Friday, December 25, 2015

So This Is Christmas….

No, I'm not a big fan of that old John Lennon song but I borrowed the title anyway!

I'm reposting a couple of photos I loaded to Instagram the other day and it's basically just Santa Joe from this month's photo blog entry in some "action" poses.

I hope all of my readers will have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. For those of you who pray, I hope you'll add your voice to those asking for relief and solace to the people who've lost property and loved ones, and those who've suffered injury in yesterday's (Dec. 23, 2015) horrific storms in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. This seems to have become a yearly event now, as exactly one year earlier (Dec. 23, 2014), a devestating tornado tore through several counties in southern MS, killing five people. (The Dec. 2015 storms were in the northern part of MS.)

Take care all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What Next?

WARNING: Oh no, it's a think piece!

With 2015 staggering to a close, the question for me is...What Next? I tentatively plan to continue the monthly photoblog feature at least through the first quarter of 2016, mostly because I have a sufficient backlog of of subjects to post. However, let's face it; most of you are probably bored shiftless with it at this point. I enjoy photographing and posting them but I realize that it isn't very interesting or dynamic.

I've been dabbling in a sort of alternate mid-20th century scenario where most of the countries from WW II are played by thinly veiled versions of themselves, in the grand manga-anime tradition of countries like Gallia, Helvetia or all the countries in that series with the flying girls/mecha/furry/panty shot/gun porn fetish stuff. (Strike Witches?) Some major differences are that this is no "Nazi Alien Superweapons Win WW2" and that most of the technology is at least plausible for the era. In fact, the biggest change from the real world is that the Nazis never come to power as such. Yep, no Hitler, no Nazi party, no flying cyborg SS truppen with laser rifles and hover tanks (Fliegpanzer?) taking over the world.

However, nature and power abhor a vacuum, so you can expect somebody to step in and fill the space.

I'm thinking this guy may have a new mission----

But heck if I know! To be honest, after this past year, I'm not so sure I could pursue such a story line with much enthusiasm or give it the time it deserves. Trudging outdoors to take photos of little plastic people and posting them on a blog once a month doesn't require a huge amount of creative effort BUT that lack of creative effort can become apparent at times. And let's face it; real life, adult world problems and issues always crop up and complicate things. I won't bore you with the details but the last four months have been well, interesting.

Anyway, yeah…. It does make it a bit less of a priority to think about toys or making up fictional (or semi-fictional) worlds for them to inhabit. This does make me wonder though; am I just over it? Am I just too old and too invested in day-to-day real life to make this sort of creative "make believe" aspect of the hobby appealing to me anymore?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Here Comes Santa Cl…. Uh, JOE!?!?

Rounding out my year of torturing you, my dear readers, with boring shots of dolls and action figures (yeah, which are also dolls) here's Santa Claus… er, um, JOE!

Santa in this case is actually a Cotswold Elite Brigade "Jake" with white flocked hair and beard, wearing a Cotswold Santa outfit. LINK Cotswold Collectibles is a company based in the Seattle WA area that has produced a range of vintage GI Joe-style figures for the last 20 years or so. They also produce outfit and uniform sets and accessories that work with most vintage-style Joe bodies. Hopefully, I'll be able to showcase some more of these figures in 2016, although I haven't really decided what to do with this blog in the coming year.

Meanwhile, I hope you'll enjoy this month's Photoblog Thing and if I don't post again before the first of the year, Merry Christmas!

 Sorry, I just noticed that Santa Joe is giving the dreaded "chicken choker" hand sign in these shots.

 I think this guy will make a great Adventure Team commander after his Santa gig is over.

 This outfit comes with a vest that has belly padding for the proper Santa physique!

 The shot from behind. Not much to see here except the exhaust fan on my A/C unit! Wish I could've found him a sack full of gifts in time for this photo session.

 Last shot…. Yep, it's Santa!

A preview of my next entry; a "Fauxviet" paratrooper in fictional "Red Dawn" camo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Slight delay

Just a quick notice to let you all know that the blog isn't dead but December's entry is a bit delayed. The items I need for the photo shoot have been ordered and should be arriving some time during the first week of the month. After that, it's a matter of getting outside to do the photo shoot. Given my home state's often wacky late Fall/ early Winter weather, this may present a bit of a challenge but I aim to persevere!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Photoblog Thing- November 2015

This month, I wanted to do something a bit sci-fi/retro/dieselpunk. This guy is constructed from bits of various 3A- Ashley Wood figures I've collected over time, most notably the World War Robot N.O.M. Blanc Hunter head and life support pack. Going with Blanc Hunter's already obvious "gas mask Germanic" look, I scrounged around for some German WW2 gear. The coat is an unusual piece that I think might've been used by mountain troops and the rifle is the Mkb 42(H), a rare predecessor to the more famous Stg 44. He also has an ammo pouch from the Stg 44 which uses the same ammo and magazines as the Mkb 42 series, a couple of stick grenades and a K98 bayonet. There's a modern style pistol belt and a hard to see "Nordic" thermal shirt under his coat while everything else is 3A. I have the other two N.O.M. guys from this particular series, so I wanted this guy to be a bit different. Honestly, Blanc Hunter wasn't as interesting to me as the other two, so I'm happier with my kitbash than the stock version. I probably could weather the historical parts to match the 3A parts but I'm lazy and it would take away from the idea of a quick, enjoyable 'bash put together one Saturday afternoon a while back. I should note that, although he has some historical German gear, he isn't affiliated with any sort of National Socialist/Fascist/Totalitarian ideology. I hope you like him!

Jaegers gonna jaegen! Dig those skater shoes, BTW.

A better shot of the three cell ammo pouch (from BBI). There are additional magazines for his rifle in there but you'll have to take my word for it. I'm not going to open the damn thing and try to re-close it!

The back looks kind of bare but I wasn't sure what else to add.

Closeup of the life support pack with added bayonet and stick grenades.

A face only a mother could love!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Passing of Another Giant....

This hardly got a mention in the press, so I had missed it until two months after the fact. One of the great influences of modern day scale modeling passed away back in August. Sheperd Paine, who created the How To Build Dioramas series for Monogram Models and later went on to author a series of books for Kalmbach in the 1980s, died on August 1, 2015 at age 69 after suffering a stroke.

Shep's influence on me, as well as countless modelers around the world, can not be understated. He was also a huge influence on my interest in photography and there's a little bit of his method and ideas in every image I take. The world has become a slightly less for his passing and I mourn the loss of a great artist and personal influence.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Photoblog Thing- October 2015

  Up until a few months ago, everything seemed normal. Well, at least as "normal" as things ever get anymore. When the shit hit the fan, there was chaos; slow at first then just totally crazy. I was called back to my unit but I never made it. I met up with other guys in the military who said the same thing. Some of us banded together- didn't matter anymore if we'd been Army, Air Force, Navy or a Marine like me. We were in this to survive now, to protect our families, and God willing, maybe rebuild a life again. Hopefully, we'll learn from our mistakes. Hopefully, we'll do better and future generations won't have to suffer for decades or even centuries. But people are people and human nature never really changes, no matter how we try to believe otherwise.

But enough talk, there's work to do and lives to protect. So lemme get back to it!

This month's downer scenario stars BBI's Tony Bishop, a US Marine MEU figure that was released about a decade ago. I kept tinkering with him because I couldn't settle on a look I wanted for him. I finally said "to hell with it", took off most of his stock gear and redressed him in a hodgepodge of stuff. Tony still wears his USMC desert MARPAT pants, USMC boots and t-shirt but with and older pattern boonie hat, aftermarket chest rig and civilian wind jacket. His weapon of choice is an AKM, the more common version of the AK47, and he also carries a couple of knives. I should have added a pistol but I didn't realize that until after I had uploaded the photos. I came up with a SHTF scenario that implies some sort of wide-spread collapse of order and government but leaves you to fill in the blanks.

Anyway, here he is, so I hope you like him.

I tried to get a bit artsy with this last photo.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

T.O.M.B. Raiding

Way back in the day, a group of action figure collectors started a group called T.O.M.B. Raiders. Obviously named after the wildly popular game, T.O.M.B. was also an acronym for Take Out (of) Mint Boxes. The point was that when you buy a figure (or any other toy) you should remove it from the box and play with it, display it or basically just enjoy it rather than leave it boxed and stashed away as a collectible. I like the idea and have certainly done my fair share of it over the years (usually with the stuff that ended up being "valuable" later on) but I still have a lot of figures in unopened boxes. Recently, I have opened a few older figures to provide material for future blog entries but I'm starting to wonder if I should just go for broke and open them all.

Here's the deal…. I'm not getting any younger and I've been in this hobby for close to 20 years. I'm not taking anything with me when I check out and I kind of doubt that most of this stuff will be of any real value in decades to come. I could sell a lot of the unopened stuff on eBay or offer it up at the few forums I still involve myself with. I could probably make a modest amount of money, which is certainly attractive at the moment. With my wife and I both looking for work, a few hundred dollars in hand is better than no money and bunch of old toys wasting away in storage somewhere. But maybe I should just open everything up, toss out the boxes and go from there. If my kids want any of it when they're older, so be it. Although I'm reluctant to suggest another regular feature here, maybe unboxing old figures and doing something with them could become a regular feature here. Or not….

I'm going to think this over for a while but I would love to hear from my readers. What would you do in my situation? Perhaps like the Year of Frugal Hobbying I've mentioned before, my motto should be "use it, sell it or trade it" with an eye towards minimal, really NO expenditure for the foreseeable future. I don't know yet but I think I would like to do things differently than I have been and maybe this is how I should proceed.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Blogging and Job Hunting (a Labor Day rant)

So, Mrs G and I are both in the job market (aka outta work) and I'm spending much of my limited computer time filling out applications. To be honest, I've been out of the game for a while, I've spent the last few years as a stay-at-home dad and I'm getting closer to 50 than I care to admit! Mrs G is a hard working, highly motivated and loyal employee who recently got unceremoniously sh** canned after over a decade at her job. We are both feeling pretty discouraged right now but driven by the need to sustain our family. The sad thing is, we know a number of other people in our age group who are in similar or worse situations; some barely hanging on to careers they have while others can't get work at all. One friend was recently told by a long-time professional colleague that he was now essentially black-listed from an industry he'd worked in for 20+ years. I might add, an industry well-known for its deep financial commitments to "social justice causes" and "sustainable, green initiatives" but infamous for treating employees and even executives like total crap. Not to mention the obvious disdain for their pissant proletariat slaves uh, customers. If you are reading this, you are familiar with that industry.

And no, I don't expect government and politicians of any party to fix this or make it better. Neither do I expect that corporate or institutional leaders will change much. I expect to hear a lot about what they intend to do and how it'll all get better and how wonderful they are for doing it but I write most of that off as self-serving propaganda. OK, I'll try to spare you the socio-political opinion stuff since that's not what you're here to read.

Anyway, this has at least given me a little bit of extra time to catch up on blogging and photography. You'll probably see an increase in activity here, at least through the end of the year. I'm building up a small reserve of material to post the next few months and I may even post twice monthly photo blogs through December. I have more figures in the queue and it's really just a matter of getting them ready and outside to photograph.

Meanwhile, if you know anyone looking to hire a pudgy, lazy guy in his late 40s with no special skills, two small kids to raise and enough toys to populate a small town, then I'm the guy! Or as I used to say, if you need an employee bad, I'm the bad employee you need!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Photoblog/Let's Joe! -September 2015

This month, Let's Joe! is back. Our subject is Sergeant First Class Ian Campbell rockin' out with his…uh, dressed for a bit of desert recon. Ian is a GI Joe Super Articulated body from the early-mid-2000s with uniform and weapons being a mix of mostly BBI and Dragon stuff from the same era. The body armor and chest rig are a set produced by ACE again in the mid 2000s. His weapons include an M4 rifle with ACOG scope, a SIG P226 9mm pistol with tactical light, and both a Mk 3 fighting knife and a KaBar knife. Although I wasn't thinking of a specific campaign or time period here, the combination of desert and woodland camo would not have been uncommon in the early days of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. You'll also note my usual set up of boonie hat, chest rig and lighter weight body armor that has been featured on several of my figures this year. I did try a "3 day" pack on him but I didn't like the over all effect and he seemed to be drowning in straps and belts. So, like a lot of my other guys, he's going "high speed, low drag". Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the photos and check back for more soon!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Photoblog Thing- August 2015

OK, you are all being warned in advance that this month's entry is full-on ball scratching, cursing, farting, gun totin' shear damn manliness. Those of you with delicate constitutions may wish to avert your eyes, lest you find your sense of offense burned to its very core. The rest of you will need to retire to your fainting chaise lounge with a bottle of Fernet Branca and your favorite mobile device to post anguished, drunken missives on Twitter, Tumblr,

Let me repeat…. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


Damn, so you're all of bunch of masochists are you? Well fine! Don't blame me when you're rolling around in the yard rending hair and clothes, feeling like your brain is on fire and screaming incoherently. I tried to tell you not to look but you didn't listen!

Well, OK, so maybe she's kind of a bad ass sometimes…. Anyway, it's Azone's Pure Neemo Azuha from the Pink and Black series.

While it's hard for me to identify a specific favorite Pure Neemo girl, Azuha has to come pretty close. I've always regretted missing out on "Rocker Girl", the first version of her but I'm really happy with this version. In fact, I keep playing around with the idea of some kind of regular feature involving her adventures in coming to terms with leaving Japan and ending up here in Podunk, USA. The idea was inspired by some photos Spicanio LINK posted recently. I started thinking about how dolls must feel when they "wake up" in their new homes and are they ever disappointed. Who knows if, when or how such a feature will ever happen but the idea at least seems interesting.

So, I hope you all enjoy the photos and check back for another "exciting" (AHEM) entry next month!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July's uh, pictures of some figure or the other.

OK, so I haven't exactly decided what I'll call the regular photo blog entry(ies) but here goes. Our subject for July is named Lam and he's a sniper in the Hong Kong Police Special Duties Unit. I'm guessing he's probably based on an SDU officer in the days before HK reverted to Chinese control but I don't know.

Lam is an early Dragon figure that was released as part of a "team" of four or five SDU officers. Unlike the other guys in this series, he has a complete, early style British DPM uniform and his rifle appears to be some variant of the Heckler and Koch G3; possibly an MSG 90. Although he's pretty light on gear, I've always liked this guy and found his uniform and weapons useful for other projects. In one of those odd measures of the 1/6 scale figure market, the complete figure himself often sells for $20-$25 USD these days while individual parts like the uniform and rifle often sell for around $10 each. Anyway, on with the boring photos!

Possibly my favorite iteration of the UK DPM uniform.

Browning 9mm pistol in the holster. Didn't get another pic of it, I just realized.

US M7 bayonet. It really fits any Dragon M16/M4 family rifle with an attachment lug.

MSG 90 in "drag bag" carrying case.

Lam in one of the worst sniper poses I've ever done!
Lam also came with a larger, British style gas mask bag but I decided not to attach it to his belt. It seemed a bit unnecessary for a sniper but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The MAGNUM OPUS!!! or Dancing In Dystopia part 2.

So, in my last post, I mentioned THE MAGNUM OPUS!!! which was my plan to produce a regular photo story featuring my 1/6 scale doll/figure collection. Although I already knew several people who'd done this sort of thing, I was probably most influenced by Mark Hogencamp's Marwencol saga. Keep in mind that much of this was laid out in 2005-2006 and that I had not (and still haven't) read any of the Young Adult post apocalypse/ crapsack utopia/ 20 minutes in the future stuff that's been popular in recent years. Anyway, the story features examples of….

Wait, is that an expy?
One major background character ended up looking like a thinly veiled swipe at a present day US politician but that guy was just starting to get traction when I created my character. So, the person in question really made no impact on my fictional character and only later did I start to go "Wow, that's kind of prescient! I hope the real guy doesn't turn out like my character."

Have I read this book?
One thing that I really kick myself over now is not presenting my concept of a lavish "capital district" surrounded by less desirable "outlier districts". Yep, at least two years before Suzanne Collins published Hunger Games. Of course, mine was different in that there were also neighboring regions who are strong enough socially, economically and militarily to resist and even defeat the supposed "big bad". Only a faltering "global peace keeping force" keeps things in check and prevents a full scale war from breaking out. However, there's also a degree of what I call the Korean Paradox where winning a war against such a foe means you suddenly have millions of people who have been subjects of a very structured command society as refugees on your doorstep. East Germany would another good, although far milder example

The broken cutie with a grudge.
 You've probably seen Meg, my red headed Obitsu girl, if you've been a reader here for a while. Well, she was going to be that character. A small military mission spirals out of control and brings Meg face to face with a prominent "Justice Commissioner". Said commissioner had killed Meg's grandfather years earlier in a botched "citizen's arrest" that Meg witnessed. Years later, Meg faces down her foe in a gun fight and guess who has more ammo and is a better trained shooter? I'll let you guess what happens.

Pyrrhic victory/downer ending.
 The military mission that is the focus of the story is compromised, the "big bad"government has their brave martyr to avenge (and also, they got rid of a loose cannon who might've upset the balance of power) and the Global Peacekeepers just said "screw you guys, we're going home!" There's probably going to be a war, it's probably going to be brutal in a Germany invades the Soviet Union kind of way. Nobody holds out much hope that things will get better. And if push comes to shove, the "small good" side has nukes. Get in to a Stalingrad situation? Pull back and call in the stealth drone bombers.

Gray or grey morality.
While I use the term "big bad" here, I was playing to an audience that was pretty socially/politically diverse. Some of these folks would find the actions of the main antagonist country to be justifiable, if harsh. I wanted to really work to give them a positive spin, even if I didn't agree with them. In contrast, the side our "heroes" are on can be pretty brutal. Old grudges over political oppression in the earlier regime and a civil war that morphs in to a long period of low-intesity guerrilla warfare have hardened them. The Geneva Convention is treated with a certain "wink and a nudge" indifference as long as the wrong people aren't victimized in the process.

Ultimately, the whole thing was just too damn dark for me to move forward with. As I said before, life got in the way and halted the momentum, which was probably just as well. The story later morphed quite a bit in to one of two fictional nations in a more or less current world. Some of that version can be found in early entries on this blog and it was initially the main focus of the blog I had just before this one. Will I ever try a MAGNUM OPUS!!! story line again? Honestly, probably not, although I can never say that I definitely won't.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dancing In Dystopia

A post of random rumination, so if you're looking for dolls, action figures and such, there probably won't be much to interest you. If you want to feel crappy and bummed out, welcome aboard!

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Squire, bassist and co-founder of the band Yes. Chris was 67 and had only recently announced he was battling a rare form of leukemia. Back years before the toy collecting stuff, I was an aspiring bass player and spent many hours struggling to learn songs like Roundabout. Circle of life an all that but I hate losing yet another of my influences.

Kind of related but I just got around to reading a friends' obituary last night. He died back in March of Lymphoma at the age of 45 but it had been hard to deal with so I finally decided to suck it up and face it. I was proud of the guy because he had achieved quite a lot as a successful business owner and local celebrity as well as being active with a children's charity and several other charity groups. It just hit me hard and it still sucks.

It probably doesn't help my output of generally fluffy nice stuff that there have been a few other crises and looming problems in my family the past few months. It's all part of being an adult but it does wear you down to feel as if the Sword of Damocles is always hanging above you. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, while I don't talk a lot about my personal life here, what goes on in the background obviously effects what gets posted…or rather, what doesn't get posted.

So, all this "cheery" stuff brings me to a question for my readers. Do you ever go through some life crisis or two or ten and ask yourself "why the hell am I doing this"? I mean, when you think about it, do you ever feel like having a large collection of stuff, often expensive stuff, is kind of pointless? I go through these periods from time to time where my hobbies just don't matter much and I feel guilty for the time, effort and money I put in to them. I have one outstanding preorder but I'm really not in the mood to buy any more after that. I've even started to seriously consider how to dispose of the excess and really whittle things down to just a few core pieces. Since I have kids, I would like to save some things for them but even though they are fascinated by Daddy's dolls and "Jai Joes", they are both really young and it'll still be a few more years before most of this stuff is really age appropriate. I know of at least one on-line retailer who buys collections and there's always eBay if I want to consider that torturous but potentially more lucrative route. My wife has had luck with eBay but I've honestly never sold anything on there. Anybody have thoughts about alternate venues for selling stuff? I know a few of you have tried selling through blog posts but has that really proven viable? I'm not yet ready to throw in the towel but there's a lot of stuff I've had stored away for years and if I'm not using it, why am I keeping it?

Aside from the hoarding completist mentality, one major reasons I acquired so much stuff was because of my desire to produce THE MAGNUM OPUS!!! with a CAST OF THOUSANDS!!! OK, so really, my plan was to do a long form, multi-chapter photo story with a cast of dozens, but you get the idea. Like many such grandiose schemes, this one eventually died from its own grandiosity and a lot of major real life stuff. Still, the basic core ideas have remained with me. Many of names of the figures you see posted here, as well as their basic backgrounds and personalities, came from that project. Since I'm not likely to produce THE MAGNUM OPUS!!! any time soon, I'm thinking of posting a basic background in a future post.
Oh and that real life stuff that stalled the story? Well, I bought a house and moved out of state, injured my back in the move, my elderly cat, whom I adopted from my sister after she died, died after a couple of years of nursing him. Then my Dad, who was already in ill health, suffered a stroke and died shortly before Christmas. There was the lovely 2005 hurricane season which included a bitch named Katrina that wrecked my new hometown but utterly destroyed my old one. A bit less than a year later, I got married and a few months after that, my wife's father died. All in a space of less than two years! So yeah…. On to the next post!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice- Project: Obitsu June 2015

As you may have read in my previous post, I've decided that this will be my last regular, monthly Project: Obitsu entry. I thought it would be nice to end this with a photo shoot dedicated to the northern hemisphere summer solstice. This month's model is Daphne and I put together a little summery outfit based on the stuff I have on hand. Yes, you've probably seen this ensemble before if you're a long-time reader but why not? Nobody else was wearing it and it looks cute while being tastefully revealing (I hope).

The top and shorts are older Azone pieces, I think from the 1/6 scale "blue label" era and not Pure Neemo. Her purse is an old Get Real Girls piece, the shoes are Barbie and the cap is a WW2 female field cap from OJI. Daphne herself is based on an Obitsu SB-2 body with a W-01 pre-painted head. I've always thought she was a real cutie but she has often been eclipsed by some of the other girls in my crew. Maybe it's time to change that and give Daphne more screen time.

Anyway, enjoy the photos and stay tuned while I resume normal blogging!

A close up of the cute little purse. Somewhere, I have a t-shirt with this same logo.

This little gal has a pretty face, so I wanted to make sure you could see it.

Cleavage…. 'Cause I'm a boob who likes boobs! LOL

Another shot of Daphne's face. I just noticed that she still has a bit of "hat hair" but it's too late to change that now!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ch Ch Ch Changes….

So, here's something I've been thinking about for a while and have even written and deleted a couple of posts about. I've decided that after June 2015, I'm going to stop doing Let's Joe and Project: Obitsu as regular monthly entries. Instead, I want to return to a more open form style of blogging. I also want to focus on other figures and items in my collection aside from just Joes and Obitsus. A number of factors have contributed to this decision but a lack of time is THE major issue. I have almost no free time anymore and when I do get a break, it's usually so I can bathe or sleep. Even then, I don't get to do those things as often as I'd like! I can write occasionally by switching between my phone and laptop but these moments are brief and infrequent as well.

Another issue is that I feel the present format is getting a bit stale. I wasn't promising brilliant photography and thrilling prose but even by my low excitement threshold things are a bit boring. Deciding to focus on just Joes and Obitsus seemed like a good idea to keep me focused and on track but six months in, it feels very limiting.

What I hope to do for the rest of this year is continue photo blogging whenever possible but just opening up the subject matter to whatever strikes my interest at the time. I will continue to use Let's Joe and Project: Obitsu as tags when appropriate, just not on a twice-monthly basis. Starting in July, I will be posting other dolls/figures/toys and more written content as time allows.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Let's Joe! June 2015

 Welcome to the halfway house… uh, halfway POINT in my little exercise in boring my loyal readers to tears! OK, OK, maybe it's not THAT bad but some months have been more inspired than others. Anyway, this month's Joe is named Steve (huh?) and he's my resident "some kinda special ops guy". Oh yeah, now that's a well researched explanation huh? Steve himself is a Hasbro Super Articulated Joe. He's wearing the gray/green ACU camouflage uniform which seems to be most effective on your Grandma's old couch but not in most combat situations. His gear might be more appropriate for a Navy SEAL than Army Special Forces but I thought it looked cool, so that's my excuse. His rifle is the US M4, a short variant of the long-serving M16 family, while his sidearm is the legendary, century old US M1911 .45 caliber pistol. I was going to give him a beautifully detailed HK 416 but I fiddled with the pieces for a bit, looked at the M4, which was already assembled, and decided "screw it"!  So he's going a bit old school here. I didn't even switch out his Aimpoint optics for my usual Trigicon ACOG sight. I'm happy, it looks OK and I'm too lazy to change it, so there you go! I'm starting to think this whole project is a bit like my old Operation L.A.C.K. (Lame Ass Crappy Kitbash) but with more expensive parts!

 A close up of the .45 pistol in the holster. Why didn't I take out? Heck if I know!

 A close up of his chest rig. It would probably look better with stuff in the pouches but yeah, I'm lazy!

A better shot of the M4 rifle. A bit hard to see here but the cover flaps on the Aimpoint sight are opened.

Two things that came to mind as I was finishing this post. First, I'm not sure what I did with his helmet. I posted a photo on Instagram that showed him holding it under his arm and I meant to have him wear it in few shots but I've misplaced it. Second, I completely forgot the cool looking backpack I bought for him. I know where it is, I just forgot to put in on for the shoot.

Not much else to add so, enjoy the photos and feel free to comment if you'd like!