GI JOE - Full Scale "Missile Defense Unit" Playset

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Hobby Viper

New Member
Hi everyone. I lurk here more than I post, so I thought I would try and fix that!

I am a member of The Finest – which is the worldwide GI Joe costume group with several hundred members across five continents. Even though GI Joe is not very mainstream these days, the Finest has really been growing lately, and most importantly, we’ve raised over $20,000 for military charities in the last couple years, including an awesome partnership with the USO!

The club attends or exhibits at 80-100 conventions each year, and recently, we’ve been asked by con promoters to build and bring more playsets and “battlefield accessories” to conventions to help fill more space. Members of our Missouri/Kansas garrison led the charge and built a full-scale “Bivouac” playset with accessories, and it always goes over well at shows.

Inspired by that, I decided to build a full scale “Missile Defense Unit” based on the toy set which came out in 1984. All GI Joe fans remember those interlocking gray brick walls!

This thread will document the build over the next few weeks (deadline is for a convention in Maryland on July 31). Feedback is welcomed and enjoy!

1 Toy2.jpg


2 Art.jpg
 
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Hobby Viper

New Member
Re: GI JOE - Full Scale "Missile Defense Unit" Playset

I started with the missile crate. I have a specific storage area to put the finished product, so I designed the crate to fit in that space. I then scaled all other accessories and pieces based on the size of the crate.

I also made sure the screw placements on the bottom of the crate are "toy accurate", even though no one will ever see them!

Stenciled and painted the crate and calling it done. I will leave it outside to weather for the next few weeks, giving it a more used appearance.

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I started with the missile crate. I have a specific storage area to put the finished product, so I designed the crate to fit in that space. I then scaled all other accessories and pieces based on the size of the crate.

I also made sure the screw placements on the bottom of the crate are "toy accurate", even though no one will ever see them!

Stenciled and painted the crate and calling it done. I will leave it outside to weather for the next few weeks, giving it a more used appearance.
 

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Hobby Viper

New Member
For the missiles, I used a couple of hobby rockets from Amazon and trimmed the middle sections down a half inch, so they will fit perfectly in the crate. I was disappointed in the fins on the rockets, since they are made from very light and fragile balsa wood. I'm sure that's great for launching rockets, but I will probably recreate the fins out of something sturdier, probably Kydex. A lot of kids handle our props, and the balsa fins wouldn't survive an hour.
 

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Hobby Viper

New Member
Once comfortable with the crate and missiles, I turned my attention to the "Ammunition Depot" sign. My main goal was to design the sign and stand so that those two pieces would fit in the missile crate (along with the missiles) for storage. Sacrificed a few scale measurements, but having this thing take up less storage room is well worth it.

For the sign markings, I'll be using vinyl white adhesive letters. I originally used 2" letters, but decided to scrap them and order 3" instead.

The "brick" piece in the photo is just a test piece to determine how the paint and stone texture paint would react with the foam. The actual "brick walls" will be a couple inches thick to mimic real brick.
 

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Buliwif

Active Member
Just looking at that crate is almost too much for my head to process! I had that crate and one of those little rockets just rolling lose around one of my old storage crates for years, lol. Can't wait to see this finished!
 

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Wes R

Legendary Member
Looks amazing, i remember getting this set as a gift after some medical procedure (my folks would bribe me with gi joe stuff since it was cheap lol) and I think up until a few years ago i had parts of it floating around in the attic. I've always wanted a life size jetpack set or one of the robots with missile launchers lol
 

Hobby Viper

New Member
Thanks for the comments! I think there are certain iconic pieces of the GI Joe brand that EVERYONE seemed to have, and this set was one of them. Back in the day, they only cost two or three bucks, so they were easy to get a hold of.

Wes: some of the guys in the club have built the jet pack backpacks! Most guys build 75%-80% scale, since a "full" size one somehow ends up looking TOO big. There are also some great full-size Blowtorch (flamethrower) backpacks out there, as well as Firefly's pack (with the tool compartment and removable lid). Guys in our PA garrison are working on building some of the PAC-RAT robots you were talking about... and there has even been discussion of designing them as RC!!!
 

Hobby Viper

New Member
Got lots more work done, including finishing the "Ammo Depot" sign, building the launcher, printing the decals, and carving up the foam to make the "brick" wall. Still need to paint the big section of the wall, and I'm tempted to hit the mortar joints with a light coat of dirty white to give it some depth/

There are still some surface details on the launcher I need to add, and some other finishing touches... but it will be ready for show-time on Sunday at our show in Maryland. This baby will get re-used many times the rest of this year and into next year.
 

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Buliwif

Active Member
Absolute perfection, my friend... takes me back to the fanciful days of my youth when I'd look at my G.I.Joe toys and wish I was small enough to actually play IN them.... Ok, it was last week.... Outstanding job!

Oh yea, I totally have a suggestion for your next project: G.I. Joe Bivouac Battle Station!

bivouac_raised_iso.jpg
 
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gregday

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I really like how in the packaging illustration, he is preparing to fire on his own people.
 

rileyreplicas

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is fantastic! I love stuff like this! How much trouble would it be to make a replica of the packaging to have near it ike it has been taken out? Great job and looks like you had blast making it :)
 

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Hobby Viper

New Member

Hobby Viper

New Member
OMG This is wonderful! I had no idea these hardcore Joe enthusiasts existed! Has anyone made a full size H.I.S.S. yet?
Yes! Check out The Finest! We are several hundred members worldwide (North & South America, Europe, and a few members in Asia). Some amazing prop-builders and costumers in the club.

A HISS (version 1) has not been discussed, but there has been recent discussion of building a HISS II.

We also have a guy in the club who built a full-scale Dreadnok Thunder Machine. We've rolled it in the DragonCon parade with us the last two years.
 

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