During a recent walk through the toy aisle I noticed something bizarre.  Hotwheels new 2012 models include a car that has been hollowed out and had the cockpit and engine replaced by a crazy looking motorcycle.  It was a completely unrealistic toy that used two different scales on the same model.   Something in the back of my head made me look closer.  Unlike most Hotwheels cars, this one was modeled with a driver.  It occurred to me that maybe I could turn the middle part into a bike for Warlands.  I was strapped for time, so I tossed two into my buggy and went on about my business.

Once I had time to look at my findings I wasn’t too impressed.  There wasn’t much detail and the part was made from die cast metal.  It would be very hard to work with.  I grabbed one of the passengers from an package of Warlands bikes and checked the scale.  The proportions were about dead on.  I thought about it for a bit.  I decided that I could toss something together quickly and have two more bikes for two bucks.   Not a bad deal, really.


The first step was to remove the axle that allows the bike to rock back and forth on the toy.  None of my normal tools would scratch the die cast metal, so I pulled out the hacksaw.   I carefully removed the front  bar, and then left enough on the back bar to allow me to connect the rear axle.  I used the hacksaw to put a notch where the axle would rest.  I tried to clean up the bikes as best as I could, but stopped before I pulled out the dremel and files.  I didn’t want to spend that much time on a two dollar project.

I took the rear axle of the car and used a wire cutter to cut the axle down to about a third of its normal length.   I used gap filling superglue to glue the wheels onto the axle and then to the notch I had cut on the bike earlier.  I made trikes because they would both look better and be easier to construct.

The front wheel was a little more complicated.  I sanded the front of the motorcycle and the wheel to make a flat fit and glued the two together.  I then cut a short piece of round sprue and glued it inside the concave part of the wheel as a spacer.   Finally I cut some plasticard strips to the right length and glued them on either side of the front wheel.  It won’t win any awards, but it will do just fine on the gaming table.

I paused for a moment then to figure out what I was going to do to make it fit the post apocalyptic aesthetic.  I thought of armor plates or strapped on gear but that did not seem like it would work well.  I finally decided that the rough parts that I skipped cleaning would do as corrosion and abuse, and I would strap on some guns.  Who doesn’t love more guns?  I pulled out a couple light machine guns from my bits box.  One is from a Warlands accessory pack and the other from Stan Johansen.  Satisfied, I primed them black and set them aside to dry.

Holiday activities pulled me away from the project for the rest of the day.  While working on dinner my oldest son says, “Oh, Dad.  I moved your Tron bikes so I could work on something. ”  I thought “Tron bikes? I don’t have any Tron bikes”, and the light came on. Something had been bugging me about these bikes and there it was.  It’s only my screen name and avatar.  I was obligated to paint them accordingly now.

I primed the bikes again in white.  Painting them to be faithful to Tron Legacy would be beyond my skill and hard to see on the tabletop.  Instead I went for a more Tron 1.0 paint job with a few nods to the Tron Legacy bikes and living in a desert wasteland.  Again I didn’t try too hard, this is a 2$ project after all.   I am happy with how they turned out all things considered.