Due to a request from someone I consider to be a ninja master at taking pictures of GI Joes, I have put together a How-To. The first two pics should be an expanded view of the entire set. It shows the foamboard walls and floors. I got mine from Walmart for around 4 bucks apiece. They are held together with masking tape. The other shot shows a kitbashed computer console. It is made from a playset I got at a thrift store for 3 dollars. The console is a flat piece of plastic with radio and dashboard pieces from 1:18 scale cars. Don't ask what I do with the cars. The map is from an atlas I got from a thrift store for 52 cents.
the ducting/wall piece is the roof from an HO scale train set building. I happen to have a lot of old train set stuff. I did model training for a long time, but it is very expensive, time consuming, bulky, and very expensive. The "computer base" is a piece of a toy firetruck I got from a thrift store. I dremeled it apart into component pieces. One will be shown later. It got spray painted silver to simulate chrome or metal. The computer piece from the new DVD pack does not sit flat, that can be fixed easily enough with some tape or paper wedges.
This is a control panel from the aforementioned firetruck. It has gauges, dials and other widgets with a coating of some black paint to highlight the details. When turned to the side, you can see that it is hollow and was hacked out of something else.
This is another train piece. When on its side, it looks like a metal bin or corrugated wall something or other. It is actually a small outbuilding. HO scale train stuff is pretty cool. Did I mention it is very expensive?
The big silver wall is the top of an old cable box. It is the easiest set piece ever. I unscrewed it from the bottom of the old cable box. The fan is an old fan from my old computer that stopped working. It has a yellow wire running to that silver think. I'm not sure what that is, but it looks like a heater or cooling vent, or maybe a technical gizmo. The trick is to find small thinks that look like something else.
This is at the other end of the cable box top. (note: if you are from the cable company, I sent this box back to you, so don't charge me for it.) It is a wall part from another train building, a trainyard tool shed, tape, and wire. The molded tools are a nice touch to the train set, but are terribly small for Gi Joe. When shot from the right angle, it looks like a heavy metal doorway. I added a small phone/GPS thinkie to it to look like a control panel to operate the door.
The garage door is the cover from a scrapbook. It looks like corrugated metal. I stole this idea from Outrider, another great ninja master. The foam boards are held together with masking tape. It needs a chain or rope to look like what you would use to open the door.
I painstakingly crafted this shelving unit from scratch. It took years.
Not really, I got it from a thrift store for a dollar or something. The doors were pink. I spray painted the whole think to an off-white. It's pretty cool to put gear and stuff on to look like people are using it. The map is from that old atlas. I cut out the picture using scissors. The map has made several appearances in my photos and looks like a zoned map of the US. I imagine it to represent flight zones or territory divisions that are under the jurisdiction of various Cobra and Joe commands.
If you have enough set pieces, you can make an endless combination of modular sets. Keep your eyes open for little stuff you can add to a foamboard or wall piece to add some detail. Spend thousands on train buildings in order to convert a small fraction to set pieces. Go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and buy dirty, smelly toys that have cool details. The only limit is your imagination and maybe your wife telling you to stop buying so much crap for your stupid toys. (My wife is actually very cool about my hobby. It is much cheaper than golf or heavy drinking.)
And I apologize for the small pictures. It was the only way I could make them small enough to post here. You can always use your zoom tool on them.
Last edited by ThinkTank : 08-05-2008 at 08:35 PM.