Custom Desert Ripcord, Arctic Ripcord and Welding Plastic

The first official custom I did was Nunchuck, whom I will blog about later, but he was a Jump In With Both Feet custom, for the 4th Australian Customs Contest on the forums.

Now that I have time to sit and do them the way I want, making figures that I thought they should’ve made in the first damn place, I’m really quite pleased with the results.

First up, Ripcord.  Now, I know there’s a floppy-hat Jungle version from the ROC (Rise of Cobra) line, but there wasn’t a whole lot of jungle mentioned in the movie, yet the desert featured heavily.  So, I took the much-too-tall Desert Duke (from one of the packs?) and popped a Ripcord head on him after painting the neck with the nearest matching brown.  The reason I phrase it that way is because one of the other Ripcord heads has a much darker shade of brown.

Not that I slap on the tinfoil hat in regards to racism, but you wouldn’t really expect to see a much pinker or more Caucasian-looking Duke, nahmeen?

But maybe they folks at Hasbro all just said, “Which is Eddie Murphy’s latest movie?  The daycare one or the fat people?!” and got all kinds of confused.

Easy to do.


This next one is another easy-looking one, that turned much harder.  Much along the same logic that says to make a Jungle Ripcord instead of a desert one, they also thought it would be Friggin’ Brilliant to make 53 versions of fkn Snake Eyes for the movie line, yet no Arctic Ripcord.  There’s freakin’ DOC, for fks sake!  But no Ripcord?!?  He featured in the goddam scene!

Further proof, I suppose, that the toymakers get to see one trailer (if that) before having to figure out which toys to make for an upcoming movie.

Right then, I just took an Arctic Snake Eyes and popped a Ripcord head on it.  Done!

Totally kidding, that’s just where I started.

I was looking at all the parkas for my beautiful Arctic Rise of Cobra awesome beauties, and noted that I wanted an Ice Viper with his hood up as much as I wanted a Ripcord.

So I whipped out the Xacto knife, carved the hood off an Ice Viper’s parka and the hood off of Arctic Snake Eyes’ parka, and swapped ’em over.  Bit o’ glue, some paint, and Done!

Totally kidding again.  It was actually quite involved.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to glue the quite-pliable soft-plastic jackets and whatnot together, but they don’t really stay whilst drying.  It’s nigh impossible to get a really tight seam.  I tried using the tealighter candle in my Kustoms Kit, but that just chars the shit out of the surrounding plastic and renders the parka unusable.

Nup, this would need a better solution.  So I bought a heat gun.  With brother-in-law’s Bunnings Christmas Gift Voucher.  Go Doc!

The heat gun nozzle is too damn big too, though!  If you’re out to melt the entire getup, then rock on.  But if you’re down for some precise work, there’s a project waiting.

I took our old vacuum cleaner hose, the metal cylinder bit, and cut about 3 inches off the end.  Then I cut about 4.5 inches off again.  First I just flanged the tubing around the heat gun nozzle, but it didn’t fit very tight.  Wife’s brilliant idea was to take the 3 inch bit, cut a slot down it vertically, and then just fit that over the nozzle and the add-on.


Imagine just getting one cylinder to “hug” the other one.  Then I took the flanged-out bits and bent them in, creating 4 ‘flaps’ of metal that all overlapped a bit.  Then I took a decorating tip from my Bag O’ Cake Frosting and slid it into the flange-hole to the point that it was slightly wedged in.  Knowing that wouldn’t hold, I went in underneath it, INSIDE the whole cylinder, and used some needlenose pliers to bend some of the flangeybits in, to where they were behind the little metal cone.

Basically, it’s like taking a cone-shaped waffle ice cream cone and shoving it through a toilet paper roll.  It’s a bit tight, but it’ll hold.  Now go inside the TP tube and pinch some cardboard in behind the ice cream cone.  Viola!


It needs some nips and squeezes from the pliers, but ultimately what I ended up with was a cone sitting on top of a cylinder, that enables you to concentrate the heat gun’s magical heat rays into an area about 1-centimetre square, melting it to liquid in about 4-5 seconds.  Wait any longer and it’ll bubble and char!

So I just got some needlenose pliers, went through the armpit of the parka, and held the hood in place on the shoulders while I ran the heatgun up and down the seam.  It melts quick, so concentrate, and then hold it in place with the pliers once the edge of the parka has melted into the edge of the hood.  After a minute or so, you get a nice Welded Plastic seam around the entire hood.

Sure, there are some charred spots, but if you plan on painting it anyway, it’s really not that bad.


Side view shows few imperfections, which is why I’m leading with it.


If you look closely, you can see that the grey I mixed up for the camouflage didn’t quite match, just a hair too dark.  But that’s okay, because I could then make some racist jokes that entertained my wife.


Full-on, badass, looks-like-Eddie-Murphy-but-we-forgive-him pose.  Wife LOVED this shot and I’m rather pleased as well.

Y’know, for my first time and all.