Cowboy Special Forces Afghanistan

Special Forces - Cowboy - Northern Afghanistan

2002 Afghanistan, The United States has begun it's war on terrorism. At the fore-front of this fight is the Special Forces. Operating in remote locations in the far regions of Afghanistan hunting down and destroying al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The Green Berets adapt to their new battlefield and grow beards to emulate the local customs as they bring the fight to the enemy. These spartan equipped warriors enter in a place dominated by warfare for centuries.

Special Forces

The most distinctive part of cowboy is the big beard. While there were sculpted beards or fuzzy beards from the first GI Joe lines, I did a little experimenting with trying rooting hair for a beard. Having worked with faux fur before on the Snow Serpent action figure, I knew this would require something a little different.

Special Forces Special Forces
Commando on the Radio

As with most subjects the key is finding a good subject and doing research finding every piece of gear. Once a gear list is collected it can be matched against what is available in 1/6 scale, how many variations there are and what needs to be scratchbuilt.

Special Forces

This is the original picture from Life magazine: "TALOQUAN, NORTHERN AFGHANISTAN - U.S. Army Special Forces soldier nicknamed 'Cowboy' secures an airstrip during an operation August 28, 2002 in the town of Taloquan in Northern Afghanistan. U.S. Special Forces have recently begun to step up their presence in Northern Afghanistan to more aggressively pursue possible al Qaeda and Taliban fugitives they believe to be operating in the region." Photo: Scott Nelson/Getty Images

Afghanistan Special Forces Beard Special Forces Cowboy in Afghanistan
Matching the correct gear to the reference images and making custom parts for what isn't available.

Cowboy won first place in the 2009 Weekend of Heroes Modern action figures competition.

The same images from the war were likely the inspiration for the cover of Medal of Honor: Modern Warfare 2.

Special Forces Special Forces in Afghanistan Scale Suunto M-9 Compass Watch

A close up of the custom compass wrist watch to match the model worn by the actual special forces soldier "Cowboy".

Cowboy is somewhat of an unknown whose photos showed up online where he gained an iconic status as one tough looking dude with a beard that looks tougher than kevlar. For the beard I used rabbit fur applied a little at a time to a bbi headsculpt and built it up until it was full. I added a few other unique pieces of gear like an antler bowie knife and wrist compass but this figure did not need all that much in the way of gear and accessories and still looks mighty mean.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
—Thomas Jefferson