For me, as long-time fan of the Transformers and having built LEGO Transformers myself, LEGO releasing LEGO Transformers 10302 Optimus Prime was a pleasant surprise. It looks great as a robot, decent as a truck and the transformation sequence is fantastic. Its look is also largely faithful to the original Optimus Prime toy from the eighties. In my book, the one thing that could make it even better was for Optimus to have his trailer or Combat Deck. So, I built one myself.
The outside has a distinctive pattern of blue and white stripes, as well as a prominent Autobot logo. I did not want to use stickers, so I brick-built them into the sides. The original toy trailer was quite large in comparison to the tractor. This is great, because it gave me enough space for all of this. Optimus’ blaster, when stored on the rear of the tractor, has a connection point for the trailer. Kudos to Joseph Kyde, the set’s designer, for this really neat detail.
The trailer’s party piece is, of course, that it can fold open. The inside features control stations and an artillery/repair drone, which can be raised up on an arm. It has a cockpit, a grapple arm, a fold-out radar antenna and launchers for two missiles. The control stations and the cockpit are holdovers from the original Japanese toy design, that came with small action figures. I tried to stay very close to that design, including the coloured patterns on the inside and much of the functionality. The Combat Deck also houses Roller, which is a small six-wheeled vehicle. On the toy and on my model, pushing a small tab triggers a spring-loaded mechanism, that can launch it from the trailer, down the ramp. Ready to roll out!