Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Black Dog

Well I picked up another G.I. Joe toy aircraft today at the local Wally World. This one is the "Cobra Gunship" and it cost me about $25.00 which is more than a lot of the toy ships and aircraft I've acquired for conversion but still much cheaper than most wargame models. In fact you could triple the price before you found anything close from Games Workshop and this model is a good deal bulkier than the Valkryie for instance.

I plan to use only the front half of the cockpit as this ships cockpit and I plan to add a strip of plastic half way down the side windows so that only the top part of the front will be the models cockpit when the conversion is complete. This should scale the model nicely for 28mm which is the scale I use for sci-fi roleplaying and miniature games.

A lot of G.I. Joe "aircraft" actually look a lot more like space ships than airplanes. There are no wings on this ship and the tale is minimal which suggest a lot of the same design elements of various sci-fi dropships and shuttles.

This ship has a lot of elements that are missing on a lot of toy ships. For one thing it has landing skids which is a major bonus if your not an expert modeler. I hate making landing gear and even though these aren't elaborate they look good enough for my purposes. I have a pet peeve about gamers who try and turn all their vehicles into realistic scale models. We aren't building dioramas after all we are building game pieces that are going to be handled sometimes roughly. Building fiddly bits like "realistic" landing gear is just a sure way to have those landing gear snapped off during a game. It's not a matter of if it will happen but when.
Another cool features of this ship is the big hatch on the side and the interior. I'm going to try and cut the bench seat out and put a new floor in so I can get a bit of a cargo hold in there. The hatch itself will also require a bit of modification to bring it to ground level but I think it will be worth while.
There are also compartments that open and show engine detail which will be cool for "repair scenarios" and the extra detail it provides. Also should I pick up another version of this ship I can strip the hatches off to make the ship seem more "used" and run down. Perhaps a ship that requires so much repair that whoever owns it decided to just remove the panels. Kind of like the Y-wing starfighters exposed engines for those of you who are uber Star Wars geeks.
I plan to paint the ship black with yellow or orange accents. I'll also paint a moon on the nose with a black dog head as the nose art. I plan to name the ship "The Black Dog" which is a double reference to the Led Zepplin song and the character Jet Black from Cowboy Be-Bop. I'm not a big Anime fan but Cowboy Be-Bop is just great sci-fi especially if your a tramp freighter fan like me.

I hope to have this ship together soon along with the Sky Sweeper Jet conversion.

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