Monday, December 19, 2011

Shameless Plug

For those of you who enjoy Our Basement Workshop, I would like to invite you to visit my new fan-fiction blog Tales from Castle Destro. I'd love to hear what you think of it, so please post those comments!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

O.S.O.K. (Iron Grenadier Sniper)

There are many accomplished marksmen within the ranks of the Iron Grenadiers, but none compare to the pure killing machine that is O.S.O.K. He tends to be quiet and reserved, rarely speaking aside from the occasional unintelligible mumble. His quarters are located deep within the lowest levels of the Castle, where few others tread voluntarily. He receives his orders and goes forth, usually alone, to wreck absolute havoc on the enemies of Laird Destro.

The first time General Voltar saw the custom painted reaper's grin on O.S.O.K.'s Grenadier mask, he told one of his subordinate Officers to have the man remove it. The Officer balked at the order and it was then that Voltar realized that even many of the Iron Grenadiers fear O.S.O.K. Not another word has ever been said about removing the paint from O.S.O.K.'s mask.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

D.E.M.O.N. II (Iron Grenadier Armored Vehicle - 2nd Generation)

Many people have repainted the Pursuit of Cobra HISS v5 in a variety of paint schemes. It tends to look amazing in any color. KingBiohazerd used three of them to create Iron Grenadier Speed-D.E.M.O.N.s, which were pretty cool! Recently, Barefoot Jedi and I discussed using the HISS v5 as the basis for a 2nd generation D.E.M.O.N., and I liked the idea enough that I started planning the project that same day.

The original D.E.M.O.N. is a fearsome fighting vehicle and it will likely remain in service with the Iron Grenadiers for many, many years to come. However, knowing that all military hardware will eventually become outdated, Laird Destro ordered that MARS research and development should begin immediately on a 2nd generation D.E.M.O.N. He directed that the new vehicle be able to fight alongside, augment and eventually replace the current D.E.M.O.N. model. By building the D.E.M.O.N. v2 on the same chassis as the HISS v5, Destro was able to keep it's development a secret, even during field testing, because they look so very similar. The reality, however, is that the D.E.M.O.N. v2 is superior in every way to the HISS v5. This is that vehicle...

EDIT 06/13/2012: I got a wild hair to create a second D.E.M.O.N. II and paint it as a command vehicle for General Voltar.  I had originally planned to put it right up on ebay to help fund other purchases, but I had a lot of fun doing this and now I'm not sure if I still want to part with it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Iron Grenadier (Shock Trooper)

When things grind down to a stalemate and the enemy is dug in extremely well, the Iron Grenadiers call upon the Shock Troopers. These heavily armored door-kickers absorb bullets like water to a sponge, without ever breaking stride.

This is nothing more than a re-colored 30th Anniversary Iron Grenadier. What makes it kinda cool is that I only used black paint on the helmet - the rest was dyed black. If I had the patience, I'd make a few dozen more of these...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Iron Wolf Brigade (Destro's Cold Weather Unit)

This was a joint project I completed with my friend and fellow HissTank member KingBiohazerd. We'd recently been discussing environment-specific variations of Iron Grenadier vehicles and decided to create an IG Cold Weather Brigade, including an arctic variant of the D.E.M.O.N.!

The King provided all of the vehicles and the figures, so he'll be the one to keep them now that they are complete.

The base vehicles were not changed in any way, we just repainted them. For the D.E.M.O.N., we used pre-cut strips of painter's tape to make the camouflage pattern. While it's official name is the D.E.M.O.N.- AV (Arctic Variant), we figured that the troops of the Iron Wolf Brigade would have nicknamed it the Yeti, after the legendary snow demon of the Himalayas.

The Despoiler was also painted white and silver, but was not given the same camouflage treatment as the Yeti, because we figured it would actually make the vehicle more visible during flight.

The King had recently discovered the Cobra Black Dragon Trooper (which is a re-paint of the original Ferret figure) online and really liked the look of it. The color scheme for the Arctic Ferret was taken largely from that figure. The other Iron Wolf Troopers were painted in a manner that matched the Ferret, more or less.

We had a blast making these, so we really hope you enjoy them!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Skidmark (G.I. Joe Vehicle Specialist)

I recently accepted a commission from a fellow member to make custom figures of Muskrat, Cross-Country and Skidmark. I already had a Muskrat custom that I was happy with, but I decided to make my own versions of the other two figures while working on the commission pieces. The biggest change you'll notice with Skidmark is that I eliminated the orange from his color scheme. The dark green sweater and the green trousers were color-matched as closely as possible to the original ARAH figure. However, I decided to go with more practical colors for the helmet, vest, boots and thigh rigs.

Parts: Head (25th Anniversary Breaker), Body (25th Anniversary Beachhead), Vest (25th Anniversary Outback), Sunglasses (RoC Baroness v13), Helmet (bbi Elite Force).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Desert Fox 6 W.D.

This is another commission vehicle. The customer asked for the vehicle to be "battle-weathered". He was extremely generous in providing advance payment, which exceeded what I thought the job was worth - so I plan to exceed his expectations, as well!

To begin with, I broke the whole vehicle down and removed the decals. The decal residue was cleaned off using Goo Gone and then all of the parts were washed with dish detergent and a toothbrush. While the parts were drying, I hopped online and sent an e-mail off to Ruben Jiminez, my normal source, asking him to ship me a set of Desert Fox decals.

Once everything was dry, I used an X-acto knife to trim down the foot pegs on the gun mount. They no longer look quite as tidy as the original mold did, but they now accommodate the foot holes for the modern era figures, so the customer will be able to pose those figures on it.

The next step was priming and painting the missiles, machine gun and gun mount. The missiles were done with flat OD green and were given details in yellow (these are the colors commonly used on High Explosive ordnance in the US military). The gun was done with a metallic "gunmetal" finish and the gun mount was done with OD green with a drybrushing of gunmetal to show wear on the paint.

While the spray-painted parts were drying, the entire vehicle was given the metaliic drybrush treatment. High-traffic areas where troops would be climbing in and out were also "scuffed up" to show where dirt, grime, sweat and other stuff adhered to the vehicle's paint. The pic to the right shows the vehicle as it was at this point.

Monday, September 12, 2011

TigerFish Conversion

This post documents the step-by-step process I used to convert a regular G.I. Joe DevilFish into a TigerFish. The vehicle was commissioned by a fellow HissTank member for his son and I hope the running post will allow him to share the process with his son. Here is a shot of all the various pieces, before work began:

And here is everything after the spray-painting was completed:

The next step will be painting all of the sculpted details on the upper and lower hull pieces!

The buyer asked that I paint the torpedoes red to match the missiles, so I'll take care of that and the detailing of the twin cannons tomorrow. After these little things, I just have to wait on the stickers to arrive.

So the stickers finally arrived and I've got them all applied. I realized that I still haven't painted the torpedoes red, so I'll have to do that before I can apply the sealant.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Oktober Guard

My very first issue of the classic G.I. Joe comic was #6, which introduced the Oktober Guard. To this day, that is one of my all-time favorite Joe stories and the Oktober Guard have a special place in my heart. The recipes for these figures were blatantly stolen from the exquisite work of several different HissTank customizers - all I really did was assemble the parts and paint them.

Colonel Brekhov (Team Commander)


Horror Show

(Naval Infantry)

(Flame Weapons Specialist)


The first time I saw the PoC VAMP, the color and aesthetic reminded me of something the Oktober Guard would have driven. When I started work on these guys, I set about obtaining a VAMP for them. The Oktober Guard logos are decals from CobraStickers.

Quarrel (Covert Operative)

Until recently, I never even knew that Action Force existed. While I still have no overwhelming love for them, I do seem to like new characters. This is a variation on the figure that will be offered by the G.I. Joe Collector's Club - same Scarlett figure repainted in Quarrel's colors, but I decided that I have enough Scarlett heads in my collection so I looked for something different. I thought that the Mrs Coulter head sculpt from the Golden Compass toy line looked sufficiently sophisticated to be a British covert operative.

Tomax & Xamot (Crimson Guard Commanders)

Today seems to have been a day of headswaps and minor repaints...

I did not have a modern era version of either of these guys and I never cared for the whole circus acrobat look they sported in the 80's, so I decided to make them a little more "tactical". This is just Tomax and Xamot's heads on a couple of Shock Trooper bodies. I painted the kneepads and belts with the colors from their original outfits to keep a little of the vintage look about them...

Kickstart (G.I. Joe Vehicle Specialist)

Kickstart was released during 2010 with the G.I. Joe Steel Marauder Mech. I have never liked mechs in my G.I. Joe world, but I always like new characters, so I simply re-designated Kickstart as a standard Motor Transport guy. The paint apps on the original figure sucked, so I touched them up a bit. Nothing too drastic, but there's really no reason to NOT paint the skin when it's quite obvious that it should have been.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gnawgahyde (Dreadnok)

Gnawgahyde was never my favorite Dreadnok, but I had to get around to making him eventually. I decided to abandon the yellow vest and go with something a bit more practical. I think he looks a bit more realistic now...

Parts: Head (SDS), Hat & Rifle (PoC Recondo), Body & Vest (PoC Zartan), Bow & Quiver (PoC Shadow Tracker), Boars (Unknown).

Kay-Strike (G.I. Joe Demolitions Specialist)

This is my entry for the Mission Prospect Custom Contest Part II at Custom Figure Wars. Her name is Kay-Strike. She blows things up. She loves popsicles and cookies. Her vehicle is called "The Pinkinator".

Kwik Blast (G.I. Joe Urban Warfare Specialist)

This is my entry for the Mission Prospect Custom Contest Part II at Custom Figure Wars. His name is Kwik Blast and he is an urban warfare specialist. That means he is good at fighting in the city. His vehicle is called the Devastator.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tinker (G.I. Joe Vehicle Design Engineer)

This is my entry for the Mission Prospect Custom Contest Part II at Custom Figure Wars.


Code Name:


File Name:

Walker, Kristina K.



Primary Military Specialty:

Motor Transport

Secondary Military Specialty:

Computer-Aided Design


New Orleans, Louisiana


GS-12 (DoD Civilian Employee)

Tinker was recruited right out of MIT and had no military experience prior to joining the G.I. Joe team. Her ability to design combat systems in her head made her one of the few “exceptional” individuals to be considered for such a move. She underwent the basic orientation course (which the most seasoned of combat veterans would find difficult to say the least) and made it through on sheer guts.

Tinker has always enjoyed trying new things. While in school, she saw an advertisement for one of those robotic combat contests in which the designers attempt to dismantle each other’s creations by remote control and thought it would be “fun” to give it a shot. She left all of her competition in smoldering piles and one of the weapon systems she designed for that contest is still classified by the Pentagon. It was pure coincidence that an unidentified member of the Joe team was in attendance and submitted her name for review immediately after returning to the Pit. Tinker now spends her days dreaming up new and better ways to enhance the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Joes’ vehicle fleet.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Iron Grenadier Mortar Section

I've been toying with the idea of these guys for quite a while and only recently decided on a final plan for them. This is one of the Iron Grenadiers 60mm Mortar Section. Each mortar team consists of a gunner and an assistant gunner. The section leader computes a forward unit's call-for-fire into firing data which is communicated to each mortar team. He also functions as a forward observer, if necessary. After receiving the firing data, the gunner places it on his mortar's sight unit and prepares the weapon for firing. The assistant gunner prepares the ammunition and loads the weapon upon command.

And here they are "in action"...

Outside Prypyat, Sgt Humpty's 60mm Mortar Section prepares to fire in support of Darklon's men...

The gunners quickly check the deflection and elevation data on their gun sights, while the assistant gunners prepare the required number of rounds and remove the safety wires...

The assistant gunners "half-load" their first rounds and at their section leader's command, both mortar crews fire 4 rounds of High Explosive at Cobra troops over 3 kilometers away...

After expending their designated 4 rounds, both gunners signal "rounds complete" to Sgt Humpty, who passes the report by radio to Darklon.

Darklon responds that the fire mission was successful in disrupting the ambush and his men are now holding against the Cobra troops. Sgt Humpty gives the command "displace", letting his crews know to break down the mortars and prepare to move out quickly.

Sgt Humpty leads his section to a pre-designated rally point, where they will meet up with additional Grenadier forces and await their next fire mission.