I suppose were I to begin to discuss The Outrider an obvious fanboyism comes to mind.
“He was the best star pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior.”
But the truth is Craig didn’t love Star Wars. He liked it alright. Dug the films. Had the toys. But in truth The Man only loved two things: 1) his family, obviously, and 2) GI Joe.
It was of course the Real American Hero that introduced me to my Real Australian Friend.
When I first knew of him, Craig was the driving force behind a website called Joedios. Every day there was something(s) of his displayed in the Photo section, and it was always something to beheld. His photos always went the extra mile. Either there was a groovy custom painted figure, or a subtle weathering job on a vehicle, or a found object that he’d made into a brilliant prop. Even at times there was none of the above, just a solid well-composed photograph of 3 3/4” toy soldiers fighting a war that knows no end. It was his chill time; a hobby. And yet it embodied everything that toy collecting should be. It was fun.
Craig was clearly a god amongst insects at Joedios, but you’d never know that from talking to him. See he had an aspect about him, a quality even. He was always positive to say the least. It could be your worst shot ever because you were tired and just wanted to get something in for the weekend theme, or perhaps your camera batteries were dying and you had to settle for what you managed to get in the can for your that day. Craig could always see right through it all to the idea, and find something good to say about your shot; be it the setting, figure choice, posing, story, etc. etc. And at the same time he would challenge you to think outide your comfort zone; to go out and inspect your near-by landscape for what could be. A bush that could be passed off as a treeline, a hole that from the right angel would appear as a cavern. Craig always made it all worthwhile. His praise and insight made you feel like the star student though he played no favorites, and he remained supportive until his final days. In May of 2010 Craig passed away after battling with cancer for the better part of two years. He was my friend, and the first person I’d ever really lost.
Craig’s favorite Cobra was none other than the mercenary Major Bludd. That was was hands down his most-used figure, and has since become synonymous with his work in general; at least in the minds of our clique. So in early 2010 I began to put together a 1/6 scale version of the classic figure as an homage to the Outrider.
I’m happy to say my friend was able to see it before he left for that great big Terrodrome in the sky, and it stands proudly on my shelf as a constant reminder to enjoy the hobby for it is and what it should always: fun.