JCA Best Joe Custom 2006

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Over the years, the JoeCustoms Awards (JCA) have been a place to see some of the best of the best in world of customizing.

In 2006, the award for best G.I Joe custom went to pluv for his Shipwreck custom.

Here is what pluv had to say about this award-winning custom.


Tell us about why you made this figure…what was your motivation?

Once upon a time, Beav brought up the idea of a Shipwrecked Shipwreck on the board. The idea got filed away. A couple of years later I saw Cast Away with Tom Hanks on cable and remembered the idea. I put the Outback head on the Wildcard torso and knew it was going to work. It took several months to complete. It took about a week to paint. The "letter" in the bio took a weekend to draft and edit. The photo shoot took the better part of that same weekend. The reason I mention all of this is because when I really got frustrated with things not working out the way I wanted, knowing that this figure was going to Beav, Shipwreck's biggest fan, motivated me to finish. Its one of the best customs I've made, the best bio I've ever written, and one of the best pictures I've ever taken, toy or otherwise.

How did you make this figure?

I usually sketch out my designs first. This was the first and only custom where I did a full color drawing to make sure the blues and scratches would look ok. I still have that drawing. Using Tom Hanks as a model, I really wanted Shipwreck to look like he'd been there long enough to sacrifice his clothing and hygiene for survival. His hook accessory became part of his fishing spear.

For actually customizing, I did a few things I had never done on a custom before. I took a dog toy's stuffing for the longer matted hair and left it in a cup of water and some paint. The stuffing soaked up the paint over a couple of days. The Chap Mei legs took tons of carving and trial and error to fit the thighs. I didn't just want them for the bare feet. They have the articulated ankles that I thought this Shipwreck needed for swimming. Yes, even though the custom would never be in water I wanted it be posed as if it could swim. Spaulding, the white ball with the red hand mark, was made from sculpey and painted. That was my homage to Castaway. The lean-to shelter was made with yard twigs, thread, and white glue. Considering it was built just for diorama background, it actually took quite a bit of time and effort to make. Oddly enough the small touch I'm the most proud of is the reuse of Outback's headband knot on Shipwreck's arm. I have no idea why, but any time I see it, I think it is cool.

Paint wise, he's got dry brushing, paint wipes, intentional runs, and shading, lots and lots of skin tone shading. The scratches on his arm I thought would come from Pauly as the bird started having less and less food from his master. Then someone asked in the critiques if Shipwreck had to eat him and I think that interpretation works too.

How did you feel when you learned that you had won the JoeCustoms Award for this figure?

Shocked. Seriously shocked. I knew it was a good figure. It was well received by everyone, but I didn't think it stood a chance. What I think was even more incredible was that JFAK went and made his version of it. When one of the customizers you really enjoy goes and makes their version of your custom you can't help but feel flattered.

What would you would do differently, if anything, if you did this custom today

I wouldn't change the design at all. Maybe I would try it with 25th parts if I did it today. I will tell you this though, I'd be able to make the custom faster because I wouldn't make the same mistakes again. Cutting out trial and error would have severely cut down on the work time on this guy.

Tell us a little bit about the types of customs, if any, that you are working on these days. Are you still active in customizing Joes? Moved on?

Oh, I'm still around. I make customs but not nearly as many as I used to. In fact, you will see a new batch of customs from me during the Custom Celebration if you haven't already. I don't see me ever moving on from customizing. I find it too rewarding a hobby to step away completely, but you may see longer breaks in between new customs.

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