Head: Star Wars- Han Solo
Alternate masked head: NS Red Spot helmet
Neckpost: 25A Destro cast
Chest/back: NS Destro (disco turtleneck version)
Arms, loin cloth: Indiana Jones- Ugha Warrior
Waist, legs: NS Heavy Duty
Wolf: Playmobil

Nevada Rushmore & Snarl
Research & Development
GI Joe
-based on the MASK action figure-


Kenner's MASK Nevada Rushmore figure is a hard thing to understand. It has the head sculpt of a 60 year old man atop an outfit that's best described as "traditional Native American garb from the future". GI Joe's Spirit and Eagle Force's Redwing were both designed with respectful inclusions of Native American elements. Kenner didn't do so well with Nevada Rushmore. Maybe designed with good intentions, it's not the best or most respectful action figure of the MASK lineup.

There wasn't too much about the Kenner figure dignified enough to keep. The armored lower arms were interesting, so I kept those. The rest of the design? Initially just pieces that proportioned well with each other. This is a custom that went through many different versions, none of which clicked. When going through my Indiana Jones fodder, though, I noticed the Ugha Warrior's loin cloth. I used that as the center piece and built around it, keeping only the Han Solo head and replacing the rest of the parts I had initially picked. Doing away with the vest made the character look even tougher.

I played with several more utilitarian versions, but ultimately stuck fairly close to the Kenner figure, but without the vest. The wide stance legs of the NS Heavy Duty figure was perfect to use with the loin cloth- plus the loin cloth even hides the t-crotch. The double knives on the boots give a bit of badass, too. Thanks to all of you who helped me with the poll on which version to do. Your input helped me figure out the right approach.

Here, I've placed Nevada Rushmore as a member of the GI Joe R&D subteam, MASK. The alternate/masked head is a NS Hot Spot helmet. But unlike the Kenner figure, he does have a pet wolf, Snarl.

Colors & Paint:

The Kenner MASK figure on which this custom is based was a mess. As much as I dislike it, I stuck with it. Removing the vest took away a large amount of the blue seen on the Kenner figure. To balance this out, other elements (like the bone arm guards and the boot lace field) are now blue.

Occasionally I run across a figure made of plastic that doesn't want to let spray paint bond to it. This is one of those figures. I usually sidestep this by painting a few coats of acrylic paint over the rubbery plastic before applying spray paint. But I didn't think to do it on the legs. The watermelon spray paint used on the legs looked like it had adhered okay (I always give 12 hours between coats even it the paint is "20 minute drying time" as a precaution). Once I added acrylic paints for a wash, detail painting, and clearcoating... the cracking started. I did the best I could to cover it, but it continues to crack. I assume this is an issue with the plastic because it's only happening on the legs and not the waist, even though they are from the same figure, a NS Heavy Duty, and were painted at the same time. The legs are softer than the waist. The cracking is particularly obvious on the boots.

Sculpting & Modifying:

The arms and loincloth were modified slightly. The interior of the Red Spot helmet was epoxy filled, with an inset for the neck post.

About Snarl:

Adding the wolf gives a bit of outdoorsy-ness to the character. No reason for Snake-Eyes to be the only Joe with a companion wolf. To distinguish it from Timber, Snarl is painted as an Ethiopian wolf instead of a "standard" grey wolf. Ethiopian wolves are very lanky and angular. The Playmobil sculpt is much too stocky and round to represent one, but it's still slimmer than the most recent Timber figures Hasbro has sculpted. I tried to paint edging lines along the surface corners to make the parts look leaner than the really are. It didn't work. Snarl looks more like a pet dog than what I was aiming for, but it was still a lot of fun to paint. Maybe a fox with a thyroid problem. Either way, using drybrush techniques was a nice way to mix up my painting style.

This is the second time I've given a MASK character a Playmobil animal companion. The first was Boris Bushkin's arctic fox, Snowpack.

The name Snarl obviously comes from the Transformers name stockpile- a good place to pull from since I've made exactly one Transformers-based custom and don't plan on doing another.

Thanks for looking.

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