I have always been a fan of the Autobot Ultra Magnus from G1 Transformers. He has screen presence partly due to his imposing stature and partly because he is a powerful and skilled warrior. (Admittedly, he gets captured once or twice but that’s drama.) Despite his size and power, and more importantly, he is humble. He merely prefers to be the good solider boy that he is.
Many incarnations of Ultra Magnus exist. Sometimes, he is the brother of Optimus Prime or maybe cousin or something. Usually, he is huge, often bigger than Optimus (but not always). In at least one case, he is the same as Optimus except he is white instead of red. In the recent Transformers Prime, he is shorter than Optimus and is a by-the-book second-in-command to the point of annoying his peers. Apparently, there is even a not-happy version of him. Whatever the characterization, it’s a shame he has been ignored thus far in the live-action films. Maybe they’re so bad that he doesn’t want to be part of it.
Well, I am not a writer for Transformers but I felt like doing a concept for a darker version of Ultra Magnus. He’s still an Autobot. He’s still reserved and humble… until he isn’t. This guy wants the head of Megatron/Galvatron. Why? Cos he’s an evil tosser and this Ultra Magnus can only tolerate so much.
This design is based on the Oshkosh HEMTT military truck used by the US, amongst other military powers. Other than that, I take a conservative approach, keeping the large arms/shoulders of the G1 version. I won’t provide a transformation diagram but I will give an outline:
- cabin >> chest (since it’s the traditional Autobot thing to do)
- front half of chassis including the front 8 wheels >> shifts down to become legs
- rear half of chassis >> shifts/folds up to form part of the upper body and arms
- rear 4 wheels >> forearms
- two of the four missile tubes >> arms
- two of the four missile tubes and hydraulics >> part of the upper body.
Weird transformation, I know. But it’s the only way I can think of which makes an aesthetically pleasing humanoid figure. Besides, if adapted for live-action which has numerous small moving parts to facilitate the transformation, it will work nevertheless.
Given the entire vehicle is him, this version is huge. I estimate him to be approximately 13m tall at the top of his head. Add approximately 1m if measured to the top of his arms/shoulders. Optimus from the live-action films stands at around 8.5m.