Something I would have loved to see from the Club, or Botcon would be an exclusive and connected story. In an Animated setting, the exclusive would be one of the two Optimus deluxes (Would prefer the cybertronmode mold) painted white as Ultra Magnus. The story would be a story set during the early days of the great war, about a young Ultra Minor (Or maybe Ultra Prime?), along with his friend Trailcutter (Sentinel Prime with a Trailbreaker deco) A great way I feel to fully acknowledge G1 Magnus' complex history.
heh kind of tricky as it seems to be two seperate questions...
is ultra magnus a white optimus prime? no is it ok to repaint prime in white as ultra magnus? yes!
i always felt ultra magnus got the short end of the stick... cooler name, cooler paint job...
in fact my alternity ultra magnus is the leader of my autobot faction!
i like prime repaintts as i have never been wild over primes colour scheme. and being of the gothy persuation i am a fan of the nemisi prime repaints, which end up looking awesome next to an ultra magnus repaint... oh god the wfc takara nemisis prime/dark prime repaint is a thing of beauty! mmmmm that metalic red really works for me... i would love to see a white repaint of the wfc prime as well...
to sum up my feelings... in the toy, white prime repaints are awesome in the fiction, ultra magnus should definately have his own form...
Well, technically, the only incarnation of UM that had the shoulder cannons is G1, and some reincarnation/redesigns of G1 (Dreamwave, IDW). But those never appeared again toywise, unless it was a G1 reissue.
The Hammer is what's become Iconic for UM. Which I don't particularly like, either. As much as I loved Animated, and think that was the best use of Ultra Magnus ever... I wish the hammer had stayed there. I saw it as a symbol of the leadership of the autobots in that continuity, and not a symbol of Ultra Magnus.
RiD was the first use of Ultra Magnus period outside of the G1 continuity, if not the first UM that wasn't the original G1 toy (Or a reissue of).
Everyone bitches about "The constant stream of white optimus repaints" (I'm not saying this is you, as you haven't), but those are genuinely fairly uncommon. The first one, MP, Classics, Battle in a Box, and those are the only ones I can think of. I think there's one or two more, but they're not coming to me.
Meanwhile, completely new molds, or non-white repaints include Laserrod, RiD, Spychanger, Energon, Animated, Animated Roadbuster UM, Prime, Prime Cyberverse, and two repaints of RiD, and one of Spychanger. And there were also a couple non-white repaints of the G1 toy, as well.
(I'm not counting non-mainlines like shoe labels, or titaniums)
There are by far more black repaints of Optimus. This rant comes courtesy of all the idiots on TFW bitching about how Prime is ruined now that there's going to be an Optimus remolded in to Ultra Magnus.
The only reason we lost the shoulder cannons is because Ultra Magnus became the de-facto repaint for Prime Cabs (Energon repaint aside) and retooling would not have been cost effective.
In fact the only non-repaint Magnus that wasn't a G1 representation (e.g. Titanium) up until Animated was RiD wasn't it? And he had big blue cannons that were hand held.
Actually, I seem to remember that if you played with the position of the sockets you could actually mount the Blue Bolt behind RiD Magnus' shoulders and have the missile launchers as kind of indirect-fire support weapons. (I can't check as my God Magnus is sadly broken and one step from being a parts-donor at this stage).
Not hugely sold on the current "A warhammer on a stick is the defining feature of Ultra Magnus" but then, I kind of accept this as being a sign that I am ageing and quite out of touch with modern Transformers. That said, I don't mind him bringing a smashing implement to the fight - I just think that future Magni need to take a leaf from Animated Magnus' book and bring some ranged weapons to the fight so that he can contribute to proceedings whilst trying to get to melee distance in one piece.
Actually, I seem to remember that if you played with the position of the sockets you could actually mount the Blue Bolt behind RiD Magnus' shoulders and have the missile launchers as kind of indirect-fire support weapons.
Now you've said it I think you're right, but they're over the head cannons, not outside of the shoulder. Neither are they white with red missiles
I've got an urge to build RiD Prime/Magnus now. Off into the loft I go tonight! Now... Which box did I leave them in?