@JTam "If you didn't want to go the file print route you could probably use a regular A-10 model painted blue with appropriate decals would get you to a 86% solution."
An 80% solution is more than close enough for me :) I see from the screenshots above that someone beat me to the 1/48 scale Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force armored car model by Tamiya - which, by the way, looks fantastic for this purpose:
Japanese Armored Car in 1/48 that someone else has converted for a Cobra vehicle
Painted olive drab or khakhi, it would work just as well for the Joes' armored jeep-style armored car - I'm pretty sure the toy line used their own design, molded in different colour schemes, for both sides anyway!
Tamiya also manufactured a great-looking 1/48 scale HUMMVEE, which doesn't seem to be in stock anymore, and a 1/48 truck built on a HUMMVEE frame which is in stock - I've bought both a Japanese armored car and one of these HUMMVEE trucks, which might take me a little time to get around to building and kitbashing as needed. Both vehicles will make great command/control vehicles, or mobile weapon platforms, suitable (if nothing else) for capture-the-flag type objectives (destroy the weapon platform, capture the intel from the command vehicle, etc.)
For anyone concerned about the difference between 28mm wargaming figures and 1/48 scale vehicles, the difference is negligible: both model kits came with driver figures included which are only the tiniest bit taller than most modern "28m" figures - about the equivalent of a couple inches difference in height IRL, at most. The Eisenkern figures are about exactly the same height, and the Cannon Fodder are close enough, and the proportions of all these figures are similar to each other (other Death Fields factions - like the Grognards and Bulldogs, might look a bit "chunky" compared to the 1/48 figures!)
I'm thinking that 1/35 scale must be the one that is really too different for most gamers to use. I picked up a cheap 1/35 scale model kit for a small Chinese IFV (kind of a mini-BMP or BTR style vehicle) to experiment with, but it might be too big to get away with... I'll put it together and see what happens, and take photos for comparison!
First figures assembled:
I've spent a little time this week assembling some of the Eisenkerne stormtroopers with some Cannon Fodder bits, and the spare AK assault rifles from the Project Z survivors, to see how they work - they look great to me, I'll try breaking out a camera to start getting some photos, and maybe getting some painting done, just to get a preview of what's possible.
The original Cobra Troopers were dressed in some fairly light and simple jumpsuits with helmets and cloth masks, with Dragunov-style designated marksman/sniper rifles. The Eisenkerne guys are have a futuristic battle armor, which updates them pretty well for a modern battlefield, while the Cannon Fodder are wearing some cover-alls, which seems to me to work well for drivers, pilots, mechanics, medics, non-combat officers, and certain specialists. I also picked up a sprue of Bolt Action Russians in winter gear mainly because of the cool greatcoats, but found that the best bit on the sprue formy purpose is a Russian soldier's head in a Soviet-style helmet, with a scarf wrapped around his mouth and nose, in the same style as the old-fashioned Cobra trooper - this head looks great on a Cannon Fodder body!
Warlord Project-Z Zombie Apocalypse Figures mini-review:
The Project Z kits are interesting, but frustrating... on one hand, there are some great bits in there, expecially in the survivor kits! On the other hand, the arms and heads don't precisely fit the Wargames Atlantic kits without a little work, and I really don't feel like I'm getting anything remotely like the value of a Wargames Atlantic kit! Here's what you can expect from the Project Z kits:
- Male and Female survivor kits: These look like the best "bargain" here, and are my favorites: there are bases and two sprues, with enough bits for 10 figures.
- There are a couple head and arm options each, and these are technically not interchangeable, the way a WGA kit would be - in some cases this isn't a problem, but getting sleeves to match outfits can be tricky, and you'll want to be careful of the arms and heads meant for the child and overweight characters.
- The best part of the kit is a second sprue, which contains a wealth of loose modern weapons, meant to be strapped to the backs/shoulders of the characters, I guess, but perfect for Eisenkerne weapon swaps (just carefully remove the pistol grips and trigger guards, and glue to the Eisenkern hands with grips/triggers... they work great together!)
- The civilians figures are not much good for anything but civilians (or undercover Joe/Cobra agents, perhaps), but the heads are some nice sculpts that might come in handy for "hero"/"villain" characters, and other purposes. The characters are some basic survivor archetypes: the cop, the priest, the redneck hunter, the cowgirl, the thug, the kid, and that sort of thing: they're basically srieal-numbers-filed-off expies of popular characters from "Walking Dead": no exact matches, but close, if that's what you're looking for.
- The spare weapons are focused mainly on an interesting selection of the sort of thing you'd find on a gun range in the USA: pump and double-barrel shotguns (the best source of shotguns I've seen!), some scoped hunting-style rifles, some nice and plain AR-15s (or M-16s/M-4s) with no special accessories which would work well with rank-and-file troops or civilians, and classic AK rifles of the sort that can stand in for about 70 years worth of variations on that rifle found around the world! This makes it also an excellent source of some no-frills Cold War era rifles covering much of the ground for the world's military for the last couple generations: classic Joe and Cobra weapons.
- There is also the curious inclusion of a handful of RPGs, Uzis and other sub-machine guns, and some Euro-style bullpup rifles of the sort you wouldn't normally see in the USA. A bit weird for American zombie survivors, but perfect for Joes and Cobras! There are also some belt-packs, weird-looking civilian backpacks (not sure I'll be using these), and other bits and pieces.
- The wealth of accessories just about makes up for the limited number of characters that can be built from these kits - these are modern-era kitbashing dream kits!
- Biker Gang: some bases and one and a half sprues focused on dismounted and mounted bikers... looks like enough bits to build three bikes, and up to six or seven dismounted bikers, and/or three mounted bikes with passengers.
- The bits are again not very interchangeable - head swaps and some weapon swaps are possible from the recommended configurations, but not by much.
- The bikes look fantastic - nice, retro-style easy-rider looking machines, great "bad guy" bikes!
- The characters look mean and tough, and maybe a couple could work as "villain" characters to work with Cobra. The characters are mostly armed with classic tough-guy weapons like lever-action guns, revolvers, sawed-off shotguns, molotov cocktails, axes, and such, but a few SMGs and even an RPG appears, as well as a cool bike-mounted mini-gun that might come in handy....
- Unfortunately, there is no accessory sprue here the way there was for the other survivors. I kinda wish they'd filled a full two sprues up, with extra revolvers, civilian-style rifles, additional jerry cans (in addition to the single one included), and other loose accessories.
- The bikes and characters almost but not quite make up for the price-per-mini here.
- The "operators": A kit with bases and parts for building maybe a half-dozen uniformed, battle-armored, helmeted soldiers from a single sprue.
- With a single sprue, and only a half-dozen characters, this felt like the worst value!
- The bits do seem like they'll make some great modern soldier characters, and will contribute some of the Joe "greenshirts" and "hero" characters. Sadly, much like the other Project Z kits, these parts don't really mix-and-match very well compared to Wargames Atlantic's kits, but I expect some head and weapon swaps are possible. Heads are mostly an assortment of modern helmets with radio headsets and/or night vision gear, with a couple boonie-hats and baclavas.
- Like in the survivor kits, there are (a few) loose weapons accessories in addition to the weapon-arms.
- Most of the weaponry here is divided between scoped and otherwise accessorized M-16/M-4 rifles and AK-74 style rifles (or their modern counterparts), in addition to more of those Euro-style bullpup rifles, some RPGs, an RPK machine gun or two, and a handful of rifles I couldn't quite identify (they look like maybe variations on Galil or VZ-58 rifles?) Basically, suitable for US and other modern militaries, police forces, and private contractors.
The two "zombie survivors" kits are, i think, my favorites, just for the accessories. The bikes do look cool, and the soldiers, though overpriced, will make good Joes. I don't like the price-per-mini here, though - would rather go with a Wargames Atlantic kit with accessory sprues any day!
G.I. Joe Noir:
It occurred to me over the weekend, after remembering those inexpensive Sergeant Rock action figures (who had an early Cold War theme to them), that, with the wealth of WWII armies and vehicles out there, the ealry Cold War era might have been a better place to start for a project like this, and maybe someone out there might be willing to try it:
Set in the late '40s and early '50s, the Joes face off against early Cold War Ruritanian "fifth-columnists" in a pulp-noir world of hardboiled detectives, sleazy gangsters, villainous master spies, and deadly femme-fatales, racing against time to be the first to find the MacGuffin against a backdrop of dieselpunk dystopianism and '40s and '50s era military hardware (jeeps, surplus German stuff, etc.), with a little comic-style atomic-age science fiction, two-fisted action, and horror elements tossed in for extra flavor - doomsday devices, secret formulas, crashed flying saucers, etc.
Painting everything in a suitably moody noir black-and-white is purely optional, but would earn you bonus points for style!
Illustration: "Deadlands Noir" characters by Reaper Miniatures
Illusration: a Cold War classic Soviet T-34: Just one example of the wealth of 1/48 scale model armor available out there, much of it more affordable and easier to find than 28mm and 1/56 scale armor and 3D printable models. 3D printable models and Bolt-Action wargaming figures from this era are also widely available!
Clandestine teams of '40s-era Joe and Cobra Cold Warriors fighting to see who can claim the Area 51 wreckage, or trying to secure the radioactive "Green Energy" element from the Wargames Atlantic lizard-men, or racing against time to capture the Stolen Microfilm from a brutal East Berlin crime syndicate...?
Too weird, perhaps?
I might try it out sometime anyway. If anyone else wants to give it a whirl, post some pictures of what you come up with! :)
Coming up sooner or later: "Hero" and "Villain" characters, plus Reaper Chronoscope characters mini-review....