Dave's Gallery of Robot Art
Last updated: 8/6/17
TF Canon Characters
This page has drawings I've done of "Official" Transformers characters,
although often with my own interpretation. Images are copyright Dave Van
Domelen on the date of drawing, but are generally trademarks of Hasbro.
SECTIONS: This has gotten pretty long and sprawling,
so I've broken it into sections, with anchor links.
- "Straight" drawings, no significant changes. I
don't do a lot of these, I'd rather change things around.
- AllSpark Art Challenges, drawings done because of
an Art Challenge on the AllSpark webboard.
- Intermezzos. A design done for one of my Fanfics.
- Serious Redesigns. More or less serious, anyway.
- Silly Designs (from slightly to very).
- "Only Human", TFs in human bodies (not the same as
humans in TF armor, which can be mostly found in Silly Designs).
- Only Pony, mixes of Transformers and My Little Pony. I
might make this a separate page later.
- Ironworks: A shirt I made for myself back in
fall of 1994, it's faded somewhat.
- Soundwave: Another shirt design, you may have
seen it in the BotCon photo galleries or on me at BotCon. Too wide to fit
on the scanner without clipping, unfortunately.
- Minerva: The female Headmaster Jr. from the
Japanese Masterforce series, rescuing a cat from a tree. The cat's saying
"Nee!", which is one of the Japanese cat sounds (along with Nya). 12/4/97
- Windy!: From the recent recolored re-release of the
Sixtrain team, her bio described her as a wannabe idol singer. So I took it
from there. Done in response to a request on the Mecha Babes Yahoo Group. I
crudely redid the background digitally in black. 8/1/05.
- "Sailor Strongarm": Okay, this sort of
rides the line between serious and silly drawings. But it's canonical that
RiD Windblade got a Magical Girl Powerup from Primus, so why not Strongarm?
Based on the Classics Onslaught/Hardhead mold, but with some of the more
military elements removed. Early pencils,
almost complete pencils. When I was
almost done with the drawing, I realized the lightbar glow was going to be
mostly wiped out by scanning, but I noticed the shape was already almost a
heart, so I put in the outline and fleshed out the glow to match. 7/3/17.
AllSpark Art Challenges:
- Transmetal Retrax: "Make a Transmetal mode for a
toy that had not gotten one." I
decided that making Retrax into a flying eyeball would only enhance his
- Transmetal Break: Another entry on the Transmetal
challenge. Break from BW Neo given Transmetalization...and wings that
- Armada Arcee with Boost: I initiated an art
challenge to do a hovercraft Arcee for Armada, and this was my entry. The
Mini-Con gimmick is that the hoverfans spin when Boost is plugged into the
hardpoint in the hoverfan hex and pushed down. 8/15/02
- Armada Arcee with Rodimus Minor: And here's
another idea for a hovercraft Arcee, this time more of a combat car sort with
a dragonfly motif and Rodimus Minor as the Mini-Con. 8/22/02
- Kirby-Style Optimus Prime: "What if Jack Kirby
had designed a Transformer from scratch?" Here's one possibility. On this
one, you can also see my raw pencils and inked version. Ignore the date on the picture, it's
- Super Optimus Prime: "Superhero
Transformers." A cross between Optimus
Prime and Superman. Mostly Prime's physical model (with mods to chest and
boots) and Superman's colors (with a bit of Prime's in the chest). The hands
are gray because they're the same color as Prime's faceplate, just as
Superman's hands are bare. 4/6/03
- WWII Seaspray: "Find a WWII mode for a
character not already redesigned for
the Transformers/GIJoe series." So I made Seaspray over as a DUKW
"Duck". Guess he got work at the Wisconsin Dells after the war. 7/10/03.
- Kickback Cricket: "Transformers playing
sports." Was looking to do well in the voting, but then the board went down
for a month and the challenge was called off. 12/2/03.
- Sentinel Prime: Dead Autobot leader who
preceded Optimus Prime, revived for a "TF: Universe" art challenge. His
vehicle mode is the combined form of a Micromaster combiner team. 4/3/04
- Beast Mirage: "Re-envision G1 characters as
Beast Wars/Beast Machines reformats." Here is G1 Mirage as a Transmetal
Turbofox, showing that Primus has a sense of irony. 9/5/04
- Liokaiser vs. Victory Leo: "Feature a
combiner team." The lack of inks on Liokaiser
is intended to be an invisibility effect. Test
- Nightbeat as Kokopelli: "Do a Transformer in
some non-standard style." I picked the style of the
Kokopelli figure from Southwestern American art. 1/15/05
- Painted Arcee: Femmebot challenge. My first
fully painted 2-D art since high school in the mid 80s. Topless on a
hillside on some giant TF-scaled planet (because I wanted her lying in grass
and flowers, not tiny trees), drinking Energon on a hot summer day. Safe for
- SD Prime: "Chibi-style."
It's chibi Optimus Prime! The inks came out horribly and I almost
abandoned the piece, but I decided to use paint markers to reclaim it. Picfic using my reference materials.
- Electro PSA: "Public Service Announcement with
a non-G1 character." I
printed out the text in B&W and colored it after gluing it to the page.
5/3/05. (Came in second in the voting, I won the first place with this piece.)
- Backpack the Henchbot: AKA Scattorshot in the
U.S., the gray outline is that of Nodwick, from the comic of the same name.
"Draw a Cybertron/Galaxy Force character."
- Soundwave vs. Scrounge: "Make two
characters fight." This is Soundwave in his
lamppost form (suuuuure, "communication tower", riiiight) with some details
added from the PVC versus Scrounge (TF G1 #17). Sort of. Sky colored with
- Brawn of the Dead: "Halloween Theme."
Painted on canvas board. After all the paper curling I got
on my painted Arcee, I decided to get a proper board for this one. Not sure
I like the texture, though...I may do future painted works on slats of wood
or something. 10/21/05.
- Speedian Buzzsaw: "Reformat a Cybertron
character for another Planet." Cybertron Buzzsaw reformatted
as a Speed Planet road vehicle, a reverse trike. I colored it in part with a
highlighter, then found that yellow highlighter scans as light brown. So I
took a digital photo. The first photo, taken
indoors, wasn't bright enough even with egregious level tweaking. So I ended
up having to take a photo in direct sunlight. I also scanned in-progress
inks of the vehicle mode only and the full pic. 1/7/06
- Metals Rattor painting: "Beast Mode."
On a dare, I used the Pikachu-ish Metals Rattor
(Transmetal Rattrap) seen in the BW Metals manga. I tweaked a few details
and gave him Hamtaro eyes (and energon sunflower seed), but otherwise convey
the horror that is the manga Metals Rattor. Chuuu. 2/17/06.
- Paradron Barmaid: "St. Patrick's Day,
partying green Transformer." Like the green Arcee
recolor Paradron Medic, but more fun. 3/11/06
- Trapper: "Pre-BW modes of BW characters."
Rattrap as the son of Wheelie. 5/9/06.
- Scylla Kiss-Play: "Kiss-Play, But Keep It
Clean" challenge. Scylla from BWII finding a cute Emo-boy to slobber over.
With cheap background colors added. "Jinchokon"
is actually a term from Japanese Godmasters, but it has been adopted by some
Kiss-Play fanfics to refer to the power gained from humans. 10/7/06
- "Boxing Day": "Transformers celebrate a winter
holiday." Shortround shows Starscream how to celebrate Boxing Day (inspired
by "Insecticomics" by Wayward). Rough pencils.
- Jumpstarters Z: "Crossover between
Transformers and some other series." The Jumpstarters (and Devastator) meet
Mazinger Z. Topspin Z and Boss Twist face Devos T8. Has an associated fanfic. Design sketches
for Boss Twist, Topspin
Z and the preliminary pencils for the final
- Sky High Mix: "Blend two or more characters
with the same name." Sky High the Pretender helicopter crossed with Sky High
the Micromaster SST. 8/10/07
- Sibo: "Draw your pet as a Transformer, or a
Transformer as a pet." As I own no pets, I drew BW Silverbolt as an Aibo. I
goofed on making the tail lupine instead of avian, though. Design sketch. 11/9/07. Winner of the November 2007
- "Cleanup": "Draw existing canon characters in
Animated style." Accompanied by a Fanfic, making this
also an Intermezzo piece. 1/9/08
- Luke Grimwalker: "Draw a Transformer dressed
up for Halloween." Grimlock as Luke Skywalker. Before drawing on the
costume, I drew a "bare" Grimlock heavily
referenced from The Ark vol 1. 10/11/08 - Winner of the October 2008
AllSpark Art Challenge!
- Cancer: No Cure for Denis Leary: "Draw a
human/humanoid from the canon." So I picked Cancer, the Destron Headmaster
Junior from Transformers: Masterforce, and put him in a parody of the album
cover of Denis Leary's "No Cure for Cancer". 11/10/08 - Winner of the
November 2008 AllSpark Art Challenge!
- Howlback in "Kitten with a Whip": The challenge
in January 2009 was to reinterpret a movie poster using a Transformers
character or characters. I took the Metals Jaguar design and made it female
as an update of the G1 Ravage redeo Howlback, starring in this poster. 1/6/09.
- Elite Guard Lockdown: The April/May 2009
challenge was to create an Autobot Elite Guard character along the lines of
the BotCon '09 exclusive toys, which meant a more or less G1 design motif. I
took Big Daddy's mold and heavily "Romita-ized" it while also changing a few
details to create a pre-bounty-hunting identity for Lockdown. 4/16/09.
- Animated Sky-Byte: The February 2010 challenge
is sort of an inverse of the one above, to take a character who didn't get an
Animated toy and make one for them. Winner of the challenge. 2/1/10.
- Animated Sky-Byte Shark Mode: The May 2010
challenge was to draw Sky-Byte (in honor of the BotCon toy of him), so I
decided to do the beast mode. The haiku (well, senryu) comes from the
AllSpark Almanac vol 1, which canonically establishes that some version of
Sky-Byte exists in Animated. Winner of the challenge. 5/15/10.
- Drill Dasher Silhouette: The April 2010
challenge was to take a canonical character released in 1985 and draw them in
some way. I picked Drill Dasher, one of the mailaway Powerdashers, and
started from a Gurren Lagann sort of pose before toning it down a bit. Drawn
on yellow cardstock and then colored in with black Sharpie. The hill and Sun
part was then cut out and glued onto a piece of red cardstock. Because my
scanner does poorly with black fill, I had to adjust contrast and this has
caused some artifacting. 4/2/10.
- TF:A Windy: The June 2010 challenge was to have
a Transformer "rocking out" in some way. I decided to revisit Windy (see the
Serious Interpretations section at the top) but redo her in a Transformers
Animated style and see if I could manage a better pose. I messed up the
antennae and had to paint over the area around the head to fix it, but
otherwise this is marker and pencil. 6/13/10. Winner of the challenge!
- Metrotank walker: The July 2011 challenge
(yeah, most of my entries since June 2010 were kitbashes) was to do something
with a companion of a city-former. Poking through the possibilities, I
realized that Slammer/Metrotank looked like he should be the legs of a
Duo-bot/con, but to be goofy I went and just turned Metrotank into a walker
on his own. Colored all in markers this time, no pencil shading. 7/16/11.
- TF:Avengers: The September 2011 challenge
was to depict a team of the Avengers using canonical Autobots. I was
inspired to base mine on the cover of Avengers #1, although the different
proportions of several characters forced tweaks to the framing (i.e. Loki's
head is in shot, but Megatron's wouldn't fit). Prismacolor marker and white
gel pen. Rough pencils, inked picture. 9/6/11. (The date is chopped off
the drawing because the piece is wider than my scanner plate.) This won the
challenge, but only due to a lack of other entries. :/
- Sky-Bryte: Sky-Byte from Robots in Disguise
reimagined as a pegasus pony. The design sketch
lacked wings. October 2011 entry. 10/15/11.
- Dani Burns: One of the humans from
Transformers Rescue Bots, drawn borrowing a jetpack from one of the non-show
toy characters. "Inked" with various Bic Marks-a-Lot and ultra-fine Sharpie
- Rescue Bots Diver: The February 2012 challenge
was "Leap Year" and mandated a canonical frog Transformer in some way. So I
drew Diver (most awesome of the frogs) in Rescue Bot style. 2/9/12. (It
- Kirby-Style Ravage: The April 2012 challenge
was some interpretation of Ravage. I decided to go with a Kirby style,
swiping the pose from a cover of New Gods and inking in Sharpie. 3/29/12
(yes, the challenge was announced a little before the month started)
- Fall of Cybertron Snapper: The September 2012
challenge was to take a Beast-era character and work out their Fall of
Cybertron appearance. I picked Snapper, the flying turtle, who is really
neat. 9/28/12 (got in just under the wire)
- Destron Jr. Halloween: Cancer and
Bullhorn decorate Wilder's transtector for Halloween. Done for the October
2012 challenge. 10/26/12.
- "Fly Me To The Moon": Cosmos and
Pathfinder on a romantic moonlit night. Paper cutouts and gel pen. Done for
the November 2012 challenge. 11/30/12.
- Sky Lynx Intermezzo: I wrote a vignette about
what happened to Sky Lynx after the Great War (it's on my BW page), and decided to
draw the body he was put into. The pose is taken from Swan Lake, and the
androgyny is intentional. 9/23/98
- Athena Prime: What if Minerva from
Masterforce and Victory got the Matrix of Leadership? Her vehicle mode is a
sort of RV/Ambulance six-wheeler. 12/24/01
- Athena Prime Vehicle Mode: Her altmode and
a closeup of her face. 12/25/01
- Note: Jumpstarters Z above in AllSpark Art Contests has an Intermezzo,
but started as the drawing, not the fanfic.
Other Serious Interpretations:
- C.H.E.E.T.O.R.: Transmetal II Cheetor's basic
design revised for use as a cybernetic powerarmor hero in Champions.
- Shocktrooper: Another cyborg based on a
Transformer (like C.H.E.E.T.O.R. above), this one is based on Shockwave. I
took most of the detailing from Actionmaster Shockwave, plus a few bits I
recalled from painting half a dozen Shockwave decoys. And I know Shockers
has a yellow eye in the cartoon, but I prefer red. 12/2/99
- Shockwave as a Limo: My idea for a
vehicle mode Shockwave, as a badass six-wheeled stretch limousine.
Proportions a little Romitized, and I mixed up which arm has the gun, oops.
10/21/00. Rescanned 9/1/01
- X-Big Daddy: Picture I drew of a kitbash I did of
the Spychanger W.A.R.S. into a 57 Chevy. Scanned 9/9/01.
- Ironworks 2004: Ironworks redesigned for
2004. Now he's a cement mixer. 4/1/04
- Micromaster Firestar: Discharge from the
SixTurbo team, minus heavy armor and given a new name. 4/10/04
- Energon Strika: Beast Machines' Strika redesigned
for Energon with a somewhat more feminine body and the altmode of a Spanish
light armored unit. Her turret is her energon weapon, becoming a hammer.
- Energon Camshaft: A blue PT Cruiser that turns
into a robot suspiciously reminiscent of an entirely different G1 character
(in homage to Energon Downshift looking like Wheeljack). 8/12/04
- Cybertron Thunderblast: Done with an
alternate transformation, attempting to keep her feminine and retain the same
vehicle mode without making her a total shellmaster. She mugged Nobel Gundam
for the beam ribbon. 1/2/06
- Red Alert Animated: I read an interview
stating that early in the planning stages, the team medic in Transformers
Animated was going to be a female Red Alert. So I decided to take the
Minerva design and mod it into TF:A style in this quick sketch. December
- Signal Lancer Animated: A background
character from Transformers: Cybertron redesigned as the traffic signal that
comes with Animated Prowl's toy. 6/7/08.
Other Oddball Interpretations:
- Starscream 1/2: If you look at the Starscream
toy, you'll notice it could easily have been made a female character. So,
seized by a silly mood, I drew Screamer-chan in a pose borrowed from Ranma
1/2 #1. The red helmet is meant as an analogue to Ranma-chan's red hair.
Oddly, even drawn as femininely as I could manage, it still looks like plain
old Starscream. 3/18/98
- Rallnox: The Rally's Rhinox toy is possibly the
lamest, worst-looking Transformer ever made. I tried to redeem the design a
bit in this drawing. 11/8/01
- Safety Megatron: My attempt to create a version
of Megatron that's not only a recognizable gun, but also conforms to all
safety regulations (bright colors, cannot be repainted to look like a real
gun, etc). 8/31/02 (Yes, long before Classics Megatron.)
- Energon Prime Girl: A subgenre of mecha art is
that of the "Robot Girl", a lady wearing (generally skimpy) armor based on
the design of a robot or mobile suit. This is my less-than-serious addition
to the fad. Uncolored inks also available.
- Decepticon Alexis: A while before I drew this,
someone drew Alexis as a sort of anti-Kicker, wearing really skimpy armor. I
decided I needed to do a version with a little more clothing, VERY loosely
based on Renais from GaoGaiGar Final. I got the Starscream sword right by
the simple expedient of tracing the toy. 2/25/04
- Chibi BB: I didn't actually draw this, I got the
template off Salt-Man Z's Go-Bots site. I colored Aerobot as BB from Beast
Wars II. 5/7/04
- Hot Shot, the Nuclear Bot: A member of the
Justice League of Autobots (along with Super Optimus Prime above), when he
merges with his Mini-Con Jolt, Hot Shot gains vast nuclear powers! 7/23/04
- Order of the Spark Optimus Prime: Goofy quick
draw program image of Optimus Prime a la the webcomic Order of the Stick.
- "Mikonerva": Miko from Transformers: Prime in a
Prime-ish version of Minerva's Headmaster Jr. armor. This makes Bulkhead
justifiably nervous. 2/16/12.
In March 2005, the AllSpark had an art challenge based on
the "Only Human" episode of third season G1 Transformers, where four Autobots
got put into human synthoid bodies. I did two for the contest, and have
since done others as the mood took me.
- I. Ron Works: Isaac Ronald Works, crusty
construction foreman. 3/1/05 (Art Challenge)
- Clarice Pitt: In the same setting as Ron
above, Greasepit as a lady who is built like a brickhouse. She and Ron know
each other and don't get along. 3/20/05. (Art Challenge)
- Terrell Baker: Hiking and mountain climbing
buff, he seems to lead a charmed life as things that should have killed him
just didn't quite hit him. Trailbreaker. 9/28/05.
- Bao Anh Gung: A Vietnamese Buddhist monk who's
still working on the whole "nonviolent" thing (as well as the asceticism
thing, as his potbelly demonstrates). Brawn, AKA "Gong" in Japan.
I found out after picking the name that it means, roughly, "Precious Hero
Ginger". Heh. 9/29/05.
- Frankie Z and Ron Bull: Frenzy and Rumble
(animation colors) as mob legbreakers. Suggested by Diosoth, drawn in a more
TF:Animated style. 11/27/08.
- Josh Boyfriend: My interpretation of
Thundercracker's self-insertion character in his movie script, in the IDW
- Amanda Strong: PRiD Strongarm as a human
riot cop of Mohawk descent. 2/22/15.
Okay, I've mixed these two properties enough to give it its
own section. This doesn't include my Pony TF kitbashes. And I
left Marissoo up in silly, because she wasn't intended to be a My Little Pony
- My Little Mach Kick: What if Thoroughbred
Courier Mach Kick had to make a delivery to Equestria? Inked mostly with a
gray finepoint marker. Also available in toy form. 11/21/10.
- Derpia: Derpy Hooves with a Transformers: Animated
style robot mode. My first "Pony as TF" crossover drawing, done only a few
weeks after I got into the show. 12/10/10
- Channel: My main fan character reimagined as
a pony. His eyeglint is the AllSpark board's logo. 2/19/11
- My Little Drift: Canonical "Gary Stu" uberkewl
charcter Drift as a pegasus pony who reallllly thinks he's cooler than he
actually is. Awkward pose intentional. :) His cutie mark is a cloud, he
was originally named Drift because he liked floating around on clouds.
- Headmaster Ponies: After watching a bunch of the Japanese Headmasters, I
was struck by how appropriate the Cybertron Headmasters' super move "Head
Formation of Friendship" would be to Equestria. One thing led to another,
and I ended up drawing the Mane Six as Masterjin/Nebulans over the summer of
- Transformation design: The idea was to work
out a toyetic design, then twist it to animated sensibilities. After
finishing this, I decided that on the toy the mane back would be detachable
and in the show the mane would be generated as energy constructs by panels on
the forearm armor. July 2012.
- Rarity: Her Element is set on the right side of
her chest, a motif I'd continue for all but Twilight Sparkle. I decided that
I'd work up a basic toy-design helmet for each of the three kinds of pony,
then warp the design for the drawings. So the unicorns get a sort of spartan
helmet with crest, which I stretched out to be long and elegant for Rarity.
- Twilight Sparkle: The Velma to Rarity's
Daphne, I made her a bit squatter and more awkward. I also created a
distinct belt piece at the waist, a design piece that I used on some of the
later ponies, but not all. Purple continues to be a big problem for me with
markers, so I ended up coloring this in Prismacolor markers and then going
over almost everything in Prismacolor pencils. 8/1/12.
- Pinkie Pie: More of a block helmet for the Earth
ponies. I decided here that they could create other energy shapes besides
just their manes, so Pinkie is making bubbles. Why is she bending her leg at
toy-only joints that don't even appear in the animation design? Because
Pinkie. Her left chest details are a Simon pad (the 80s electronic game) and
a Gameboy pad. Just ask before playing. 8/5/12.
- Applejack: I warped the block helmet to look more
like a cowboy hat, and took the energon constructs thing a step farther. The
three buttons on her chest are meant to evoke the freckles of her pony face
(which are covered up by her left arm). 8/6/12.
- Rainbow Dash: Took me a while to figure out a
helmet design I liked for pegasi, and I took a lot from Minerva's Headmaster
Junior armor helmet. It needed to be something I could make look shy and
demure for Fluttershy, and the visor ended up being the key. The pose is
taken from a classic Superman drawing, and her chest controls are a more
direct nod to the Headmaster chest stats. 8/9/12.
- Fluttershy: Getting the legs right was hard,
but I like the generally shy pose I got here. Given her role in MLP as
veterinarian, I gave her a medical monitor on her chest, she's the medic of
the team (more Minerva, less Ratchet...unless you draw her ire, in which case
she makes Ratchet look fluffy). 8/20/12.
- I might do a Head Formation of Friendship drawing too.
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