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Customizing: HM Armed Forces Jackal Update

It’s still hot as all hell out here in the Mountain West, but I can feel fall coming. So it’s time to start clearing off some Summer projects and get ready for some new stuff!

When we last saw this vehicle, it was a pretty accurate representation of a British WMIK attack vehicle, mostly appropriately scaled to the 10-inch-ish Action Man-style soldiers it’s intended for. It actually scales really well with Mego or 8-inch figures like the Sigma Six line. I had found some pics one of the HissTank guys posted years ago, but sadly those have been lost to what we’ll now call “The Great Photobucket Purge of ’17.” Still, if you want a better idea of where we started, come on back here.

For 6-inch, this vehicle was obviously huge, and I struggled with what to do with it for a long time. Oddly enough, I kept thinking of the classic APC from the Aliens franchise, but going from an open-air desert recon-style vehicle to an enclosed heavy-armored troop carrier is a big jump.

This did get me on the right track, though. There was going to be very little in the real world I could equate the Jackal to, so that inevitably freed me up to just design something of my own. Not unlike how the G.I. Joe R.H.I.N.O. borrowed heavily from the APC design, as it turns out.

For starters, sorry, my UK fam, but I had to turn it into a left-seat driver. This was done in truly unglorious fashion — I just pulled the dash out of the right side and glued it to the left. The asymmetrical layout of the front of the vehicle was a blessing in disguise — I didn’t need a uniform “cab” to it, I could use whatever I had laying around.

What that ended up being was a leftover windshield from an Iron Man coupe, and a ballistic shield from a Chap Mei set. I set the windshield into place in front of the dash, hid the screw holes, and then chopped the shield to where it fit the nice raised section of the new passenger side well.

It needed a little more crew protection for the front seaters, though. I took some spare hinges, and a bunch of styrene, and made two separate roof panels pretty much out of scraps. Both hinges were just glued behind the original Jackal cabin’s headrests, since they sat much higher than my figures anyway. In true military fashion, no flat space should ever go to waste, so I took one of the spare tires off the side to mount on the driver side, and some dig-out gear for the passenger side.

I liked the idea of just repurposed bolted on armor for a custom Joe mount. I tried to think about what somebody like Clutch could’ve cobbled together in the motorpool. I found some practically ancient armor sides from a 21st Century Bradley 1:18 vehicle, and thought that fit the motif well enough, and added some much needed protection to the crew section, as well as some side protection for the cab.The push bar I think came from a 1:6 Joe vehicle, no doubt something I found at the Thrift shop.

Armament was the big one. I needed big and imposing (but not stupid), and they really don’t come much better than the .50cal deck gun from the McFarlane Military line. I picked one up cheap a few years back, and had been waiting for an excuse to use it somewhere.

I modified the mount to fit up with the ring mount on the Jackal, so it can still rotate, as well as pivot on the pintle. As a McFarlane piece (from his better days), the .50 opens at the breach, and has great armor front plating and ammo storage. Of course, I had to cheat inside the gunner cabin, and add a plastic crate for the gunner to stand on, so he has at least some field of view. For troops hitching a ride, the lower standing is good, as it offers them some protection behind the Bradley plates. Lastly, some OD matte green and some mud, with a little silver on the rollcage and pushbar, and the ever classic Joe vehicle stickers made this one to call “done.”

All in all, it’s very easy to load this thing up with a sizeable fighting crew. The rear deck is large enough for a couple guys to hop on, and the gunner cabin can easily hold two other soldiers, in addition to a gunner. The front cabin is still pretty large, but this means my fully-laden Joes can fit in there without having to be geared-down, which is a big plus when trying not to lose stuff. The final look is maybe something akin to the Rhino/APC dumbed down to a more grunt-level, with less doors and cover, but it might make up for that in speed and traversing ability.

So did I evoke a decent Joe vehicle, or did I butcher a perfectly good British one? Let me know what you think, and I’ll be back hopefully soon with some new Big-Ass Vehicle projects for the fall.

4 thoughts on “Customizing: HM Armed Forces Jackal Update

  1. It looks better than Joe to me. It’s a military vehicle for a conflict we haven’t been in yet! That’s the the vibe I’m getting. All very familiar, and a little too real. Superb!

  2. Quality custom figures and vehicles such as these should serve as a reminder to all of us when it comes to raising the bar and holding toy companies to a much higher standard. Fans are demanding greater quality with advanced articulation and realistic details. Some retailers need to understand that we the buyers are insulted and ignored when they choose to only stock low-end figures intended for 5 year old children. As Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series and Marvel Legends series have proven, even kids expect greater detail and quality than ever before.

  3. Dude. The vehicle looks outstanding, but my eye keeps getting drawn to the FIGURES! Incredible stuff! Are the uniforms scratch-built, or did you get them from some other figures? I need to see more on the figures: How you made them, the inspiration behind them, comparison photos with other 6 inch figures, and anything else you’d like to share about them.

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