Sunday, August 21, 2011

Transformers Rodimus Kit Build Instructions

I got a preview copy of the Transformers Rodimus Kit from The copy I got was the clear version. It is also available in clear black, clear red, black, and white. Like previous kits this didn't some with instructions so I tool some photos and notes as I went.


The tree's came in a plain white box. I am not sure if the final product with have artwork or not, but that isn't as important as what is in the box.


Included in the box is three trees of parts, a bag of parts and you should also find some stickers (it wasn't ready when mine was shipped)

This tree wasn't completely clear, but had a very slightly pink tint to it. I would expect that the final version will be all clear.

My bag of screws was missing some parts. The final version might contain a spring for the gun and some more screws (I used screws from my sideswipe for now).

Putting it together:

Getting the easiest thing out of the way collect the five parts (and a spring if the final box comes with one)

Assemble and a spot of glue and you are done.

Back / Wings

Attach the steering wheel and if you want use some glue (mine was pretty snug) to the lower part of the back.

Thread the long pin through the top front of the car, the back piece and back through the front of the car piece. The holes on mine didn't cleanly line up and after assembling it I ran a small drill through the length to make a smooth hole for the pin first.

While it looks like the center spoiler screws right on none of my screws were big enough to fit the hole so I just used some glue which holds it well enough. Use a second screw to secure the front of the car / robot back.

Pop on the two wings and you are done.


With a small amount of glue attach the inner upper walls of the arms.

Using the longer screws attach the ball joints

While you can attach the wheels now I would recommend waiting until the end when the chest is ready to try out the ball joints to make sure they are secure and all the way in before attaching the wheels which are a pain to take off (and make this screw inaccessible).

Using a pin attach the upper and lower arms

Attach the hands and saw. Tripple check you are putting them on the right side and in the right direction before putting in the pin.


Start with the lower legs. Unlike other transformers all four wheels are the same size so you can pick any one.

Assemble the lower leg without the kneecap and wheel

Three screws hold the lower leg together

Attach the wheel

Attach the kneecap. Note that once you do this taking apart the lower leg is much more difficult so confirm everything is all ok. Make double sure that the left knee cap is used on the left leg and vice versa as they are not the same.

The upper legs come in four pieces and require two screws (don't put together just yet)

Attach the upper leg piece to the lower leg

Assemble the upper leg, transform the leg to confirm that the correct left side/right side parts were used and then screw it all together.

Attach the hips with pins, again check that the left/right is attached


The chest is made up of a number of larger pieces and a small connector where the head sits.

Start by connecting the small connector (where the head will sit) to the bottom of the front of the car.

Place the shoulders into the front of the car

Place the hood on top and then screw the front of the car together.

Connect the two main pieces of the chest together. When threading the pin through the rear chest piece it came out at a slight angle, once again I used a small drill to smooth it out so they lined up again before inserting the pin.

Put in the crotch piece so the screw hole is facing up and screw down the bottom chest piece holding it in place.

Attach the legs to the crotch and screw down the other half of the crotch.

Pop in the arms into the shoulder sockets

Place the back/spoiler into the hole and use the flat screw to secure it.

The head is made up of three parts (front/back/eyes) which slide together, but don't lock together.

A little bit of glue to keep the two sides together and place onto to the chest



With my one armed KO Kit Starscream

Classics Rodimus with some repo stickers and the TFCC Sideburn.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Solar Panel Installation

After deciding to get solar panels a few months ago we then had to wait six weeks for the Mass rebate to get approved. In that reguard signing the paperwork was a bit anti-climatic, but once it was approved work began on our roof and before long we were producing power.

Throughout the process I took photos to catalog the install.

The first day the installers mounted the beams that the panels would be attached to.
And the next day they mounted the micro inverters to the beams and ran the initial wire connecting them up. Rather than having one central inverter our system had a micro inverter attached to each panel. The big advantage is that if one panel gets some shade or goes down it doesn't take down everything it is connected to.

On following Monday morning an eighteen wheeler delivered a palette containing our 30 Schüco 185 watt solar panels to our house.

Over the course of the day they first tested each panel and then installed most of them up on our two roofs.

The last two panels were left off until the electrical work is done (the electrician was on vacation when this was happening). On the upper roof the left four beams were trimmed and got black boots. The two beams on the right of the upper roof have been trimmed, but the boots have not yet been installed. The boots really make a big difference minimizing the visual impact of the solar panels.

Before we can connect the solar one of the tasks we had to get done was to upgrade our electrical system. The existing main electrical box was only 60amps which the regulation wouldn't allow for the panels to be wired into it. While there is an extra cost in performing an electrical upgrade this was something we knew we would have to do one day when we bought the house.

The nice new electrical 200amp electrical box with the old box now as just acting as a sub panel.

Meanwhile our electric company replaced our outside meter with a net meter (so it could go backwards) and the solar electrician began running wires from the panels down to an external emergency disconnect and another new meter that will measure the solar production. From the solar meter the wiring ran into the house and attached to the new main panel.

With everything all wired the system was turned on for a few minutes to make sure all of the panels were working and we got to generate a tiny bit of electricity before it was turned back off to wait for the electrical inspection.

With the construction finished we are very pleased with how the panels ended up looking. When we first started looking into solar panels we spent a bunch of time wondering if they would end up being an eye sore. I am very happy with the results and how day to day really unless you look up you probably wont notice they are there. Our worries about our neighbors hating them were unfounded and multiple neighbors have inquired about the panels and the feedback has all been positive.

After we had the electrical inspection and approval from our electric company we finally got to turn on the panels full time. The data from all of the micro inverters is gathered and published up to the cloud via the Enphase Envoy unit (the little pill box not yet attached to the wall in the photo of the electrical box). With the data up online it has a number of fun graphs and all sorts of real time data. There is a public site for our house where much of the recent data is available. The real value of uploading the data is that they continuously analyze the production data and notify me if anything seems wrong such as if a panel stops producing.

After much debating if we should even get panels I am glad we did. The install went smooth, they look nicer than I expected and this months electric bill arrived today lower than any before.

Revell Big Boy Locomotive Model Kit

When I was a child I received a model train kit as a present, but as I was just a kid I never painted it or actually put it fully together. ...