Cobra Commander - 2017 Halloween Quickie Build

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Every year I work on a Halloween costume project, and I usually start planning my builds early in the year to figure everything out, acquire what I need, go through test builds, and so on. This year I had that all planned out with a Ash from Evil Dead 2 build. Unfortunately, this build just had problem after problem, so I made the drastic decision to change course at the last minute (2 weeks ago) for an event happening this week!

So enter Cobra Commander, something I never thought I'd be attempting in a 3 week timeframe, but here we are. :) There have been several versions of Cobra Commander over the years, but I mostly prefer the 80s helmeted look. That said, I have borrowed details from other looks, as even in the 80s they couldn't seem to decide on details... the card art, action figure, and cartoon depiction all have slightly different details and that's not even counting the hooded look!

The Helmet

The inspiration started with finding this silver faceless mask ( at Party City, which I figured this would be a perfect base. I needed a helmet to pair with it, so I went looking for a pep file or something to start me off. I ended up finding a First Order Snowtrooper helmet file that was close to what I wanted.

I did a few quick paper builds to nail down the size I wanted, and then made a few manual adjustments.


I added a little extra on the sides to wrap around my face more and conceal the sides of the face mask,


I built the helmet out of 5mm craft foam. I don't love all the visible edges and in a normal build I would have redone this, but since I'm under a time crunch it'll have to do.


I smoothed over the cracks with Dap Kwik Seal which helped a little and gave it a glossy paint job.


Not my best work as I would have preferred it be a bit more sleek and the edges less visible, but it works well with the face mask and I think it *looks* like Cobra Commander.

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The Staff

I decided I wanted a cool prop, and I know in many of the incarnations of the Commander, he has a staff with a cobra head on top. I thought this was a cool item so I set out to make one of my own. First, I had to decide how I wanted it to look. Since there is no true 'canon' version of this, I took elements from several I liked and came up with my own design. This one ( and this Sideshow scepter (

I decided I would make this out of PVC pipe and foam, as they are lightweight and easy to work with. I started with a Schedule 40 Pressure PVC 3/4" Condensate P-Trap, which was under $3 and had the exact shape I wanted for my cobra head.


I also picked a 1/2" PVC pipe as the staff (as the 3/4" pipe was a bit bulkier than I wanted) and bought all the connectors I needed to make the two fit together.

I began by cutting down the top piece a bit and cutting out foam layers from 2mm craft foam.


These would be glued down to form the 'belly' of the cobra.


After a few attempts with paper and scrap foam pieces, I settled on a shape for the cobra's back piece. I used 5mm craft foam. I also cut out a head shape as well, out of kid's floor mat foam.


I glued these pieces along the 'spine' of the P-Trap piece.

snake5.JPG snake6.JPG

To bulk up the head, add more detail, and help hide the pipe element, I created side wing pieces for the front out of the kid's floor mat foam. I enhanced the details on the front and glued them in place.

snake7.JPG snake8.JPG snake9.JPG

After debating on whether I wanted a closed or open mouth, I ended up just going with the closed version as I couldn't quite get the open mouth to look how I wanted. After a few tries, I got the shape I wanted out of 3mm foam. I also added a decorative piece below the cobra head to hide the PVC joints. I made a wrap of 5mm foam, cut in lines and blasted it with heat gun to define them.
snake10.JPG snake11.JPG

Once it was all put together, I covered it with gold spray paint and added red rhinestones to the eyes.

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I'm very happy with how the staff turned out, especially since I was completely winging it!

More to come!


Active Member
On to...

The Gun

I wanted to recreate the classic gun he carries. Here is the shot of the original: 4172245dba134fc983136034df22cb94--cobra-commander-awesome-toys.jpg

I also found this draft of the original design which I used as inspiration: gb_cc_gun01_72blog.jpg

I started off with a thin piece of PVC pipe I had lying around. I also had some pipe insulation around from last year's xenomorph build, so I used that for the barrel pieces, wrapping then with duct tape so I could glue things on them without them melting away.


I added the tip detail with a EVA Foam circle and a water bottle cap.


I cut out three layers of EVA foam to form the back section. I left a hole for the PVC in the middle (white) piece, but also scooped out a channel in each of the adjoining pieces as the PVC pipe was a bit wider than the foam layers. Note 1 - The middle section has the trigger shape built in, so it extends out a bit further than the outer pieces there. Note 2 - I also added a ridged section around the back barrel section... this was sump pump drainage hose I had left over from my xenomorph build.


Here is a cross section of how the PVC fits into the foam pieces.


And outer piece added. Another note: I made a change to the grip section to make it a bit more sleek after seeing a newer version of the gun with that sort of grip.


I threw on some additional detail... a raised section from 5mm foam, some dowel rods, screws and some little scrapbook metal bits, plus some odd plastic circle pieces I had sitting around whose origin I'm unsure of but thought they looked cool on this.


I decided to go with a flat black paint to finish it off.

gun7.JPG gun8.JPG

It's lightweight and made completely out of items I already had sitting around, and I think it evokes the toy's gun well. I did screw up slightly and glued the barrel tip piece on a bit crooked, but oh well. :)

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