They’re at it again – Oreobuilder and Bucky work their magic on the new sculpt era

Oreobuilder has been doing simply amazing things over the past several months.  Even if you somehow missed his fantastic work on “Battle Corps” month last year, I think his spectacular job on his tribute to G.I. Joe’s 50th Anniversary most likely got your attention.  I’ve actually seen many folks saying that Oreobuilder’s tribute was far more fitting to G.I. Joe’s legacy than Hasbro’s own offerings at Toy Fair, and it would be tough to disagree with that.

Well, now he’s taken things even one step further, and working alongside long time Joe Customizer Bucky, they are tackling something near and dear to my heart.  The new sculpt era!

I was a huge supporter of the G.I. Joe era from 2002 – 2005 and have often reminisced about how great the coalescence between direct to DVD films, comics, and the toyline was back then, and that Hasbro was actually charting new territory and weaving new stories.  The designs for many of those new sculpt figures were terrific, unfortunately the execution was just not quite there.  Whether that was due to technology or desired format still isn’t really clear, but what is clear is that many of the new sculpt figures would greatly benefit from modern era treatment.  Over on OreoBuilder’s blog he is already hip deep in the project and has already given some new sculpt figures fantastic overhauls in the more modern style.  Agent Faces?  I mean, come on!  That stuff is gold.

Make sure you book mark and visit often, as we’re sure to see plenty of updates and check some of the past work while you’re at it.  I’ve mirrored a couple of images below.

Looking for custom commissions? I’ve got a guy for you.

I’ve dabbled in customizing myself throughout the years with some mixed success.  I was able to get myself a President Zartan and movie accurate Cobra Commander for my G.I. Joe: Retaliation display, and I’ve filled out some classic/Pursuit of Cobra ranks as well with a Lt. Stone, Barrel Roll, and Sneak Peek.  Nothing mind blowing, and no major sculpting involved, just some part swaps, paint, and the tiniest bit of creativity. (Check out these customs below):

I have nothing but the utmost respect for customizers, and when Luke dropped me a line over on Facebook, offering to make me a commission piece if I’d promote his commission service, I said sure.

Then I saw the commission piece… and immediately requested three more, paying the requisite commission fees without hesitation.  He filled my requests very quickly, had all of the necessary parts on hand already, and was extremely communicative, friendly, and got the work done exceptionally fast.  I was beyond impressed.  He operates out of the UK, but still managed to get me photo samples, get my stamp of approval, and exceeded all of my expectations with the end result.

Commission fees are about 55 pounds, which equals approximately 88 dollars, and when he puts out pretty much one of a kind product (that likely takes him several hours) it feels very worth it to me.  Especially when a small investment completes my G.I. Joe: Renegades team so nicely.  :)

He didn’t ask for any parts for any of these items, he had them all in hand and did some great parts combinations, sculpting, and paint work, making these figures blend quite nicely with the existing Hasbro offerings.  I am a huge G.I. Joe: Renegades nerd and I couldn’t be happier that Luke offered these services and completed them so quickly.

He currently operates out of Facebook, so if you’re on Facebook hit him up with a Friend Request.  If you’re not on Facebook and would like to contact him, let me know and we’ll see if we can set something up.  You will NOT be disappointed in the end result.  I know I wasn’t.

The best custom project ever? Oreobuilder presents “Battle Corps Month”!

I think by now everyone knows how much I love the 90’s era of G.I. Joe, and that certainly includes Battle Corps.  Even with their sometimes bright colors, the designs meshed military realism with futuristic technology beautifully and are an almost perfect example of what I look for in G.I. Joe.  Figures like Stalker, Lifeline, the Cobra Viper, and many others throughout those last two years of G.I. Joe’s life deserve far more credit than they generally get.

So imagine my excitement when Oreobuilder, a customizer who I have some love for already, kicks off “Battle Corps Month” where he’s tackling the wide ranging Battle Corps cast of characters in modern era custom form.  This is going to be fantastic.

He started this project off on the Oreobuilder’s Blog and JoeCustoms.com and already has Lifeline, Stalker, Shipwreck, and Duke wrapped up and promises many more updates throughout the month.  I am on pins and needles waiting to see the rest.  Big kudos to Oreobuilder for jumping into this neglected part of G.I. Joe history, and giving it some genuine street cred with his awesome customs.

Keep up with Battle Corps Month on JoeCustoms.com and Oreobuilder’s Blog.

Kick Ass Customs – Oreobuilder’s Dino Hunters!

Ohhh wow.  Too often I feel like G.I. Joe fans do not fully embrace the almost ridiculous nature of the G.I. Joe universe.  I love the real world military element as much as the next guy, but there were some far out concepts in the Joe universe that I thought really gave is some of that kid-based charm.  As collectors many of us shrug that stuff off, which is why I was really excited when I saw the latest JoeCustoms Group Project was for the Dino-Hunters.

With only two figures a part of this Hasbro theme, I loved the idea of expanding the whole Dino-Hunters concept.  Well, last week, JoeCustoms unveiled the Dino-Hunters, and it was good.  Unfortunately there wasn’t a huge turn out this time around, but quality rules over quantity in my mind.  Chief among this idea was the masterful work of Oreobuilder.

He took the whole Dino-Hunter concept and ran with it.  Sooooo cool!

Link Talbot for the win.  And look at that Dino-Viper!  Love it!

Awesome work by Oreobuilder, and by everyone who submitted to this Group Project.  If you’re ever in the need of a custom fix, definitely check out the JoeCustoms Group Projects.  Some very impressive stuff there, and if you go back far enough, you can even see some of my work.  ;)

JoeCustoms.com Custom Celebration VI is under way!

Every year JoeCustoms.com unveils a special “Custom Celebration” which, as the name indicates, celebrates the ideas and techniques of G.I. Joe customization.  Hot on the heels of Toy Fair 2012, this seems like a great time to explore some of the creativity behind our favorite action figures.

In JoeCustom’s own words:

For those who have never been a part of one of our Custom Celebration, well, you’re in for a a treat. This is a two week event that puts the spotlight completely on customs, customizers and customizing. To do that, we have brought in a collection of contributors to write about various aspects of customizing, collecting, and creativity. In addition, there will be multiple chances for everyone at JoeCustoms to share their unique thoughts and ideas.

So what can you expect to see and read this year? We are going to be flooding the site with brand new “how to” articles and videos. We will be presenting a multitude of interviews with customizers who are an influential part of the hobby. There will be virtual customizing and discussion of collecting in general. All that, plus a ton of surprises. A day can’t handle that many items. Even a week is too small. Only a two week celebration can truly hold all of this excitement! 

What can you do? Join in the fun! Check out the new Custom Celebration forum. Each day will have several new features. You’ll have a chance to comment on each piece in this special forum for the event. In addition, there will be a few special threads with specific topics where you will help determine what is discussed.

If nothing else, we hope that the Custom Celebration gets you excited about customizing again. Has it been a while since you have made a custom figure/vehicle/playset/dioramma? Have you hung out on the site and never made a custom? What are you waiting for? Custom Celebration will give you tons of ideas, tips, and encouragement to tackle that first project.

JoeCustoms is proud to start off your week with Custom Celebration VI – a celebration of customs, customizers and customizing!

Check out the Custom Celebration right here!

More offerings and very cool things in the works at Yetibrew Design

A couple of months ago, I revealed to the Joe community a great new custom parts service called Yetibrew Design, and showcased a “Dragonfly Upgrade Kit” that seemed to get some pretty good response.

Well, as the infomercial says, “That’s not all!”

Ian, proprietor of Yetibrew sends along word that his Dragonfly Upgrade Kit has spawned some cool new items, such as “…small (7 round) and large (19 round) rocket pods as well as a land mine dispenser with removable mines and a two part gatling gun assembly which is based on a gatling pod used on AH1 helicopters in Vietnam.”

He has also adapted a rocket pod for use with the awesome Pursuit of Cobra Ghost Hawk vehicle!  Images of these items can be seen below:

If you want to check out the Dragonfly parts, click here.

But…wait for it…  “that’s not all!”  Yetibrew has something else big in the wings that a lot of fans seemed to indicate a desire for.  Many fans have wondered why the HISS Tank has a clear glass canopy.  Well, Ian wants to change that.  He doesn’t have the actual model done yet, but he has sent along some beautiful renders for an armored canopy for your vintage HISS.  This thing looks awesome!  Check out the images for that below:

How freaking cool is that?  Man.  Seems like the sky is the limit with this stuff.  Bad ass.  Head over there and spend some money!  If we can show that this stuff is viable, there could be some even better stuff down the road.

Sigma 6 Celebration Day 1 : The Creativity

Ever since the news broke in 2005, Sigma 6 has been a “dirty word” amongst the G.I. Joe fandom.  With a different scale, and a different style, this toyline was sure to rise the ire of old school G.I. Joe fans everywhere.  I’ve always stood behind the line, and still believe to this day that it was one of the greatest toylines that I have collected in my 27 year history of buying toys.  If “A Real American Hero” is tops on the list, I would say that Sigma 6 may even come in second.

That all being said, with Toy Fair a few months ago, it had been four years since Sigma 6 was first “launched” at the familiar location in New York City.  There were mixed emotions (well, not all that mixed, most of the reaction was abject hatred), and I’m hoping as we look backwards, we can appreciate the line for what it was at the time, and enjoy some content from the Sigma 6 days.  Most of it has probably been seen somewhere, but I’m hoping collecting this all in one place might inspire some Sigma 6 fans to “come out of the closet” if you will.  Each day will provide a different look at Sigma 6, and I’m hoping even the folks who weren’t fans of the property will still reap the benefits of this celebration and just enjoy some of the aspects of the line, even if it wasn’t your favorite scale or style.

For the first day, I want to focus on the Sigma 6 community, and the amazing creativity that went along with that.  Even for such a short-lived toyline and cartoon series, it seemed to inspire a lot of fans to do customs, dioramas, general picture taking, and even crafting entire universes based on these 8″ action figures.  For this first post, I’d like to focus on some of the folks who really took their love of Sigma 6 to the next level and produced some amazing customs and crafted some great stories for these characters.  Please keep in mind there is so much terrific work in the Sigma 6 style that I cannot possibly hope to cover it all.  I’m just providing a sampling of some folks, and please don’t think that if I don’t include you here that you haven’t provided a service to the community, I just wanted to do a general overlook of some of the creative energy that Sigma 6 spawned during it’s short, but sweet lifetime.

Whether it’s straight up photography, dio-stories, or amazing customizing, the Sigma 6 community has done it all, especially for a toyline that never really hit its stride.  I want to take this chance to showcase some of the impressive work by fellow members of this small fraternity.  Whether you like the Sigma stuff or not, certainly any Joe fan can appreciate the creativity behind some of this stuff.  Click the link below to read the full article.

Continue reading

Win your very own custom by one of the best!

Anyone who has been around G.I. Joe customizing for any length of time should be well aware of the skills of Chad Smelcer, AKA chad_ghost, most notably of JoeCustoms.com.  Along with posting some stuff on JoeCustoms, though, he also hosts his own page with a full gallery of all the fantastic customs he’s produced over his already long and illustreous “career”.  He primary works with the o-ring format, but a customizer of his ability doesn’t have many shortcomings.

Chad is currently holding a raffle, hoping to earn some money for a trip back to Niger, and the prize for this raffle is a one-of-a-kind custom figure made just for the winner.  The full details are here:

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“This June 1st – 14th, I am returning to Niger, West Africa.
To help support my trip, I am offering up the chance to win a customized 3 ¾” GI Joe figure.

Here are the rules to enter the raffle:

    – Each raffle ticket is $10.
    – The drawing will be held May 28th, 10 PM EST via webcam feed.
    – You may buy as many tickets as you want.
    – Three raffle tickets will be chosen.
    – Buy more to increase your chances of winning.

There are a few limitations on the custom figure:

    – The figure will not be a remake of any custom.
    – Parts can be from any era of 3 ¾” figures.
    – Winner will not be required to donate parts, though this may limit the custom.
    – Only limited modifying/sculpting will be done.

Tickets can be purchased using Paypal at this address: chad(at)smelcer(dot)net
Each ticket will be confirmed via pm or email with your raffle ticket number. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact me.

If you would like more information or questions about the raffle, please post here.

For more information about my trip to West Africa, please use the following link: http://www.army4one.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1416

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To give you just a small sample of Chad’s skills, here’s a gallery of only a sampling of his amazing custom work.  Check out his site to see the full range of figures that he’s done over the years.  Not only are you getting the chance to potentially receive an awesome custom figure, but you’re helping out a great cause as well.

Kick ass custom of the week – MASK by iwbeta

JoeCustoms marvel iwbeta makes a return to the “kick ass custom” of the week on GeneralsJoes with a couple of awesome MASK customs!

While much of the Joe fandom freaked out when Matt Trakker was revealed as one of the Anniversary figures, I thought it was an awesome and intriguing concept and loved seeing the two universes merged (as forced as it might have been).  Not only that, but the Trakker figure was actually pretty awesome, to boot.  Well, iwbeta takes it a step further and gives us a fantastic looking Miles Mayhem and Sly Rax from the evil VENOM team.

Check out the thread at JoeCustoms here.  I’ve also mirrored the great pics below: