Sunday, March 27, 2011

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero - COBRA Customs (Part 2)

In the midst of buying up Cobra figures when Hasbro's 25th Anniversary line of G.I. Joe was on retail shelves I decided to tackle another Cobra custom, but this time on a slightly smaller scale.  I also decide to use a non-Joe universe vehicle for my project.  Lanard Toys the Corps! were plentiful at Walmart and most importantly cheap!  While I loved the 1983 version of the Cobra F.A.N.G. helicopter as a kid it just didn't seem to age very well.  I thought if Cobra was going to have single manned copters in their aerial fleet the vehicle needed a little more "beef".  I liked the look of this Rapid Assault Copter and since it was only 5 bucks I thought it would be a good canidate for my upgraded F.A.N.G. project.

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Since I had previously used the traditional Cobra blue and black on the A.P.C. I still had a few cans of spray paint left so I went with those as the base colors.  I wanted to make it blend in if you will with the Cobra Viper so I picked up some silver and red paint to accent the black and blue.  First thing was to take apart the copter for easy painting.  Thankfully the whole mold was only held together by 3 small phillips head screws.  Once apart I sprayed the body blue with the landing pads and rotor blades being black.

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The engine surprisingly was a separate piece of plastic and fully removed from the copter's shell during disassembly.  This made it really easy to paint.  I first painted the engine a shiny chrome like silver.  It didn't dry as shiny as the spray can's cap, but it looked good.  I wasn't sold though on the look once completely dried so I took a clear coat spray to the whole engine.  Once that dried it gave it a very nice almost weathered or worn look to the engine.

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Once everything dried it re-assembled the copter and decided to go ahead with the finishing touches.  We all remember that the F.A.N.G. came with 4 small and slender missles that attached to the landing pads.  This verison looses 2 missiles in favor of 2 larger missles.  Of note is the missiles can attach to the sides of the landing pads or underneath the wings.  Originally missiles were a dull gray color so I went with a bright red.  Once dried it matched the red plastic used in the original missiles very well.  This copter also came with 2 optional wings that you could attach to the sides of the cockpit.  These were already molded in black, but I went ahead and painted them black anyhow since the shade I used was a bit darker.  Another homage to the F.A.N.G I tried to include was the red bands on the rotor's tips that I did free hand.  The only original piece that I didn't paint is the large twin barrel gun that attaches to the front of the copter.  I like this gun so much better than the pea shooter on the original F.A.N.G.! 

After a Cobra emblem decal was applied to the copter's nose and little bit of time the copter is complete!  I really like the outcome and it's probably one of the customs that I plan to keep.  The colors turned out to match the Cobra Viper figure very well.  Again, this was a very easy custom and I intended to use more of the Corps! vehicles, but perhaps that will have to wait for now. 

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