The origin - Some of you don't know, but Cobra de Aço was only produced in Brazil.The head is the same used on one of the good guys: Snake Eyes and the body comes from GI Joe Flash, another good fellow. It's funny that one of the coolest Cobra figures is not a "real" Hasbro creation. What's the reason why this figure has pleased the fans so much? Well, it's easy to know only looking at it. It's incredibly cool starting with it's name. The Estrela team was really inspired that day. When I've got my first small Joes I was really impressed, until that moment I only knew Star Wars. They were great, and the number of joints in such small figures was amazing! And in every new series came even more articulated, more detailed and with more equipment attached. The "profile" sheet behind the chart completed the perfect figure. When Estrela released Falcon again, back in 1994 I instantly though that we would have a 12 inch Cobra de Aço among the enemies. Unfortunately it didn't happen. Since I started with the website I have been thinking in something special to present you and what would be more special than a 12 inches Cobra de Aço?
LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN COBRA DE AÇO! Let's begin with the easiest part, the head - Use a head that you won't miss and which has a good fitting. I used a Power Team Peacekeepers one. Place the head in a cup with water recently boiled, during one minute. Cut the hair off using a modeler's knife, wait it dry and fix the head on the body, filling in with epoxy putty.
THE MASK - Now it's time to make the hood. Prepare once more a little portion of epoxy putty and make a flat and uniform soccer, as a pizza. Calculate the correct quantity necessary to cover the whole head.
Use some object similar to a roll for a uniform distribution. Keep your hands wet all the time, this way it won't stick on your hand and keep the putty smooth. Apply it over the head but don't press the putty, be gentle.
SCULPTING - Keep in mind that the head must look as a mask. Think about the Spider man mask. It's not marked by the expressions of the face but it's also not loose. Take a look on the head from all angles to check if there are no imperfections and wet it for the finishing. Take special care to don't let your fingerprints on the putty. When you're sure it's done, get the visor. If you don't have a spare visor in hands you can try to get it from an old toy or ask a friend. There are a lot of very cheap parts at the flea market too. Align the visor by the nose, take a long breath, and fix it. Press a little bit to fix it properly but don't deform what was sculpted. Carefully check it to be sure that's not twisted after make the nose's holes. Remember that the epoxy putty dries up in two hours, so don't take too long. In one hour it will be already hard to handle.
PAINTING - Wait 12 hours for the complete cure. If everything is right and your little brother didn't destroyed the head, let's continue. Use a very soft sandpaper only to remove the little grains and imperfections. When it's done, prepare yourself for the painting. I used Tamya's Bright Silver spray. When painting, don't get the can closer than 10 inches to avoid runs. Paint the head and hands carefully. Let it dry for a few hours and apply a second layer until you get head and hands well covered.
CLOTHING - To make this overall you can use an old one from other figure. In Brazil, there's a perfect one from the Força de Ataque collection. Now, use clothes tingeing paint to tinge it black. Boil it in a pot for 15 minutes (ask help to an adult if you under 13), wait it dry and wash the coverall in flowing water. When the black residual paint stops to flow, hang it on the shaft. In the side pictures we have the dry tinged overall, ready to be used. don't let the overall boiling more than 15 minutes or it shrinks, ok?
DRAWING TIME - Let's go now to a little more difficult part: the badges. You gonna need a good drawing software in order to make them. I use Corel Draw. It's plenty of tools and it's very well known.
What's good about this software is that it's used by many professional printing shops, so, if you don't have a good printer you can bring the file there and get a good quality printing. To make the Cobra symbol I used a photo and with the node edit tool I made it all over again. It's a lot of work but in the other hand you can change colors and modify parts as well. The other parts were drawn also using sizes of the same figure as reference. To give the shield looking I stuck the drawing on anti-skid fabric. You can find this kind of material on fabric stores. Buy a neutral color, as grey for example.
FINALIZING - It's always good to make a sample before the high-resolution final printing. In the right picture we can already have a good idea of how the figure is going to be. If the sizes are correct, it's time to finish the work. I've used brown synthetic leather to make the bracelets and a very thin masking tape to close them. At this moment I'm using gel superglue. It's more expensive but you can avoid wastes. To fix the yellow shield I've used the synthetic leather too. I wanted to give it a looking of knee protectors. At this point the figure is almost done, use a little silver enamel to paint the bracelets. Take care: don't use spray this time, buy a little paint bottle.
NOW IT'S PIECE OF CAKE! - Thank God, we're plenty of 12" scale weapons. The Peacekeepers collection comes with perfect suits and accessories. The belt with the knife and gun is from this line. The backpack is from GiJoe Hall of Fame. The modified machine gun is GI Joe. The rope that fixes the weapon to the backpack is a black elastic band. You don't necessarily need to use that same equipment. There are many ways to make figures, this is just one of them.
SHOW YOUR WORK - To finish up, I've decided to make a reference to the original small Cobra de Aço chart. The Falcon's package drawings were very good, as long as the Comandos em Ação too. In order to reproduce the explosion I've used special paper bonded to a hard brown card. I've used many orange, yellow, red, purple and white shades in order to create a luminously atmosphere. On the ground, a little portion of black garden sand.