Thursday 12 January 2023

Hound BT-04 (Binaltech, 2004)

Profile (Translated from the Character Card) 
BT-04 Cybertron Scout Hound 
● Function: Scout
● Transformation: Jeep TJ Wrangler
Developed in collaboration with DaimlerChrysler and High Technology Industries, the Cybertron tracker has been restored and is equipped with the latest detection capabilities. Hound loves the Earth’s natural environment and secretly longs to be human. He sees the Binaltech project as the first step towards his dream. As a strong supporter of the project, he is willing to test the new technology together with their accompanying risks. As well as his loyalty and bravery, he now has a higher level of perception thanks to high-precision sensors which have been installed throughout his body.
STR...5; INT...8; SPD...5; END...7; RNK...6; CRG...10; FPR...3; SKL...9

Tech Spec values are taken from Hirofumi Ichikawa's initial notes

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Binaltech Hound is one of a two of the Binaltech characters (the other being Tracks) who have an alternate mode which is an update on their original G1 form. Hound is now a Jeep Wrangler (TJ) which is a metallic shale green colour in 1:24 scale. The vehicle mode is impressive and feels a lot less fragile than the previously released Binaltech figures.

The Jeep logo is featured all around the vehicle and is embossed on the front bumper, by the front wheel arches and on the spare tire on the back of the vehicle. The Cybertron insignia features on the front number plate. 

The bonnet opens wide open revealing a painted engine on the inside but unlike the other previous Binaltech's, the engine does not transform into a weapon but instead become the elbows in robot mode. The robot mode weapon is also stored in the spare tire. Each of the wheels have suspension which was a feature last seen with MP-1 Convoy. Given the Jeep is an off-road vehicle it is a fantastic feature to include. What this vehicle mode doesn't have is the steering which has been present with the other Binaltech figures.

Transformation is simple yet enjoyable and interesting especially with the arm and leg transformations. Unlike the previous other Binaltech releases there is no danger of chipping the paint off the die cast parts during transformation. Robot mode is undoubtedly Hound although I'm not a fan of the head sculpt. Like the vehicle mode the robot mode is solid and stands well. The robot mode is posable but it has its limitations with the hips and shoulder joints. The original Hound was rather squat but this version is tall and has reasonable proportions. The Hologram Gun is also a nice update in the original (based on the G1 animation model) and fits well in the hand but its a shame its not painted like the promotional photographs.

Overall Hound is a decent Binaltech figure but I feel like the head sculpt looks rather basic and bland like BT-02 Lambor. The design drawing looks great but the detail has been lost when realising the design. I find Hounds repaint, BT-09 Swindle to be the better of the pair.


Back of the box
Transformers Binaltech The transforming car robots were the core product of the original Transformers. Now they have been upgraded for the modern era with fully licensed vehicle modes. The vehicle mode is 1/24 scale with opening and closing doors as well as a detailed interior. The car is fully painted to reproduce the quality of the real car with a finish to match that of a scale model. The robot mode is fully articulated allowing you to enjoy various action poses. 

Instruction Manual Page 1 & 2 (Same text as the back of the box)

Jeep Wrangler
Faithfully modelled on the latest “Jeep Wrangler TJ” convertible. The body colour is genuine shale green and faithfully reproduced are the 7 slits in the front grille as well as the trapezoidal wheel arches. These are iconic elements of the jeep brand of vehicles such as the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. 

Cybertron Hound BT-04
The beloved Cybertron warrior Hound was a true friend of mankind and played an important role in the early TV series. He is now back as a Jeep Wrangler, bearing the same brand name as his original Jeep vehicle mode. By retaining the motif of the same brand of vehicle, this model is a faithful update to his original appearance. 

The bonnet can be opened and closed. Includes a precision sculpted engine inside.

Includes Jeep’s distinctive round headlights.

The rollbar has also been reproduced with its 6 speaker system above the rear seat. 

Includes a built in suspension system with springs on each of the 4 wheels. 

His robot head has a more fearless appearance and can be freely moved with the use of a ball joint. 

The Hologram Gun can be stored in the spare tire. 

As well as holding the weapon, the posable hands can be used for a variety of expressions.

Instruction Manual Page 9 & 10

When Hound’s body was redesigned, his existing tracking and detection system was significantly overhauled and reconfigured. The infrared radiation collector built into the front of his helmet can detect heat differences as low as 0.02oC making it effective in tracking any target be it human or machine. Additionally, enhanced electromagnetic shielding has dramatically improved the performance of his topographical mapping function as well as his data storage.

His portable Hologram Gun is a high-tech device, and despite its small size is capable of projecting three dimensional holographic images through large scale control of photons. Additionally when he transforms, he can use it as a medium-powered Photon Blaster.

With the introduction of smart skin technology, Hound’s exterior is a mass of scanner and radar equipment. On Earth his Neutrino Scanner can collect information within a radius of 5km at a time (at a range to the horizon). This data is processed through 3D simulation circuitry and is transmitted as high precision virtual environmental data to his comrades. In vehicle mode, his roll bar is equipped with a holoprojector to disguise himself and it can also project a driver and passenger. 


What is Binaltech…

Twenty years have passed since the Transformers made contact with humankind and since then the world has dramatically changed. The Cybertron’s and humans are now inseparable partners in destiny. By combining their technologies they have created a new generation of warriors, the “Binaltech Transformers” who have made great strides against the more powerful Destron threat. At the same time on planet Seibertron which has long been dominated by the Destrons, Megatron the Emperor of Destruction has finally launched a war of conquest to wipe out all Cybertron resistance. While the greatest Cybertron warriors were being sent into battle, this left Earth, their vital source of energy, exposed as a target for their enemies to conquer. Thus the future of Earth and the Cybertrons is in the hands of the Binaltech Transformers, their warriors of hope!

Jeep Wrangler Vehicle Data
The Jeep Wrangler's mechanical design is based on the motto of “functionality and durability” which has been a tradition since the creation of the Jeep and helps it cope with rigorous off-road driving. The vehicle's body structure is very different from other passenger cars today. The drive system does not rely on electronic control, using a part time 4WD “command-trac” which has excellent durability and reliability due to its simple structure. The current TJ underwent full remodelling from the first “Wrangler” in 1997 and has since continued to evolve whilst keeping the traditions from the past 60 years. The suspension changed from the conventional leaf spring to a rigid coil to improve on-road comfort and its improved body shape increased its off-road performance. 

The Wrangler is the legitimate successor to the legendary Jeep, the original lightweight off-road 4WD vehicle. The Jeep’s history dates back to the 1940’s during World War II. At that time the US Army were seeking an innovative scout vehicle with high off-road performance. Automobile manufacturers were given just 49 days to come up with a prototype. American Bantam, Willys Overland and Ford responded and in 1941 after various prototypes the “Willys MB / Ford GPW” were launched. More than 600,000 units of the Willys MB were produced and traversed a number of environments from African deserts, Russian mudlands and the jungles of Southeast Asia. The Allied General Commander Eisenhower called it one of the “decisive weapons that contributed the most to victory”. The Civilian CJ (Civilian Jeep) went into production in 1945 and had a long production run with many revisions. Mitsubishi Motors were licensed to produce the Jeep in Japan. The original Hound was modelled after this Mitsubishi Jeep CJ-59. In 1987, the Jeep was acquired by Chrysler, one of the top 3 US automobile manufacturers. Under new ownership it received many new modifications and the “Jeep Wrangler (YJ)” was born. 

What’s “Jeep”?
“Jeep” is a registered trademark owned by DaimlerChrysler, yet today it seems to be a word to describe any small off-road 4WD vehicle. Originally called a “1/4 ton four wheel drive reconnaissance vehicle”, there are various theories as to how the first Willys MB became known as a Jeep. Some say it is named from the psychic dog which appeared in the “Popeye” comic strip, others say it is from the abbreviation of GP (General Purpose) which was printed on the body of the vehicle at the time. In 1950 it was registered as a trademark by Willys the manufacturer and it became its official name. 

Length: 3915mm
Width: 1740mm 
Height: 1800mm 
Wheelbase: 2375mm 
Weight: 1590kg 
Engine: Inline 6 Cylinder OHV 
Bore x Stroke: 98.5×86.6mm 
Total Displacement: 3959cc 
Maximum Output: 175ps/4600rpm 
Maximum Torque: 29.6kg/3600rpm 
Compression Ratio: 8.7:1 
Transmission: 5 Speed MT 
Wheels: Steel 
Fuel Tank Capacity: 71L 

(Specifications taken from the domestic version of the “Wrangler Sport (5MT)”)

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