Head: Comic Pack ARAH Hawk (cast)
Helmet & Face shield: ROC Footloose
Chest/back: ARAH Ace V1
Arms: ARAH Roadblock (Astronaut uniform)
Waist: ARAH Dr. Mindbender
Legs: ARAH Viper
Backpack: ARAH Lightfoot
Transmitter: Star Wars- Lobot
Rat: Playmobil Rat


I can't really call this an original character. I went the route of renaming an existing character.

In 1985 Tripwire was released in the UK as an Action Force figure. The Action Force version was born in Swansea, Wales instead of the Hibbing, Minnesota. As with many file card changes, this was to market the character to UK kids. With this custom, though, I pushed it even further, renaming Action Force Tripwire as Blastwave, and making it an entirely different character. Blastwave is also the name of Transformers character, although I wasn't aware of it when I started this custom character.


To separate the physical appearances of Blastwave and Tripwire, Blastwave is made of different parts. Not even the head is kept as a nod to the original Tripwire. The body parts create a bomb tech blast suit, more or less. The Ace chest/back has been used in the same capacity before by others, so I followed a good path. It would have made more sense to remove the kibble on the chest, but I needed a few details to paint. To further push the Tripwire and Blastwave designs apart from each other, Blastwave utilizes a trained rat, Sniffy, instead of a mine detector wand. So, at least Sniffy is an original character! The Lightfoot backpack gives Blastwave an explosives-themed backpack and provides a resting perch for Sniffy. The Lobot transmitter looks like something techno that an explosives expert might have.

Colors & Paint:

Instead of Tripwire's green/grey color set, Blastwave gets "bomb-resistant" semi-metallic green, plus some nonsensical shots of blue and red.

About Sniffy:

An episode of Weird Wonders of the World showed the Tanzanian People's Defence Force using African Pouched Rats to detect land mines. These are huge rats, almost the size of cats. That's a concept begging to be included in some kind of GI Joe/Action Force custom. With a little help from Playmobil, here it is. The Playmobil rat is about the right size and overall shape to look like a giant rat in 1:18 scale. This is the fourth time I've used a Playmobil animal for a custom. I'm always impressed with the level of detail sculpted into them.

A simple strip of wire is used as Sniffy's leash. In real life, the rat would be attached to long line handled by two (human) team members, one at each end. The rat then goes back and forth, working a grid pattern to search for mines. But that's not action figure-conducive, so Sniffy gets a leash instead. The leash is glued into a hole on Sniffy's back, but the harness is simply painted on.

To get the fur effect I used a lot of wetbrushing and few spots of drybrushing. The entire figure was painted light brown, then medium grey on the top and tan on the bottom while still wet. To separate the colors more, I added charcoal to the very top of the figure. Pink was added to the tail, also while still wet. The eyes, nose, ear interiors, and harness were painted on after the fur texture dried.

Thanks for looking.

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