Welcome to my blog featuring custom Optimus Prime toys, figures and models!

J C Sum Optimus Prime

My name is J C Sum and I am an illusionist & illusion designer by trade.

I design original illusion effects & props for large-scale magic & illusion shows for professional illusionists all over the world. I work primarily with aluminum, wood, stainless steel and acrylic/ plexi glass.

When I’m not performing or designing illusions, I apply my expertise & experience to customizing Transformers, specifically Optimus Prime. I have customized dozens of figures but have posted my favourite ones on the blog.

My work has been showcased at Cybertron Con 2012 and in the media.

Custom Optimus Prime Media

Hope you enjoy your visit! ūüôā


In 2012, I was invited to customize a Transformers figure for the upcoming Cybertron Con 2012 at Resorts World Sentosa.

Cybertron Con is a convention for all Transformers fans stunning exhibition of TRANSFORMERS collectible toys as well as activities for fans to experience a wide variety of offerings from Hasbro’s toy line and entertainment in this bi-annual event.

I chose to customize the dual model kit Optimus Prime with my “signature” battle damage finish. The other choice was Bumblebee. It was a thrill to have my custom displayed at the convention alongside professional customizers.

Hasbro sent me the model kit and I got to work.

This was quite a tedious custom to do. Gundam customizers will find it run-of-the-mill as they are used too painting models but generally, all my customs have been assembled toys that I dismantle to customize. As a result, the process of painting and battle damaging is quite differet. I painted as I built up the model. This was more time consuming but ensured I got the right colours and textures for the completed model.




Some of the customization includes:

  • For the exo-skeleton, I used a flat black base coat then gave a dry brushing of gun metal followed by a dry brushing of chrome steel. This gives a nice textured and layered realistic look.
  • Some elements are given a complete chrome steel finish or straight gun metal finish to highlight features.
  • Lots of copper and gold trimmings were added to give detail to the otherwise plain exo-skeleton.
  • I reprinted in the red and blue parts, maintaining the flame patterns through careful brush strokes.
  • Battle damage was applied – bullet holes, laser slashes, dents and scratches.
  • Flat Aluminum paint with delicate strokes were used to create the battle damage wear.
  • I also added a stainless steel “Autobot” emblem on Optimus’ right shoulder.
  • Parts of the model were given a black wash to give it a gritty look.
  • I also gave grass and mud effects in the wheels of the model.
  • To cap off the display, I cut off a Leader Class Starscream figure and applied severe decapitation damage complete with green blood.

This figure took about 38 hours to do including drying time.

The following photos were taken after painting but before battle damage and weathering effects were applied.

The following photos were taken after battle damage and weathering effects were applied.

I was featured in the 10 Mar 2012 edition of The New Paper for my customizations. Read the article online HERE.