Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

12/31/98- I recently acquired the 21st Century modern weapon sets and the SEAL outfit. While the SEAL outfit has some nice pieces, I wasn't really "wowed" by the overall look of the outfit. (Gawd... "boonie" hats are u g l y!!!) Of course I know that stylishness isn't a big priority for the real-world military, but those rules don't apply here. I wanted to do something that was a little more Hollywood-ish, and fit in with my James Bond/spy stuff theme.

Soooo... that's what this is about. This is the latest modification to the "Blackie" figure seen in a few other projects. Although I thought her last outfit was okay, the orange in the wetsuit was pretty garish. So I colored those panels in with a Sharpie permanent marker pen (being a synthetic fabric, it probably wouldn't dye properly). Although it doesn't match the existing black, that's okay since it's a suitably dark shade of gray.

I left a lot of her original doo-dads on: the gloves with the spacey-looking detail (ripped from Iria/Zeiram), her equally spacey-looking belt and pistol. The idea was that she was some kind of special agent, with access to special high-tech doo-dads, like James Bond.

The other stuff came from various Hasbro and 21st Century sets. I liked the Hasbro SEAL mask better than the 21st Century's, mainly for the shape of the lenses. Also, Hasbro's molded floatation vest seemed to fit & drape better than 21st Century's faux rubber one, especially after adding an elastic hook strap at the back. It's also easier to remove. The rebreather had to go, since it's an ugly piece of equipment which covered up her boobs (hey, priorities!). I used the HOF air tank that came with the wet suit (I think). Even though it's embazoned with "GI JOE" in giant molded letters, it still looks neat with the propulsion nozzles. I attached the 21st Century mouthpiece & regulator to this, after lopping off one of the hoses (It looked better, and was easier to stash & attach).

I do like 21st Century's SEAL boots & fins though. The fins are a tough fit on the boots, but look cool hanging from the backside.

Their H&K MP5 series of guns are really nice. They're manufactured to be modular, so if you're patient & careful you can mix & match parts to come up with other versions-- here, I converted the one with the integral supressor to a sliding stock model.

I finally found a use for that coiled cord I made for the "Quickie Tips" page-- it connects her ear-mounted gizmo to a gizmo on her belt. That, and the thing dangling from her belt next to it are presumably some sort of sensor or detector. According to the movies, spies love that kind of thing.

The only thing which I made specifically for this outfit was the magazine pouch. Toy weapons are now being manufactured with removeable magazines, so it makes sense to make 'em tailored instead of solid resin. Unfortunately, they're a lot more work to make than the resin ones.

Going the "Hollywood" route instead of the "strictly authentic" route frees your hand to put things together on the basis of what you think looks cool. It's a way of personalizing a figure, and very similar to the practice of model "kit-bashing", where you create a new design by recombining existing parts. Best of all, it's fun, and a way of getting extra mileage out of the hobby.