Fuselage, canopy, landing gear - Storm Eagle (modified to remove wings and tailfins, move hardpoints from wings to fuselage, and carve out cockpit)
Wings, canards, tailfins - Polar Lights Batplane model kit
Missiles - Devilfish (vehicle accessory pack version)

I have to give (indirect) credit to Blood Brigade for this custom. Without the mind-blowing Blood Brigade custom vehicles I've seen over the past several years, I would never have attempted a custom this ambitious. All previous vehicle customs I've done have mostly involved new paint jobs with some minor modifications. But the work was much more extensive for this one, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The Cobra Vampire is loosely inspired by Serpentor's plane shown in GI Joe and the Transformers issues 3 and 4. The bat wings on this plane led me to seek out a Batplane model in a sufficient scale to use for a Joe vehicle, and I was able to find a Polar Lights model kit from 2002 online. That gave me the nice bat wings, but I still had to figure out exactly how to use them. I had a old beat-up Storm Eagle that had several things wrong with it, so I started chopping off bits of it and figuring out how and where to add the wings to make it work. And this is what I came up with. I painted the water-gun handle black so it can function as a conformal fuel tank, and painted the plane itself a nice muted blue colour so that it wouldn't look too much like the Batplane.

The wings and fins are all friction-fit, which means I can remove them for storage and transport. The hardpoints were screwed into the fuselage instead of glued. I've watched many Adam Savage maker videos on Youtube and he's a big proponent of using mechanical connections instead of glue whenever possible. It certainly makes the result feel much sturdier in the end. I used lots of stickers because that's one thing I always loved about early ARAH vehicles, the amount of stickers they used to add detail.

The pilot is the Terror Viper. The only way to get a figure to fit sitting upright, even after taking out all the material in the cockpit, is to sit him all the way in the back, which makes the open space ahead of the pilot under the canopy seem a bit off. A pilot would have a limited field of vision from that vantage point. So I worked up the backstory to account for this. The Vampire is the most maneuverable fighter jet in existence, not just because of its many control surfaces and advanced avionics and vectored thrust capabilities, but because the pilot shares the cockpit with an AI unit called HOMUNCULUS (Hands-Off Monitoring User-Neutral Control Uptake Liaison-Ultra System). HOMONCULUS has a full range of vision so the pilot doesn't need to concern himself with that, and the two work together to pilot the aircraft. The AI unit sits at the front of the cockpit, and is made of a 1/18-scale water cooler with a bit of chrome paint.

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