In some places yes (they seem to have only had the black printing plates rather than the lineart, so anything drawn in yellow, for example, is missing so sometimes characters talk to thin air). Other places, it is actually much nicer!
I've finished scanning issue 1! I've scanned all of it since this one is a mashup of several US issues, and hopefully someone can identify what comes with what (I don't have access to my US collection)
Of interest is that these early issues have actually been recoloured! Buster becomes a ginger!
More interesting is that they didn't have all the lineart. It seems they had the black printing plates rather than the actual lineart to colour, since parts of the original that are yellow lines are missing!
Okay, my first attempt at translating. There were some bits I didn't understand, they should be obvious since they don't make sense. Any help would be welcome!
Attack At Dawn: In which Quickmix guns down a Minibot
Transformers In Action: Attack At Dawn By Robert Mann
The morning mist slowly dissolved over the woods of Alaska. A peaceful scene. There was nothing toindicate that hell would break loose. For once again there would be fighting for the immense wealth of this country. After the gold miners and the oil-expeditions would come a new invasion of the northern state of the USA. The robots are coming!
Conquer Alaska - and then the whole world! MEGATRON and SHOCKWAVE, the two rival leaders of the Decepticons, had developed this plan: Why, they had asked themselves, should they make do with the attacks on gas stations and tanker trucks?
The Decepticons needed massive amounts of oil. For out of crude oil and refined products could the robots from Cybertron create by chemical means the neccessary energy for the full functioning of their systems. So why not just skim the oil from the source,MEGATRON and SHOCKWAVE had thought. The pipelines that ran across Alaska could be tapped safely without risk...
And so they had set out for Alaska. And they had experienced a bitter disappointment: No sooner had they drilled into a pipeline to direct the oil flow through a machine that worked like a mini-refinery, their activities had been detected. Security troops of the Terrans had appeared and attacked the giant robot criminals. And then the Decepticon's arch-enemies also turned up - The Autobots...
The fog had hardly lifted as on this peaceful morning, the battle began for the very raw material of life that the Transformers needed. The DECEPTICONS were determined to do anything. Low-flying jets roared over the treetops, firing laser-blasts from the trees. Other DECEPTICONS joined forces to form a barricade around the pipeline connected to a mini refinery.
The DECEPTICON-PRETENDERS were deployed. They are specialized to bluff the enemy and lure them into an ambush.
However, the AUTOBOTS were warned. Led by POWERMASTER OPTIMUS PRIME, they encircled the DECEPTICONS.
"They know we have them on their heels. But they have not yet discovered everything, which makes them nervous."
OPTIMUS PRIME'S cause seemed to be very safe. With curt orders he directed the SMALL TARGETMASTER AUTOBOTS in their positions. The HEADMASTER AUTOBOTS had no difficulty moving between the trees to evade location.
And then it happend. OPTIMUS PRIME gave the signal for the attack on the villainous Decepticons. The AUTOBOTS transform at high-speed in fractions of seconds. Suddenly they appeared, towering over the trees - everywhere, even where the DECEPTICONS were. Again energy blasts hissed through the tense silence, on the steel hulls of individual robots and driven into trees or into the soil of Alaska, where they left deep craters.
Siren and Nightbeat decline posted in on itself, transform itself again in this sports car. "Against this nest of DECEPTICONS, we are not," groans HORSEHEAD. "We must ensure that they share. Then we can snatch us. One after the other."
MEGATRON thinks at this moment the same. "Keep eye contact," he ordered. "You can not get from us. Because then could the AUTOBOTS blackmail our hood!"
BUMBLEBEE moved, remaining committed despite the warning to his teammates. "Follow me!" he asked. "We'll draw the circle around the Decepticons ever closer. If the battle is too dangerous for them, or if MEGATRON and SHOCKWAVE give the order, they will flee."
"Yes," said OPTIMUS PRIME. "Before they risk a defeat, they disappear - to go and look for another source of energy."
The AUTOBOTS followed the proposal of their leader. Fearlessly they progressed. And then it happened: a laser beam fired from the otherwise so careful AUTOBOT QuickMix, missed Megatron and hit a Minibot.
An Autobot MiniBot.
How could this have happened? Did the target computer and aiming systems fail? Or were the detection electronics disabled?
The AUTOBOTS were confused. Had their driving and detection systems failed, they wondered. The MiniBot lay motionless on the ground. It is not apparent how hard he was hit But the AUTOBOTS instinctively paused. Some retreated to expand the circle around DECEPTICONS - and open up an escape route for them.
"We will settle this matter once the Decepticons have all fled!" OPTIMUS PRIME ordered. "We have an injured person - they have the priority. We will see the Decepticons again anyway, even if we let them run now."
Megatron and his men realised that even in this situation, even a victory would be meaningless. Firing wildly, they retreated into the woods. Here they transformed. With howling engines, they planned to call at some large cargo spacecraft, which are parked a few miles away on a dead straight road with little traffic. start only when the jet engines roar and rise the DECEPTICONS in the air, pull the runner back from the team of the AUTOBOTS.
In a clearing close to the pipeline, POWERMASTER OPTIMUS PRIME gathered his companions around him. "The damage to the control system of the Minibots can be be fixed in the Ark!" explained the Super Robot. "But... so that this situation doesn't repeat, I have the impression that some of you in extreme danger situations ignore your laser-guided computer and just start firing. How an you, in one mili-second and without computer assistance distinguish between friend and foe ?
"You know," interrupted BUMBLEBEE, "that we are faster and more agile if we act by impulse and not wait to check up by computer."
"And the danger that it conjures up this way?" OPTIMUS PRIME could not give up his argument. "It could have been much worse. With such tumultuous scenes, no one can risk turning off his target computer and rely solely on his experience and his speed. We should not underestimate the likelihood of confusion."
"We could not sneak up on them unnoticed if we had sent out signal identifiers, which is why we need to hammer into our heads the name and look of our enemies. Until we can even distinguish them in our sleep," suggested BUMBLEBEE.
"Good. I agree," noded OPTIMUS PRIME. "So get comfortable on the forest floor and hear me now please; I will give you the specifics of each AUTOBOT. I will explain divisions and their respective members and then you will know in times of danger the strengths of your teammates - and the DECEPTICONs. And you can better adjust to your opponents.
Slapdash, Getaway, Joyride were appointed for their expertise and their superior skills as POWERMASTER AUTOBOTS. If are not - as now - in their robot modes, they are similar to super-fast sport and formula-1 racing cars of the Terrans. The POWERMASTER DECEPTICONS however, often appear as a single-seat jet fighter. They have air superiority. They can transform into Darkwing and Dreadwind - if their pilots sit in their machine housings - mighty robots that can not be underestimated. They become more dangerous when these two DECEPTICONS combine their systems into a giant super-jet.
So much for the Stars - the best trained and most highly developed members away - the two TRANSFORMERS camp. Our HEAD MASTER SIREN AUTOBOTS, and HORSE HEAD NIGHT BEAT - I hope you've recovered by now you something, guys - normally operate as two separate units: Commander and vehicle body that includes all robotic systems. The control of the vehicle - or robot components shall in any case, the Commander.
This is also true for the HEADMASTER DECEPTICONS. The only difference is that their normal state refrains from vehicle modes, instead looking like mechanical mythical creatures. HORRI-BULL, FANGRY and SqueezePlay are enormous and very deadly. Due to their hard drive to conceal their jet, they will be confused with hardly a bear or a bull ...
Okay we get to the SMALL TARGETMASTER AUTOBOTS, SCOOP,QUICKMIX and Landfill - listen up!"
The addressees obeyed the order, and OPTIMUS PRIME continued:... "Well done. You see my friends, in their disguised states these boys look like heavy construction vehicles. Two mini-robots belong to each vehicle unit, in a state of emergency, they take their places in the robot mode. Please remember this. Each of them can individually keep their radio contact. Each has its own task and operating with the SMALL TARGETMASTER at your own risk..
By the way: SMALL TARGETMASTER DECEPTICONS Needlenose, SPINISTER and QUAKE may, through their two on-board robots change into a jet fighter, a tracked vehicle or a helicopter.
The SMALL TARGETMASTER Seacon did not turn up here in Alaska, happily. But I guarantee you, friends, that we will have our hands full with them. As you know, any member of the team can transform into a mechanical SEACON sea monster - or a robot.
That alone should give us a note of caution. NAUTILATOR, overbite, SEAWING, SKALOR and TENTAKIL only accept orders from SEACON LEADER SNAP TRAP. Beware, do not come too close to this dangerous laser turtle. I myself have experienced it before, that the SMALL TARGETMASTER Seacons on command from their leader combine and SNAP TRAP becomes a really monstrous combat unit called PIRANACON. None of us could beat this super robot alone. So please do not try even if it should ever come to a meeting with the Seacons!
The little ones - in the AUTOBOT - and in the DECEPTICON team - are the SPARKLER MINIBOTS. Small is beautiful! The SPARKABOTS belong to us - not you, SIZZLE, and FIZZLE GUZZLER? FIRECONS the other hand, are a division of the DECEPTICONS, SPARKSTALKER, CINDERSAUR and FLAMEFEATHER look like primeval dinosaurs and birds of prey. So, respect, friends, and they attack from the air to transform and land in a flash as fire-breathing robot units. However, most of our Minibots look really harmless if they have been transformed, into a Corvette sports car or a Formula-One racecar.
The PRETENDERS have just shown themselves once again to work naturally as a team. As you all know, under their mighty robot-cover, is a second, fully operational robot. He can transform into a mobile operational unit, while the outer shell of the PRETENDERS usually remains rigid. CLOUD BURST, LAND MINE and WAVE RIDER cover each others backs and can defend the target of attack on their own. They have been proven several times! SKULLGRIN, Bomburst SUBMARAUDER have the same ability and equipment details - but unfortunately they are among the DECEPTICONS!"
Optimus Prime took a look at the others. "That's it, men. I suggest those athat are still present practise site and team compositions. Then we can be better prepared for the next encounter with the Decepticons. I do not want an innocent caught up in the fight again!"
Shortly afterwards, the earth trembled under the heavy steps and the laser-blasts of powerful AUTOBOTS. But this time it was just a game...
I wouldn't mind snagging a couple of the issues in due course (not particular about which though, if you don't mind laying aside a couple for me I can get back to you in the New Year and sort out postage costs and stuff (as I won't be able to make the January meet unfortunately).
Missing issues 3, 5 and 22-24. If anyone has them and can scan in all the unique stuff (ie text stories etc) that'd be more than welcome! In the meantime, translation work on all the text stories will continue!