Customs – Snake Eyes, Rise of Cobra

Snake Eyes.  My boy.  The goods.  The shit.  The Real Deal baby.

My first true love.

While a part of me will always, ALWAYS want to do some sort of “Ultimate” Snake Eyes (and still plans to, despite the Wave 3.5 Retaliation figs) I also really, really love the idea of making new ones for unique situations.  I had a ROC Ripcord body with an extra Snake Eyes head on it for AGES when I had my ROC guys set up, and when I started this whole Impact Armor project I realised that I was going to have to give him a proper Snake Eyes treatment instead of just a headswap, sword and uzi.


  • Head – Dollar General Snake Eyes
  • Torso/Upper Arms – ROC Duke
  • Lower Arms – ROC Snake Eyes (v43)
  • Upper Legs – ROC Snake Eyes (v47)
  • Lower Legs – ROC Charbroil
  • Webgear – ROC Snake Eyes (v47)

All up, it was pretty easy painting him because the grey that I happened to have was an exact match for the one they already used on Duke’s Impact Armor.

The hardest part was getting him nearly completed and then having him stand next to the other kids at the Impact Armor playground and realise that little Snakey’s been eating way too many Wheaties.  He was towering over everyone.  Something about the SE thighs and Charbroil shins made him seriously tall, so I carved out a section of the shins (about 5mm) and shortened him a bit.  That made him a bit more normal, though still quite rangey.

Shitty part too was breaking the fucking silencer off the DG Snake Eyes.  I fixed it back on, melted it a bit, and then the fucking thing broke off AGAIN.  Wickedsad, so I just glued it (slightly crooked) and left it.

Customs – Sandstorm, Rise of Cobra

I was nearly done with the original gangsta’s from the Impact Armor crew (Rise of Cobra) when it hit me: There were more figures with this armor!

So I dug around to find parts that would match Sandstorm, surprisingly easy really, and made a new one that was going to get the complete workover.


  • Head – 25th Firefly
  • Torso/Upper Arms/Upper Legs – ROC Ripcord
  • Lower Legs – ROC Snake Eyes

Sandstorm was fun because I knew fuckall about him.  I sort of thought that he could be a sniper or some shit for the Impact Armor Team when they’re all assaulty and missiony.  I liked the idea that he’d have some desert camo and a bigass sniper rifle from Marauder’s.

[EDIT] I see now that he’s an MP, so I might try to work that angle instead.  But I do really like the idea of a ‘Perimeter Control Specialist’ on covert ops being a sniper.  I mean, other than ninjas, what else would you have?

Customs – Shipwreck, Rise of Cobra

Shipwreck was a character that I immediately liked in the toyline and missed terribly from the movie.  He would’ve been a brilliant addition, especially with his badass knit watchcap and Impact Armor instead of that stupid Popeye hat and chinos.

That said, I liked the Impact Armor heaps.  So much so that I did a custom of everybody that had some, and then some!  But I still had to give him some of the trademark pants and sailor-style boots.  Plus, instead of the gray battle camo on the Impact Armor, I gave him blue as homage to the sea, ARR!


  • Head/Torso/Arms/Upper Legs – Shippie
  • Lower Legs – ROC Storm Shadow
  • Feet – Damn… I honestly forget.  The Customs Box is getting pretty full these days.

Shipwreck was fun and I’m really happy with how he turned out.  EXCEPT… the joints.  Fukkinell, it is a bastard to try and get the joints whittled down to where they won’t rub paint off when you move his legs.  I’m still not sure that he’s okay for this, but I’m too afraid to check.  FRUSTRATING.

Customs – Cover Girl, Rise of Cobra

Cover Girl was yet another one of those figures that made me wonder, “Why in the Blue Fuck was she even IN the movie?”  Because really, let’s hire the hot chick for a menial role yet still with a recognisable code name, then kill her brutally when she hasn’t even done ONE THING that was cool or awesome.  Fkn LAME.

So yeah, I wanted to do a custom of her not only because the Joes are low on de wimmins, but also because I felt bad that her part in the movie blew anchormen.


  • Head – ROC Cover Girl with 25th Ann. Scarlett’s hair.  Carved, cut, styled and set before painted blonde.
  • Torso – ROC Scarlett.
  • Upper Arms – Agent Helix
  • Lower Arms – ROC Baroness
  • Upper Legs – ROC Scarlett
  • Lower Legs – Agent Helix
  • Feet – ROC Scarlett (no fkn heels in combat please!)
  • Belt – 25th Firefly with ROC Paris Pursuit Storm Shadow’s holster.
  • Holster, right leg – Renegades Ripcord.

The head was the fun part because it kind of cheeses me that these chicks would be portrayed with their hair down when being all coverty and missiony.  Plus, I was really happy to find a way to give her the two pistols that the original character has.  It’s sort of like a trademark, even if the movie screwed her over, she still gets to be cool.

Customs – Agent Helix

At first, Agent Helix kind of pissed me off. I had no idea who she was, her face looked a little funny, her guns were absolute shithouse and she was hard to fkn find for under $10. Then, I won a low-bidding auction for her and somebody else I needed (one of the Neo Vipers maybe?) for pretty cheap, getting her for about $5. Then I’d remembered I’d already bid in another auction for just her, and I ended up winning another low-bidding affair and getting her for about $4.

Once I saw that I could do a custom or two with her parts, she sort of grew on me, and then I found out that she’s in the video game which me and Oldest Child recently picked up used at EB Games. So I’m no longer pissed off by her. She’s not my favourite, but she’s alright.


  • Head – DUH
  • Upper Torso – ROC Baroness
  • Lower Torso – ROC Scarlett
  • Upper Arms – ROC Scarlett
  • Lower Arms – Agent Helix
  • Upper Legs – ROC Baroness
  • Lower Legs – ROC Scarlett
  • Feet – ROC Scarlett
  • Holster – NO IDEA, it came with a lot of about 12 figures I won for $22 and I don’t know whose it is. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t match up with ANY modern-era G.I. Joe, so it must be from another toyline.

The urge to create an entire squad of Impact Armour Joes from Rise of Cobra was a big one and one that I’ve had for a while. I’m SO glad that I did it and found a place for some of the more out-of-place figures in the set like Helix and Cover Girl.

Customs – T’JBang

Ninja Force T'Jbang

How DO you say my name?

When I’d first sat down to create a custom that wasn’t solely for the Aussie Custom Contests on I figured that I should start somewhere obvious, like with the Ninja Force craptastic 90’s figs that were never, ever going to get made in modern versions (well, not most of ’em anyway).

I may look like Iron Fist, but I don't talk at all!

I may look like Iron Fist, but I don’t talk at all!

Since I already did Nunchuk for the Aussie Customs Comp, I thought I’d move to my next fave, good ol’ TJ.

See how big my sword is?  It's because I don't talk.

See how big my sword is? It’s because I don’t talk.


  • Head – Top half is Jungle Viper and bottom half is ROC Storm Shadow that I sliced off and glued on. Bandana trailing parts are the belt from Dollar General Storm Shadow.
  • Torso – ROC Snake Eyes (v43) sanded and modded to get rid of lame-ass armour markings.
  • Arms – Resolute Storm Shadow
  • Upper Legs – ROC Snake Eyes (v43) with the pouches from ROC Shockblast’s belt glued on.
  • Lower Legs – POC Tornado Kick Snake Eyes, modded.
  • Feet – ROC Snake Eyes, Paris Pursuit.
  • Shin and Forearm guards – Jacket skirt from ROC Storm Shadow.
  • Breastplate – POC Whirlwind Gayass Kick Storm Shadow, heavily melted and modded, with the belt cut off of Resolute Storm Shadow’s gi.

Of course, looking back on this custom now, I’m reminded it was not only my first without direction but that I really didn’t have a very good idea of what I was going to do going in. That’s pretty obvious now I suppose, haha.

Dude, the yellow... it didn't help the not talking thing.

Dude, the yellow… it didn’t help the not talking thing.

I still like him, and will hope to add more with him like Slice and Dice, Bushido, Banzai and, of course, Dojo. But yeah, not my best work.

Customs – Breaker, Rise of Cobra

I didn’t do much to ol’ Shaz Breaker here, paint-wise, but I crafted him an eyepiece thingo, ear thingo and chest thingo from the movie.

It has ALWAYS annoyed the shit out of me that they didn’t even bother to put either the ear or eye thing on him in any of the figures even though he wore it in nearly every scene and the rest of him was nearly new sculpts.

Office Joes

When Wifeage told me that she wanted me to have BOTH Billy Bookcases from Ikea, I hadn’t really imagined it possible that I’d fill them, fill the others, and still run out of room, but I did.

After giving away all of my O-rings when I was a peer-pressured teen (Joes were definitely NOT cool) I got a hair up my ass and started collecting again a few years ago when I happened upon a gumtree ad where the guy was selling his childhood Joes collection for $50. I got some real deals in there AND I got to recapture that part of my childhood again.

Then I found a Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes on eBay for about $10 and I got ’em, thinking that I’d fully finished recapturing my childhood.

“Boy,” thought I, “these sure are shiny and in good nick for being so old…”

Yep, they were just later versions, repaints basically. I checked around online and found that there were (at this point) 45 versions of Snake Eyes. FORTY FIVE. Goddam.

I got a few here and there and then saw the racks of newest and awesomest Joes at Coles (our local supermarket giant) for $10 each. They were clearance marked and we were broke, so no go. Then they went down to $5 and in a fit of spontaneity I ram-raided the racks with my shopping trolley and got the last 5. Then I won a crazycheap auction from Sydney for $26 (inc shipping) for about 6 figures (and I only had one of them, the shithouse Snake Eyes).

So I set up a shelf, a plank really, on the wall and started displaying my Joes on it. Then it got too small. Then the desktop got too small. Then the bookshelf got too small.

Now, my office is too small. But that’s how it rolls, I suppose.

I’m proud to say that because of my tough bargaining skills *cough tightass cough* and my shrewd budgeting talents *cough brokeass cough* that I’ve never paid more than $10 for any single figure. Most of the time, that includes shipping too. Of course, I usually get pretty good deals on eBay in the US and have them sent to mum’s house, then she pays the shipping to get them over here with presents for my kids, but still. I’m rather proud of my miserlyness.

My collection is basically:

  • O-ring – A smattering of my favourites, mostly incomplete, with a few vehicles (also incomplete) and a WHALE. Until I get more space though, they’re likely to go into storage for now.
  • 25th – Nearly every version of Destro and Baroness, a few Cobra Commanders and most of the other major players for Cobra and the Joes. Plus, a few army buiders like troopers and Crimson Guardsmen. These are mostly set up on True Heroes/G.I. No vehicles that I’ve customised making for some cool battle scenes.
  • Rise of Cobra – I’ve got nearly EVERYTHING that was released, and I’m stoked. There’ll be a few stragglers here and there but I’ve got nearly everybody now, with every vehicle, and I’m setting up one shelf per awesome scene in the movie (plus a few that weren’t).
  • Renegades – I’ve got nearly every figure except that I can’t figure out if guys like Lifeline and the Techno-Viper were in there or not. The logo is similar on their packaging but sites like don’t seem to consider them a part of it.
    Which would rock, really, because that’d mean I’ve got ’em all!
  • Resolute – I had nothing of this one save a Firefly that I got because he’s fkn COOL and because I have nearly every Firefly (‘cept v14) and the Stormy and Snake Eyes, of course.
    Then a client sent me the Duke, CC, Troopers, BAT box-set, and now I’m trying to get as many of this run as I can. It’s nice when they’re smaller like this, because I can work my way up to a complete run.
  • Pursuit of Cobra – I only started getting these because of the Snake Eyes and Storm Shadows, but holy shitfinger the rest of ’em are fkn COOOOOOOOL. Low-Light was a piece de resistance, the Zartan is frickin’ awesome and the Beachhead and Alley Viper both rock my socks nearly offa my feet.
  • Retaliation – To be honest, I got the SS and SE’s, of course, and the Zartan and Beachhead were in a lot that I bought for the SE a a Renegades Law & Order, but otherwise this isn’t the stuff I’d normally buy. For starters, it’s too expensive. Buying off the rack will run over my $10 limit and most of the toys aren’t worth that. I’ve overloaded on the Red Ninjas, because they’re fucking awesome, and have picked up a Roadblock and Flint here and there for $4 a piece. Otherwise, I reckon this toyline is crapola.

Shelves along the wall – All the Storm Shadows and Snake Eyes.

Yep, ALL of ’em. Well, they’re not all up there, some are in the displays on the other shelves and whatnot, but whenever I can get my hands on a dupe, I put them up there so that they all look good standing next to each other.

The only possible one I’m missing is the POC Arctic Snake Eyes, but it was cancelled so technically wasn’t ever an available figure. They go for $200 on eBay too, so I’m just going to get the Desert Chase Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes and paint some blue on him. SORTED.

That’s two Ikea Billy Bookshelves and four Reject Dot shelves, 3×3 high and 1×4 high.

The brown Billy shelf has a Rise of Cobra Desert Battle on top, then the City Strike beneath, then the Arctic Assault, then the Underwater Fight on the bottom.

My Tomahawk (Eaglehawk) will have my 7-pack Slaughter’s Marauders in it eventually (when I get time to put them in it), the PIT has everything ROC in/on it except for a couple of Dune Buggy, AWE-Striker-style, vehicles that I customised with paint and gear.

Then the bookshelves will have the scenes from Paris Pursuit, Jungle Attack, Attack on the Pit, and then miscellaneous POC custom vehicles and O-rings. When I can find vehicles (Harleys mostly) for my 7-pack Dreadnoks, they’ll go in there somewhere.

My ME/25th stuff, with a Moray turned Modern and other G.I. No vehicles customised for ’em. The bottom shelf is Renegades, Resolute and Pursuit of Cobra figures only.

This shelf has the top dedicated to ROC and connecting to the Pit Mobile Headquarters. The top box will be the Rescue Mission from Rise of Cobra, then a Ninja Dojo with mostly Retaliation ninjas and customs, then below that a 25th (pre-renegades) ninja dojo scene, both with as many Red Ninjas that I can get my hands on. The bottom will be Retaliation and ROC extras, like the Dr Rex Whitecoat Variant and such.

All my beautiful Snakes and Stormys. Someday I’ll have enough extras to pose the ME ones in my “scenes” and have one up on the shelf for display. I’ll have better shelves too. And a pony.

Customs – Alley Vipers (Gear)

I’ve always believed that good, quality customising comes from the creativity borne from necessity, tempered by means.

What’s that mean? It means that you’re like me, so po’ you can’t afford the fancy shit, so you build your own out of cheap crap that you’ve already got and you compromise a bit and cut a few corners because you want it so bad but you still try your damnedest to make it look like the real thing.


I picked up one of those neon-orange Alley Vipers in a bulk lot from Sinodolls (or as I affectionately call him, “FellOffHasbroTruckGuy”) and at first I thought, “What IS this monstrosity?”

But then he grew on me. I picked up some gear during a One of This and One of That Shop through Marauder’s Gun Runners (which is usually around $10-$15 inc. shipping here to Aus) and had one of their riot-control body armour vests and shields, so I stuck ’em on the Alley Viper and he looked, well, silly. Especially next to his cousin, the Pursuit of Cobra Alley Viper, whom I picked up in a mis-labeled eBay lot, Mint-on-Card with POC Beachhead MOC and POC Cobra Commander for $15 (inc. shipping).

Alley Vipers - DOCI and POC

“I be showin you bitches how to propah vipe alleys.”


I had an extra helmet from the Resolute Box Set Duke (because I will probably never pose him with it on) and one that came in a loose lot of ROC figs that belonged to ROC Sandstorm (same helmet, but gold/tan) so I started seeing what I could do with it.

Experimenting with one figure’s gear is one thing, but it’s actually easier doing two at once because you’ll take an hour fucking around carving the bits off a helmet until it looks nice because you don’t know how much to shave off, then the second one takes 10 minutes because you know exactly what to do.

I had a few extra ROC Snake Eyes (who doesn’t?! That friggin’ guy is in EVERY ROC LOT that I buy. He’s like lice. Nobody likes those friggin’ lips) so I popped the visors off of two of ’em to see how they worked on the helmet.

Alley Vipers - Visors Down

Alley Vipers – Visors Down

Not bad. Not great, but not bad. There was something too goofy about the body armour though, so I started carving. I cut the flaps off the front and back, the bits that cover his junk and butt, and it looked better. Carved a V-neck in and cut off the straps (whilst gluing them down) and BAM, sorted.

I figured it was much too ambitious to try and emulate the POC Alley Viper’s helmet, but I thought I’d just see how cool I could make it. I took the soft-plastic flaps from the Marauder’s body armour and fit them against the SE visor while holding it on the helmet. And Holeeee Shiiiit, it worked great.

Cut, cut, glue, cut, glue. Then I shaped a couple of holes in the sides of the helmet and cut the facenose out so the visor could fit over the face. Sanding and sculpting got it to fit quite snug and I used my frosting-tipped heatgun to shape the plastic from a flat codpiece flap into a rounded facemask. Beautiful.

Alley Vipers II

Alley Vipers


As mentioned, I cut the flaps off the body armour and opened the neck up a bit, and those vests were looking quite good. I glued it all together on the figure, meaning I could never take it off, but it was looking pretty good but still not quite right.

At this point, everything was still all black (except the one helmet) and easy enough to leave. But then I started thinking about just gluing some gear to his vest. I left the ammo on his right breast but carved if off the left and glued it under the stuff on the right. Then I took the webgear and belt off of a spare Hall of Heroes Firefly and carved the pouches and extras off of ’em in addition to the pouches from the POC Tornado Kick Gaywad Snake Eyes’ belt (of which there are many pouches). I’d already used the grenades from another custom though, so I carved ’em off the arms of an extra Snake Eyes arm (who coincidentally shares the upper legs of the Alley Vipers).

I started gluing stuff to the vest, pretty much all-black still, and seeing how it worked. Pretty good. And black is easy and I’ve got lots of it. It wasn’t terrible with the neon-orange and powder blue and they still looked pretty tough.

Then me and the offspring were wandering through the local mall that has a Games World and SIK Hobbies, one with hobby enamels for $3/pot and one with acrylics for $3.50/pot, and I saw they had a Holyfuck Blaze Orange enamel pot. So I bought it, thinking Fuck it, I’m going to go for it.

So I started painting. Two different ways though, just to see how they rolled. On one vest I just started painting the orange directly onto the black and on the other I started with a basecoat of Other Neon Orange nail polish that my wife gave me. The nail polish was great for colour, shit for detail (gloppy as) and the orange enamel barely showed up on the black, even un-thinned.

Farts. Starting over time. Then Wifeage wanders through the room behind me and says, “You really should be starting with a white basecoat…” all casually. SHIT. Hadn’t thought of that. Not even a little bit. Dammit.

BUT… she was right. As usual.

Alley Viper - Baton

Alley Viper – Baton in hand

I broke into my Special Super Duper Trip to the City Citadel Paints and put on a white basecoat over EVERYTHING on the vest. Then the helmets too. Then, just because I’m realising the commitment I’ve made here, I did another couple of coats over the next few days.

Then, just for fun, I tried the orange enamel paint VS the orange nail polish. I used a spot on their backs though, where a backpack would eventually go. Same deal, the nail polish is great on colour, but even thinned it hid too much detail. Good to know. So I put on a coat of orange.

And had to wait a day because the shit takes so long to dry.

Another coat, another day. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Every time I started thinking I would be done, I’d check back in on this review from the Ever-Awesome General’s Joes (he’s got the best pics on the interwebs) and figure I needed a pretty deep orange to pull this off. Vests, then helmets both got it, and I started doing it twice a day, morning and night.

Pretty sure they got about 5-6 coats and I started to lose definition on ’em, so I called it good. Then it got fun, because painting the blue on the pouches, the silver on the grenades and the black on the knife sheath left a couple little marks. More orange!

After all was said and done, the vest got about 6-7 coats of orange and the pouches, sheath and grenades got 2-3.

Next time will I paint the items before gluing them on?

Dunno. Could’ve been just as much hassle. Plus, I really, actually, genuinely enjoy doing this shit. It’s my meditation time, so more painting doesn’t make me cry. I’ll tell you what though, if I’m using a gloss enamel again, I’m gluing things on it later and painting first.

Why? Because the gloss was TOO glossy. Just… wasn’t right because it was so goddam shiny. “Sand it really lightly” somebody online said. So I ran the lightest sandpaper I had over it as light as I could. Looked alright. Then I had to get it into a tight spot, and it peeled the paint off the corners like a razorblade.


I repainted the shit I wrecked and sulked for a bit. I even posted on the Tank and asked if anybody had any advice. Got nothing but *crickets* in return. Wifeage to my rescue again!

How to un-gloss gloss enamel paint without hurting the paintjob.

A paste made up from Cream of Tartar and Bicarb Soda (Baking Soda) gently brushed on with a soft-head toothbrush and worked into all the corners and edges was FUCKING PERFECT. Goddam I love that woman, she’s fucking amazing.

Sure it took a bit longer than sandpaper, but it didn’t fuck all my hard work up and it rinses off under the tap. GENIUS. The AV’s were no longer shiny and glossy and the original paintjob was unscathed.

Alley Vipers - Visors Up

Alley Vipers IV


When I’d gotten really into the project and started getting all tingly that I was nearly done, I realised I’d almost forgotten the shields. BLAST.

With little to no idea how I was going to pull this one off, I grabbed the Riot Shield from Marauder’s and looked at how I could carve it and work it into that bitchin’, jaggedass Alley Viper shape. I did my Think Think Think dance and nothing happened, so I decided to start from scratch. I’d snapped the handle off a cheapass Kmart ballpump getting the kids footy going weeks before, and its corpse was a plaything for the tot in the front yard. Not anymore!

I checked its diameter and thickness and gave it a few test cuts with the Dremel to see how it burred and melted, and it was awesome. So I cut, cut, cut until I had a rough shape similar to the POC Alley Viper’s shield. There wasn’t enough plastic to do two though! So I had to make some compromises and make the shields shorter and a bit fatter. I heatgunned ’em to flatten ’em a bit, and to shape them like the other shield, then I did the finer cutting with the X-acto knife.

The chemist down here had glass nailfiles on clearance too ($3) and those badboys are awesome at smoothing round corners or sharpening edges. To make some lines and designs on it, I used one of the longer blades on my kickass soldering iron ($34 at Bunnings) to melt/carve lines across and make a bit of a design on the plastic. Sanding and smoothing it was the easy part, gluing the handle on the other side nearly drove me mad. I drank alot while doing that bit.

I glued the handle to its two “posts” but without using pushpins metal or paperclip shims or anything to “pin” it to the other bit of plastic, I had to rely on melting it on (so it takes the shape too) and then trying to glue it afterward. Something about the plastic meant that it just wouldn’t fucking hold, and every time I tried to put it in the dude’s hand, it snapped the handle off. Heating both sides, holding very still, and lots and lots of the “good” glue (the super glue only my wife gets, as I tend to buy the $2 8-packs from Reject Dot) finally got it, but I’m still nervous.

Since I didn’t want to fuck around with eleventy bajillion coats, and I didn’t have to worry too much about loss of detail, I used the Super Duper Orange Nail Polish and it worked a treat.

Knives, Guns, Backpacks and Batons

The knives were the extras that come with ROC City Strike Snake Eyes and ROC City Strike Duke that don’t have sheaths or go anywhere on ’em. I cut ’em down a bit and carved the sheath off the AV’s arm and glued it to his vest. Still not sure what to put on his arm, but I’ll figure it out someday.

The guns were easy, Marauder’s again. $1 I think. They’re not perfect, but they’re pretty close.

The backpacks were easy too, except I wasn’t sure if I was going to get this lucky. I had thought that I’d fashion two backpacks out of the only pair I’ve got, two ROC Zartan head-carriers ones, and then I was going through my G.I. No crap that comes with the True Heroes buggies, helicopters and tanks and shit. Clearly Chap Mei, or whomever, robbed the shit out of some ideas from Hasbro, because there’s a True Heroes helicopter pack with two backpacks in it, and one of them is nearly an exact copy of the Alley Viper backpack except in grey. Rock like a Rolling Stone and Robert’s yer Mother’s Brother.

The batons were harder, because the only figures I’ve got that have one are Renegades Troopers, Renegades Law & Order, ROC Law & Order and the POC Alley Viper. Unwilling to part with any of those, let alone two, I made ’em from the rubber-handles off those spring-loaded monstrosities that come with ROC figures and a pair of the nunchucks that came from POC Tornado-Kick Snake Eyes (from a lot of five I got for $10 two years ago). Didn’t want to fuck around this time, so I snipped a paperclip piece of shim, heated it, and shoved it into the handle bit, then into the baton. Heatgunned it, sanded it, and viola!

Alley Viper and Gear

Alley Viper and Gear


Painting the Cobra sigils on the shield and helmet was a real lesson. At first I tried carving a stamp out of one of my kids’ erasers. It looked good, it was small but rigid, but I couldn’t get it to stamp without smearing. It just needed more precision than my stupid hands could do. Other than hiring the booking sergeant from the copshop, I had to think of something else. A stencil would be too hard to carve, I figured, or at least to make rigid enough to hold still while I painted around it.

Wifeage with her wisdom again. She took a regular paintbrush, cut the brush bit off the handle and glued on a 2cm section of the thickest fishing line we had in the garage. Looks like dentist’s evilry, but it’s awesome. I honestly didn’t think it’d work, but I was able to get some real detail in there. Sure you dab and reload and dab and reload, but still. I’m ready to try some eyes!

Alley Vipers V

Alley Vipers V

The lesson came in how fkn different I could make them regardless of the fact that I was looking right at the other one I’d just painted. Just the perils of being an artiste I guess, but when you look at ’em for any length of time you start to think, “That one is quite different from the others there champ.”

I only discovered Cobra Stickers about a week ago, but now I know. And knowing is half the painting. I’ve already made a nice order.

Alley Vipers - Visors Down

Alley Vipers III


All up, I’m extremely happy. Without having the $30 to get one of the fairly-rare Alley Vipers off eBay, nor the willingness to spend that much on an army-builder out of sheer principle, I got to learn a lot about how to do this shit, and I got two great-looking, fully-posable figures too.

Hell, I might just go for a third, just to see if I can.

Custom ROC Arctic Scarlett

With two versions of Rise of Cobra Scarlett, and them being very different, I really wanted to try and give her a proper treatment in any customs.  Plus, let’s face it, there aren’t that many girls in this toyline and I had an extra of each Scarlett, so I wanted to give it a go.

The hardest part was trying to find a way to keep her feminine while still ‘bulked up’ with the Arctic cold-weather gear.  I could have just taken the Arctic Snake Eyes and did a headswap, like I did with Ripcord (and lots of plastic-weldiness) but that would have still made her just pretty androgenous.  I wanted sleek and sexy, like she in in the other ROC incarnations (even though the City Strike one has some neck issues) but I wanted her padded-out to protect against the cold weather.


This took some doin’.

Basically, I had to find body parts that were smooth-ish (not too wrinkly, armoured, geared-up) so as to look like arctic gear, and I had to find
ones that weren’t too big in the first place.  Smaller, more effeminate males were needed, and they needed to not have too much of a differential between shoulder to wrist and hip to ankle (to give that smooth, one-piece sleeve-to-cuff look).  I’d find a great hip, only to have it billow out with big, bulky kneepad and huge feet (Retaliation Snake Eyes) or a great bicep that had a tiny wrist (ROC Breaker).


Eventually, I ended up piecing together just about everything I could find.  I nearly went with ROC Cobra Commander’s arms and legs, because they would’ve been about perfect except for the vertical grooves that are in the sculpt. Oh, and that weird circuity thing on his bicep, which I would’ve Xacto’ed off anyway.

So, here’s the recipe:

  • Head – ROC City Strike Scarlett
  • Torso – ROC Scarlett, Impact Armour
  • Upper Arm – ROC Breaker
  • Lower Arm – ROC Snake Eyes, Paris Pursuit
  • Hood – ROC Snake Eyes, Paris Pursuit (plastic-welded to…)
  • Jacket – ROC Duke, Desert Battle (plastic-welding rocks)
  • Hands – ROC Scarlett, Impact Armour
  • Holster – ROC Scarlett, Impact Armour (with crossbow, in pieces)
  • Upper Leg – HOH Firefly, with holster Xacto’ed off
  • Lower Leg – ROC Storm Shadow, Paris Pursuit
  • Feet – HOH Firefly


I may or may not try and get her ponytail to do something different, or even clean up the holster where I got white paint on it, or even her neck with the black hickeys that she got in her life before I got her in a Huge Lot on eBay. But for now, this is her, and I’m pretty damn pleased.


Straight from the movie, beeches!

Except, did you ever wonder a few things about that Arctic scene? Like, does Snake Eyes keep an extra eye visor in his coat, a black one, or is it like ultra-violet activated and turns black in the shade?

When the missiles first launch, why is Snake Eyes the only one that thinks of grabbing a snowmobile and shooting them? Why doesn’t he try to shoot the others? Why do Scarlett and Ripcord stand there and watch? Why is Ripcord the only aircraft in the sky from the Arctic to Washington DC? Were we somehow unable to scramble a couple of F-14s in the 2 hours it would’ve taken him to get to the lower 48?

All valid questions. All showing some serious Shatness of the ROC movie. Yet still, somehow, I frickin’ LOVE this toyline, and am SO GODDAM HAPPY that I’ve pretty much got my Arctic line complete. Except the Polar Sharc pilot, what’s his name. Anybody got an extra one of those?