Head: Buck Rogers Tiger Man
Chest/back, upper legs: '82 Cobra Commander
Arms: '83 Steeler
Waist: '82 Cobra Officer
Lower legs: '02 Big Ben


This Cobra Command Staff Officer appeared in Marvel's GI Joe #1. He wore the uniform that Hasbro would use for the Cobra Commander figure, but oddly not for Cobra Commander's first appearance. The Command Staff Officer was never addressed or named, so our only glimpse into his character was that he was bald, sported a goatee, and had a snide expression. He stood in the command area next to the captive Dr. Burkhart, but apparently didn't live past the end of the issue. Then again, he wasn't seen getting into the fight when the Joes stormed the castle, so he may have promptly fled and survived.

Mego's Tiger Man figure had a near perfect head. The Cobra Commander upper body was the clear choice, but I mixed in the lower Big Ben legs and the Steeler arms so that the uniform didn't look exactly like that of the first Cobra Commander. To stay true to the artwork, using a complete Cobra Commander body would have been more accurate, but this uniform needed to look like its own and not a straight repaint. The feet are nominally oversized compared to the slender '82/'83 parts, but not too much.

Continuing the sidenote, Cobra Commander's uniform in the comic book looked very little like its first ARAH figure. GI Joe #1 featured him in a uniform with a different chest design including a cross strap, a hip holster, and knee-high boots. Noticeably missing were the backpack laser charger and the pant legs that wrapped under and around the boots. The design would merit its own custom, but this look was finally captured by one of the Dollar General Cobra Commander figures.

Colors & Paint:

Taken from the comic book, plus electric lime for the Kirby mystery shapes on the laser charger. Early 80's era comic book coloring, which is essentially blocks of solid color with almost no light source reflection, texturizing, or shading, left the interpretation of the colors up to the reader. The comic book used a dull orange on the Cobra uniforms. On the enlisted uniforms, I imagine it was meant to represent a light caramel color. On the uniforms of the highest officers, particularly Cobra Commander and The Baroness, I imagine it was meant as a stand-in for a metallic gold. Since this is an officer character not as high up the food chain, I went with a dark tan for the straps and metallic gold from the buttons, buckles, and rank insignia.

Sculpting & Modifying:

I removed the earrings and crazy eyebrows from the Tiger Man head. I added the chin hair for the goatee. The bottom of the neck was thinned down to fit the neck socket. The knees were reworked to blend together.

Thanks for looking.

To teach, improve, share, entertain and showcase the work of the customizing community.