Head: Night Viper ’89 (modified)
Torso: Night Viper ’89 (heavily modified, Chap-Mei straps)
Arms: Mega-Marines Gung-Ho ’93 (slightly modified)
Waist: Night Viper ’89 (slightly modified)
Thighs: Wet-Suit ‘86
Feet: Torch ‘85

Gun: Mega-Marines Gung-Ho ’93 & TMNT strap
Heli-Pack: mostly Dial-Tone ’86 & CORPS! Skis
Heli-Pack Control & Case: InToyz SWAT

As a kid, the ’89 Annihilator was a favorite of mine. His heli-pack and gun alone were enough to make him cool. As an adult, I’m a bit less enthusiastic about the original. The helmet doesn’t seem like it would be able to accommodate a human head, and the purple & orange color scheme doesn’t seem very Iron Grenadier-y.

With this custom, I wanted to keep the same flavor of the original, but change his look considerably. Since these guys were very visible targets, (a hazard only amplified by the red & black color scheme that I gave them), I figured some armor would be in order. I sanded the Night Viper torso down bare, then built up the armor with putty. I then added the heli-pack straps (which, unfortunately, hides a lot of the detail work on the armor).

I like the trichromatic color scheme (the only three colors on the entire custom are black, red, and gold). It makes him unmistakable as an Iron Grenadier, and it gives him an “elite” feel.

The gun is designed to be held normally, or with the strap over the torso (so they can fire without the fear of dropping their weapon).

The heli-pack began as an upside-down Dial-Tone backpack. I drilled a hole at the top and inserted part of a paintbrush. I then surrounded the bottom of the brush with part of a drinking straw and reinforced the inside with putty (so the straw wouldn’t collapse). Next, I placed a small metal ring near the top of the brush (to support the rotor blades). The middle section of the rotor blades was made from one of the quadropod halves of Scrap-Iron’s missile launcher. I cut holes in the sides to insert the skis. The footpegs were sanded off of the skis and they were cut to the appropriate length before being secured in the housing. I then puttied the left-over space so that it looked like one smooth part.

Getting the blades to spin properly was a royal pain. I had to make sure that they would spin freely, but still be stable and not wobbly. I solved this problem by placing the tip top of a Krazy Glue container lid above the rotor blades (secured by a screw). This allows the blades to rotate, but keeps them stable and straight.

Finally, I added the control handset. The Dial-Tone backpack wasn’t really conducive to the same “over the shoulder” control mechanism that the original Annihilator heli-pack used, so I opted for a side-mounted control handset that could be stored on the hip when not in use.

That’s about it…sorry for the long writeup, but I wanted to be sure and explain all the modifications. You can go to this thread to see lots more pictures and leave a critique.

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