Saturday, November 22, 2014

COBALTs mk II - Blue Lasers Massive Mobile Armor

After I completed the original COBALTs, I discovered the same figure had been released in 6" scale. I tracked some down and went about making big brothers for my original design. It wasn't quite as easy as I expected, as the right and left arm sockets are different, to prevent the arms from inadvertently being swapped when assembling the Build A Figure, but a few cuts and dremeled out sockets let me put them together with the reverse torso and swapped arms of their smaller counterparts. I went through a lot of ideas for their gear and how to handle the large opening left by removing the head and neck plug, but settled on using up some out spring loaded accessories. I've been snagging some LEGO elements that aren't completely obvious like the hoses, and was able to tie everything together when I settled on a shoulder mounted rocket system for the "backpack".

Parts Recipe:
Iron Monger (BAF) - Base Figure
War Machine - Smaller Cannon Barrel, Larger Cannon Side Engine
Rahm Kota's Militia Elite - Larger Cannon Barrel
Arena Conflict Accessory Set - Rocket Launcher Pack
Metal-Head - Missiles
Heavy Duty - Larger Cannon
Agent Helix - Smaller Cannon
LEGO - Hoses, Connections, and Details








Thursday, November 13, 2014

DanOfTheDead - Laser Wars Field Engineer

The year is 20xx. The Laser Wars rage on!

Over at joecustoms.com, 36 customizers have randomly been assigned to two teams to see which group can submit the most customs to the joecustoms.com figure gallery by the end of the year. Started as a challenge between bucky and joemichaels70, it looks like we're off to an amazing start with almost 200 new submissions currently in the queue for the gallery! Team members assign either a "redlaser" or "bluelaser" tag to their submissions, and the side with the most at the end of the challenge will each get a custom made by a member of the losing side. It's all in good fun to promote activity on, in my opinion, one of the best hobby sites on the internet, and I'm excited to be part of Team Blue Lasers!

Of course, I began to wonder just who the Blue Lasers were after the team leaders each made mascots for their side(here and here), and suggested bolstering our ranks with characters based on shades of blue. Here's me as the Blue Laser's field engineer, responsible for keeping units like the COBALTs up and running. I came up with the look immediately after seeing Edge of Tomorrow, and like the heavy-variant of the power armor worn in the film. I decked him out with an array of tools and weapons to help keep his comrades up and running, and keep the Red-ites on the run.


Parts Recipe:
Wreck-It Ralph - Torso
POTC Gibbs - Head
Iron Man Mark 1 - Legs
Roadblock - Arms
War Machine - Gauntlet
War Machine - Missile Launcher
Mutt - Glove
Techno-Viper - Big Wrench
Cobra Commader - Arm Cannon







Darkwing - Terror in the Night

slim19722 over at joecustoms.com recently showed off an incredible custom of The Shadow, and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make a human version of the Disney Afternoon character Darkwing Duck. He was a quick figure to put together and I'm VERY pleased with how he came out... and I'm thinking I might have to tackle a few more de-animalized Disney Afternoon characters.

Parts Recipe:
Cobra Commander - Base Figure
Iron Fist - Head
Cad Bane - Hat
Lando Calrissian - Cape
Agent K - Pistols

The Carcosan - Pit Monster

I thought I'd seen most of the old GI Joe cartoon. Then I bought the excellent GI Joe Field Manual which collects characters and vehicle production art and discovered there was a treasure trove of episodes I hadn't seen and characters designs to inspire customs. Seeing the art for the original (and very different) ancestral mask for Destro, as well as the McCullen druids, I immediately looked up "Skeletons in the Closet" and was thrilled by the episode. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate the idea of COBRA meddling with a tentacled, mythos-esque monster in my 'Joe verse. I eventually want to make a diorama for this guy and the COBRA mystics to populate, but here's the beast beneath the McCullen ancestral home. Having also gotten into True Detective and The King in Yellow mythology, I imagine this thing to be a guardian of a portal to Carcosa and a herald of the King in Yellow.

Parts Recipe:
Large Pacific Octopus toy - Base Body
Eye-Tentacle Costume Accessory - Big Ol' Eyeball

The King In Yellow - Bearer of the Pallid Mask

I was recently on a classic horror and mythos reading kick while also getting into True Detective. I started reading some of the short stories of Ambrose Bierce and Robert W. Chambers and fell in love with the sparse references to The King in Yellow and Carcosa. I was concurrently working on a set of figures from an interesting old episode of from the original GI Joe cartoon, and decided to take a stab at designing a figure based on TYK. I'm a fan of more obscure physical representations of the esoteric (the floating shape over the labyrinth of Hell in Hellraiser 2 being a personal favorite) but I decided, based on the few excerpts from the PLAY "The King in Yellow" that perhaps this entity had a humanoid form it would take on in dealing with people. Initially, I had the bone necklace on upside as a sort of crown, but when I inverted it over the eyes it had a wonderfully creepy "veiled" look that reminded me of the art of Gerald Brom or "Pyramid Head" from Silent Hill.

Parts Recipe:
Emperor Palpatine - Head, Hands
Mas Amedda - Arms (shoulders and forearms swapped)
Po Nudo - Base Figure
Teebo - The Pallid Mask (bone necklace)
Prince of Persia Dastan - Collar

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

COBRA Druid - Aspect of the Wolf

"Very little is known about the cabal of mystics Crystal Ball has assembled to assist him in his nefarious sciences. They come from a variety of backgrounds and every corner of the Earth to bring CORPSE their expertise in all things unnatural. In keeping with ancient traditions, they often don animal masks during their rituals to appease the Ancient Spirits of Evil they call upon. The Aspect of the Wolf focuses on the supplication of power and strength from the Old Ones."

I thought I'd seen most of the old GI Joe cartoon. Then I bought the excellent GI Joe Field Manual which collects characters and vehicle production art and discovered there was a treasure trove of episodes I hadn't seen and characters designs to inspire customs. Seeing the art for the original (and very different) ancestral mask for Destro, as well as the McCullen druids, I immediately looked up "Skeletons in the Closet" and was thrilled by the episode. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate the idea of COBRA meddling with a tentacled, mythos-esque monster in my 'Joe verse. Eventually, I've got a diorama set up I want to complete to house these COBRA Mystics, with a few more surprises. I also looked to The Spectre's amazing Cthulhu figures for inspiration on how to approach these druids. The Wolf replaces the somewhat goofy looking Wildcat mask from the cartoon.

Parts Recipe:
Gandalf the Grey - Head
Emperor Palpatine - Base Figure
Monkey Man - Robe and Arms
Cheap Wolf Figurine - Mask


COBRA Druid - Aspect of the Swine


"Very little is known about the cabal of mystics Crystal Ball has assembled to assist him in his nefarious sciences. They come from a variety of backgrounds and every corner of the Earth to bring CORPSE their expertise in all things unnatural. In keeping with ancient traditions, they often don animal masks during their rituals to appease the Ancient Spirits of Evil they call upon. The Aspect of the Swine focuses on the supplication of wealth and pleasure from the Old Ones."

I thought I'd seen most of the old GI Joe cartoon. Then I bought the excellent GI Joe Field Manual which collects characters and vehicle production art and discovered there was a treasure trove of episodes I hadn't seen and characters designs to inspire customs. Seeing the art for the original (and very different) ancestral mask for Destro, as well as the McCullen druids, I immediately looked up "Skeletons in the Closet" and was thrilled by the episode. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate the idea of COBRA meddling with a tentacled, mythos-esque monster in my 'Joe verse. Eventually, I've got a diorama set up I want to complete to house these COBRA Mystics, with a few more surprises. I also looked to The Spectre's amazing Cthulhu figures for inspiration on how to approach these druids.

Parts Recipe:
Snaggletooth - Torso
Dengar - Head
Cairo Henchman - Upper Arms
Duke - Lower Arms
Gandalf the Grey - Lower Robes
Logray - Medicine Pouch
Cheap Boar Figurine - Mask




COBRA Druid - Aspect of the Stag

"Very little is known about the cabal of mystics Crystal Ball has assembled to assist him in his nefarious sciences. They come from a variety of backgrounds and every corner of the Earth to bring CORPSE their expertise in all things unnatural. In keeping with ancient traditions, they often don animal masks during their rituals to appease the Ancient Spirits of Evil they call upon. The Aspect of the Stag focuses on the supplication of immortality and rebirth from the Old Ones."

I thought I'd seen most of the old GI Joe cartoon. Then I bought the excellent GI Joe Field Manual which collects characters and vehicle production art and discovered there was a treasure trove of episodes I hadn't seen and characters designs to inspire customs. Seeing the art for the original (and very different) ancestral mask for Destro, as well as the McCullen druids, I immediately looked up "Skeletons in the Closet" and was thrilled by the episode. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate the idea of COBRA meddling with a tentacled, mythos-esque monster in my 'Joe verse. Eventually, I've got a diorama set up I want to complete to house these COBRA Mystics, with a few more surprises. I also looked to The Spectre's amazing Cthulhu figures for inspiration on how to approach these druids.

Parts Recipe:
Gandalf the Grey - Base Figure
Rex "The Doctor" Lewis - Head
Storm Shadow - Hands
Chewbacca - Satchel
Cheap Deer Figurine - Mask



COBRA Druid - Aspect of the Owl

"Very little is known about the cabal of mystics Crystal Ball has assembled to assist him in his nefarious sciences. They come from a variety of backgrounds and every corner of the Earth to bring CORPSE their expertise in all things unnatural. In keeping with ancient traditions, they often don animal masks during their rituals to appease the Ancient Spirits of Evil they call upon. The Aspect of the Owl focuses on the supplication of wisdom and knowledge from the Old Ones."

I thought I'd seen most of the old GI Joe cartoon. Then I bought the excellent GI Joe Field Manual which collects characters and vehicle production art and discovered there was a treasure trove of episodes I hadn't seen and characters designs to inspire customs. Seeing the art for the original (and very different) ancestral mask for Destro, as well as the McCullen druids, I immediately looked up "Skeletons in the Closet" and was thrilled by the episode. I knew I wanted to try to incorporate the idea of COBRA meddling with a tentacled, mythos-esque monster in my 'Joe verse. Eventually, I've got a diorama set up I want to complete to house these COBRA Mystics, with a few more surprises. I also looked to The Spectre's amazing Cthulhu figures for inspiration on how to approach these druids. I substituted an Owl for the somewhat silly look Bird (Pigeon!?) mask from the episode.

Parts Recipe:
Mas Amedda - Base Figure
Night Creeper Leader - Head
Gandalf the Grey - Arms
Emperor Palpatine - Hands
Prince of Persia Dastan - Collar
Elis Helrot - Wrap
Cheap Owl Figurine - Mask



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Odion - Sith Lord

Here's another recent commission of a Star Wars comic character who's new to me, Odion. While I still don't know too much about that character, I'm a big fan on his character design and love the way he came out.

I used two techniques here that were new for me. Normally, I prefer plastic capes for my collection, but my client requested a cloth cape. Luckily, I save all the soft-goods (the industry term for cloth accessories) that come with Star Wars figures so I had some on hand to work with. I looked at the way the Imperial Knight figures have their capes attached under a piece of armor and borrowed that idea for Odion's cape. I also used a transparent red paint of silver to obtain the metallic crimson effect for the armor, and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

This is one of my new favorite Star Wars customs, and I'm really happy with how he looks.
Parts Recipe:
Drax the Destroyer - Head
Ivan "Whiplash" Vanko - Armor (heavily modified), Boots, Gauntlets
Savage Opress - Torso, Shoulder Armor
Darth Vader - Arms, Legs, Waist
Hit and Run - Belt Detail

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

GHOSTs - Guardian Hologram / Occult and Supernatural Template

CORPSE (COBRA Occult Research and Paranormal Supremacy Endeavor) uses this advanced holographic technology to generate sentries to dissuade investigation into some of their work sites, including the McCullen ancestral home. The projects generate as much noise and commotion as possible to frighten off interlopers, applying science with supernatural flair typical of CORPSE projects. They couldn't POSSIBLY be actual restless spirits bound to the material plane, doomed to haunt the halls of lineage damned for its dabbling in the dark arts...could they?

Another nod to my new favorite episode of the old cartoon, "Skeletons in the Closet". One of my favorite things about the episode is that when the Joe team storms the castle, Barbeque finds a holographic projector that shows the ghost shown earlier in the episode, suggesting that everything we've seen in Destro's ancestral home is little more than highly advanced fun house props. Except it doesn't explain the giant snake and spider, the skeleton warriors, or the tentacle beast. Such a strange element of the episode, for just one of the scares to be explained away, when the end pretty clearly suggests the beast is a very real threat.


Parts Recipe:
Harry Potter Dementor - Hands, base figure, and figure base
Ghost Rider - Skull
Obi-Wan Kenobi - Arms





Crystal Ball - The Mad Monk of COBRA / CORPSE Leader

Initially, Crystal Ball relied on little more than a basic psychological intuition and some advanced stage magic to cement his role in COBRA. He was able to apply some of Dr. Mindbender's BrainWave technology to holograms, creating a portable, visual version in the form of his "Hypno-Shield". Eventually, his research began to lead to the occult, and seeing an opportunity to cement his role in the COBRA hierarchy, he began to play up his role of mystic and helped established CORPSE (Cobra Occult Research and Paranormal Supremacy Endeavor). This afforded him a unique role in COBRA, playing the part of supernatural adviser to the Commander, but his exposure to the unexplained changed him, and it would seem he has become a devout believer in the supernatural and himself as a conduit of those energies. He believes there is an unstoppable, unspeakable darkness descending upon the world and the only way to avoid being crushed beneath it's weight is to surround himself with mystical power, and through COBRA and CORPSE attain enough influence in the mortal plane to bargain favor with the approaching Dark Ones.

Crystal Ball seemed like a natural choice for this project, but I was stumped on how to approach a redesign. I was already working on incorporating the "Skeletons in the Closet" ideas into this project, when I noticed the one unmasked druid. I was simultaneously thinking about Rasputin's depiction in Hellboy and it all just clicked together, to redesign Crystal Ball as a monk-type character, drawing heavily on Grigori Rasputin for both visual and character inspiration. I remembered the Assassin's Creed plague doctor figure and regretted all the times I passed it up on the shelf, especially when I discovered it's going for $60 and more on ebay. I was disappointed until a search for "plague doctor toy" resulted in a single hit and I snagged one for less than $10. The rest came together almost effortlessly. As I was rummaging through parts for some ideas of what accessories to give him, I found the Gungan weapon and realized the top portion of the Star Wars column would make a great cauldron. I struggled with making hot glue flames for it until I found a perfect Iron Man blast effect.

Parts Recipe:
Assassin's Creed Plague Doctor - Base Figure
Po Nudo - Arms
Gandalf the Grey - Hands
Blackbeard - Head
Iron Man - Blast Effect/Cauldron Flames
Padme Amidala - Arena Column/Cauldron
Gungan Warrior - Atlatl/Crytal Bal
Mutt Williams - Snake/Ambrose the Serpent
Dr. Henry Jones - Grail Diary
Army of Darkness - Necronomicon




Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bio-Vipers Omega - Genetically Engineered Soldiers

In this final form, Bio-Vipers are able to manipulate their Bio-Matter composition into a armor like density and even utilize an advanced form of bio-luminescence which allows them to fire blasts of concentrated energy via chemical reaction.

These amazing advancements demonstrate the versatility of the Bio-Matter genetic compound. CORPSE is eager to begin human trials of a variation of the material designated Compound Z.

Based on the Renegades cartoon. The A-Bomb base was a great start, and initially I planned to just change the head (which ended up just being cut down, turned around, and sanded to remove detail), but noticed the Hulkbuster arms and legs were actually a good match for the animated model in its advanced form. Rather than drilling out the sockets to make the pegs from the new arms and legs fit, I should have cut out the peg piece and replace it with the original blue ones for less paint wear, but I'm otherwise very pleased with the result.

Parts Recipe:
A-Bomb - Base Figure
Hulkbuster Iron Man - Arms and Legs
Specialist Trakker - Chest Armor
Grizzly Gundam - Shoulder Armor

Bio-Vipers Beta - Genetically Engineered Soldiers

The Bio-Viper project continues with this "Beta" form, capable of forming itself into a more defined shape with a rock hard density. Cognitive abilities advance alongside physical definition, with this stage being capable of basic labor and following simple vocal instructions in addition to its direct behavioral programming. Without a true brain, these bio-forms will never be capable of independent thought, but should be able to process and learn information on par with the Battle Android Technology with a physical strength to match. The advantage being that the Bio-Viper can be grown at a fraction of the time and cost of its mechanical counterpart, with expended matter being easily recycled into new grow vats.

The Green Lantern figures come through again as a great step in showing an evolution of the Bio-Vipers' growth. As with the Omega, the Beta just has his head turned around with detail shaved and sanded away.

Parts Recipe:
Green Lantern Kilowag - Base Figure



Bio-Vipers Alpha - Genetically Engineered Soldiers

CORPSE (Cobra Occult Research and Paranormal Supremacy Endeavor) has begun manipulating a strange biological substance into a bipedal form. These "Bio-Vipers" are extremely undeveloped and are only able to maintain a consistency of form somewhere between ballistics gel and day-old Jell-O, and are about half as smart. But they hold the promise of a renewable source of laborers and soldiers for COBRA if the programmable bio-matter process can be perfected.

Initially, I wanted to build some storage tanks large enough for Omega Bio-Vipers, but thought it might be fun to have proto-forms for display purposes. The limited articulation of the Green Lantern figures isn't quite as annoying for what is essentially more of a background prop than a true figure. Still have to make those growing vats, though!

Parts Recipe:
Green Lantern Hannu - Base Figure


Arys "Styx" Takar - Order 66 Survivor

Arys Takar was one of the few young Jedi to escape the Purge, thanks to the sacrifice of her master and the reluctant aid of a Clone Trooper, torn between allegiance to his Jedi general and the Republic. Separated from everyone she's ever known and left to wander the galaxy as a refuge and outlaw, Arys quickly learned to hide her true identity. Cutting off her Padawan braid and shaving her head to pass as a young boy, Arys adopted the name "Styx" and poses and young Bounty Hunter initiate... a disguise that puts hides her in plain sight before many of the hunters who would happily turn her in for the reward if they knew she was a Jedi. Cleverly, Arys uses the connections her Styx persona affords her to track down other rogue Padawans and possible allies.

Arys was a fun, quick figure made for Yakfinities #54 - Order 66 Survivors. I've come to really enjoy the post RotS era thanks to Clone Wars, the Republic Commando novels, and Rebels looks promising as well, and Padawans are a fun subject to tackle.


Parts Recipe:
Anakin Skywalker - Head, Arms, Legs
Cloud Car Pilot - Helmet
El-Les - Tunic







Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kerra Holt - Jedi Knight

I actually don't know much at all about this character, and had never heard of her before I got a commission request to make her in figure form. Thank goodness for Wookieepedia and GIS.

Characters that only exist in the novels or comics can be hard to tackle, as even a single costume can be drawn in a varieties of ways. I'm happy with how she came out though, and I think she matches her illustrated counterpart quite well.

Parts Recipe:
Aurra Sing - Base Figure
Padme Amidala - Upper Arms
Mara Jade - Lower Arms, Hands
Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara - Head

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vice Cobra Assistant Commander - G. I. Jeff

So the G.I. Jeff episode of Community last season was amazing. Seasons 4 and 5 were a little uneven at times, but the homage to G.I. Joe was an amazing episode. The character designs were terrific, and I've been working on making figures of them in the style of modern G.I. Joe figures.

Dean Pelton's appearance as Vice Cobra Assistant Commander is the first villain from G.I. Jeff I've tackled. Admittedly, it's a pretty simple custom. Just a head swap with tiny sculpted glasses rims. It's not a perfect likeness, but it's passable and will help round out my roster of bad guys.

Parts Recipe:
Cobra Commander - Base Figure
Vax Potorr - Head

Tight Ship - G.I. Jeff

So the G.I. Jeff episode of Community last season was amazing. Seasons 4 and 5 were a little uneven at times, but the homage to G.I. Joe was an amazing episode. The character designs were terrific, and I've been working on making figures of them in the style of modern G.I. Joe figures.

Annie's Ship Wreck-based design was great, and it's always fun to sneak in a little bit of "pin up" style so long as it isn't overboard. Skin tone is always a pain to paint smoothly, and her costume does show a lot of skin. Still, I'm pleased with how she came out and I'm looking forward to filling up a shelf with G.I. Jeff figures.

Parts Recipe:
Marion Ravenwood - Head
Courtney "Cover Girl" Krieger - Upper Torso
Zanya - Lower Torso
Vincent "Falcon" Falcone Scarf - Shirt tie
Scarlett - Legs
Lady Jaye - Arms
Dr. Mindbender - Gloves

Thursday, July 31, 2014

G.I. Joe: Resurgence



After an unbelievable 31 days of customs, cardbacks, and catalogs, the G.I.Joe: Resurgence project has finally finished. Customizers Bucky, Oreo Builder, and Dusty79 came together to present a What If? toyline for G.I.Joe's rebirth, with the help of a number of guest writers and graphic artists to pull everything together into a presentation of a toyline that could have (should have) been. You can see everything over at joecustoms.com in this thread.

I put together a quick round of "digital repaints" to show my support, which you can check out here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Interview on the joecustoms.com podcast!

The crew who do the joecustoms.com podcast were kind enough to have me on for an interview and talk about customizing and related nonsense. It was a lot of fun and nice to get a chance to discuss my work and just general customizing shop talk. Give it a listen!

JoeCustoms.com Episode 18: DanOfTheDead

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hank "Fixer" Abrams - InGen Project Containment Unit

By the turn of the millenium, it was clear that all quarantine and containment measures had failed on both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna as InGen pursued sightings and incident reports up and down the west coast of Central America. When, almost unbelievable, reports started spreading to Polynesia and the Caribbean, InGen began to assemble a dedicated team of contractors to investigate and contain any further incidents.

Hank Abrams grew up on the Hawaiian islands, the son of a soldier and native Hawaiian. From an early age he was a wanderer and drifted between ports along the islands, taking on odd jobs where ever he could find them and earning just enough to see him along the next leg of his journey. Friendly and affable, Hank rarely had trouble finding work, or a place to stay, and he became a bit of a jack of all trades, with a particular talent for fixing machines. As he grew up, his wanderlust took him further and further away from home as he explored more and more of Polynesia, collecting stories and tattoos from his travels. Initially hired just to ferry the InGen team to Isla Nublar, he was told to stay with the boat as the rest of the group trekked inland. By the time they returned, he'd gotten one of the park's old Explorers running and setup a makeshift base camp, complete with campfire and dinner. The rest of the group were sold, and petitioned InGen to bring him on full time. Despite their suggestion of "Mother," InGen hired Abrams and assigned him the callsign "Fixer" due to his ability to anticipate and solve problems and keep the operation going smoothly.


The JP-Joes are such a stange, half-abandoned toy line that had some really interesting figures. The mercenary prototype is easily available and has a surprising amount of detail for a canceled figure produced in such apparently abundant numbers. Once I got him, I was hooked and wanted to fill out the ranks of a GI Joe style JP team.

Parts Recipe:
Mercenary Prototype - Base Figure (minor repainting and detailing)








Monday, July 21, 2014

Dominick "Tracker" Visser - InGen Project Containment Unit

By the turn of the millenium, it was clear that all quarantine and containment measures had failed on both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna as InGen pursued sightings and incident reports up and down the west coast of Central America. When, almost unbelievable, reports started spreading to Polynesia and the Caribbean, InGen began to assemble a dedicated team of contractors to investigate and contain any further incidents.

Dominick Visser was not InGen's first choice to act as the team's hunting expert. Roland Tembo, who lead the successful portion of InGen's initial reclamation expedition to Isla Sorna, refused to participate in any further partnership with the company, citing the San Diego incident as inexcusable corporate recklessness. InGen turned to Benedict "Gunner" Gordon to fulfill the team's leadership role, but still required the expertise of an accomplished big game hunter.

InGen reluctantly settled on Dominick Visser, a South African minor celebrity who saw limited fame in the late 90's and early 2000's as a young man with a successful wild life show on the Animal World cable channel simply called "Dominick Visser: Animal Tracker". Charismatic and handsome, Dominick was celebrated as a popular naturalist and environmentalist when a hunting incident lead to scandal. It was revealed that he was leading poaching expeditions for the mega-rich as a form of extreme adventure entertainment. An expedition to hunt rare lions went awry, and while trying to defend his celebrity client (and keep his illegal operation secret and reputation intact) he was severely injured. He spent the following decade attempting to recover his health, sobriety, career, and reputation, to little avail. Still, his skills were apparent and InGen saw his recruitment as a way to get get a high value operative for very little investment. Much to his chagrin, he's been given the callsign "Tracker".


"Tracker" is based on the canceled 3rd "JP-Joe", the "One Eyed Raider." I matched the figure pretty closely to the preproduction images, but went the Resolute Flint style harness to tie in with the rest of his Resolute parts, and tried to match his colors up to my other InGen figures.

Parts Recipe:
Duke - Arms
Flint - Hands, Webgear, Wrist Bandolier
Sgt. Stalker - Legs
General Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy - Torso
Zanzibar - Head





Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ash "Striker" Villalobos - InGen Project Containment Unit



By the turn of the millenium, it was clear that all quarantine and containment measures had failed on both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna as InGen pursued sightings and incident reports up and down the west coast of Central America. When, almost unbelievable, reports started spreading to Polynesia and the Caribbean, InGen began to assemble a dedicated team of contractors to investigate and contain any further incidents.

Ashley Villalobos dropped out of veterinary school in Costa Rica to pursue a more active role in aiding animals in need of help. Various activist organizations relied on Villalobos as a field medic for severely injured and neglected wildlife. Adapt at medicine and extremely compassionate, Villalobos refuses to see any living creature suffer. He's accustomed to making quick and often heartbreaking decisions when assessing an animal's condition, and will not shy away from giving his patient a quick death if recovery is not an option. Those who do not know him can find this behavior detached or callous, and his beheadings have earned him the nickname "The Striker". His talents earned him InGen's recruitment to help monitor, reclaim, and rehabilitate their wayward products when possible.


After I obtained the prototype Jurassic park GI Joe figure, and a few Gunner Gordon figures, I knew I wanted to round out the team. Ash has added paint detail and scarf accessory to better match his packaging.

Parts Recipe:
Ash "Skullstriker" - Base Figure
Ewok Headwrap - Scarf





Benedict "Gunner" Gordon - InGen Project Containment Unit

By the turn of the millenium, it was clear that all quarantine and containment measures had failed on both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna as InGen pursued sightings and incident reports up and down the west coast of Central America. When, almost unbelievable, reports started spreading to Polynesia and the Caribbean, InGen began to assemble a dedicated team of contractors to investigate and contain any further incidents.

Gordon is a former member of the Jamaican Defense Force. An accomplished solider, Gordon became disillusioned with the JDF's increasing role in policing drugs and relocated to Costa Rica. There he started a small military contracting operation, often recruiting fellow former JDF soldiers. Gordon excels at planning and logistics, and maintains a web of intelligence and supply connections throughout Central America and the Caribbean. His marksmanship along with his ability to procure just about any armament from his network earned his the InGen callsign "Gunner".


While Gunner himself is untouched, his JDF recruited mercenaries are simple part and accessory swaps meant to bolster the ranks of my InGen team.

Parts Recipe (Mercs):
Gunner Gordon - Base Figure
Wallace "Ripcord" Weems- Head
Mace Windu - Head
Sgt. Bazooka - Helmet
Recondo - Backpack
FN-FAL and SA80 - Maruader Gun Runners





Thursday, June 12, 2014

COBALTs - Blue Laser Heavy Armor


Over at joecustoms.com, 36 customizers have randomly been assigned to two teams to see which group can submit the most customs to the joecustoms.com figure gallery by the end of the year. Started as a challenge between bucky and joemichaels70, it looks like we're off to an amazing start with almost 200 new submissions currently in the queue for the gallery! Team members assign either a "redlaser" or "bluelaser" tag to their submissions, and the side with the most at the end of the challenge will each get a custom made by a member of the losing side. It's all in good fun to promote activity on, in my opinion, one of the best hobby sites on the internet, and I'm excited to be part of Team Blue Lasers!

Of course, I began to wonder just who the Blue Lasers were after the team leaders each made mascots for their side(here and here), and suggested bolstering our ranks with characters based on shades of blue.

COBALTs (which probably stands for something awesome) are the muscle of the Blue Laser military. Formidable mechanized units, each packs a trio of devastating lasers that can track individual targets, or focus into a single, powerful beam of destruction.

(Update: Levantine and agcaper at joecustoms.com helped me come up with Cybernetically Operated Battle Armored Laser Troopers for the acronym.) 

Parts Recipe:
Classic Iron Monger - Base figure
Wet-Suit - Power Pack
Lightsabers - Shoulder Lasers and Laser Effects
LEGO - Power Pack Hoses