Monday, January 19, 2009

Getting old...

My son is 21 years old today. I'm not supposed to have a 21 year old son!
That makes me... old!

Nah, not really...

I'm proud of you, T!
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Favorite GI Joe figures! - Part 1

Hell Boy & Short Round would like to welcome you to my list of favorite new GI Joe & Cobra figures. My fave's are pulled from my modest 25th style collection. I don't know which would be a #1 fave, so I'm listing them alphabetically.

1. Airborne - an excellent upgrade of an excellent figure originally from 1983. Airborne was one of my favorite Joes way bask in 1983. He was one of the better detailed figures from that time frame and worked out well as Wild Bill's co-pilot. The new version is well detailed and just looks great. The only issue I have with him is that his helmet is a little loose - doesn't fall off, but still a little too loose.

2. Cobra BAT - Wow! An incredible rework of the original incredible BAT. The original BAT was awesome and an excellent troop builder. The new version takes the same basic visual idea of the BAT and kicks it up to a whole new level. The detailing and paint apps are very impressive.

3. Bazooka - The original Bazooka was just so-so, not an overly impressive figure. This new version brings out elements of Bazooka's character that the original didn't. The original line was fairly uniform in height of all the different characters. The new line is not constrained to that and makes bigger body sizes as needed. Bazooka is now a big dude, bulky and well muscled. Great job!

4. Beach Head - The original Beach Head from 1986 suffered from a bit of a big head. The first version of this new line suffered from a little bit of a small head. This newest version is a great nod to the first version with all the detailing of the new line. The coolness about this version is that there's an alternate head that has Beach Head unmasked. Some others have criticized this head because he's not military looking enough. Beach Head, by being a Joe, can grow his big redneck mustache back. Remember, he's from Alabama - he's a redneck!

Beach Head in his mask, same sculpting as the original version, just a better scale of the head, even better than the first new sculpt version.

5. Destro - Iron Grenadiers - The best version of Destro from the original line and this is the best version from the new line. Great scultping and great attention to detail. Can't beat the fully functional scabbard for his sword.

6. Dusty (DVD set) - Not one of my favorites from the original line, too much camo on his face. This update is excellent. Great detailing on his uniform and minimal camo on his face. Dusty has an extra waist joint, giving the figure better body articulation. I've read that Hasbro won't be using this body style for future figures. Damn shame, it's an improvement! I've added web gear from one of the Joe recruits from the TRU Firefly/Joe Recruit set to replace his missing harness.
7. Firefly - (Comic 2 pack) - Best version of Firefly in the new sculpts. The first was very impressive, but this new one just has a couple tweaks that really improves him. His uniform uses much darker shades of gray and the vest and goggles add extra detail. He also comes with a great backpack loaded with all sorts of destructive gear.

8. General Hawk - Simple and to the point, this rework of Hawk's second version is just all around great. Excellent details and accessories and a new head sculpt gives the GI Joe commander a great feel of authority.

9. Lady Jaye (DVD set) - This second version of Lady Jaye is a vast improvement over the first version. The hat wasn't too bad, but the face sculpt just didn't look right. This version captures the look of the cartoon and comic versions of Lady Jaye. The new two-toned uniform is an improvement as well.

Stay tuned for next time when I go from P to Z!

Andy Griffith & the Patriot Act

Sheriff Andy Taylor's still a pretty smart fella!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mad Photoshopping Skills

Well, not really. I guess I do alright. I use Photoshop Elements 2.0 with no real desire to upgrade. It works great from me and I've really enjoyed using it over the past several years.

Here's an unedited picture I recently did on my work bench. The only change is just picture size reduction, no other changes to it. I planned on cropping out the tape and all that crap, so it was no big deal to have it in the estalished shot.

After cropping the section that I wanted and just messing around with different effects, I finally settled on the below picture to post on Joedios. I mainly used brightness and contrast controls to change this image. Worked pretty good to me, the picture became much more vibrant.

Stop by and check out all my pictures at Joedios.

A fresh coat of paint!

It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for an old design. Or, from Hasbro's perspective, it got more use out of a previously used mold. Here are a couple of my favorite repaints from the classic days of the 3 3/4" GI Joe line.

The Snow Cat from 1985 is an excellent vehicle that was very well done by Hasbro. It has always been one of my favorite vehicles!

The Tiger Cat came out in 1988 as part of the Tiger Force subset from Hasbro. The vehicles were all previous molds repainted in the new tiger stripe pattern. Same thing goes for the Tiger Force team members. Looks good, though!

The Conquest X-30 came out in 1986. Hasbro picked up on new military designs quickly and used the forward swept wing design from the X-29 experimental aircraft. Very compact design, effectivly transitioned to a great 3 3/4" sacle aircraft.

Three years later, Hasbro came up with a Cobra response to the Tiger Force subset, the Python Patrol. Again, previously used vehicles were "pythonized." Interesting camo pattern on these vehicles, the design supposedly made them invisible to radar. The python pattern worked very well on the already slick Conquest mold.

Two great examples of repaints from Hasbro. Later examples - not so much. The Cobra Night Raven is an awesome aircraft, but the Sky Patrol Sky Raven chrome version just didn't quite click with me.

Two repaint/remolds that I wish I had bought was the Night Force Night Boomer, a black version of the Skystriker, and the Night Striker, a black version of the Killer Whale.

Good stuff...