1990 Vehicle Representations
To properly understand why some vehicles in this series are repainted an some are not, I have to elaborate a bit on the specifics of the project in relation to vehicles. Vehicles come in two types, just like figures. They have the generic troop builder types like Stinger and H.I.S.S., and the named "one of a kind" types like Rattler. Rattler for instance was Wild Weasels personal vehicle, just like Sky Striker was Ace's personal vehicle. Each of these vehicles was as much a character and member of their team as the guy that drives it and they are one of a kind, contrary to what comics and cartoons would imply. In essence, if the vehicle came with a one of a kind named character pilot, then the vehicle is a one of a kind named character too. This means almost all of the Joe vehicles are one of a kind, and it makes sense if you think about it. The Joe team is very small, and as of 84 had Ace as its only fighter pilot, so if they had a whole squadron of Sky Strikers, who would fly them? If they had a whole group of Mobats, who would drive those, and who would do the other guys job while he drives the tank? These individual vehicles and their pilots could be looked at similarly to the figures that come with animals. You have Mutt and Junkyard, then you have Steeler and Mobat, and in both cases they operate as a single unit.
In the case of the generic vehicles they get a repaint just like generic troops. Named individuals don't get repainted as its assumed they have enough rank or prestige to be able to wear what they want and so can stray from the pre-established color schemes. This is why Rattler is blue rather than black, and Wild Weasel is red rather than gray with red and black details. A named pilot can not only wear the colors he wants, he can paint his vehicle the colors he wants too. Some characters do follow the established colors like Scrap-Iron, while others like Firefly or Croc Master do not. Its their personal choice and so the colors on these figures and vehicles are normally left as is.
With the previous paragraphs in mind, the 1990 series has a couple of vehicles that are a source of some indecision on my part, and these vehicles are the Hammerhead and the Hurricane. Part of this indecision comes from their pilots, since the file cards don't really make it clear if these are generic troops or named individuals. In both cases the files card makes it sound like there is only one of each of these two guys. Since the vehicles they come with are quite advanced and would need specialized training to operate, its safe to say if the pilots are individuals, then so are their vehicles. So for the time being I have decided not to repaint either of these vehicles as part of the project, and will be counting them as individual vehicles.
This left two vehicles in need of some attention and both had very simple solutions. The Piranha was very close to being suitable without any changes, and could easily be left alone and still fit decently with the other Cobra naval units. With a few changes however it can become a great match with the Moray, by painting the lower hull light gray, and all the yellow parts aside from the missiles are re-colored dark gray. These changes help to tone down that bright yellow and make it look like a miniature Moray, perfect for escort squadrons.
The Rage really needed some help since its original colors didn't come close to resembling anything Cobra. To fix this the Stinger color scheme is applied, with the main hull and turret in black, the cannons and accessory parts in dark gray, with red missiles. This color scheme not only makes it look much more Cobra, but also much more intimidating.