Optimus Prime Combat Deck, ready to roll out

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.

LEGO set 10302 with a custom trailer

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.

LEGO set 10302 with a custom trailer

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!

15 comments on “Optimus Prime Combat Deck, ready to roll out

  1. Jacob

    Those side panels are amazing. I love the brick built detailing. I’m also impressed with the seamless hinges connecting them to the main undercarriage. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you manage those hinges? Are they technic beams?

  2. Bill McQuown

    Great job, Ralph! Love all the brick-built details that were depicted with stickers on the original G1 toy. Quite the challenge, but as always, you proved your mastery with the brick. It’s a shame we didn’t get a trailer option for LEGO Optimus; your trailer only further increases that desire for a complete G1 Optimus in LEGO form. Cheers!

  3. Mad physicist

    @Bill McQuown Thanks for the really nice comment.
    I’m glad you like my choice to build the details in brick instead of using stickers. For the stripe this seemed an obvious choice, but it was more difficult than I imagined. The autobot logo turned out to be pretty easy, although hiding it from the inside was tricky. I am still not completely convinced about the coloured patterns on the inside.
    I’ve read that the set designer played around with ideas for a trailer, but it would basically be too big and challenging on a smaller scale. Having built mine, I can totally see that. It’s very big, heavy and required a downright silly amount of parts. Overall it turned out OK, but I am looking forward to building something a bit smaller next.

  4. Jacob

    Fantastic build! I really love the brick detailing in the side panels, I’m also impressed about hinges being so flush and stable. If you wouldn’t mind me asking, how did you make them? Are they technic bars running through the bottom of the trailer?

  5. Kyle S

    Absolutely phenomenal job on reproducing the internal decals as 3d bricks! I spy an original Roller gas pump, too

  6. Garrett Farmer

    Would you be willing to give a tutorial or put build instructions on rebrickable? I have the Optimus build, and it really does need the trailer.

  7. Donald N Degen

    I built the Optimus Prime and I drive a 2022 Peterbilt. I had him in my truck for a while as I drove down the road but it’s not safe for him in here so I left him at the house where I’m sure my 12 year old son or his friends will destroy him. Oh well.

  8. Keith Smith

    I’d love a tutorial on how you built this. I’d even pay for the parts and instructions as an upgrade kit. Fantastic job!

  9. Mad physicist

    There indeed are studless Technic beams that run from left to right under the floor, with the trailer’s side attached to their ends. You can see them in the picture. One of the reasons the sides are pretty stable is that they are propped up on the blue swing-out supports that are under the trailer. That’s why, when open, the Optimus Prime figure can actually stand where it does.

    @Donald N Degan Fortunately, as long as they don’t actually break any pieces, you will be able to rebuild him. That’s one advantage of LEGO.

    @Keith Smith, Garrett Farmer and Craig Holloway
    Making instructions and a parts list takes a lot of time and I barely have enough time to spend on my hobby as is. I appreciate the interest, though.

    @Kyle S
    Thank you. I appreciate that you like how I represented the decals on the inside. It’s obvious from looking at pictures of the stickers on the toy that they were meant to give an impression of having depth, so building them in layers, with a little texture and some curved slopes seemed appropriate. And yes, there is a ‘gas pump’ too. I’m glad you noticed.

  10. jirskyr

    LEGO really need to make this available in retail. And then do a Soundwave model. 1 or 2 a year to flesh out the line.

  11. Ben Von

    Truly a labor of love. As others have said, the colored detailing on the interior is inspired. Would you consider outsourcing the instructions/parts list? I bet there are people online who would be willing to deconstruct it for you.

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