2009 Convention Dio - Article 7: Custom Figures and Vehicles

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The award-winning JoeCustoms diorama from the 2009 G.I. Joe Collector Club Convention featured the work of many talented customizers. Among those contributing was board member BadAsh, who had lots of insights about his custom creations:

"Seeing the dio come together, over emails and talk in chat, was really great to see. With all the issues we had, from having to cancel the first one to Dan having to cancel his surgery to DRIVE it to the Con, we really pulled this off in a group effort. Being down on the floor putting it together, literally, was stressful knowing we only had a short amount of time to have it together and finished. But we all got down there, plastered the base together, and set up all our customs and army builders like a well oiled team. We bounced ideas off of each other on placement and where certain figures and vehicles should be. We each had our own stuff and meshed all of it together wonderfully.
Months after the Con, and putting the dio together, I look back on it and tell you I LOVED it. I loved what us as a group, as a site, as a community, came together and put something outstanding out there for the sheer enjoyment of the toyline and to our hobby. I have to give big props to Dan, Roxi, Soulgem and the rest of the guys for this. Without all their help, it would not have happened. The craftmanship that was shown really shines here. That most of us had not done something this big or even some of the elements of working lights and new materials before, really has been added to our "weapons" of the hobby to grow on. I'm really proud to be apart of this and to have friends from all over the world to come together and celebrate in this way.
Cheers and until next year!!


Quick Kick

I chose him for the dio due to his appearance in the original Joe movie in the arctic scene. I thought he could use a minor upgrade in his outfit and this would be the best place to showcase it. For the most part, he was a simple LBC with minor painting on the lower legs. I like the material around his neck. It adds more to his "arctic" look. At least he has shoes on.
09Dio BA QKpose.jpg

Gung Ho

With Gung Ho, I wanted to make him more arctic dressed but still stand out as the character that he is. Instead of reusing a stock head, I chose to use a Star Wars Koffi Arana head. I shaved the mohawk/ponytail off and modded it to fit the SnowJob torso. I ran with a sleeveless jacket for him to show how badass he is. I used WWE Build n Brawl arms here. Arctic Snake Eyes legs rounded out his outfit.
09Dio BA ArcticGungH0.jpg

Mutt and Junkyard

I wanted to again add them to the dio to have more of the classic cartoon ranks. For Mutt, I did a total overhaul on his parts beyond his head, vest and padded forearm/hand. I stuck mainly to the Beachhead upper body for the thermal look with Arctic Snake Eyes legs.


Again, another classic toon character added to the dio. For Bazooka, he's mostly the original figure except lower arm swap and the added hood. I wanted to keep his classic look but upgrade him for the arctic environment. I didn't want to cover up his jersey so it came to me to just make it look like he's wearing heavier clothes under his jersey, like a football fan normally would do. I swapped out his lower arms with the Indiana Jones René Belloq's for the long sleeve look. I sculpted on the hoodie under his jersey. It was a pretty simple custom idea that I really like how he turned out.
09Dio BA DioMuttZookashooped.jpg

The Governator

While I was putting together customs for the dio, I was finding parts I hadn't seen in a while. I found a repro head of Gov. Arnold that I got from JFAK and had a thought to make a custom of him and put him in the dio. The parts ideas just started coming to me. I went with more of a classic Terminator look with the tshirt and leather jacket, but gave him more an army look for his legs. I used one of the early 25th look torso used for Stalker/ Snake Eyes/ Hawk and Indiana Jones Mutt Williams' jacket and arms. For the legs I went with Resolute Duke cause it kind of looked right together. To finish off the custom, I used ROC Baroness sunglasses to his look. In the dio, I had him climbing out of a pretty destroyed SnowCat. Like his classic character surviving huge explosions.
09Dio BA governator-1.jpg


Right as we were starting on the dio, I had an idea for a new Cobra character. I started cobbling parts together as the idea started coming to me more. I was back and forth on some elements of his look but finished them out to it's fullest. I used the Battle Armor Cobra Commander head for the skimask look. Then I liked the padded look of the Snake Eyes v3/ Wraith torso. Wraith's arms worked well here with the forearm armor/ guns. For his thighs I used Firefly for the mechanics strapped to him. Lower legs I used Hiss Drivers again for the padded look. Then to complete the look, I ran with the new ROC Flash helmet. I love that helmet. For his weapons (liquid nitrogen throwers), the Wraith forearm guns work well here and I had them connected to his backpack which is from the Comic Pack Pilot Destro. I modded an airtank off of the Paraviper's backpack onto the top of it and had the hoses connect to the front sections of his helmet. I think this custom came together tremendously and totally love it.

Ice Vipers

I really liked the ROC Ice Vipers, but I wanted to make some that looked more like the original character. I decided to simply swap out the heads for Battle Armor Cobra Commander heads painted red.


His ROC look is very awesome and I thought it would look good in the dio. I chose to simply swap out the head for one of his original chromed heads and I painted his eyes a glowing green to complete his look.
09Dio BA CobraDio.jpg

Cobra Arctic Parasite

I love the vehicle but the only thing holding it back is the colors. I thought with the massive tires that it would make a good troop carrier for the cold front. I was going to cut the cockpit off of a SnowCat and fix to the backside of the Parasite and turn that into the actual drivers cockpit, but I ran out of time before the Con. I did a silver wash over most of the black to highlight the metal a little bit,especially around the engine areas.
09Dio BA ArcticParasiteside.jpg

Cobra Frostbat w/ AVAC

I wanted to add a flying vehicle to the dio and thought the Firebat would be a nice addition. Instead of painting it white, I went with a metallic silver to shimmer.
For AVAC, I again wanted him to still have his classic look, but changed for this environment. I kept his helmet but the rest is totally new. I chose Matt Trakker for the light color jumpsuit look. I swapped out his lower legs for his 25th/Zartan counterparts. I painted sections silver to and painted thigh armor to resemble his original look. I went over all the silver sections with the same silver paint I used for the Frostbat. I went with blue as a secondary color to the grey and silver. I painted his visor a clear blue color that really showed with the silver underneath. I used the comic pack Pilot Destro torso padding for his look to add more.

Cobra Ghost w/Driver

I had bought a Halo Ghost vehicle a while back and wanted to convert it to Joes and thought now was the perfect time. I thought the hovering vehicle would work great for the arctic scene. I took it apart and painted all of it the same silver paint I used on the Frostbat. Then I went over the armor parts with a clear blue metal spraypaint. The silver underneath really made the blue pop. I then finished it off with Cobra decals from various vehicles.
For the driver I was pondering on what I wanted him to look like. I really liked the Resolute Cobra Troopers so I used his body. I wanted to make him have a covering for his face to protect him from the elements of driving full speed over the snow. I decided on the Star Wars Galactic Marine helmet. It covered his face and has a helmet similar to Cobra Troopers. I painted the helmet Cobra blue to match and his face guard a light grey."
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