Category Archives: Repaints

Gaslands 7: The Piranha Brothers and Spiny Norman!

Earlier this year, I had a bad bout of Gaslands Fever (not to be confused with Pac Man Fever, which is a different thing altogether). I converted 7 cars, 2 buggies, an armored bus, a monster truck and a war rig, but I didn’t have a chance to make any performance cars. I still haven’t played the game, but I’ve read enough After Action Reports and watched enough game videos to know that performance cars are pretty damn effective!

Nonetheless, despite my hiatus from Gaslands conversions, I never stopped looking in the Matchbox and Hot Wheels aisles in every store I went. I gave into temptation a couple of times and bought more cars, knowing I would soon be back to converting them.

Here are my first two performance cars: The Piranha Brothers, Doug and Dinsdale! Astute readers my realize that these are based off of the same car: the Hot Wheels “Crescendo” racer.  I wanted them to stand in contrast to the rusty death machines I’ve converted so far. In my world, performance cars are sleek and elegant, and drivers of performance cars actually care about their vehicles. Thus, I didn’t do much to these cars other than repaint them. I didn’t notice the “Tron” colors until just now. I  made some thematically-appropriate circular buzzsaw blades out of plasticard and stuck them to the bumpers, and stuck the obligatory machine gun on the roof. I painted the piranha emblems on the hood freehand.

Dinsdale lives in constant fear, convinced he is pursued by a giant, hedgehog-like car called Spiny Norman. Know what? He’s right!

 

“DINSDALE!”

Spiny Norman was inspired by the Buzzard Clan in the PS4 Mad Max videogame. Their cars are all rust and spikes, and I was responsible for blowing up many dozens of them in my recent playthrough of the game.

Spiny Norman started out as a Matchbox 1968 Ford Mustang with an off-road chassis. I clipped off the ends of toothpicks and pushed them through the patterned craft foam to make the spikes on the doors and sides. I trimmed bits from a needlepoint screen and used them as long strips of spikes to line the roof. I snipped some spear-pointed cocktail sticks for hood spikes. Finally, I used some old bolter bayonets from some Rogue Trader beakie marine sprues for the bumper blades. Then, as usual, I layered the car in metallics, washes and good old-fashioned rust dust.

Although I’m fond of Grond, the War Rig, Spiny Norman is my favorite Gaslands conversion that I’ve done so far.

(Apologies to my friend Dick Garrison for the late Gaslands posting, as I told him I’d work on some cars during October. I did, I just didn’t get around to posting them until now.)

 

 

A #1!!!!

Those of you who drop by Dead Dick’s Tavern may know that lately, I’ve been playing Mad Max on the Playstation 4, which, in turn, has made me want to play Gaslands very much. With the end of my Time Trap Super Mission Force campaign, I only have a couple of weeks before September, when I, Dick Garrison and Blax the Kleric are all committed to a painting project soon to be revealed here.

At least I hope we’re all still committed. We are still committed, right guys?

Anyway, I have a short amount of time for other projects, so I decided to do something Gaslands-themed in honor of Mad Max. However, it’s a different movie, and one of my favorite movies of all time, that gave me the inspiration for this quick project: Escape From New York.

I decided to make the Duke’s car.

If you aren’t familiar with this movie, I’m not going to summarize it here. Just see it as soon as possible by whatever means necessary. That’s the Duke of New York above, played by the late, great Isaac Hayes. The late, great Harry Dean Stanton is next to him, as is Adrienne Barbeau. She’s not late, or great. She’s fucking amazing, and I was, and still am, madly in love with her.

One look at that picture above and you notice two interesting things. And no, I’m not talking about the two things you think. I count those as a pair and therefore one thing. The other thing is the Duke’s gun. I’m no gun expert, but I have to wonder why you would put a long-range optical scope on an Ingram Mac-10 submachine gun. I doubt you’d be doing much sniping with that…but I guess it looks cool.

Anyway, this is the Duke’s car:

 

A 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.  The Duke pimped it out with some hip chandeliers on his hood, because hey, he’s the Duke of New York. He’s A #1.

 

I had this. It’s a limousine, not a Cadillac Fleetwood, but I immediately thought of the Duke’s car when I got this in a bag of toy cars from a thrift store. Some of those have since become other Gaslands conversions, but this one…well, this one was put on hold. After all, the Duke’s car is far from the wasteland rustbuckets I’ve converted thus far.

The Duke has class. He’s A #1.

Of course, this all but requires the Xzibit “Yo, Dawg” treatment…

 

 

One look at the chandeliers on the hood and I knew that duplicating them would be beyond my meager modeling skills. So, I tried to find dollhouse furniture that would be in scale, but believe it or not, Matchbox cars are way smaller than standard dollhouse furniture. Also, dollhouse furniture is fucking expensive, so I resolved to make my own.

I took the car apart and primed it with some Rustoleum camo paint. I drilled some holes in the hood, then used these bead pliers, which I didn’t even know I had, to bend and crimp some floral wire for the frames. I used these cheap glass beads for the lights. (As a side note, I also make lovely bracelets in my spare time. Not really.)

One look at these light fixtures and you can see they’re not 100% accurate replicas of the Duke’s hood ornaments, but as I said above, those are beyond my skill. Then again, this limousine is bigger than the Duke’s caddy, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Let’s just say this car was “inspired” by the Duke’s car.

You may ask me, “Hey, Piper, why did you go through all that bullshit when you could have just used a three-prong fishhook for the lamp frame?” To that I say: I thought of that. But I couldn’t find a small enough fishhook without buying a lure (I am not a fishing enthusiast and I don’t own any fishing tackle), and I didn’t want to do that, considering I already had the floral wire. So that’s why.

If anyone cares, I painted the car with a base of Vallejo Bronze before giving it a wash of GW’s Nuln Oil, then I highlighted the whole body with P3 Radiant Platinum. The chrome fixtures were painted with GW’s Mithril Silver, and the lamps were done with Auric Armor Gold.

I don’t know how it would fit into Gaslands, because there are no limos in Gaslands, and this one looks particularly vulnerable, having neither weapons nor armor. I’d probably just call it a bus. Maybe it’s the ride of a wealthy race patron.

“I am the Duke of New York! I am A #1!!!!”

 

Cloak and Dagger

A brief interlude from my Time Trap campaign: a while back I saw an advertisement for a new TV series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe based on third-string teenage duo Cloak & Dagger. Because the show was hyped pretty early, I forgot about it until I stumbled across it by accident. Apparently, it’s on the Freeform network, which is a network I didn’t even know I was paying for as part of my cable package. Sometimes surprises can be good.

By the time I found it, the first 2 episodes had already aired. I’ll watch anything that’s comic-related, so I watched these episodes on demand and started recording all the new ones. Tonight is the final episode of the first season.

Now, I was already familiar with Cloak and Dagger, by which I mean I knew their identities and their powers; but I wouldn’t say I was a fan by any means. In fact, I don’t own any Cloak and Dagger comics, and I own a shit-ton of comics. They never really piqued my interest. They were just kinda…there, sometimes, as guest stars in other comics.

Which is why I guess I was pleasantly surprised by Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger on Freeform. It’s actually pretty good. It could use a bit of help in the pacing department, but it’s still interesting enough to keep my attention, despite it taking 4-5 episodes to start really making things happen. The cast is great; both Cloak and Dagger are well-represented, as are their respective family members. I’m particularly impressed with Aubrey Joseph, who plays Cloak. It’s tough to pinpoint why, but I think it may be because he has a unique voice, which is an attribute I’ve always imagined Cloak would possess.

Anyway, in honor of this new show that I like, I’ve decided to paint up Cloak and Dagger for my supers collection. Both are repainted Heroclix, of course. Above is the factory paint job.

These are my repaints. Their costumes are so basic this really didn’t take very long at all. Just a bit of shading and highlighting for Dagger, mostly just highlighting for Cloak. I really hate Dagger’s daggers, which just won’t stay level no matter how many times I try to bend them into shape with hot water/cold water. I’m almost at the point where I might just clip them off. I really hate these “energy effect” things some Heroclix have.

Like I said above, I’ll watch anything comics(especially supers)-related and give it a shot; but I watch enough good TV to not have time for bad shows. I stuck with Agents of SHIELD, Flash, Preacher, Arrow and Gotham; I bailed on The Gifted, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. I missed out on Black Lighting and Legion (I’ll probably watch Black Lightning, but I haven’t heard anything great about Legion, so I’ll pass). I loved Constantine (Matt Ryan was awesome as John); sadly it ended before it really got started. And of course I watch all the Netflix series, even Iron Fist, which is a huge disappointment to me as I’m a rabid Iron Fist fan. But, oh well. Hopefully Season 2 will be better…

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger has earned another season already, so they must have decent enough ratings to justify one. I’ll be back next season; this is the most interesting Cloak and Dagger have ever been for me.

 

Forgotten Heroes 2018, Submission 1: The Water Wizard!

It’s June, which means it’s time for Forgotten Heroes!

Last year my fellow miniatures enthusiast Carrion Crow invited me to take part in the Forgotten Heroes challenge. I played hard to get at first, but then when I saw how much fun it was going to be, I begged him to let me take part. He graciously agreed. I converted and/or repainted the entire Liberty Legion, along with special guests Spirit of ’76, Patriot, Union Jack and Bucky! This year, I’m hoping to submit three Forgotten Heroes, not a whole team. So, without further ado, here’s the first:

 

The Water Wizard is a really lame Marvel villain with water powers. In fact, it turns out he can control almost any liquid, not just water. You would think this would make him pretty powerful, but Water Wizard is an idiot. In 1977, he made his debut in the Ghost Rider comic book and promptly got his clock cleaned by Ghost Rider, both in his initial appearance and pretty much every time they met after that.

He actually fought some other Marvel good guys, like Captain America, with predictable results (he lost). He was recruited by criminal financier and Hugh Hefner lookalike, Justin Hammer, but ran away when he had to fight Iron Man.

After a while, Water Wizard changed his name to Aqueduct, which is an even dumber name than Water Wizard, and tried to continue his criminal ambitions. Instead he joined the Thunderbolts and that’s about when I lost track of him.

To make this conversion, I used three figures. Because I never throw anything out, I had a headless Quicksilver left over from when I made Jack Frost in my first Forgotten Heroes challenge last year. . He’s been grotesquely hanging around in a corner of my hobby space since then. I thought that the head of the Weather Wizard (similar name, different publisher, equally lame bad guy) would look pretty good on the body. His  hair is already blowing around, so it would match pretty well with the running pose. For added effect, I thought I would use this water spume on the Aquaman figure for something…

An idea took shape. I re-headed and rebased the miniature, and sculpted his fashionable hip waders out of green stuff. (A side note: I suck at sculpting anything. This is problematic, as my next Forgotten Heroes submissions will require much more sculpting. Thus I have sought the aid and advice of a sculptor extraordinaire to guide my efforts henceforth…)

I removed the cumbersome Aquaman model from the water spout and attached it to a base of green stuff sculpted to look like water (I can handle that much). Now it looks like the water is moving with him. Then I painted the model to resemble Water Wizard.

Hi running pose actually looks pretty accurate. I only have to face him away from any hero model since Water Wizard often flees. I don’t have a Daredevil-like sense of touch, so I couldn’t tell if the diagonal slash on Quicksilver’s costume was raised or if it was just a painted on until I painted over it. Turns out it’s actually part of the sculpt, which is unfortunate, as you can still barely see it through my paint. Also, I now have a headless Weather Wizard where my headless Quicksilver used to be.

Forgotten Heroes 2018 submission 1: complete!

 

 

Gaslands 5: Sunday!!! Sunday!!! SUNDAAAAAAY!!!!!!!

I’m unsure about the rest of the world, but those of us who live in the USA periodically have these things come to town called “Monster Truck Rallies.” Basically, they fill an arena with loose mud and junk cars and unleash monster trucks to crush, spindle and mutilate everything they possibly can in the span of a few hours or so.

It’s not my thing. At all. Then again, not everyone likes bagpipes, so YMMV. Different strokes, as they say. Live and let live. Judge not lest ye be judged, and all that.

Often, these monster truck rallies are accompanied by loud music and scantily-clad women and are usually hosted by local radio personalities or former WWE or NASCAR “superstars”. As the title of this post implies, these events tend to take place on a certain day of the week. Watch this video, which is a parody (but isn’t far off the mark), and you’ll get the idea.

Sponsors include Bass Pro Shops, Wal-Mart and Bud Light. Priceless. (I know I said I wouldn’t judge. I lied.)

You can find actual monster truck commercials elsewhere on YouTube, lest you think I’m being unduly critical. (Here’s one.) In short, it’s shitkicker heaven; a pageant of redneckery that I believe is somewhat unique to America. It is less popular in the region where I live than in other parts of the country, and it’s not something that has ever interested me in the slightest.

Until now.

Ladies and gentlemen of the wasteland: I present my Gaslands Monster Truck: Rock-n-rolla!!!!

You may recall from my last post that Rock-n-rolla began as a Ford F-150 Hot Wheels car. I de-riveted it and applied some wire mesh to the windows before re-assembling the chassis.  My initial purchase of cars was a grab-bag at a thrift store, which included a junky military SUV of a larger scale. I promptly cannibalized it for its roof-mounted gun, but as I looked at my disassembled pickup, I suddenly realized that the SUV didn’t really need it’s wheels anymore, either. A quick fit-check and some minor alterations to the pickup chassis, and….Rock-n-rolla was born!

Time for MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS!!!!!

For some reason, a monster truck only has 2 build slots in Gaslands, which is the same as a car or buggy. (If I had left it a pickup, it would have 3 build slots.) I guess this is done for game balance, because a monster truck simply runs over anything it collides with (see above video). The point is I didn’t have much to work with as far as weaponry was concerned, so I gave it what I could.

I built the minigun turret out of a gasket, fender washer and axle nut glued to some corrugated plasticard. It fit snugly in the bed of the truck. For the actual gun, I could have used the gun I pulled off the SUV, but instead I raided an unopened box of Wargames Factory Shock Trooper Heavy Weapons Teams  for the double minigun. This is the first time I went outside the bitz box for something, but I think it was worth it.

Here is the finished result:

I put a ram on the front end, but I used an extra shield I had from a unit of Black Tree Ironclad Dwarfs. I like the fist emblem; it seems to fit a monster truck ram nicely. I added some armor purely for aesthetics, as Rock-n-rolla has no more build slots to spend on armor. Thus, no game effect; it just looks cool.

Here’s a shot of Rock-n-rolla next to my first car build, Coughin’ Joe. As you can see, he’s much taller, as a monster truck should be, thanks to the wheels I purloined from the larger-scale SUV.

 

For those interested in the painting/weathering process, it’s pretty standard by now if you’ve read any of my other Gaslands posts. I used a mix of Cote D’Arms, Games Workshop, Reaper and Vallejo paints. Rock-n-Rolla’s body is based with Twilight Blue (R), with a highlight of Lupin Grey (CD), then given a wash of Nuln Oil (GW). The armor plating was painted with either Gunmetal Grey (V), Gun Metal (CD) or Tin Bitz (GW) before being washed with Armor Wash (CD). The gun turret was painted Adamantite Black (R) and dry-brushed with Necron Compound (GW) before given a wash of  Nuln Oil (GW). I used some Typhus Corrosion (GW) near the armor plating to further the grimy look, and I used copious amounts of Stirland Mud (GW) on the tires and undercarriage. Lastly, I used some MIG rust pigment on the armor, hubcaps and body.

I never thought I would ever say this in my life, but I think this monster truck is pretty cool!

I’m hoping to have my final (for now) Gaslands post up by the end of the month, as I have some big plans for May. I’ve saved the best for last, or at least the biggest for last….

Bigger than Rock-n-rolla? Yep.

Bigger than Marstorius?

Oh, yes…

 

Gaslands 4: Cars Galore!

After building one car, a couple of buggies and my armored bus, I realized I needed more cars, as one car does not a wasteland racing team make. Here’s what I started with:

Three cars, including a classic ’57 Chevy, and a Ford F150 pickup (the preferred vehicle of the Angry Piper’s brother).

This was the first time I needed to de-rivet the cars, as most of them had open windows and I wanted to add some wire mesh to the inside before I repainted them. I found this how-to video on Youtube from, of all people, Mike Hutchinson, the creator of Gaslands, wherein he shows you exactly how quick and easy it is to take apart a toy car:

Except, of course, it isn’t. At least not for me. What I discovered was that you need a cobalt drill bit if you’re planning on going though anything metal, otherwise all you’ll do is lock your drill bit and say nasty words. Once you get a cobalt drill bit a little bit bigger than your rivet, start drilling on a low setting and you’ll eventually get there.

Anyway, once de-riveted, I set about adding wire mesh, weapons and armor to the cars. Never mind the pickup truck for now, I had other plans for him.

Here they are completed: Bully-boy, Bullwhip and Stagger Lee! Bully-boy has a front-mounted machine gun and a forward ram. Bullwhip is actually the official name for the Hot Wheels car I used, and it sounds cool enough that I don’t need to rename it. He has front-mounted machine guns and a caltrop or oil slick dropper. Stagger Lee, the converted ’57 Chevy, has front-mounted machine guns and a nitro booster.

Of course, I then, quite innocently, found myself at a place where they sell yet more Hot Wheels cars. So I bought three more.

After the usual conversion process, I present the results:

I present: Surrender, Dorothy!, Black Betty (Bam-a-Lam) and Red Asphalt! Surrender, Dorothy! is equipped with a heavy machine gun and smoke launchers (much like Coughin’ Joe), Black Betty has a front-mounted rocket launcher, and Red Asphalt has a front-mounted machine gun and an oil-slick dropper (or a nitro boost, depending on how I feel).

Together with my first Gaslands build, Coughin’ Joe, that makes seven cars in total. More than enough to play the game with a friend! (Note to self: make some friends.)

If you’ve been following my Gaslands build posts thus far, my painting technique should be pretty familiar. Basically, the cars all get weathered and highlighted the same way: after applying my chosen colors, they are all washed with Nuln Oil. All the armor and metal bits are painted either with Gunmetal Grey, Gun Metal or Tin Bitz, then washed with Nuln Oil, Armor Wash or Agrax Earthshade. Then I apply some Stirland Mud, Typhus Corrosion and usually some MIG rust pigment to weather they cars further. And that’s pretty much it.

Wondering about that Ford F-150 Pickup? Well, next post you’ll see what I did with it. For those of us in the United States, here’s a hint…

“Sunday! Sunday! SUNNDDAAAAAY!!!!!!”

Gaslands 3: Marstorius!

Well, I said I would post something that wasn’t Gaslands, but I lied. I’m too hooked. My Gaslands kitbashing continues on, with my first “big boy”. Ladies and gentlemen of the wasteland, I present: MARSTORIUS!!!!

I got the name from an old fighting game. Marstorius was a big wrestler from Fighter’s History. Here he is giving a bull a suplex, because as everyone knows, bulls are assholes. Marstorius was a poor imitation of Zangief; but that’s hardly surprising as Fighter’s History was a poor imitation of Street Fighter II. I like the name, and it fits my latest project nicely.

I need a bully: someone whose sole purpose is to ruin the day of anyone he meets. Someone who can dish out a curb-stomp like no one else, but can also take whatever punishment comes his way with a bloody, gap-toothed smile. In other words, I need an armored bus.

I started with this fire truck. It’s not a Hot Wheels or Matchbox; it’s sold at CVS and made by a Chinese company that makes cars that are (mostly) compatible with 28mm miniatures. In fact, I own a lot of those cars and you can see them on After Action Reports all over this blog, if so inclined. This fire truck is the same size as most of their cars, which of course means it’s totally out of scale (i.e. too small) with the rest of their line, but it is perfect for “Hot Wheels” scale, as it’s much bigger than a standard Hot Wheels car (about the size a fire truck would be next to a HW car). Hopefully that makes some kind of sense.

Anyway, the first thing I did was remove the side ladder, the siren lights and the extending ladder. The extending ladder could come in handy for use as scenery in other games. Removing it left me with an empty bracket on a 360° rotating platform, which is perfect for a turret emplacement.

 

Many of the scenarios in Gaslands are races, or variations thereof. Being an armored bus, Marstorius won’t win any races, but that’s not his job. His job is to make sure YOU don’t win any races.

With that in mind, I attached a turret from a Matchbox tank to the extending ladder mount, giving it a heavy machine gun with a 360° field of fire. This will allow targeting pretty much anywhere in range. Then I added the armor. Lots of styrene sheeting, craft foam and plastic mesh slapped all over this baby. It’s armored EVERYWHERE. I had some leftover rubber gaskets I had bought to replace on my outdoor faucets, so I cut them and fitted them around the wheel-wells of the truck so the armor panels wouldn’t be attached to the truck directly, and wouldn’t affect wheel rotation.

I knew I wanted a ram on the front, so I went with this buzzsaw arm. It’s an extra bit I had from an Armorcast Frank-N-Steam model I bought years ago. They don’t seem to make that model anymore, but it’s a variation of the other “Frank” models, only with two legs. I can just see Marstorius turning any vehicle foolish enough to get in his way into an instant convertible! I stuck a searchlight on the top and some auto-launchers on the back, both from old Leman Russ tank sprues. (Gotta love the bitz box!) The auto-launchers represent caltrop droppers, lest any pursuers get too close. It is unwise to tailgate Marstorius.

In Gaslands, a bus has 3 Build slots. The heavy machine gun, caltrop droppers and the front buzzsaw (ram) take up a slot each, which means the armor I festooned Martsorius with is pretty much just for show. If I wanted to make him tougher, I could forego the caltrop droppers for some extra armor instead, making him more like a war rig than a bus. He’s certainly big enough!

Here’s how he looks painted up. I used a mix of Army Painter, Cote D’Arms, Games Workshop, Reaper and Vallejo paints. Marstorius’s body and the turret is based with Necromancer Cloak (AP), with a highlight of Ash Gray (R) and Concrete Gray (R), then given a wash of Agrax Earthshade (GW). The armor plating was painted with either Gunmetal Grey (V), Gun Metal (CD) or Tin Bitz (GW) before being washed with Armor Wash (CD). The buzzsaw wires were painted various colors and given a wash of Nuln Oil (GW). I used some Stirland Mud and Typhus Corrosion (both GW) to further the grimy look. Lastly, I used some MIG rust pigment on the armor and body.

It’s not as obvious as I would like, but I painted this skull visage on the front of Marstorius’s cab. It’s tough to see behind the buzzsaw arm, but it’s there. I painted it with some watered-down white paint to simulate a spray paint effect.

I decided to add some other small touches, like this hash-mark tally of the vehicles Marstorius has sent to the junk heap. I free-handed the grafitti on the armor panels and searchlight and added the bullet holes with a Dremel.

Here are some shots showing some more battle damage. Marstorius tends to attract gunfire.

Another shot showing the rotation of the turret. That’s an old GW tank decal on his rear side panel.

Overall, I’m happy with my armored bus. I have some other cars in the works, so watch this space for more Gaslands conversions, coming soon!

Gaslands 2: Nitro Burn and Oil Can Harry!

I was warned this would happen. I have officially been bitten by the Gaslands bug. I guess that’s why I decided to convert some buggies next.

These are what I started with. I bought both of these cars brand new (a dollar apiece at soon-to-be-gone Toys R Us). The one on the left is a Hot Wheels car, the one on the right is Matchbox. Both are open-topped buggies. I really like the look of the one on the right. It has two front seats and a raised back seat, perfect for a gunner!

Buggies are light vehicles in Gaslands, meaning they’re pretty much just there to cause as much trouble as possible before they blow up.  I put minimal armor on the frames, since armoring up a buggy is a waste of a build slot, IMO. Still, I wanted the overall “Road Warrior” aesthetic…

Nitro Burn, on the left, had that ridiculous I-don’t-know-what on his roof, so I got rid of that immediately. For “armor”, I glued some some wire mesh to his canopy and some styrene to his back window. I gave him a GW storm bolter as a front-mounted machine gun and stuck a flamer tank to the side as a nitro booster.

Oil Can Harry, on the right, got two space marine bolters mounted on his roll cage as machine guns. I made an oil slick dropper from an old heavy flamer nozzle (pointed downward) and some flamer tanks. For “armor”, I covered his front and side windows with plastic mesh, and gave him a spiky front bumper.

Here’s what they look like after some painting and weathering. After priming both black, I used a mixture of Reaper, Cote D’Arms, Vallejo, Army Painter and GW paints. Nitro Burn got a basecoat of Black Red (V), highlighted with Rusty Red (R), while Oil Can Harry was based with Dusky Grape (R) and highlighted with Faded Purple (R). The metal on both buggies was Gunmetal Grey (V) and the wheel rims and guns were Gun Metal (CD). The gun casings were painted Necromancer Cloak (AP). The colors on both got a wash of Nuln Oil (GW), while the metallics were washed in Armor Wash (CD). I also used some Dawnstone, Administratum Grey and Tin Bitz (all GW) to pick out some dinged up and rusted spots. I used some Stirland Mud and Typhus Corrosion (both GW) where it made the most sense. Lastly, I applied some MIG Rust pigment to all the “armor” and to the rims.

As a final touch, I decided to have a little fun with Nitro Burn. I attached an old GW Fantasy round shield to his rear, painted up like a smiley face. I figure Nitro Burn likes to live dangerously. He likes to taunt his opponents by speeding ahead of them, forcing them to look at that infuriating yellow smile. Naturally, that face is a prime target for weapon fire, so I drilled a small hole and stuck an arrow in it, no doubt fired by some enraged wasteland scavver!

My next Gaslands project is a doozy, but I think I’m going to try to paint something non-Gaslands related first.

But I make no promises.

 

 

 

First Gaslands Build: Coughin’ Joe!

I discovered Gaslands by reading Miniature Wargames magazine a couple of months back. It’s a game of post-apocalyptic vehicular combat put out by Osprey.  It’s designed to be played with standard Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars that you convert into Mad Max-esque death machines, and it looks like a lot of fun.

While my experience with Osprey Games has been hit-or-miss so far, I figured why not give it a shot? After all, the entry cost to a game like this is minimal; you only need the rules and a bunch of toy cars to play. The rules are reasonably priced at under $20, and toy cars are easy enough to come by. They’re pretty cheap even brand new, and better still; there are tons of thrift shops, flea markets and secondhand stores where you can pick up used and banged up toy cars for even less! (If you have kids, you can probably find a bunch laying around your house on inconvenient places, like stairs.) You’re going to convert them anyway, and cosmetic damage is the look you’re going for!

I went by a thrift shop and bought a bag of 6 cars for $3.00. It contained this car, a “Plymouth Hemi Cuda” by Maisto.  I actually know a guy who owns a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda. He drove it all through high school and still has it to this day, some 30 years later. It gets about 3 miles to the gallon, but it’s absolutely the coolest car I’ve ever been in, and it hauls balls, to put it mildly.

I decided this is going to be my first Gaslands conversion.

Images abound on the Interweb of Gaslands vehicles; simply Google “Gaslands” and you’ll see for yourself. There are also many Youtube videos to view on the subject. One particular creator, JH Miniatures, does a terrific series entitled Wastelands Workshop. It’s a bit technical, but you don’t need to get as fancy as he does. I highly recommend his videos.

If you’re like me, i.e. an obsessive hoarder of bits from previous kits, then rejoice, for Gaslands is the game for you. I played a lot of Warhammer 40K back in the day, using Space Marines (of course) and Imperial Guard. In other words, I have a lot of old vehicle bits that have been sitting in boxes for a very long time. But you don’t need to have a ton of fancy bits like me, or be as technically savvy as JH Miniatures to get to work on Gaslands conversions. DM Jim over at Game Terrain Engineering does a bunch of Gaslands videos, and this one in particular shows how to use common junk items as weapons and armor. Good stuff!

But back to me…I decided not to go too crazy with my first car. I’ve opted to use some bolters from some old Rhino kits and smoke launchers from a Leman Russ tank as conversion bits. The bolters are machine guns, and the smoke launchers could represent turbo boosters, caltrop or glue droppers, oil dispensers, or…well, smoke launchers, which is what I’m going to use them for. Coughin’ Joe, get it?

For armor, I used some old material I had laying around: these textured craft foam sheets. Each package cost me a dollar, and you get six different texture patterns. Four of these have patterns that are useless (like the one pictured), but there are two that could work.

The orange stuff is the craft foam. It’s easy as pie to cut and glue, and the grid pattern makes it look industrial enough to serve as armor. I also clipped some plastic mesh from a needlepoint sheet (I think that cost a dollar, too), and glued it around the front wheel wells to offer the tires some protection.

The smoke launchers glued easily to the back of the car. The bolters have little mounting pegs on them, so I decided to drill tiny holes to accommodate the pegs. This was surprisingly difficult, even with my Dremel on max rpm. Turns out I needed a cobalt drill bit to get through the car. One quick trip to Home Depot sorted that out, and voila! Front mounted machine guns!

Once assembled (it took less than 20 minutes, not counting my trip to Home Depot), I primed it black.

I used a mixture of Vallejo, Cote D’Arms and GW paints. I based the car in Military Green (V) and highlighted it with Cayman Green (V) before giving it a thorough wash in Nuln Oil (GW). I painted the armor plating Gunmetal Grey (V) and the guns and wheel rims with Gun Metal (CD) and washed all the metallics with Armour Wash (CD). Then I liberally applied some MIG rust pigments to the armor sections and the rims. I used some Stirland Mud (GW) on the wheel wells and the front and rear bumpers. A light drybrush of Dawnstone (GW) on the windows, and that was that.And here he is, in all his grimy glory…Coughin’ Joe!

Rear view. Most people never see this on account of the thick black smoke pouring out of those launchers…

If you see this in your rear-view mirror, you’re about to get shot. A lot.

I read somewhere that it’s easy to get addicted to converting cars for Gaslands, and I am already hooked. I have a bunch of toy cars and bits scattered around my hobby space as we speak. More Gaslands conversions soon!

 

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy has become one of my favorite Batman villains, although it wasn’t always so. (Take the movie Batman and Robin, for example; like Arnold Shwarzenegger’s Mister Freeze, the less said about Uma Thurman’s portrayal of Ivy, the better.) I didn’t really start to like her until the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Harley and Ivy”, in which the two ladies team up to take over Gotham’s crime scene, at least until Batman and the Joker find out about it.

Ivy appears in all but one of the Rocksteady Batman: Arkham series of video games, of which I am a huge, obsessed fanboy. And now, with a particularly cold-blooded version of Poison Ivy running amok on the current season of TV’s Gotham, I thought it was a good time to feature her here.

This repainted Heroclix Ivy is from the DC Cosmic Justice set. It’s the classic, early version of Ivy, before she got chlorophyll for blood and became more plant than human. I based her on a small piece of Spanish moss. Behind her are some of her pets: the big monster plants are Dragon Plants, new from Reaper’s Bones collection. The pod plants are also from Reaper Bones; they’re Death Star Lilies.  The big Man-eating Plant in the middle is from Armorcast.

 

The little plant people are Vardu Sprouts, from Hydra Miniatures’ Primal Dawn range. When I ordered them I thought they would be bigger than they are, but they’re sprouts, after all. I just based them two to a base. I plan on having the pod plants spit them out as a renewable source of plant henchmen.

Lastly, the big guy is an old version of Reaper’s Swamp Shambler. I painted him years ago, and he looks a lot like a certain…bayou-dwelling…Plant Elemental…known for…punctuating…his speech…with lots…of…elipses…but in this context he’s Ivy’s bodyguard, should Batman ever get too close. He’s better than that horrible version of Bane in Batman & Robin, anyway.

Man, was ANYTHING in that movie any good? No. Not a thing.

Anyway, here is my Super Mission Force build for Poison Ivy:

Poison Ivy (Wild Card) Minor: Barrier, Entangle, Summoning, Telekinesis

I can hear some of you already: “Now hold on a second, Angry Piper! Barrier and Entangle, I can see. But since when does Poison Ivy have Summoning and Telekinesis?”

To that, my friends, I would say you must think outside the box a bit. What is Poison Ivy’s main power? Plant control. Unfortunately, there is no plant control power in SMF. Ivy can get plants to do a lot of stuff, like entangle enemies or form barriers…or grapple enemies at range with super strength, bear herself aloft to higher elevations (a’ la Jack and the Beanstalk), or manipulate objects at a distance using plant-y tendrils. (In other words: Telekinesis, only using the plants instead of her mind.) She can will plants to fight for her and pretty much instantly mutate normal plants into killing machines. Kind of sounds like Summoning, no?

Of course, if you don’t like my version of Poison Ivy, you could substitute some or all of these powers with others you may find more thematically appropriate, like Armor, Damage Field, or Enhanced Senses, to name a few. When using Ivy in a scenario, I would let her have a few plant guardians and/or henchmen in place at the start of the game. She’s really not that tough, otherwise; and she would likely be defeated before she could use her powers to summon reinforcements. Just my 2 pesos.