This was definitely the most ambitious project I have ever undertaken. All told, it included about 45 figures and over a dozen vehicles and playsets. It consisted of five months of acquiring parts, assembling figures and vehicles, painting, photographing, cropping images, sorting and writing copy.
This project has been alive for me, in one form or another, for the last 5 years. I’ve been toying with doing Adventure Team and Action Soldiers customs since then and have slowly collected a variety of vehicles and accessories accordingly. Other projects always seemed to come first during that time. However, with the success of Battle Corps Month last year, I knew I wanted to revisit the month-long customs bonanza sometime in the future. The 50th Anniversary of the line gave me a great opportunity and theme to get off my butt and make these ideas into reality.
On a creative level, this project pushed me out of my comfort zone on several aspects. First, I had never undertaken so many figures at once. Whereas Battle Corps Month had mostly one figure per day, this project had 2 per day for the whole first half. Vehicle-wise, I had never tackled so many at once either. I had a few in my fodder boxes, but I had to acquire several before I could start painting. Also, this project gave me the opportunity to do a lot of scratch building, with the best example being the Training Center. I started incorporating new materials into my customs such as wood and styrene. Also, I seized the opportunity to upgrade my photography equipment and techniques. I had been putting off buying a new camera for a couple of years. Finally, I bought a new 16MP camera, but also a light box and 500W projectors. Lastly, since I wanted these to be fun, I wanted to display them in natural settings. Since shooting outside in December is not practical in Canada, I elected to scratch build three different environment dioramas: Jungle/beach, Arctic and Desert.
Along the way, I had a ton of help. I have some people to thank specifically. A massive thank you goes out to Paul ‘’Raginspoon’’ for taking on the contract to cast the original 1960’s GI Joe head. It allowed this project to have its own character and enriched it greatly. Thank you to Julie for spending some of her free time painting eyes on 30 heads. The exceptional quality of your work made these truly unique. Most importantly, a special thank you goes out to the most important woman in my life, Stephanie. You encourage me and allow me the freedom to be better, to continue to explore my creativity. You make everyday special and all these projects would not be possible without you.
Lastly, thanks to all who took the time to view the thread, write a note or leave a comment. I received several PMs of personal stories of nostalgia and fond childhood memories. Others saying that they looked forward to the reveals each day and that this project became part of their daily routine. Reception to this project has been tremendous. Thanks to all Joe fans out there. Happy 50th birthday Joe! Many happy returns!
Here are some work-in-progress pictures
Here are a couple of figures that were almost finished, but that did not crack the lineup. The yellow skydiver is from Skydive to Danger, released in 1974 and the orange skydiver is from Fantastic Freefall, released in 1969.
And finally, some shots of everything that was created for this project. There was so much that it can't fit on the dio-environments only. The table is 6'x8'.