Tuesday, 1 December 2015


I had beat-up but complete MAGGOT sitting in my extras for a while. I never liked the colors of the original version. They were not Cobra-y enough, so I painted it up in something more classic.

Once I was done, I realized that Hasbro beat me to the punch by about 25 years. I basically recreated the Night Force Night Blaster. Still, I think it works better as a Cobra vehicle than Joe and the end result now compliments my black HISS II now. You can check that one out here: http://oreobuildersblog.blogspot.ca/2014/07/normal-0-hiss-ii-w.html



Wednesday, 4 November 2015

50 Shades of Tripwire

While I was sorting my fodder during my recent run of Funskool customs, I realized how many Tripwire/Flash parts I had in my bins. This overabundance made me look at all the possible uses for these parts and I put this list together. I did not quite make it to 50 shades. I stretched it out with some figures that should be included a ‘’50 Shades of Flash’’ project. Since these figures share so many parts, I figured it was ok, but I digress. All that said, I used up most of my extra fodder and I added some variety to my collection. So here are my 50 many shades of Tripwire.

Tiger Force Tripwire
This is the most obvious Tripwire repaint. It has been done many many times by several very talented customizers since the 25th anniversary version of the figure was released in 2008. I had not done it yet and since I’m a sucker for all things Tiger Force, he has been on my to-do list for a long time.

Upper legs: Renegades Firefly
Everything else: 25th Tripwire

Listen & Fun Tripwire
The original Listen N’ Fun Tripwire was released in 1985 and included an audio tape with a GI Joe adventure entitled ‘’The Cobra’s Revenge’’ for kids to listen to. For my version, I tried to match the original colors as closely as possible and included an old style tape player as part of his accessories as part of the homage.

All parts: 25th Tripwire
Tape player: Playmobil


Tripwire 2001
An often forgotten version of Specialist Skoog is his 2001 incarnation. He came packaged with the infamous Big Brawler who is certainly the best remembered figure in the 2-pack. That said, this figure of Tripwire had some strong points like all of his original gear as well as a realistic military color scheme. For my version, I stuck with the original’s colors. He will be going on the Night Force shelf.

All parts: 25th Tripwire


Action Force Blades
Tripwire was not only repainted in the USA, he also got a few international releases as well. Probably the best know was produced in the UK for the Action Force. Here Trippy was repainted, renamed ‘’Blades’’ and became a helicopter pilot. He flew an SAS version of the FANG. This is another one that has been on my to-do list for a long while. I’m glad to finally add him to my growing Action Force roster.
All parts: 25th Tripwire


Funskool Tripwire
For those who have been following my Funskool series recently, you can skip to the next Tripwire J

Tripwire was not only repainted in the USA, he also got a few international releases as well. Slightly less known and a whole lot wackier than his UK figure, the Funskool version sports an interesting color scheme. I tried to match the original’s colors as closely as possible. I still need to figure out how to make the ‘’BOMB SQUAD’’ logo on his chest. After that, he will be complete.

Upper legs: Renegades Firefly
Everything else: 25th Tripwire


Cobra Jetpack Corps - Air Troopers and Air Officer
After assembling all the different versions of Tripwire, I found that I still had quite a few parts left over, so I decided to branch out a bit. A few years ago, an eBay seller known as the Black Major released several o-ring figures of Cobra army builders. These were mass-produced ‘’knock-offs’’ and included all colors of original Cobra Troopers, BATS, Crimson Guards and a host of others. One type used the original parts from Flash with the head of the Gas Mask Trooper.

I decided to run with this idea and turn them into the Cobra Jetpack Air Corps. So I made a couple of troopers in blue and an officer in red. I figure these guys’ primary purpose is reconnaissance as well as close air support.

Head, helmet: 25th Cobra Jetpack Trooper
Torso, arms: 25th HISS Driver
Legs: 25th Tripwire


Bombardier V1
Bombardier was not a well-known figure until the Club released their Modern Era version. Theirs was actually based on the second prototype. For this custom, I used the first prototype as inspiration. I used Tripwire legs to have better defined boots.

Head: 25th Duke
Helmet: 25th Hawk
Torso, arms, legs: 25th Tripwire


Bombardier V2
This one is based on the better known version of Bombardier. This is the same version that the Club released. However, for my custom, I used Tripwire legs to have better defined boots. I also changed the head, so it is not simply a Flash repaint.

Head: 25th Duke
Helmet: 25th Hawk
Torso, arms, legs: 25th Tripwire


1982 Colorforms Flash
If you grew up in the ‘80s, chances are you had at least one colorform set in your toy box. Colorforms were re-usable stickers that kids could stick on the fridge, on chairs, windows or on the cardboard scenes that usually came in the set. The stickers were held in place by static, so kids could create their own stories with colorform sets.

In 1982, a GI Joe set was released. The characters that were depicted were pretty much all in different colors than their toys. Whether this was by accident or on purpose, it gave the original 13 some different looks. One of the more interesting ones, in my opinion is Flash. In the set, he is wearing a grayish blue uniform with dark red accents. Since I had some spare Tripwire/Flash parts left, I gave it a shot. I will display him next to my concept Blowtorch, Lowlight, Airborne and Snake Eyes.

You can see the whole set of colorforms at Yojoe:

Head: 25th Steeler
Helmet: RoC Pit Commando
Everything else: 25th Flash


Cobra De Aco
The Plastirama toy company in Argentina and Estrela in Brazil created several new GI Joe and Cobra characters using Hasbro molds in the 1980s. One of the best known is Cobra de Aço (Steel Cobra in Portuguese). This custom has been done time and again by several talented customizers and I made this one a few years back myself. I never showed it off since it is nothing new. However, since it fit this project, I dusted it off and took some shots. I used the Resolute Snake Eyes head. The vintage one is a better match, but I find it a bit small.

Head: Resolute Snake Eyes
Everything else: 25th Flash


Red Pads Grand Slam
Ok, this one is a stretch to be included in this project as he is pretty much a Flash repaint. However since Tripwire and Flash shared a lot of parts in the 25th line, I decided to include him anyway. I did not buy the Club’s version. I prefer making my own in these types of cases. This guy will hang out on my HAL while my silver pads version will use the JUMP pack.

Head: 25th Hawk
Helmet: 25th Duke
Everything else: 25th Flash


This one is also a stretch to be included in this project, but he had been sitting on my work desk for a while. Any excuse to finish projects is a good one in my book.

Thunderwing is certainly not one of the better known characters from the relaunch years (1998-2001). However, as a fan of the original Thunder, this is a repaint that I have wanted to make. Several of the characters released during those years where repainted and renamed from the originals. Thunderwing, Chameleon, Double Blast and Side Track were all ‘’new’’ characters that looked suspiciously like Thunder, Baroness, Roadblock and Ambush. I will use this custom as a Night Force version of Thunder. Now, I just need to make a Night Force Slugger…

Head: 25th Hawk
Torso, upper arms: 25th HISS Driver
Lower arms: Ret Firefly
Legs: DG Duke
Helmet: 25th Steeler

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Friday, 30 October 2015

Funskool Fridays! Action Commandos

Part 5: Action Commandos
The Action Commandos are (almost certainly) the rarest GI Joe figures ever produced. Very few samples ever made it into collector hands. Information on them is so difficult to obtain that for a long time these were considered urban legends among Funskool collectors. At some point, these figures were given away with a purchase of a ‘’Complan’’ chocolate energy drink.

The team is made up of 5 figures. Each one came carded and included a file card. Character names were taken from these. 

Canary Ann
Canary Ann is probably the best known of the five Action Commandos. For my version, I decided to forgo the black outside underpants.

Head, torso, arms: 50th Lady Jaye
Legs: 25th Comic Hawk

Cross Country (Red Scrap Iron)
I knew nothing about this version of Cross Country before starting my research. Now that the custom is made, I believe that I will swap his head and make a Crimson version of Scrap Iron.

Head, legs: 25th Airborne
Torso: 25th Shipwreck
Arms: PoC Shock Trooper
Hands: RoC Duke
Vest: 25th Scrap Iron


The original Action Commandos were a team of heroes, so Rednok did not have a Cobra logo printed on her chest. Since I used 50th Baroness for my custom, I was stuck with the sigil. I will display my custom with my Crimson forces and replace the inferior GIJCC Crimson Baroness.

All: 50th Baroness


Rocker (Blue Firefly/Short Fuse)
Rocker is probably the least well known of the group. In fact, through all the research I did for this project, I only ever saw his code name mentioned once on Facebook. It was by a well-respected Funskool collector, so I figure that Rocker is the official name. For my version, I added a helmet and decided that his specialty is para-rescue.

Head: RoC Pit Commando
Harness: Ret Firefly
Everything else: 25th Firefly

According to his file card, Striker seems to be the Commander of the Action Commandos. For my version, I stuck pretty close to the original’s recipe. Since I have replaced my 25th Gung Ho with the 50th version, Striker is not simply a Gung Ho clone. Although the tooling is very much a product of its time, I’m pretty happy with result.

Head: 25th Airborne
Everything else: 25th Gung Ho