Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dragonfly XH-1 Attack Helicopter

The Dragonfly XH-1 was one of my all-time favorite toys.  I saved up about three weeks' allowance and bought it shortly after it was released in 1983.  Sadly, this is not the same helicopter - mine survived the many backyard battles, but was in such poor condition that I had to replace it.  This one got a completely new paint job.  I used the same paint as I used on my Wolverine (Krylon's Hosta Leaf).  It was reasonably close to the original, but the color just 'popped' a little more.  To get the details just the way I wanted them, I spent a lot of time searching the Internet for various images of the AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter, which served as the original inspiration for the Dragonfly.   

With regard to the missiles - the blueprints for the Dragonfly indicate that the missiles are Sidewinders. Although the AIM-9 Sidewinder can be carried by some helicopters, it is an air-to-air missile. Helicopter gunships, like the AH-1 Cobra, are frequently used for SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) operations.  This means that they are assigned to take out radar and anti-aircraft sites to clear the way for fixed-wing aircraft.  So I decided that the AGM-122 Sidearm, an anti-radar air-to-ground missile, would be way more practical.  The Sidearm is no longer in service with the U.S. military, but it shared a common body style with the Sidewinder, so it was an easy thing to re-paint the existing Sidewinders in the Sidearm's color scheme.  According to the blueprints, the fat, stubby missiles were an HE (High Explosive) variant of the Sidewinder.  I could find no real world examples of anything that looked similar, so I borrowed the approximately color scheme from the J.A.G.M. (Joint Air-to-Ground Missile). 

The rotor was repainted with a dark gunmetal color.  The chin turret was painted to match the rest of the airframe.  The guns themselves were painted steel.  The engines were painted in intricate detail, despite the fact that I will probably never display the helicopter with the engine covers off.  The decals were made by Ruben Jiminez.

The only thing that kind of bums me out about this whole thing is that the 25th Anniversary Wild Bill and Airborne figures don't really fit into the cockpit.  But in the end, that's okay because I tend to always display my pilots and drivers outside of their respective vehicles so that they can be seen.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Star Speeder 1000

During a recent trip to DisneyWorld, I bought the Star Speeder 1000.  A few days ago, my dad was cleaning out his Star Wars hangar diorama and before he moved everything back in, he let me take some pictures of my Star Speeder in the hangar bay.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bombstrike (Forward Air Controller)

File Name: Stall, Alyssa Renee
SN: 448-34-AS77
Grade: E-4
Birthplace: Cranston, Rhode Island
Primary Specialty: Forward Air Control
Secondary Specialty: Counterintelligence

Bombstrike always hits her target, whether it's scoring a goal in soccer or calling in the correct coordinates for an air strike, she's at the leading edge of the action, her eyes taking in all the details and calculating what will give her team the winning move of the day. In soccer, where it's only a game, she's a gracious loser. But it's different in battle, where lives are at stake. That's when Bombstrike plays to win, with focused intensity and uncompromising courage.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tales from Castle Destro (Press Release)

I am pleased to announce that my second ebook, Tales from Castle Destro Volume II - Aftermath, is now available as a free download at The link should take directly to the page where you can download the ebook in any of the following formats:

Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)View
Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy)View
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)Download
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)Download
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)Download
RTF (readable on most word processors)Download
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)Download
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)Download
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)Download
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)View

Monday, June 11, 2012

Coil-Vipers (Elite Infantry)

Next up is some elite infantry for the Coil!  Since the Coil is a splinter group of Cobra (a movement within the movement, if you will), most of their troops will be outfitted as standard Cobra troops.  But a small number of extremely loyal, hand-selected men would be chosen to become Coil-Vipers.

Once I actually got going on these guys, they turned out to be a much bigger departure from the original Convention Exclusive Coil Trooper.  Some may frown at my decision to use the Rise of Cobra Neo-Viper, but it actually came pretty easy for a few reasons: #1) I don't currently use the Neo-Vipers in any of my displays, so they don't look like 'just a repaint', #2) I wanted to choose something that I could hopefully find a lot of, relatively inexpensively and not have to fight other collectors for and #3) I already had a couple lying around, unused.  I do not intend to keep the MP-5's they are currently armed with.  Instead, I plan to place an order with Marauder John for some of his new hardware.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Overlord (Coil Field Commander)

If you follow my blog, you'll remember that I've recently developed a bit of a fascination with the Coil.  It's nothing approaching the fanaticism I have for the Iron Grenadiers, but I've never paid them much notice, so they're new to me and I kinda like them.  Anyway, Overlord is the third figure I've created for my Coil forces.  He is based closely on the 2006 JoeCon Convention version of the character.  Next up will be some elite Coil Troopers for him to lead as he works to achieve Serpentor's goals.

Overlord, pictured with Serpentor, Sidewinder and Dr. Mindbender.