How to Build a Paper Transformer Robot

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Transformers has been a cultural phenomenon since the 1980s. Products with the brand name range from a line of toys, pajamas, bedsheets, video games and one of the best selling Halloween costumes for young boys. The movies based upon the cartoons have topped box-office charts, launched the movie careers of several actors, and rekindled interest in the franchise for a whole new generation. Building the iconic robots from paper is a fun project for children and adults alike, and surprisingly simple with just paper, glue and scissors.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 sheets of heavy card stock
  • Color computer printer
  • Paper Transformer models
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Printing Your Models

  • Load your printer tray with normal printer paper so that it feeds normally. Stack two sheets of heavy card stock atop them.

  • Navigate to the website where the paper models are located using the web browser on your computer. There are many sources, such as: Paperkraft.net, Paperinside.com, or Tfarchive.com.

    For this project, we will use "Wheelimus," from Tfarchive, which is a spin-off of the Autobot leader. Since this website is not officially sanctioned, you will have to guess from the icons and names which robot they are parodying.

  • Right-click the page that contain the robot images and select "Print." When the print option menu comes up, tell it to print pages, and select the last two pages in the sequence (usually 3-4).

  • Click on the Preferences button on the print option menu. A new menu will pop up showing "Quality" and "Paper" tabs.

  • Click on "Best" option for the print quality.

  • Click on the "Paper" tab and select"Card Stock" as the paper type.

  • Click "OK" on the print option menu, then click on the "Print" button. Allow the card stock sufficient time to dry if you are using liquid inks.

Working by Sections

  • Cut out the engine parts using child-safe scissors. All of the parts you cut are organized by section and should not be cut out until the other sections are complete.

  • Fold each piece of the engine block as indicated in the instructions on the web page. As a general rule, however, fold along solid lines and tabs.

  • Glue one of the long engine sections along the long side of the hinge making a "T" shape. Allow the glue to dry before moving on to the next step.

  • Cut out pieces labeled "Chest" and "Hood" and fold them into boxes, leaving the flaps free.

  • Glue the engine assembly to the hood.

  • Cut out the front two tire pieces. Fold them as indicated and glue them to the outside lower corner of the hood.

  • Cut out one of each arm section, folding them as directed and then gluing them into a "J" shape. Repeat the process for the opposite arm. Allow them to dry before proceeding.

  • Cut out the back piece and glue it together, leaving the flaps free.

  • Hook the arms into the notches on the back pieces and fold them inside to make sure they fit into the back. Glue the back piece together.

  • Cut out the torso piece, fold and glue as indicated to the bottom and front pieces. Ensure that the arm hooks face upward.

  • Cut out, fold and glue the hinge lock pieces into boxes with an open face. Insert the engine assembly into the open faces, and glue the hinge lock pieces to the upper back of the robot. Allow the whole thing to dry.

  • Cut out the head and waist. Fold them into boxes and glue them to the top and bottom of the torso respectively.

  • Cut out the cod piece and fold into a box. Glue it to the waist.

  • Cut out the leg and leg brace pieces. Fold them and glue the brace piece to the top of the leg. Repeat the process for the other leg.

  • Cut out the door pieces, fold them as indicated and glue them with image facing out to the top of each arm.

  • Cut out the exhaust pieces, fold them and glue them into two sets of three pyramid-like shapes. Stagger them from smallest to largest and glue them to the outside of each door.

  • Cut out the front canopy, fold and glue to the back of the robot. Allow it to dry.

  • Cut out the back canopy, fold and glue to the back of the lower legs. Allow it to dry.

  • Cut out boosters and winglets, fold into shape and allow to dry. Glue the winglets to the boosters then the boosters to the back of the canopy. Allow to dry.

  • Cut out spoiler, fold, and glue to the very back of the leg assembly. Allow to dry.

  • Cut out tires, fold and glue to inside fenders as appropriate. Allow to dry. Your robot is now ready to transform and move out!

Tips & Warnings

  • Each robot has specific instructions tailored to its design. Make sure to read them thoroughly and follow them step-by step.
  • If you are skilled with an art program, you can load the models and apply your own custom images before printing, either from pictures from the web or from your imagination. Customized bots make a cute gift for kids.
  • As excited as you might be to play with your robot, allow it thorough time for the glue to dry before doing so.

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References

  • Photo Credit robot graffiti image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com dun cat - printer image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com scissors image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com
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