Monday, April 26, 2010

Gung Ho (G.I. Joe Marine)

Man, I don't even know how many versions of old GH I've done now...

This one was inspired by my kids. They're always asking me to play Joes with them, but they want me to use my own figures. Well, most of my figures are the "for display only" variety. So, I decided to make one that I could use to play with them and not worry about it getting dinged up. My little ones are 5 and 6 years old, so they don't really know much about the classic Joes. Most of their figures are of the newer RoC style. So I decided to make a "Jungle Assault" Gung Ho to fit in with the upcoming Pursuit of Cobra themes...

Parts: Entire figure (Comic Pack Gung Ho), Lower Arms (RoC Tunnel Rat), Tactical Vest (RoC Pit Commando), M16/M203 (Marauder, Inc.), Rucksack (Comic Pack Gung Ho).

Supplies: Paintbrushes, Testors paints, Folk Art paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: I had an image of the upcoming PoC Jungle Assault Duke in my head, and I tried to make this figure in the same general style.

The base figure was not modified in any significant way. I did swap the lower arms for a set that didn't have the silly-looking sweatbands (or whatever those are supposed to be). Aside from that, this whole "custom" figure basically amounts to a new camouflage pattern on the cover and trousers and some new accessories.

Jungle Assault Gung Ho recently aided my son's Tiger Force Duke in defeating Cobra forces at the Battle of the Wooden Block Fortress.

Zandar (Dreadnok)

I'm not sure why, but after I finished Zarana, it took me a while to get around to finishing Zandar. I started them around the same time, but there was this big lag after I finished the first figure. Anyway, here he is...

Parts: Head, Bandanna & Shoulder Armor (Mad Joe Customizer's Zandar kit), Upper Torso, Lower Torso & Arms (RoC Monkeywrench), Upper Legs & Knife (Cobra Trooper), Lover Legs (Cobra Viper), Weapon (ARAH Zandar), Shoulder Holster (RoC Tunnel Rat), M9 Pistol (G.I. Joe Greenshirt)

Supplies: X-acto knife, Super glue, sandpaper, Super Sculpey, paintbrushes, Testors paints, Testors Dull-Cote.

References: Photos of the original ARAH Zandar figure.

The biggest challenge on this whole figure was color-matching! I wanted it to look as much like the ARAH figure as was reasonably possible and for some reason, I had a really hard time matching the colors. A lot of custom color mixing went on here...
Anyway, Mad Joe's kit gives you the head, the bandanna and the shoulder armor pieces. I came up with the rest of the parts from my fodder box. Some of them might not be a perfect match, but I've always tended to try and work with what I have on-hand, rather than buy a lot of figures to obtain a part or two from each. With the base figure assembled, I attached the shoulder armor to the upper arms. This was a bit tricky because I wanted to keep the articulation of the shoulders. If you have them lying around, it would have been easier to use the arms from a 25th-style Zartan. The head needed some Super Sculpey packed inside it to fit the neck post, bit after curing it fits perfectly. The little "tails" on the bandanna are actually included with the kit and need to be glued on after painting. The shoulder holster came from RoC Tunnel Rat. I used the X-acto knife to trim all the little bullets off the strap before painting it. After he was more or less finished, I wasn't really happy with him. I decided that he just looked too clean, so I waved a butane lighter lightly over the exposed skin areas to make him look a bit dirty. Seriously, who lives in a swamp and doesn't get a bit dirty? When I applied the Testors Dull-Cote, it really sealed the deal. No pun intended.