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!



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.)



6 thoughts on “Gaslands 7: The Piranha Brothers and Spiny Norman!

  1. dick garrison

    Yes you did say you would do some Gaslands stuff in October, however I am hardly in a position to point the finger at the moment (and you certainly know how to treat a female impersonator!) so I’ll let it slide this time.

    I like the performance cars but Spiny Norman is the definite pick of the bunch for me, that is a great model!!

    Keep it up or I’ll have to nail your head to a coffee table! or worse still start with the SARCASM!!!!!!!

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      I periodically take photos with my phone of random hedgehogs that I stumble across in my travels..knick-knacks, stuffed animals, etc…then I send them off to my friend with no explanation save the caption: “DINSDALE!” The recollection of Spiny Norman came to me after I converted the car; after that, the Piranha brothers connection suggested itself quite naturally! Then I went back and watched the skit, just for fun.

      Now I need to work in some reference to Harry “Snapper” Organs; quite possible the best name in recorded history.

  2. Kieron Mulholland

    Not only have you put a smile on my face by reminding me of the Piranha Brothers and Spiny Norman, you’ve also brought them brilliantly to life in car form.


    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Glad to hear this post is spreading sunshine all over the place, Kieron. I’m pretty happy with how they all turned out, especially Spiny Norman. Now I just need to actually play the damn game…

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