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25th Anniversary Custom Rattler


Whitewolf
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That's so awesome WW, really fine work! I'm tempted to do one now.

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Really impressive work. Your detail in the stickers shows committment to perfection.

 

I referenced Yojoe's vehicle database for the decal instructions, so they are pretty much exactly where they are supposed to be in relation to each aircraft. The only ones I omitted were the VTOL-88B decals, obviously because this version of the Rattler is NOT capable of vertical-takoff...and someone with an eye for detail would have called me out on that. lol

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Man...that thing is just way too cool.

 

I wish we'd get something that looks this good from Hasbro. :(

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Great job man!!! I've got one of those and I've been thinking of doing the same thing, or doing the Joe version. I wish PTE would do a F-14 or even an F-15 that are closer to scale. I'd love to get the BBI F-18 and F-16 but that won't ever happen.

 

Could you post comparison pics showing the difference in size between Rattler v1 & Rattler 2008?

 

I've seen pics on another board showing the stock one but it's been pulled.

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WOW!

 

I never thought I'd get compliments like "professional" and "wish we'd get something like this from Hasbro." This was just a labor of love that begged to be done. Sort of like the "butterfly" thing in I Am Legend. lol So many things were suddenly falling into place telling me to make the Rattler. The fact that my store had a whole squadron of A-10s in stock; the A-10 being used as the Rattler on the comic book cover, finding the exact color of the original Rattler in the Krylon Fusion paint, and Yojoe having a scanned copy of someone's old instruction sheet...

 

I hope someone from Hasbro DOES see this...because, according to what I've read in this thread so far, it's stuff like this that we want to see Hasbro give us for the 25th Anniversary/Movie lines. Some original vehicles are fine to rerelease with minor modifications, such as the RAM, VAMP, and Flight Pod. But the Rattler is one of those vehicles that simply will not accomodate new figures...at least not without a considerable amount of modifications to the cockpit. And it's scale is also too small for my tastes. I kind of like the ginormous wingspan of this plane. And honestly, if TRU can sell a big plane like this for $30, Hasbro could market an "official" Cobra repaint like this for slightly more. And Hasbro would have the resources available to them to rework the area just behind the cockpit to put the signature gunnery pod, just like on the original.

 

Who would buy one of these for $40 to $50?

 

I would!

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This is definitely one of the best custom vehicle jobs I've ever seen. There's no competition when it comes to this, Whitewolf. I could have sworn you had molded the entire thing from scratch using some blue plastic, it looks so spot on smooth. It truly IS professional looking.

 

I plan to follow in your footsteps and make one of these for myself... do you think it would be possible for you to post a rough step by step for what you did? I'd like it to be as close to a duplicate of yours as possible. I hope you don't mind, but I love your take on it so much, I want it for my own. : ) One thing in particular I'd like some guidance on is how you went about getting the stickers for this. I know they're not off a vintage sheet, and I have next to no experience making my own stickers.

 

Tom

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NICE WORK!!! I am actually building one myself right now. I have been for awhile. I am new to this website. Maybe if I can ever get around to it, I may post some pics. I like what you did.......

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One thing in particular I'd like some guidance on is how you went about getting the stickers for this. I know they're not off a vintage sheet, and I have next to no experience making my own stickers.

 

Tom

 

I know there used to be a guy on the yojoe boards that made them. He sold the sheets for around $10-$15 if I remember correctly.

 

I'm sure you can probably find a site online that does something similar...but you may want to consider seeing if that guy is still around over at yojoe...cause his were about as close as you could get to the original.

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One thing in particular I'd like some guidance on is how you went about getting the stickers for this. I know they're not off a vintage sheet, and I have next to no experience making my own stickers.

 

Tom

 

I know there used to be a guy on the yojoe boards that made them. He sold the sheets for around $10-$15 if I remember correctly.

 

I'm sure you can probably find a site online that does something similar...but you may want to consider seeing if that guy is still around over at yojoe...cause his were about as close as you could get to the original.

 

It's a guy named Ruben who operates out of Mexico. He posts on Yojoe occassionally, and you can get on his email mailing list. The decals are top notch, though not pre-cut. They actually look better than the originals - all the same colours but brighter and clearer, and they aren't all crusty or anything like the old ones are now. I use them on ALL my vehicles and keep the original sticker sheet intact.

 

Another guy does them as well, called the 334th Joe Company or something. They're okay, but don't match up as well and the ink and sticker stock isn't as good quality.

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Well, step-by-step is as follows:

 

Items you will need:

 

*1 TRU Elite Operations A-10A Thunderbolt II; 2 if you wish to match the current weapon loadout ($29.99)

 

*2 cans of Krylon Fusion Patriotic Blue Paint (about $5.00 per can)

 

*1 can of Krylon Fusion Satin Black Paint

 

*X-acto Blade set (about $15.00 for a set or $5.00 for single blade)

 

*1 tube of Advanced Formula Krazy Glue (about $2.00 per tube)

 

*1 roll of Professional Painter's Tape (purple or blue color, about $3.00 per roll)

 

*1 sheet of professional Reproduction Decals (the source of these G.I. Joe and Cobra decals is Ruben Jimenez from Mexico. PM me for his email address)

 

*1 Phillips-head Screwdriver

 

 

The first step is to take the plane out of the box; leave the missiles and weapon mounts in the packaging for now. Once the plane is out of the box, begin disassembling it by removing all screws from the bottom. Seperate the top of the plane from the bottom, then turn the top of the plane upside down so that you are now looking at the "inside" of the hull. Remove the screws that hold the engine assembly to the top of the upper hull. Set the engine assembly aside. Remove the nosecone; set aside. Remove both tail rudders and set aside. Disassemble both landing gear housings and remove wheel assemblies; set these parts aside. Also remove the back part of the canopy and set it aside. Remove the cockpit control panel and set aside, then remove the front landing gear and remove the wheel from the panel. Pop the seat out by tugging forward with light force. Careful that you don't break the seat itself, but its okay if you break the mounting post the seat sits on. This is what the Krazy Glue will be used for later.

 

Second step is to prep the aircraft parts for painting. This is a no-brainer, but I have to say it anyway...make sure you are working in a WELL VENTILATED AREA! Clean all aircraft parts before painting. The Krylon cans say to quickly wipe down all new surfaces with paint thinner, but I didn't have to do so. I simply cleaned off all parts with a dry dust cloth used for cleaning eyeglasses.

 

Krylon Fusion paint is a paint specifically formulated to molecularly bond with plastics. This is going to be the closest thing to "toy industry standard" paint you can get without lead in it. The beauty of this paint is that it dries within 15 minutes, and you can handle the painted item within 1 hour. Other paints usually take much longer. Fusion paint cures after 7 days, becoming completely chip-resistant...something that even model paints don't usually boast. Wait the full week for the paint to cure before applying decals.

 

 

Tape the outside and inside of the front canopy and around the black dome of the right landing gear housing, making sure there are absolutely no exposed areas. Double-check to make sure the tape is securely attached to the plastic. This is why I didn't use any kind of paint thinner, as the residue would counteract the tape's adhesive.

 

At this point, you are ready to paint the main body of the aircraft. Spray the upper hull (the part with the wings) in even, sweeping motions. Hold the can about 10 to 12 inches from the hull to avoid dripping. Make sure you also get the sides of the wings and the wing tips. Once you have applied an even coat, allow this to dry for about 15 to 30 minutes. Afterward, the paint will still be slightly tacky, but not enough to leave fingerprints. Turn the hull over and apply a coat to the bottom, making sure you coat the missile hardpoints and the interior of the hull. Allow this entire upper hull piece to dry, as you are done with it for now. Once dry, remove all tape.

 

Next, paint the bottom hull, just as you did the upper hull...making sure you paint inside as well. Painting the interior of the aircraft gives it a much more uniform appearance once you have reassembled it. Set this aside and allow to dry. The major paint job is pretty much done. All that's left is painting both sides of each tail rudder, the landing gear housings, and the weapons mounts that are still in the box. Go ahead and remove the multimissile mounts now and clean these like you did the main body. Paint both rudders/aerilons, the landing gear housings and the missile mounts, making sure you tape over the black part of the right gear housing. Once these have been painted, allow to dry.

 

Now tape around the outer edges of the engines up to the panel lines (front and back). Completely cover the turboprops and the thrusters with tape. Paint the exposed areas blue, first painting the top/sides...allowing them to dry, then turn it over and paint the bottom, including the parts that are not going to be seen once its reassembled. Once this part is dry, remove the tape and set aside.

 

RattlerPreview7.jpg

RattlerPreview6.jpg

 

Paint both sides of the front landing gear panel, allow to dry and then set aside...

 

Once the upper hull is completely dry (I waited 24 hours before doing this part), tape up the upper hull just past the rear of the cockpit, leaving the space exposed between the panel lines along the front of the nose...again making sure you completely cover the front canopy. Paint this area black. This is the black "stripe" in the photo below:

 

RattlerPreview.jpg

 

Remove all tape and set aside to let dry. Now take the gray nosecone, clean it and paint it black inside and out. Allow this to dry.

 

You are now done with the repaint...I cannot stress this enough: let all parts dry COMPLETELY for at least 24 hours before reassembling!

 

The original seat looks like this:

 

RattlerPreview12.jpg

 

I used an X-acto blade to cut out the sides of the seat and the fronts of the armrests. This leaves the back of the seat, the bottom and the upper armrests. The spaces under the armrests will serve as empty areas where Wild Weasel's hip holsters will lock into. To place the figure into the seat, you will have to slide him in at an angle, one leg at a time, but once seated, he will not move. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHILE USING X-ACTO BLADES! I cannot be held responsible for missing appendages. This is the finished modifications to the seat:

 

RattlerPreview5.jpg

 

Once everything is completely dry, reassemble the landing gear and gear housings to the wings. Reattach the engine assembly to the upper hull. Reassemble the front landing gear hull panel to the wheel. Glue the seat back into place, along with the control panel and the front landing gear. Reassemble the bottom hull to the upper hull. Reattach the rudders/aerilons to the rear of the plane. Place the multi-missile mounts anywhere you wish under the wings.

 

So far, so good...the hard stuff is done. Your Rattler only needs its Cobra decals.

 

Ruben Jimenez has the best vintage G.I. Joe decals available. They are done with a kind of ink that does not rub off at all...and honestly are better than ANYTHING Hasbro ever released with its original RAH line of vehicles. Refer to my photos of the Rattler 2008 for placement, or refer to Yojoe.com's Vehicle Reference list for the original Rattler's instruction sheet to see approximately where they should go. The decals that Ruben supplies are NOT die-cut, so your X-acto blade or a good pair of sharp scissors will serve you well here...

 

Cut them carefully and apply them according to whichever resource you choose.

 

Once this step is done, your new Rattler should look like this:

 

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If I have overlooked a step anywhere along the way, or if I have confused anyone, don't hesitate to ask or let me know. I'll try to fill in any gaps that there may be...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, I've had quite a few people ask me about the modifications done to the pilot's seat. I figured this would be the confusing part for some, so I'll try to explain this process as best I can.

 

Once you've removed the seat from the lower fuselage, this is what you have to work with:

RattlerSeat01.jpg

RattlerSeat02.jpg

 

Now, the first thing you need to do is remove the forward downward-turned parts of the armrests, making sure you're using a sharp X-acto blade or Dremmel tool. Be VERY careful not to crack the plastic, as its somewhat brittle:

RattlerSeat03.jpg

 

Once you've removed both front armrest parts, your seat should look like this from a "head-on" point of view:

RattlerSeat04.jpg

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Now you need to remove the side panels connecting the armrests to the seat itself. This is the trickiest part, but if you're pretty good with a blade, this shouldn't give you much trouble. I start with the bottom part, along the part of the seat where WW's butt will actually sit, then move on to the top, just underneath the armrests, and then finishing with the part still connecting the panel to the backside of the seat:

RattlerSeat05.jpg

 

Once you've done both sides, you're seat is pretty much ready to sand it down a bit, and repaint it using Krylon Fusion Satin Black (or whatever color you want your seat to be). The end result should look like this:

RattlerSeat07.jpg

 

The open areas beneath the armrests now allow WW's hip holsters to fit into them. It takes a little bit of wiggling to get the holsters under the armrests, but they WILL go.

 

So does this clear up the pilot seat confusion?

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