Friday, 25 September 2015

Funskool Friday! Part 0

In the 1990’s Funskool, an Indian company, licensed GI Joe from Hasbro. Using official molds, Funskool released their own ‘’GI Joe International Heroes’’ over the course of a decade and a half.

I first became aware of this line around 2005 when offered up several Funskool Joes at crazy terrific prices. I quickly bought some up. When I got them in hand, I realized why they were inexpensive. The card stock was thin causing the cards to bend, the blisters did not stay attached and the figures themselves were made from cheap plastic and had pretty awful paints apps.

Despite these flaws, the line grew on me as it was an opportunity to get some of my favorite characters at a fraction of the cost of the vintage ones. The line also offered up new looks for certain figures. Who doesn’t want Wild Bill in an orange flight suit? Funskool also afforded collectors a chance to troop build harder-to-find figures like Crimson Guard Immortal and Night Viper for a very reasonable cost. To top it all off, they also created new characters to collect like Skydiver and Supercop.

For all these reasons, I have grown to appreciate this line very much. When the 25th line rolled around, I purged my Funskool figures along with the rest of my o-ring Joes in favor of the new constructions figures.

I tackled this project for several reasons. First, I found myself wanting to add some of these characters and wacky colored figures to my collection. It started with just a few figures but, after doing some online research, I realized that there were several more interesting figures in the line. As the project grew, I was rummaging through my fodder bins and I decided to use up as much of my older 25th parts as I could.

In the last few years the RoC/PoC/30th/50th lines have raised the bar as far as sculpting and articulation. As such, I have been moving away from using older 25th anniversary fodder in favor of more modern parts for my customs. However, as I started bagging older parts to set them aside, I realized that I still have a lot. The modern parts banks is definitely superior, but the older 25th stuff, though dated, still holds a certain retro charm for me, so I started thinking about what I could do with it all. So, this project became a big ‘’Spare Parts Brigade’’.

Lastly, my life in the last year has been pretty hectic (in a good way thankfully) so this project was something I could come back to easily due to its simplicity.

So, tune in every Friday during October for new Funskool themed customs.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Some Really Simple LBCs

These are a few ''Lazy Bastard Customs'' (LBCs) - emphasis on the ''Lazy''- that I have put together recently.

First up is Chuckles. Using 50th Shipwreck as a base, this is a simple head swap. I was going for a more realistic CID type with this, so I decided to forgo the Hawaiian shirt.

Using the same base figure, I tweaked 50th Shipwreck. It is a shame, in my opinion, to cover up the ''Navy'' logo on the shirt, so I swapped out the tactical vest for the 25th Anniversary satchel. As a bonus, it gives Polly a better spot to perch.

Playing around with all the Marauder Task Force figures that I received from the Kickstarter campaign, I slapped together a Cobra Trooper. This has been done many times by others, but I wanted to give it a try for myself. It will do for now, but I am still experimenting with the MTF figure, so this trooper may end up donating some parts to another project down the road.

Lastly, I had some spare Shock Trooper parts as well as a spare Steel Brigade Delta body, so I combined them. Now I have a green Shock Trooper. I'm not sure what I will use him for yet. Maybe he's an officer of some kind or a private military contractor hired by Cobra or part of a special security response team stationed at Extensive Enterprises...

Tomorrow, I'll post details of a mini-project that I have working on for a while and that I will be posting over the next few Fridays. So, stay tuned.


Friday, 11 September 2015

Battle Corps Roadblock And A Bunch Of New Sculpt Repaints

I have been working on these off and on during the Summer. I have been meaning to post them as I go, but I am a bit behind. So here is a rather large batch of customs all at once. These are all pretty simple customs. Since the Summer has been very busy, I tried to work on customs that did not require too much brain power lol.

Roadblock (Battle Corps)
When I was working on my Battle Corps Month in mid-2013, I looked at ways of including Roadblock in the project. Unfortunately, at the time, the number of ‘’big guy’’ parts was very limited. Now that The Rock has joined GI Joe, there are a few bucks to choose from, so I went back to take another look. This version of Roadblock was released in 1992 (so not technically part of Battle Corps). A repainted version of the same mold was released a year later sporting neon green webgear. If I can find the right parts, I may look at making the latter version sometime in the future.

Head, torso, arms, legs: Ret Ultimate Roadblock
Webgear: 25th Cobra Bazooka Trooper


Duke and Roadblock - Heavy Assault Squad
One of the great things that came out of the New Sculpt years, particularly during Valor Vs Venom, was the Toys R Us 6-packs. These sets took vintage Joes and repainted them into new sub-teams. The Heavy Assault Squad was the last of these packs to be released. Unfortunately, the original set was lacking. The figures themselves were pretty good (except for a few strange parts choices), but the team had no heavy weapons and included Snake Eyes and 3 Greenshirts.

However, Roadblock’s inclusion makes sense so, once I pieced together my Battle Corps version, I figured I would make another one. I tried to replicate the colors as best I could and outfitted him with a weapon more befitting the name of the squad. Since the Heavy Assault Squad does not exist in my Joe-verse, Roadblock will be displayed on my Night Force shelf.

Head, torso, arms, legs: Ret Ultimate Roadblock
Webgear: 25th Cobra Bazooka Trooper

Duke’s inclusion in the original set makes sense once we realize that it was not originally supposed to be the ‘’Heavy Assault Squad’’. It seems it was originally planned as a covert squad on a mission to rescue Ace from Cobra. Somewhere along the line, it got changed. Still, since I like the deco and I was making Roadblock anyway, I thought it would be fun to make Duke as well. I tried to replicate the colors as best I could. Since the Heavy Assault Squad does not exist in my Joe-verse, Duke will be displayed on my Night Force shelf.

Head: PoC Duke
Torso, upper arms, bandolier: 25th Duke
Lower arms, lower legs: 50th Flint
Upper legs: PoC Snake Eyes
Helmet: DG Duke

Scrap-Iron - Strike Team Urban Division
The Cobra Strike Team – Urban Division was pretty good at the time. It had some good troop builders and a fun version of Scrap Iron clad in black. Since I made Firefly from this squad for Project New Sculpt, I figured that I may as well keep going. Storm Shadow is already planned.

Head, vest: 25th Scrap Iron
Torso, upper arms: RoC Para-Viper
Lower arms: PoC Shock Trooper
Legs: PoC Snake Eyes


Frostbite (Spytroops)
The original version of this Frostbite was released with the Sound Attack Snowcat in the Spytroops line.  I always liked the colors they used on that one. For some reason, I think that the white pants and green parka with blue accents was a cool way to re-invigorate the old Snow Job mold. Regardless of what Hasbro named this figure, this figure will be my version of Whiteout and he drives the Ice Sabre.

Head: DG Shipwreck
Goggles: 50th Lowlight
Everything else: 25th Snowjob

Shockwave and Lowlight - GIJCC SWAT Team Con Exclusives
Thess versions of Shockwave and Lowlight are older customs that I made in 2008 based on the Club’s Headhunters Convention set. They had been stored away while I was reworking my displays. When I pulled them out, I decided to give them a mini-update. In my opinion, the 25th Firefly/Beachhead mold still holds up quite well, so I updated the head and the gear to something modern. For now, I’m satisfied with it, but I’m not ruling out making a proper Club version at a later date.

Head: PoC Steel Brigade
Torso, arms, legs, vest: 25th Comic Pack Firefly
Cap: 25th Shockwave
Backpack: RoC Firefly

Head, goggles, backpack: 50th Lowlight
Torso, arms, legs: 25th Comic Pack Firefly
Vest: Lowlight (cast)
Gun: Marauder

Storm Shadow and Black Dragon Ninjas - Ninja Cobra Strike Team
The Cobra Ninja Strike Team was a fun pack for anyone wanting to add more ninjas to their collection. Storm Shadow in particular sported a spiffy new jungle/desert color scheme. For my custom, I tried to replicate the color and build as best as I could. I did not get the color as close as I would have liked, but I’m pretty happy with the result anyway. This custom also gave me an opportunity to practice the paint wash technique.

Head: Ret Red Ninja
Everything else: 50th Storm Shadow
Backpack: RoC Snake Eyes

Although we got a very good Black Dragon Ninja in the Retaliation line, there is always room for more ninjas. I used a black DG Storm Shadow as a base, swapped the head and gave it a new paint job. It was a super simple custom to make, but I’m glad to have it for my ninja display.

Head: Ret Kamakura
Everything else: DG Storm Shadow

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Night Cat

Bucky, Dusty79 and I did a Night Force project in 2014 and added several members to the sub-team. I already made an aircraft (Night Star), a boat (Night Devil) and a helicopter (Nighthawk) but I was missing a sizeable land vehicle for the team to ride on. You can get caught up here:

For this, I turned to the Wolfhound (PoC Snowcat). I had a spare and it is the kind of versatile vehicle that can be used in several environments (except the snow-pedoes) so it would sense for the Night Force team to have it in their motor pool.