Hello Wasteland!

Post Apoc Game Cars: Outrider, Dark Future, Car Wars, Devil's Run, n' more! Facebook group* hosted a modeling contest last month where everyone would modify the same Hot Wheels casting. The chosen base car/casting was the  '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser -- a really neat toy car that represents an iconic hot-rod style. Here's a walk through of my entry. 

*If you're at all interested in modeling miniature post apocalyptic cars, this is a great group. Very cool, very talented guys on there.  

"Gassers" are late model production cars, traditionally a model from the 40's - 60's,  that have been modified for drag racing. A lot of the time, as seen in the toy, the suspension in the front is jacked up to balance the weight of the larger than normal engines that were added. 

My first thought was to just exaggerate what was already there, so I went to the bits box to see what kind of wheels I had available. 

About a year or so ago, McDonalds gave out these monster truck toys with their Happy Meals, and my kids had forgotten about them. The wheels are big and have rubber tires with great texture. I pulled a few loose and started to play around. 

Since I knew most of the other guys in the FB group were really good at painting and modding, I figured I needed to make my entry as extreme as possible in order to compete. So, I got the idea to make a six wheeled monster truck chassis. 

 I started with the wheels and built up struts etc. with cocktail straws and then glued it to the middle section of the disassembled car. The width of three wheels was longer than the car, so I added an inch or so square of thin cardboard at the back, and then framed it in with more straws.

For the main body of the car, I went with a disruptive camouflage pattern in tan and pink -- something I'd wanted to try since reading about the "Pink Panthers" in WWII. After removing the base paint from the toy, I sprayed it matte tan, then masked it off with painters tape. I added day-glo pink to the mix to push the "insane 80's apocalypse" feel, and the result is just what I was looking for. 

I hadn't been sure at first what I was going to do about the windows, so I'd left them open when painting. In trying to think about how someone might actually use this kind of crazy vehicle, I went back and forth about wanting to protect the driver vs. having dudes shoot out of the windows. I eventually decided to use "green stuff" to mold armor plates over the original plastic window insert, and then added a turret hole to the passenger side. 

I like the way that the green stuff can look like beaten metal, and also conform to the original shape of the car. Using flat pieces of "armor plating" seemed like it would break up the lines too much. I figured maneuverability wasn't a big strength of this thing anyway, so I just gave the driver a little slot to look through, and then left his window open for when he needed to back up. 

Here's the chassis, painted silver with toothpick "defensive spikes" added. You can also get a decent look at the driver there. When thinking about what kind of offensive capability this thing would have (other than its paint job), I started to think about the extra bit at the back like a "tactical platform" where dudes could fire weapons from. That just seemed a little more natural than adding a big cannon or something.

That said, the balance of the vehicle seemed off, so I added a big barrel (from a cheap Wal-Mart die-cast car playset) in the same paint scheme as the body of the car. I think it looked good, but also seemed kind of "stuck on."  Like there wasn't a realistic looking way for it to be there. 

So, after a lot of playing around with wires, straws, and "granny grating" I decided on mocking up a "electro magnet" out of a Space Marine hammer that would hold it in place, with a plastic mesh "ramp" hanging off of it. 

My idea is that this barrel could be disengaged from the magnet on demand, and then it would roll down the ramp and into the dudes chasing behind them. 

I did a brown ink wash on the chassis, and painted up the wheels. I painted on lots of "paint chips" for weathering, but opted not to do a wash on the pink paint job because I was worried it would lose some of its eye-melting powers.

I also added this great pirate Hello Kitty decal that came with a building set my daughter got as a gift. It fits perfectly.

The figures are 1/72 "Modern Urban Resistors" from Caesar Miniatures. The driver and turret guy are glued into place, but the guys on the back are loose and can fit in various positions on the vehicle.