Aero-Viper is the eleventh figure in the Cobra Re-color Project to be completed. This figure seems like some kind of tragic balancing act, apparently his aircraft looked so good the designers at Hasbro had to balance it out by making the figure look like crap. The figure has a nice sculpt and it looks very much the part of a Cobra pilot, but the colors kill the effect. I mean really, forest green with a gold helmet? I couldn't think of a more un-Cobra color scheme except maybe woodland camouflage with an American flag on the shoulders. It never made sense why his helmet came off either, the figure definitely wasn't improved by that ridiculous Zorro mask.
Luckily with a little redecorating this figure can be top notch and fit much better in the Cobra hierarchy. As a pilot this figure uses the Aero-Space color scheme following the examples of Strato-Viper and Vapor. Application of color was pretty straightforward with a gray jumpsuit and red interior showing through the lace up areas. The little clasps at the ends of the red lace up areas were done in silver along with the buttons on the torso. I painted the large breast pockets red with silver clasps to make them reminiscent of red area with silver buttons on Strato-Viper's torso.
For the helmet I had to do some improvising. This figure isn't too hard to find loose and cheap, but finding one complete with a helmet is another story. Usually when you find one, complete or not, they tend to be in pretty good shape and not worn enough to merit repainting. I finally found one with loads of paint wear that was suitable for the project but it was missing a helmet, so rather than try to find a replacement I decided to make a repro myself. Since his head beneath the helmet looks so stupid, I decided to cast a replacement of the head wearing the helmet so it would be all one piece. This would be much easier to cast, and would save a lot of time with no noticeable difference to the look of the figure. I got one of the Aero-Viper helmets from my collection, put it on the head from this figure then used a bit of modeling clay to fill the gap between the neck and helmet and made a silicone mold of the helmet and head together. When the mold was ready I cast up the new perma-helmeted head with some two part resin.
Since the helmet is a traditional rounded pilot helmet and doesn't have all the overlapping panels like a Strato-Viper helmet, I decided to follow a similar pattern to what was used on Gyro-Viper. The main shell of the helmet was painted red, with the large visor in silver. To break up these two bright colors the oxygen mask, ear pieces, and neck padding were done in black. The finishing touch was the flesh color on the neck. I wanted a Cobra logo on this figure somewhere but there wasn't really a good open area to put one. The forehead would have been perfect but that little stud on the helmet is right in the way, so I decided not to bother with it.
So here he is, ready to carpet bomb in style.
Figure: Aero-Viper 1989
Notes: A front and rear view, with a group shot next to Strato-Viper. Below this is are some shots of the replacement head before painting.