Research and Ideation (or Sketching)
This "Commando or Trooper" illustration was signed and dated September 2nd, 1981 by Ron Rudat. Ron labeled a grenade launcher on his chest, piano wire on his right upper arm, a bayonet on his left thigh, and a modified Russian Dragunov (sniper rifle). We can assume that the rounds on his left upper arm fit the grenade launcher. The piano wire is commonly referred to as a garrote, and is used to strangle or cut into the neck of his adversary, slicing through the carotid arteries. This silent and deadly weapon is often used in situations where stealth is paramount.
Kirk Bozigian (G.I. Joe Product Manager) and Ron Rudat (R&D Figure Designer) discuss how the idea for a ruthless terrorist organization known as Cobra came to be, designing the figures, and the wildly successful Cobra Commander promotion.
Unadorned Package Art
The painting above was created by Coleman, Lipuma, Segal & Morrill, Inc. (CLS&M) with art direction by Ed Morrill and illustration by Hector Garrido.