Friday, May 29, 2015

Vroom! Vroom! - The last of the V8 Interceptors

And here's the next in my series of Mad Max:Fury Road vehicles for our Car Wars gaming. This one is the classic V8 Interceptor, beaten to hell, that sees less than three minutes of screen time in the film.

If you want to have a good read about the history of the Interceptor, from the first film through to the latest, I recommend you check this Mad Max Wiki out.

Fortunately. Hot Wheels released a 1973 Ford XB Falcon as recently as 2012. They currently go for $3-5 singly on eBay, or can be found in batches of six from $10-20. I picked up a pack of six in this lovely orange. Over the coming months I'll convert a variety of versions of this most classic of cars : )

Anyway, I tried to hit the key elements used to change the stock XB into the Interceptor for the start of Fury Road.

The stowage is pretty specific, one of the two tanks from the start of Mad Max 2 is still present, the rest of the space filled with four different kinds of fuel-carrying receptacles nestled in a dirty tarp.

The front end was originally a nose cone addition that could be bought for the princely sum of $216 (back in 1979). By the time it makes it to Fury Road, it only has the top half.

I made a pair of slightly exaggerated exhausts, and a super-charger with air scoop for the hood. Yes, this one sits a lot higher than it does on the actual car, but it felt good when I was making it.

And here's the first part of the paintjob, I just have to track down my box of weathering powders to hit it (and the Stingray) with some wasteland dust.

I hope you like it : )

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A surprise from Blight Wheel!

Last week I received a surprise package from Blight Wheel Miniatures (a cool European outfit that I've mentioned a few times before). Laurent had sent me a copy of his brand new (currently-titled) Military Truck - a six-wheeled flatbed transporter that is based very much on the conversion I did many years ago. It was also sculpted by another friend of mine, which is very cool. I haven't had a chance to put it together (the painted version above is from the Blight Wheel blog post, here).

Laurent also sent me a couple of surprise pieces (seen below). Two sprues with torsos - all ten torsos in rough and ready armor plates with various icons of allegiance attached.

And a sprue of five heads on various helmets and mempo masks, with optional horns.

I couldn't resit putting at least one guy together, combining a head and torso from the batch with a set of arms and legs from Victoria Miniatures. Without the arms (above) to see the breastplate.

And with the arms to see it all ready to go.

He's finished off with a backpack and rebreather hose from Dragon Forge Design - I sculpted those backpacks!

I hope you like the potential of these kits - get out there and support your favorite manufacturers of cool stuff : )

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

So...the Mars Pattern Warlord Titan...

Photo by Rictus from Recalcitrant Daze

Should I get one? Would you all be interested in me doing a series of videos (my first ever) about putting it together and painting it?

Oh my goodness! What am I saying?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vroom, vroom! - more Fury Road conversion work!

Well, there has been a bit of a frenzy locally (and on my little corner of the Interwebz) over the awesomeness that was Mad Max: Fury Road! Although everything in it was great, the general hobby focus has been on converting more cars for games of Car Wars (or Dark Future, or Devils Run, etc etc). I have now spent roughly $80 in 20+ cars, some to become donor cars, others to be the heart of a conversion inspired by the excellent vehicles in the movie.

After my last conversion (seen here), I wanted something a little simpler, so I went for the Chevy Corvette Stingray here. I tracked it down on a cool site called I also picked up a few other pieces I needed there and there'll be more conversions to come. Although it appeared that there had been an issue with my order, everything was sorted out incredibly swiftly, and my cars arrived very rapidly.

I don't have any WIP shots of this one, as it all happened in one night of frenzied cutting, gluing, and puttying. The changes made to this one are:

• strip cut from the hood of the car and the side fenders (it was too tough to try and cut it out and leave the fenders intact, easier to cut all the way through)
• rear wheels replaced from donor car
• rear body lifted up to accommodate the wheels
• engine cut from donor car and jammed into open engine compartment
• exhausts cut from plastic rod, bet to shape, and glued in place
• small pieces of plasticard cut to fill the gap at the fenders
• brownstuff used to putty in the body shape and fill the newly angled gap at the rear of the side panel
• plasticard and brownstuff used to create seat bolted to trunk
• plasticard and plastic rod used to created drum-fed .50 cal machine gun

When it came time to paint the car, I was all ready to paint it in the polished steel look seen on so many of the MM:FR cars (including the photo at the top of this post that inspired the build) but when I took a look at a video about a lot of the cars, there were a few shots of this car in a "black primer over red" paint job, so I went with that instead.

And here is is next to my original car : )

I'm still uncertain about the paint scheme, so sound off in the comments section and let me know what you think! Which would you prefer to see - as is, or polished steel?


Thursday, May 14, 2015

The New Mechanicus - Ruststalkers complete!

I finished these guys off over the weekend, but have only just been able to squeeze them under the lights. I'm pretty happy with them. Nothing too special, apart from the glossy faceplates, and the princeps has a grey cloak to match the clothing of my older minis. With all his red armor, I really wanted to avoid an overload of red.

In other news, my order from arrived today in great shape. These cars will make their way into my Mad Max: Fury Road conversion collection, but more on that later.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Vroom! Vroom! - Cracking open Car Wars.

With the imminent release of Mad Max: Fury Road hurtling towards us like a fuel-injected suicide machine, there has been a LOT of chatter amongst the various hobby/gaming groups I hang out with (in real life and online) about car-based post-apocalyptic action.

About a month ago, a friend in my regular Wednesday Night gaming group suggested that we give Car Wars 5th Edition a go, just as a fun break between the conclusion of our superheroes campaign and the start of our Malifaux campaign. We all chuckled, nodded our heads, and said "Sure, why not?"

A few of us had played it before, some had spent countless hours "building" cars but never playing, and then there was me. I've never played it before, never read the rules or seen it in action. I have, however, always enjoyed the idea of doing insanely crazy things to cars and then racing them into each other - at least in a cinematic fashion. And so it was that when I was over at Thomas's on the weekend, I spotted a Matchbox VW Beetle amongst his extensive collection and asked if I could have it for the game. You see, I was deeply inspired by the crazy hunk of junk in the Mad Max: Fury Road promo pic at the top of this post, and I just had to make something that was close.

Here's the Beetle as it started out (well, this is the one from Eric's collection, but it is the same one I snagged from Thomas). It has the classic VW Beetle lines, but was sitting pretty high on the off-road wheels and frame.

That night I jumped straight into converting it. I pulled it apart, sawed off the hood of the Beetle, extended the frame (using a piece from the first GW plastic Rhino), and went to town on it all. The spike are cut from plastic strips and carefully glued one at a time to the roof. The "engine block" is one of the guns from the Adepts Mechanicus Onager Dunecrawler (I guess that one is getting the anti-aircraft load out) and various other GW plastic parts made it on to the model.

The mini-gun poking out the passenger side window is from a company called Stan Johansen Miniatures, a piece I also snagged from Thomas ; )

Painting the car was fun too. After priming it black I did a zenith spray with the Army Painter's Vermin Fur brown spray paint. It has a lot offering in the mix, so it gave a great basis for the rusty color of the car. The details were painted, I assembled the car, and then hit it with a few different weathering powders from Secret Weapon and Broken Toad.

Sure, it's not identical to the original from the film, but it certainly conveys a similar level of insanity ; )

Anyway, last night was the night for us to gather and go crazy! Thomas and Eric had each put together plenty of cars, enough for three cars each, as it turned out. We were also playing across an excellent table. Thomas had been monkeying around with some pre-existing images and had put together these excellent panels, printed out and glued to over 12' of foamcore. NOTE: as Thomas used some proprietary artwork, these files, images, or tables based on them will not be sold anywhere. No need to ask.

We played Car Wars 5th edition (as far as I know) and used the Division 15 (?) set of rules. The one where all the cars are Class 15 (or have had $15,000 spent on them, for those who know what that means). There are a ton of Car Wars products available on the Warehouse 23 website HERE, but this is the one we played with HERE.

Marc also put together a very cool vehicle, based on an ice cream van, but sporting three mini-guns on the roof and a significant ram plate at the front - built as the Paladin from the pre-made cars. He went to town with the paintjob, using his signature blues and rusts, and painting up a new sign for it - Mr. Sprinkles.

Here's a shot of Mr. Sprinkles being pursued by my car. Just to annoy Marc ; )

Thomas and Eric had both chosen an orange Mini Cooper to represent the Pure Energy car from the pre-made offerings.

And here are a few of the cars in a set-up shot, before we started the game itself.

Rather than run the game as a race/chase/hunt we agreed to go head-to-head in a team fight, four cars per side. My team decided to split our forces into two pairs of cars so that we could try a pincer move on the other team that appeared to be going for group approach.

Thomas (on the opposing team) and I turned out to be the reckless daredevils, racing ahead of the packs and coming under a considerable amount of fire. I had taken three significant hits to my front armor by the time the end of turn three rolled around, and sadly hadn't done too much damage myself. Also, by this point, our opponents had switched things up on us and switched up their approach. Leaving Thomas to barrel forward at 80mph (while on fire), the rest of the team closed on the stretch of tarmac ahead of Marc and me. The Mini Clubman in the photo above was using the Devastator profile, a small car with an anti-tank gun and almost double the amount of frontal armor than my car.

I thought I'd be able to sneak into the gap beside it and race past to ram Eric's Wyvern, but sadly I fell short. After taking a punishing hit to the front from the AT gun, Sean plowed the Mini into my car and although he didn't cause my car to "confetti", he did strip all the remaining front armor and plow through my guns, engine, driver and gunner! That was in the first phase of Turn 4. I had managed to make it past three seconds of "real time". As one joker quipped, I hadn't even made it through the opening credits ; )

Even with my car flipped, the game went on and the rest of my team managed to give a very good account of themselves. Marc's ice cream van was able to exact revenge by stripping the other half of the front armor from Sean's Devastator in a ramming action, while John and Mark combined to take out Eric's Wyvern. After blowing a hole in it's side armor, flamethrowers took care of the occupants.

As the game came to a close, Thomas managed to execute a bootleg turn just before his crew burned to a crisp. His car had been burning since the start of Turn 2.

With three cars out of action for our opponents, there was little more Hans could do, so his Piranha slunk away to fight another day.

The CAR-nage at the end. (the polyhedral dice and silver cubes you can see in the photos were what we used for debris counters during the game, there were a lot of them).

What a great time! Despite having never played Car Wars before, and not reading the rules this time around either, I was able to pick up the game very quickly and had a ton of fun. I can heartily recommend it.

We all enjoyed it so much we'll be pushing back the start of the Malifaux gaming to fit in another round of Car Wars. Hopefully I'll have another car ready by then : )