Sunday, 16 December 2018

#1042 Crimson Shadow Guard

#1042 - Crimson Shadow Guard

I have made a few Shadow Guard customs over the years. After making my ‘’ultimate’’ Crimson Guard army during Custom Celebration 2018, I started planning my Shadow Guard squad using the same recipe. I had fewer 50th SGs than CGs, but for the role they play in my Joeverse, it makes sense to have a smaller squad.

The Crimson Shadow Guard was one of the interesting concepts to come out of Valor vs Venom. According to the original packaging, Shadow Guards are pretty much the Night Force version of regular CGs. However, several Joe fans (myself among them) like to use them as Cobra's secret police. I think they make much more sense in this context.

Head, torso, arms, upper legs, backpack, rifle: 50th Shadow Guard
Lower legs: 25th Crimson Guard
Logo: Cobrastickers

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

#1041 Firefly (2000)

#1041 - Firefly (2000)

The Collector's Series produced some fun figures between 2000 and 2002. In those years, several figures included "paint washes" to create camoflage on the uniforms. This made each figure unique. Firefly was one that was well done in my opinion. The color pallet of brown and green with black accents works really well for jungle/forest missions. For my custom, I tried to replicate the colors. However, I did not use the wash technique. I opted for a more standard camo pattern.

Head: RoC Flash
Left upper leg: 50th Cobra Officer
Everything else: 50th Firefly

Saturday, 1 December 2018

#1039 Vypra and #1040 Duke (1997)

#1039 - Vypra

GI Joe came storming back to store shelves in 1997 with the Real American Hero Collection. The series was built mostly around returning classic characters like Duke, Snake Eyes and Scarlett, but also included a couple of new characters as well. One of these was Vypra. Although it seems like a contradiction to me, she was a vehicle driver while being a ninja. I suppose even ninjas need transportation to get to their missions.

I wanted to tweak her character for my custom version. Since her filecard primary military specialty is Intelligence, I imagine her as being an infiltrator, a covert mission specialist, a spy. She is superbly trained to fight hand-to-hand but if she is required to do so, her mission will probably end in failure, since that means that she has been found out.

With her new specialty, I picked parts that moved her away from the ninja look. I kept the general color pallet.

All: Marauder MTF

#1040 - Duke (1997)

GI Joe came storming back to store shelves in 1997 with the Real American Hero Collection. No GI Joe relaunch would be complete without a Duke figure, so one was released with a repaint of the Silver Mirage Motorcycle. This time, Duke was sporting a similar color scheme to his Tiger Force version, but different. For my custom, I tried to play up the differences, while keeping the feel of the 1997 version. This custom will be part of my jungle squad of Joes.

Head: PoC Duke
Torso, arms: Retaliation Kwinn
Legs: 50th Hit & Run
Belt: 25th Roadblock
Bandolier: 25th Duke

Friday, 23 November 2018

#1037 Valor vs Venom Duke & #1038 Valor vs Venom Stalker

#1037 - Valor vs Venom Duke

The non-action attack Valor vs Venom Duke was an excellent figure in its time. It had good sculpting and decent proportions. I prefer the green repaint. It is nostalgic for me as it was one of the very first figures that I bought in 2005 when I got back into Joes as an adult. I bought it loose online along with Valor vs Venom Stalker and a few others and, although it is dated by today's standards, it was a fun figure.

For my custom, I played around with several parts combos, but ended up using mostly Marauder MTF parts as these were better suited to replicate the original's look.

Head: 50th Duke
Everything else: Marauder MTF

#1038 - Valor vs Venom Stalker

Valor vs Venom Stalker was one of the first Joes I bought when I started collecting again as an adult in 2005. As such, the figure holds some nostalgic value for me. I never had any of the original Stalker figures growing up, so this was the first time I added the character to my Joe collection. I always liked this re imagined version of Stalker. Aside from the yellow forearm gauntlets, it was a solid figure with decent proportions and good detail.

This was a pretty simple build to make. I actually put it together and it sat unpainted in my WIP bin for over a year (at least). I go through my WIP bins periodically to decide what to proceed with and what to part out. When I got to Stalker, I still liked my parts combo, so I put him on my painting table. After a long wait, I glad to have him done and added to my neo New Sculpt custom shelf.

Head: Resolute Stalker
Torso, upper arms: Retaliation Firefly
Legs: Retaliation Snake Eyes
Lower arms: Marauder MTF
Belt: Star Trek

Saturday, 17 November 2018

#1035 Python Patrol Officer and #1036 Python Patrol Crimson Guard

#1035 - Python Patrol Officer

Recently, I have been phasing out all my 25th anniversary custom figures and upgrading them to 50th standards of articulation and sculpting. Looking at my Python Patrol shelf, all the figures need an upgrade. I had been using the 25th Python Officer as a trooper and had accumulated a squad of about 12. I decided to eliminate these and make a proper custom Officer to replace them.

This was a simple custom to make. I started with a Dollar General Cobra Officer since that figure is already black. I simply swapped the webgear for the 25th figure and painted the helmet, mask and knees.

All: DG Cobra Officer (black uniform)
Webgear: 25th Python Patrol

#1036 - Python Patrol Crimson Guard

The 25th Crimson Guard mold was fine (but not perfect) when it was released, but is dated now. Recently, I worked to make a better version of the original Crimson Guard. After that, I thought I could improve on the Python Patrol version. I started by swapping the head for the newer sculpt. After that, changing the upper legs gave them some more bulk and got them closer to the original’s look as well. All that was left was to add some paint.

Head: 50th Crimson Shadow Guard
Torso, arms, lower legs, back pack, Rifle: 25th Python Crimson Guard
Upper Legs: 25th Cobra Commander

Sunday, 14 October 2018

#1030 to 1034 Tiger Force vs Python Patrol

#1030 - Tiger Force Duke

Head: 50th Duke
Torso: Retaliation Kwinn
Arms: 50th Flint
Legs: 50th Gung-Ho
Belt: 25th Roadblock
Helmet: Vintage Accessory Pack
Gun, backpack, bandolier: 25th TF Duke

#1031 - Tiger Force Flint

I was twelve years old and growing out of toys when the original Tiger Force sub team was released in 1988. I remember seeing the commercials for the toys on television at the time and thinking that it was very cool that hey were bringing back original vehicles and figures from when I was actively playing with and collecting Joes. I'm an oddball, but I have always liked the yellow and black tiger pattern on the vehicles.

In 2017-18, with Joe on hiatus, I have been updating all my customs to 50th standards of sculpting and articulation. Duke and Flint, in their original colors, were part of the list of characters that received upgrades. The Tiger Force versions were on that list as well until this project.

Head, torso, hands, lower legs: 50th Flint
Arms: Retaliation Kwinn
Upper legs: DG Shipwreck with MTF holster
Webgear: 25th Flint

#1032 - Python Moccasin (Hydroélice De Emboscada) Ambush Hydroplane

I have had this vehicle on my to-do list for several years, but I never found the time to get it done. Full disclosure, I have already customized this once. However, it was for a Joe buddy and the boat went off to its forever home a few years ago. I have been meaning to make one for myself and this project gave me a perfect opportunity.

The ‘’Hydro√©lice De Emboscada’’ was released in Brazil in the ‘80s and was a Water Moccasin in Hydrofoil colors. I really like the color combo on the smaller craft. Since this is a ‘’re-do’’, I changed some things from my first version. I used the Sting Raider version of the mold, so it has both regular cannons. The turret is now burgundy to match the original. I also used different shades of gray and red.

The original toy was not part of Forca Naja i.e. Python Patrol. The Club released this boat in 2011 as part of the Python Patrol convention set, so I figured that it could be included in this project. I will be displaying it on my Python shelf.

All: POC Sting Raider

#1033 - Gatilho (Trigger)

Gatilho is an original character created by Estrela in Brazil for their Forca Naja subteam. He consisted of Airborne repainted into Python Patrol colors. The Club released their version of the character in 2011’s convention set. I do not own the figure, but wanted to add him to my Python Patrol, so I built my own. I used the most modern parts available and replicated the color scheme.

Head: Retaliation Kwinn
Torso, vest: 25th Airborne
Legs: POC Cobra Trooper
Arms: 50th Duke
Helmet: Vintage Accessory Pack

#1034 - Relampago (Lightning)

Relampago is an original character created by Estrela in Brazil for their Forca Naja subteam. He consisted of Ripcord repainted into Python Patrol colors. I have made a couple of modern Ripcord customs recently, so I wanted to change the recipe for this figure especially since the character is not a paratrooper. Generally speaking, the arctic Snake Eyes torso is not my favorite part. However, used with the 50th Duke (Data-Viper) arms, I really like the combo.

Head: DG Duke
Torso: 25th Arctic Snake Eyes
Upper legs: Retaliation GI Joe Trooper
Lower legs: Retaliation Airborne
Arms: 50th Duke
Helmet: Vintage Accessory Pack