Customizer Extraordinaire, Ron “Inks” Stymus, Has To Wait To Be Laid-Off Before He Can Create His 1:6 Scale Custom Vehicles, Props & Figures

Three of Ron Stymus' custom figures (his 'mini-me' is the one on the right) prepare to go cruising in three of his brightly-painted 1:6 scale customized "hot rods," (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Three of Ron Stymus’ custom figures (his ‘Mini Me’ is the one on the right) prepare to go cruising in three of his brightly painted 1:6 scale customized “hot rods,” (Photo: Ron Stymus)

“The best things are always one-of-a-kind, scratch-built, and custom.”

Ronald "Inks" Stymus (NY), poses with his 1:6 scale custom "mini me" GIjOE. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ronald “Inks” Stymus (NY), poses with his 1:6 scale custom “Mini Me” GIjOE. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

As GIjOE collectors and customizers go, Ronald “Inks” Stymus is a clearly a standout. His 1:6 scale recreations of blue-collar bikers, high-powered hot rods, erotically attired femme fatales, dioramas of game rooms, rock-n-roll bars and gritty street scenes are among the most original we’ve ever seen.

What makes his work so special? Besides an obviously keen eye for detail and expert craftsmanship skills, Ron has an uncanny ability for depicting real, everyday people. They’re not superheroes, WW2 stormtroopers or adventurers. Rather, his customs are based upon actual, gritty places he’s seen, or people he has encountered. His final scratch-built, one-of-a-kind creations illustrate 1:6 scale customizing—at its FINEST.

Surprisingly, the only substantial time Ron can find to work on his miniature artistic creations is when he’s LAID OFF from his job as a truck driver in the Finger Lakes region of New York. According to Stymus:

“I work in construction. I drive a 35-ton Volvo dump truck, 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. In the Wintertime I get laid off. That’s when I do most of my 1:6 customizing. I’ve also done tattoos (as another hobby) for over 35 years now, and I’ve done over 20,000; all custom, and all free-hand.

Most of my custom stuff is based on my life in general and people or groups that I’ve known. My 1:6 scale gameroom and other dioramas are based on my after-work R&R.

I started collecting 1:6 scale a long time ago. Now, I have about 550 GIjOEs and other figures, plus almost 300 Barbies and other female figures. I collect other things too, but that’s another story!”

“If you see it in 1:1 scale, you can make it in 1:6 scale.”

Ron’s mantra may ring true, but not everyone possesses his innate creativity or superior artistic ability. As another old saying goes, “If it was easy, then EVERYONE would be doing it.” To get a better idea of just how far-reaching Ron’s talents really are, let’s take a look at some recent work:

Holy, Hells Angels! Stymus' bad-to-the-bone custom Bikers look like they're ready for anything. Notice the custom leather outfits, and numerous tiny details that make this group of figures so outstanding. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Holy, Hells Angels! Stymus’ “bad-to-the-bone” custom Bikers look like they’re ready for anything. Notice all the handmade leatherwork, cloth vests, patches and painted tattoos; such realistic details make this group of unique figures truly outstanding. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's "mini-me" poses next to a stunning variety of scratch-built crates and pallets. What realism! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s “mini-me” poses next to a stunning assortment of scratch-built 1:6 scale crates and wooden pallets. Such realistic-looking props help make Stymus’ dioramas all the more believable to the eye. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's gameroom diorama features a scratch-built bar, pool table, skee-ball alley and much more. Look how ALIVE his scenes feel! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s 1:6 scale gameroom diorama features a scratch-built bar, pool table, skee-ball alley and a wide variety of realistic looking props and characters. Outstanding work! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's yellow custom hot rod sports outstanding custom painted flames as well as numerous other creative details. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s yellow custom hot rod was lowered, painted with custom flames and intricately detailed inside and out. Congratulations! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Even the interior received special attention with the addition of new door panels, carpeting and other details. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

The yellow car’s interior received special attention with the addition of new door panels, carpeting, fuzzy dice and other custom details. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's 1:6 scale custom blue hot rod is perfectly detailed and appointed to resemble a 1:1 scale high-performance street machine. Vrroom!(Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s second 1:6 scale custom was this outstanding blue hot rod, detailed and appointed to resemble a 1:1 scale high-performance street machine. VRROOM! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

“This blue car is the second one that I built. Its tires and rims came off a 1:6 scale PT Cruiser. I custom-made its wheelie bars, put N2O in the trunk, added a custom muffler made from a coffee can (with hand-painted Thrush logo), a Revell 350 Chevy motor, a blower from a 1:18 scale ‘Muscle Machine,’ bucket seats, carpeting, door panels, headliner, sun visors, fuzzy dice, gauges. and even a radar detector!”

This closeup of the engine bay reveals all of the stunning detail Stymus added to his custom 1:6 scale (blue) hot rod. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

This closeup of the engine bay reveals all of the stunning detail Stymus added to his custom 1:6 scale (blue) hot rod. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's custom rock band is truly unique, and its customized characters are very original and creative. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s custom Adventure Team rock band is truly unique. The more you look, the more you realize is scratch-built. You can almost hear the screaming metal music! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's scratch-built dog sled might need a little more "dogpower" to get underway. But look at that craftsmanship! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s scratch-built dog sled and supply crates might need a little more “dogpower” to get underway. But look at the superb craftsmanship and attention to detail. MUSHHH! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

You know you're a dedicated 1:6 scaler when you go to the trouble to scratch-build a custom frame for your hot rod. Superb! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

On his third custom car, Ron decided to go all out. His “Mini Me” lifts the car (with one hand) to reveal Ron’s scratch-built frame and gas tank on the underside. Outstanding! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

“This is the third 1:6 scale car I’ve built. It features a custom-built frame, a Revell 350 Chevy stock motor, custom firewall, gas tank made from a coffee can, brake lines, tranny lines, carpet, and some mounted guns in the trunk.”

This engine bay closeup reveals a simpler, stock 350 Chevy. But WOW, that firewall and all the other tiny details really add to the realism. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

This engine bay closeup reveals a stock 350 Chevy. But Ron’s custom firewall, hosing and other detailing really amps up the realism. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's red hot rod is equally eye-grabbing with its stunning paint job and engine details. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s red hot rod is quite eye-grabbing with its stunning paint job, bright chromework and myriad details. Even the service ramps are scratch-built! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's custom-built 1:6 scale auto transport trailer. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s custom-built 1:6 scale auto transport trailer. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

“My scratch-built 1:6 scale auto transport trailer includes bungee cords for the tarp, tie-down chains with axle hooks, ramps that stow under the trailer and chain binders.”

Closeup of Ron's custom trailer with ramps connected. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Closeup of Ron’s custom trailer with ramps connected. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

True 1:6 scalers love detail, and with Ron's custom trailer, you can even stow the ramps in racks in the back! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

True 1:6 scalers love detail, and with Ron’s custom trailer, you can even stow the loading ramps into racks in the back. Plus, notice the real wood planking, rusting detail on the racks, the figure’s custom leather welding apron, shop patch, spark visor and more. Truly superior customization! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's red hot rod looks STUNNING on his 1:6 scale scratch-built trailer. WOW. Look at the size of that thing! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s red hot rod looks STUNNING loaded onto his 1:6 scale scratch-built trailer, all ready to roll out to the nearest drag strip or 1:6 scale car show. Amazing! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

The Land Adventurer asks Ron's "Mini Me" for a ride back to Adventure Team Headquarters in their new (custom) "High Rider" Jeep. Fully RC, Ron's motorized monster is ready for any challenge. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Land Adventurer asks Ron’s “Mini Me” for a lift back to the Adventure Team Headquarters in his new, high-ridin’ RC “Monster Jeep.” (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's "Mini Me" loads up his new scratch-built 1:6 scale wheelbarrow with cords of wood. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s “Mini Me” unloads cords of wood from his new scratch-built 1:6 scale wheelbarrow to fire up his new scratch-built custom stove. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

“The tub on the wheelbarrow was made from sections of a coffee can. It has real wooden handles, and the wheel is from a 1:18 scale jeep, that was broken. The little wood cords are actually sawed-up real twigs. The stove is all soldered together, the door works and the stovepipe is plastic pipe.”

Closeup of Ron's scratch-built stove reveals it's made of actual metal and features a working door as well. Great for warming the shop during the Winter. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

In this early production shot of Ron’s scratch-built stove (taken prior to painting), you can see the various materials used in its construction. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Another shot of Ron's "gameroom" diorama reveals a detailed bar, beer keg, tons of details and assorted characters having a good time. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Another view of Ron’s scratch-built custom “gameroom” diorama reveals a detailed bar, beer keg, furniture, games and other props, plus assorted characters all having a good time. It’s time to “Par-TAY!”(Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's "Mini Me" prepares to take a ride on his 1:6 scale customized chopper. Note the hand-made background including a 1:6 ice freezer, walls door and window. Outstanding! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s “Mini Me” prepares to take a ride on his 1:6 scale customized chopper. Note Stymus’ hand-made background items as well, including a 1:6 scale ice freezer with working doors and hand-painted graphics. Outstanding! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron needed a case for his scratch-built guitar. No problem! Simply trace off a pattern...(Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron needed a case for his 1:6 scale guitar. No problem! First, he drew a pattern onto stiff cardstock for the top and bottom halves. Photo: Ron Stymus)

Then, cut out your pattern and glue it together, making the top and bottom halves. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Then, he trimmed it all out, curving and gluing long strips to the patterns to create the sides. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

The next step involves covering your case halves with the material of your choice. Carefully trim the material to fit and apply with adhesive. Reinforce with sewing as required to add handles and straps. Line case with felt or suede. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the final steps involved either spray painting the case black or covering it with material before attaching final details such as handles, hinges and straps. Outstanding! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's lead guitarist seems quite satisfied with the results. "Where's our next gig, dude?" (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s 1:6 guitarist is quite satisfied with the results. “Let’s get to the gig, dude!” (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron's artisitc skills are applied even to the smallest details on his figures, including hand-painted tattoos. (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Ron’s artistic skills including creating superb hand-painted tattoos! (Photo: Ron Stymus)

Bottom Line: Ron’s work is simply amazing. Clearly, he has an excellent eye for miniaturization, material choice and fabrication. His recreation of real-life objects at 1:6 scale is already at an undisputedly professional level. He’s an inspiration to all in the 1:6 scale community and especially to its growing “Corps of Customizers.Far more than a truck driver, Ron has become a true ARTIST; one that must wait to be laid off—before he can create again. Go, “Inks!”

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3 thoughts on “Customizer Extraordinaire, Ron “Inks” Stymus, Has To Wait To Be Laid-Off Before He Can Create His 1:6 Scale Custom Vehicles, Props & Figures

  1. Wayne Faucher says:

    I’m a big fan of Ron’s work. Glad you decided to give it the showcase it deserves. It’s truly unique in subject matter and scope. And the fact that it’s carried off with such attention to detail and skill just makes it that much better!

  2. GIJOEBILL says:

    You know I am big fan of “Garage Joes” and Inks custom work is awesome!!!

  3. boyd says:

    i love the custom work he does … its great … i also make stuff for my 1-6th scale joes and the girls too … my one big QUESTION is WHERE DOES HE FIND THE CARS ??? I NEED A WEB SITE !!!!

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