For this project I wanted to re-imagine the G.I. Joe Mobile Command Center with a more practical/modern design.
Guy Cassaday designed the original MCC and it was released as part of the 1987 series of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero. It actually has a bunch of really cool play features. It has a maintenance bay with a crane and a spare engine from the 1985 A.W.E. Striker, a helipad, a brig cell that raises and lowers into place, med-bay, computer banks, and a command center with a transparent control board. All of this, fold up into a moving tower bristling with missiles. All of these things are also really easy for a kid to get at. It’s big, it’s tall, it holds a ton of figures and is pretty awesome.
But if you were to look at it from a real world stand point it has some limitations. It’s mammoth size could prove to be an issue. It would be far too large to load on an aircraft, so if you ever had to cross a body of water you’d have to do it by a large transport ship/barge. The size and low ground clearance is also an issue for navigating terrain. It can’t move that fast either, it’s huge, so you’d have a long deployment time.
So in thinking about the role of the MCC and how a real life platform for that type of mission might look, I sis some research in to the types of Mobile Command and Control vehicles the US military uses. The one that jumped out at me the most was the USAF’s Boeing E-4 “Nightwatch” aircraft. It fills the roles of the MCC in a more versatile and maneuverable platform. Heck you wouldn’t even have to land it to fulfill most missions, you can just circle the combat zone. I should also mention that I have a slight obsession with large airplanes. I flew on a Boeing 747 once as a kid and it’s overwhelming size was something that stuck with the rest of my life.
So at this point I had decided that I wanted a 747-8i (largest & newest variant) in the vain of the E-4 for my updated MCC. The next step was to “G.I. Joe-it” up. I re-skinned the aircraft in angled panels to help deflect small arms fire. This had the added bonus of giving the plane some hard lines that called back to the original MCC. I put some angled cowls around the engine intakes to keep this theme going. Then I started reading up on every cancelled or in-use variant of the 747 ever dreamed up, and took what I liked from each one. I added stabilizes to the wing tips, fuel boom, cargo doors, aircraft mounts, anything I thought i could squeeze in.
I also envisioned a system of specialized “mission pods” that could be swamped out for any particular mission. To move them and the plane around I sketched out a tug/cargo loader to move freight and help the aircraft taxi. In the spirit of Joe I made sure to add a pair of big swinging cannons on the back and a motorized winch. For the color on the tug I went with a yellow reminiscent of the maintenance crane from the MCC for another callback. And to finish it all up I added hard points for Missiles or fuel tanks. It has a bunch of other details you can read on the image.
Now this concept wouldn’t really work for a toy, especial not at a 4″ scale. It would be way too big, and the play features would be too bulky/hard to get at. But I think it’s a sold set piece for related fiction. Imagine the Joes launching a mission from this in a live action movie, or animated series, or comic book, or even maybe someday a video game. It would be an awesome flying fortress that can pick up and movie anywhere around the world at a moments notice. But I think the shear size, hard lines, and colors work as a nice homage to the original MCC, just with wings this time.
So now that I’ve written you a book about it, please let me know what you think in the commend below, and don’t for get to “like” my professional Facebook page at www.facebook.com/troymckiedesi… and at my homepage TROYMcKIE.com. And as always thanks for looking!
In fact, there have been many redesigns of classic vehicles to this day. Two that spring to mind are the Rolling Thunder (fan made), and the Havoc (which briefly appeared in an issue of the Devil's Due series).
As far as your design is concerned, I think it's an excellent idea. Just don't be too sure about not being able to make a toy of it. From what I've seen of the actual Boeing E-4 accessibility might be as easy as a removable top. And size, well, do you remember the USS Flagg? If I remember right, that thing was 7-feet long!