I’ve been working on other things for a while, but as indicated by the name of this blog, my real love in gaming is spaceships.  It is unfortunately a niche and hard to get players for, but aside from my unnatural lust for things that go whoosh in a vacuum, space combat has a lot going for it.  One of the biggest things is that it is cheap to get into.  It’s easy to take an interesting shape, glue greebles all over it and call it a done.  They paint up very well using easy dry-brush techniques.  The majority of space combat games have a construction system which allows you to field your creations legitimately.  A good example of this is a recent purchase, Firestorm Armada.  It looks to be a solid system, it is well supported and the miniatures are brilliant.  I’ll be talking more about it later.

The reason I brought all this up is to introduce today’s gaming finds.  The first is a pool toy that was on clearance at a local Big Lots store.  Each package contains 4 heavy cruiser sized squid torpedoes.  For $1.25 a package, it’s a cheap start to a fleet.  There are downsides, however.  the plastic they are made of is soft and rubbery.  I have had problems in the past with similar plastic not reacting well to spray primer causing it to be permanently sticky, even after being left to dry for a month and subsequently covered in acrylic.  What I do with them will depend largely on how easy they are to work with.

My first thought was to add a number of small drop shaped details all over the hull in the same manner as Mon Calamari ships from Star Wars, or Aquans from Firestorm Armada.  The other option, which I may take if the plastic is hard to work with is to do all the details in paint.  I’ll keep you posted, but it might take a bit.  Have to work through my project queue a bit.  I have a gimungus Dindrenzi fleet that I need to work through and a bit of a backlog of pictures of other projects to get posted.

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This is a quick conversion made from a Jada Badge City Police Bus.  It is a pretty simple conversion that I did over the course of an evening while working on other projects.

Large or heavy cardboard packages will often have fiberglass bands that are used to hold the box together during shipping.  I keep a few pieces of this in my bits box because the texture makes for great metal plate.  As it turns out, the texture matches the texture used on the bus windows.  I cut four pieces that match the sizes of the front and side windows.  These got black primer and a drybrush of metal.

I took the bus apart to prime and repaint the plastic parts. I like to get rid of the chrome that is way too bright for a post-apocalyptic setting.  While I had it apart, I put a magnet in the top so I could attach a removable turret.  The turret came from the Warlands Rattler Gun Truck.  It got a white and black paint scheme to match the rest of the bus.

Once everything was reassembled, I touched up some of the details that were missed by the factory, then weathered everything.  I added rust colored wash, splattered it with mud and metallic scrapes, and finished with a brushing of a sand color.

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While they have had trouble with the rest of the gang, Aberrant has been able to get the Biker Boss and Bitch on the road.  It is a great model for this scale and makes a nice center piece for a bike gang.  Here he is, along with some Dark Future plastic bikes until Aberrant can finish the rest of the gang.

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Next we have one of the M2 Machines project cars that I mentioned a few posts ago.  This one has been converted up using parts from Aberrant’s Warlands Vehicle Accessory Pack and a driver from one of their buggies.   I removed the rear window and the plastic bridge connected to it to make room for the parts inside.  The back seat received the extra fuel tank and I added an armored beer cooler to the back. The front received a missile launcher carefully situated so that the hood could still be lifted.  I’m pretty happy with it and I think it will make a great addition to my desert cult gang.

A couple shots with extra lighting so you can see the inside detail a little better.

Finally, a size comparison shot for you.

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This is one of the toys I found recently.  I took it apart and used spray primer to paint all the plastic parts black.  The metal pieces got a quick dry brush of Boltgun Metal, and I touched up the tires in black.  I left the paint job on the metal body alone except for painting over the glowing power supply effect in the roof.  I gave it a wash with a dark rust color, then weathered it using a mud color followed by a dry bush of sand color.

It’s a little cartoon like, but it looks playable and I did not have to do any conversion work at all.

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This one started as a toy from a kids meal.  I added some textured plastic card for armor plate and a couple bits from Stan Johannsen.  It’s a plain car intended to carry around an RPG team and cause some collateral damage by ramming convenient targets.

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I found a couple more cars suitable for post apocalyptic fun.  A new model from Hot Wheels for 2011 called Buszzerk and an Iron Man 2 branded War Machine from Maitso.

The Hot Wheels car was designed as post apocalyptic from the start.  It has a crazy buzzsaw in the middle and it actually has a driver modelled in the back.   The downside is that it has the wheels I hate and an obnoxious orange color.  I’m probably going to drill the rivets and repaint the whole things.  I’m up in the air about how to turn it into game mechanics. I’ll keep you posted.

 

The Maitso car is a roadster with armored windows, a rollcage and twin mini-guns.  It practically makes its own stats.  The “glowing” paint on top is painted over a roof hatch, you can’t see the detail in the picture.  It is assembled with screws so it is easy to disassemble.  I’m going to primer the plastic parts black and drybrush them metal.  Reassemble and weather.  The figure in the picture is Aberrant’s RPG loader.

 

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I scoured the internet and got the same advice that I got here.  There were two options for fixing my cultists.  The first was to coat it with gloss and then put a spray of dullcoat over that.  The second was to slowly strip it off by brushing on mineral spirits.  When this first happened, I sprayed the models again with matte sealer because it fixed things on a previous occation.  It made things worse.  I was concerned that I trapped two layers of discoloration. 

Ultimately, laziness won out and I decided that I would use the glosscoat method and if that did not work, I would melt it all off with thinner and start over.  I sprayed it over with glosscoat and let it dry.  It did not remove all of the discoloration, but it did get most of it.  I decided that they were good enough to play with and sprayed it will Testors dullcoat and called it good. 

Fixed:

Original:

 

Fixed:

Original:

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M2 Machines recently released a new series with beat up rusty project cars.  I picked up 4 of these.  I have avoided M4 in the past because they are kind of expensive for toy cars at $5 a piece.   These guys are all beat up and potentially a big time savings when it comes to painting. 

They come screwed onto a display base that needs to be removed.  It has some diamond plate texture, so it will go into the bits box for later conversions.

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What follows is a sad story, but it started so well.  On one of the forums I frequent I ran across a reference to Elheim Figures.  They make 20mm figures in a lot of different genres.  They look great on the website and the prices were not that bad so I went to look. 

While browsing, I ran across some desert cultists in their pulp range, which I immediately wanted for Warlands.  I found an Amercan distributor and immediately ordered a few packs of their “Arab Type Cultists”, a “Cultist Leader” for the gang and a few others for fun. 

When I received them, I was pretty happy overall.  One of the figures had a broken sword, but there was a note enclosed that they had noticed this and threw in a replacement figure.  Pretty good service from the distributor, I must say.  While the newer models were outstanding, the cultists were not so good.  They looked to be cast from old molds and the anatomy was off when you looked at them from any direction other than the ones on the website pictures.  This is not unexpected, but what was worse were the integral bases.   They were all different sizes.  Some of them were a quarter of an inch tall and often the front foot of the figure was hovering over the base, not even touching it.  The figures on the website had to have been sawed off the bases they come with and rebased.  I was not looking forward to that kind of work. 

I was still thinking of using these in a scenario that was aproaching to I persevered.  I carved and sawed and cursed and finally got them all rebased and assembled.   I converted a couple to stand in as RPG teams.  I added an RPG made out of green stuff to the end of the rifle on the first.  The second was the guard with the broken sword.   I bent his arm a bit and filed a place to add a metal tube representing a makeshift bazooka.

I lined them all up and got to painting.  It went well and I used desert earth tones.  I shaded them with a wash, and drybrushed them with a sand color.  Quick and easy, but it looked good.  I was pretty excited about them, but then disaster struck. 

I took them outside and started spraying the clearcoat.  Normally it dries clear leaving a  nice protective finish.  Not this time.  They were all covered in a whitish mess covering the paint and detail.  Even the dark parts were almost white.  It was terrible.  

I present the final mess, with my story and a plea for help if anyone know show to fix this. 

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