Archive for the ‘FAQs’ category

Custom Pic Request

March 21, 2011

Last week david (iflocked) commented on our welcome page. He is a long time listener to the GI Joe Review and wanted to see pictures of the O-ringed 25th Anniversary Cobra Commander Chad had mentioned in the podcast.

I did some digging and found these pics from 2008. No finished shots, but you get the picture 😀

Click on the images to see them full size

FAQ – Repairing Parts

August 30, 2010

Here is an email I received last week

How do you fix the broken  thumbs?

That’s a great question, and something I haven’t done a lot of. I probably haven’t attempted to fix a thumb or waist in a long time, but when I first got into customizing I found this on

If you have arms with broken thumbs, don’t throw them out, they can be repaired. I use epoxy putty which is available at most automotive stores to fix the broken thumb problem. I just knead the epoxy together and roll a small strip out and apply to the hand. The epoxy sets within generally 30 min and fully hardens in less than a day. Once it is dry, trim the excess using an x-acto and sand smooth. Wola, replaced thumb. Just be careful when putting an accessory in the hand as normal. It can also be used to make hair, pouches and ammo clips and to also repair broke waists. Be sure to wash your hand after using epoxy.

The epoxy that he referring to is a two part putty that cures quickly and extremely hard. Here is a link to some on Loctite Epoxy Putty

Although I have repaired thumbs and waists with epoxy putty, I haven’t been entirely pleased with the outcome. Typically with these broken parts I will repair them with other parts. If a hand has a broken thumb I will actually chop of the entire hand and do a hand transplant. You can also do this with a waist piece and transplant the crotch area, but it is more difficult plus the waist tends to have more pressure on it and even repairs can break.

If you’d like me to go into further details just let me know!

FAQ – Where to buy parts

August 24, 2010

I got this question this week

Where can I buy the body parts?

The question was asked by a guy living in Spain, but I think that it is a good enough question that I will discuss it. Without a doubt I buy most of my stuff off of What makes it such a great option is that ebay is international. I checked ebay Spain and found Joes on there both under the GI Joe name and it’s European counterpart, Action Force.

However, ebay isn’t the only option out there. There are other auction sites, but I’ve never tried any of them. Here are a few places that I visit regularly. – This is run by Zombieguide from
– This is run by forcefull1 from the forums. I’ve been buying from him for a long time now. Great selection and even better prices.

If anyone else has recommendations I’d love to hear them!

FAQ – File Repository

May 26, 2010

I’m still trying to find time to put together a custom logo tutorial to go with the water slide decal tutorial I posted earlier. Until then, I figured it would be nice to share a place to gather custom logos and such, especially since creating images from scratch can be difficult. Check out the File Repository over at the wiki. They also have some tutorials on painting, sculpting, and more. If you are new to customizing I would definitely take a look through all they have to offer.

I’ve attached a few logos just to give a taste of what they have to offer.

med night spec air

FAQ – Imaging Software

April 29, 2010

A few weeks ago I posted a tutorial on custom waterslide decals. The tutorial showed how to apply the decals, but not how to make them. Making the decals can sometimes be the most annoying step, especially without the right software. I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, but those who have them know that they are not cheap. So I decided to look for the best free imaging software(s) out there.

First things first is to define the two types of imaging software, Raster and Vector. Raster graphics (ie Adobe Photoshop) are resolution dependent. They cannot scale up to an arbitrary resolution without loss of apparent quality. Vector graphics (ie Adobe Illustrator) is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics.

The major advantage of vector graphics is the ability to enlarge or shrink an image without losing quality. However, vector images aren’t as easy to find, and sometimes have to be created by the user. A great place to get vector logos is

I actually use a little bit of a combination of both. If I cannot find or create a vector image, I will open a raster image in Illustrator and scale it down to size. Unlike Photoshop, Illustrator isn’t changing the actual image dimensions, just scaling them, preserving resolution.

But what if you don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator? I posted this question over HERE at

They recommended a software called GIMP for Raster graphics and Inkscape for Vector graphics. Although I’ve downloaded both softwares, I haven’t had a chance to use them yet. If anyone out there has, I’d love to hear what you have to say about them.

FAQ – Waterslide Decals

April 17, 2010

I’ve been using waterslide decals for quite a while now, but have been too lazy to make a tutorial. A few months ago I found a great customs blog called Insidious Customs. Eric LeFeber is a professional toy designer, and does some great work.

I popped over there today and found that he has done a great tutorial on how to apply waterslide decals. Actually printing the decals can be tough, so I might need to cover that sometime, but for now check out his awesome tutorial HERE!

Here are few examples of waterslide decals I have done.
Hama Leslie Dragonsnake

Click on the images to see them full size

FAQ – Parts

April 13, 2010

I received this email from Chris

Hi Matt,

Have to first start out by saying I really like your custom GI Joes.  Growing up, like lots of others, I collected them as a kid.  More recently, I stumbled upon custom Joes like yours and are just amazed at what people can do with them on their own.  I think a lot of your customs are cooler than what you see in stores these days!  I noticed you put what pieces made up your figures and from what year to describe them.  My question is, are you using original GI Joe parts and repainting them, or molding these from scratch yourself?  And do you ever sell them?  I am fascinated!


The majority of parts I use are original parts. There have been people that cast parts, but they typically don’t do it very long or are hard to depend on. I’ve actually never done any casting myself. Check out these sites for people who do casting:

I typically don’t sell my customs, but I have done commissions in the past. Not really doing them now as it seems to take the fun out of it, plus I’ve been sitting on a couple of commissions for over a year now that I haven’t finished.

Also, if you want to learn more about customizing, visit They have the largest archive of custom Joes. I’d also suggest checking out He hasn’t done 3-3/4″ Joes in a while, but he’s really the godfather of joe customizing, and one of the reason I started customizing to begin with.