Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Grand Slam x2 + Wet-Suit

I mostly remember Wet-Suit from the Sunbow cartoon. He and Leatherneck were always bickering during season 2 and they both stood out to me. The 25th figure was released at the very end of the line in the Joe 7-pack. Originally, the figure was slated to be released as a diver version of Resolute Duke. However, as the line wound down to be replaced by the Rise of Cobra, Hasbro repainted and repacked the figure and he became Wet-Suit.

As a figure, it had some points in common with the original figure, but it could be improved. For my version, I simply repeated what several customizers have already done. Most of the changes involve simple part swaps. The helmet is repainted from the Eel. It is not a perfect representation of the original's, but it works well in my opinion.

Helmet: 25th Eels
Lower arms: 25th Cobra Flint
Lower legs: 25th Viper
Everything else: 25th Wet-Suit

Head: Marauder MTF
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear
Visor: 25th Flash
Everything else: 25th Flash

I did not have Grand Slam as a kid. I barely even knew he existed. When I looked at the figure in the 1982 catalog, I just thought they used Flash for the HAL. When Grand Slam got a new silver makeover in 83, I remember thinking that this may have been a new character. However, by then, I was more interested in other Joes like Tripwire, Snow Job and Airborne. In my mind, Grand Slam will forever be a Flash clone. Sorry GS fans.

The 25th anniversary version is a good figure. Although it has its flaws, it represents the vintage version well in my opinion. My goal with this custom was to adjust the colors to match the vintage figure as well as update the head and include the visor.

Head: Marauder MTF
Helmet: Vintage Battle Gear
Visor: 25th Flash
Everything else: ROC Grand Slam

Sunday, 14 January 2018


One of my friends had the WHALE when we were kids. Every time we played GI Joes, the WHALE would always be at the center of the action with Cutter in the lead. In our battles, the Joe team would defend the Transportable Tactical Battle Platform from Hydrofoil and Water Moccasin attacks. Since I got to play with my friend’s toys, I never asked for the WHALE of my own. However, the battles we had using Cutter, led directly to my asking Santa for Shipwreck the following year.

I have had a Cutter WIP in my bins for the longest time. I never seemed to get the recipe down. Since I have been revisiting childhood favorites lately, I figured it was a good time to revisit my custom. I have a recipe that I like now, but I may update the life jacket down the line if a better option presents itself.

Head, cap: Marauder MTF
Torso, arms: Retaliation Kwinn
Life vest: Unknown knock-off outdoor playset
Upper legs: 50th Dusty
Lower legs: 50th Dusty (2x right leg)

Friday, 5 January 2018

Marvel Scarface


As a kid, I only had a handful of original Marvel comic issues. One of those was a super book that included issues 11 and 12. I remember buying it at a local convenience store. The book was published in French and the story ended on a cliffhanger. I read that book often as a kid and wondered what happened to Snake Eyes for over 20 years until I finally read issue 13 as an adult. The character of Scarface was introduced in issue 12 and was recurring for several issues after that. Like Kwinn and Dr Venom, he has gained a cult following of sorts.
The 25th line gave us a "scarred Cobra Officer" that was a decent attempt for the time. Recently, I re-read issue 12 and it inspired me to make a proper comic accurate Scarface. I started from the recipe for the Officer in the SDCC Missile Command HQ. I believe that it represents the simplicity of first Cobra troops very well. I made a couple of small changes to the parts to reflect what I had available. After that, it was simply a matter of emulating the comic colors as closely as possible, right down to the blue boots.

Head, helmet, torso, web gear: PoC Cobra Trooper
Upper arms, upper legs: DG Cobra Commander
Lower arms: 25th Crimson Guard
Lower legs: DG Snake Eyes

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Marvel Cobra Commander

Happy New Year everyone!

With a new year, comes new customs. I have a half dozen ready that I'll be rolling out over the next couple of weeks. I figured that it would be fun to kick things off with another version of Cobra Commander.

Cobra Commander (Early Marvel Comics version)

I had a few issues of the old Marvel comic when I was a kid. Since I only had a few, I read and reread them often. My first issue was #5. It had everything a kid could want – lots of action, a tank, and a surprise ending. One of the pages that fascinated me included panels showing Cobra Commander sitting on his throne and shooting at wooden cutouts of the Joes. I remember thinking that Cobra Commander did not do that in the Sunbow cartoon (the version of GI Joe that I knew). Those panels stuck with me.

While putting together my Scarface custom (Spoiler!), I started re-reading several issues of the old comic and came upon issue 5. For some reason, I had never noticed how different Cobra Commander looked in the early issues next to his toy counterpart. It’s not something I would have noticed when I was a kid and we have gotten official figures of that look since then. Dollar General Cobra Commander is a good approximation of that early look, so I started there. I updated the gloves and changed the legs. I also gave him a battle helmet head since he uses both his hood and his helmet in early issues. Lastly, I gave him his automatic pistol.

Head, battle mask: Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander
Helmet: PoC Cobra Trooper
Torso, upper arms: DG Cobra Commander
Lower arms: 25th Cobra Commander
Upper legs: Retaliation Kamakura
Lower legs: 25th IG Destro (2x left leg)
Feet: 25th Viper