Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GI Joe: A Real American Hero - COBRA Customs (Part 3)

A few years ago when I started up this blog, I showed off two G.I. Joe custom projects I had recently completed at the time.  I had never attempted to customize or paint anything, but I was curious as to what my skill would be.  After buying a few junker vehicles and some simple spray paint cans from Walmart I set out working in my garage for a few days and nights, disassembling the vehicles, taping off parts and painting.  I was pleasantly surprised with some of the results.  I shared what I thought were my best two projects in a custom Cobra A.P.C. troop carrier and a new Cobra F.A.N.G. helicopter made from a cheap-o Corps! copter I found at Walmart.

Well during a cleansing of my PC's hard drive I recently ran across a few photos of the other projects I took on after so I thought I'd share those as well.  Originally I was looking for G.I. Joe vehicles I could paint and and use for Cobra, because let's face it - the bad guys were always much cooler to play with when you were a kid.  While I had tons of the old A Real American Hero figures growing up, I never had many vehicles due to their cost and size.  One Cobra vehicle I always wanted was the Maggot, but I hated the color scheme.  So I searched out reasonably priced Cobra Maggot to "improve".

pic courtesy of YoJoe.com
If you aren't familiar with the Cobra Maggot, this is what the original toy looked like.  The tank was molded in a flat light blue with yellow accents and weapons.  While it wasn't horrible looking, I liked the Cobra Viper blue and red colors I used for the other custom vehicles so I thought why not.

First thing I did was to carefully remove all of the original decals.  I hoped that I could salvage them to re-use since I couldn't find a reproduction set for this vehicle.  Thankfully they all came off really easy and most of them retained a good bit of their adhesiveness.  Next step was to completely disassemble the toy and figure out what parts I wanted to be Cobra blue and what parts to paint red.

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This is what I came up with.  I like it so much better than the original color scheme.  It's more uniform and just screams Cobra.  The only parts that I didn't end up painting was the large cannon and the tank treads.  Since they were already molded in black plastic I figured I had better not try to fix something that wasn't broken.

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The Cobra Maggot was a supposed to be 3 toys in one.  The tank itself was two pieces that connected via a swivel type joint.  You could disconnect the two pieces and have two individual tanks.  Problem was the rear portion didn't have any type of offensive weapons since the large cannon portion could be removed and it formed a battle station of sorts.  I guess this was one of those ideas that turned out better on paper than in toy form.

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Never having played with this toy growing up it was still fun to mess around with.  There aren't a lot of moving parts so I thought the paint should hold up just fine over time.

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Ever since I tackled several custom jobs at once, I've yet to return to doing more.  It wasn't because I didn't like the outcome of my work or because it wasn't fun.  I had a blast doing these and it didn't feel like work at all.  I did these shortly before I became a dad and well, let's just say that I don't have the same amount of free time now that I used to!  Another reason I haven't attempted any more custom Joe projects is I simply don't have the room to hold onto vehicles anymore.  Several months after completing several of these vehicles I sold them off on eBay so someone else could appreciate them.  I kept the A.P.C. that I did for myself and still have it to this day.  At some point I may try this again as I still have ideas floating around inside my noggin, but  for now I'll just have to relive the experience via blogging.


  1. Looks great! Customizing is fun, but time consuming. I'm still waiting on a part I ordered 6 months ago from one of this reproduction sites to finish my first custom.

  2. I was very pleased to find this site. I definitely enjoyed reading every little bit of it and I have it bookmarked to check out new stuff posted regularly.
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