Monday, April 4, 2011

Skystriker XP-14F

The Skystriker I shared with my younger brother Mike was more or less destroyed during our numerous childhood battles and I ended up selling it for parts back before I got back into collecting G.I. Joe toys (oh, how I regret that decision). I recently managed to pick one up for a pretty reasonable price and set about restoring it. The only significant parts that I needed to find were the cockpit canopy and some of the missiles. I picked these up on ebay (for almost as much as I paid for the entire Skystriker, but that's another story). The hardest part of this whole job was removing the stubborn adhesive left behind when I peeled off the old decals. I used Goo Gone to get rid of the adhesive and then soap and water to make sure all of the Goo Gone was removed. I painted the cockpit interior a dark grey and the frames of the seats were done in metallic grey. The engines were painted with the same metallic color used on the seat frames. I Dremeled the back pegs off the seats so that the newer style of figures would fit easily.

I had always hated how the AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles on the Skystriker had the fat tabs in the middle of them (probably to prevent breakage). So I dropped them entirely in favor of two additional AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range missiles.

When I realized that the missiles from the Transportable Tactical Battle Platform were styled the same as the Sparrows, I picked up four of those (and a fifth to replace the one missing from my own TTBP).

I also went back to ebay for two AIM-54 Phoenix long-range missiles to replace the ones with broken fins that came with the Skystriker. To add a bit of "real-world" flavor to my Skystriker, all of the missiles were painted and detailed according to dozens of reference photos I pulled from the Internet.

For reproduction decals, I went to my usual source, Ruben Jimenez.

Once everything was finished, I also whipped up a flight crew (Ace and Solid-Lock) for my newly restored Skystriker!

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