Friday, 21 December 2012

GI Joe Dino-Hunters

Looking back at 2012, one of my favorite projects was the GI Joe Dino-Hunters Group Project over at Starting from a concept based on a pretty obscure 1990's era playset, the guys at JC and I got the chance to expand on the theme. I'm pretty proud of this project for a couple of reasons. First, I like they way these customs came out. Second, I got to write the project introduction and guidelines for us to follow. I'm copying them here for everyone to read and go over to to check out all the entries:



From General Hawk'sTranscript:
''Cobra is up to no good again. Our spy satellites have spotted activity on one of the small islets a few miles south of Cobra Island. It seems that Cobra has set up a large compound consisting of a laboratory and research complex, barracks, an armory and a large fenced-in pen.''

''Our Intelligence confirms that Dr Mindbender has been experimenting with dinosaur DNA with the goal of creating some sort of new Cobra weapon. He has apparently been injecting DNA into wild animals to create animal-dino hybrids. He's also combined dino DNA with that of a human to create Cobra Dino-Vipers. And, lastly, he's managed to re-create complete dinosaurs. We're not sure what the purpose of these are, but it won't be good for us, that's for sure.''

''Our mission is to infiltrate the island of Dr Mindbender, destroy the lab and research complex and to hunt down, capture or kill all of the prototypes. We have to knock out Cobra's ability to continue this research at all costs. Be extremely cautious, the complex has a full staff of scientists, technicians, dino-wranglers and security personel, not to mention several different types of creatures. We don't know much about these creatures, but if anyone can take these things on, we can! We're the best! Yo Joe!''

The Badger Mk II is one of the Joe's most versatile vehicles. The Mk II retains the remarkable off-road capabilities of its predecessor, but being smaller and lighter, it can be airlifted into action. It also brings some heavy firepower to the battle. It is armed with one Mk19F 40mm launcher capable of firing a variety of grenades - high explosive, fragmentation, gas, smoke and even flashbangs. The Badger Mk II also comes equipped with several hardpoints to attach all kinds of mission-specific gear.

Dr Link Talbot attending to a velociraptor

Gung-Ho keeping watch

Outback preparing to sedate the beasts if they act up

GI Joe Reservists, nicknamed "Greenshirts", are culled from regular US Forces. They are the best that all the branches of the armed forces have to offer. Reservists have different specialties and act as support staff for GI Joe. Soldiers, cooks, mechanics, computers techs, they can be called up to fight in every environment.

From left to right: 2 GI Joe Reservists, Dr Link Talbot, Gung-Ho, Outback and another Reservist

Dr Mindbender's latest experiment, the Dino-Viper is created by infusing Cobra "volunteers" with dinosaur DNA. This human-dino hybrid is faster, stronger and nastier than standard Cobra troopers. However, so far, they have proven more difficult to control. Mindbender's research continues.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Project Retro - Cobra

Here are some more customs that have been done for a while (about two years now), but never published.

Up to now, my retro project has focused mostly on GI Joe. But what are good guys without bad guys? My approach to Project Retro was to imagine what GI Joe and Cobra looked like circa 1980, a couple of years after the Adventure Team and about 2 years before we officially met them in 1982.
I eliminated most of the regal and over the top elements and gave them all some more basic fatigues. I wanted to convey the idea that this is the birth of a para-military group. The uniforms are simple and the equipment is bought from surplus.

Cobra Commander has three looks: the pyramid scheme used car saleman, the fatigues with ski mask (an early version of the hooded look) and the battle helmet. For the Baroness, I went with something similar to her look in Marvel #1. Major Bludd, in 1980 hasn't yet suffered the loss if his right arm. Cobra Militia Members wear simple shirts and trousers with face mask and surplus WWII helmets.



Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Project Retro Part VI

One vehicle that I would have loved to get as a repaint during the 25th anniversary is the VAMP II. Unfortunately, it was never released. Since Hasbro has now moved on to the PoC VAMP mold, the chances of getting an official one are pretty low in my opinion, so I made my own.

The main chassis is the 25th VAMP mold. The rocket launcher is from the PoC Snowcat and the stickers are from J Ruben's site.

Of course, VAMP II isn't complete without tan Clutch, so I made him too.


Monday, 10 December 2012

Project Retro Part V

In the early issues of the GI Joe 80's comic, General Flagg was the team first commanding officer. Hasbro put out one figure of him in the Valor vs Venom days, but I thought that I would translate him into modern construction. Here is my version of the character.



Sunday, 9 December 2012

Project Retro Part IV

One of the things that I always liked from the early years of ARAH was the multitude of accessories that were created to augment and compliment the toy line. In particular, the carrying cases that allowed kids to store their favorites figures and all their gear and bring them along wherever they went.

I really wanted to create my own carrying case, so I shopped around for an inexpensive tackle box to repaint. In keeping with the retro theme, I printed one of the first GI Joe posters (''To the Rescue'' is still one of my favorites pieces of art of al time) and adjusted it to fit the box.



Project Retro Part III

My version of GI Joe's ground attack aircraft, the AX-11 Warthog.



Saturday, 8 December 2012

Project Retro Part II

As promised, here is more Project Retro, my attempt to recapture some the 1982-1983 magic of GI Joe: A Real American Hero. Just like Hasbro never repainted some of their vehicles, they also missed an opportunity (in my opinion) to give the original 82-83 Joes different color schemes. They produced Tan Clutch and Tan Grunt, so the other Joes in desert tan would have been cool too. Others, like Doc, only got a tan uniform, but were depicted on coloring books and stickers in green.

Again, here are a few of my versions. In the future, I plan on making more tan colored team members: Breaker, Zap, Short-Fuze, etc. In the meantime, here are Rock & Roll, Gung Ho and Grand Slam.

Also, Doc in green as he appears on the 1983 coloring book.




Project Retro Part I

Well, it's been over a month since my last post, but I'm still kickin :-) Every year, at this time, real life gets crazy. Between preparing the house for winter, more hours at work, the Christmas toy drive, family and the rapidly approaching holidays, there is litlle time or energy left for customs or hobbies in general. However, I have had a chance to photograph some customs that have been done for a while.

These were part of something I was going to call Project Retro. I wanted to get back to the feeling of ARAH around 1982-1983. The original 13 Joes, simple uniforms, lots of green and blue. One of the things that always surprised me was that Hasbro never repainted some of their first battlestations. The HAL, the Flak, the Howitzer et al were all great pieces in green, but would have also looked great in desert tan or Cobra blue. So, I made my own.

More Project Retro to come!