X-wing: Cobra

Not content with ruling the entire world, Cobra Commander has set his sights on outer space!  Piloted by highly trained Star-Vipers, this new fighter — Codenamed Nemesis — extends Cobra Command’s grasp to the stars.

I painted a Kihraxz fighter from the X-wing Miniatures Game over the past couple of days.  I wanted to come up with a color scheme that would look nice, and it occurred to me to try the common colors used in a lot of old Cobra vehicles from the early 80s G.I. Joe toy line.  I think it turned out rather well.

The Cobra insignias on the side didn’t turn out as well as I’d like.  I created them using water-slide decal paper I purchased for my laser printer. The decal material is very thin and transparent, and the dark blue background of the ship overpowered the thin layer of toner that was printed onto it. To remedy this I tried to hand-paint parts of the Cobra symbol so that they would show through the decal. It worked quite well, but my estimates on the size of the logos was not quite spot on.

Original paint job:

“Cobra” paint job:        I wish my smartphone could take better quality photos. So much of the detail is lost in these images.

I like this color scheme and I may try it out on more ships.

Shame On You, Stephen Sommers

Stephen, take a good look at the shitty mask you made for the Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra:

What the hell were you thinking?  This looks like someone melted a plastic tray on Cobra Commander’s face!  There’s no clear style; It’s just an amorphous blob.  And to make matters worse, the whole thing is reflective, making it impossible to distinguish what little visual coherence the mask had any way.  Well, if you wanted to show the world what the love child of Darth Vader and the T-1000 would look like, then mission accomplished.

Yes, I know that movie came out in 2009, but it still bugs me that you made such a stupid mistake.  All you had to do was throw a bag over Cobra Commander’s head and it would have been perfect:

See?  But nooooo, you had to get some art school flunky to come up with a mask that a) bore no resemblance to anything the Cobra Commander ever wore in any cartoon, comic, or toy, and b) looked like a lacquered elephant turd.  But, I suppose a decent costume would have been too much to ask from the man who gave the world all those mind numbing Mummy/Scorpion King movies and the abominable Van Helsing film (I still liked Deep Rising, though).

Now look at what Jon Chu — whose entire filmography is made up of stupid dance movies, for goodness’ sake — managed to give us in the upcoming sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation (background added by yours truly):

Now that’s Cobra Commander!

See?  That wasn’t so hard now was it, Stephen?

Yo, Joe! Wave Nine!

I just got the entire 9th wave of GI Joe figs (on US cards) and the first non-exclusive wave of vehicles from my local collectibles/comic shop Galaxy Comics. Jeremy, the proprietor, gave me a call this morning, letting me new GI Joe stuff was in, and I went over there after work, thinking I would probably be flipping through a bunch of old figures, looking for a few US ones I am still missing from the two past recent waves.

But when I arrived — lo and behold — it was all new! Even the two “filler” figures in the box were ones from old waves that I was missing (each wave typically consists of six new guys, but they send them in boxes of eight, filling the space with figures from previous waves). I offered to buy them all plus the four new vehicles on the spot. Bye-bye spending money for the rest of the month.

This is one of the best waves with such figures as Barbecue, Ninja-Ku, Snow Serpent, and the greates GI Joe action figure ever…

The Battle Android Trooper!

The B.A.T. was my favorite GI Joe action figure when I was a kid. As if being a cool looking robot soldier wasn’t enough: he had four interchangeable hands! The new mold has all the same features as the old one save for an actual recessed chest cavity instead of a holographic sticker.

Cobra always had the coolest guys!

Cobra Humvee

I recently noticed an Incredible Hulk toy that was released for the new Hulk movie. This toy came with a Hummer which was about the right size for GI Joes. I figured a modern-day Cobra organization would be using these things, so I picked one up. I also grabbed a can of Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastics and bought some decals from Cobra Stickers.

I removed all the stickers from the Humvee, then took it apart. I spray painted the pieces separately so as to be able to get every nook and cranny. There were some designed that were painted onto the truck that the spray paint had trouble adhering to, but the paint eventually covered it after using several coats (with drying in between).

It’s nothing fancy — I just wanted an overall “Cobra” color scheme — but I think it looks okay:



There was also a “button”, of sorts, that stuck out of the front grill. When this button was pushed in, it would smash the hood (i.e. “hulk smashing action!”). I removed this button and super-glued the two halves of the hood together to give them more stability. A more serious customizer would probably want to putty up the crack between the two halves of the hood before painting it.

The cannon also fires a plastic missile an impressive distance.

Also, the Krylon Fusion paint actually melts the plastic, fusing the paint into the plastic itself. If you’re thinking of using this stuff, you have to be careful when handling freshly painted plastic as its surface is quite deformable while the paint is still wet.

I had the rear trailer hitch piece sitting on the ground, with the bulk of the weight of the piece resting on a painted surface and the plastic edge there flattened out a bit. If your not careful with this stuff, you can easily end up with fingerprints melted into your plastic parts.

Because of this “fusion” action, you’ll want to wait until the paint is nice and dry (at *least* 24 hours) before putting figures in it or you’ll risk melting them a bit.