Thursday, March 28, 2013

Agent Courtney Krieger - Armored Vehicle Expert

Hey, wait a minute! Who am I trying to fool here? I already did Cover Girl!

Of all the characters that might get a second version, Cover Girl wasn't my first guess. But the previous attempt just didn't really work. She looked a little too much like a cop (considering the mini, no wonder) and not like a tank expert.

So, back to the drawing board with the Veronica Blaze, Agent of G.U.A.R.D. mini from Reaper Miniatures.

I tried to match her outfit this time more to the Tim Seeley illustration, and to the 2006 Agent Courtney Krieger figure.

The mini even has some goggle for her, which is perfect for a tank driver. This version of Cover Girl looks tough enough to handle Cobra and hopefully not die stupidly like in the movie.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Barbecue - Fire Fighter

Some of the Joes and Cobras I've done have been "close enough" approximations of the original figure. Or they might be influenced by the comic version or something.

But now and then, I manage to find a mini that is an almost spot on match for a character.

I'm pretty proud with how Barbecue turned out. I started with a Heroclix Checkmate Pawn and added tanks, a hose, and those little ear dealies with green stuff. The submachine gun is now the foam spray nozzle, which the figure came with. He's got everything but the fireman's axe!

If I was a little better modeled, I could have made the tanks and the rack look more authentic, but hey what the heck.

Before I found the Checkmate mini, I thought I'd have to make unmasked Barbecue, which is how he spent most of his time in the cartoon, but I think I lucked out finding a mini with just the right mask.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Zarana - Zartan's Sister

Speaking of Mainframe, next up is his star-crossed love, Zarana.

Poor Zarana. While other Joes and Cobras had some special title, she was just "Zartan's Sister". In fact, other than one figure released in 2004 which listed her as "Dreadnok Leader", every other figure has been described as "Zartan's Sister", "Sister of Zartan" or "Sister to Zartan".

While her toys haven't been very imaginative, Zarana is one of the few characters that had some pretty choice roles in the cartoon and in the comics. She even replaced the Baroness at one point!

For her min, I picked the Heroclix Aphrodite IX. Another pretty good match, although I kind of wish I had tried to remove the skirt completely and just painted her legs as pants. Sadly, the picture makes the pants look a bit bluer and more plastic looking than the fig turned out.

C'est la vie.



Removed the skirt and added the shoulder pads\plates:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mainframe - Computer Specialist

OK, this one is going to take a little explaining...

Mainframe is one of those Joes I liked not because of his speciality, but his back story. In the comics, Larry Hama played this well by making not making him a nerd, but instead showing how he was still a military man at heart, playing more on his Airborne experience than his hacking skills.

So, for Mainframe, I wanted a mini that reflected that too, which is where the explaining comes in:

I found this Star Wars mini, Rebel Marksman, and not only did it have a similar uniform to Mainframe's, it even has a similar helmet.

"Perfect!" I thought and ordered.

When I got it, I glanced at the card that came with it and noticed something:

My "he" was a "she"...

I never noticed anywhere before that that is was a female trooper and, after looking closely at the mini, I can sort of see a more...pronounced...chest area.

But you know what, it's not that noticeable and who cares about the supposed gender of a piece of plastic anyway!

Rather than scrap it and start over I decide that it will stay and I think it does a great job of looking like Mainframe.

So, take that, I guess!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Budo - Samurai Warrior

Even as a kid, I had a little trouble conceptualizing how Budo fit into the G.I. Joe team.

I don't remember him in the cartoon or comic. I don't know if they ever tied him into the Arashikage family or anything back then. All I knew is he dressed like a Samurai but was from California.

So, he's a LARPer, I guess?

I probably wouldn't even have considered painting him but I had this Arashi Heroclix sitting around from a lot of Heroclix I bought, so...

I used green stuff to give him hair closer to his figure, although I kept the ponytail instead of the samurai topknot because...why not?

I didn't really try to hard to make his paint job super accurate because, let's face it, the green - brown - grey samurai outfit it pretty uninspiring.

However, if this is his new costume, I'm totally going to make another Budo mini:



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Side Note: A Sense of Scale

Something I haven't mentioned much before is the scale of the miniatures I've been using.

Most of the miniatures are in the 25 to 28mm range, but honestly the variation is all over the place. Many of the Reaper miniatures are closer to 32mm, in fact.

For example, here are four miniatures: Heroclix - Star Wars - Heroscape - Reaper:

As you can see, Jinx and the Tele-Viper are pretty small. They barely come up to Zartan's chest. And if they stood straight up, they would still only come up to his shoulders.

Cover Girl matches Zartan's height better, but she has part of her Heroclix base on top of the normal base.

Why bring this up?

While it doesn't really bother me, I know from other sites that some people can't stand it!

So, be aware that even within one product line, the sizes can be a little different.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tripwire - Mine Detector

Tripwire is one of those characters that I kind of felt got undermined by his characterization.

I didn't mind him being a little clutzy, but sometimes in the comics it seemed he could barely walk without "tripping" over his own feet.

Terrible puns aside, I always liked Tripwire's costume, so I was happy to find a Star Wars Old Republic Soldier Mini that could stand in for Tripwire.

I added a little green stuff for his goggles and his mine detector. (From this angle though, it just looks like he has a big melted tire on his gun.)

Probably any of the Republic Soldier minis would work since they have similar designs, but the longer rifle on this one worked well to convert to a mine detector.