Saturday, 30 July 2016

GI Joe Resurgence 3 - Cobra Mountain w. Cobra Commander, Dr Mindbender and More

Cobra Mountain by Oreobuilder
"The ultimate COBRA fortress lies deep within a mountain! COBRA MOUNTAIN is a huge base for planning attacks against Joe!
- Six levels of play!
- Repair and fuel your COBRA vehicles in the Motor Pool!
- Launch the rocket with lights and sounds against Joe targets from the Command and Control Deck!!
- Build and repair COBRA BATS with realistic equipment in the lab!
- Launch FANGS, CLAWS and Heli-Vipers from the Aerodrome!
- Stockpile weapons ad supplies in the armory!
- Capture GI JOE prisoners in the brig!
- Command COBRA's legions from throne room!
- Defend from JOE attacks with the defense turrets and the Anti-Aircraft missile launcher!
- Post sentries on the rocky ramparts!
- Playset is over 4 and 1/2 feet tall!

Packaging by Sam Panico


Motor Pool and Rocket Silo

Command and Control


Aerodrome and Weapons Locker


Throne Room

This project has been on my drawing board for years. As a kid, I used to love little green army men. I must have had over 100 as well as a bunch tanks, artillery, planes and other assorted vehicles. However, the centerpiece of all my battles was a huge cardboard mountain fortress. On the inside, the base had several levels, a central elevator and openings and balconies to the outside. I remember positioning canons and troops all over the place. That "mountain" was used in so many battles.

The last few years, I have been thinking of ways of recreating this mountain for Joes. I could not figure out how to build it. I knew what I wanted it to look like. I needed to figure out how to make it sturdy, yet relatively light. I also did not want to spend a small fortune on materials. I looked into several building techniques and materials. I settled on the simplest that I could find - foam board for the structure and pink insulating foam for the rock.

My goal was not to make the most real-life diorama possible, but to approach it as an actual playset that could be found in a Sears Christmas catalog in the '80s. This "doll house" approach explains why there are not a bunch of elevators and technical areas. I focused on areas that would be fun to play in or display figures (or in my case, be useful as future photo backgrounds). All in all, it did not turn out exactly as I imagined (creative projects seldom do), but I'm very happy with it and it is a project that I will continue to tweak and add on to as I need to for future use.

Structure: foam board
Rocks: pink insulation foam, sculpted and painted
Rocket: Playmobil 6195
Everything else: bits of fodder, accessories from parts bins and lots accumulated over several years.

Techno-Viper by Oreobuilder
Once I finally committed to building the Cobra Mountain Playset, I wanted to include a bunch of figures with it. Through my 8 year old-eyes, I imagined that if such a set were ever released, it would include a lot of cool stuff with it. Techno-Vipers immediately came to mind as troopers that would be present in major Cobra installations. The Star Brigade version of the Techno-Viper was an obvious choice. They could repair vehicles in the motor pool, maintain the base and the rocket and work in the lab.

Filecard by Sam Panico

All: 30th Techno-Viper

Dr Mindbender by Dusty79
Ever since the GIJCC released the Arctic Dr. Mindbender with the new head sculpt, I've been on a Mindbender kick. When I saw that OB was building a Cobra Mountain Playset, complete with a lab, I volunteered to make a new version of Dr. Mindbender. He was planned to ship to Canada to be with the playset, but time and Canadian postal workers strike issues prevented that. He was designed with an apparatus allowing him to plug into his computer system via his spinal cord to control his experiments precisely and with incredible speed. I attempted to make him a fresh take while still retaining those properties we see as classic Mindbender.

Filecard by Sam Panico

Head: GIJCC Mindbender
Torso, arms: 30th Zandar
Webgear: 25th Cobra Trooper + 30th Zombie Viper
Legs: Crimson Horsemen
Cape: Cut from a Marvel figure coat

Chrysopelea by bucky
Throughout the three years of Resurgence projects, I've kept a bin that holds various pieces and parts that I feel might come in handy down the road. I just about emptied this bin for the last round, one of the pieces in there was this swamp viper head that I've been trying to figure out what to do with. I saw a similar custom on Facebook late last year and the idea was born to make a Star Viper, as the story for Resurgence 3 was going to include a space theme/rocket ship.

Filecard by Sam Panico

Head: Swamp Viper
Rest: RoC Dr. Lewis

Cobra Commander by bucky
I couldn't pass up making a custom Cobra Commander once I realized how well that head sits on that torso without the collar. The WIP sat around for a couple of years, through all of Resurgence 2, when I decided to give it a second look for Part 3. He went through several different lowers until I went with the Red Skull look. The blue's on the arm and the Tamiya field blue were almost a dead on match, that left me with a figure that doesn't chip in the shoulders, a huge plus.

Filecard by Sam Panico

Head: Ultimate Cobra Commander
Torso: Renegades Cobra Commander
Arms: Red Skull
Legs: Strato-Viper
Skirt: Red Skull with Custom Belt

Next: We wrap up the project with our line catalogs…     


  1. Best playlet ever!

    I wish I could buy one of these.

    1. Thanks! This was a labour of love on my part. I wish Gi Joe and other toy lines had more big playsets like this.