Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Storm Shadow - Cobra Ninja

Back in the Eighties, there were ninjas in everything: ninja movies, ninja TV shows, Ninja Turtles...

So, it's not surprise G.I. Joe got a ninja to fight. I wonder if Hasbro had any idea how popular and influential their first ninja would be?

Introducing this figure changed a lot about the G.I. Joe universe. After this, anything was possible and soon half the teams would be made up of ninjas, but in the beginning it was just Storm Shadow.

I did his second outfit already, but I wanted to go back and do the iconic first outfit.

I could have picked just about any ninja mini for it, but I liked the pose of the D&D Miniatures Sun Soul Initiate and the fact that he had nunchuks  was a bonus. After all, I've done a few sword guys already, but no non-turtle nunchaku users.

The main conversion I did was cutting off the topknot and adding a mask with green stuff. If you're a stickler for accuracy, you could use green stuff an trimming on the boots, but I felt like it worked well enough.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Gung-Ho - Marine Dress Blues

After a break of almost a month, it's time to get back into some G.I. Joe miniatures. And today's repaint is an interesting one.

Gung-Ho's Marine Dress Blues is the first time I remember a figure being issued purely for decorative or ceremonial reasons. After all, if he's going into battle, I'm sure Gung-Ho would feel more at ease in his usual fatigues. But in this outfit, he's ready for a parade or perhaps as a guard.

For Gung-Ho, I used the Heroclix Happy Hogan miniature. I'll admit, I'm kind of forcing the jacket, but the pose works as well for a salute as it does for...well..whatever the heck Happy Hogan was doing.


G.I. Joe and Cobra Updates

I wasn't happy with a few of the minis I did in the past, so I went back and updated them.

The following have been updated:

Wild Weasel
Scrap Iron


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Venger - Force of Evil

No miniature version of Venger is ever really going to be good enough because Venger is such a bad-ass, but I tried.

Much has been made of the idea that Venger is Dungeon Master's son. (Hinted at in "The Dragon's Graveyard" and confirmed in "Requiem".) This revelation puts Venger in the same "fallen hero" category as Darth Vader. Which is kind of cool.

The three main things I looked for when searching for a Venger mini were wings, a skirt, and horns. The Mage Knight Astrus figure had two out of three, so I added a horn with green stuff.

Ideally he should be a little bigger so he can tower over the gang, but we can't have everything.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Dungeon Master - Guide

The obvious comparison people male is to say that Dungeon Master is the Yoda of the D&D Cartoon, but at least Yoda sometimes makes sense. And for all his other faults, at least Yoda didn't keep a bunch teenagers hostage in a foreign realm, making them do his work for him.

You know DM could have sent the kids home any time he wanted...

Seriously though, DM obviously had a goal in mind when he brought the kids to the realm. (OK, I know it's never revealed that he did it...but he must have had something to do with it.)

Anyway, for DM I had considered using a dwarf or gnome wizard if I found one with the right look, until I ran across the Heroclix Emp miniature. He's even pointing like Dungeon Master!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Presto the Magician

If it weren't for Eric, Presto would probably be considered the comic relief character. As a kid though, I found Presto to be the most relatable of the gang. He was unsure of himself and clumsy and never could get his magic hat to work. But he was earnest and tried to help as best he could.

Truly, a role model for the eighties.

Finding a miniature that looked like a wizard but without a beard or really fancy robes proved a bit challenging. Finally, I decide to stick with a simple mini I had used before, Heroclix Jason Blood.

My general rule is to avoid using the same miniature for a different character, but are from different continuities (in this case, the DnD Cartoon and G.I.Joe) then I think it's alright.

I added the magic hat, glasses, and belt with pouch using green stuff. I can't find the reference image I used before, but his belt looked like that in the image (more or less) and his had was kind of slumped over too. Maybe he was running?

Would He Stay or Would He Go?

Presto, more than any of the other kids, has more reason to stay than to go. For one thing, we know he wants to be a magician but his tricks usually don't work. And from the episode "City at the Edge of Midnight" we know that even the younger neighbor kids look down on his tricks. So for that reason alone, I think he would stay.

But more than that, Presto has a girl waiting for him in the Realm: Varla. From what we are told in the episode, it seems like True Love between Presto and Varla, so why would he go home to a world that scoffs at his dreams when he can stay in the realm with a girl who loves him and the chance to learn magic for real?

Presto totally stays, becomes an apprentice to a magician (maybe a reformed Venger after the events of "Requiem") and settles down with Varla.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bobby the Barbarian

Let me be honest here: when i was a kid, I hated Bobby the Barbarian. He was everything I dislike about kids in cartoons: loud, snarky, and stupidly fearless.

As an adult, I can see his merits and kind of appreciate the role he plays in the group. But it took a little time to get to that point.

But every team needs their Raphael, and Bobby fits the bill.

The hard thing with finding a mini for Bobby was deciding if I wanted to lean more childlike or more barbarian. I considered a few gnome and halfling fighter minis, but most looked tougher than I wanted for Bobby.

In the end, I settled on the Heroclix Gee figure and added details with green stuff. Now that I look at it, his shorts didn't really come out right, but it's close enough.

I tried to find a way to put the club in his hand without major remodeling of the hand, but finally gave up and put it on the ground at his feet.

I kind of wish I had taken the time to model a locket in his upraised hand. The pose is similar to the ending of "The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow".

Would He Stay or Would He Go?

Even though Bobby whines about not getting home in "The Dragon's Graveyard", I think he would stay. For one thing, Uni can't leave the Realm, but more importantly, I think he just loves smashing stuff. I can see him growing up and taking over some barbarian clan somewhere. Yeah, he's staying.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Diana the Acrobat

There is one thing about the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon that I don't like and it applies to all fantasy stories: the Fur Bikini. I don't know who came up with this look (probably the same people behind the Chain Mail Bikini, but it's a look I really don't like.

I could have done Diana with the fur bikini to be more accurate to the show, but my thought was this: If *I* was her, the first thing I would do is find a pair a pants.

I never thought about it as a kid, but Diana is kind of an awesome character. She's possibly the best fighter in the group, brave and smart. And unlike Sheila who gets a few "whiny girl" scenes, Diana is confident enough that we don't see her play the victim. She's bad-ass.

For Diana, I found the Star Wars mini Twi'lek bodyguard and tried to make her hair with green stuff. I think it works. And she's posed and ready to kick a Bullywug in the face.

Would She Stay or Would She Go?

I'm on the fence about whether Diana would return home or not. She has a lot waiting for her at her home, but she honestly seems to enjoy being in the Realm. With her combat prowess, her intelligence, and her willingness to help, I could see her becoming adviser to a kingdom or something.

Or she might return and get a gold medal at the Olympics. It could go either way.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Eric the Cavalier

The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon is my favorite cartoon and my favorite episode of it is "Day of the Dungeon Master". That episode has a lot to do with why I think Eric is my favorite character in the show.

Eric was supposed to be the complainer who is always wrong, in order to "teach" kids that you should follow the group. But kids are smart enough to figure out that Eric often had a point. He regularly calls out Dungeon Master for not being as helpful as he could be, while the other kids blindly follow what DM suggests.

As a kid, I definitely paid attention.

Eric was the comic relief character and portrayed as cowardly, but he always rushed into protect others. While some of the others were a little two dimensional, Eric had layers. I think that's why I like when he gets to be DM for a day. He gets a chance to show more of his character.

Finding a mini that had the armor and shield but no weapon was difficult. Even removing the weapon wouldn't work for many because the pose would be too aggressive. Eventually, I settled on the Human Cleric of Bahamut. I removed the pick and modified the shield a little. His right hand is a little awkward, but I like to think that's Eric trying to figure out how to make a fist.

Would He Stay or Would He Go?

Eric most definitely would take the portal back home the first chance he got but...I think he would regret it. He'd go back to school, go to college and start working in his dad's company and just be bored and miserable. But I like to think that DM would give him some way to come back to the Realm and Eric just might decide he missed the place.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sheila the Thief

Where Hank is the head of the Dungeons and Dragons gang, Sheila is the heart. And of all the characters in the show, she is the most out of place in the Realm.

While Sheila was kind of the team mom, and a bit overly emotional at times, she did her fair share of fighting as well. Instead of direct attacks, she used misdirection and tricks, which seems very thief-like.

The hard part about finding a mini that worked for Sheila is that a lot of thief type minis are armed or look way more lethal than I wanted. Or, they were in "sexy" armor that I also did not want.

Finally, I decided to modify a Heroclix Magdalena miniature I happened to have. I removed the weapons and added a skirt. She still looks tougher than the cartoon version, but not crazy.

I guess technically since her hood is up you shouldn't be able to see her, but you could have a big discussion about how exactly Sheila's cloak of invisibility works. Sometimes it seems to make her intangible, sometimes not. Or maybe she's just a fast runner.

Who knows?

Would She Stay or Would She Go?

Sheila would definitely go home. No question about that.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Hank the Ranger

While G.I.Joe is my favorite property from my childhood, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon comes a close second. In fact, if we just talk cartoons, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon is my all time favorite cartoon.

I'm not sure what that says about me...

Hank was the leader of the gang trapped in the "realm" of Dungeons and Dragons and, let's face it, was kind of the boring leader guy. He's the Cyclops of the group.

It's also kind of interesting that for the oldest member of the group, Hank is the only character who doesn't have a love interest or at least have someone show interest in him during the cartoon's run. Even Eric had a queen almost marry him (although she *was* evil, so maybe that doesn't count.)

Anyway, for Hank, I modified a Heroclix Legolas, removing the quiver and adding Hank's collar thingy. I considered trying to make his awesome hair, but didn't think I could pull it off.

Would He Stay Or Would He Go?

Initially, the kids were all looking for the way home, but I think some might elect to stay in the Realm. Hank is a good fighter and has a strong urge to do good, but in the end, I think his sense of responsibility would make him return home.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Jem - Lead Singer of the Holograms

If only I had this miniature ready a week or so ago so I could ride on the coattails of the Jem movie announcement.

Oh, well...

I think I've only ever seen one complete episode of Jem and the Holograms, but I've heard the theme song a billion times. I know when I was little, it came on after some other show I watched, and I always stuck around to hear the theme. It's a great song!

While I've never been a fan of the actual cartoon or dolls, I've always been a fan of the idea of Jem. Even as a boy, I felt like Jem was an improvement on the Barbie stereotypes and I can respect people who like it.

I didn't really set out to do a Jem miniature, but when I saw the Heroclix Dazzler based on her original disco look, I thought I could modify it for Jem. I tried to mod her skates into high heels and...well, let;s just say I tried and leave it at that.

Am I going to make the rest of the Holograms or the Misfits?

Anything is possible.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Samus Aran - Bounty Hunter

In the original Metroid ending, Samus Aran removes her Power Suit and reveals that she is female and, for some reason, this is supposed to be considered a "surprise twist". I never really understood why though.

After all, I'd been reading and watching G.I.Joe for years and, thanks to characters like Scarlett, Lady Jaye, and the Baroness, I knew female characters could be tough, resourceful, and get the job done. The reveal that she was female was about as much of a shock as if the "twist" was that she had blue hair. I just thought it was cool and went on with my business.

Anyway, for Samus Aran, I used the Heroclix Omega Prime Sentinel figure and let me say: I think it's highly likely that Omega Prime Sentinel was directly influence by Samus Aran.

Which is weird because the name "Omega Prime Sentinel" sounds like an obvious Transformers riff.

Anyway, I opted to paint Samus Aran in a kind of hybrid look: part Power Suit, part Zero Suit.

Now, I just need to get some resin so I can make a Metroid...