S.A.W.-Viper is the 13th figure in the Re-Color Project and one in dire need of a repaint. The role of light machine gunner is a very important position for a infantry unit, and Cobra was in bad need of a machine gunner of its own, so S.A.W.-Viper was a welcome addition to the Cobra arsenal.
Unfortunately Hasbro gave this figure the shaft in just about every possible way. First off the poor bastard is wearing an absolutely awful color scheme, snipers would have no trouble picking this guy out in the middle of a squad of Vipers. Next is his weapon which is so large that he can't even properly carry it, and the stock is so long he couldn't possibly put it to his shoulder and still reach the scope to spot targets. On top of this Hasbro apparently botched the meaning of S.A.W. which is supposed to be "Squad Automatic Weapon", but on the filecard Hasbro misinterpreted it as "Semi Automatic Weapon" so not only does this unfortunate individual have to carry around a 7 foot long rifle that he can barely aim, but the damn thing isn't even fully automatic, so his knees, back and trigger finger would all be ready to fall off by the end of a days combat.
There is nothing I can do about his misfortune with the oversized non-automatic weapon, but I can make him appear more like a proper Cobra trooper so at least he looks sharp while he's out there suffering the rigors.
Being as how this guy is more or less a basic ground trooper, he was given the "Original Cobra" color scheme or blue, black and red. As odd as the figures outfit is designed, it actually lent itself well to the same basic color arrangement as found on the Viper. It promised to be a relatively simple paint job to pull off, but first this figure needed some major cleanup since someone had apparently tried to make a Robo-Cop out of him by spray painting nearly the entire figure with about 20 coats of chrome paint. Once that was dealt with to the best that could be accomplished, it was time to put on the new paint.
For starters the entire figure was given a few coats of Cobra Blue, then black was added to the leggings, belt, and vest. I experimented with making his gauntlets red to be more like the Viper, but since they reach all the way to mid-bicep, it was too much red and became very overpowering. Since the gauntlets are made to the same basic pattern as his leggings, I decided to paint them black instead and it gave a more uniform look. To add a "Vipery" appearance I made his shoulder pads and the ribbed pads above his hips in red, along with his belt buckle. The helmet visor was given the standard coat of bright silver like Viper, and it was finished up with the little arrow on his forehead being painted black.
All in all a very simple custom job and rather quick to achieve. I wanted to add a red Cobra logo somewhere on him but there just isn't any spot large enough to fit one without it looking crappy. Fortunately with his new color scheme it should be easy enough to tell that he is a member of Cobra, and not an employee at a grape sherbet factory.
So here he is re-envisioned as a proper Cobra soldier.
Figure: S.A.W.-Viper 1990
Scheme: Original Cobra
Notes: A front and
rear view of S.A.W.-Viper, and a group shot with Viper for comparison.