Head: '86 Tomax
Chest: '82 Grand Slam
Arms: '85 Eels
Waist: '85 Snake-Eyes
Legs: '82 Flash


One of the first GI Joe characters from 1982, Flash was to be included in the 1997 Stars & Stripes Forever. But Flash was bumped out and didn't make it to the official set, so he gets included in my custom set. Flash was also my first GI Joe figure, so the character has a special place in my cholesterol-filled heart.


For the head, I went for the original look of Flash on the cover of Marvel's GI Joe #1, on which he has blonde wavy hair. The Tomax head was a surprisingly good stand-in. Without any swivel Flash/Grand Slam arms to use, they both get Eel arms. But they have different waist pieces, to make it look like their uniforms are not geared out in exactly the same way. This figure is designed to be displayed without a helmet or gear, and to show off that wonderful Prell hair.

Colors & Paints:

The blonde hair is based on how Flash was colored on the cover of Marvel's GI Joe #1. I normally don't use a straight yellow for hair, either adding some tan to it or putting a gold wash over it. But here keeping it as a saturated yellow was necessary to disguise the Tomax head.

Hasbro showed us a mock-up of the Flash that wasn't included in the Stars & Stripes Forever Set. It looked good. Not only did they show us, they even put it on the back of the packaging. I considered using that as a template, but aside from the gold padding, the colors were very dark and I had already done a custom with gold padding. The biggest visual difference between Flash and Grand Slam was that Flash's uniform was lighter and Grand Slam's was darker. So here I stuck with something close to olive drab, like the mock-up did, but went with salmon for the pads and tan for the webgear/boots/gloves. The additional bright blue is a color pop, and helps separate this custom's uniform from the '82 figure. It was needed for the belt buckle, then spread out to other small spots to anchor it.

Flash's uniform is mostly lighter/warmer colors. Grand Slam's will be in darker/cold colors.

The touch-up color mixing/matching for the olive drab was a headache. It looked good, even after it dried, but shifted darker as soon as the clear coat went on it. Frustrating.

Sculpting & Modifying:

The neck ball was cut off. The forehead and its crazy big eyebrows were shaved down and the scar removed. The knees had no friction left, so I glued in snippets of rubber bands to give them grip again.

As fantastic as the early Joes were, the cost-cutting identical left/right feet tend to make the figures look a bit pigeon toed. To correct this, I cut the lower legs above the feet and re-positioned them slightly for a more natural stance. This is the first time I've done this, and used too much epoxy to sculpt over the cut. Flash now has cankles. That's life. Not sure if I'll try to do this again, but I might.

Thanks for looking.

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