Cobra Computer Interface Expert
When I first came up with the idea for a Net-Viper I drew a color sketch of how he was going to look, with the intention of making a custom figure of it. I tried to make him in a way that I could modify existing Joe parts to make a new figure that wasn't just a Frankenstein, but rather totally unique. For years the sketch saw use as my internet avatar on a variety of message boards, before finally finding the time to complete the figure.
I wanted this figure to represent a continuation of the Joe line from the 80's and early 90's so he needed to be sculpted in a similar style to fit in with the existing figures. Since this guy was the computer expert and hacker of Cobra I decided the most fitting color scheme for his was that of the Tele-Viper, who is also associated with computers and electronics. Net-Viper is made using existing Joe parts, but each one has been modified in some way from its original form to become an all new part. Most of the accessories are from existing Joe figures but some have been modified slightly. Below is a list of each part and its modifications, and the accessories.
· Head: 1990 Night Creeper (The hood was completely filed off and re-sculpted into a helmet. A headset was added with straps connecting to the goggles, with a hole on the left side for attachment of the microphone/antenna and a peg to connect the backpack hose.)
· Torso: 1991 Cobra Commander (Shoulder straps and chest plaque completely removed, and folds in fabric filled in and smoothed out. Mid torso area and ribbing re-sculpted were chest plaque was removed. New web straps added with quilted padding on the shoulders, a ribbed area around the neck, and trim added around the ribbed area at waist and neck.)
· Arms: 1991 Sci-Fi (Bicep pockets removed and a band was sculpted around the upper bicep with padding beneath it. Ribbed detail was carved into the elbow areas, and the cloth wrinkles inside the wrist bands was filled in and smoothed. Quilted padding was added to the back of the hands.)
· Waist: 1991 Tracker (Web harness was added with front buckle and quilted padding on front and back.)
· Thighs: 1987 Techo-Viper (Pistol holster and strap completely removed from left leg. Web strap added to both legs with keypad on the right leg and pistol holster on the left.
· Boots: 1988 Secto-Viper (Quilted padding was added around both ankles.)
· Backpack: 1988 Tiger Force Lifeline (Upper portion of antenna was removed and the lower half was re-sculpted with a hole drilled in the top, and a new larger antenna was created that plugs into the hole. A peg was added next on top of the backpack next to the antenna to connect the hose to the helmet. To attach the data access cable, a hole was drilled onto the rounded socket on the lower center of the pack and another hole was drilled in the center of the round protrusion on the right side.)
· Data Cable: 1984 Scrap Iron (A peg was added to the bottom of the control box so it could be attached to the side of the backpack.)
· Antenna/Microphone: Custom (The microphone/antenna is a custom made accessory sculpted around a wire armature.)
· Laptop: 1990 Salvo (The part is not modified.)
· Pistol: 1990 Sonic Dialtone (The part is not modified.)
Details about the figure:
Like a lot of Cobra figures, the Net-Viper has a bizarre high tech outfit that could use a bigger description than what can be fit on a filecard, so this section will tell about what's and whys of his uniform.
The helmet is designed for functionality within the job requirements of the Net-Viper and is made from ballistic composite. Since he might find himself in an enemy HQ with his head stuck up inside a mainframe his helmet needs to be trim and compact. To further reduce bulk, the entire headset is removable from the helmet and the assembly is held together by the large upper strap. His mouthpiece serves two purposes, communicating with fellow Cobras, and operating his computer through voice commands. The goggles when activated have VR capability and act as his backpack computers monitor, projecting the visual display in front of him in 3-D while still being translucent enough to see his surrounding through it. The 3-D display is fully interactive, laser lenses on the right side of the headset interpret the movements of the users hands as he manipulates the VR projected interface. The goggles themselves can be raised or lowered with the side straps and adjusted for comfort.
The entire upper body is encased in a black anti-static body glove to prevent electrostatic damage to sensitive electronic components. The chest and shoulders are protected by a blue ballistic composite carapace with additional purple padded ballistic fabric on the shoulders and lower biceps. For additional electrostatic protection a large anti-static coil is connected to the breastplate on both sides that extends down the shoulder plates to wrap around the bicep. The forearm gauntlets are made of armored composite with purple ballistic padding on the backhand. An anti-static coil wraps around the wrist and forearm to discharge the hands.
The waist harness has ballistic padding on the groin to protect the "jewels" and additional padding on the rear to keep the bottom edge of the backpack from smashing onto his lower spine. The straps for the leg gear are designed knowing the guy will be sitting down most of the time. Traditional holsters and pouches that wrap around the thigh and attach to the belt at the hips don't work well when you sit, they tend to bind up or ride up your thigh and pull your pants legs up. Net-Viper's straps hang off either side when kneeling or sitting so they don't bind up your legs. The downside is they will flop more when running, but he does tons of sitting and very little running. On his legs he has a Cobra standard issue sidearm and an electronics scanner. The pants are standard Cobra blue battle dress fabric on the thighs and shins with a section of anti-static ribbing made into the knee section to prevent static from traveling up the legs. Padded gaiters provide ankle support and protect the shins, as well as securing the book laces to prevent snags. The ankle padding also keep their legs from getting sore when they have their feet propped up on their desk for hours goofing off, but that's a feature that the Commander did not intend when designing the uniform
Here is the filecard for Net-Viper. I went back to the old style for this one with the military specialty and ranks at the top, and added a list of the accessories along the right side.
Here is a set of pictures with all the gear removed. The ones on the right show the headset antenna removed also.
These pictures show the Net-Viper with all his equipment.
All of his loose gear, the upper shots show the completely assembled backpack, the lower shot showing everything unassembled.
This last group is some posed shots. The first picture shows Net-Viper with his pistol, the rest with the data access cable.