Tuesday, January 27, 2009

GI Joe: The Coil!

For the 2006 GI Joe Convention, the Club released the Cobra's Most Wanted set, including Serpentor's private army - the COIL! Not being satisfied with the few characters provided by the Club, I created some of my own. First, here's the group shot:

The first addition was an Officer to lead my Coil Troops, named, well, "Coil Officer." He shares the same recipe as the Coil Trooper - Decimater head with TARGAT body. He is painted in the same colors with black and green flipped.

Next up is the Coil Techno Viper - Techno-Viper head on a Coil Trooper body.

I had several Snake Eyes v14 bodies and Storm Shadow v14 heads so I made a few of these guys that I'm calling Coil Neo-Ninjas.

Here is a character I call Virus - or the Coil Biological Trooper. He is made from a Vapor head on a Sludge Viper body - with Techno-Viper arms. I used a blowtorch backpack and some sort of Corps! pistol to create his weapon.

Not as much members of COIL, but rather associates of Serpentor - at least as described by the Devils Due comic series - are the next three figures. Hannibal I changed the arms out on as I really didn't like the look of the coat he was wearing. (I'm using that for a future custom anyway).

These next two are from a former "business associate" with whom I have long ago had a falling out. I'll refer to him as Snake Eggs from now on. Maybe I'll write up a blog about ol' Snake Eggs someday, but for now I'll just say that while he is talented he does not have that measure of integrity or loyalty. First up is Firefly as he appeared in the early issue of the DDP series. I'm not entirely sure what parts were used as he sculpted quite a bit on him. He has most of his articulation, but can't bend at the waist. I really hope his rubber band never breaks!

Finally comes Zandar. He fell out with his brother Zartan and ran off to join Serpentor in his ultimately doomed attempt to conquer the world. Again, I'm not certain what parts were used and the figure doesn't retain much articulation, but its appearance is really great. As much as I resent our dealings, I am happy with Snake Eggs' work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cobra's Black Ice and Black Ice Viper

Not to be left out of the exclusive figure racket - Joe Canuck - the Canadian GI Joe Club - created a few of their own convention exclusive figures. As opposed to the 800 to 1000 sets made by the US group, Joe Canuck made I think 25 to 35 of these bad boys. There's little to no chance that I would ever get my hands on an authentic version, so I did what I do and created my own counterfeit version. Additionally, as I was looking for reference information I stumbled on a Black Ice Viper created by Scramble over on JoeCustoms.com. I created Black Ice as close to the official version as possible aside from upping the contrast on the gray bits. I created this version of the Black Ice Viper to serve as his driver/retrieval expert. Eventually I'll do up a version of the Cobra WOLF for them sometime. I won't make it black, rather I'll keep it white since it is an arctic vehicle after all, but I will make some other modifications to make it unique.

GI Joe: Headhunters!

Every year the GI Joe Collector Club, Master Collector, releases a set of action figures exclusive to the annual GI Joe Convention. In 2008, their set was based on the Cobra Headhunters. I never had any of the Headhunters, Stormtroopers, or Headman figures the first time around. (I refer to my childhood years playing with toys to be my "first time around.") I didn't have much nostalgia or fondness for this group as they were released after I had stopped playing with toys.
However, the BATs I am rather interested in having. When I saw that BATs were included with this set I started paying a lot more attention. I preorderd the boxed and loose sets - figuring that I would sell off most of the Headhunter figures to cover the cost of my glorious BATs.
Once I got the figures I was immediately impressed and decided to keep several of them. Furthermore, I created several new members for this set in the new deco of the Headhunters.
The picture here shows my Headhunters as they are currently composed.

First off, I wanted to display the leader of the Headhunters - Headman himself! Of course in the comic continuity he is deceased, but whatevs. He is a straight-up repaint of the Headman V1 figure.

In addition to the 15 figure set the club makes additional sets that are originally available only to convention attendees and if there are any remaining afterward they are made available on-line. None of the attendee-only Headhunter Driver figures were made available on-line so I had to counterfeit my own version. He is a repaint of the Headhunter V1 figure.

Here is my first fan-fiction addition to the set, Needles. I created him as an assassin that specializes in poison and close-quarters kills. He is created from the body of Metal-Head V2 and the head of Snake Eyes V4.

Next is a transferee, Decimator. I re-created him as Sniper/Assassin for the Headhunters. He has Decimator V1's arms, torso, and helmet; Dr. Mindbender V1's waist and legs; and comic pack General Hawk's head.

Here he is with helmet off.

Finally, since I had the parts available, I created an additional BAT figure. Unable, really unwilling, to take the time I painted him up as a prototype BAT. Eventually he'll hang in the BAT laboratory with wires hanging out and whatnot. Until then he'll hang out with the Headhunters.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Over two and a half years?!?!?!

Wow - I'm a super writer. Just look at all that I've accomplished here in the last two and a half years! I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

Some of you may know that I'm an avid toy collector and have been for nearly a decade now. Additionally, I like to customize or "kit-bash" my toys (as the cool kids say). My cousin, Don, recently started a blog to post some of his work and he suggested that I do the same. I have to give Don credit for starting me down the dark path of action figure customizing. It was a stormy night back in naught-1 or so. Don called me up on the land-line (that's how cellphones used to be back then). He told me that I should run down to the local Toys R Us (TRU to the cool kids) and grab up a bunch of clearance action figures. I told him that it was quite all right since I had the ones available there already. He wondered if I had enough fodder. I said that I wasn't planning a land war in Russia and therefore don't need much in the way of fodder. He then suggested that I stop drinking so much and pick some up for making custom figures. After thoroughly cussing him out for suggesting such a vulgar thing, I asked for clarification on the customizing thing. Don't worry, he said, I'll come pick you up in a minute.

The rest is history. About 500 customs later I sit here - in my basement - despondent, drunk, balding, and over-weight - wondering why I can make toys but I can't make them happy! Well that's another matter I suppose.

Soon, I promise, soon I will have some pictures and discussion up here of my lovelies and the voices in my head can then only congratulate me on a job well attempted rather than berate me for dreams crappily done.