Category Archives: Vehicles, Aircraft & Watercraft

Mysterious “Project: HERCULES” Excites Fans of 1:6 Scale Worldwide———Purpose of “X-1” Unknown

Due to a current news "black-out" and strictly enforced "no photos" policy recanted enacted by the ground crew at the Patches of Pride launch site, we're unable to bring you a better image of the upcoming "Project: HERCULES. Just WHAT are we looking at? The boys in our photo lab have done their best to clear up this image, taken last night in total darkness using a long-range telephoto lens and night-vision filter. The best consensus we can reach is that it appears to show some sort of canister, possibly a fire extinguisher and most likely, the helmet of the test pilot of the enigmatic "X-1." Unfortunately, we can't be sure of either assessment, but those are our best guesses. (Photo: TJR)

We’re in the Dark Due to a current news “black-out” and strictly enforced “no new photos” policy recently enacted by the ground crew over at the Patches of Pride launch site, we were unable to bring you a better image of their upcoming “Project: HERCULES than this. So… WHAT exactly are we looking at here? The boys in our photo lab have done their best to enhance and clean up this image. It was taken last night in total darkness using a long-range telephoto lens and night-vision filter, but the best consensus we could reach is that it appears to show some sort of spray canister, most probably a fire extinguisher and what looks like a flight helmet, quite possibly that of a test pilot of the mysterious “X-1.” This leads us to believe that whatever the X-1 may be, it’s operable at night, even in total darkness. Unfortunately, we can’t confirm any of these assessments at this time. (Photo: TJR)

A recently posted sign warns photographers to keep their lens caps on. ARGH! (Photo: Tracey Evans)

No Pictures! A recently posted sign warns news photographers approaching the Project: HERCULES launch site. (Photo: Tracey Evans)

Little more than a week away from its official “launch date” on December 22, 2014, a mysterious new product line is generating genuine intrigue and debate among fans of 12-inch action figures who are eager to learn the answers to its many secrets. Officially and enigmatically dubbed “Project: HERCULES” by its creators at 1:6 accessories manufacturer,  Patches of Pride (PoP), the specific nature and potential usage of the new line remains largely unknown and has actually puzzled fans of the renowned company— for almost 3 YEARS.

You read that right. After some digging, reporters here at The Joe Report discovered that the origin of Project: HERCULES actually dates back to 2011, when PoP first released a free, daily, online photo-comic entitled, “A Joe a Day” (AJAD). According to PoP company rep, Mark Otnes, the figures featured in the strip were his 7 original, childhood GIjOEs that had been stored in his brother’s home for over 40 years. After they’d been returned to Otnes (that year) over Christmas, “Mark’s Magnificent 7″ were quickly reassigned as a time-travelling team of military heroes who join up with members of his Adventure Team and embark upon a cross-country road trip, all the while protecting the contents of The Commander’s mysterious briefcase, containing what is only known only as— “Project: HERCULES.”

In this frame from Mark Otnes' "A Joe a Day" photo-comic serial, the mysterious "football" briefcase contains the secrets and answers to the mysterious "Project: HERCULES." Unfortunately, the serial has not yet been concluded. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

What’s inside the “Football?” In this frame taken from Otnes’ “A Joe a Day” photo-comic serial, a briefcase known as the Commander’s “Football” containing top-secret materials related to the mysterious “Project: HERCULES” is removed from a team member’s backpack for examination. Unfortunately, the serial has yet to be concluded and the football’s contents remain unknown. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

While Otnes’ intriguing AJAD storyline has yet to be completed and hence, the exact nature and capabilities of Project: HERCULES are known to no other, it’s expected that the answers to many a fan’s questions will be revealed with the imminent release of these new PoP products. Suspense continues to build as the company’s “countdown” (to the product launch) continues, and a slow trickle of “sneak pics” make their way to eager fans trolling for clues over on PoP’s Facebook page (HERE) and/or VIP Customer Mailing List (HERE). With the release of each new tantalizing image, debate is stirred anew, resulting in heated conjecture among collectors, including the following:

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Renowned GIjOE collector and customizer, Angelo D'Annibale (Photo: Angelo D'Annibale)

Angelo D’Annibale

“I’m getting hopes up for some sort of helipad or jet pack. Can’t wait to see more!”Angelo D’Annibale

Kyle Knox (Photo: Kyle Knox)

Kyle Knox

“Driving me crazy! But I have an idea. A space capsule akin to NASA’s Orion.”
Kyle Knox

Lyle "Bigfoot" Button (Photo: Lyle Button)

Lyle “Bigfoot” Button

I was thinking some kind of unmanned drone, but now I’m not so sure.” —Lyle Button

Good ideas all, gentlemen! But we believe renowned GIjOE fan and collector, Scott Turnbull may have come closest to deciphering the various clues and “sneak pics” of Project: HERCULES with THIS intriguing supposition:

Scott Turnbill

Scott Turnbill

“Something tech-ish, I’m sure, which hits the sweet spots of my collections! Maybe a temporal experiment…”
Scott Turnbull

Bottom Line: We asked PoP’s secretive “Commander-in-Chief,” Mark Otnes, if he had any further comment regarding the upcoming Project: HERCULES, and he declined, citing his company’s official “news blackout” until December 22nd. Despite Otnes’ intransigence, we intend to forge ahead on this matter and promise to apprise our readership of any and all fresh intel as it becomes available. —Editor

Since last week, PoP has begun giving away free 1:1 scale "Project: HERCULES" t-shirts to lucky winners over on its fan page on Facebook HERE. (Photo: Mark Otnes)

FREE T’s! PoP has begun giving away free 1:1 scale Project: HERCULES “ground crew” t-shirts to lucky winners on its Facebook Fan Page. Wow! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

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“Tankers” Lining Up To See “FURY” November 2014

Tank, starring James Garner (Photo: Imdb)

Tank (1984), starring James Garner was an enjoyable “tank fantasy.” (Photo: IMDb)

Among the vast pantheon of GIjOE collectors, there’s a die-hard subset of fans who also know a great deal about military history and the mighty armored tanks that command such a prominent role on the battlefield. We’re referring, of course, to those ardent armor aficionados appropriately (and affectionately) known as, “Tankers.” If you’ve never heard of, or used this particular appellation before, Tankers are those zealous individuals who can accurately recite the names, weaponry, and firepower stats of practically anything heavily armored or tracked. From the smallest Kettenkrad tractor to the largest modern Abrams M1A2 (and everything else in-between) their knowledge—is unassailable.

Many Tankers are also big military history buffs that can wax rhapsodic for hours about WWII’s Montgomery and Patton, recount battlefield strategies, the proper deployment of tanks during a “Blitzkrieg,” the rise and fall of Rommel’s vaunted Afrika Korps, clashes between SS Panzer Divisions and Russian Red Army T-34s at Stalingrad and Kursk, the pivotal Battle of the Bulge, the use of tanks in the Pacific theater against Japan, North Korea, North Vietnam, and most recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wherever they’re deployed, tanks often prove to be THE deciding factor between a battlefield victory—or ignominious defeat. Not surprisingly then, films about tanks are almost invariably larger than life, exciting—and FUN.

Battle of the Bulge, starring Henry Fonda (Photo: Imdb)

Battle of the Bulge (1965), starring film icon Henry Fonda was good—but not great. This movie BEGS to be remade. (Photo: IMDb)

Why are we bringing this up now? Because recently, Tankers, GijOE fans and amateur military historians have all begun to discuss the impending release of a new “tank-centric” motion picture called, “Fury,” which depicts the WWII exploits of a battle-hardened U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division tank crew (watch the film’s trailer at top). As you are undoubtedly already aware, movies about (or utilizing) tanks, are not unheard of in Hollywood, but pickings can be slim. As a result, fans of this particular genre typically have to wait about a decade or two between decent offerings.

But even if the script stinks (Tank Girl, anyone?), there’s just something about a tank movie that makes it hard to dislike. Let’s face it, they’re BIG. They’re brash. And well…they’re BEAUTIFUL! For alpha-male / leading man-type actors, to have a good tank movie “in your quiver” is a rare accomplishment, nowadays; worthy of more than just a little braggadocio. OOHrah!

Some of the better tank flicks that come to mind include Sahara, starring Humphrey Bogart, Saving Private Ryan starring Tom Hanks, The Battle of the Bulge, starring Henry Fonda, Tank, starring James Garner, Patton, starring George C. Scott and most recently, Fast ‘n Furious 6, with Vin Diesel. (Take a moment to enjoy the first 3 video clips of this article before proceeding.)

Fury stars well-known Hollywood heart-throb, Brad Pitt (last seen in the farcical Inglorious Basterds) and according to the brief description we found over on the Huffington Post:

Sahara was a highly underrated 1943 tank film starring Humphrey Bogart. (Photo: IMDb)

“Pitt stars as a sergeant named ‘Wardaddy’ who leads a tank crew of American soldiers into Germany. (Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena and Shia LaBeouf are Wardaddy’s longtime battle comrades; Logan Lerman plays the group’s newcomer.) The whole thing looks comfortably familiar — a beat from “Inglorious Basterds” here, some from “Saving Private Ryan” there — but it’s never not compelling. “Fury” is set for release on Nov. 14, meaning it could either become one of Sony’s year-end awards contenders or simply a solid money-maker for the studio. Or maybe both: The last time Pitt and Sony teamed up for a film, it was 2011’s “Moneyball,” which earned $74 million at the North American box office and six Oscar nominations.”

Patton, starring George C. Scott, featured numerous tank scenes. (Photo: IMDb)

Patton, starring George C. Scott, featured numerous tank battle scenes. (Photo: IMDb)

It’s been quite a while since Tankers have seen a really good tank movie. It’s about time our heroes of the armored divisions were featured on-screen again. Heck, we were even excited to see that Abrams tank in the first episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Although it saw no “battle action,” it served as a main prop and temporary place of safety for the show’s beleaguered hero. Tank fan hopes are high that Fury will be a solid, well-researched and realistic tribute film to all the men who fought, died and served in the U.S. Army or Marine Corps tank divisions. Curious about what our fellow GIjOE fans are hoping to see (or NOT see) in this upcoming film, so we posed the question to everyone’s favorite GIjOE fan and resident tank expert, Dave “Tanker” Matteson (of Alabama), who kindly offered the following observations:

Dave "Tanker" Matteson in his Joe Room. (Photo: Dave Matteson)

Dave “Tanker” Matteson in his GIjOE Room. (Photo: Dave Matteson)

“Shermans and Tigers and Shermans, Oh my! I was asked by Mark to watch the trailer and then give my opinion on the upcoming movie, “FURY.” Am I qualified to review this movie? I believe so! Most people know me as “Tanker.” I spent time as a tank crewman in M1A1 tanks, about 8 years to be exact, as well as being a ‘tread head’ since the age of 8. For those who have seen Fury’s trailer (at the top of this article), the Sherman M4A2E8’s and the M4A3 are all, in fact, REAL. And yes, the Tiger Tank is also VERY real. All of the tanks used in this film are on loan from the Bovington Tank Museum in England where David Ayer, the film’s director, did most of his research.

The research Ayer undertook takes us back to WWII and inside a Sherman tank where its crew LIVED. Before filming, the crew was treated to a mini ‘Armor School’ where they had to learn the job of being a tanker. Then, once on the set, Brad Pitt actually lived with his crewmen in the tank they crewed for the duration of the filming of the battle scenes, totaling some 30 days.

Everything you’ll see onscreen is as close to real as it gets. This film is going to be for Tankers what Saving Private Ryan was to Rangers and Paratroopers. Generally, movie trailers are what doesn’t make the film. The good thing is, I have been following this production VERY closely, and it is definitely on the money. Being a tanker was the best job I ever had!” —Dave “Tanker” Matteson

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Dave Matteson for his help with this article. We are FIRED UP about seeing Fury on the big screen this November. Until then, we leave you with this full-length tank episode of “Lock-n-Load,” starring everyone’s favorite Gunnery Sergeant, R. Lee Ermey. So, go grab a cup of Joe, put your feet up on the desk—and Enjoy!

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“First-Time” G.I. Joe Collector Creates Working 1:6 Scale USCG Helicopter———As His Ceiling Fan!

Holy Rotors, Batman! Imagine "flying" this stunning 1:6 scale USCG HITRON "Fast Attack" Littlebird helicopter INSIDE your home—with just the flip of a switch. For creator/customizer, Tom McMurray, that's now become a daily reality. Lower the rescue diver! Aye-aye! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

Semper Paratus! Imagine “flying” this stunning 1:6 scale USCG HITRON “Fast Attack” Littlebird helicopter INSIDE your home—with just the flip of a switch. For creator-customizer Tom McMurray, that dream is now a daily reality. Lower the Rescue Diver, Joe! Aye-aye, Sir! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

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When we first heard that retired US Coast Guardsman and GIjOE “newbie,” Tom McMurray, had converted a beat-up, 1:6 scale 21stC Littlebird into a working, (fully electrified) USCG helicopter CEILING FAN, we knew immediately that fans around the world would want to hear all about it. After contacting McMurray, he graciously agreed to the following exclusive interview and also (very generously) provided us with these exclusive photos and video clips. Enjoy!

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After completing the Littlebird’s custom paint-job and applying decals from Patches of Pride, McMurray begins work on the helo’s custom wiring and lighting. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

Tom McMurray (Photo: Suzanne McMurray)

Tom McMurray (Photo: Suzanne McMurray)

TJR: Congratulations on your superb 1:6 scale custom helicopter, Tom. Could you tell us first—what inspired you to take on such a challenging undertaking?

TM: “I was medically retired out of the U.S. Coast Guard (just shy of 40 years) as a Petty Officer 1st Class Port Security and Small Arms Instructor and wanted a project that would take time and represent my career. I wandered across a Littlebird over on e-bay. It was blue and not in very good condition. But over the following months, I picked up various parts one at a time and pieced it all together.”

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This early test revealed exterior running lights and spotlights working perfectly. Interior lighting would also be added, illuminating the ‘Bird’s instrument panel and cockpit. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: How long did this project take you to complete?

TM: “I started in December of 2013 and finished it in July of this year (2014). I have close to 400 hours altogether put into this project. The hardest part was getting the stripes on the Littlebird to be exactly 67 degrees (as required by the Coast Guard). The painting pattern is correct and was used on an experimental chopper by HITRON for fast attack on “Go-Fast “ (drug-smuggling) boats down in Florida.”

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The longer you look, the more custom details you see! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: After completing the helo’s tricky (and beautiful) paint-job, what did you work on next?

TM: “Well, as you can see, the exterior utilizes a waterslide USCG decal set (found HERE) that I picked up from Patches of Pride (PoP), and the cockpit uses one of their “Complete Cockpit Conversion Kits” (found HERE). I then further modified the instrument cluster and all of the gauges by drilling small holes behind the decals and then giving each gauge its own colored led light, sealed in behind it.”

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Great closeup showing Tom’s disassembled cockpit firewall and the addition of new decals, a fire extinguisher, custom helmet paint, seat cushions, etc. Great improvements! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: That clearly elevated your Littlebird to a higher level. What else did you add?

TM: “If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see that the pilot has a small laptop mounted on the console, and both of the interior spaces are lit by a red LED for night-vision. I also added all of the required exterior lights, a working high power spotlight and a working FLIR lamp underneath. The ‘float’ is required on any USCG chopper that works off the coasts, so I hand-fabricated that. Also, the .50 cal Barrett on the port side is mounted on a stanchion built into the deck. Finally, I cut all of the windows down halfway except the main hatch, which I mounted in the opened, rescue position.”

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Peek into the finished cockpit and you’ll go GA-GA over all of its details, back-lit gauges, and additional 1:6 scale props such as flight charts and maps. Stunning work, Tom! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

TJR: You’ve impressed us enough already, but here’s where your story gets REALLY interesting. Tell us about converting your 1:6 scale USCG Littlebird helicopter—into a ceiling fan.

TM: “To mount it to the ceiling fan, I filled the upper engine compartment with a 2-part epoxy and let it dry around the threaded accessory lamp-post. Then, I took the lamp section off of the bottom of the fan, filled the extra cover with epoxy, attached it to the main fan motor with screws and let the finished project sit supported on top of a 10-ft ladder overnight to cure. My wife, the electrician, the contractor (that had just finished the room) and myself, all had our fingers crossed when I lit-‘er-up. Voila! SHE FLIES!!!! And not a shudder or vibration.”

Holy Rotors, Batman! Imagine "flying" this stunning 1:6 scale USCG HITRON "Fast Attack" Littlebird helicopter INSIDE your home—with just the flip of a switch. For creator/customizer, Tom McMurray, that's now become a daily reality. Lower the rescue diver! Aye-aye! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

The accuracy and realism of Tom’s working ceiling fan helicopter are striking. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

 TJR: Tell us about your interest in GIjOEs and 1:6 scale vehicles. What else have you created?

TM: “Believe it or not, these are the first GIjOEs I have ever owned. Honestly! As you can see, I made a lot of changes, but after 37 years in the Coast Guard, I didn’t need much help. And now, I’m looking for my NEXT project. Thanks for all the parts, decals and help Mark.” —Tom McMurray

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At night, Tom’s “heroic helo” creates a colorfully realistic light show. COOL! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

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Tom’s custom-mounted .50 cal Barrett sniper rifle can stop a high-speed boat with one well-placed shot through the engine block. Out-STANDING! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

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Another view of Tom’s USCG Littlebird in action. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

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Lowering a Rescue Diver down with Tom’s custom harness and pulley system. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

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The realistic lighting on Tom’s custom helo makes for exciting “night-ops” action. (Photo: Tom McMurray)

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At rest, you can see that the blades of Tom’s fan were also custom painted to perfectly simulate the rotors of a real USCG HITRON helicopter. Amazing work, Tom. Congratulations! (Photo: Tom McMurray)

Bottom Line: McMurray’s 1:6 scale custom Littlebird helicopter is one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen. His attention to detail and accuracy reflect his many years of experience and service in the Coast Guard, and his inspired conversion of a typically static-display model into a working ceiling fan is truly remarkable. Our sincerest thanks to Tom for his service to our country and for his generous contributions to this article. Enjoy a video of Tom’s helicopter in action below:

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Customizer Creates 1:6 Scale Replica of 1942 Harley-Davidson Army Prototype “Model XS”

Robert Jason's custom 1:6 scale 1942 Harley-Davidson prototype NAME XS motorcyle and rider, fully finished and detailed with custom sidecar, tires and much more. AMAZING! (Photo:

They don’t get any rarer than this. You’re looking at a one-of-a-kind, 1:6 scale, museum-quality replica of a prototype 1942 Harley-Davidson motorcycle (that never made it into mass-production). Created by professional modeller and customizer Robert Jason, the Model XS “hog” comes complete with a vintage GIjOE outfitted as a US Army courier rider and a fully detailed custom sidecar. (Photo: Julie Kostick)

Customizer Bob Jason (Photo: Bob Jason)

Customizer Robert Jason (Photo: Julie Kostick)

Motorcycle History in Perfect 1:6 Scale

Artist and master modeller, Robert Jason of Florida, widely renowned for his creation of ultra-detailed and historically accurate custom 1:6 scale trucks and Jeeps, is now trying his hand at creating custom, one-of-a-kind, 1:6 scale motorcycles. The results are, needless to say, VERY impressive. Regular readers of The Joe Report will recall that we profiled Mr. Jason previously, in an article published back in September, 2013 (see HERE). At that time, we discussed in detail (and highly praised) Robert’s artistic skills and incredible work on what are now known as his “commemorative customs.”

Until recently, Jason limited himself to the “heavy vehicle” category that reminded him so much of the machines his Father and Uncle had fought in during the war. Now, with the addition of 1:6 custom motorcycles, Jason is expanding his scope and revealing a willingness to work on other sizes and types of WWII vehicles. It’s hard to believe, but most (if not all) of Robert’s masterpieces end up being sold to the highest bidder on ebay (see current auction listing HERE). As he told us before:

Another closeup showing the miniature Harley-Davidson manual. Out-STANDING! (Photo:

Details such as this outstanding custom 1:6 scale Harley-Davidson maintenance manual (included) help to “tell the story” of Jason’s vehicles. (Photo: Julie Kostick)

“Whenever I build one of these custom vehicles, I use actual WWII combat museum photos to be as accurate as possible. When I first started selling them, I discovered there was a need (and market) for reasonably priced 1:6 scale custom vehicles for serious collectors.Yes, there are much higher priced all-metal kits that are extremely well detailed, but one must have model-building experience and the time required to assemble them, and as you know, TIME is often very hard to come by!”

Opposite view showing dual rifle scabbards, two seats, radio, saddlebag and unique "tractor" tires. (Photo:

This opposite view shows the motorcycle’s two rifle scabbards, its independent twin seats, field radio, saddlebag, deep-tread “tractor” tires, and decals from Patches of Pride. (Photo: Julie Kostick)

Curious about the origins and details of Jason’s miniature motorcycle masterpiece, we consulted his unofficial “Director of Marketing,” Julie Kostick, who kindly replied:

Robert Jason's "Director of Marketing," Julie Kostick. (Photo: Julie Kostick)

Julie Kostick. (Photo: Julie Kostick)

“This is a one-of-a-kind, original 1/6th scale model of a rare prototype motorcycle that never went into full production (the piece is signed by the artist). It was created using a Hasbro GIjOE US Army WLA 45 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle as a stock base, and has dual rifle scabbards, an M1 carbine and a Thompson .45 cal. sub-machinegun, plus a field radio, canteen, shovel, map, flashlight and saddle bag. It even has a Harley-Davidson Military Motorcycle Operation and Maintenance Manual!

It also comes with an original 1964 GIjOE action figure,  dressed in a period-correct WWII US Army uniform with goggles, helmet, holstered .45 cal. 1911 pistol, motorcycle riding boots and gloves. Wherever your interest lies, be it vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles, WWII history, memorabilia, or GIjOE, this one-of-a-kind piece of art is a MUST for your collection!”

This closeup reveals the M1 carbine and Thompson machine-gun in their

This closeup reveals the M1 carbine and Thompson machinegun snug in their (not identical) scabbards. Words simply fail. WOW! (Photo: Julie Kostick)

This closeup shows the addition of the correct hosing, wiring, decals and custom paint and weathering. Superb! (Photo:

Closeup revealing Jason’s addition of hosing, wiring, decals and paint weathering. (Photo: Julie Kostick)

Bottom Line: Our sincerest congratulations go out to Robert Jason for his latest amazing 1:6 scale achievement, and our thanks go out to his “Director of Marketing,” Julie Kostick, for her generous assistance with this article. To watch a video showing the only known surviving example of this motorcycle (on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI), click on the link below:

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Kentuckiana G.I. Joe Club Continues Tradition of Outdoor Water-Rocket Parachute Launches, This Time With 1:6 Competitor: Captain Action!

This photo (taken during a previous club meeting) reveals jugs of water and other related launch detritus used to repeatedly provide thrust for the 1:6 scale parachute GIjOE missions. Out-STANDING! (Photo: KYGIJCC)

This photo (taken during a previous club meeting) reveals jugs of water and other related launch “technology” used to repeatedly provide thrust for the 1:6 scale parachute GIjOE (and CA) missions. Out-STANDING! (Photo: KYGCC)

God Speed, Captain Action!

In an egalitarian display of homemade model rocketry and outdoor “playsmanship,” members of the Kentuckiana GIjOE Club (KYGCC) gathered recently at a local park (covered in beautiful bluegrass, natch!) to launch one of GIjOE’s buddies (longtime sales competitor, Captain Action) high into the sky. As one club member stomped furiously on a pressurizing pedal, others stepped back warily. While children, unsure of what would happen next, took protective cover behind their parents. Finally ready, the launcher uttered his fateful countdown: “3-2-1, Liftoff!”

WHOOOSH!!!!!! Sitting atop a highly pressurized water-bottle rocket, Cap was sent soaring into the wild blue yonder, reminding all who witnessed the exciting event that day that: Toys were meant to be PLAYED WITH! After exhausting his craft’s harmless H2O fuel, Cap’s ‘chute popped open and he floated gently back to Earth.

While clearly pleased with the flight’s results, KYGCC club rep, Stephen Sherman, revealed that the group’s primary goal that day was actually to test the viability, strength and functionality (or lack thereof) of Cap’s vintage 1967 parachute. He described the successful mission this way:

“This past weekend, the Kentuckiana GIjOE club got together for one of our periodic Joe paratrooper water-rocket launches. This year, we decided to let Captain Action take his turn in the rocket. The jump was performed by Cap’s Playing Mantis stunt double, but his parachute was a 100% 1967-vintage ‘free’ 4-foot parachute. It still works!

KYGCC members gather underneath the park's pavilion to discuss and prepare for the day's events. (Photo: KYGCC)

KYGCC members gather beneath the park’s pavilion to discuss the day’s events. (Photo: KYGCC)

The Kentuckiana GIjOE Club has a long history of successful water-rocket-propelled parachute missions. If you haven’t seen it, you won’t want to miss the inspiring video (shown below) of their amazing 2009 launch of a GIjOE Mercury Astronaut strapped into a Space Capsule. Take a look:

Prior to his launch atop one of the club's famous "water-rockets," the astronaut GIjOE steps from his owner's superb custom Astronaut Support Vehicle. Amazing work, guys! (Photo: KYGCC)

Prior to his launch atop one of the club’s famous “water-rockets,” this GIjOE Astronaut steps out of his superb custom ASV. (Astronaut Support Vehicle). Absolutely amazing work, guys! (Photo: KYGCC)

Bottom Line: As the club’s newest mission video reveals, Captain Action’s launch was an unqualified success (just look at the altitude he achieved). It warms our hearts to see Cap’s vintage parachute still returning him safely to Earth nearly 50 years after its production. For more information about the creative, “play-oriented” Kentucky division of the GIjOE Collector’s Club, we recommend you visit the KYGCC Facebook page HERE. Go, Kentucky Joeheads! Go, JOE!

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1:6 Scale Custom R/C Stuart Tank by Ryan Nagata

In this screenshot from a video released by the Replica Prop Forum (RPF), professional Prop Master, Ryan Nagata, poses with some of his 1:1 scale custom ray guns at a 2012 "prop party" convention held in California. (Photo: RPF)

In this screenshot from a video released by the Replica Prop Forum (RPF), professional Prop Master, Ryan Nagata, poses with some of his 1:1 scale custom ray guns at a 2012 “prop party” convention held in California. (Photo: RPF)

21st Century Toys—Taken to the Nth Degree

It’s Thursday, so that means it must be—Tank Day! And what better way to celebrate Tank Day than by remembering the superb 1:6 scale Stuart tank produced by 21st Century Toys? You know the one. Right out of the box, that heavy, plastic beast of a machine was a ton-o-fun for GIjOE and RC fans alike. Its wheels, treads, and opening hatches were all were nicely done, but ardent “tankers” couldn’t help but want—more.

Fortunatley, along came highly talented, professional “prop master,” Ryan Nagata. Ryan’s experience in creating impeccable recreations of famous movie props made him a superbly qualified candidate to take the Stuart to the next, higher level. And so, after properly researching the extensive WWII history of 21st’s spunky “iron coffin,” Ryan soon had his own Stuart transformed to an astonishingly accurate replica with heretofore unimagined levels of detail and realism.

Ultimately, “tanks” to the internet (Ha!), Mr. Nagata’s intricately customized Stuart quickly became world-famous. It’s now an unbelievable example of a rolling, smoke-belching, gun-firing work of miniature military ART. Beautiful to behold and thrilling to operate, it’s the sort of tank all GIjOE fans dream of adding to their collections. According to Nagata:

“This is a 1:6 scale model of a WWII Stuart tank I built for an upcoming project. This one has all the bells and whistles including proportional steering, a working turret, recoiling gun barrel, a mini smoke generator to simulate exhaust, working head and tail lights, and an animatronic commander and driver.”

Bottom Line: Absolutely amazing work, Ryan. Thank you for inspiring so many fans and showing us what a 21st Century Stuart CAN become if we take our time to do—it—right. Imagine all the “backyard battle action” that “tankers” could enjoy with this beauty! If you’d like to see a video of Ryan discussing his professional prop creations, go HERE. If you’d like to see Nagata’s tank as profiled on the Patches of Pride site, go HERE. If you’d like to learn more about the man himself, visit Ryan’s personal website HERE.

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Pennsylvanian Creates 1:6 Scale Version of “Space Chariot” ATV from “Lost in Space”

Here it comes! Customizer Gary Stair's "Space Chariot" plows relentlessly through the arctic snow in search of another adventure. VRROOM!!! (Photo: Gary Stair)

Here it comes! Customizer Gary Stair’s “Space Chariot” plows relentlessly through the arctic snow in search of another sub-zero adventure. This is ALL hand-built, folks. WOW! (Photo: Gary Stair)

Among the world-wide cadre of 1:6 scale customizers and kitbashers, renowned Captain Action enthusiast, Gary Stair, continues to grow in fame, leading the way with his ever-expanding, highly inspiring “fleet” of hand-crafted and scratch-built 1:6 buildings, aircraft, and vehicles. Stair’s latest creation will be instantly recognizable to fans of the classic ’60s sci-fi TV program, “Lost in Space” (LIS), as the show’s unforgettable “Space Chariot” ATV (see photo of original version below).

Don West and Judy Robinson discuss where they can go to be alone ("I think I saw a good spot behind that rock, Judy), while the far more famous, "Space Chariot" waits patiently in the background of this scene from "Lost in Space." (Photo: CBS)

In a scene from Lust in Space, Don West and Judy Robinson discuss where they can go to be alone to perform another one of Don’s 20-minute “undergarment inspections.” Don: “I think I saw a good spot behind that rock.” Judy: “But Don, is this really necessary? It’ll be our third ‘inspection’ today. Are there REALLY such things as ‘invisible space ticks?” Don: “Of course! And the only way to find them is by FEEL. Trust me, I’m a major. I know all about ente—, entemol—, BUGS and such.” (Photo: CBS)

The LIS Space Chariot was just one of FOUR iconic machines created for the show. The other three were, of course, the “Jupiter 2″ (a flying saucer), the iconic “Robot B9″ (Warning, Will Robinson!) and the “Space Pod” (very similar to ones seen in the film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The LIS Space Chariot made its first appearance during the best year of the show, Season 1, and led the lost Robinson family through a dangerous battle with a giant cyclops and across an ocean with a raging cyclonic whirlpool (it was QUITE the exciting time for the Space Chariot).

Stair's Space Chariot enables his explorers to conduct dangerous missions in frozen wastelands, searching for lost UFOs and other mysterious objects. (Photo: Gary Stair)

Stair’s Space Chariot enables his explorers to conduct dangerous missions in frozen wastelands, searching for lost UFOs and other mysterious objects. (Photo: Gary Stair)

Stair’s Space Chariot is not a “bolt-for-bolt” recreation of the one on the show. Rather, it is a wholly unique and exciting custom in its own right. Here’s how Stair describes his one-of-a-kind ATV:

Toy collector and customizer, Gary Stair, PA. (Photo: Gary Stair)

Renowned 1:6 toy customizer, Gary Stair, PA. (Photo: Gary Stair)

“Hello, fellow customizers! This is my new, scratch-built, 1:6 scale “Chariot,” ala the one shown on TV’s “Lost in Space.” It’s chocked FULL of extra features, including: a domed canopy top, a top-side luggage rack, 2 side ladders, a front radar dish, front canopy lights, rear space for the ER1 (environmental robot), a sliding side door, 2 rear lab stations, an elevated center platform (to give better access to the domed top), lighted(!) interior control panels, arm rest tables for computer laptops, an overhead solar shade with tie-down straps for windy conditions, side and rear platforms for easy access (and extra carrying capacity), a rear top-side spotlight, extension power cable, de-icer hose, soil drill and front power-loader bars (to carry heavy equipment, ‘natch!).”

Gary Stair's custom 1:6 scale "Space Chariot" ATV provides a sweet ride through the arctic snow for Captain Action and his second-in-command, Major Stair. (Photo: Gary Stair)

3/4 view of Gary Stair’s 1:6 scale “Space Chariot.” (Photo: Gary Stair)

Side view of Gary Stair's 1:6 scale "Space Chariot." (Photo: Gary Stair)

Side view of Gary Stair’s 1:6 scale “Space Chariot.” (Photo: Gary Stair)

Back view of Gary Stair's 1:6 scale "Space Chariot." (Photo: Gary Stair)

Back view of Gary Stair’s 1:6 scale “Space Chariot.” (Photo: Gary Stair)

“My custom Chariot even has a couple of nifty ‘homage’ additions, including a Lost in Space (2nd Season) laser rifle, and a Star Wars Droid (he seems to have a little R2D2 in him). I hope you enjoy my latest creation and these recent ‘arctic mission’ photos. In other photos (not shown here) I’ve added even more homages to Lost in Space by including a damaged weather station and giant Cyclops footprints. Yikes! Time to call for reinforcements!”

Bottom Line: Our sincerest thanks to Gary Stair for being such a regular contributor to The Joe Report and sharing these amazing new photos of his latest 1:6 scale creation. Absolutely top-notch!

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