Customs – Agent Jinx

It was well over a year ago that I was cruising through my endeavour to make a modern version of all the old G.I. Joe Ninja Force* figures.  I think I bumbled my way through Dojo and T’Jbang before making some that I actually liked, like Tiger Claw and Kamakura.

I was gung-ho for the rest though, such to the point that I had the parts all picked out for each one and in their own plastic compartment in my morgue-like customs container.

Now, nearly two years later, and I’ve gotten a workspace set up and have reignited the passion, and Jinx was my first jump back into the fray.

*Yes, I know she wasn’t technically “Ninja Force” but she’s a ninja and… a force… and needed an homage.  Shoosh.

Agent Jinx w/staff

The blindfold is more for you, really, than it is for me.


Naturally since the SDCC versions are absolutely fantastic and don’t need a thing done to ’em, this one is based off the Valor Vs Venom (VVV can bite my ass) Agent Jinx, that came in a 2-pack with a weird-looking Slice.  The figures were, yeah, weird, but the card art was cool and she was kickass in the cartoon.

Old School VVV Jinx

Impossibly tiny waist and head yet monstrous shoulders… I’m like Barbie on roids!


I don’t even have the figure (can’t find one cheap enough on eBay) so I had to work off of pictures I found on and such.




And one off this trading card, though I’m not sure where it’s from.

Agent Jinx w/staff again

See, I don’t need the blindfold to whup some ay-uss.


Agent Jinx and SDCC Jinxes

Jinxy, Jinxy, Jinxy


Part of what took me so long to even attempt a Jinx was that I had NO idea what I was going to do for parts and, more importantly, a head.  No way in hell I could afford an SDCC version just for parts and I wasn’t up to scratch with modding/painting a Scarlett or something.

I had pretty much planned to wait for my skills to catch up or just get braver, or both.  Ha!

Couple of years ago, I had one of those rare moments where my father actually sent me money for my birthday like I’m 12 and I very uncharacteristically spent it on myself.  I’ve always wanted to be one of “those guys” that can just buy an SDCC or some sort of HTF figure and then play with it.  I know this isn’t the Holy Grail for anybody, really, but being able to pick up the red AND the white SDCC Jinxes was a situation I’ll probably NEVER be in again.  I’m pretty damn happy I could though!

‘Cept the white ones feet don’t bloody stay on her stand, dammit.

And they went right ahead and made the Retaliation Jinx the exact same mold as the red one, cheeky buggers.  If I’d known they’d do that, I’da just painted a RET one.  Heh.

Agent Jinx from behind

I got a lotta longass hair. Or would it be asslong hair?


Luck shined when I won an auction from some caster on eBay.  I picked up an SDCC-style Jinx head for $4 (I think) and put here in the parts box.

Then stalled.  And procrastinated.  And waited.

So yeah, two years later and I’m all full of piss and vinegar, ready to paint a flat-grey head!

Agent Jinx with sword

Forgot my blindfold again, SCHWING!


Which, holy shit, was not easy.  I read Jin Saotome’s tutorials on painting eyes and shit, I hit up HissTankers for advice, I Googled and I practiced and nothing could have prepared me for not only the steadiness needed for that intimate level of detail but also making her Japanese!

I stayed off the coffee though and gave it a solid go, bringing it to my Chief Art Director Wife to see what she thought.  While terribly sweet and supportive, there was a lot of “Not Asian enough” and “her hair needs a different treatment, some sort of layer or wash” (Ha! I just got that!  Wash!) and “is she half-Japanese? Because that could pass…”

And pass it did, because I was happy and was getting seriously scared at fucking this thing up (“Don’t overwork it!” they’d cry in my art classes).

Agent Jinx and SDCC Jinx

Let’s go shoppin’ girls! For BLOOD.


Recipe body:

  • Head – Custom cast from Unknown off eBay (from SDCC Kim Arashikage).  LOVED that it was cast off of the SDCC, but there was a huge glorping fault along the inside of her ponytail that took some work to clear out.
  • TorsoResolute Baroness. Chose this one for the collar aspect, though it took a LOT of painting on Liquid Green Stuff and sanding and sculpting and sculpting and sanding to get rid of the snake scales and the cobra logo embossed on her chest.
  • Upper ArmsROC Scarlett (Impact Armour).  I had some other arms picked out that SO did not work.  Can’t remember why I made half of the parts choices I did, but I’m glad I stopped smoking so much crack.
  • Lower Arms/HandsROC Baroness (Paris Pursuit).  And the bracelets are just electrical wire I snipped off a broken toy my 4-yo had.
  • SkirtPOC Storm Shadow.  I trimmed a seam out thinking I’d make it more petite and finish it down the side, but I totally forgot to make it flexible for movement.  Sure enough, first time I posed her, I “snapped” that seam back open.  It looked alright enough, so I left it!  Holy shit though, would I have LOVED to have known about the indomitable Vortious Custom Accessories.  He’s got this belt, that would’ve been fkn PERFECT.  Think I might order it anyway and revisit this Jinx custom again someday.
  • Upper LegsROC Baroness.  With some sanding and modding.  The original legs I had picked were 25th Ann Storm Shadow’s (I used the lowers) and they just… wouldn’t… FIT.  Then, remembering I no longer smoke the crackrock, I put some female legs on her and it all worked out.  Hell, they had the leg strap things too!  HOW did I miss that the first time I was selecting parts?!
  • KneesRenegades Firefly.  Think they’re also off the Resolute Cobra Troopers, but I had an extra Firefly, so there you go.
  • Lower Legs25th Anniversary Storm Shadow.  These got sanded and shaved and sanded and the texture was just perfect.  Though, in hindsight, I might’ve just gone with the ones off the Retaliation Jinx (for whatever odd reason, I had extras) but I kind of like doing it my own way…
  • FeetROC Scarlett (Impact Armour).  Again, I had others picked out and NO idea why.  These worked for the “boot-like” look of her ninja kickers, and that’s just a spare bit of plastic I’d carved off of a rocket launcher or something glued to the top of her feet.

Recipe Gear:

  • Naginata (staff)Retaliation Jinx.  Painted the grips and blade.
  • SwordPOC Snake Eyes.  For whatever reason, I had an extra one of these.  SCORE.  The scabbard is just glued on.
  • KnifeRenegades Firefly.  I think.  I can’t remember, but it’s close enough to his.  The scabbard is black electrical tape.
  • Blindfold – Straps from the fencing helmet that comes with Retaliation Red Ninja.  I had a couple extra of these, one of which had no mask, so it was easy enough to cobble them together and make a strap all the way around the head.  Wrinkled fabric casts are VERY forgiving sometimes, so I didn’t have to sand/glue too much.

Biggest Fail:

Probably her skirt.  The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that I’m going to order that belt from Vortious Custom Accessories and rework that thing.  Overall though, I’d like to be a bit more pedantic about the paint and trim and such.

Biggest Nail:

Think I did alright on her head.  First time I’d ever attempted painting a face and eyes and such, so I’m pretty pleased how she turned out.  Though you can see the obvious discrepancies between her eyebrows and eyes and such.  I’m still happy though, maybe my standards are just low!

SDCC Jinx and Agent Jinx

Slightly surprised eyebrows aren’t my forte.


SDCC Jinx and Agent Jinx

Sure, you’re surprised, but why do my eyebrows look slightly furry?



Customs – Alley Vipers Revisited

So a while back, coupla years ago, I had a couple of the Defense of Cobra Island (DOCI) Alley Vipers that I got for cheap from Sinodolls on eBay that don’t come with any gear.  None.  Bare.

I tried to make the gear myself and had a… well, a real learning experience.

Welp, when I saw another one come up in auction for a penny, I grabbed him up and decided that I was going to try and do this thing proper.  Make the equipment as near to the real thing as I could without casting it myself or getting parts from somewhere else and painting those.

I started by sanding off the shitty enamel paint from before.  I tried to be kind to myself too, reminding that it was all I could find nearby and all I could afford, etc. but it was still a pain in the ass.

Not having much else to work with, I kept the base helmets and vests and sanded the fuck outta them.  I had one extra vest I’d put on another figure as a placeholder until I got his proper vest and the helmet is off of Blowtorch as well (though it IS glued on).  So I had enough for three… schweet!

Getting the helmet styled into the proper Alley Viper fit was the first step, and I used the Pursuit of Cobra (POC) Alley Viper as a template for the entire deal.

Helmets WIP

Helmets WIP


Here’s the old helmet with the old, crappy, visor, with his friends behind him.  Wifeage once again came to the rescue with some of her acrylic nails, giving me the ones that were too big for her, and I’ll be goldarned but if you lay ’em tip-to-tip, like a clamshell, and set ’em up against the back of the helmet, it’s perfect!

I glued ’em on and sanded ’em to fit, then painted on Liquid Green Stuff (which is brilliant).

Helmets WIP

Helmets WIP, glued the fake nails on


I traced the POC AV’s visor and used it as a template for cutting out the new visors.  That’s an old pill bottle from one of wife’s medications that I carved up into weird butterfly shapes.

Helmets WIP

Green stuff and sanding


I took a cheapshit rifle from a pack of G.I. No’s (True Heroes I think?) and sliced the barrel a few times, making nubs for the hinge of the visor.  The exact same size as the drillbit that I have for my hand-powered hobby drill (Games Workshop again).

Visors fitted on

Visors fitted on


It takes a bit of working with ’em, using the heatgun to soften the plastic a bit and then lots of blowing on ’em to cool it down, but they fit real nice at the end of it.

And they stay up!

And they stay up!

Visors WIP

Visors WIP

Using the thicker plastic from the cheapass rifle barrel was a better call than the metal pin from a thumbtack I used last time.

Alley Viper shield WIP

Alley Viper shield WIP


Next up was the shield, which I wanted to be strong so I cut up an old conditioner bottle.

Lesson here: cheap conditioner bottles have remarkably hard plastic.

Once again, I traced the POC AV’s shield and used that as a template for paper, then cardboard.  I wasn’t sure how to make the “raised” areas of the shield, nor how to shape it, until I started using my actual brain.  Then I cut the main shield in half, sanded a bit of a “round” to the top and bottom and glued it together at an angle.

Then I cut two pieces to double-layer the top and then again for the bottom.

Alley Viper shield WIP

Alley Viper shield WIP


I took a sword from the “100 Pieces Bulk Lot” auctions you get from Sinodolls as well (comes with about 6-10 of the swords from VVV Storm Shadow) and cut the grip off, then used the blade as a “brace” for the handle.  LOTS of super glue and we rollin’.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Alley Viper Gear WIP – First coat of orange


Then I started painting shit orange, just to see how we go.

Now I used Photoshop to colourmatch the orange and blue from the DOCI AV to the shit I can get at Games Workshop in Freo (who’ve got a new manager that’s friggin’ awesome).  When I FB msg’ed the shop, AwesomeMgrGuy got back to me with a big yes that they had both Dragonsnot Orange and Elfjizz Blue (kidding, Trollslayer Orange and Altdorf Guard Blue, or some shit like that).  Legend.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Alley Viper Gear WIP – Orange w/white basecoats


Oh, that’s right.  Last time I did this, Wifeage smartly suggested a white basecoat.  DUMBASS, I forgot.

But then I remembered, so as to limit my dumbassery.

I basecoated the vests, helmets and visors, but the second and third shields were cut from an old Napisan bottle (laundry powder) which was MUCH softer and easier to work with.  It’s white already, so I used a basecoat of hers for her nails as a primer and then got to painting.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Alley Viper Gear WIP – 3rd and 4th coats of orange.


And BANG, there you go.  Some are only on one coat, but nearly everything got a primer coat plus 4-6 coats of orange.

Using an acrylic this time though, instead of enamel, meant that I only needed to wait 15-20 minutes between coats, as opposed to AN ENTIRE DAY like last time.

SO much sanding, sanding, sanding and cutting, cutting, cutting though, with those shields and those helmets/visors.  I vowed that I wouldn’t touch a paintbrush until I had them just how I wanted them, with the right corners and edges and whatnot.  Laborious, but glorious.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Alley Viper Gear WIP – Gettin’ my blue on


K, funny thing.  I was cutting up the vests, from this guy:


As I managed to get a few of him for SUPER cheap too (and a Night Adder vest, same thing).

But yeah, I was cutting off the pouches from three separate vests for my beautiful new DOCI AV’s and forgot that I have three cats.  When I came back in the morning, several pouches were missing off my work area.  I scoured the floor with my li’l headlamp on and couldn’t find ’em for the life of me.  I’m NOT going through a mound of catshit for a pouch the size of a kibblebit, but I was tempted.

I was sad though, I had to mismatch some pouches now because I wanted each vest to be interchangeable and none to be any different from the others.

So I forgot to take pictures for a while.  During all the gluing and painting of the vests, really.

Then, when I remembered to take pictures, my SD card was gone because Wifeage needed to borrow it for her Canon Asskicker 450D because we had a kookaburra in the backyard.


Sittin’ in the ol’ gumtree…


LOVE living here.

So yeah, I got all the pouches glued on, with some borrowed from:

  • Renegades Ripcord
  • Agent Helix
  • POC Firefly

The guns are from the Rise of Cobra (ROC) Elite Viper and the scopes are from Marauders (with some modding).  The knives are 25th Ann. standard Joe issue and the batons are from various fodder here and there, though Renegades Law & Order, Renegades Cobra Trooper and POC AV all use them too.

With a couple of stickers from and some backpacks from G.I. No and I’m all set.  Oh, and yeah I had to carve the knife scabbard off their forearms for their vest, so sacrifices were made, sadly.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Alley Viper Gear WIP – Boys gettin’ geared up.


Now some from my “new” photography studio!  That’s right, I’m BIG TIME now baby.  I cut up an old grey singlet and aimed both desklamps inward.  Score.

Wifeage to the rescue again tho, she loaned me the tripod for my camera.

Side, front and back views

Alley Viper Gear WIP – Lookin’ good boys


Alley Viper Gear WIP

Front and centre!


Just their vests, because that was the hardest part.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Pile O’ Gear – missing a backpack!


All their gear: 3 helmets, 3 vests, 3 shields (w/baton holder), 3 guns (w/removable scope), 2 backpacks (because I can’t find a shop that sells G.I. No’s down here and TRU is too far away.

Alley Viper Gear WIP

Damn sexy


Alley Viper Gear WIP

Playing with camera settings


Alley Viper Gear WIP

Hey, who’re yer friends?


Alley Viper Gear WIP

Peek A BOO!


Alley Viper Gear WIP



Alley Viper Gear WIP

Visors up (and mine stays up! Still excited!)


All up, there are some glaring differences from the factory stuff, shields edging and pouches and logos and whatnot, but overall I’m very, very pleased.  I reckon they pass the “squint test” too, in that if you squint just right with them next to “real” Alley Viper’s gear, you can’t hardly tell the difference.  Score.


Customs – Night Viper

One of my absolute FAVOURITE O-ring Joes was the Night Viper.  I loved him so much that I frequently swapped heads for a cool-looking Joe (like Dial-Tone or Falcon) to make them like, undercover.  Not even terribly sure why I loved it so much, just did.

So of course I was stoked when they announced a Night Viper coming out in the Retaliation line of toys.  Thing is, I’d already had the parts and bits together for this project though.  Plus, when I got a gander at the one they’d come out with, $40 on eBay and all, I saw just another kitbash with some cool colouring.  Stupid Hasbro.

So I was even more motivated to make my own.

Recipe (body):

  • Head – Night Adder
  • Chest/Torso/Arms – POC Snake Eyes
  • Upper legs (outer) – ROC Duke (Impact Armor)
  • Upper legs (inner) – ROC Ripcord
  • Knees – POC Gayass Tornado Kick Snake Eyes
  • Lower legs – POC Gayass Whirlwind Kick Storm Shadow
  • Feet – ROC Charbroil with bits I cut off POC Gayass Tornado Kick Snake Eyes shins

Recipe (gear):

  • Visor – ROC Snake Eyes, bits and pieces, spotting scope from Marauder Gun Runners.
  • Webgear – Bits and pieces, belt from ROC Snake Eyes, belt from ROC Impact Armor Duke
  • Flashlight/Knife/Knife Scabbard – Marauders again.
  • Rifle (w/strap) – ROC Grand Slam
  • Rifle (painted) – Heavily modded crap gun from True Heroes set.  Cut and glued in most of the stock, clip and scope.

Hardest Part – Carving and cutting and drilling and fitting that inner thigh piece to the outer thigh piece.  The biggest gripe I have towards the ROC Impact Armor legs was the weird way it tapered in on the inner thigh.  Ripcord’s inner thigh looked great there, but the holes didn’t line up, so it took a lot of work on that harder plastic to get it to fit.

Easiest part – Cutting up the bits from other backpacks and webgear and gluing the night vision head-scope thing together.  LOVED making that sucker.

Biggest Fail – The huge gap at the top of his left leg.  And making the foot armor thingo so thick that he can’t bend his toes up.  Also was going to do ROC Flash’s head with ROC Charbroil’s helmet, where he could take it off and be all human underneath, but it was going to be too much work and I got lazy.

Biggest nail – The gear, I reckon.  I love the headscope (except that it doesn’t go up far enough), the webgear, the flashlight and knife and the rifle.

Thanks again to Seebs for the old school Night Viper.  Frickin’ LOVE that guy.

Customs – Altaïr (Assassin’s Creed)

It was nearly a year ago when I first got really into Assassin’s Creed and I LOVED IT. I looked for toys, but there just aren’t that many.

When I first decided I was going to do this, make this custom, I knew it was a relatively big fucking deal. No illusions here.

I wanted to push it though, to attempt something that most others wouldn’t do. I wanted to create a figure that simply doesn’t exist commercially (that I know of) and I wanted to do it entirely of extra Joe parts that I had.

Recipe (body):

  • Head – Rise of Cobra Duke
  • Chest – 25th Anniversary Storm Shadow
  • Waist – Ditto
  • Upper arms – ROC Gayass Tornado Kick Snake Eyes
  • Lower arms – ROC Arctic Storm Shadow
  • Upper legs – Resolute Storm Shadow
  • Knees/Lower legs (upper) – Ditto
  • Shins – Pursuit of Cobra Alley Viper
  • Feet – 25th Anniversary Storm Shadow

Note the missing finger that not only allows for ease-of-use with the hidden blade but also is a sign of the Assassin’s dedication (from first game only, Ezio is lucky enough not to have to, even though he’s willing).

Recipe (gear):

  • Hood – Resolute Storm Shadow hood
  • Mantle – RES Storm Shadow gi
  • Belt – POC Desert Storm Shadow
  • Pouches – ROC Paris Pursuit Storm Shadow, 25th Firefly HOH
  • Sword Scabbard – 25th Storm Shadow
  • Knife Scabbard – Ditto
  • Secret Blade Vanbrace – ROC Arctic Storm Shadow
  • Secret Blade – Ditto again
  • Knife – Machete from ROC Jungle Ripcord
  • Sword – $5 Knight from Red Dot
  • Throwing Knives (belt) – Ankle knives from NECA Altair
  • Shoulder harness – ROC Destro’s shoulder harness, 25th Ann Storm Shadow’s backpack, POC Desert Storm Shadow’s belt
  • Robes – ROC Paris Pursuit Storm Shadow
  • Sash – Belt from 25th Anniversary Storm Shadow
  • Stand – $5 Soldier guy from Kmart

The sword and stand are from those random figures you pick up for a few bucks at the shit shops with Chinese crap and I picked up an 8″ NECA Assassin’s Creed Altaïr for $20 from some cheap scumbag on eBay. When I opened the 8″ toy his leg snapped off and his hand did as well right away.

When I wrote the guy and said, “Um, do you know your toys are brittle and weak?” and he was all, “So sorry, I send you new one” so I was happy to cut the throwing knives mounted to his ankle and use them for his half-sized counterpart.

Of course, I never actually got the replacement…

Hardest bit: Consciously deciding to glue all of the parts together before painting. Fuck, sculpting the hood until it was… just… so…

Easiest bit: Plastic welding and gluing his belt together, pouches, medicine kits, scabbards. VERY satisfying.

Biggest Fail: Not gluing his chest properly and now there’s a gap at the shoulder. Also, the paint globbed and cracked a bit around the shoulders and elbows.

Biggest Nail: The paintjob on the belt and legs have really, really pleased me. The leather look on the forearm vanbraces as well.

Somebody on the Tank recently commented that the POC Alley Vipers’ legs were only good for really skinny dudes and chicks. Well, when you hack them off just above the boots, they work rather well. I ordered one of those Sinodolls $6 orange Alley Vipers just for the legs. WORTH IT.

Next version will undoubtedly have removable throwing knives, just like the big version. I’ll make him skinnier too, with more robey robes, instead of looking all… thick.

At first, I had a retractable Assassin’s Blade, just like the bigger version, but it just wasn’t… clean enough. I’d put a shiv through it, through the slot used by the ROC Arctic Storm Shadow on that vanbrace, and used it to slide it up and down but it was just too clunky.

When I made the decision to just make it stick out a bit and use my hand to push it through. Not as cool, but more workable.

Customs – Kamakura, Rise of Cobra

I was damn lucky to not only have a Kamakura from Joenerd TJ (two actually, both $4 from clearance shelf at Toyworld) but also a beat-up one from a $30 lot I got from the US (with True Heroes boat and 22 figures).  Since he’s made up of 25th Ann. Storm Shadow (v30, I think) I didn’t need the parts really.  But I knew when I used it that I wanted it to be for a proper Kamakura custom.

When I was getting the idea for Sandstorm, BANG, it hit me.  Don’t forget Kamy!

So there you go.  But his blue wasn’t green enough for me, considering that he’s always, always green in some way.  And I wanted him to have some sort of body armour on his lower parts to match the upper parts, making him more armoury and tough and Impact Armor Awesome.  Plus, it gives me a chance to balance things drybrush-wise.


  • Head/Torso/Arms/Upper Legs – ROC Kamakura
  • Lower Leg – ROC Snake Eyes (v47)
  • Feet – Resolute Storm Shadow
  • Backpack – Sword sheaths from ROC Storm Shadow, pack from Snake Eyes v37.

All up, he was fkn FUN.  Loved the half hour alone I spent mixing that shade of green.  Loved getting the highlights just right.  LOVED repainting the entire torso and using the black and highlights MY way.  Loved his feet, but hated, hated, hated carving and whittling the fucking joints out so the paint wouldn’t wear off.

Why?  Why all the hatred?  Look close.  Because I missed one.  I fucking missed one and didn’t fucking notice until just now.  His back left ankle has rubbed off and is white as the driven snow.  FUCK.

Meh, oh well.  Something to do next weekend.