Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Exosquad LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame - G.I. Joe Custom

Presenting an Exosquad LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame Power Armor stripped and modified for  G.I. Joe action figure use.

Exosquad is a cartoon of American origin that ran for two seasons between 1993 and 1994. Unfortunately I've never seen the series and I don't believe it was ever released here in the Philippines.

But according to their wiki, Exosquad follows the exploits of Able Squad: An E-Frame (Exoskeleton Frames or Exo-Frames) enhanced military arm of the Earth Congress that becomes Earth's spearhead against the invading Neosapien Commonwealth.

The Neosapien Commonwealth is a race of what can best bed described as genetically crafted Humanoids made by humans to assist in the colonization and terraforming of Venus and Mars. Which is interesting because until 1991, no one knew if there was any "Terra" on Venus to "Form". Anyway, the Neosapiens get pissed at the abuse of the humans and revolt. Their first revolt is crushed and things are made better for them, but they rise again this time with a vengeance and a severe Adolf Hitler complex (Think Battlestar Galactica).

E-Frame pilots all use a surgically implanted neural interface that allows the pilot to "think" out most of their actions (Think Robotech as defined in the books, not in the cartoons) such as walking, running or  steering in general. Each pilot has to "plug-in" to their E-Frames to control them via a Cyber Socket at the back of their necks (Think Matrix).

This particular E-Frame is an LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame that is the preferred E-Frame of Sgt. Rita Torres, the tough, no-nonsense second in command of Able Squad who has a soft-spot for children. .

The LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame is armed with:

  • A Laser Strike Blade (Think Lightsaber) capable of cutting through any material - I assume this is emitted from the left arm. 
  • Shoulder mounted Electro Magnetic Seeking Rocket launcher with Programmable Discrimination Sequence on the LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame's right shoulder. 
  • High Pressure Grip Claw (Right arm). Sgt. Rita's LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame has a Algemon Upgrade which gives her High Pressure Grip Claw an Armor Piercing Charge Emitter turning her Grip Claw into a battering ram. 
  • Two mid-range Armor ripping missile - not sure where these are mounted
  • A dual powered wrist launcher capable of rapid firing explosive scythes (Right Arm)
  • And finally, a high-speed multi-barrel armor piercing projectile launcher on the LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame's left arm.

This particular LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame was observed for quite some time on, however I mostly ignored it because no one could 100% say whether or not G.I.Joe figures would fit in it. This is because the Exoframe action figures were only 4" tall versus the 5 3/4" G.I. Joe figures. 

I didn't really mind that it no  longer had its missiles nor the control studs at the arms where the pilot is supposed to control the arms, nor any decals (If any) either as even these could be replaced or improved on. And for PhP 450 (Roughly less than US$ 10) with free shipping, it was a small price to pay for something that could turn out to be a nice G.I. Joe Armor.

Articulation of the LD-029 Sergeant E-Frame was still quite good. The arms unfortunately rotate up and down at the shoulders and a bit at the elbows. There is no horizontal action. The legs are a bit better allowing some vertical play and some horizontal play - but quite frankly once a figure is in the cockpit, don't expect much movement from them - and the E-Frame's feet can be positioned slightly to ensure stability - though the LD-029 Sergeant E-Frame remains top-heavy.

Further happily this particular E-Frame's claw still opened and closed and the extending Armor Piercing Projectile Launcher still extended and retracted.

The bad news is that it was still a tight fit to put any G.I. Joe into the cockpit, which meant that it fell to fitting one of the female characters. My initial bet was Scarlett, but because of her pony-tail, she could not fit in the cockpit without turning her head, which left us with Lady Jaye, specifically the ball-cap-less, cleavage showing version from the Weather Dominator Battle pack (US$ 15 - 18.31 plus shipping on Amazon).

Further, the E-Frame's Cyber Jack made it impossible for any Joe to fit into the cockpit as it would not flush into the rear of the E-Frame. The figure-clip, while actually useful also hindered the entry of a G.I. Joe figure into the cockpit as it raised the figure too high. Both had to come out. Happily opening the E-Frame only required a screwdriver resulting in clear cockpit LD-029 Field Sergeant E-Frame that could accommodate Lady Jaye.

And it looks cool. Something on par with the G.I. Joe Defense Mech or the G.I. Joe Sigma Six Cobra Mantis Mech.

The only downside, is that a G.I. Joe Pilot would tend to give the LD-029 Sergeant E-Frame a waddling wider stance, but given that the E-Frame is top-heavy, that just balances is better with a trade off of "Walking ability" 

In the end, you get a cool power armor:

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