Tuesday, March 7, 2017

80s Pulp Duel: Knowing is half the battle...

Hoi Folks,

No, not even in the hallowed halls of the Side Duel Gallery are you save from that rare beast that is called the 80's Pulp Project!

At this moment in time I will not be bothering you with the how and why I came to do this project, I have done this elsewhere. No this is where I tell you about me being a cheeky bastard, well apparently... The internet turns out to be a great place for meeting people from all over the world and it seems those people have the very same interests as you do, like playing with little metal and plastic soldiers ;-)

Some time ago I was roaming Facebook and there stumbled along a guy called Iannick who uses a picture of Cobra Commander as his avatar, I found out he was one of the lucky few who got his hands on the limited Real American Hero figures featured so heavily in my 80's Pulp project. So when he called out to people for a fantasy Side Duel before the start of the Challenge (on the Challenge FB page), I as the cheeky bastard I am, challenged him to an 80's Pulp Challenge instead. Being the gentleman he is and with his fiery French roots at that, he graciously accepted and rules were laid down.

We would both paint somewhere between 25 and 50 points worth of 80's Pulp stuff including at least 1 vehicle. Iannick chose to paint up the Baddies (blue lasers if you will) and myself had the opportunity to do some of my Goodies (the red lasers).

This is where you guys come in: from my side duel with AnneO, sadly missed this year, I remembered that the Minions (i.e. GI. Gimpy > hey Millsy I found another one :-P) are able to provide a post with a poll. So in this post you will find both our entries to the side duel and our thoughts behind them and when done looking at them you can vote for the entry you like best. The winner gets a painted model from the loser's faction, so if I loose I will have to paint Iannick a Goodie figure. Now the yellow names of figures and vehicles are clickable links to the corresponding figures and vehicles at the 3Djoes site for background checking.

So without more drivel from me on to the actual entries, first up is Iannicks!

I believe that, by now, most regulars of the challenge have realized I'm a nostalgia junkie. I was born in 1979, and I'm really into everything from the 80s: cartoons, movies, comics, action figures, RPGs, and everything Oldhammer. Not surprisingly, I was attracted by a small privately funded project by a friend of mine, recreating the GI Joe world in miniatures. As a child, my favourite toys were the Star Wars line of action figures and GI Joes. Both were really affordable compared to, for example, the Transformers, so my father enjoyed both ranges and would often surprise me on Friday nights with a new Joe.

However, I did not plan on starting this project this winter, not by any means. However last November I made a call for a fantasy duelling partner, and Sander, the cheeky bastard, saw that I was also into GI Joes (damn Facebook) and proposed a small "80s Sci-Fi Pulp" challenge, aka a GI Joe challenge. A few hours later we had come up with a great duel concept and I was in! ...and that's how Iannick started yet another project this winter.

Anyways, I'm sure Sander explained the duel already, so I was super psyched to work on some bad guys, the Cobra terrorists. I was always a lot more into the evil guys, especially with GI Joe, and I loved all the masked soldiers and leaders from the evil Cobra organization. They looked so cool. My favourite action figures were often the ordinary grunts, from the Stormtroopers and the Snowtroopers to the Cobra blue shirts and Crimson Guards. So I decided my part of the project would be made-up of Cobra troopers, but for one character, of course the man himself, Cobra Commander.

Enough talking, let's look at my entry for this duel!

We start with 5 Cobra troopers in their well known blue uniforms. The Cobra Troopers serve as the basic foot soldiers of the Cobra Organization. They are the nameless, faceless legions of the Cobra organization, loyal to Cobra Commander and his goal to conquer the world! (They also have an annoying amount of leg straps and suspenders!)

Then we move on to my childhood favourites (ok, they still are my favourites), the Crimson Guards, the elite shock troops of the Cobra legions. They are usually depicted as Cobra Commander bodyguards and also act as deep-cover or sleeper agents, conducting operations in civilian guise. They have a really smart uniform, complete with shoulder straps and silver cords. Completely clad in red, they were somewhat of a challenge to paint but I'm really happy with how they came out. Unfortunately, the red highlights are a little lost in the pictures.

 The duel did say we had to include a vehicle, so I went with the iconic Cobra High Speed Sentry (H.I.S.S.) tank. The HISS was developed to fulfil two separate needs on the battle field, anti-personnel and heavy armour. The H.I.S.S. tank is the most versatile and deadly tank in Cobra's armada. It was also my first ever 28mm vehicle! The model I used is a bit of a story in itself, as I used a small plastic toy which incredibly is the right scale for 28mm! It's sold as novelty for offices or such, complete with Pew Pew sounds and lights! At 13$ CA, it's an unbelievably good deal!

I removed the wheels, primed it while protecting the plastic canopy with masking tape, and then painted it. The original HISS in the cartoon was black, but I painted mine blue, a favourite version of mine which came in toy format many years later.

The stickers included are crap so I did not use them, but I did manage to find Cobra decals from Company B! I learned a lot while painting this, and my 2nd HISS will be better, but I'm still happy with how it came out, for my very first try at the bigger scale vehicles.

And then finally, the man himself, Cobra Commander! He was probably my favourite bad guy as a kid, along with Darth Vader. This figure is actually from Hasslefree miniatures, and I've had him in my possession for a while. It's a perfect match to the man himself and I had a blast painting him. I think it shows.


Now up for Sander's Goodies!

To be honest I was a bit bummed out by Iannick beating me to it by claiming the Baddies as his choice of weapon for this Side Duel, everyone likes the Baddies best right? But this did give me the opportunity to get to grips with an inner daemon that was haunting me... While the Cobra figures are mostly comprised of army-builder figures the Joes are mostly made up of single characters and these can be daunting to paint up. So now for this duel, what could be more challenging then painting up the leadership of America's Daring Highly Trained Special Missions force? So I decided to paint 4 of the figures I have always liked best, both in the action figure line and in the cartoon series.

First up is not quite on of the officers but nevertheless a great favourite of mine: Gung Ho!
The blue of his uniform struck me as strange before but I have come to realise that the plastic colours used by HASBRO in the first 3 or 4 series of action figures are all from the same palette, strangely tying in the figures together. 

Next up is Flint, I always was more of a Flint fan as opposed to all Duke-supporters out there. After all, who got away with dating Lady Jay eh? The US flag on his upper arm is a decal from Fighting Piranha, I am not thát good a painter ;-)

On to an even more iconic figure: the Sarge! I am of course referring to Sergeant Slaughter one of a handful of real life people who made it into action figures within the line. There are several versions of him but I really like the original early version so chose that for my painting. I also added a plastic holster to the model so he has at least some form of firearm to use in a game.

 Now last up is my absolute favourite General Hawk, one of the first Action Figures I owned when a kid (Dial Tone was actually the first I bought with my own pocket-money) and I still own it as you can see below.

On to the vehicles, well I said somewhere else on this blog that the 3D printer has opened up an entire line of brilliant options to us gamers and here you can see what I am on about.
This is the APC, a totally wacky design since I would not call a canvas covered back "armoured" at all, but hey here it is. Oh BTW it has real world origins like many of the Joe vehicles because it apparently is derived from the Finnish Sisu Pasi XA-180 look it up, I know I did.

 Last up is my version of the MOBAT, the Joe team's main battle tank, also based upon a true world vehicle namely the M48 and M60 Patton tank.


 So here it is ladies and gents, now please go vote, either for Sander's good guys, the GI Joes, or for the new order, your benevolent terrorist organization bent on world domination, Cobra.

Iannick's Cobra troops:

Sander's Joes:

Pointswise that would earn both contenders the following:
- Iannick: 55pts worth of figures and 15 for the HISS is 70 points
- Sander: 20 pts of figures and 30 for the 2 vehicles is 50 points.

To honour this year's Challenge Theme, here's a PSA on teamwork from your favourite Joe!


  1. Nice work from both of you :)

  2. My vote is for Iannick's Cobra troops. Well done! Hail COBRA! :D

    1. Thanks! ;-)

      Cobra will have a place for you when we conquer the world!

    2. Well they are very nice indeed!

  3. Oh wow, this is is just great. Very, very fun to read and look at. And the voting part is an excellent twist. Great job guys!

    While GI Joe does not hold the same nostalgia pull for me that something like Macross does Cobra Commander has to be one of my favourite hapless villains of all time.

    Brilliant stuff!

    1. Thanks Greg. I did also like Robotech a lot, but never had any toys.

    2. Cheers Greg, glad you enjoy it that much, I know we do!

  4. I had plenty of these figures, in the U.K. They were called "Action Force" as we wouldn't know what a GI Joe was! I even had some of the predecessor "Red Shadows" that were WW2 German soldiers with face masks added on! Pretty sure cobra commander killed "the baron" and took the red shadows to be his cobra troops..... anyway, great post!

    1. You know I never heard about Action Force until my brother started collecting the Joes. Funnily enough the line was sold here in the Netherlands under the regular GI Joe brandname as were the cartoons.

    2. Actually, it was the other way around. The Baron killed his own Red Shadows and started over as Cobra Commander with the bluehsirts.

  5. COBRAAAAAAAAA! But well done on both ends. Now I have to make me a Cobra/GI Joe Army to game with.

    1. Now now, there there, easy on Commander ;-)

  6. Thanks everyone!! It was a fun side duel to paint.

  7. I voted for both of you. ;)

    Brilliant work guys! Thanks for sharing your sense of fun.

    1. Thanks Curt, much appreciated! Perhaps we could do something like this again next time :-)