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Vintage Action Man, Action Team, G. I. Joe, Geyper Man, Group Action Joe, 1/6 figures
 
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 Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.

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Kimono Troop Command
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PostSubject: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 3:35 pm

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  50175982712_c9ee0321f9_cKatanga's Lost Diamonds Part II: The Valley of Strange Occurences by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

One of the great things about about doing a collection depicting some point in the future as opposed to the past is that it gives you more of a blank canvas to paint with. You are not rigidly bound to historical accuracy.  This isn't a problem for a lot of people anyway, but as my degree is in history I tend to be rather stuck up for historical accuracy in stuff I do myself.  I use to paint a lot of 15mm and 25/28 mm wargaming miniatures and believe me, if i was doing a highlander he had to be wearing the correct tartan; my US Cavalry on the plains were painted accurately for their period also and not so as they would appear as they might of they were in a John Ford western.  I love John Ford films' don't get me wrong, but the uniforms are almost entirely wrong.

Anyway...back to the topic.  So there are a lot of artistic depictions of what people might look like in the sort of post-apocalyptic world I set things in which is somewhere in between Mad Max and the Road Warrior, and probably closer to the former than the latter. Civilization hangs on in many places but there are large parts of the territory of the US and other countries that are mostly lawless. Not to mention that Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi have seceded from the Union and formed a sort of oil rich neo-cofederacy.  A large percentage of the prewar poplulation is dead...at least 60% and 90% of the prewar male population is dead. Women are now the dominant gender on the planet and make up most of the military forces.

There are of course mutants and barbarians and such, but I haven't gotten around to modeling any of them.

So, the influences of my collection, stylistically are:

1960's TV shows and action movies such as Rat Patrol, Dark of The Sun, Tarzan (with Ron Ely) and all of the Sean Connery James Bond movies of the 1960's but particularly, Dr. No, From Russia With Love and You Only Live Twice.  I'm also influenced by the animated TV series "Archer," and the Japanese anime series "Girls un Panzer.  Finally, some it what my figures wear is just plain logical.  

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  48068902093_10981e45e9_cTB League / Phicen by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Typically, Kimono Troop members prefer high leather boots over desert boots for their durability (footwear is not easy to replace in these times) and the added protection they provide against rattlesnake bite.  Next is a pair of short shorts, which are very comfortable to wear in the summer heat in New Mexico.  The old Rhodesian Army liked to wear running shorts in the field also, so it's not without precedent.

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  48068901763_511597ce66_cTB League / Phicen by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  48069073872_899e1e390a_cTB League / Phicen by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  49867808037_b3829349db_cAlexis Nihon Park Shoot 2_0174 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

And most members wear a sexy, somewhat revealing top. This is part stylistic and part logic.  It makes little sense to me to purchase expensive seamless figures then cover them from head to foot with clothing that defeats the whole purpose of the seamless figure, though this is what I did with Erika and her Afrika corps uniform, though I did not give her a shirt and left her tunic open in a suggestive way.  

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  49819301553_c3d333c3c8_cKamiko To the Rescue04 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Kamiko is a bit of an exception to the sexy top rule as she wears a T-Shirt and unlike the other characters, never wears any for of headdress other than her red bow, but Kamiko is special....

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  48562236751_373cbc71f7_c20190817_The Squad_0013 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

She also has a second body which I keep dressed in a sexy kimono which is very similar in design to ones I had my DAZ 3D Kamiko frequently wear off duty. See comparison.

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  48620350182_323a7653f2_c20190825_0047 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  46310235555_27efcfcece_cTokyo Alley_2 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Moving on, we get to weapons and equipment.  Here's a place where both logic and sentiment take come together.  First, this is set in the US and civilian gun ownership in the US is very high. You would find a lot of survivors armed with AR15 variants, which at a glance are indistinguishable from their military issue counterparts.  You would also find older rifles like the HK91 (the civilian version of the G3 rifle) M1 carbines, SKS's, M1 Garands, plus whatever military issue weapons might fall into survivor hands.  Gun collectors in states that allow automatic weapons might also have guns like MP40's, Sterling SMG's, and definitely the MP5.  The list goes on. Glock pistols are used by so many police departments and civilian shooters that they are pretty much ubiquitous.  My contention is that basically any survivor who has any kind of firearm and ammo for it, has a marked survival advantage over those who don't.  They'll use whatever they can get their hands on that works and so all of these weapons and others are a part of my collection, though some, like my SKS carbine or my Browning .50 Cal HMG have not yet been used in any photos.

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  49001363806_8ce910b0c7_cKamiko Observes by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  49868148928_a43dce9b34_cBlam, Blam by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  50081167596_e6db8e1e11_cCaptain (ret) Glynnis Penny Farthing, OBE by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  48537249616_9761ca7d5e_cThe Squad by Gary  Menten, on Flickr

In terms of load-bearing gear ammo and other equipment, I'm definitely old-school for a couple of reasons. One is that this the sort of gear I know from my military service in the Canadian Army, 1982-1991. Second, it looks much better on female figures than modern tactical vests which obscure much of the sexy forms.  Three, I don't want these figures to resemble modern American "militia's," who probably would be running around in their battle gear until they ran out of ammo or the National Guard wiped them out or something..., but let's not get into politics here.  In my universe, most of these guys have been wiped out by the plague that killed most of the men on Earth but women were strangely immune to.

I also don't load the figures down with too much kit or ammo. Part of the reason is stylistic; sometimes less is more. The other is logical. Ammo in this post apocalyptic world will alwayl be in short supply at all times, even if like Striker Blue Squadron and Kimono Troop, you are loyal to the Federal government draw weapons and ammo from it.  So basic gear; a web-belt, sidearm, knife, canteen, a few extra magazines, a light assault pack, and maybe a few needed tools like a hatchet, and flashlight, German Army mess tins, which are wonderful items and easily available from military surplus dealers.  They are also heavily copied by other countries, including Japan and from what I've read, once upon a time, all Japanese school children carried them to cook their lunches in.  Not joking.  German Army style mess tins, which have been largely unchanged since WWI will be a much valued survivor item in the apocalypse  Wink


There are a few new things coming down the line as my collection grows.  I have to choose a separate, distinct look for the enemies of Striker Blue Squadron, and the WWII retro of Erika von Stroheim will be the main inspiration for one group, but there may also be some figures that are more Mad Maxian in appearance as well as some with a Cold War era feel, Soviet-Red Chinese James Bond SPECTER-ish characters have all been considered.  

Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  50167443946_182c669b46_cKatanga Lost Diamonds003 by Gary  Menten, on Flickr


So finally, I invite all interested in discussing the logic (or lack thereof) their own stylistic choices for their kitbashes.  Are these one-off things or is there an underlying theme leading to an identifiable style?  Please feel free to post and comment.


Last edited by Kimono Troop Command on Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:08 am; edited 2 times in total

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 6:27 pm

This is a fascinating glimpse in to the creative process behind your intriguing and well-designed figures. It is quite interesting to learn that there is a method to the creation and outfitting of the figures and characters that goes beyond what you happen to have on hand at the moment.

You might be interested in a similar topic that was started a while back, asking about the creation of the "worlds" in which our figures and characters dwell:

https://actionmanmobileops.forumotion.co.uk/t10838-members-who-have-their-own-figure-world-questions

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 7:52 pm

SCU_HQ wrote:
This is a fascinating glimpse in to the creative process behind your intriguing and well-designed figures. It is quite interesting to learn that there is a method to the creation and outfitting of the figures and characters that goes beyond what you happen to have on hand at the moment.

You might be interested in a similar topic that was started a while back, asking about the creation of the "worlds" in which our figures and characters dwell:

https://actionmanmobileops.forumotion.co.uk/t10838-members-who-have-their-own-figure-world-questions

Everything draws inspiration from someplace and as I've explained elsewhere I've not only at times in my life worried about the implications of a nuclear war between the US and Russia, I've both prepared for it (in a hopelessly inadequate way) and spent countless hours thinking about the sort of world I would want to reestablish after the big kaboom, even to the point of deciding that women's beauty products were right behind food, ammo, medicine and toilet paper as priorities to stock up on and store in humongous quantities in something similar to a decommissioned missile silo.  By the way, there are some twelve decommissioned Atlas Missile silos within an hour and a half to two hours of where I live in Montreal.  They were operated by the former Plattsburgh AFB in upstate New York and at least three or four of the silos are within a mile or two of the Canadian border. One has been converted into a luxury ranch house with private air strip with a luxury underground shelter in what used to be the launch capsule. Another was used for some purpose or other by the US military until very recently, and while the silo is a bit of a mess, the launch capsule is very nice and would make a really neat conversion project. It's currently for sale. I know of a third that was bought in bad shape and is currently being converted into something livable by its owner.  In my little universe, Striker Blue Squadron is HQ'd in a converted Atlas silo in New Mexico, once operated by the former Roswell AFB, though Kimono Troop itself his quartered some distance away at Kimono Station, a former nudist colony in the foothills.

Consequently Kimono Troop has a nude swimming pool fed by a local hot spring, a nude volleyball court, and a nude tanning area, though all members are required to wear footwear and keep a weapon with them wherever they go, in case of a surprise attack.  These are not things that will be depicted on the forum however as i neither wish to break any rules nor offend any members. They may find their way onto Flickr.  Kimono Troop trains hard, fights hard, but it also plays hard.  Which brings me to another integral part of this little universe.  With most men being dead, there simply aren't enough to satisfy the sexual needs of the female population and girl-girl relationships become common if not universal. Again...don't expect to see this depicted in this forum.


Last edited by Kimono Troop Command on Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 8:25 pm

Years ago I would read about decommissioned missile silos being sold for what seemed to be "reasonable" prices, and I'd think about how cool it would be to own one. But by the time I reached the point in my life where I could maybe possibly remotely have a chance of such a thing, the prices have skyrocketed in to the many hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. As you say, they are being converted by wealthy people in to their own private survival bunkers.

Of course, I remember when I was a kid, a lighthouse off the Oregon coast (I grew up in Oregon) sold at auction for only $5,000. I begged my parents to sign up for the auction, but they had no interest in such nonsense. "It would cost too much to...." Yeah, well, whatever.

Here are a couple of silos in excellent condition that were available back in January. Starting price: $495,000.

https://www.realtor.com/news/unique-homes/two-more-titan-missile-silos-for-sale-in-arizona/

Apparently they both sold this past April:

https://www.businessinsider.com/two-decommissioned-missile-complexes-are-for-sale-in-arizona-2020-1

Here are a few more that are... or were... for sale:

https://www.loveproperty.com/gallerylist/91803/awesome-abandoned-bunkers-for-sale

I want the ocean gun fort in Wales!!!

No way! This can't be real! Say, one of you UK guys, can you go check this out for me?

https://www.castleist.com/295k-pembs-wales-island-sea-fort-for-sale

Wink

Errr... Embarassed sorry about derailing the topic! That actually happens a lot around here. It'll get back on track shortly.

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 8:48 pm

This is the one near Saranac NY I was talking about earlier.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/atlas-missile-silo-home


yep...I'd totally love to own either an Atlas or Titan silo / launch capsule and turn it into a luxury bunker. I'd also totally love to get in bed with Sharon Stone, but ain't neither of those things gonna happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 8:54 pm

Thanks for the look behind the scenes of Kimono Troop Command, very interesting.

You have clearly put much thought into the stories, background and figures

Very well done!!!

cheers bounce cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeSun Aug 09, 2020 9:08 pm

gibri wrote:
Thanks for the look behind the scenes of Kimono Troop Command, very interesting.

You have clearly put much thought into the stories, background and figures

Very well done!!!

cheers bounce cheers


It's process that's evolved over time.  There's still a lot I haven't written about yet, such as how Kamiko, despite being my main heroine is a very flawed one who though largely noble of purpose and highly focused on her responsibilities as Kimono Troop leader is also very revenge-driven and unforgiving when she is wronged.  She's also very judgemental, though an excellent judge of character. She knows within a few seconds if she really likes somebody or really hates them--there is little middle ground with her--and she makes no effort to hide her contempt for people she dislikes.  Worst of all, she's lived on the knife's edge for so long that she is a danger addict, suffering from a different and probably more dangerous form of PTSD than Erika von Stroheim.  Kamiko essentially loves mortal combat and never passes up a dangerous mission. She will often insist on taking them on alone so as not to needlessly endanger other members of her command, but they usually insist on accompanying her anyway, to keep her out of too much trouble.


Last edited by Kimono Troop Command on Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 12:47 am

there is no doubt, you have done an excellent job in putting those characters together Gary!

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 8:08 am

Blondeactionman wrote:
there is no doubt, you have done an excellent job in putting those characters together Gary!

It should be stated that the whole reason I decided to get back into 1/6 scale, not having had any figures since the GI Joe's I had as a kid was that I saw what Mark Hogencamp was doing with them photographically. Though my reasons for wanting to shoot photos like this are different from his: simply to express myself artistically and humorously as opposed to dealing with PTSD, what is the same is that we both create our own little worlds with our own little parameters. The figures represent people, each with a history. As with any movie, novel or TV series, some are more central than others and have a more detailed passed. Others are more incidental. After a while, it grows on you: I catch myself saying things like "Oh, Kamiko! Why did you have to fall over like that?
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 10:15 am

Kimono Troop Command wrote:
I catch myself saying things like "Oh, Kamiko!  Why did you have to fall over like that?

Don't we all do that? Like, all the time? Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 10:28 am

I never did it with my GI Joe's. Maybe it's because I never gave them names?
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 10:30 am

Kimono Troop Command wrote:
I never did it with my GI Joe's. Maybe it's because I never gave them names?  

Well... okay, that's true. Yeah. Must be the 'name' thing.

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 10:36 am

It's not that I'm in love with Kamiko or Glynnis or or anything...it would never work out if I were....are backgrounds are so different. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 11:16 am

Kimono Troop Command wrote:
It's not that I'm in love with Kamiko or Glynnis or or anything...it would never work out if I were....are backgrounds are so different. Very Happy

Besides, they're too d*mn bossy!

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PostSubject: Re: Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.    Explaining my Kitbash Style: Why my figures look the way they do.  Icon_minitimeMon Aug 10, 2020 11:23 am

Especially Kamiko.
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