Salvo
1st place: 2005 International G.I. Joe Convention "Franken-Joe" contest
Figure:
Salvo: head, arms, & legs
Backblast: torso, waist
Equipment:
Salvo

I felt even a soldier as massively brawny as Salvo would at least need some kind of shoulder padding for that enormous rocket launcher, so I swapped in Backblast's torso. However it didn't fit well on Salvo's waist, so I ended up including Backbast's waist too.

Special thanks to Danza for donating this figure!!
Physical Modifications: Aside from the usual filing and filling in of joints, this figure required some extensive hacking to achieve the right stance. The right toe, ankle, and knee, left hip, and right wrist and thumb were all repositioned. You can see how on the How-To page. On the equipment, I also cut off the backpack peg and the original solid visor, and added a clear plastic visor instead.
Painting: Compared to the physical modifications, the painting was pretty straightforward. I airbrushed the base coats of the pants and equipment to get them especially smooth. I retained the idea of Salvo wearing a t-shirt, but took the opportunity to model one of those grey "ARMY" shirts you see all the time. The lettering is dry-transfer decals. I painted the entire head (seen in the link to this page) even though it's covered by the helmet. It turned out stunningly well and I even painted the scalp stubble you see on those who shave their heads.
Groundwork: The groundwork just threw together a lot of the materials I've become proficient with in my fantasy modelling. The logs, leaves, and rocks are real and everything else is scale modelling products.