joints. Will attach a zip with the windows paint bitmaps shortly.

    Attached Files:

  16. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    here's the zip

    NOTES: Thunderchild, Getter 1, you can use the shape-adjustments I've made to adjust your own models if you want.:cool:

    Dang... zip upload limit of 48k and my zip is 891k (almost 1 mb)wall1:curse:

    So anyone who wants it, please email me (or post yur email here) and I'll email it directly to you. (Thank Sivar that most hotmail accounts have a 10mb upload size limit)

    For the most part, my mk3 transforming version won't have any real changes to the shapes/construction... I've just got to make up bent paperclips with a few tiny nuts/bolts for places like the 4 long shoulder turrets... maybe find some means to produce a double-hinged joint for the main cannon so it has more stability and doesn't flop around so much.

    I'd love to do a double-size version, but I don't have anywhere to put it in my room.:cry: (Course, a double-size version would allow for lots of room in improving rotating joints and other such moving bits)
  17. Getter1

    Getter1 Active Member

    Rapier D,

    You can send the file to one of the moderators to add to the download section. That's what I did for my Roland C.II as it was nearly 12mb.

  18. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    late posting reply - now available for download

    Free file hosting by
    free download site.
    20 pages of parts (not all pages fully used so parts easier to identify and construct)

    model is like 99% complete

    fully transforming
  19. chaosbiker

    chaosbiker New Member

    Me want, me want, where to get??

    ARMORMAN Guest

    click on the savefile link.

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