I'm working on seemingly a dozen JoeClass customs at the moment. They're going slower than expected just because they're so much larger than the 2" Mega customs I've worked on lately. There is a lot of surface area on a 6.25" figure. I made a ton of progress over the 3-day weekend, but since I only finished one or two guys, I'm going to hold off on the pics until I can produce some great group shots with a host of cool figures.
Something I did learn is that the Stalker mold is completely different than all the other males in the line. He has no dedicated ab-crunch, which sounds bad, but rather he's got a ball joint from the waist to the lower torso and another ball joint to the upper torso. I find this works better for natural looking range of motion, and it's infinitely easier to disassemble for customizing. To my pleasant surprise, this is how all of the Valaverse Action Force figures are built.
I thought maybe this was the new spec going forward, but the twins use the old ML style ab crunch, as does Dusty, Spirit, CG, Outback, and upcoming Falcon. At the very least I'm hoping Grunt, Rock-n-Roll, and Hawk ( or any other O13 figures) use the Stalker buck, especially retro Snake-Eyes. It's also beefier, as Stalker makes Breaker look like he's got scrawny chicken legs.
All that being said, the non-stalker Joe figures are harder to disassemble, and I found myself gravitating toward the Vala figures which are really simple to disassemble with a hair dryer, mix and match parts, etc. Plus, the Vala necks are compatible with a great number of ML heads, unlike JoeClass which uses a proprietary neck system. The Vala figures were a dream to work with, the only limitation being relatively few colors and parts to choose from, given that the line is so young. Valafest is March 3-5, so I hope they'll be showing off tons of new fodder very shortly.
My dyeing experiment went much better this time. Dyeing stuff black was a breeze. I'm amazed at how well it worked, and I didn't even make a mess in the kitchen. I was pleased with myself. Dyeing stuff other colors... it's a crapshoot. The lighter the color, the harder it becomes. The dyes are relatively dark assuming that you're making a big batch, no matter how much you cut the formula for a 3qt pot. And parts don't take the dye at the same rate. And when you're doing an entire figure, you may have several different hardnesses, so it's nearly impossible to get everything to come out the same intensity, as something is always too light, or more commonly, too dark. Will definitely require more experimentation.
EDIT: from pics, it looks like the retro WM SE is on the Stalker buck. Score! I thought it was just the previous version with Breaker's boots and Stalker's web gear. But no, it shares no parts (head?) with the previous versions. It's Stalker all the way through, nothing like Breaker or other SEs. Definitely worth the upgrade.
Also, Stalkers boots, Breaker's boots, and the Duke/Flint shin-guard boots... all have different heights, different pegs, not cross compatible in the least. It's like Hasbro wants to make customizing as difficult as possible. Comparatively, Vala is like butter.