H.E.A.T.-VIPER 1989


The tenth figure completed for the re-color project is H.E.A.T.-Viper, and boy did he ever need a new paint job. I always thought of this figure as one of the cooler and more needed elements of the Cobra army, he just had a great purpose and an awesome design despite the awful colors. With the proper color scheme I knew this guy could be excellent.


Back when the H.E.A.T.-Viper first came out my customizing arsenal was limited to enamel model paints with those terribly bulky brushes, and Sharpie permanent markers. So it was that I set about customizing this particular H.E.A.T.-Viper figure. His first injustice was coloring his yellow parts black with the sharpie, which didn't look too terribly impressive but was better than the yellow somewhat. Not long after this a huge load of Joes that I had stored in my back yard shed for outside battles got stolen, and out of around 80 figures and over a dozen vehicles, this was the only figure left. The assholes had dropped him on their way out the door and not noticed.


Some time after that I had a go at repainting this guy in more appropriate colors. I didn't really have a larger focus at the time, a simple "paint it blue" was about the extent of my planning at that point. This figure is one of several that taught me not all Cobra figures look good in Viper colors. Luckily twenty years later I still had this figure laying around and he was still in need of a fitting color scheme, so he was the perfect candidate for the re-color project.


Since I had already tried this guy in Viper colors with only moderate success, it was time to seek other options for a color scheme. Since this guy was sporting a nice high tech weapons system, he fit perfectly into the "Advanced Infantry" category that uses Laser-Viper colors. This would work out perfect since Laser-Viper often acts as a targeting spotter for H.E.A.T.-Viper and they would look great together working in teams. This color scheme also seemed to suit the figures sculpt well, which is always necessary for a good looking figure.


The gray jumpsuit with silver helmet and blue straps was a pretty simple formula for the most part, with some black mixed in to keep the blue from being over used. I decided to keep all the body straps blue, and the straps and waist harness for the backpack in black. Since the leg straps connect to the upper portion of the boot I did this entire part in blue, with black missile holders. Silver pockets helped tie in with Laser-Viper and his silver waist pouches, and to give a little extra detail to the lower half, the pistol was also done in silver.


Something I strayed from on the original figure was the colored stripe going down the center of the torso and then down the crotch area. This never looked right to me on the original figure because it was obvious from the texture that the stripe on the torso and the part on the crotch were not the same. The torso part had a rough texture to it, yet the crotch part was smooth like the rest of the belt, implying to me that it should be the same color as the belt. If it was meant to be purple, it would have been textured like the rest of the purple stripe. When I tried painting the stripe on the crotch blue for this repaint it just didn't look right, so I made it black like the rest of the belt and was much more satisfied with the result.


All in all this was a pretty quick repaint, taking a single day to complete with the prep time from removal of the old enamel paint and widening the joints in the arms taking longer that the actual paint job. Despite how quick his paint job was, he's been waiting on it for a long time from when he was first painted 22 years ago and after two failed repaints and one narrow brush with being stolen, this figure has finally gotten a color scheme that works. An epic saga for this poor H.E.A.T.-Viper figure to be sure.


So here he is in his new Advanced Infantry color scheme, and now he can be looked upon without wearing sunglasses.

Figure: H.E.A.T.-Viper 1989
Scheme: Advanced Infantry
Notes: H.E.A.T.-Viper front and back view, and with a group comparison shot of Laser-Viper. I meant to put a red Cobra logo on the sleeve but I forgot before taking pictures.