The King H.I.S.S. Project
Anlaschog took almost 5 years to finish his King H.I.S.S. project. We are proud to have his detailed photo diary of the process for building this enormous custom as part of Joecustom's Custom Celebration 3.
Reason for the King HISS
Cobra has always been lacking a main battle tank with adequate troop capacity. The H.I.S.S. II was close in size and firepower, but lacked space for infantry troops. I wanted to do something about that.
Treasure in the trash
I stumbled on the base vehicle for this custom by accident. While working out in the suburbs, I saw a box of old toys sitting at the curb with a beat up GENERAL sitting on the top. I grabbed the box and took it home.
Tanks for the help
Before I realized the potential of the GENERAL's center section, I already cut off the cockpit so that I could use the rest as a stationary base . So, I bought some angle brackets and re-attached it. The side sections and the roof were cut back to get the the basic H.I.S.S. look. Parts from the Corps Tanks were used for the under-chassis, tank treads and main guns. The Corps Tank turret didn't work for this custom, since I wanted the original's twin-gun configuration. That's where the PTE Abrams came in. I modified the PTE turret to accommodate the two cannon barrels from the Corps Tanks and cut a hole into the roof for a proper fit.
The modifications continue
I wasn't happy with the treads. They weren't "H.I.S.S." enough. That was fixed by cutting up another set of tank treads and attaching them to the first set. In this configuration, however, the treads wouldn't clear the main body. I went to Walmart and bought a cheap plastic shelving unit and used one of the drawers as a spacer between the chassis and the main body. Unfortunately, this added too much height to the vehicle. I added plastic from a letter tray to make the cockpit floor (I'm still showing the cardboard template in the pic). I re-used one of the original seats but rotated it 90 degrees. The driver seat is a HAVOC gun station with a JP Jeep steering wheel.
I added the tank chassis to the first one and screwed them together and a sub-floor was added to fix my spacing issue. After the main body was connected to the two chassis, an additional one was added to either side of the main body and used as armor. The canopy is a few pieces of plastic cut to size and glued together. I replaced the original roof with the top of the Abrams because it worked better. In order to set the turret apart from the original look, I added a few pieces from a TMNT Sewer Spewer and the aft ramp was taken from the Mobile Command Center truck.
At this point I started to add more overall detail to the King H.I.S.S by using parts from the Corps Tank and a laser pointer on the turret to create a dual purpose targeting laser system as well as an enemy targeting laser scattering system.
The original secondary guns were just way too small and were replaced with the guns from the GENERAL. An old monitor stand I found at work had the perfect design two purposes: to be used for track covers and help to cover up the cosmetics on the tracks themselves. I added the Cobra Commander for some size comparison pics.
Troop carrying capabilities
Now for the troop compartment. A fitted piece of plastic was used to cover the mortar track assembly. The next step was to find adequate troop seating. And, wouldn't you know it, the one from the A.P.C. fits perfectly.
Some more plastic pieces were added to the top of the armor to clean up the lines and to serve as an end piece for the seats.
I found an old computer case and used its plastic to add to the side armor and to cover up the brackets in the compartment. The vents between the cockpit and side armor were replaced to better cover that spot.
Detail work continued
The barrels of the secondary guns were drilled out and more overall details were added to the vehicle. The pieces that covered up the brackets weren't working properly and I just removed them and left the brackets barren.
Painting and stickers
I love the prototype look.
Back in Black!
Now, with a few decals from cobrastickers.com (Thanks, Lt. )
Compared with a regular HISS
A size comparison between the King H.I.S.S and the original.
After some input from the few people that knew about this project, I added some more decals.
And for the finale, a few outdoor shots pitting some Joes with a Rhino and a Mauler against the King H.I.S.S. and Cobra Infantry.
Overall, the King H.I.S.S. took parts from: 1 GENERAL 5 Corps Tanks 3 Corps Humvees 1 A.P.C. 1 HAVOC 1 PTE Abrams 1 PTE Mobile Command Center 1 Computer Case 1 Monitor Stand 1 Laser Pointer 1 TMNT Sewer Spewer Countless misc plastic pieces
Phew. What a project. . There is a few things that I might want to improve down the line, but for right now I am very happy the way this project turned out. I want to thank the people who assisted me during the process and appreciate their input.