Saturday, September 26, 2009

Leatherneck (G.I. Joe Marine)

When I first saw the G.I. Joe team uniforms from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. Since then, they've grown on me and I really like them. The thing is, I can't bring myself to display my ROC characters with their classic (or Resolute) counterparts! It just seems wrong. So, I've embarked on a mission to create a few of my all-time favorite Joes (Gung-Ho, Leatherneck and Airborne) in the ROC-themed uniforms so that they might be happily displayed with Hasbro's offerings. I immediately found that Hasbro's RollBar figure is nothing more than an ROC-themed repaint of Airborne, so I am pretty sure he'll fit the bill with no modification at all. The recent ROC/Resolute version of Gung-ho comes very close to what I'm looking for, so I'll end up modifying one of those. Unfortunately, the ROC version of Leatherneck leaves quite a bit to be desired (IMO). This is my take on what he should look like...

Parts: Head (25th Anniversary Gung-Ho), Body (ROC Sgt Stone), Tactical Vest (ROC Pit Commando), M4 / M203 Rifle (Marauder, Inc.), backpack (ROC Copperhead).

Supplies: X-acto knife, super glue, paintbrushes, Polly Scale paints, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: None.

This was a very simple custom, but the end result was extremely satisfying. The base figure was not really modified in any significant way. I popped off the head and replaced it with the new one. After painstakingly color matching the colores used for the trousers, I painted the shirt and cover (that's the name we Marines have for a hat) with the same camouflage pattern. The mustache was repainted black and I dry-brushed some short, stubbly hair on the sides and back of his head (Marine Corps regulation rather than the longer hair that Hasbro has always given him). The vest was added and I painted the appropriate parts of his pistol gunmetal. The grenades on the backpack were painted OD green with gunmental for the spoons. I gave him a modular M4 from Marauder, Inc. and added the M203 grenade launcher to it. The rifle barrel was hollowed with a heated safety pin. The grenade launcher barrel was given the same treatment with the tip of my X-acto knife. The appropriate parts of the weapon were painted gunmetal and flat black. Finally, the entire figure was given a light coating of Testors Dull-Cote.