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CUSTOM REVIEW: STREET FIGHTER CAMMY
By Thomas Wheeler

In 1993, Hasbro added the characters from the popular Capcom STREET FIGHTER video game to their G.I.Joe Collection. Later on, they marketed the action figure line in conjunction with the live-action Street Fighter movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Then the movie tanked. This was especially a shame, since if the package art of certain items from the Street Fighter toy line were any indication, there was certainly the intention of adding then-new game characters CAMMY, FEI LONG, T. HAWK, and DEE-JAY to the line. And all except Fei Long had been in the movie.

Well, if Hasbro doesn't get around to it, you can always try to do it on your own.

I didn't really feel that the parts existed to successfully manage to do T. Hawk, or Fei Long, or Dee-Jay, but Cammy was another matter. I suspected I could customize a fairly successful Cammy from a Ninja Force Scarlett.

Now, unlike most standard G.I.Joe figures, most of the Ninja Force figures, including Scarlett, could not be disassembled for painting, repair, or parts-switching (which was not really necessarey here). I had to work with the figure completely assembled.

The first thing I did was trim off the ponytail. Yes, Cammy has long braids. But they're not red, and I wasn't about to try to braid something as small as Scarlett's ponytail (assuming I even knew how to braid anything, which I don't), let alone then try to paint it blonde. The one extra part I figured I could install once the figure was finished was one of the braids from a Vega figure. Same basic color, and molded plastic instead of simulated hair, and already molded as a braid.

The next step was to fashion Cammy's beret. Scarlett isn't wearing one. For this, I used a resin putty that a friend of mine provided for me. It's a special industrial grade, but really, if you want to attempt this figure on your own, any decent modeling putty that dries well should suffice. I've had fair luck with Milliputt, which should be available at any good hobby store.

A beret isn't all that hard to make. You just take a blob of the stuff, push it down on the head, shove it over a little to one side to get that slightly lopsided look of a beret, and then go around the edge with an X-Acto Knife or a toothpick or some small sculpting tool, to press the putty closer to the head, and to create a seam-like rim to the beret. Then let dry, and paint.

I decided to paint Cammy's uniform dark blue, with light blue camouflage leggings. I know that the figure commonly wears a green uniform, and her legs are bare with camouflage paint on them, but I did my Cammy this way for several reasons: #1 - If I'd left the uniform green, it would've looked too much like the Ninja Force Scarlett. #2 - The dark blue uniform with light blue leggings matched the character's appearance in the movie, which I sort of considered this figure an extension of. #3 - This Scarlett figure has always been a little -- wide in the hips. This was needed to accommodate the spring-action mechanism, but I didn't really think "bare legs" would look that good. #4 - I know from experience that trying to match the pale flesh tone of G.I.Joe figures isn't easy, and certainly isn't as easy as just using some light blue paint right out of the jar!

Painting the figure honestly wasn't as much of an ordeal as I expected. I was able to disassemble the lowerlegs, so I was able to paint the boots and leg sections separately, so Cammy's knee articulation was completely and properly painted. The parts that had to remain assembled didn't have any areas where one painted part would badly come into contact with another, and possibly rub colors off, so on the whole, the painting of the uniform went much more easily than I initialls expected. Once I reassembled the legs, I added the camouflage markings, and also put the traditional red triangle on the uniform, as well.

Painting Scarlett's red hair blonde was a bit more difficult than I anticipated. It's never easy to paint a darker color lighter. Anytime I've had to paint something blonde, or white, if it isn't a pretty light color to begin with, I know I'm going to be in for slapping several coats of paint on it to get proper coverage, and this was no exception. Finally got it, though.

The eyebrows, eyelashes, and eyes were done with an implement fairly unique to this part of the country -- a cactus needle. It holds a point, and holds paint, better than a toothpick -- although you do have to be careful when you're obtaining replacements. Some types of cacti are protected species, and there's always the chance that some eco-freak is going to see you taking a pair of pliers to the local plantlife and throw a hissy fit. For those of you outside cactus country, or just unwilling to endure such strife -- sharpen your toothpicks. :)

The end result -- a good Cammy figure that, while she might not be that close of a match for her distinctly "anime" likeness, does work well with the more "G.I.Joe-real-life" likenesses of Hasbro's Street Fighter figures. I'll admit I've never gotten around to installing any Vega-braids in the back. I'm just not entirely sure how well it would work. I think I would have to drill a very small hole in the back of the head, extract the remaining portion of the Scarlett hair, probably put the Vega braid on some sort of small plastic pin, and then glue it in place. I'm sure it can be done -- I just haven't gotten around to it, and I'd need a smaller drill bit for my Dremel than I presently have.

But overall, I am pleased with the result. I have no real idea how Hasbro would've made Cammy had they gotten around to her. But ultimately, they didn't. And I'm glad I have one as part of my Street Fighter collection, even if I had to make one myself!