Friday, 28 July 2017

GUTS! Aikido Force

''You command them to penetrate enemy lines, infiltrate and perform sabotage missions! They're warrior specialists with the best warfare technology in their hands. They've got the right stuff to get the toughest job done! They've got...GUTS!''
GUTS! was a line of small (2.5''-3'') army men. Released in 1986, each figure was molded in one piece, had no articulation and was painted. They were available in packs of 2, 5 and 10 and there were 6 squads for a grand total of 60 different soldiers to collect.

I loved army men as a kid. I probably had about a hundred of these plastic guys and they got at least as much play time as my Joes. So when GUTS! were released, I jumped at the chance to collect some. The TV commercial was really cool too. Aside from the size and the paint, the thing that set these apart was the styling. These little guys looked like they jumped out of 80's action movies like Rambo or Commando. Also, each one had a name and a one-line bio on the back of the packaging.

After I made my first 6 customs (in early 2016 for PHX Customs Retro Toy Chest project) – one from each squad – I continued looking at the rest of the original figures. I thought I would make a few once in a while and fill in the squads gradually. However, when I jump in, it’s with both feet. Anyway, before I knew it, I had all the figures for Aikido Force, the Jungle Fighters and Green Berets built on my desk and waiting to be painted.

Aikido Force was finished first because of their simple color palette. I tried to stay as close to the originals as possible without extensive mods. The originals were all black, but this was boring on a 4’’ figure so I added subtle gray and silver highlights.

Dark Dragon
''Fierce and powerful king of the knife''

Head: AVAC Cast
Webgear: 25th Cobra Trooper
Everything else: Renegades Storm Shadow (Amazon 4-pack)


''Hot shot hurler with bullseye precision!''

Head: Retaliation Combat Ninja
Torso, arms: PoC Snake Eyes
Vest: 25th Zartan
Legs: 25th Storm Shadow

Iron Fist 
''Holder of the ancient secret of the iron hand!'' 

Head: resolute Duke
Torso: Resolute Snake Eyes
Upper arms: 25th Gung Ho
Lower arms: Resolute Storm Shadow
Legs: RoC Starm Shadow

''Master of devastating feats of prowess and speed!''

Head: resolute Duke
Torso, legs: 25th Storm Shadow
Arms: ?

Panther Claw
''Fast and unseen, out of nowhere, he pounces on the enemy!''

Head: AVAC cast
Torso: Retaliation Firefly
Arms: DG Snake Eyes
Upper legs: Resolute Storm Shadow
Lower legs: ROC Neo Viper

''Armed and ready to spring into action!'' 

Head: Star Wars Clone Trooper
Torso, arms: Retaliation Kamakura
Legs: PoC Hawk
Vest: PoC Storm Shadow
Helmet: RoC MARS Officer (modified)

''Flashes a blazing path against all enemies!''

Head: Retaliation Storm Shadow
Torso, upper arms, legs: 25th Iron Grenadier
Lower arms: DG Snake Eyes
Skirt: PoC Storm Shadow
Helmet: PoC Snake Eyes

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Action Force Blowtorch

I was reading Mike T's blog article about Antorcha, a Blowtorch repaint that was released in Argentina. I love his blog. His articles are always insightful. In the article, he mentions that he would have liked to have gotten different Blowtorch versions from international markets:

"So, there's 6 uses of the mold: but 4 are basically the same and the other two are just slightly different. I'd have loved a Night Force Blowtorch, an Action Force green Blowtorch, a Sky Patrol Blowtorch (though TNT kind of fills that role), a wacky Funskool Blowtorch and even a desert themed Blowtorch." - Mike T.

I did a whole bunch of Blowtorch versions a while back using spare 50th figures, but an Action Force version never crossed my mind. Since I still have figures from the 2-packs, I decided to take on the challenge.

The build is simply 50th Blowtorch. I swapped the head since I consider him a different character in my Joe-verse. For colors, I picked the same pallet as my previous Z-Force customs - green with black and red accents.

Head: Retaliation Firefly
Everything else: 50th Blowtorch

Edit: here is the link for Mike T's blog

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Cobra MSV

The Cobra MSV was originally released in 1983 only at Sears in Canada. Because it was produced in limited numbers, it has become a highly sought after collector’s item. Since I don’t want to pay secondary market prices for this set, it has been on my customs to-do list for a while. The recent announcement of the 2017 SDCC exclusive Missile Command HQ kick started my interest in all things early ARAH, so I whipped out my WIP and got it completed. It is a simple custom. Paint everything black, add Cobra stickers, done. However, I kept some dark gray parts of the 50th VAMP unpainted to break up the black.

VAMP: 50th VAMP with vintage gun and PTE clip
MMS: Vintage

Here is the original courtesy of

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

GI Joe Redemption Bonus Day

Bonus Day

Collect Them All!




All Joes


Skull Squad

Public Service Announcement

Monday, 10 July 2017

GI Joe Redemption Day 10: The Endgame

Day 10 The Endgame

Large Vehicle - Skull Crusher w. Rip-It by Oreobuilder

From the desk of Oreobuilder:
Every year, the Club offers a large vehicle to complement the convention set, so we wanted to do the same. I tried to avoid using a vehicle that the Club has already used, so I looked at the Retaliation HISS. I think that it complements the Skull Squad forces nicely. Since it already looks quite menacing, I only made a small modification on the front by adding a couple of extra guns. After that, it was only a matter of making the color distribution similar to the Skull Raider’s and that was that.

Retaliation HISS with added guns from POC Tiger Snake

Rip-It by Oreobuilder

From the desk of Oreobuilder:
Once I settled on turning a Retaliation HISS into the Skull Crusher, a driver was required, so Rip-It made the jump from Cobra. This was a really quick custom since I had done most of the work for a previous custom. A few years ago, I made a Major Bludd custom using most of these parts. However, I now have several Bludd customs and that one became expendable. I swapped out the lower legs, cleaned it up and added some extra details. After that, I swapped and painted a 25th HISS Driver head and poof! Skull Squad Rip-It.

Head: 25th HISS Driver
Torso, arms, armor: Resolute Zartan
Legs: 50th Hawk

Parachute Figure by Oreobuilder 

From the desk of Oreobuilder:
For the parachute figure, we thought it would be fun to include a reference to the next chapter in our Resurgence saga. With Cobra fractured, we wanted a character that could act as a courier between Bludd’s forces and another faction that we wanted to explore in the next installment. Since there is already one infamous courier in GI Joe lore – Scar Face – we decided to bring him back. This time, he has a new employer. For the custom, I started from one of my previous Crimson Guard customs. I updated a few parts and gave him a Scar Face head and helmet.

Head, helmet: Resolute Cobra Trooper
Torso, upper arms: Retaliation Cobra Commander
Lower arms: 25th Crimson Guard
Upper Legs: Retaliation Alley Viper
Lower legs: DG Cobra Commander

NEXT: Bonus Day with group shots and a PSA...