Gaslands – Mazda RX-3 and ’65 Corvette

I was so happy with the results of my Vallejo pigment experiment that I picked up an additional pigment (dark red ochre) to use with my next two cars, a Mazda RX-3 from the Hot Wheels ‘Japan Historics’ line, and a thrifted 65 Corvette convertible. I think they look great, but let’s spend some time seeing how each of them got to where they ended up.

Hot Wheels ‘Japan Historics’ Mazda RX-3.

This car actually cost money, sort of. Almost five bucks Canadian. Which is one of the things I’m loving about Gaslands. $5cdn is an *expensive* miniature. Hahaha. I’m not sure why, but this one called to me from the rack; there would be no leaving it behind.


It got some extra exhausts and armour plating from the good ol’ pile o’ orky bitz, plus a buzzsaw ram that looks like it probably came off a Nob. That’s just a regular piece of coated copper wire connecting it to the hood (same stuff I use for pinning, I’m still working through a roll that I got about 25 years ago while going through a ‘learning about electronics’ phase as a child). The plating on the front window is actually just plastic from the car’s blisterpack, with the ‘rivets’ pressed into it from the other side. I cut the passenger seat out (1 crew means this will be a performance car), mounted the heavy machine gun from the roof, and dropped a block of engine-looking mechanical goodness into the space where the rear window used to be.


Next I cut some viewslats into the ‘windshield’ (I meant to do that before mounting it, but I was excited and got ahead of my process, haha), and glued some window screen into the side windows for a welded wire cage effect. That came out better than I expected.

I painted up the interior (I didn’t prime the RX-3 interior as I didn’t originally plan to bother with it, and wow did paint ever bead up on it at first, haha…), even though it’s almost totally hidden away behind the plated windscreen and the cage windows; gives me a sense of completedness that I don’t think I would have otherwise. It was tempting to put a driver in, and I *do* have some at this point (more on those shortly), but they’re not exactly free so I think I’ll be saving them for convertibles and other ‘open’ projects.

Next I painted up the various bits and hit the original paint job with some Vallejo Matt Varnish (just so additional weathering would have a little more to stick to, rather than that super glossy enamel finish). Citadel Reikland Fleshshade washed over everything (especially the ‘metal’ parts) and things were starting to come together. At this point I finally got a real sense of what that windshield plating would look like, and it was pleasantly close to what I’d envisioned.

Weathering time! This time I had two distinct tones of pigment (Vallejo’s Brown Iron Oxide and Dark Red Ochre) so I worked up from brown to red and then added some dust with Citadel Agrellan Earth. Ready to hit the road!

The 1965 Corvette.

The Mazda was now ready for the Gaslands, but it wasn’t the only car in the garage that week. I was also putting together a 65 Corvette. I realize most corvettes are fiberglass so the heavy rusting isn’t necessarily a logical weathering process for this guy, but then I thought, ‘who cares?’ Grin. Seriously, though, If you were taking a Corvette out into the Gaslands for a demolition death rally every couple of weeks, you’d probably have had to replace the fiberglass pretty early, right? So that’s what I’m picturing. I think this guy came out of a 49c bucket at a Duluth Goodwill.

The Corvette got some fancy upgrades in the form of a turreted heavy machine gun and some significantly heavier rear wheels. Slicks don’t seem like they’d generally be a great option for the gaslands, so I found something that felt a little more offroad. Can’t remember what they came off of, but probably either heavy equipment or the Sting Rod II. For the turret effect I just did a long pinning that I didn’t fully glue and then game the car a similar treatment to the Mazda; some paint on the modified bits, a matt varnish, and then some Reikland wash.

This car is a convertible, which meant it was going to be super obvious that it lacked a driver, so I hit the internet looking for some solutions. I decided to try a couple options, and ordered a variety of 20mm drivers, gunners and riders from Stan Johansen (the magnificent Stan packed a few extras in as well!) and dug in. I actually used a gunner for this one, and bent him a little to turn his loose standing pose into a low profile seated position. Mostly I just needed to shift the arms and head a little.

I did much of the Corvette’s rusting before putting the windshield in so that it could get really crusty where the edge of the metal met it. I also lightly sponged (‘dry-sponged’?) some of the Agrellan Earth onto it and drilled a couple bullet holes. the spiderweb cracks were just scratched into the plastic with a blade. It wasn’t until after I’d put it all together that I realized that my driver was either pretty lucky, or not the first driver of this car.

These two cars come in at about 50 cans between them, so they’re pretty much a starting team on their own. I fielded them last week alongside a little Meyer’s Manx that I haven’t done anything to, yet, in terms of modifications. Soon, perhaps. See you in the gaslands!

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2 comments

  1. vongutenboom

    Love the bullet holes and rust and dust on the corvette! I have started my car conversations for gaslands as well and I may have to do mud and dust in the wheel wells too! 😀

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