Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dreadnok Swamp Hideout

I've made the majority of the Dreadnoks, so I suppose it was just a matter of time before I got around to making a happy little home for them. This was a joint project with my daughter Kate.

Most of my smaller dioramas are built on shelves that can be moved around easily on the wall (using pegboard and brackets). In this case, the entire shelf was painted a pale, sickly green color to simulate stagnant water. About half of the shelf was then sprayed with a textured adhesive to simulate earth. The adhesive was spray-painted brown The green scrub plants are actually lichen that I bought nearly 10 years ago at a model railroad shop. They were attached while the painted adhesive was still wet, so they stay put nicely. The cabin itself is made entirely of foamboard. I cut the pieces out with an X-acto knife and then assembled them using hot glue. Afterward, we glued craft sticks to the outside. I cut the rounded ends off and Kate did all of the gluing. The porch and the pier were made the exact same way. The entire cabin, porch and pier were all spray-painted dark brown. Once they were dry, Kate dry-brushed them with a very light tan. The roof was made from a piece of poster board. We cut it to the right shape and then folded it like an accordian to get it to look somewhat corrugated. The roof was painted to resemble unpainted metal. The "rust" was applied using a foam paint applicator. The background is fishtank scenery we picked up at a local pet store. The barrels were purchased a few years ago at a hobby store and have been kicking around in my parts box. The two fuel drums that Zarana is sitting on were part of a military playset that I owned when I was a kid. The Doom Cycle is obvious, but the other motorcycle was made by Maisto (you can find them at WalMart). If you look hard, you can see two pieces of 1/18 scale dollhouse furniture inside the cabin.

We still have some additional figures to add (once we've made them, that is) and a few things we want to tweak down the road (there's a reason that we included water and a pier), so watch for updates!

H.I.S.S. II (Cobra High Speed Sentry, MK2)

This was my little brother's H.I.S.S. II, another item rescued from mom's attic. The goal here wasn't really to re-invent the vehicle, but it looked so horrible it was obvious that some work was required. Oh, and I hated the silly red cannons!

The whole vehicle was spray-painted with grey. The tracks were painted black and then dry-brushed with steel. All of the weapons were spray-painted with silver and then dry-brushed with gunmetal. The replacement decals came from Ruben Jimenez.

Track Viper (Cobra Tank Driver)

Track Vipers are the elite tank drivers that are chosen to operate the H.I.S.S. II in Cobra's armored divisions. This might be the most ridiculously simple custom I've ever done (and I do a lot of simple customs)...

Parts: Head (ARAH Track Viper v1), Body (25th Anniversary Matt Tracker).

Step one - Dremel head to fit neck post.

Step two - Place head on neck post. Done!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Devilfish (G.I. Joe Fast Attack Boat)

This is another of my childhood toys that was rescued from mom's attic. It had reall seen better days, so I decided to spruce it up a bit...

Two of the missile mounting studs had been broken off back in the 80's, so I used the Dremel to smooth these areas out a bit as if the studs were never there. I also removed the footpegs, which are far too big for the modern era Joes. Before putting the Dremel away, I also drilled a small holed in the housing behind the seat. This allows the SCUBA gear from RoC Shipwreck to be attached there. It seemed logical that a guy would need some way to escape if his boat was crippled and the bad guys were closing in. Once the Dremeling was finished, the entire top portion was spray-painted with Testors Competition Orange. The hull piece was spray-painted with flat grey. The "no-skid" was painted using flat black. For those who don't know, this is essentially a very gritty paint used by naval forces to make an area more or less "slip-proof". Seemed like a good idea for the areas where a person would be getting in and out of the boat.

I used a lot of aluminum, steel, gunmetal and other colors to bring out some of the sculpted details. The replacement decals came from our pal Ruben in Mexico.

Repeater (Steadi-Cam Machine Gunner)

I wanted a modern era version of Repeater that was more true to the original character design, so I whipped up this very simple part-swap custom.

Parts: Head (RoC TRU Exclusive 5-pack Zartan), Body (RoC TRU Exclusive 5-pack Footloose), Vest & Machine Gun (RoC TRU Exclusive 5-pack Repeater), Backpack / Ammo Carrier (RoC Neo Viper), FN F2000 Assault Rifle (RoC Sgt Stone), Pistol Belt & FN Five SeveN (RoC General Hawk).

There was really not much to this custom. The only real modifications were to the weapons. The F2000 had a small hole drilled in the stock so that it could be mounted on his backpack / ammo carrier, for use as a back-up weapon. The Machine Gun had the original pistol grip cut off. I then trimmed the small stock down to resemble the type of hand-grip trigger mechanism found on the original figure's weapon. I also removed the secondary grip from the right-hand side of the weapon and re-installed it on the left-hand side. Finally, the ammo carrier had a rectangular slot cut in the bottom so that the ammunition appears to actually "feed" from it. All other modifications were simple paint applications.