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 Post subject: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Mr. Goggles R.I.P.
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So basically a couple of your wonderful site runners here were privy to a photo I posted elsewhere of the Zangief 2up Paintmaster and asked if I'd post the image here. I didn't want to just post the one item with no reason to do so other than the fact that it is an absolute freak show of GI JOE pre-production. Which, don’t get me wrong, would probably be grounds to post it by itself, as is etc. But I wanted to take it a bit further. When you see the Zangief you'll know why they asked me to post it (more) publicly (than not). It really is quite odd and amusing. The picture was posted because a Joe Customs member (we'll call him Jason Dike) wanted to know something about 2ups..... specifically whether or not 2ups for figures that used pre-existing parts (reused parts) were done as full 2ups or not. My reply to Jason was that 2up sculptures (the original hand sculpted 2up sculpture/pattern) would only have new parts. They wouldn't re-sculpt any pre-existing limbs. Also if a limb was to be identical to another limb on the finished product... then on the sculpture/pattern..... they wouldn't sculpt an identical limb. They'd just leave it blank/"missing" (see: Ferret image below, specifically his feet) since the part that was to be duplicate on the figure could just be hardcopied. As for 2up paintmasters (fully painted 2ups), if the final figure was going to re-use limbs from a previous figure, the 2up paintmaster would NOT have those 2up parts. So for example (as pictured below): Zangief's head is the only thing about him that is new. His body is composed of parts from Gnawgahyde and BAT v2 (oddly enough). So the Zangief 2up paintmaster is literally a 2up head and that's it. BUT with some 2up paintmasters that are just heads or just heads and torsos or just heads and torsos and legs but no arms, they are sometimes accompanied by 1:1 scale (3 3/4 inch) limbs (for reference purposes). Sometimes these 1:1 parts are hand-painted. Sometimes they are unpainted. Sometimes the 1:1 parts do not accompany the 2ups. All depends on what was preserved. Now, sometimes a hardcopy of a 2up was made using archived 2up parts. So, for example, the Steel Brigade 2up that Hasbro dug out of their vaults for the Orlando JoeCon panel (not pictured)...... while the figure is mostly composed of reused parts, a hardcopy was obviously made using ALL the 2up parts that make up Steel Brigade and that 2up was painted. This is rare as far as we can tell as there really is no "need" to do a full 2up of a character that already has parts produced/in china/ready to go/etc/etc. For example there's no reason to do a 2up paintmaster of a simple repaint that uses no new parts. BUT there are some rumors that such things exist. 2ups of repaints. Most likely done for catalogs or archival purposes as far as we can tell. Assuming such things actually exist.

So ……basically after being asked to post a picture of Zangief, I decided I'd just go a bit further and ask my friends if they'd be willing to let me share some of their 2ups (mostly 2ups with "phantom" limbs). So a very special thanks to Chris "TOPSON" Murray, Brian "nova" Kauffman, Kevin "KrymsynGardImmoral" Watts, and to an anonymous "donor" for letting me post pictures from their collection.

It should be noted, in regards to nova's Dial-Tone 2up that the 1:1 chest, head and helmet are parts that nova himself cast from a Production Figure......for display purposes.
And that "the Arms seem to have come from a Sonic Tunnel Rat (based on the paint chips at the shoulder and rivets....also no camo paint apps on the wrists." -nova
Also "the Legs and Waist are from a Production Clean Sweep figure." - nova

And in regards to Chris Murray's Space Shot 2-up: "the hand painted 1:1 legs, arms, and waist piece have been assembled with a custom clear cast of the torso and head (by nova) for display purposes. So, the clear parts of the figure behind the 2-up are not a production/prototype piece. It is a custom created for the display of the prototype pieces. To the right of the 2-up and sorta behind it is a primered white 1:1 resin for Space shot and behind that is my Banzai Test shot." - Chris Murray

Obviously any and all questions are welcome. And if you'd like more information on 2ups and other pre-production glossary terms: http://joeintel.com/subcategory.php?cat_id=7&id=


I suppose though we should start with the core of a 2up. The skeletal armature on which 2up sculptures are....well.... sculpted upon. This is called a sculpting buck or STANDARD sculpting buck. (Despite being Joe Customs I will try not to assume that everyone knows what a buck is heheh). With very, very few exceptions..... all GI JOE sculpting bucks are the same size (hence, standard). That being said there are also some strange GI JOE bucks out there that are not so standard. For example the "muscle" bucks which were going to replace the standard buck at some point (or so it was tossed around) but the idea was shot down. “Muscle” bucks were going to be Hasbro’s way of saving money during sculpting. If the buck already had muscle and shape to it, then they wouldn’t have to pay people to do such detailed, outward sculpting. They had also considered NOT sculpting detail onto the figures (ie pockets, belts, etc). This was also part of the “muscle” buck era which never came to pass. However, the “muscle” buck did find some use with figures like Ryu, Blanka, E. Honda, etc. Mostly barefoot (sometimes), muscular, half-naked Street Fighter figures. It should be noted that the feet of a “muscle” buck have toes (oddly enough), unlike the standard buck. There are also unique bucks like the “Goro” buck which was designed for four-armed figures (Goro, Predacon, Unproduced Thrasher etc) and the “Lobotomaxx” buck which as far as we can tell had the privilege of being used solely for Lobotomaxx. So the first image is of a GI JOE standard sculpting buck. Followed by images of 2ups. Mostly those with “phantom limbs.” There are some other examples but most of the images are of 2ups for figures that re-used parts or had identical, duplicate limbs. Again if you have any questions.... by all means ask them.

GI JOE STANDARD BUCK (from the collection of Chris Murray):
Image

SPACE SHOT 2up Paintmaster (from the collection of Chris Murray):
Image

EFFECTS 2up Hardcopy (from the collection of Chris Murray):
Image

LIFELINE v4 2up Paintmaster (from the collection of Kevin Watts):
Image

SURESHOT 2up Paintmaster (from the collection of Chris Murray):
Image

FERRET 2up Pattern (from the collection of Gyre-Viper):
Image

VEGA, BLANKA, BALROG 2up Paintmasters or Paintmaster parts. (from the collection of Anonymous)
GAH almost forgot.... the Blanka head is either 3up or 4up:
Image

Zangief 2up Paintmaster (from the collection of Anonymous):
Image

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:16 pm 
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Mr. Goggles R.I.P.
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 1:48 pm
I just edited something in which totally skipped my brain pan while writing.
The Blanka head is either 3up or 4up. As far as I know the Blanka 2up has not been found.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Very cool stuff, thank you for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Zangief still makes me chuckle. That is awesome. Very cool seeing the Sureshot paintmaster. Up until now I've only heard the Battle Corps Rangers Flint was going to be repainted, but I've never seen what those colors would have been. He does look like Cutter.

Using clear cast parts to display these pre-production pieces is pretty dang ingenius if you ask me.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Frick that's cool. I don't think I'd heard of Sure Shot before. I only knew him as Flint. [LASER BLAST]'.

Do we know what sculpting medium was used back then?

From the sound of it, I am pleased that the muscle buck was rejected for the main line.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Also, a thanks to those who consented to the pictures being published, and to Gyre for the write up, as well as outing my secret identity. :-P

I can't get enough of stuff like this.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Very interesting look behind the curtain.

I love seeing stuff like this!

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Mr. Goggles R.I.P.
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Lance Sputnik wrote:
Frick that's cool. I don't think I'd heard of Sure Shot before. I only knew him as Flint. [LASER BLAST]'.

Do we know what sculpting medium was used back then?

From the sound of it, I am pleased that the muscle buck was rejected for the main line.



Battle Corp Rangers is one of those things where new stuff is being dug up all the time. Lots of prototype names for characters. Lots of hearsay. Lots of relying on fading memories. Even collectors have helped to mangle the facts (which is nothing new). There were some things that were planned for Battle Corp Rangers that were originally actually things from lines like Eco-Warriors etc but had been shelved at the time and kind of "snuck in" to Battle Corp Rangers.

As for the sculpting medium..... that varies by year and sculptor. Most toy designers did things THEIR way. I mean there were very strict rules as far as actual engineering goes because it had to be pantographed down to 1:1 in such a way that it would be relatively perfect since these things had to pass QC in the end, once finished and put on a shelf for purchase. There are 2up tools which were used..... specifically designed for sculpting 2ups. But freelance sculptors especially had their own tricks obviously. In-house Hasbro sculptors preferred wax. So for example the Iguanus (prototype name Dragonlord) 2up was sculpted in "Hasbro wax." Some early freelancers preferred varying wax recipes. For example the Duke sculpt was done in an almost "black" wax that the sculptor made using different ingredients. Whereas say Tunnel Rat and Wild Weasel were done in a two part epoxy/plumber's seal hybrid. Some of the earliest sculpts were done in clay. Some stuff was done in clay, then a cast was made... and the clay sculpture was broken down.... destroyed.... and those sculptures no longer exist. But it really varied, again, by year and sculptor.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:19 am
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These pictures and information are cool. Thanks to all for sharing. Sureshot is something I had never heard of before. And that Zangief is pretty funny looking, but pretty cool.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:33 pm 
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That's some neat stuff. I really like that SPACE SHOT 2up. The sculpt looks a lot like Max Ray from Centurions.

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:19 am 
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Watching these pics makes me feel like Indiana Jones.

BTW... is there the 2Up for Big Boa?

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:49 am 
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One thing that shoukd probably be addressed: why did some sculpts reuse parts? Like that Ferret...why not just have the other leg done? The answer is obviously cost cutting. But it is interesting how cost cutting fits in with 2up sculpts and 2up paintmasters.

Over the years, the almighty tooling is often considered the ultimate costly segment of production. Countless times, we would think that whether or not an item gets made hinged upon whether or not molds exist. In a very vague nutshell, that is true. And it is cost prohibitive to small runs.

But the larger, clearer explanatiin is that existing tooling necessitates that all the steps to get there were also paid for. So if a new set of arm molds exist, not only did Hasbro pay to get those arm molds cut, but they also paid to have them designed, took time to create sculpt sheets, had meetings to discuss progress, had the arms sculpted, often resculpted, often recast so detail could be added, test shots done, QC done...and if those parts then fail safety tests, redone and tooling corrected or recut. It is a lot of expense. It isn't always that tooling is expensive as much as it is that tooling represents many steps and many expenses.

In the early years, tons of reused bits were happening. It just wasn't as obvious as it was later. Duke and Doc may not share the same torso, but they do share the same back half. Look at a lot of the 83 upper legs. Some of those will share one upper but not the other. Some even share half of one upper.

Because of the fact that earlier parts changed to this degree, I think Hasbro was probably in the habit of putting full 2 ups together more often toward the beginning, which is why molds or parts were available for Steel Brigade. This may have also changed because iver time the people doing the work changed.

I would love to see more older 2 ups like Rumbler or LnF Tripwire. It would be interesting to see the first case of a paintmaster that was not a 2 up.


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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:51 am 
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That is a good point. This originally came up because I was wondering if a full 2 up of Dr Mindbender existed, since he reused Mutt's thighs. So it sounds like the decision to use X part was made prior to sending the design to be sculpted. Now I wonder how they decided who was going to use recycled parts, and how the process of selecting which parts would be reused.

And in the early days, when everyone got the same helmet, did the sculptor have a 2 up helmet to work against to make sure it fit, or was there some science to that?

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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:58 am 
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I want super size Space Shot. Really I want those 2up pieces, that is amazing.




sincere thanks for the link to this, Gary.


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 Post subject: Re: GI JOE 2ups: "Phantom Limbs"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:30 am 
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Yeah, that Space Shot is pretty neat, as is the buck and pretty much everything. That Zangief reminds me of those Headliner XL figurines of baseball and football players.

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