With the appearance of a postal truck I had been expecting, I’m done with car conversions for a while. I couldn’t resist getting just a few new art deco styled classic cars when I saw them hanging on the rack at Safeway of all places, for less than a buck a piece! Also, I’ve been experimenting with adding crews to the cars with exposed cockpits and fighting areas, and I thought I’d display a few of the better attempts.
HW 49 Merc convertible
Part of the 2009 Hot Wheel Treasure hunt series. I took this lovely bright and shiny Detroit Iron, originally brown with gold highlights and a cheerful tan and brown interior, and totally filthed it all up. The interior went dull black. I didn’t want to lose the original paint job, because that’s just lovely, but I did dull it down with 3 coats of flat matte varnish, and then a filth wash of blotches of tan paint. The crew are both from Stan Johansen. The .30 cal is from ERM miniatures, and the flame thrower up front is from Stan.
MB Postal Van, modern
A pretty old and hard to find diecast, actually, the Matchbox Postal Vehicle (circa 2000) is a design that is still in use today. Like many of these recognizable “service” vehicles, I wanted to retain the look and feel of the original, just with a lot of wear and tear (and armor) on it. So I added plastic styrene “plate armor” on either door, plus a piece to represent a hatch cut into the roof. There’s cage armor on the front (I’m going to need to repaint this) and an air cooled .30 cal machine gun bolted to the roof (from Stan Johansen). I will likely have a figure up there as well eventually. I’m thinking of some graffiti as well.. perhaps DISGRUNTLED or GOING POSTAL.
MB Checker Cab, circa 1958
I had to pay homage to the old 1993 Windows 3.1 game Hellcab, of course. This is a Checker Cab from Matchbox which is kind of difficult to find with the original Checker logo. The more modern and generic “Taxi” markings of later Matchbox cab models seemed kind of cheap and inaccurate so I held off until I could find a decent original model. I wanted to keep the original paint job of bright yellow, especially the decals. So I matte varnished it repeatedly, added an autocannon up front, added side cage armor and a half slab of styrene “armor” over the windshield to protect the autocannon gunner, then added generous rust and a thin coat of sepia wash on top of it all. The result is one grimey hellcab for cuties.
HW Custom 55 Chevy
Click me to enlarge
This is also part of the 2009 Treasure Hunt series from Hot Wheels. I ended up getting a two tone Chevy with a somewhat annoying bright metal flake paint job that was hard to dull down. Still, I love the two tones. I used the same approach I take to any car where I wish to retain the base paint scheme, dull it down and add some filth. I reeled in the “extra armor” I usually add on this one and built a small Heavy Rocket mount box from plastic card. This car will have two heavy “Fire and Forget” Rockets (painted standard rocket red), then the driver is down to a pistol.
MW Volkswagen Transporter Van
I did mention this vehicle in passing in the last post on the “Hell truck” but I wanted to show a closer look. This isn’t exactly Detroit iron here, but I felt we should have one of these in the game to represent the 1960s. The original is a two tone, bright colored blue VW Van with a skylight, lots of clear plastic windows and tons of chairs for passengers. Nice, but it wouldn’t do for combat purposes. I added an interior platform for gunners to stand on, painted the interior all black and the windows all grey. I’m including this picture in the post to show that I’ve been painting up crew and militia figures for the game, and plan on adding some as crew permanently. The weapon up front is a four shot flame thrower, angled down somewhat– envisioned as being operated by the crewman standing on the firing platform.
Two small pickups with Harpoon Teams, Datsun and Volkswagen pickups
For some reason I’m tickled pink about harpoon guns. Click to enlarge.
I think these are both Hot Wheels. You’ve seen them in the background of a few pictures so far but I wanted to post them with pictures of crew on board. Crew is all Stan Johansen, so are the weapons. I see them as equivalent of technicals, but with harpoon guns designed to ensnare and roll vehicles of roughly the same mass.
I love the visual effect of adding crew to some of these vehicles. It wouldn’t be practical (or possible) to crew every car with an open cockpit, but I can do enough to add that action element to the game.