Head: Countdown 89
Chest: Capt. Grid-Iron 90 w/ straps from Flint 03 pack
Arms: Low-Light 86
Waist: Hit & Run 88
Legs: Hit & Run 88 w/ BBI holster

Backpack: Dusty 91
Helmet: Airborne 83 w/ BBI goggles
Rifle: Grunt 03
Pistol: BBI weapons pack

Airborne was a favorite of mine as a kid, and I've always thought he was one of the most underrated and under-used Joes. A few years ago, I made a custom of him (wanna see it? Take a look!), but I wasn't completely satisfied with the way it turned out.

I'm getting close to finishing my set of 83-84 character remakes, and I was planning on including my old Airborne custom, but like I said, I wasn't thrilled with him. Recently, I started making a custom assault team, and I realized that Airborne would be a great addition. So, I decided to kill two birds with one customizing stone and make a new Airborne.

Airborne was a pretty simple custom to make, but I really like the way he turned out. Using the old figure's card-art as a starting point, I knew he needed four things: a helmet with goggles (Airborne just wouldn't look right without one), elbow- and knee-pads, a flak vest, and a rappelling harness.

The Hit & Run waist is one of my favorite parts, and the harness was exactly what I was looking for, so I dremeled a space for the knee-pads to sit, attached a holster, and the legs were ready to go.

The only tricky part of the custom was the chest. I wanted to use the Grid-Iron chest because it had a similar look to the original Airborne's flak-vest. But, I wanted the harness to continue across the chest and shoulders (I wouldn't want poor Airborne falling out of his harness halfway to the ground!). I noticed that the pack that came with the Wave 6 Flint had straps that matched Hit & Run's almost exactly, so I cut them up and reassembled them into a harness. I threw in a BBI buckle in the center of the chest for good measure (on the figure's back, I had to substitute a piece of Rock'N'Roll 89's bullet-belt because the Flint pack's straps were just a little too short).

After the modifications were done, Airborne got a modern woodland camo pattern. I tried to emphasize the flak-vest by making it a slightly darker green, and by leaving out the black in the camo pattern to give it a little distinction.

The weapons were easy: I knew I was going to use the Grunt rifle for Airborne, and I chose the backpack because the straps matched the harness. Airborne 83's helmet was so cool that I couldn't resist using it. A quick camo paint-job for the helmet, and I had myself a new Airborne that I could be happy with.

Here's a pic of Airborne doing his thing:

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