Hello, Goodwill!———Customizer Using “Recycled Items” Found in Area Thrift Stores to Create All-New 1:6 Scale Equipment, Vehicles and Dioramas

Getting in the Swing of Things— Creating cool 1:6 scale table-top diorama displays like this one just require a little time, talent and imagination—plus a trip to your local Goodwill for inspiration! (Custom and photo by Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

Getting in the Swing of 1:6 Scale Customizing FUN— Creating visually exciting (and humorous) 1:6 scale table-top dioramas, like this one by Todd Zingales, just requires a little time, talent and imagination—plus a trip to a local Goodwill or other thrift store for cheap “inspiration!” (Photo by Todd Zingales)

Customizer of 1:6 Scale and founder of the

Todd Zingales, 1:6 customizer of “recycled items” and founder of the “Underground Legion” on Facebook (Photo: Todd Zingales)

Underground Legion Creator “Having Fun and Using Imagination” Working in 1:6 Scale

What is it about GIjOE fans and collectors that makes them so talented and creative? Is it that they all grew up imagining and then reenacting exciting exploits and adventures in their living rooms, bathtubs, backyards and “outer space?” Did GIjOE’s original, wide-open “universe of possibilities” enable those fans to adeptly move in any creative direction they wished, ultimately producing versatile, open minds that are now able to produce their own custom action figures, equipment, vehicles and dioramas? The answers to all those questions is—of course—YES (duh).

“Joeheads” are indeed a talented bunch.
In fact, some of the most creative work being produced by anyone—in ANY hobby—is taking place on a daily basis in the workshops and “Joe Rooms” of fans around the world. Armed with well-honed imaginations, these amazing men (and women) rise above financial and/or physical limitations to utilize their unbelievable modeling and/or other artistic skills to show the rest of us how a child’s toy line can continue to be a worthwhile, entertaining and creatively satisfying pursuit for millions of individuals—many of whom are now well into their “mature” adult years. <snicker>

Readers of The Joe Report are already familiar with the names and faces of many 1:6 customizers. We regularly feature their myriad accomplishments within our pages, and proudly showcase their work in an ongoing effort to inspire and expand this segment of our beloved 1:6 scale hobby. Today we’ll discuss another talented customizer, Todd Zingales (shown above) of New Hampshire.

Holy, Hovercrafts! Todd built his own flying machine out of parts found around the house and from local thrift stores. AMAZING! (Photo: Todd Zingales)

Holy, Hovercrafts! Todd built his own NASA-AT flying machine out of spare parts and pieces found around his house and at local thrift stores. VRROOM! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

Todd’s use of broken, cast-off, or otherwise unwanted items will remind many 1:6ers of a fellow customizing compatriot, Gary Stair, of Pennsylvania. As you may recall, Stair also prefers to work with older, broken, “cast-off” items; repairing and then combining them with “found” (i.e. free) objects or things he may have purchased for pennies on the dollar at local thrift stores. (See five previous articles on Stair’s works HERE).

Zingales’ and Stairs’ low-dollar approach to customizing should provide some comforting reassurance to other aspiring kitbashers out there who feel they can’t “afford” to customize their ideas. If you follow the example of these two talented penny-pinchers—you can make anything!

exclusivebanner

We asked Zingales if he’d share his personal insights and inspirations for the 1:6 work he’s creating, and in the following commentary (exclusively to readers of The Joe Report), he replied:

Todd Zingales, 1:6 collector and customizer (Photo: Todd Zingales)

Todd Zingales, 1:6 collector and customizer (Photo: Todd Zingales)

malecomment

“I started a small company to make custom 1:6 scale custom items using recycled items that most people would just toss in the trash. When you look at the world with a 1:6 scale eye, it’s amazing what you can find that you can reuse. The base section of my first hovercraft is from an old slide projector part that was found at our local recycling center. The other pieces are a combination of hand-carved plastic items. The round, top section is from the top of a plastic tank I purchased at Goodwill. Most of the time when starting a project, I’m not really sure what the final design will be. Having fun and just using my imagination is how many items have ultimately been made.”

Need a mobile Adventure Team helipad? Make one yourself like Todd Zingales. WOW! (Photo: Todd Zingales)

Prepare to Land Hovercraft!— Do you need a mobile Adventure Team helipad? Make one out of broken and/or spare parts like Todd Zingales. WOW! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

“I decided to make a second hovercraft with twin motors and make it a sit-down version instead. Each creation is custom painted using two types of paint to give it ‘texture’ and help hide the many colored plastic items that have been used.”

Prepare for Liftoff!— Each of Todd's creations are unique and reveal a keen eye for possibility. (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

Prepare for Liftoff!— Each of Todd’s 1:6 scale creations are unique and reveal he clearly possesses a keen eye for “recycling possibilities.” (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

“I also make many different items using broken GIjOE vehicles that I have found. Many of those items cannot be repaired due to the heavy damage to the item. Each project can take from 2 hours to 3 days. It all depends on the size of the craft.”

toddzingales7

Diggin’ all the Details— It’s amazing what you can do by amping up the detail level. In this case, the realism has been increased by (at least) 10-fold! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

“Many people ask me why I sell my custom items. The answer is, to me, it has always been about the next build, not keeping everything I create. I also love that an item that is handcrafted is now part of someone else’s personal collection!”

toddzingales6

Planetary Rescue Vehicle— If you’re trapped on Mars and need medical EVAC, who ya’ gunna call? That’s for the new owner of Todd’s extensively customized MSV to decide. One thing we know for sure: its intricate and weathered paint job makes it appear as if its seen a LOT of life-saving action! The longer you look, the more you SEE. (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

“I have met some super people from Chicago to Denver and am part of many cool Facebook clubs as well. Creating custom 1:6 items is a wonderful hobby. You can see most of my custom creations on Facebook over at the Underground Legion.” —Todd Zingales

toddzingales8

Moon Buggy Mania— Simple and effective. {Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

Underwater Mayhem— Todd's

Alien Dune Machine— What an amazing paint job! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

toddzingales13

Apollo Moon Mission Truck— Look at all the odds-n-ends Todd combined to create this unique vehicle. We especially like the green bubble window and that big exhaust stack running along the outside front-left. How cool would this look on a pebbly “lunar” surface? (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

toddzingales11

What’s INSIDE Todd’s Customs? Don’t forget to detail out the interiors of your custom vehicles. We’re not quite sure what Todd’s going for here (some kinda ramp, or something), but it looks freakin’ sweet. Let’s go dig up a UFO and capture that Moon-Man! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

toddzingales12

Adding detail items like these clear crates (found in most office supply stores) enables your GIjOE astronauts to transport the special “moon gear” they’ll need on their next lunar adventure. How else can they do those icky alien autopsies? (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

toddzingales2

Adventure Team Jet, Anyone? Remember the MX-25 Attack Jet made for Max Steel by Mattel? Well, Todd converted his into an Adventure Team aircraft. WHOOSH! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

toddzingales5

Umm…Can he get in here?— GIjOE scuba dude may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Small sharks can easily swim inside his new 1:6 custom shark cage! (Photo: Todd Zingales) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: Take a good look at the everyday objects around you. Make mental notes of their sizes, shapes and potential usage. Don’t keep your creativity locked up in a “brain cage.” Let your imagination flow free and it’ll take you to wonderful places where you can create with your mind—AND your hands. Once you’ve produced something you’d like to show off, please contact us here at The Joe Report. We’d love to share it with the rest of the 1:6 world! Our sincerest thanks to Todd Zingales for his generous assistance with all the text and photos in this article. You can visit Todd over at his Underground Legion on Facebook HERE

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

One thought on “Hello, Goodwill!———Customizer Using “Recycled Items” Found in Area Thrift Stores to Create All-New 1:6 Scale Equipment, Vehicles and Dioramas

  1. Danka_Zee says:

    Very interesting ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: