Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cobra Trooper - Infantry

I still haven't made it through all the G.I. Joe: Renegades episodes, but from the very beginning I thought the new Cobra Trooper look was inspired. Positioning Cobra as a "respectable" business and making the troopers look more like security guards was a great idea.

I knew I wanted to paint up a Trooper at some point, so when I ran across this Trooper Leader from EM4 Miniatures, I grabbed it and several other minis too. (Expect to see a few more EM4's soon.)

There really wasn't any modifications needed for this mini, other than a little filing of a weird raised area on the helmet.

I tried again to make a Cobra symbol on his chest which came out super blurry but OK.

Now that I see him next to the action figure, I kind of wish I had added a night stick though...



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grunt - Infantry Trooper

Grunt was always a character that was kind of hard to get into. Even as a kid, I kind of felt like he was just a greenshirt. Compared to the other Joes of the time like Stalker or Snake Eyes, he just seemed...plain.

For Grunt, I used the last of the Zerboz Military that I picked up.

One of the side effects of painting all these mini-Joes is noticing some of the little idiosyncrasies of the figures.

If you had asked me which figure wore military fatigues with lime green arm pockets, I would have never guessed Grunt, but now I know.

(Not going to make the obvious joke here.)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Night-Viper - Cobra Night Fighter

Generally, when I pick out a mini to paint for this site, it's something that is similar but requires some changes.

Today's miniature could have been used straight as it was and it would have been fine.

The Night-Viper was one of the coolest figures from the late 80's run and I'm just about convinced that this Horrorclix Corp. Response mini is based off the design. He's got a similar suit design, the night vision goggles, even the color is pretty close.

In fact, I like the design of the Horrorclix figures suit so much I just repainted it in a color slightly closer to the Night-Viper but didn't try to match the Night-Viper's leg design.

I would say this was one of the easiest conversions, but painting around that shield was kind of a pain. I guess I could have put a big cobra symbol on the shield too, but I went for function over fashion.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tomax & Xamot - Brothers of Light

When you think of Tomax & Xamot (aka The Crimson Twins) you probably think of them as they were usually depicted in the comic and cartoon: dressed like circus acrobats.

Or maybe you remember them more in their business suits as the heads of Extensive Enterprises.

I'll admit, I was originally planning to do them as acrobats or businessmen...until I saw the G.I. Joe: Renegades episode "Brothers of Light".

While I still like the original incarnation of the Crimson Twins, I *really* like the Renegades take on them as crazy cult leaders. In someway, that's even *more* insane than the original and fits just right in with a toy line that featured guys in bird suits and ninjas.

For the Brothers of Light, I picked up two Jason Blood Heroclix and added a little green stuff to raise the collars (and secure one of their heads after I repositioned it) as well as adding the little maroon sash thing.

While I did try to go for the mirror opposites look, it wasn't worth the effort of reversing their hands, so I guess they're both right handed.

Also, as a nod to the original figures, I kept Xamot's scar red instead of the dull pinkish-brown it is on Renegades.

I think this might be the first minis I've done where there are no action figures for the characters.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cobra - The Enemy

I always referred to the generic Cobra as "Cobra Trooper" or "Cobra Soldier".

Technically, the standard Cobra Trooper's code name is "The Enemy" and "Cobra" is his function or specialty.  But that's just crazy.

Creating the Cobra Soldier gave me another chance to use one of the Zerboz Military figures.

I didn't do too much to him. Added a little green stuff on his face for the mask. He's got little beady eyes because the gap between the mask and helmet is pretty small.

There are plenty of soldier minis out there that would make a good Cobra Enemy. But for such a generic troop, the $.97 Zerboz Military may be the best deal.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cobra H.I.S.S. Driver - The Enemy

If I had known what the Power Rangers were in 1983, I would have said the Cobra H.I.S.S. Driver looks like a Power Ranger.

So, perhaps it's appropriate that I choose to use a Zerboz Power Rangers figure for Cobra's first tank driver.

I didn't plan on it, but the pose for the Zerboz Green Power Ranger Super Samurai is similar to the card art for the 2008 version of the H.I.S.S. Driver. Nice!

I trimmed his Super Samurai Shoulders a bit, since they were Super Pointy. Using green stuff, I added his little helmet ridge and chest plate.

I tried painting a decent Cobra symbol but...there's a limit to how much effort I'm willing to go through for these guys and that was it. I decide to settle for a close approximation, squint-and-you'll-see-it version of the Cobra logo.

I was going to give him the thigh-high boots but after I started painting I preferred the look of the lower boot. I think it balances nicely.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Footloose - Infantry Trooper

Footloose was one of the first Joes that was a new version of a previous Joe, in this case Grunt.

I think that's why he never really clicked with me. Grunt was already kind of a faceless green shirt. Now I had a non-faceless green shirt to deal with.

At least Footloose had one thing going for him over Grunt: speed. In my toy world, Footloose's track team history (and name I guess) pegged him as a quick in-and-out assault type.

For that reason, the sprinting Zerboz Military figure made for a good Footloose. The sleeves are a little off, and apparently he's supposed to be wearing goggles\shades but it's hard to tell on the figure.

A note on painting: since this is a hobby and I'm not doing this for money, I don't mind sometimes skipping on the quality if it saves my sanity. Footloose's eyes are a side effect of that. I tried over and over to get decent eyes on him, but in the end, he wound up looking like an emoticon.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Airborne - Helicopter Assault Trooper

Other than Snake Eyes and Scarlett, most of the original thirteen G.I.Joes were just a bunch of guys in various shades of green. Great at first , but a little dull after a while.

Airborne was one of the first ones I picked up from the second wave and for quite a while, he was my new team leader and the one who got to go on all the choice assignments.

I guess that means Airborne was my Duke.

There are probably a ton of different minis that would work for Airborne, but I knew from my previous Alley Viper that the Heroclix S.W.A.T. Heavy Weapons would work. The helmet, vest, and knee pads all match pretty well.

Looking at it now, I see I forgot to add the patch on his sleeve. Might have to go back and touch that up.

Now, where am I going to find a 28mm sized Dragonfly copter that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?


Monday, May 6, 2013

Side Note: Joe Related Flash Fiction

For those who might be interested, I posted a story on my writing site inspired by Alvin "Breaker" Kibbey:

(Now that I think about it, if I'm going to write flash fiction about the Joes, I probably should have started with Flash.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Short-Fuze - Mortar Soldier

I'll admit that of the original thirteen G.I. Joes, some  really stand out (Snake Eyes, Stalker, Scarlett) and some...not so much.

Short-Fuze is one of those guys who just isn't as memorable as the others. As newer characters came into the franchise, guys like Short-Fuze wound up with only the occasional background shot of them firing on Cobra.

Still, every team needs it's artillery so I want to include him as well.

Once again, Zerboz Military came to the rescue. This soldier had just the right pose to look like someone about to fire a mortar...too bad he was holding a rifle. But after a little trim with an X-acto knife and a little green stuff, he has a half-decent mortar. (I admit I didn't do a great job around his hand though so it kind of looks like he's squeezing the mortar tube closed. Oh well.)

The only other addition to the figure was a green stuff visor and he's ready to go!