Group Project FAQ
What is a Group Project?
Group Projects are a time for customizers to come together to create customs based on a common theme within a certain period of time (usually three months). The Group Project themes are suggested by board members and are voted on to select the current project. Only one project is run at a time.
Group Projects have become a way for Joe customizers to really go "all out" - really pushing the bar in terms of quality, creativity, and technique. It is also a really fun way to develop customs based on a theme you might not normally work with.
Choosing A Group Project
How do I submit an idea for a Group Project?
At any time, a board member can post an idea for a new Group Project to the Group Project forum. It is recommended that your subject time be descriptive of the project, otherwise it may get overlooked. An example of a good subject line would be "Joes in Drag." An example of a poor subject line would be "got an idea."
Inside of your post, you should lay out what you envision the Group Project to be about. It doesn't have to be a completely refined idea, just a basic idea that gets people interested and discussing your project.
The Group Project Moderator will occasionally post to help refine the idea and to get board members to discuss the project more in depth. This refining might include defining a back story (if one is needed), how broad the character choices should be, etc.
How are Group Projects chosen?
When the submission deadline is reached for the current Group Project, a new Global Thread will be posted to the boards. This will be the Nomination Thread. There will be a set period of time that nominations for the next Group Project will be taken (usually two to three days). Once the deadline is reached, the thread will be locked.
Posts to this thread should have the title of the Group Project and a link to the thread in the Group Projects forum that describes it. You do not have to be the originator of the Group Project in order to nominate it. Although it is recommended that you only nominate one Group Project idea, you can nominate more than one.
To keep the Nomination Thread uncluttered, please do not cheerlead within the thread. An example of a cheerleading post would be "Yeah, thanks for nominating 'Joes in Drag,' I'm going to be voting for that one. Everyone else should too." Cheerleading posts can go in the individual threads related to each Group Project.
Once the nomination period is over, a Group Project Voting thread will be posted Globally. It will contain a list of all nominated Group Projects. The Group Project Moderator may on occasion combine projects if they are essentially the same idea. The voting thread will be open for a set period of time (usually three to five days). Once the deadline is reached, the thread will be locked.
Once Group Project Voting is completed, a second Group Project Voting thread will be posted Globally. This will contain the three Group Projects with the most votes. If there is a tie among the votes, the Group Project Moderator will post a list of no more than four Group Projects. As with the other threads, there will be a set period of time that voting for the next Group Project will occur (usually 2 to 3 days). Once the deadline is reached, the thread will be locked. In the case of a tie, the Group Project Moderator will make the final decision on which Group Project is chosen.
What are some suggestions for good Group Projects?
A good Group Project is only as successful as the amount of customizers that want to participate. To this end, here are some suggestions for creating a good Group Project. Remember these are only suggestions and there are can always be exceptions:
- Don't be too narrow: While Group Projects run from the very serious to the very funny, you want your Group Project to have a large enough focus to include as many customizers as possible. A good example of a broad focused Group Project might be "Joe characters as they would have appeared in battles and wars throughout history." An example of a narrow Group Project might be "Joe characters as they would have appeared at the Battle of the Bulge."
- Assessable to old and new customizers: Many customizers begin by doing Group Projects. This gives them a clear goal to achieve and a time frame to work within. Because of this, Group Projects need to be structured in order to allow new customizers to participate, but also give a challenge for established customizers.
What is "claiming?"
For some Group Projects, it is decided that characters need to be claimed by a customizer, to avoid everyone doing the same figure. This is a good way to ensure a wide variety of characters. Usually though, claiming is not necessary, as it deters new board members who join the board after the initial claiming thread was posted, from joining in the fun. The scope and type of the project usually dictates if claiming is involved.
What are the types of claiming?
Here is a list of types of claiming:
- No claiming: Most Group Projects do not have claiming simply by their nature. An example would be "Update the design of any Joe character released in 1983" Obviously, if only one figure could be claimed by a single customizer, there would not be enough figures for everyone to participate.
- Open claiming: Sometimes, to insure that multiples of the same character are not chosen, a claiming thread will be posted and on a first-come-first serve basis, a customizer can choose the character or characters they wish to work on. (see further down in this explanation for exceptions)
- Secret claiming: On rare occasions, a Group Project may involve claiming, but it is not down in a public thread. This is to keep choices secret from the rest of those who are working on the Group Project. A special claiming e-mail address will be set up and a post will be made explaining how claiming will work and what the email address will be. Claiming is on a first-come-first serve basis. (see further down in this explanation for exceptions)
Sometime when a board member posts a Group Project idea, they will mention if they envision it having claiming or not. Often times it will be discussed in the idea thread. Occasionally, after a Group Project has won the majority of the votes and a common consensus was not reached in the project discussion thread, a special voting pole will be run in order to determine claiming or not. This will be at the discretion of the Group Project .
How does claming work?
If claiming (either Open or Secret) is chosen for a Group Project, a few other things will apply:
- Before claiming occurs, the Site Administrator gets first choice, followed by the individual who originally suggested the Group Project and the Group Project . These choices will be made before the claiming thread is posted.
- No claiming will take place until an official claiming thread has been posted in the given Group Projects message Board. PM's, e-mails, and message board posts with claims before the thread is posted will be ignored.
- Usually, there is a cut-off period for claiming a figure. Most times this is a month and a half before the submission deadline. This cut-off period will be announced.
- It is common curtesy if you claim a character and are not able to complete it, that you post to the claming thread or send a message to the secret claiming email. This will free up this character for others who may want to join in the Group Project.
How long do I have to make a figure?
Group Projects normally last three months from the time that the Project is voted on and selected. On occasion, a project will run four months if it requires multiple figures to be made or if the deadline falls on a major holiday.
How many figures can I make?
On average, a Group Project involves two figures - one good and one bad/other. Good guys include G.I.Joe and Action Force. Bad guys/other include Cobra, Black Dragon, Dreadnoks, Iron Grenadiers, Oktober Guard, Red Shadows, The Coil.
There are of course exceptions, but the idea is to ensure that submissions are not of a single faction, such as two Cobras (unless the Group Project is something like "Create new Cobra Viper designation troops".
Also, the figure number is a maximum, you do not have to customize that many. If the Group Project is to create no more than two figures, you are welcome to create only one.
Do Group Projects have to be figures?
While Group Projects are generally about customizing Joe figures, there have been cases where the goal was not figure related. An example of that was the Vehicles Group Project, where customizer made vehicles instead of figures.
Do I have to use G.I.Joe parts in my custom?
Unless the Group Project is specifically geared towards using different action figure parts, customs for Group Projects should use at least one base part from a 3 3/4 inch G.I.Joe figure. On rare occasions, there will be characters that are unable to be made from Joe parts, such as giants or insect aliens. These do not have to use G.I.Joe parts, but are more the exception than the norm.
Do I have to sculpt/paint a figure? Can I just mix parts and submit that?
One of the main goals for Group Projects has been push customizers in terms of quality and technique. Unless a Group Project is set up to simply do figures with swapped parts (sometimes called LBCs), these are no allowed. Some form of painting/modification must take place beyond simply swapping parts.
What about existing customs? Can I submit a custom I've already made?
This is a question that is always asked a lot. The idea for Group Projects is to create new, never-before-seen customs based on a theme. If your existing customs has been seen before (either in the JoeCustoms achieve, has been posted on the Critique board, or has been seen on the internet or in publications) then it is not eligible as a Group Project submission. Remember, a Group Project gives plenty of time to create a new custom.
What is the deal with the different forums?
Within the overall JoeCustoms message board, there is a board section called "Group Projects General Discussion". This section is comprised of a main forum and up to two sub forums:
- Group Projects General Discussion: This is where you will find information on how Group Projects work (these will be sticky threads at the top of the forum), as well as were you post and discuss ideas for future Group Projects.
- Current Group Project Name: All information pertaining to the current Group Project will be found here. Project Guidelines (schedule, project outline) will be posted as a sticky thread at the top of the forum. This is also where claiming threads will be (if a project requires claiming), and progress threads. Group Project customizers can post to this forum for ideas or to discuss various aspects of the project.
- Previous Group Project Name: The previous Group Project forum is always saved for reference. This is a great way for new members to get an idea of how a Group Project is run from start to finish.
What is the progress thread?
Within the current Group Project's board, there will be a Progress Thread. This is a place to post about how you are doing on your customs.
What are Personal Message (PM) reminders?
Within the current Group Project's board, there will be a PM list Thread. It is highly recommended that you put your name on this list. You will receive reminders around the first of each month with important updates about the Group Project, suggestions, and general encouragement.
For Group Projects where there is claiming (either Open or Secret), you will automatically be added to the Personal Message list.
To receive email notifications of these PMs, log on to the message board and go to the "Profile" section. Make sure that "Yes" is selected for "Notify on mass PM." Then click "Submit" at the bottom of the page.
How do I submit my customs?
Approximately a week before the submission deadline, a Global Thread will be posted giving specific information on how to submit your work. Submissions are not accepted before this thread is posted (an exception can be made if someone is going to be out of town during the submission week, send a personal message (PM) to the Group Project Moderator to arrange this). Also, submissions are not excepted after the deadline. Remember, you will know the deadline when the Group Project is first selected, so plan ahead.
What do I submit?
Here is a list of what needs to be included with your submission:
- your board name - a clear picture/scan of your custom figure - a parts list - a filecard/bio (this can be either graphical or text)
Additional things that you can submit with the above:
- additional clear photos of your custom - construction notes or thoughts about your approach to the character
If any of the required pieces are not with your submission, it can not be posted to the site. Also, remember to always spell check your write-ups (copy and paste it into a word processing or an email program to spell check).
Remember, people can only see what is in your pictures. The closer and clearer that you can make them, the better. If your camera is unable to take close pictures, many customizers use a flatbed scanner for figures.
How many and what size of pictures should I submit?
Unlike normal figure submissions to the site, Group Projects do not limit the number of pictures that can be submitted. With that said, each picture should show a different aspect of the figure and should not be redundant.
There is not an image size for Group Project pictures. Pictures that are too large to fit within the Group Project template will be sized down. A good rule of thumb is no picture larger than 600x600.
I submitted my custom, why is it not up on the site yet?
It usually takes some time to get all of the submission pages built and formatted. Once the Group Project is posted to the site, there will be a Global Announcement posted on the boards as well as on the main page.
What do I do once the Group Project is posted?
Once the Group Project is posted and it has been announced on the boards, it is common courtesy to post your thoughts and reviews of each figure. These reviews go in the Group Project Posted thread. Tell what you liked and what you didn't like. Make comments on your own submission as well. What was the most difficult part? The most fun? If you do not have time to post all of your comments at once, break it up into several posts. Once the thread is no longer Global across all of the boards, you can find it in the given Group Project's board.
Why is my figure not listed in the "Figures" section of the site?
Group Project submissions are listed in a separate Group Project section of the site. Because of this, Group Project figures do not count toward the Number of Figures for each Customizer on the site Customizer List.