Alley-Viper is the eighth figure to see completion in the re-color project. I was always a fan of the concept for this figure, an evil S.W.A.T. team of urban assault terror troopers. His colors were oddly fitting for what he was, but they weren't Cobra colors and I thought he could be made much cooler with a better paint job.
When I was digging up more old figures for the project, I found a couple of old Alley-Vipers from some of my old campaigns in the early 90's, that had been heavily painted and modified. Both of them had battle damage and combat honors painted all over their gear and had loads of paint wear on them, and both had damaged visors. One had the entire visor and its pegs missing, but the other still had the visor but it had been cut down on the top so the figures eyes could see out of it. I decided to use the one with the cut down visor for this project and save the other for another project.
Since this guy is a ground trooper and isn't carrying advanced high tech equipment, he was most applicable for the "Original Cobra" color scheme like the Viper. Right away I knew I wanted to keep his urban camouflage, in the same pattern as was originally on the figure. His base color of dark blue was a given, but the color for the actual camo patches I had to experiment on a bit. At first the medium gray color found on the Cobra Officer's shoulder straps was tried, and it made for a nice realistic looking urban camo. Problem was it looked too much like an ordinary S.W.A.T. Officer and wasn't severe enough to be a Cobra terror trooper. Black would have been too dark against the blue background to stand out effectively, so that left red as the only choice, and the best choice as it turned out.
One of Viper's primary features is the black and red body armor over a blue uniform, and I wanted to carry this over onto the Alley-Viper to help tie them together. Since the Alley-Viper is also wearing a body armor vest this was simple to pull off. The vest of Alley-Viper doesn't have any pads to paint red, so the pockets took their place, along with the grenade. The dagger was painted silver to add a little brightness, since he wouldn't have a silver visor like Viper.
With the red camouflage pattern and the vest pockets, he had enough red and now needed some black to balance things out. To avoid an overpowering amount of red on his arm, I made the armband black with only the Cobra logo in red, and made the ring around the logo silver to add a little more color. Like the Viper, the kneepads were painted black to match the boots, and since Alley-Viper has matching elbow pads those were painted black also. This guy doesn't have the long padded gauntlets, and he already has lots of red, so I decided to also make the gloves black along with his wrist accessories. The strap and pocket on his left leg looked too plain left blue and red so this was also painted black to add a little more detail to the legs.
The helmet had some work to go through to get it in a useable state. The visor had been cut down years ago with a pair of wire cutters and was very rough, requiring a lot of sanding and some filler putty to get it smoothed out. The end result is a visor that functions like the original, and though it lost its Cobra logo, the guy can actually see out of it now so it was a fair trade I would say. I added back the two camo stripes on the visor as much as possible, and made the logo on the forehead red like his armband logo. In typical Cobra style he was given a black balaclava for his face and neck.
With the colors for the uniform decided, that meant the colors for the shield were decided as well. The Cobra logo was another matter, and took several experiments to find something that looked right. My first decision was just to leave it the base color of the shield, but it looked too plain. Next I tried making the Cobra logo black and it looked better but still a bit bland. I then decided to match it to the armband and make a red logo on a black base. This looked pretty good but just didn't stand out against the shield well enough with all the other red around. Finally I decided to try a white logo since I had some extra stickers laying around, and that did a great job of standing out on the shield without looking out of place.
Now that the shield was all figured out it was time for Alley-Viper to take to the field looking like a proper Cobra instead of a radioactive rainbow.
Figure: Alley-Viper 1989
Scheme: Original Cobra
Notes: The Alley-Viper and his shield with visor closed, and a group shot with Viper and an open visor.