Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leatherneck (G.I. Joe Marine)

I've made a few different vcrsions of Leatherneck, but until now I haven't tried to nail his classic look. Here is my attempt...
Parts: Head (25th Anniversary Gung-Ho), Torso & arms (RoC Sgt Stone), Legs (RoC Beachhead), Web gear (Comic pack Ripper), M16A2/M203 (Marauder, Inc.), Rucksack (RoC Benchpress).

Supplies: X-acto knife, Super glue, Paintbrushes, Testors paints, Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: Card art from the 1986 ARAH Leatherneck figure.

So, essentially all that I had to do here was replace the Sgt Stone legs with the new ones and pop Gung-Ho's head onto the body. All the rest was the tiny little details that took what seemed like forever! The knuckleguard on the knife molded to the webgear was trimmed away and the remaining knife was painted to look like an M7 bayonet in it's scabbard. The hand grenades were carefully removed from the backpack of a 25th Anniversary Viper, painted and then super glued to the figure's chest. I always liked the color scheme of Leatherneck's uniform, so I tried to color match as closely as possible. His hair was painted using a very light drybrush technique so that it looked like the light stubble that a Marine Gunnery Sergeant would actually have, rather than the shaggy head of hair the original figure had. The mustache was repainted to be a bit thicker, which is not in keeping with regulations, but it did serve to put a little space between my various Gung-Ho and Leatherneck figures. The Eagle, Globe and Anchor on his cover and the 1st Marine Recon Battalion patch on his shirtsleeve was painted using a very fine brush, and in some cases, the tip of a safety pin. The colors for everything on the rucksack were matched to those of my old USMC ruck. The M16A2/M203 was painted according to what they actually look like (easy to find a reference since I have about a thousand pcitures of myself with them). When everything was done to my satisfaction, I gave him a light application of Testors Dull-Cote.

Zartan (Dreadnok Leader)

What would the Dreadnoks be without their leader? I always liked DDP's interpretation of this character, so I decided to base mine on it.

Parts: Head & Torso (25th Anniversary Zartan v13), Arms & Legs (25th Anniversary Zartan v15), AKS-74U (Marauder, Inc.).

Supplies: X-acto knife, Super glue, Paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: DDP comics.

I liked most of the version 13 Zartan except that when I placed him next to my other Dreadnoks, he was way too short. He was the same height as Zanya and shorter than every other Dreadnok I've made up to this point. So, I swapped the v13 torso with the Gung-Ho torso that Hasbro used on the v15 figure. The simple result is that Zartan is now more proportionate to the rest of his crew. I trimmed the skull-shaped belt buckle from the v13 torso and glued it to the new torso. The belt buckle was painted white and the eyes were filled in with black. Since his knife also has the same skull design incorporated into the hilt, I applied the same paint scheme there. I also repainted the purple-ish color with a dark brown (personal preference). The leg and boot armor was given a drybrush application of a steel-colored paint. I decided to skip the shoulder armor in favor of a more scaled-down look (again, personal preference rather than holding completely true to the source material). Finally, he was armed with an AKS-74U from Marauder, Inc. and given a light application of Testors Dull-Cote.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zanya (Dreadnok)

Zartan's daughter, Zanya, was easily my favorite new character introduced by Devil's Due Publications during their run of G.I. Joe comics.

Parts: Head (Slayer Design Studios), Torso, Upper Arms, Upper Legs (RoC Attack on the Pit Baroness), Lower Arms (RoC Cover Girl), Gloves (???), Lower Legs (RoC Agent Helix), AKS-74U (Marauder, Inc.).

The base figure for this was the RoC Attack on the Pit Baroness. First, I replaced the lower legs. Next, I cut the lower arms just below the elbow joint. Zanya often wore 3/4 length T-shirts and this is what I was going for here. I cut a pair of RoC Cover Girl forearms to the proper length and then super glued them in place (full articulation was retained). I cannot recall where I took the gloved hands from, but they were attached to the lower arms. The torso was sanded smooth and then a bit of Super Sculpey was used on the lower half of the torso to simulate the bottom edge of the T-shirt. The holster and magazine pouches attached to the thigh rigs were cast using push molds of bbi Elite Force accessories. The thing that took the longest with the whole body was hand painting the Dreadnok symbol on the front of her T-shirt (I skipped the lettering that should be above the symbol in an effort to preserve what remains of my sanity). Painting completed, I put the head on the body and armed her with an AKS-74U from Marauder, Inc. A nasty little weapon for a nasty little lady. Finally, everything was given the usual application of Testors Dull-Cote.

Monkeywrench (Dreadnok)

The RoC Monkeywrench released last year by Hasbro was not a terrible figure, but it needed a bit of improvement...

Parts: Head (Slayer Design Studios), Entire figure (RoC Monkeywrench), SCAR Rifle (Marauder, Inc.), Bandannas (RoC Tunnel Rat).

Supplies: Super Sculpey, Paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: Still photos of the ARAH Monkeywrench figure.

Like I said, the base figure wasn't bad. In my opinion, it just needed some more of the details from the ARAH figure. The bandannas were the first, and easiest, fix. Since I bought several of the Monkeywrench/Tunnel Rat 2-packs when they were on clearance, I just took two of the bandannas from my extra Tunnel Rat figures and painted them red. I applied Dull-Cote to seal the paint and then set them aside. Next, I repainted his pants so that they resembled the faded jeans the character wore in the 80's. I also painted the various patches onto his jeans. Moving on to his vest, I used my X-acto knife to shave off the equipment (the vest came from the same mold as Gung-Ho's vest) and then sanded it smooth.

EDIT 05/03/2011 - I replaced the original head with one from Slayer Design Studios.

Once dry, I replaced his grenade bandolier, added the bandannas to his lower legs and armed him with a SCAR from Marauder, Inc. I wanted to equip him with the same nasty-looking pitchfork gun that the ARAH figure came with, but as of this posting I have not been able to acquire one. If and when I do, I'll update the photos.