Archive for the ‘Chad's Customs’ category

Ripped Straight from the… NES Rock & Roll, Snake Eyes, and General Hawk

June 25, 2018

These customs were made for the Group Project: Ripped Straight from the… From the moment I saw examples for this project, I was excited. I loved the way these looked, from customs posted on the web, to examples that companies, like NECA, had produced. I also knew that this was going to be a challenging task.

I wasn’t sure what figure(s) I would do, so when in doubt I usually do Cobra Commander based customs. I had perused Marvel’s G.I. Joe run and had some ideas, but things shifted dramatically after talking with Matthew and he mentioned making customs based off of the first Nintendo G.I. Joe video game.

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My entries for the 2018 GI Joe Convention contest.

The paint scheme, however, was the most difficult, the most important, and, amazingly enough, the most satisfying. After taking screen shots of the character select images, I made a swatch with the colors used. Next, for cohesiveness, Matthew and I chose paints that were closest to the game and the ones our characters shared. As you can see from the end results, we went completely different directions with our paint schemes.

I wanted to make these figures look as close as the character select screens as possible. All of the figures and accessories started with a base color of black, and I painted the highlights and lowlights. For the most part, if you cannot see it on the character select screen, then I left it painted black.

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My first idea was to create packaging that reflected what NECA has done with all of their Nintendo based 7 inch figures. Matthew did a great job setting up this idea and creating the 3D renders. He gave me a template, and I modified/created the images for the packaging.

On the back of the box, I changed the in-game screens pictures to show the six playable characters from the game, including text that describes all six missions. I also changed/updated some of the text and logos as well. The inside of the box shows a shot of the in-game picture for each character, and there is an opening to show the actual figure in the packaging with their character descriptions.

The filecards were done as an afterthought. When Matthew and I realized that our customs were going in different directions, he suggested for his to have vintage style packaging. Since he did most of the legwork on the 3D packaging, I in turn created the cardbacks for his customs. Since I had already created his three filecards, I decided to make them for my characters as well. If you notice, the images are different from the character select ones, including different colors and poses. These images were shown when the game was paused and the player could chose a different character. The texts for these came from the Nintendo instruction manual. They are close but not exactly the same as the text used for these versions of the characters.

Rock & Roll

I did not have a complete Rock n Roll from 1989 or 1991, but I was able to get parts for both since they share the same mold. The set of thighs that I had broken tabs, but since I was not including his shotgun, I decided to sand them smooth. Rock n Roll is never shown with the shotgun, nor is it used in the game. I did give him his backpack, and though it is not seen on the character select screen, the ammo belts do not hang correctly without it. Also, it is apparent that he has it in the game, and it adds a bit a playability to the figure.

Snake Eyes

For Snake Eyes, I used the entire 1989 figure. I omitted his machine gun since in the game he “prefers his Jitsu of power,” which requires no ammunition and is unlimited, and his blowgun for the same reason. Also, neither of these are shown on his character select screen either. I did choose to give him his backpack, and I had to created a sword peg because one had been broken off. I included this mainly for playability, even though it is not seen in the game.

General Hawk

Gen. Hawk, parts-wise, is very simple, though I did make two changes. The first I made was to leave off the visor for his helmet, partly because I didn’t have an extra, and also, it is never seen in the game; not in the character select screen or in the actual gameplay.

Secondly, I cut and removed the wings from Hawk’s jetpack mainly because the art on the select screen is inaccurate. Honestly, it looks more like the Cobra Jet Pack from 1987. This particular figure was released in 1991 whereas the game was released in 1990, which could account for the discrepancies. Also, like I did for the helmet, the in-game pictures don’t appear to have wings on the pack either, much less the missiles.

Though this was a challenging and time-consuming project, it has been extremely satisfying and will go down as one of my favorite group projects.

Liberty: 2215 – Serpentor, Mindbender, Billy, and more!

September 10, 2016

These are my four entries for the Liberty: 2215 Group Project at

To see parts and bios for these figures, go to the Liberty: 2215 Group Project page here.

Squads: Flaming M.O.T.H.

September 5, 2016

Range-Vipers and Flak-Vipers are my two favorite Vipers, and they happened to get released as a two pack by Master Collector in 2006.

For this group, I decided to take my three other favorite Cobra troopers: Astro-Vipers, Shock-Vipers, and Night Creepers. I tried to mimic the color pattern from the Flaming MOTH set the best possible.

The base color, of course, was the most difficult to produce, and I am still not 100% content with the outcome. Trying to recreate the marbled look was not easy, and I used a lot of drybrushing and a lot of colors. The paint is fairly thick on these overall.

For the filecards, I scanned the Range-Viper and tried to match the fonts to create matching cards.


Squads – LRRP

September 5, 2016

Snake Eyes v3 and Storm Shadow v2 are my favorite versions of those characters, but I have never found a good version of Stalker to go with them.

I have been wanting to use the Convention Rock N Roll for Stalker because the colors were much more versatile than the other two arctic rangers. Stalker’s head was also used in a desert set with Duke parts, and the short sleeves seemed more appropriate for a team like this.

The colors really work with the green Storm Shadow, from the Cobra Ninja Strike Team, and the Snake Eyes, an unproduced figure.

The artwork for the filecard was created from the Battleground game. Roadblock arms were added to the Stalker artwork, and the entire color palette was changed.

I wanted to make Wade Collins so he could be reunited with his old LRRP team. The head really made this figure happen. I struggled for a while trying to determine the base figure. I based the idea on his appearance in Marvel issues 95-96 where he wore camo BDUs with short sleeves. Luckily I was able to hunt down a Sgt. Misha figure and switch out his lower arms.

Wade’s accessories are an homage to his time as a Crimson Guardsman.

The artwork for the filecard was created from the Battleground game. Fred’s head from a Crimson Guard was added to Col. Brekhov artwork, and the entire color palette was changed.

Billy has always been one of my favorite characters. Since I was trying to recreate the six-man LRRP team that Snake Eyes, Stalker, Storm Shadow, and Wade Collins were part of, I needed to find two other members. I had decided on Recoil and Sidetrack, but something just was not right. I went back and forth until I noticed the Parachute Dusty figure. To me, he made a great Sean “Throwdown” Collins from the IDW series. Since he was Snake Eyes’ apprentice, I wanted to include Storm Shadow’s.

If you have ever made a Billy figure, then I am sure that you struggled finding a good headsculpt that did not look like another character (think Anakin Skywalker). After hours of searching, I picked up the comic pack Double-Clutch head. After removing the beard, I tossed the head in boiling water. When it softened, I squeezed the head from the top and bottom to squish the proportions a little. With some putty for an eye-patch and some thread cover in Mod Podge, Billy came to life.

The body is simply a Big Brawler with ARMY removed and a hexagram on the forearm, but I think that he looks great with his new team!

The artwork for the filecard was created from the Battleground game. One of Billy’s heads was added to another Billy artwork, and the entire color palette was changed.

Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Sean Collins round out the team, though they were not included in the project (only Storm Shadow and Sean Collins had some minor paint work).  Snake Eyes is actually an unproduced figure.

To see more of these, go here:

Ghost – Spy Troops

June 9, 2015

Late is an understatement.  Matthew finished his Spy Troops Mayor in 2009, which was six years after Spy Troops debuted, but now… now I just finished Ghost, six years after Mayor and TWELVE years since Spy Troops.  The second picture is Ghost disguised as Mayor. 🙂

ghost_st ghost_st_mayor

Here is the recipe:

HEAD: Cobra Commander 05 (JFAK cast?)
ARMS: Cross Hair 03 (modified w/ Night Creeper 03 hands)
CHEST: Wide Scope 03
WAIST: Iron Grenadier 03
THIGHS: Beachhead 04
FEET: Destro 03
PISTOL: Wild Bill 02
HELMET: Cobra Commander 05 (Master Gunzz cast)
MAYOR RIFLE: Sand Viper 03
BACKPACK: Ripper 02
SKI MASK: Sgt. Hacker 03
WEB GEAR: Dusty 02

Darknut – Legend of Zelda

February 24, 2015

With the release of the Jakks Pacific Link, I have been on a huge Legend of Zelda kick.  After seeing the Terra figure Razhan Mol: The Unholy at Target, I picked up this “statue” because it looked too much like a Darknut from the LoZ series.

The shield was made from the bottom of tin can w/ styrene and elastic.

This figure had no articulation, so on a whim, I cut off his right arm, and then his left (I had already pulled the shield off his back with much effort).  Luckily I found that the figure was not a solid cast but glued together.  After some boiling in water, I was able to remove the legs at the waist and the head at the neck.

To add articulation to the shoulders, I used knee joints from the Epic Tunnel Clash Hulk.  After much grinding and sculpting, the shoulders were finished.  The pegs for the shoulders I made from styrene rods.  After realizing that he would never be able to hold the shield correctly without elbow articulation, I took the joints from the ankles of the above Hulk figure.

The head and waist were articulated using a 1×1 technic brick (#6541) and a friction connector peg (#2780).  Styrene was inserted into the pegs to widened them to “lock” the pieces together.

The sword and part of the hilt were originally removable, but the bottom of the hilt was in the figure’s hand.  Using a small drill bit and a dremel, I cut out the hilt and glued it back together, along with some sculpting to keep the texture of the hilt.

The shield was made from the bottom of a soup can (yep) after realizing that the shield that came with the figure really was not right for a Darknut.  The elastic straps fit nicely into a piece of styrene that was cut and glued inside of the shield.

The cape is fabric.  After several design attempts, I drew on the final pattern and outlined it in Mod Podge.  When it was dry, I trimmed along the line to prevent fraying.

Both stickers, on the belt buckle and shield, are clear labels.  I printed them in black (the centipedes were left “clear” and the circle was black).  After applying the shield sticker, I painted over the black with charcoal gray paint.

Since there are so many Darknut’s in the Zelda Universe, I used the paint scheme from The Wind Waker Darknut, and the shield was influenced by The Minish Cap.  To see more about Darknuts, go the the page on Darknut.

Please view the images below, which include action shots, comparison and construction pictures, pre-paint pictures, and photos of the original figure.


Empty Seats – Maggot Crew

February 25, 2014

Here are Chad’s entries for the Group Project, Empty Seats. All of the name for the figures were based off of concept names for W.O.R.M.S.

Grub, W.O.R.M.S. Loader

Roach, W.O.R.M.S. Driver

Slug, W.O.R.M.S. Gunner

Lastly, a file card for the W.O.R.M.S. Commander, Crab, and a group shot of the crew.