Thursday, 8 December 2016

Desert Patrol Squad Part 4 - Lady Jaye

1997 Concept Lady Jaye

After making my 1997 concept colors Cobra Commander, I started looking at that reference pic on Yojoe again. It has 8 characters on it that were never released in those color schemes. I had seen that picture a few times, but never really paid any attention to Lady Jaye. That changed now, because I was in the middle of making customs based on the Valor vs Venom Desert Patrol Squad 6-pack. I took some liberties and I adapted the color pattern to match the squad.

Head, torso, arms, weapon: 50th Lady Jaye
Legs: Roc Elite Viper

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Desert Patrol Squad Part 3 - Dusty and Syringe


I think we can all agree that creating a Desert Patrol Squad without Dusty would be useless. Unfortunately, the original set's version of the desert specialist was... bizarre. It consisted of Stretcher's head and Lowlight v2 body painted in a way that was not consistent with the sculpting. It made for a strange figure and one that had no traits in common with Dusty.

To fix this, I turned to Yojoe's Unproduced Archive and found a version of Dusty v3 with the same chocolate chip camouflage as the rest of the set. Apparently, this figure was meant to be released around 2000 with the other ARAH repaints we were getting at the time. I simply adapted the parts recipe as well as the color pallet and matched everything to the team and presto, a better Dusty for the squad.

Head: RoC Sgt Stone
Torso, arms: 50th Spirit
Legs: 50th Dusty (2x left lower leg with feet swapped accordingly)
Harness: 25th Snake Eyes
Weapon: Vintage Dusty


After I went in another direction with Dusty, I was left with a build for a figure that, although it did not work for Dusty, I did not hate. I debated whether to simply disassemble the figure and put it back in my fodder bins or try to salvage it. I decided to paint it up in squad colors and create a new character. I figured a medic would be useful, so I picked out appropriate accessories and called it good.

Head: Star Wars Rebel Trooper
Hat: MTF
Torso, arms, hands: 50th Beachhead
Upper legs: 25th Dusty
Lower legs: 25th Viper
Harness: Resolute Snake Eyes
Backpack: Vintage Lifeline
Belt: PoC Hawk
Stretcher, flare gun: Vintage Doc

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Desert Patrol Squad Part 2 - Tunnel Rat and Gung Ho

Tunnel Rat
Tunnel Rat was one of the solid figures from the original 6-pack, so I stuck close to recipe for parts and colors. He is basically a repaint of most of the 25th figure. I swapped out the torso because I felt that the original was too skinny and cartoony (I also needed it for another custom).

Head, legs, scarf, holster, weapon: 25th Tunnel Rat
Torso, arms: 25th Shipwreck v2

Gung-Ho's recipe was tricky to nail down. He did not look right using 25th parts. When 50th Gung-Ho was released, it helped define the figure in a big body frame. It allowed me to rebuild him with bigger modern parts. That meant moving away from the original's jacket to a tank top, but I think it still works.

Head: DTC Guillotine
Torso, arms: Ret Roadblock
Hands: Ret Firefly
Legs: 50th Gung-Ho
Head band: 25th Hard Master
Bullet belt: Ret Kwinn
Weapon: Marauder

Friday, 2 December 2016

Desert Patrol Squad Part 1 - Stalker and Ambush

The New Sculpt era (2001-2006) was a particular time in Joe's history. On one hand, the lines released during those years - GI Joe vs Cobra, Spytoops, Valor vs Venom and DTC - have a bad reputation because several figures had strange proportions and accessory selection were sometimes bizarre. On the other hand, a lot of great ARAH type figures were released and new enduring characters like Kamakura and Bombstrike were created during those years.

I got back in to Joes as an adult in 2004-2005. The Toys R Us exclusive 6-Packs and the KB toys Operation Crimson Sabotage were what drew me back in. After that, I started picking up various Valor vs Venom figures and Comic Packs. By the time DTC was released, I was buying all the new stuff that was coming out as well as a lot of stuff that I had missed out on since quitting Joes in 1987. That included Spytroops and GvC.

Even after the 25th and Pursuit of Cobra and all the other Modern Era lines, that I now exclusively collect, I still think the New Sculpt lines (and the TRU exclusives in particular) had some of the funnest figures and concepts. That's why I love recreating them as ME customs. It allows me to try to recapture the fun aspects while attempting to fix the flaws.

One of the first "flaws" that I fixed was to omit Snake Eyes from the group. I was not crazy about the idea of having him in almost every pack at the time. Also, I found some other Joes to include in the squad instead.


I tried several recipes for Stalker until I found one that I liked. At first, I was trying to recreate exactly the original recipe that consisted of Battle Corps Duke's body. The PoC Lowlight vest sort of works, but I felt it was too bulky for the desert. Also, I did not like the original's textured boots, so I went with regular combat boots. For the color scheme, I stuck close to the original.

Head: 30th Stalker modified with POC Lowlight cap Torso, arms, hands: 50th Dusty
Legs: ROC Pit Commando
Harness: 50th Flint
Chest holster: MTF

Ambush was one of the solid figures from the original 6-pack, so I stuck close to recipe for parts and colors. I made some changes to the legs. 25th Dusty legs would have been closer to the original, but I wanted to add some holsters and pouches, so I went with the more modern ones.

Head: Wolverine Origins Sabre Tooth
Torso, upper arms: Ret Kwinn
Lower arms: 50th Beachhead
Legs, hands: 50th Firefly
Belt: 25th Roadblock v2
Bandolier: Ret Ultimate Snake Eyes
Helmet: 50th Dusty
Weapon: RoC Cover Girl?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Alpine and Cover Girl

VvV Alpine
A few years ago, I made a Valor vs Venom Tiger Force Alpine for Project New Sculpt that I worked on with bucky. I liked the recipe for that custom quite a bit, so I decided that it was time to make a proper version 2 of Alpine. When it came time to make the head, I was inspired by MSWI’s awesome custom Alpine, so I borrowed the Retaliation Clutch idea, as well as other elements like the straps on the belt and the accessories.

Head: Retaliation Clutch cast
Torso, arms: RoC Sgt Stone
Legs: Retaliation Kwinn
Rope: 50th Storm Shadow
Harness: PoC Snake Eyes

Cover Girl
Recently, a GI Joe buddy of mine asked me to make him an updated Cover Girl. He felt that the Club version had some elements that could be improved on. This custom borrows from several recipes that talented customizers have been using for Cover Girl in the last couple of years. Even though the pool of available female parts is relatively limited, I did my best to create something different. In the end, both of us were pleased with the result.

Head: Marvel Shanna
Torso, legs: RoC Cover Girl
Arms: RoC Helix
Vest: Indiana Jones



Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Rock Viper

When the Pursuit of Cobra Rock Viper was re-issued in the 50th anniversary line, I was lucky and managed to pick up about 3 or 4. I don’t consider the Rock Viper to be the type of troop that needs to be army built in large numbers (like the blueshirt or the Viper), so I was satisfied with having a small squad. However, I wanted to have an officer to lead them. To build this custom, I took cues from the vintage figure like the helmet and the moustache.

Head: Retaliation Kwinn
Helmet: Raginspoon cast
Torso: 25th Major Bludd
Harness: 25th Snow Serpent
Arms: Retaliation Kamakura
Upper Legs: Retaliation Alley Viper
Lower legs: RoC Neo Viper

Sunday, 20 November 2016

DTC Major Bludd

I remember a neighbor friend of mine had the original 1983 Major Bludd when we were kids and I was not overly impressed with it (Of course he lit his up with a lighter and his dad ran over it with the car, so it was in pretty bad shape), so I never bugged my parents to get one for me. After that, I rediscovered Joes around 2005, so DTC Major Bludd was my first version of the good major. I made an ME custom loosely based on this version a few years ago, but was never really happy with it. After I found a good recipe for Blackout, the Major was a definite re-do.

Head, helmet, cowl, gun: DTC Major Bludd
Torso, upper arms: 50th Hawk
Lower arms: Marauder Task Force
Legs: 25th Beachhead