This is a private list of figures I'd like to A.) make for myself, and B.) share with others, once I have my own. It will take me some time to get the parts I need to build them, so if you see something in my list that you think you can offer me (be it trade or sell), let me know!!! If you see something you have parts for, but want to make yourself, feel free to build it, and let me know how yours came out.

I have a small number of extras I can afford to let go of, including Stretcher, Lady Jaye v1, and various HEAT- and Astro-Viper parts. If I have something you're interested in, let me know.

Traditional Sculpt figures (1982-1985, 1985-2002)

Steel Brigade Officer (codename: Marshal or Charger)

Notes: 1.) I've read about a process to exchange upper and lower arms, but given that I run a risk of damaging both parts, I doubt it's worth trying. If it was reliable, I'd want Action Pilot's upper arms with Tripwire's lower arms. As pair of last resorts, I'd use a pair of Tripwire or unharmed original Steel Brigade arms. 2.) Those who have taken apart a Wild Weasel or Skystriker know that the posts connecting the lower legs to the thighs are two seperate sizes. Because the post in the left thigh is thicker than the one in the right, one would either have to file the thick part of the left one down to the same size as the smaller end of the same post, bore the hole in the left lower leg until it matched the diameter of the thicker post, or keep the same lower legs.
Colors: The body of the flight jacket would be either the same light olive drab used on the original Steel Brigade's uniform, or a neutral mix of that shade of green and the grayish-green drab used on some members of the 1982 Joe team (Rock and Roll, Grand Slam, Scarlett, Grunt). The pants' base color would be the same beige used on the original Steel Brigade, with the belt and sidearm (in holster) painted silver. His boots, gloves, leg holster, rigging on his flight jacket, as well as the canteen and other equipment attached to his belt will be painted black. If Wild Weasel's lower legs are used, the knife on his left leg should be painted silver. (If Steel Brigade lower legs are used, they shall remain in their original colors -- beige pant legs, black boots, green kneepads.) His jacket sleeves and tucked scarf should be sky blue. In addition, the flight plan pockets on his legs should be sky blue with dark blue or black "writing". A small American flag should be placed on the right side of his right upper arm. A Steel Brigade insignia should be placed on the front of his left bicep. His head should be molded in a dark, but slightly reddish brown (similar to the skin tones of Iceberg, Stretcher, or Stalker) with black hair and eyes. If a Steel Brigade 'helmet' is used, the colors should match the original Steel Brigade head (silver, black, and green detailing, with a black visor). If Airborne's helmet is used, its base color should match the green drab used on the original Steel Brigade helmet and kneepads. The visor straps should be done in silver, while the visor itself is painted "Air Force" blue. The backpack, antenna, and laser rifle should be molded in a cool dark gray (a shade or 2 darker than the dark gray used in Accessory Pack #5, with an extremely subtle blue tint). The sword should probably be molded in same color as the rest of the accessories, with the blade painted silver. (If someone gave me the Night Creeper Leader orange version of the sword, I certainly wouldn't turn it down.)
Colors (optional new sculpt custom; incomplete): This custom was originally intended to use the identical color scheme of the original Steel Brigade figures. As a pilot, I decided to instead try to match the
Convention-exclusive Steel Brigade Paratrooper's color scheme. The sleeves, collar, and pants should be painted light (30% gray). Medium and Cool Dark Gray camouflage should be laid over the light gray areas, with thin black "rain" laid across the same areas. The vest should be painted to match Ace v6's vest, with any yellow areas being left as is, or repainted yellow after being painted over.

Komodo (new COBRA operative)
Notes: 1.) I've read about a process to exchange upper and lower arms, but I doubt it's worth trying. If it was reliable, I'd want Sneak Peek's upper arms with A.V.A.C.'s lower arms. Due to A.V.A.C.s being hard to find figures in general, with no re-molds of their parts, and the risk level of this process, I am willing to consider using Crimson Guard Commander (Battle Corps)'s lower (and possibly whole) arms as a substitute. 2.) I'm looking for a head that will hide part of the agent's features, yet will look unique enough for it to stand out. In addition, I'm trying to find a suitable helmet for a pilot that will still fit the head I wind up with. 3.) due to the difference in head sizes from 1987-1989 and 2003, only a (modified) copy of Barrel Roll's original helmet would work.
Colors: Pants (on thighs) will be (Cobra) dark blue with sky blue "Python Patrol" camouflage. Tight hood on head, padding on the inside of the thighs and padding on his arms will be a cool purple (same color as Gyro-Viper's hood). Face on head will be brown w/ black eyes & eyebrows (yes, this COBRA will be black.). Base color for torso and sleeves will be Cobra (1982 vers.) dark blue. His chest piece will be Cobra (1982 vers.) dark blue w/ a sky blue "Python Patrol" print and a cool purple trim separating it from the shoulder and chest padding. The shoulder padding and boots will be painted silver. The air hoses on his suit and the cartridges in his leg pockets will be painted gold. His hands will match his medium brown face. The wrist ornamentations on his lower arms will be gold with cool purple between each piece. (If using Crimson Guard Commander's lower arms, the frame of the wrist gauntlets should be painted gold, while the interior is painted in cool purple. The small weapons found on the gauntlets can be detailed in silver, but it is not necessary.) If Gyro-Viper's helmet is used: it will be molded in dark blue w/1997-98 Cobra night attack camouflage (see Vypra, Rattler 4WD) with a silver visor. If Barrel Roll's "Cobra disguise" helmet is used: helmet should be molded in the same dark blue, with the same [Vypra's] camouflage pattern on the other portion, crimson red painted along the sides of the face (for detail), and the silver on the portion of the helmet covering the nose and mouth. The backpack should be a leathery brown; all weapons will be molded in cool medium gray.

COBRA Jet-Viper (or Aero-Viper version 2)
Note: Although the body construction and colors might imply this figure being more of an Air-Viper (b.k.a. a replacement for the Viper Pilot), it was my intention to use this design for a 2nd or 3rd Tier pilot, such as the Aero-Vipers, or Strato-Vipers. However, given I planned for him to man the el cheapo COBRA Jet Packs, either scenario may work.
Colors: tight hood on head, and helmet are dark blue (like that of Viper - vers. 1). The face on the head has dark brown eyebrows and eyes. The visor on the helmet will be silver. The arms will have dark blue sleeves with a light sky blue "python print" on them and purple gloves. His pants will be Viper dark blue with purple "snake-skin" patterns down the legs. The boots will be black. The flak jacket will be black with purple on the shoulder, chest pocket, and rib padding. The grenades on the jacket would be gold, as would be the buttons and the utility pack on Jet-Viper's left arm.

Tuskegee (G.I.Joe pilot)
Regarding concept: My plan is a simple one: I want the Joes to have another pilot, this one being a grandson to a Tuskegee Airman. I also want his uniform to match current USAF colors (as opposed to tiger stripes, or Constructicon Green and day-glow orange...).
On head: What can I say? I haven't decided on a hairstyle or facial details. As long as it has African-American features and either fits, or is molded with a pilots helmet, I'm not picky. UPDATE: As a possible favor to a close friend, I may try to find and use a duplicate of Dr. Link Talbot's cornrowed head after receiving the Talbot/Night Creeper 2-pack as a Christmas gift.
Colors: The flight jacket would be a weathered brownish gray (or the color of current USAF flight jackets) with Technical Sergeant's insignia on one sleeve and United States flag on the opposite sleeve. The wings on the right breast should be painted silver, over a black patch. The suit's top (inside the jacket) and the pants will be a gray similar to the one used on Ace v6's arms, waist, and legs. The radio (on chest), sleeve trim, belt, gloves, and boots will be painted black. The trim and laces to the boots should be painted the same dark gray used on Ace v6's vest. If using the Night-Viper/Heli-Viper waist, the groin protector is to be the darker shade of gray used on Ace v6's vest. Otherwise, the rigging on Stretcher/Sideswipe's waist is to match his belt (black). The rectangular pocket on his left thigh should be painted white, possibly with an aerial map painted or decaled on it. If head is not already dark-skinned, a skintone similar to Iceberg v1's or Roadblock v2's would be preferable. The helmet should use (Air Force or dark-to-medium) blue as a base color. If Blaster's helmet is used, the vent-like element above the brim should be painted sky blue, while the mechanical details are done in silver. If Windmill's is used, the center ridge should be painted sky blue along with the antenna and the front of the "light" on the helmet's right side. With the exception of Blaster's facemask being painted black (or blue, to match the helmet), the remaining accessories should stay in their original mold colors. (As the yellow color of Mace's gun being another exception, if one is used, paint it dark gray.) For the finishing touch, I would like the unit patch of the 99th Fighter Squadron or 332nd Fighter Group (Tuskegee Airmen, "Red Tails"; click
here, or here for details.) printed or decaled on Tuskegee's back (above the screwhole) or on one sleeve (replacing the above mentioned Sergeant's stripes or U.S. flag). If a Joe plane with a 'red tail' didn't stand out so much (even on Sgt. Savage's P-40), I'd recommend a matching tribute be placed on whatever plane he flew (my preferences being the Phantom X-19, or Thunderwing).

Broadway (Urban Infantry Specialist; VAMP III Driver)
Regarding concept: In 2000, I saw a black/African-American G.I. Joe 12" Urban Camo Infantryman figure, that in hindsight (I passed it up twice), I really should have picked up. This figure's upper half is based loosely upon the concepts and uniform of that figure. If a fellow customizer has that figure (any race), I would be willing to pay him/her to paint the torso and arms to match it, once I acquire them.
Regarding standard and optional accessory choices: My decisions regarding the use of Shockwave's pistol and the twins zip line hook-up is based on the accessories found with the 12" version. The idea of using Snow Job's rifle is based on my idea to make (most) Steel Brigade personnel (Broadway was part of Steel Brigade before G.I. Joe's re-commission, now part of regular team) use this rifle as a standard issue piece. The use of Ripper's combination machine gun/shotgun is based on him not only assimilating with the coloration of local buildings, but also carrying hardware that looks more 'black market' or 'thug chic' than 'G.I.'.
On custom head: Like Dreadnok Ripper (version 2), Broadway will wear a baseball cap (either forward or backward). He will also wear protective visor/shades (translucent yellow/amber?), but have a well-kept pencil or (curled) handlebar mustache, making him stand out in a crowd.
Colors: As an urban assault specialist, the top portion of his uniform (torso and sleeves) should match that of the Urban Camo Infantryman 12-inch figure. The bandolier and gloves (not bare hands) should be black with silver grenades. In the event I am forced to use an Ambush torso, which has slightly more detail, The base scheme should be the same, however the open portion of the collar may either be painted brown (his skin color), sky blue (same shade as Steel Brigade), black, gray, or army green (ARMY T-shirt for the last 2 colors). The bandolier will still be black, but the tops and bottoms of the shells/grenades loaded in it will be silver. Pants should be denim blue with black ('weathered'?) leather patches on the legs. Belt should be brown with gold 'US' buckle. Boots should be a black (weathered?), matching the leather patches. His ball cap should be either in the colors of the New York Yankees, or some other random Major League team. Most importantly, his skin color (on face) should be roughly the same as Roadblock's. His eyes should be painted white with black pupils and (possibly) eyelashes. His backpack should be a grayish color. If black, gray, or silver, all other accessories should stay in their original colors.

Bombshell (black female marine; Steel Brigade tank driver/commander)
Regarding concept: Essentially, every (major) minority in America has been covered in G.I. Joe, at least once. There are several black male Joes, female Joes ('Janes'?), Asian Joes (male and female), Native American Joes, even Canadian, Hispanic, and multi-cultural Joes (Tunnel Rat and Quick Kick). I want to follow up on a scrapped Hasbro idea for a black female Joe. (The preliminary sketch art for the one they planned resembles Lady Jaye.) In addition, I want her to be more of a rank-and-file solider than an unconventional weapon using standout. (Even the Europeans stopped using spears and crossbows for a reason....) As both a marine and a tank driver, she'd be an individual who doesn't have to try as hard to prove herself worthy of being a G.I. Joe. (Just the same, saying that she worked at the same modelling agency as Cover Girl would also turn heads in the opposite direction....)
On custom head: My first choice for a head would be Valor vs. Venom's Agent Jinx. The closest comparison would be Ninja Force Scarlett. The features I have in mind for the custom head should be those of an African-American woman (with some Native American features) with a long braid in the back. Head should be small enough to fit J&R Steel Brigade helmet. (Cut may be needed in back to accommodate braid or even straight hair attachment.) Ironically, a 'microbraid' would be the perfect size 'regular' braid for 33/4" Joe figures.
UPDATES: After finding a few of the pieces needed to build this custom, I decided to instead use Zarana vers. 1's head (earrings variant, not easy to find a spare of, or to remove from its torso), with a custom cast "Steel Brigade" head molded onto a ball-joint as a sweet Option 2. This head has a neck so long it could also be used on a Blizzard v1 torso. After getting a pair of Cover Girl v1 legs (minus waist), I chose to instead use Lady Jaye v4's waist (for a more "bootylicious" look), then completly swapped out the torso and waist with a Lady Jaye v1 pair for better mold detailing, and after finding out the Comic Pack Lady Jaye was unable to use vintage era backpacks (without drilling/Dremeling to widen the backpack/screw hole). I used Bombshock (2005 VvV)'s legs because they not only make Bombshell have taller-looking, leaner legs, but because they also have kneepads which could be painted in the same dark green as the original Steel Brigade figures.
Colors: An African-American skin tone and long black hair will make this figure stand out. Her eyebrows and eyes should be extremely dark brown or black. Her vest should be the same olive drab as the original Steel Brigade vests, with the neck (chest area?) painted in the same sky blue. The straps should be painted black, as should boots, horizontal straps to the holster and radio, and the holster and radio. The shirt sleeves (upper arm and elbow swivel) should be sky blue (as with the interior chest), with black arm guards and exposed brown hands. The upper sleeve should have a Steel Brigade logo on the right sleeve, and a U.S. flag on the left sleeve. As a final, yet feminine detail, hot pink should be applied to the Bombshell's lips and fingernails. The helmet should be painted in the original Steel Brigade colors. The backpack is to be molded in the same color as the torso (Steel Brigade's light olive drab). The rifle and pistol should be molded in black, medium gray or dark gray.

Python Komodo (new Python Patrol flight officer)
Notes: 1.) This recipe is based on a similar concept of what Komodo (my black Cobra agent; see filecard image above) would look like as a member of Python Patrol. Since he was an Officer by then, I thought of simply giving him a Python Officer's uniform with the face changed to the appropriate skin color, but then I also considered that he would be the only (known) Python Patrolman qualified to sit behind the stick of one of those 'appropriated' Python Conquests. 2.) All colors mentioned below are based on those used in the original run of Python Patrol (black, medium gray, light gray, 'blood' red, yellow, medium gray w/ light gray 'scaled' camouflage, and olive drab w/ yellow 'scaled' camouflage.) 3.) Compared to the 'regular' Komodo, this version should be slightly easier to collect pieces for.
Colors: His color scheme should be largely based on that of the 1989 Python Officer. The outside sections of his upper legs/thighs should be painted black, while leaving the inside section in its original colors. The boots should be painted light gray. The leg holster, and its strap should be painted yellow. If using the Copperhead waist, with the exception of the rigging, the waist/hips should be repainted black. (For a better description of the belts and addition straps, go to or eBay to find a picture of Copperhead v1. Anything part painted black is what I'm referring to.) The same waist/groin support should either be left yellow or painted in the olive drab/yellow Python Patrol pattern. If using the Python Officer waist, leave everything in its original condition. The helmet should be painted light gray with the side vents and central stripe painted (or left) black. Face on head and neck should be brown w/ black eyes & eyebrows (yes, this COBRA will be black.). The facemask should be painted red. The flight jacket should be painted black with the parachute rigging/backpack straps painted in Python Patrol's olive drab & yellow camouflage pattern. The scarf tucked into the flight jacket should be painted in blood red. (Although I considered painting the 4 jacket pockets in yellow, this is optional, as they can also be left black.) If the Wild Weasel arms are used the gloves should be painted yellow, while a red Cobra insignia is placed on one bicep. If using HISS Driver/Rip-It arms, the insignia should still be used, but instead of painting the gloves, the olive drab/yellow camoflage should be attempted on the wristbands. (If painting the olive drab/yellow camouflage isn't possible, then paint the wristbands yellow.) All accessories should be molded in black.

Sea-Viper (COBRA Seaman; partially-skilled COBRA "boat filler")
Notes: 1.) Sea-Viper is an excuse for abundant (semi-cheap) grunt army builders for a Cobra navy. Did I say semi-cheap? Sea Rays were virtual peg warmers (I got mine in 'late' 1988), Lampreys ballooned in number, even after the mail-order re-release, and I'm not touching the Viper issue. My only minor concern is finding a unique, yet also abundant (semi) masked head. Since all the parts are relatively easy to find (read: cheap), due to poor demand or frequent mold re-releases, customizers will also have a GREAT opportunity to 'army build' without remorse. 2.) Because Lampreys (and Snow Serpents, Sea Slugs, etc...) were supposed to be naval officers selected from the Eel (and by extension, Moray) ranks (Cobra's 'elite' frogmen), I figured Cobra would need some 'entry-level' seamen and naval grunts who in turn dream of becoming Eels. 3.) Practically any of the common ball-jointed heads will work on this figure. The ones that seem to be the best (and yet unique) candidates in my opinion are: Ice-Viper, W.O.R.M.S., Secto-Viper (which is not as easy to find), Beachhead v1, Undertow/F.B.V. and the afore-mentioned Lampreys. Unlike the Lampreys helmet though, the rest will be covered with a flexable
J & R Lamprey helmet.
Colors: If the Lamprey head is used, consider the Man-o-War Lamprey helmet color scheme to be the ideal. The majority of the uniform (wet suit pants, shoes -- below ankle, wet suit top -- underneath life vest, sleeves, gloves -- underneath arm guards) will be the same shade of blue used on Red Dog's football pants and Lamprey v1's helmet visors. With the exception of the helmet (mentioned in the next sentence), all blue elements of uniform will be coated with (1982 Cobra) dark blue paint rubbings. The helmet will use this same shade of blue (in the same pattern as the blue on Lamprey v3's helmet), with black detailing on the front section (similar to Lamprey v1). The helmet's visors should be a dull metallic silver (or silver over a black primer). [If a masked head is used, the mask/hood should be black. Otherwise, the neck below the Lamprey helmet should be painted black.] The lifejacket will be black with a silver zipper. Sea-Viper's anklets, leg holster, and belt should be black with a silver pistol, cassette-shaped belt buckle, and the two other belt details (in a similar pattern to the Sea Slug's pants). The pistol should be left silver (or black if a copy is molded from scratch). The scuba pack should be black with either matching blue or silver airtanks. The submachine gun or harpoon rifle should either stay in their original color(s) or be molded in black (with some possible silver detailing). For remarks on the helmet that may or may not be added, please refer to my details on using a Lamprey head.

COBRA Sub Commander (COBRA submarine commander; naval officer or squad leader")
Notes: 1.) In Season 2 (1986) of the G.I. Joe cartoon, a Cobra submarine commander was shown leading Vipers and Eels in search of 2 American test pilots. Although the commander's uniform was unique many of its elements were similar to other Cobras available by 1986. 2.) The commander shown was a woman, but very few female parts are compatible with my recipe. 3.) Optionally, a wide number of unhelmeted heads can be used, ranging from Gristle to 2004-05's Crimson Guards to Lady Jaye v1. 4.) File card wise, the Sub Commander would be the naval/undersea equivalent of the HiSS Driver. -- highly ranked, meanest-of-the-mean Cobra (Naval) Officers.
Colors: The Sub Commander's legs should either be left alone (if HiSS Driver legs are used) or be a red similar to Wild Weasel v1 or Crimson Guard v1 with black thigh-high boots. The arms should be a matching shade of red with black padding on the upper sleeve, a black shoulder hinge, and black gloves.

Air-Viper (COBRA Airman, entry-level "plane filler")
Notes: 1.) For the true motives as to why I made this recipe, go
here. 2.) My first idea was meant to be a dual tribute to the Viper Pilot and the Marvel comic's "poor coloring" of the original Cobras, and thus used parts from the 1982-83 Cobras, Viper Pilot, and 2004 Cobra Infantry Troopers (see filecard for detail). 3.) This custom is meant to provide an idea for customizers of a more "original" uniform. It has elements of the 2003 convention-exclusive Air-Viper and the A.V.A.C., the next rank up. 4.) For those (like myself) who don't have the cash to track down hard-to-find figures (*cough*AVAC*cough*) just for the parts, I created a variation, featuring parts of figures collectors and dealers alike have been flooded with. 5.) Although the low-budget version uses the very common Alley-Viper v2 head, it should not use the Alley-Viper v2 helmet.
Colors (Variant #1): Like the "Viper Pilot" styled custom, this one should also be in basic Cobra blue with some black and red detailing. The straps on the pilot's chest and legs, gloves, pistol w/ holster, and belt are all to be painted black. The belt buckle should be painted silver. The Cobra insignia serving as the junction for the pilot's backpack/parachute straps should be painted silver, with the raised portion of the Cobra emblem painted the same shade of red that is used on Viper vers. 1's details (see Variations, below.). The rippled detailing on the gloves should also use this shade of red. Again, as a homage to the Viper Pilot, the left sleeve should have a silver bat-winged Cobra Air Force insignia. (If there were room, I'd like to place the "Viper" rank patch underneath. Since there is not, I think it will fit fine on the front of his right bicep.) If the AVAC legs are used, the color scheme should be roughly the same as AVAC's -- black boots, silver orthopedic supports with black detailing, Cobra blue pant legs. If the HISS Driver's boots are used with either Duke/Alley-Viper v4-7's thighs or AVAC's, the boots should be black, with Cobra blue pants. Lastly, the helmet should also be (1982-85) Cobra blue with black detailing on the mouthpiece and a visor that is either painted glossy black, or metallic gold over flat black. If not black, all accessories should remain in their original colors.
Colors (Variation #2): The color scheme for the "low budget" variant is nearly identical to Custom #2. The partially-helmeted head, the only true difference between the two, will be Cobra infantry blue with a red facemask, matching the shade of red found on either Viper vers. 1, or Cobra (Infantry) Squad Leader vers. A. The majority of Air-Viper's details (not including insignias) can be best described as black straps and rigging over a Cobra infantry blue base. The boots, belt (not including buckle), parachute/backpack/??? straps (connected to the Cobra emblem on his chest), pistol, leg holster (with connecting strap), and gloves should be painted black. The ribbed padded on the gloves should be the same shade of red used on the 1986 Viper. The Cobra insignia can be painted in any one of two styles (see Variations, below). As a homage to the Viper Pilot, the left sleeve/bicep should have a red or preferably silver bat-winged Cobra insignia. This style of insignia is found on the fuselage decals for the Rattler VTOL and Python Conquest and should be considered the insignia of the Cobra Air Force. The front of the right bicep will wear a silver downpointing chevron representing the rank of Viper (Airman or Private). If not black, all accessories should remain in their original colors.
Variations? Yes. On Custom #2 and its lower-budget cousin, the large buckle/Cobra insignia holding the parachute rigging on Air-Viper's chest may either be colored black with the raised insignia painted silver, or silver with the raised insignia painted red. I have no preference in this manner.

Steel Brigade Machine Gunner (possible codename: Big Shot)
Notes: 1.) When I first saw this figure, I felt like he had Steel Brigade potential. So my plan here is to see how I can integrate him into Marshal's Steel Brigade unit. 2.) In addition, it makes up for the fact that 2000 Big Ben (v3)s were still sitting on shelves with the 2002 Big Ben (v4-5)s, and 2003 Road Rebels (driven by guess who?). 3.) I originally chose the Airborne vers. 2 head because I have a supplementary plan to use a spare Countdown head to make a "Sky Patrol 'Franklin Talltree' Airborne". Grunt v3 just has this cool Elvis greaser thing going on that I'm partial to (as do Thrashers, vers. 1, 2, & 3). Just about any European-descent head will do.
Colors: Because of this figure sharing a color scheme with Starduster, the torso and the light blue portions of the arms are to be completely left alone (although it would be appropriate to decal a U.S. flag on one arm). The fringe at the end of his gloves coat sleeves can be painted in an olive drab matching the one on either Steel Brigade vers. 1's vest or kneepads. It is up to the painter whether or not to paint the hands (as gloves) black, or leave them be. If using the Big Ben waist, the pants below the coat need to be painted to match Steel Brigade's shade of beige. Footloose waists will need both the pants painted as well as the bottom of the coat to match the torso. The belt (if not using Big Ben's waist) would need to be painted silver with any side pouches painted black. (UPDATE:) I recently decided on Paratrooper/Headquarters Flint after receiving a Headquarters (Rock 'n' Roll) version as a gift. Looking at the more abundant(?) 1994 version, the tan color is very close to Steel Brigade tan. In the case that I am off a shade or two, very little priming needs to be done to neutralize it. The boots also happen to be "spit shine" black, and you have the option of painting black or leaving alone the straps and pockets found on both thighs (by coincidence, these are also variants found on Flint vers. 4 and Steel Brigade vers. 1 figures). The head should be painted with bright reddish hair (Zandar's shade) with an optional light blue-colored highlight in front (similar to the light blue used on Zandar's face; not unlike the highlights used by Thrasher v1), but as I can't see it serving a purpose, I originally planned to paint his hair dark brown, but the red just felt like a winner. Either one will work. If the Grunt v3 helmet is used, the visor should be painted black. If the Steel Brigade/Anti-Venom helmet is used, it should be painted in the original Steel Brigade colors. The backpack should be molded in the same olive drab as Steel Brigade's backpack. All other accessories should remain in their original colors.

Steel Brigade RTO (Radio Telecommunications Operator; possible codenames: Hotline or Hotwire)
Notes: 1.) Hotline was originally supposed to be a "rank and file" member of a Steel Brigade unit (a version 1D Steel Brigadier in general), until I started looking into how cool the Mirage waist and legs looked. I made the decision to make his upper body resemble either Airborne or the original Steel Brigade look. 2.) Upon actually creating the character, I decided this communications operator should also have the bonus of being a 3rd or 4th generation Navajo Code Talker. (The Code Talkers were vital in sending messages in WWI and WWII, due to foreign enemies not being able to crack messages sent in the unwritten Navajo language.)
Colors: Despite it being just as easy to make his base colors (excluding the torso) resemble a Desert Storm color scheme, I chose to retain his Steel Brigade color scheme by making the arms sky blue, with black elbow pads. His hands can either be painted black (as gloves) or worked into a lighter-skinned Native American skintone. Of course with Airborne's arms being used, the painter could keep the one already being used. His torso should retain the green base color it came with. If it's a Tiger Force Duke torso, the bandolier should be painted black with a silver buckle, same as the Steel Brigade one. The wings should be painted silver, and the (orange) collar of his shirt should be painted sky blue. Hotline's exposed neck should match his hands and face. If using a Steel Brigade torso, touch up any paint loss and leave the rest alone. His pants should use a desert tan base color (excluding the parts of his boots in-between and below his leg harnesses). His boots should be painted in black. The metallic portion of his boot and thigh harnesses should be painted silver. The hoses and remainder of his harnesses should be painted in a 1982 Joe drab. The belt could be painted completely silver, or black with a silver belt buckle. His head should match the hands and or collar. If neither are flesh colored, paint the head in a light Native American skintone, with black hair, eyebrows, and eyes. The helmet (if using a AVTF helmet) should be painted to match the Steel Brigade helmet. (If using a 1982-84 "generic" helmet, it should be painted either the same desert tan as the pants or in original Joe Drab.) If the gun isn't gray in color, it should be painted either dark gray or black. Hotline's knife should also be either black, silver, or gray in color. The radio pack could either stay as is, or be painted to match Hotline's torso.

Crimson B.A.T.s (Crimson Guard Battle Android Troopers)
There are several versions of Cobra's Battle Android Troopers, each slightly more operator friendly than the last. This variant of the Mk. III is based on a friend's request.
Notes: 1.) BAT Mark III consists of BATs vers. 3, 5-8, 12, and 14. BAT Mark IV consists of BATs vers. 9-11, 13, and 15. 2.) Crimson BATs are supposed to be yet another piece of rank-and-file Cobra equipment specially painted (or in this case, clothed) in CG Red for the benefit of the elite Crimson Guard units. 3.) This recipe is based on my friend's constant insistance on repeating Cobra Commander's line from the SpyTroops movie when referring to an army of BATS: "Mindbender! Make it red!"
Colors (Mark III custom): The Y-pattern over the visor would be red. Outside of this, it is my recommendation that the rest of the head be left unpainted. The servo (in the center of the unarmored chest) should be painted sky blue. Crimson BAT's uniform -- his torso covering and pants -- should be repainted from black to "crimson" red. His belt should be painted black. The round belt buckle in the center should be painted silver. His arms should be left unchanged, with the exception of painting the nub on BAT 3.2's right arm gold (to match the rest of his arm). If using a BAT Mk. IV right hand, the armored portion should be painted black while the silver portion -- its fingers -- should be painted a matching gold color. The armor covering the back of its hand may be painted black. (If using BAT v11's right hand, only paint the fingers gold.) The patches on its shoulders should be painted black. On the chestplate, the center strip should be painted black with the small arcs in the middle painted sky blue or silver. The BAT Mk. IV laser attachment could be painted gold to match the other attachements, or left alone. The backpack could optionally have a red Python Patrol pattern painted on it. The insignia on the backpack would then be painted gold.
Variations? Yes. The fourth and fifth optional attachement weapons mean that there will be at least one weapon that cannot be added to the backpack. Choosing between the hand and a fourth gun may be necessary. Also a Cobra handheld rifle or submachine gun could be added.

J & R Productions recently shut down the reproduction/casting wing of it's business due to pressure from Hasbro attorneys. This means that my intentions of buying custom helmets (made from boring out helmeted G.I. Joe heads -- original or reproduction -- and recasting them in softer plastics) has been curtailed. While part of me agrees that some pieces were too risky to produce or market, such as a Duke head, sold as a "Duke head", other pieces, such as the Steel Brigade and Crimson Guard bored and recast helmets confuse me. For you see, J & R was selling both before the Anti-Venom Task Force and Agent Faces figures were released. (I know about the Steel Brigade helmets for a fact.) However, the AVTF helmet was cast without the cloth-like lining at the base of the Steel Brigadier's head, and while that makes them different, it also shows that Hasbro was not the first to convert the Steel Brigade head into a removable helmet.

I need 33/4" G.I. Joe parts. Click here for details.
Pay a visit to JOECUSTOMS.COM
or stop by J & R Productions (Currently down for the count.)
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