In 2014 The White Rabbit came with the idea of creating a few custom pieces representing the good old Battle Beasts from the 80´s in their 21st century version and called it Beastformers 2.0. Years have passed since the first two creations where completed and a little later also made it onto the Beastformers Blog where they can be found in the Project area and although that page mentioned 2016 as the completion date it wasn´t done. Because alongside collecting the original Battle Beasts line which is a never ending quest creating these custom figures by bringing ideas for 21st century 2.0 Versions of the Beasts alive working together with artists is definitely a fun distraction as well.
Well… it took a while but as shared on the Beastformers 2.0 page there still was the idea to create a few more 2.0 Versions or at least 1, the Rabbit in the original Battle Beasts color scheme. And although the new creations have been in the Beastformers Collection since 2019 already they still hadn´t made it onto the Beastformers Blog yet. But that´s changed today because the Beastformers 2.0 page has just been UPDATED and the 2 new creations have been added. A 2.0 Version of the Series 1 Rabbit and a 2.0 Version of the Series 3 Cobra!
If you´re curious to see more pictures of the final result, including a 360 rotation, of each figure go and have a look;
BUT before you go there it might also be fun to take a look at how they´ve been created and what steps it took to reach the final consensus resulting in the finished 2.0 Versions.
Work in Progress a look at the creation of the Beastformers 2.0 Versions
It all starts with an idea which in the case of the Beastformers 2.0 Project came instantly when a custom creation of a Rabbit Head showed up several years ago. Sadly enough only a limited amount of these was produced and therefore for this original Rabbit inspired 2.0 Version it´s quite a task to get another one of those heads. But luckily that worked. The origin of the Cobra head, which also has been purchased a few years ago can´t be remembered but if someone can tell please let it know.
A head alone is not a enough because in order to make these work a Armorvor base is needed as the body. Luckily a fellow collector had two clear ones around he´d be ok to part with.
Since the Rabbit Head was not Battle Beasts based the head armor part had to be sculpted and it´s the first part of the evolution towards becoming a 2.0 Version. The image here clearly shows the base parts and the sculpted head armor part.
With the head sculpting done it´s time for a first color check towards finding the right skin tone. As shown on the image in this case only the parts that actually show the base color are painted leaving the unpainted the unpainted parts of the Armorvor body clear.
Finding the right color might seem easy because of the fact they should be following the color scheme of the original Battle Beasts but sometimes this can turn out to be rather tricky. More of that will follow a little further in the process.
Here´s also a very first side by side look of how the color matching works out showing the head alongside the original BB Rabbit.
Pictures like these can be very helpful to confirm colors are matching/close because without the side by side comparison going blind on just pictures can be quite deceiving. Luckily the artist had a BB Rabbit around to show it´s going in the right direction.
One of the main qualities of the original Battle Beasts line is the contrast between the very basic, but very well designed, animal base with a more detailed armor. When the scale goes up, the 2.0 versions are roughly twice the size of the original Battle Beasts, the details on the animals can increase quite a bit as well. On the other hand you loose a bit on the armor design by simply using the Armorvor base without any adjustments. This might make that with the 2.0 versions the animal part is more emphasized while with the originals it´s more the armor side. For the Battle Beasts there´s no doubt about how well that´s balanced and although it´s slightly different for the 2.0 versions it does seem to work out well on this scale as well.
For the Cobra head there was no additional sculpting needed because the original Battle Beasts Cobra didn´t have any either and the head on its own was already a very nicely done piece on it´s own.
Similar to the 2.0 version of the Chameleon, which can be found on the Beastformers 2.0 Project page, the idea with the Cobra colors were to make the animal part of the figure as realistic as possible. So where the colors for the Rabbit were more plain and monotone to be in line with the actual Battle Beasts Rabbit there is a whole lot more detail that went into the paint job of the Cobra head. This is a nice example of how the paint really accentuates the details of the head sculpt that were already there, clearly showing the grooves and scales of the head.
When you have an idea for the creation of a custom figure and you are unable to, or don´t have the skills to, do it yourself finding the right artist is crucial because the idea an vision you have might be crystal clear for you but the artist who has to bring that idea to life is completely depending on the information, references and in this case base material you provide. The White Rabbit always warns the artists before commissioning any project that it´s quite a pain in the #ss to work with because it wants to have input in the final outcome meaning a lot of the steps that are explained here have actually been discussion moments and opportunities to fine tune some details. It´s a back and forth between the vision and the solutions or decisions the artist comes up with. Sometimes it´s a Go towards the next step in the process and sometimes the current step has to be redone. This also explains why some of these have taken so long 😉
The 2.0 Version of the Rabbit is a great example to show how subtle design choices/changes can create a whole different figure/feel. Initially the artist did stay true to the original colors of the Battle Beasts Rabbit but as the images show it simply didn´t do it. The first image using the actual yellow color of the Battle Beasts Rabbit eye and the more dark purple/pink tones on the highlighted details made the overall look of the figure a bit plain. By simply changing those subtle details asking the artist to use a slightly more orange tone color instead of yellow for the eyes and a more vibrant pink color for the details instantly made the look of the figure a lot stronger. This was one of the final steps of the 2.0 version of the Rabbit before the battle damage was added to the armor.
Where the 2.0 Rabbit needed some fine tuning in this stage the 2.0 Cobra, where more time was invested in the beginning in order to give the Cobra more realistic colors accentuating the details, it just worked straight away when the purple armor color was applied. It still needed the details on the armor and the eyes painted but with this image it´s already clear that´d only strengthen its appearance even more.
None of the above shown material may be used, copied or multiplied without permission.
Both figures belong to the Beastformers Collection.
A huge thanks to the artist of the Beastformers 2.0 Project Koppenschevelle because without him these figures and this post with the Work in Progress shots wouldn´t have been possible.
With these two new 2.0 versions added The White Rabbit´s Beastformers 2.0 Army has now doubled in members and there are already ideas for one or two more 2.0 Beasts but it all comes down to finding the right parts and a talented artist who´s able to help bringing the parts together in a balanced way and ideas to life…
For now The White Rabbit is more than happy and proud to have this little Beastformers 2.0 Army within the Beastformers Collection.
Enjoy the Beasts!