Saturday, January 30, 2010

H.E.A.T. Viper (Cobra Anti-armor Trooper)

H.E.A.T. Vipers are the elite anti-tank troopers of the Cobra ground forces. The acronym H.E.A.T. stands for High Explosive Anti-Tank. This figure was basically inspired by the fact that I had a nearly complete ARAH H.E.A.T. Viper and decided to try my hand at updating him.

Parts: Head (ARAH H.E.A.T. Viper), Body (RoC Charbroil), Weapon, Cables & Backpack (ARAH H.E.A.T. Viper).

Supplies: Dremel, X-acto Knife, Super Sculpey, Super Glue, paintbrushes, Testors paints, Polly Scale paints, Testors Dull-Cote.

Reference: ARAH H.E.A.T. Viper figure and pictures of the original card art.

In choosing a body to serve as the base for this figure, I found that once you removed the accessories that came with it, the RoC Charbroil figure had most of the features I wanted and needed very little modification. I used the X-acto knife to trim the shoulder stud from the ARAH figure and then super glued it to the new body. This stud contains the post where one of the weapon hoses would eventually connect. I also used two small bits of Super Sculpey to plug the existing holes in the figure's shoulders. I cut the head from the ARAH figure and then dremelled it out to fit the neck peg of the new figure. The ARAH backpack was modified to fit by cutting off the old back post and replacing it with a small piece from the ink tube inside of a disposeable ball-point pen. Once all of the parts fit together correctly, it was simply a metter of re-painting the figure to match my references. The mixing ended up taking much longer than anticipated, but in the end, the orange yellow matched almost perfectly. The purple I mixed was a bit darker than the reference figure, but I was okay with that as it reduced the "garish" factor. The weaponry, which was badly yellowed, was repainted with a metallic silver color. When finished, the entire figure was given an application of Testors Dull-Cote to seal the paint and reduce shine.

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