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Head: Indiana Jones- Sankara stone
Upper body: Toy Biz Marvel- Thanos
Hands: Toy Biz Marvel- The Thing
Lower body: Toy Biz Marvel- Juggernaut


Design:

For my 350th gallery submission, I went for one of my "Holy Grail" projects. One to dedicate to my favorite artist of all time, the late Herb Trimpe.

The Trojan Gambit Robot, more technically designated by Breaker as a "battle-robot", appeared in Marvel's GI Joe #3 several years before the BATS were introduced. It was captured by the Joes and brought back to the Pit in pieces. It "woke up" and assembled itself to reveal the Pit's location to Cobra. The Joes stopped it and the spider-like transmitter robots that were in its head. Like much of the early 80's Herb Trimpe work, the appearance and size of the robot changed from panel to panel. In some panels it was 8 feet tall, but it some it was 20 feet tall. It was essentially a large, clunky-yet-streamlined humanoid robot. Like Gort on steroids.

The three-fingers hands of The Things are sculpted with ridges on the fingers, perfect for a robot- although that's not how they were drawn. One open hand would have been better than two fists. I positioned them at different wrist rotations/angles to create the most dynamic look possible.

This would have been a perfect project for the 3D sculpting... The Toy Biz Thanos/Juggernaut/The Thing parts are far from being a perfect match for the comic book. The Toy Biz bodies are more "ripped" in terms of the musculature, but the best for the overall shape of the TGR. The parts are close enough in spirit to do Mr. Trimpe's artwork some justice.

Every so often, I feel guilty for chopping apart a figure for a custom, as if I'm destroying a precious violin for firewood (like Lister burning Rimmer's violin in Red Dwarf). Amazingly, the Toy Biz Thanos is one of those figures. Most of what Toy Biz made was out and out garbage. But this figure, clearly influence by the drawings of Ron Lim, was a hidden gem in that line. I'm not even a fan of Ron Lim's artwork. Or Thanos. It's a huge and sturdy chunk of plastic, too. It looks better with the current Marvel figures than the current Thanos figure, too. But poor Thanos was destined to have its head and hands and legs removed. That's how it goes in customizing.

Colors & Paint:

The comic book coloring of the day was simplistic and limited, making it sometimes open-ended as to what the actual color of any given thing was. The robot was colored white with blue shadows in most panels, but it was also blue in others. So was the robot supposed to be white? Metallic grey? Silver? I don't know, so I chose silver and then added a dark wash in some areas to bring out the details.

Sculpting & Modifying:

The Thanos head, hands, and skirt were removed. The robot head is an Indiana Jones Sankara stone relic, with epoxy sculpting added to create the face and rivets for the "ears". The face is simpler than in the comic book and the "mouth" isn't perfectly centered, but I can live with it. The neck area and belly panel are part of the epoxy, but would have been better if they were more three dimensional. The Thing hands were added to the arms and the wrists were blended with epoxy. The control panels on the chest are sculpted. The entire lower half is from Juggernaut. The except for the hands, everything was too "cut", so the definition in the muscles was filled with epoxy and leveled to create more rounded surfaces.

A special thanks to 2DARK2C for providing the Sankara stone. It jump started this project which had set on a shelf for years. It was the missing piece.

Dedication:

This figure is dedicated to the memory of Herb Trimpe, the artist who gave the Marvel run its visual feel and tone starting with GI Joe #1. He visually built the first year- and later returned to Special Missions, bringing GI Joe back on track. Mr. Trimpe's artwork, whether working on The Hulk or GI Joe or anything Marvel put on his plate, was always clean and direct, even when he was instructed to imitate more trendy artists. Under-appreciated and simple in the best of terms, his artwork always told a story in an unconfusing manner. Perfectly straightforward. Even now in my 40's, I can read the early Marvel run and still feel a sense of awe.

Thank you, Mr. Trimpe.

Thanks for looking.

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