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Sunday, 1 June 2014

TFC Conabus [Project Ares] - Pictorial Review

TFC seems to be a a roll recently. They were fairly quite after the release of Nemean but starting with Phlogeus, it's been one after another. Conabus was released not one month after Phlogeus and from what I gathered, Atheo will be arriving at my doorstep in 2-3 weeks time.

For a brief description about Headstrong, please proceed to MMC R-05 Fortis Review

In Package

Front View

Back View

After doing a lot of reviews of TFC Figures, I can't keep on repeating myself on the box, haha. And like previous releases, Conabus comes with a poster, an instruction sheet and a tech spec.

Instruction Sheet and Poster

Tech Spech

Alt Mode

When I saw Conabus pictures on the internet, I thought to myself, "Damn he's small!". However that proved to be wrong in hand. Conabus transformation from robot mode to alt mode is fairly simple, roughly following Phlogeus and Nemean's transformation although with some improvements.

I'm not sure why but personally I think the yellow paintjob is kind of lacking on him compared with G1 Headstrong paint scheme. However, I do find his size and proportion great.

Just like Phlogeus and Nemean, Conabus's legs from the alt mode hind legs. However, the tail is an undetachable part as opposed to the one on his predecessors.

I have mixed feeling about the head sculpt though. The clear plastics for the eyes and the horns is a nice touch but the detailing around the face is kind of plain.

Ares's foot can be rearrange and attach on top of Conabus following the G1 toy gimmick.

Size comparison

Like I said, despite looking a bit small, Conabus is actually of the same size as MMC Fortis in alt mode. I think the only reason it doesn't look like so is because of the way Fortis alt mode's body is.

The way Fortis (and Bovis) was design made it look bulkier than Conabus.

Man I can't wait to get Atheon and Not-Divebomb. I like TFC Ares's team members group shot so far.

I'm not sure how much people care about the articulations of figures that transform into beasts but since we're already on it...

Conabus has a decent (not great) range of movement form the front legs and a bit less on the hind legs.

The head can be swivel a bit but without any upward motion, just few degrees downward.

The jaw can be opened

Robot Mode

Before we start, I found out that few people are quite confused with Conabus as the pictures on the box showing him with twin cannon on his back (from Ares's foot) and a gun, aside from the sword. However, there's only 3 of these in the packaging and we end up with a twin cannon and half-a-gun. which people speculate to be due to cost cutting.

I might be wrong here but the front part of the gun [picture above] actually comes with Phlogeus. I can't be sure why is there no mention of this in the instruction sheet though

First of all, I must admit, Conabus robot mode seems a bit too plain compared to Phlogeus. Although not G1-ish, the way the rhino's head being hidden inside of the body is a nice touch. The overall paint scheme is different from G1 Headstrong especially on the lower legs where it's red instead of black.

Transformation is really simple, just like Phlogues and Nemean. If you are familiar with those two, you'll find transforming Conabus fairly intuitive.

Side View

Back View
There's just a small kibble at the back below the waist line but it won't hinder Conabus's articulations.

Pic Credit :

The head sculpt, despite being kind of boring, follows the shape of G1 Headstrong toy with a bit of modifications

Just like most TFC releases, Conabus have some sort of an alternate way of configuring to make him looks abit more like his G1 counterpart (you can see the same with most Hercules members)

The most significant change that TFC did was to the slide mechanism of the legs. Conabus has a piece of panel on each legs where the tabs are used to pegged the legs into place. 

I love his aethetic, paired with his bulkiness, kind of match his alt mode as a rhino. However, I fairly disappointed with the design of his shoulders as they have slightly limited range of motion.

Conabus using Phlogeus's gun

One more thing that kind of bugs me is that I'm not sure how the twin cannons are supposed to be attached on his back.

Tried few ways to attached the twin cannons and decided maybe this is the best one...I think

Another Configuration
Scratch that, I prefer this way better

The cannons can also be separated and used as forearm cannons which to me, looks better. Articulation wise, Conabus comes with a swivel neck joint, hinge and swivel on the shoulders, double jointed elbows, waist swivel, universal ratcheting joint on the thighs, hinge on the knees and ankles tilt.

Aside from the firearms, Conabus also comes with a...scimitar..maybe? It is to be combined with the ones from the rest of Ares's team members to form the big sword.

Size Comparison


Despite being almost the same size in alt mode, Conabus is roughly a head shorter than MMC Fortis which is kind of expected.

When Phlogeus came out, I was kind of worried considering his paint job doesn't match Nemean's.  But now the paint scheme kinda feel balanced with the release of Conabus.

Project Ares, Assemble!

Combine Mode

Maybe it's just me but I find that Conabus release is very important as finally get to see how big he really is. But first...

On the box, the picture shows how Conabus should be configured in leg mode.

However, with the alt mode's front legs folded backward, the legs doesn't really attach to anything and doesn't help supporting the the weight to be carried.

But in the instruction, the combine mode is configure as above.

The alt mode front legs are pegged to the body which I think help strengthening the combine mode.

After half-a-year, I finally manage to get Ares standing (with the help of a friend who borrowed me his Conabus). It seems that I'm [half] wrong on the way Nemean is configured in combine mode. The way the thighs are configured does help Ares to be more stable but unlike using Uranos's legs, Conabus (and Aetheon) is wider and the upper legs still need to be bend outward a little bit.

The current swords already forming half the large sword. I still haven't made up my mind on whether the large sword is sufficient or not..

Ares is a tad bit taller than Uranos which is good. However, I feel like most fans would've wish he's even more taller than now. Just a reminder, size comparison between Uranos and Feral Rex (in extended mode)

*Image source : MMC R-04 Leo Dux Review
Comparing the two pictures above, Feral Rex (in extended mode) is taller than Uranos where the top of his head is at the same height of Uranos's antennas while the top of Ares's head is way higher than Uranos's antennas, which means Feral Rex is shorter than Ares.

However, is that enough? If not, I found out a way to make Ares towers both of them even more

The trick is to extend Conabus (and Aetheon) body just like the configuration in alt mode. The gap between the body and the legs of Conabus is a bit visible but I can live with that. The results?

With this configuration, Ares's height increases quite a fair amount which to me is good enough...for now. I'll make another assessment once Ares is complete. Another issue would be, can the legs withstand the weight of Ares's upper body once it is complete, in this configurations? We'll have to wait till Not-Divebomb is release

The God of War!