Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Footloose (Infantryman)

Footloose was an Infantryman that was introduced as part of the 1985 wave of ARAH figures. He was one of my favorites, despite the moronic way he was portrayed in the cartoon series.

Parts: Head (RoC TRU Footloose), Upper torso, Lower torso, & Arms (RoC Tunnel Rat), Gloved hands (bbi Elite Force), Legs, Webgear & Knife (25th Anniversary Greenshirt), Helmet (bbi Elite Force Soldier), Backpack (ARAH Footloose v1), M16A2 Rifle (Marauder, Inc.).

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

Reference: Photos of the ARAH Footloose v1 figure.

This was as simple as replacing the head, hands and legs on the base figure and then painting it. The paint scheme was based on that of the ARAH Footloose v1 figure. The backpack was modified to fit the new body style by Dremeling off the post and then drilling a small hole. A short length of plastic rod was super glued into the hole as a new post. After painting, he was given a light application of Testors Dull-Cote.

Cover Girl (Wolverine Driver)

If Cover Girl was supposed to have been this beautiful model who traded in the runway for an Army Motor Pool, then how come almost every figure made of her was so darn ugly? The only really good head sculpt was on the DTC comic pack figure, so when I got my hands on a couple casts of that head, it was off to the races...

Parts: Head (cast of DTC Comic Pack Cover Girl), Entire Body (RoC TRU Dial-Tone), Arms & Jacket (X-Men: Origins Wolverine).

Supplies: Dremel, Super Sculpey, X-acto knife, paintbrushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: Photos of the ARAH Cover Girl figure.

The hardest part of this figure was tracking down the arms and jacket. It seems that I waited too long to pick up the Indiana Jones figure I had planned on using and ended up hunting the clearance aisles for a worthy substitute. Once I had the arms and jacket from the Wolverine figure, the rest was pretty simple. I cracked the torso and replaced the arms. The pegs on the original hands did not fit the new arms, so I ended up filling the holes with a bit of Super Sculpey and then pushing the hand pegs into the sockets. Once in, I boiled the arms in water to cure the Sculpey. The jacket was trimmed at the waist so that it fell at the appropriate height on her torso. The head was a cast of the original, so it had to be Dremeled out to fit the neck post. The paint scheme was based on that of the ARAH Cover Girl v1 figure. After painting, they were given a light application of Testors Dull-Cote.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cobra Snow Serpents (Polar Assault Troops)

This is the second Cobra Trooper "female conversion" I've done (the first one was the Tele-Viper).

Parts: Head (Star Wars TFU Juno Eclipse), Entire figure (25th Anniversary Snow Serpent)

Supplies: Dremel, X-acto knife, Super glue, paintbrushes, Testors paint, Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: None.

This figure was much easier than most female trooper conversions, mostly because the character is wearing a bulky snow suit. This meant that I needed to make the figure a bit smaller in stature as compare to most male figures, but I didn't really need to worry much about making it look overly feminine (if you can see curves through a snow-suit, it's too darn tight). So what I did to accomplish this is basically a shortening of the limbs. The legs were easiest. I cut the boots off at the point where they met the snow-suit leg and then used the Dremel to hollow almost half of the lower leg. When I was finished, the boots could be inserted into the lower leg. The new head also lent to the appearance of a shorter person. Assuming that an unaltered Snow Serpent would stand around 6 feet tall, this dropped the female trooper's height about 3 inches or so compared to the unaltered figure. I started to look into shortening the arms, too. I had planned to do this in a similar manner - Dremeling out the gloved forearm so that the arm would fit into it. But I found that when you put all the gear on her, the look was pretty good without risking the potential screw-up in modding the arms. So I left them alone. I used a clear plastic band to attach the helmet to her webgear, as if she had taken it off and hung it there during a break. Should I decide to put the helmet back on, I can always switch them out again. The hair was painted a dark brown and the entire figure was given a light application of Dull-Cote. When the two figures are placed side by side on a flat surface, the top of the female Snow Serpent's head is now approximately flush with where the male's nose would be. In truth, I wanted her to be just a bit shorter, but I didn't want to overdo it and have the body end up looking disproportionate. So I theorized that realistically a taller, longer legged trooper would be more likely to keep up with his or her squad as they snow-shoed across the polar ice and decided that I was happy with it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sgt Humpty (G.I. Joe Marine)

This is the second version of Sgt Humpty that I've done. Those who remember the first version I did know that the head sculpt is of my likeness and my nickname in the Marine Corps was "Humpty"... so he is me.

So as I grew close to the end of my Iron Grenadier project, I started looking for a similar multi-figure project. I eventually decided to do upgrades of the original 13 Joe characters, since I didn't own all of them in the modern era styling. Most of them will be simple improvements to the existing figures, because I thought the majority of them were pretty good. While planning it all out, it occurred to me that it would be kind of cool to give Sgt Humpty a wardrobe change and make him fit in with those iconic characters...

Parts: Head (Sgt Humpty), Entire figure (25th Anniversary comic pack Hawk), LBE (25th Anniversary comic pack Hawk), Helmet (bbi Elite Force Marine), A.L.I.C.E. pack (25th Anniversary comic pack Gung-Ho), Tactical Pistol (Marauder, Inc.), M16A2 Rifle (Marauder, Inc.).

Supplies: Dremel, X-acto knife, sandpaper, paintbrushes, Testors paints, Polly Scale paints, Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: None.

The original head was removed and tossed into my parts box. The LBE and A.L.I.C.E. pack were painted with a variety of greens to simulate the various shades found in green nylon web gear. The boots were painted to resemble the green canvas-sided jungle boots that I so loved during my service (seriously, I'd still wear them today if they had lasted all these years). The head cast was hollowed out with a Dremel so that it would fit the neck post. The skin was painted a fairly dark tan, so as to imply the tanned features common to troops who spend so much time outdoors. The hair, eyebrows and mustache were painted dark brown, as were the eyes. I dry brushed the brown on the sides and back of the head to simulate the USMC haircut that I don;t think I will ever outgrow. The M16A2 assault rifle is from Marauder, Inc. I'm kind of nostalgic for that weapon after spending so many years carrying one around.