Another Death Race this week. Decided to run 50pts this time instead of 60 to put a little more crunch into the build process. B brought a truck and a buggy, both tricked out with turreted HMGs and extra armour. I brought a performance car and a buggy with lesser armaments but more tricks. Big Tires, Hell for Leather, lots of nitrous, all sponsored by Idris.
I was right fast, but messy as hell. He was slower but a lot cleaner.
I started with a pair of Hell for Leather induced Long/Slide/Spins. Bad news hazard-wise, but got me an early jump and a couple audience votes.
I followed up with a similar second phase (long/slide/spin for the Road Runner and a clumsy nitrous boost for the Manx), but both cars ended up wiping out. Even with the Big Tires, the treacherous terrain put me up over the line.
I used my 4 audience votes to pop both cars into 3rd and keep going. Decent plan for the buggy (it got itself back into the race), but a stupid mistake for the Road Runner. Its best option was a 3rd gear hairpin through that treacherous terrain, and the dice were not on my side. It wiped out again, flipping this time for some extra distance.
The Manx managed to gain a little ground without crashing into his teammate, but that was about it. We were both rolling pretty terribly during this match. B’s truck and buggy continued to prove the value of slow and steady.
The Manx wiped out again, but not before covering a decent bit of distance. This time it was its turn to flip for an extra few inches.
This bright is to the end of Turn 1; B’s team also had some bad rolls and neither got out of 4th gear.
Snapped that photo a little early, apparently, so I added the Manx’s movement. It tucked nicely into the high – risk shortcut that I built into the second corner (I put one of these in the first game I played with C, and it made for some hilarious levels of mayhem).
The Road Runner’s reverse turn fell apart when I misjudged the size of the slide template and wound up sitting next to a bunch of exploding barrels. My spin would no longer get me where I needed to be, so instead I used it to line up a shot. Now I’d be going into the 2nd phase still facing the wrong way.
The Manx cleared the shortcut, but wiped out in the process. The Road Runner got in a ram, but at this point was surrounded by turreted HMGs that were starting to come on line as they crossed that first gate.
At this point the Manx was stuck in first and the Road Runner was taken apart by multiple HMGs. B’s truck and buggy continued their advance.
Further sitting for the Manx, and B’s cars/HMGs drew ever closer. They were still in 4th gear, so this brought Turn 2 to a close.
This is it, my bitter end. Forward wasn’t an option this time and even a short reverse left me in the turret-path of B’s advancing buggy. He told some 6’s, and I didn’t. With only the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, so this was the game.
That’s two Idris losses in a row for me. I think I’m getting overly hung up on trying to maximize certain aspects while ignoring other factors. Hell for Leather is certainly a way to generate Idris audience votes, but a bike can do the same thing for the same points, and is a whole extra vehicle. An HFL monster truck can use it to more easily trample/clear other vehicles, but cars are just getting a couple of template boosts. The free shift results coming out of the medium template are probably worth using it instead (I was picking up so many hazards I ended up using all my votes just to stay in the game anyway).
Weapons are the other issue here. I wanted more points for perks, so I avoided turreting any weapons, but I was so far ahead that my front facing HMG was generally useless and it was hard to find a good opportunity to drop caltrops.
I’ll have to give some more thought to future builds. The Manx wasn’t bad (although the HFL points would be better spent elsewhere) but the Road Runner was pretty much a hodgepodge of mismatched ideas (admittedly I just wanted to field that build because I like how it looks, which might not have been a very strategic plan, haha).
Until next time, here’s a final shot of this crew:
My latest start-to-finish project is a Hot Wheels Meyers Manx. It’s actually my second Manx; the first I left pretty much stock.
Other than popping some Stan Johansen figures into it, I haven’t done much. I expect I’ll paint the figures (and seats) at some point, but I don’t expect I’ll do much beyond that. It looks fun as is, so why change anything?
The new one was a little beat up, with the roll bar missing and the windshield broken so it seemed like a great opportunity to go nuts. What better place to start than a wheel swap?
The wheels came off a Matchbox MBX 4×4 with ‘Panthera Trackers’ emblazoned across the hood. It will become a wreck. Obviously there was no way those wheels were going to fit in the original slots. Not only were the wheel wells too shallow, but I had to alter the wheelbase as well; I opted to cut new slots on the outside with a hacksaw.
This let me keep the axles intact. They nestled into place quite well, and I used some green stuff to secure them afterwards.
I also added a bit of plating to cover the windshield gap and the missing roll bar, and gave the car a matt varnish in preparation for painting. Primer followed close behind.
For crew I used a couple of Ramshackle miniatures. I’m not a huge fan of the resin he uses (it’s very brittle and I found it more awkward to work with than other resins), but apparently it’s one of the reasons he can keep his prices as low as they are, so I’ll make do. They looked pretty decent once they were painted up, especially considering how tiny they are. There’s not a lot of room in the Manx; I actually had to trim some of the dashboard off in addition to the steering wheel, just to get the driver to fit. Had to trim his steering wheel back as well.
I also added some extra exhausts to the car (they came off some weird little dollar-store-looking garbage car that I got in a thrift baggie). I almost added an oversized engine block poking through the hood before I remembered the engine is in the back. The car itself got a Vallejo Turquoise paint job (no idea why I bother, haha), and a combo of GW’s Agrax and Reikland are used for a wash layer. Looked pretty rough at that point, but I was planning to rust this one pretty heavily so it wouldn’t be a big issue in the long run.
Look at these little monsters!
This brought me to the rust/dirt portion of the project. Some matt medium mixed with my favourite Vallejo pigments, followed with some of GW’s Agrellan Earth for dirt and dust, and we’re ready to go!
And for easy comparison, here’s a before and after using a stock photo; in really happy with how this little fellow turned out. Manx II is ready to rumble!
Thought I’d try some new options last night, and took a car, a bike, and a monster truck up against B’s truck and car. I brought a couple of rams and some perks; he brought turret-mounted rockets and HMGs.
Things got messy real fast. His pickup (Optimus) made a quick left to try and get away from my monster truck, but Wile E there gunned it over the car and slid into Optimus anyway (3 cheers for Hell for Leather).
The first half of the race was definitely going well for me. I was setting a solid pace and leaving Optimus and Ecto far behind. Probably should have been a lock but I made a couple of big errors that got me torn apart. The first was that I tried to put my car into too sharp a turn while in 4th gear; the Medium template B handed me in combination with a bad skid check left my car sliding right off the course.
A short while after that I forgot how fragile Bikes are and let myself wipe out in a high gear with only 2 bull points remaining. I had the shift dice available to drop into second, but didn’t think about that until after our already resolved everything. Sure enough, the Bike flipped and wrecked, leaving only poor Wile E to try and finish the race.
Unfortunately the track put him in range of Optimus right as the pickup cleared the first gate, and my poor Monster Truck was pummeled by rockets taking 5 damage, reducing him to 4 remaining hull points. I tried using audience votes to drown Optimus in hazards (he was a half inch from hitting a fence) but his Thunderous Applause cleared him completely, and I couldn’t get far enough away in time to prevent my taking another barrage of rocket fire.
Since it was just the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, and called the game in B’s favour since I was out of cars. Till next time!
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!
In the interest of making sweet rusty post-apocalyptic death machines, I decided to pick up and try one of Vallejo’s pigments. Snagged brown oxide to start and just used it as a final coat on my Cobra Daytona, having used various reds and browns first and feeling like it just wasn’t crusty enough. The Cobra got primed and painted purple before I started with the rust effects, although it was probably not super necessary, given how much rust and dirt I put onto it.
This car was among my first real modifications. I’d already done a bunch of Gaslands cars (see my previous post) but most of those just involved gluing stuff to the exterior. For this one I drilled the rivets out so that I could get everything apart. I cut the passenger seat out of the interior and mounted the gun to the roof, and I used bolt cutters to trim the rear wheel wells, making them big enough to tuck the wheels from a Space Marine bike into them. The wheels got drilled a little off center so I could pin them into place without worrying about increasing the rear of the chassis to move the whole axle.
The ‘windscreen’ is a piece of a ladder, the wheel spikes are old skaven shield decorations, and the rest is mostly a hodge-podge of ork and imperial bits. My favourite is probably the tabard turned into driver’s side window shielding, but I haven’t had any luck finding more similar bits so far.
I cleaned up all the mold lines (probably could have done that pre-photo, but meh), and settled into the painting process. My favourite brush-on primer (take that, old man winter!), and then the car got a purple basecoat, with Vallejo Oily Steel on the ‘metal’ parts. A heavy wash of Citadel Reikland Fleshshade to give it its first rusty tinge, and then a few shades of deep dirty red (Vallejo Burnt Cadmium was the main one here). I painted up the interior while I had everything open, as I planned to enter this into the local shop’s Modern/SciFi miniature painting contest and wanted to cover all the little details just in case. I was feeling pretty good about it at this point, and was ready to get [c]rusty!
I just had the one pigment for this car, but got pretty liberal with it, leaving it pretty thick and dabbing it roughly into place with an old brush that will probably serve this purpose to the end of its days now. Finally, I added some dirt in the form of some inherited Citadel Agrellan Earth (?) technical paint.
I particularly like that armour plating on the passenger side.
Next I needed something to use as a base. Gaslands doesn’t require bases, but the aforementioned painting contest has basing points, so I put some cracked highway together. I broke up a piece of corkboard and glued it to a plastic sheet, then glued some sand into the gaps and painted it brown. The cork got a grey plus drybrush and my quick and dirty asphalt was practically complete. Thinking I’ll do up some bigger chunks to use as actual terrain, perhaps with the plastic extending out further so I can make a bevelled dirt zone on each side…
And voila! The Cobra Daytona is ready to rock the Gaslands!
I definitely liked working with the pigment, and have since purchased an additional one. Looking at these zoomed pictures I feel like my transitions could use some work, but I think part of that is just having the one pigment to work with. We’ll see what happens next time…
I have more time for hobbies these days, but I keep using them for hobbies, and not for writing about hobbies. Also, M gave me a PS4 for Christmas and Horizon Zero Dawn is amazing! Grin. So that’s a factor. And finally, while I haven’t posted in a while, it might be in part because one of the blogs I occasionally check out introduced me to Gaslands. Post-apocalyptic death races played out using modified toy cars. I’ve played two games now, and I’m hooked (although, let’s be honest, I was 70% hooked before I’d ever laid template to mat). But let’s start at the beginning.
As I said, I saw mention of Gaslands on Steinberg Shed Space and immediately got excited about the concept. A fresh new Car Wars? Already scaled for Hot Wheels? I decided I should at least try to find somebody else to try it out, so I don’t just end up painting a bunch of models and never using them (fingers crossed, Saga! one of these days!). I outlined the basic concept to my friend CP, she was immediately sold on the idea, and so I ordered 2 books instead of one. I hit up the downloads section of gaslands.com and started putting some cars together based on the rudimentary knowledge I could glean from the build side of the quick reference card.
I selected the Gaslands rulebook as my staff pick at work (picking a gamebook seemed weird, but what the hey), and then I built some more.
I’ve raided the bits bins at the local shop a few times to bulk out my own bits supply now, and eventually our books arrived. I read through it and we set a date for our first test game.
We were now both totally committed to this one. CP had live-posted her way through our game (those are some of her black and white photos above) and netted us a whole pile of additional interest, along with a number of admirers for my modified taco truck. People started asking about it, and now we’ve got a 16-member facebook page for local players… which brought me to my second game; Demo Night at the shop.
Had 4 people take part in the first stage of a race, and several more checked it out and asked questions; I’ll probably do at least one more demo session before we set up a regular Gaslands night. I broke my various builds down into several 50-can teams of 2 cars each so that people could play before having to build anything, but everybody that played was similarly pumped about the building part of it, and so everybody had cars ready to go. I only took one picture (one of these days I’ll improve!); it’s pretty much the second shift phase of the game. Note to self, don’t make people corner right away.
The hobby time that I’ve spent lately has mostly been building, with a little painting mixed in, but I think I’m going to make that into a post of it’s own.
First two Freebooter Amazons to be painted will be one of the Atl-Atl pair, and Occepa; today I’ll be focusing on the former. I expect Occepa’s crocodile armour will take a bit more time and energy and I wanted to get one of these finished for this month’s Paint the Thunder painting competition, so Atl-Atl #1 will be painted first.
Initially I was thinking I’d work on them simultaneously, so the base flesh coat can be seen here on both of them.
I’m making use of Vallejo’s Red Leather quite a bit for the armour on this one; I’m a big fan of the colour and use it a lot, which I like to think has the unintended side-effect of bringing my warbands together. Like they all shop at the same armourer, haha. My minor focus on Frostgrave over the last year or so has resulted in me having more varieties of blue than in most other colours, so I’ll be making use of those as well. I also just really like using the blues; they generally look pretty good on most models, and seem like a colour set that’s not impossible in a fantasy setting. Of course, in a fantasy setting, I suppose *any* colour is reasonable… you just need to tailor the setting to provide the dyes. Grin. Still…
Skin tone is a Vallejo Medium Flesh (it generally feels darker to me than the Dark Flesh does, but maybe that’s just me), with Vallejo Charcoal grey for the hair. I’ve been liking it as an alternative to black, because it darkens well with a wash, while still retaining some depth, which avoids me having to try and build depth with drybrushing and/or highlights, which I don’t feel very strong at (especially where hair is concerned).
My initial washing effort involved a Vallejo Skin Wash, which seemed insanely dark. I always think I’m going to like it, and maybe if I did a lot more highlighting as part of my process I would, but it was just so much darker than expected. Even then, it would probably have worked just fine, but it’s also redder than I think I expected. I might try it with one of my other Amazons – like I said, I feel like it should work for them – but it just looked too much like the Red Leather (oh, that left foot!), which sort of muddled the entire paint scheme. Ended up going with the old standby, Citadel Reikland Fleshshade, and I feel good about the result. I did make use of the Skin Wash for the armour, and I really liked the result I got there. The Vallejo washes are significantly more intense, and I’m never quite prepared for what I get when brush first hits model. What I probably really need to do is just sit down with some miniatures I *don’t* care so much about and get in some practice.
The base is Citadel Stormvermin Grey, I think, washed with Citadel Agrax Earthshade and drybrushed with Citadel Flayed One Flesh. I used some Vallejo Dark Green (I think?) wash to add a bit of colour and depth afterward.
Close enough for my first Freebooter Amazon, I think. I’m not very good at taking pictures of the process, am I? Once I get painting I just don’t really think about it, and there are way better painters than me out there providing tutorials. Ha. Nonetheless, I am writing a blog so I’m trying to provide a little more detail in case something I’ve done actually does grab you. No reason to make it impossible to suss out. Next time: Occepa!