Friday, December 9, 2011

A Commander wasn't built in a day..

Generally when working up designs, there is always some trial and error. Some elements seem to fit just right from the beginning, and then some take quite a bit of revision. With this Cobra Commander, I seemed to hit on his uniform from the beginning only needing minor tweaks, but it was with the helmet that I got to work with Hasbro and IDW back and forth the most.

While I actually like each of these versions, at first Hasbro's final choice wasn't my favorite. But the longer I look at it, I completely agree with what they chose in the end.

The challenge was to keep elements of Krake's helmet, with the vents especially, and combine that with the Commander's original look and elements of IDW's previous version.

What I really liked about Antonio Fuso's IDW design with the previous Commander was the cut of the neck piece that came up to his cheek bones and then down under his chin. Then especially the two bottom fangs just adds so much for such a small detail.

The original battle helmet has the classic mirrored face plate and smooth crowned helmet.

You'd think I was more mature then to add the word balloons, but that convention photo was asking for it!

So it was a matter of incorporating each of these elements. But even in doing that I was able to come up with 3 or 4 versions to choose from.

Cobra Commander's Battle Helmet designs - 158

Hasbro chose the middle helmet on the top row. But without the raised fin.

The minor uniform tweak was to replace the belt knife with a second side arm on his left thigh. So that's about it. I did these sketches, once I heard back, I did few more helmet designs. I got approval to move foreword, then I did the turnarounds that I posted a couple days ago. Once those were approved I did the cover that I posted yesterday. All just part of the process, and it was pretty painless considering how fun the challenge was.

Cobra Commander Helmet Model sheet
Original art available for purchase!
Art is 9x12 ink on bristol board, as you see it above.
To purchase or for Questions and Comments, email me at:


  1. They kind of remind of Battle Andriod Trooper heads.

  2. Amazing design! Can't wait to get my hands on the action figure. Hasbro, make this man's vision into plastic!!!

  3. I love Fuso's design for the first CC we see in COBRA. I thought it was a brilliant departure from the classic ARAH design, but with just enough elements to harken back to it.

    I think the new design accomplishes the same thing. Although it looks closer to the iconic CC battle helmet, it also is enough of a departure to signal that this is IDW's Commander and no one else's. I think the inclusion of the new vents and the keeping of the fangs were great choices.

    I really dig the new design and hope at some point, someone at Hasbro wises up and offers a two pack of the IDW Cobra Commanders really soon!

  4. Just as long as the new helmet is a little more reinforced than the last fellow's! :)