Here is part two (of two) in a series on converting Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars into Post-Apocalyptic Engines of Destruction (or delight). The first post was here, and preamble post here.
Up front I’ll mention with a few exceptions*, this might be all I’m going to do. Post Apocalyptic diecast conversions are, for some reason, a very pleasurable pastime and I don’t want a suitcase of these these things, just about 40 plus will do nicely. That should cover both a very small group going through cars at a phenomenal rate (the rules are very unforgiving, I might point out) or a HUGE group of players.
Start with a cute, pristine Matchbox Super King line Tanker truck. I bought two of them off of Ebay.
Shell super king tanker before conversions.
These can be had for about 11 dollars or so. I have two.
Matchbox Super King series trucks are humongous by Matchbox standards, yet still in scale.
HellTruck was converted by adding side door armor to the side doors (steel and rust paint), with eye slits cut out. I did a mesh armor windshield with bloodstains. Topped it off with turret Machine gun. Painted all a base brick red color then built up with success coats of rust washing on exposed metal, a filth wash (light brown) and a grim wash (thin black). The result looks like a truck that has been rolling down that apocalyptic highway. The tanker payload was a little more challenging. I built up a cage frame out of styrene I beams and L beams all the way around the tank. This provides a metal “frame” that keeps the cage away from the rig itself, much like the rocket cages on today’s Army convoy vehicles, and largely for the same reason– to reduce a rocket attack.. possibly. I gave the tank an overall mud color base coat and eliminated the Shell decals. The built up a paint job of thin black grime, LOTS of dirt, and rust on the cage material, frame and the big metal rear armor. For finishing touches I added a little plate metal cupola up top (with some infantry figures for scale) for the HellTruck defense team to fire from, plus a big rear armor slab with the Anarchy symbol on it.
HellTruck, More shots
I’m rather proud of this conversion, so bear with me while I show it off.
Helltruck, rear view (note big red Anarchy symbol/aiming point). Primed figures in cupola to show sense of scale, which is roughly 20mm.
Front view of Helltruck (R) next to what it got built up from, a Shell Super King Tanker (L).
Front shot, showing cage windshield and left door armor with improvised vision slit. Hard to see against the reddish background, but I painted a thin trickle of blood seeping out of the screen armor on the passenger side. Bad luck for somebody.
Helltruck is shown with some vehicles next to it, in a possible reflection of future combat. In this instance, the vehicles are from the Technicals tribe (mostly pickups with crew in the back firing mounted weapons). Figures added for scale. Note the Volkswagen Transporter van (a nod to Nancy Ott), a recent addition, flame thrower and side cage armor added, plus I added a platform to have figures fire out of the roof, Technicals style.
Two harpoon cannon equipped Technicals (Dodge Pickup, bottom left, Ford 150 top right) attempt to fire harpoons into truck tires. Ford 150 (bottom right) fires mounted light MG against the cab. The VW Transporter (top left) has a flamethrower with finite shots in it, so it is waiting to get closer to the cab to fire, but the crew member (unpainted, primed) is firing a pistol up versus the crew in the cupola.
At this angle, the crew up in the cupola could fire sidearms and rifles or crossbows down at the Tehnicals, but the turret MG on the front cab would not have the angle to fire back. Good for the Technicals, baaaad for Helltruck.
2. The Dune Buggy Tribe
This is a group of very lightly armored vehicles with few mounted weapons. Mostly cage armor. They engage by harassing fire with side arms or rifles. They are fragile but very fast and have bonuses for rugged terrain.
Dune buggy tribe.
Tribe cars are: MB Dune Buggy 2006, HW Roll Cage, Sahara Sweeper (foreground, heavily modded), Sahara Survivor, and a single Sting Rod II to provide some heavy weapon support.
3. The Fetish Car Design Gang
This is my catchall category for (mostly) Hot Wheels cars that are designed for visual impact and often don’t make a lick of sense in any real world context. These are goofy concepts like a car designed like a skeleton or scorpion, or a car with four jet engines back to back (a design one might imagine would blow up in the first minute of operation) Still, once they paint up they look pretty great!
Not all of these went the rusty/dirty metal route.. I just loved the lime green paint job on the art deco coupe (left) that I had to retain it, just dull it down a lot, with 3 coats of matte varnish and a dirt wash. I also added a gatling cannon.
Fetish Car Gang consists of: HW Shell Shock, HW Pirahna Terror
, HW Scorpedo, HW Tomb Up, HW Skull Crusher, HW Solar Reflex, and I don’t recall the name of the green car.
Notes– most of these came from a “Fright cars” five pack. They look ridiculous in bright colors but look just alien and tribal enough covered with dirt and rust. The Shell Shock is painted up as a fire starter car, with two “big guns” remodeled as fire throwers. Also added a MG on the roof, plus hatch. I put screen armor all over the “Solar Panel” on the Solar Reflex. The rest are pretty self explanatory– I put a harpoon gun on the Skull Crusher.
4. Muscle Cars/Factory Cars Tribe
These are cars that actually look like, well, CARS.. readily identifiable. I didn’t upgun these very much because the idea was to have the standard automobile underneath be readily identifiable.
Muscle car heaven
Note: Conversions are minimal here. Flat base coats, lots of screen mesh armor and maybe a MG here or there, but for the most part these look familiar and are painted that way..
5. Odds and Ends
Not sure what I’m going to do with these yet. The copter I have plans for, as I will mount it on a flight stand (same for the projected Gyrocopter, too)
* What’s left?
- I have a 50s era Checker cab, painted like a Checker cab, en route. Hard to find with the original checker stripe– nothing else will do. This will be converted to “Hell Cab” with a gatling gun and some up-armor.
- I have plans to acquire a postal vehicle, just for the “Disgruntled Postal employee” visual joke. Hard to find at a reasonable price.
- I just won a Kettenkrad and Schwimwagon on ebay, I will assemble and add those.
- Others– we haven’t even touched Motorcycles yet. I have to have at least ten of those. Or the gyrocopter.
Next post will probably be on motorcycles, pedestrian figures and terrain conversions. Ciao!