Come on Baby Drive my Car
Ok, not the real title, but a good ear-worm to start things off: Beatles – Drive My Car
Work has kept me busier for longer than I expected, instead of two months of business, I ended-up heading to California for a few weeks too so was quite busy. No, nothing fun, just some sweltering heat in the Mohave desert.
Anyways, while I was otherwise busy, I did have a parcel arrive at home: a series of cars I ordered from China by Rastar. At less than $5 a car, I was fine buying sight unseen. I was quite happy with two of the six (a Volvo shown below and a Mercedes Benz to be featured later). Sadly the other cars are what are called “Box Cars”. The detail is crisp and these would be nice for a collector. For the wargames community, I would not recommend buying them unless you have your handy pocket figure to match scale. These are cars scaled more to fit the standard box than to match a given scale. By way of example, notice how the Land Rover and BMW both are out of scale.
However, I have found a bit of time to first strip a few cars and then throw paint on two of them.
First we have the Volvo previously mentioned. A sporty hatchback, it looks more like an SUV when scaled with the other cars and figures. Yes, it is a bit out of scale. That is fine in my mind. Coupled with the rarity of Volvos around here, it will read as an SUV and less of a hatchback to most players.
I painted this up after stripping using drab colours to reflect the faded look and feel I am striving for. The headlights came out a bit brighter than I intended but I can live with the end result. I did rush the hood detailing. I masked it off with paint but removed the tape while still wet so the edges lost crispness and the paint even spilled onto the hood. A bit of careful brush-work and I repaired most of the damage.
The Ford Tempo/Mercury Topaz has a special place in my heart. When I graduated highschool it was the most common car on the roads. And as time went on it became the cheap beater car for a lot of folks, my wife included. At the time I met her, she went through cars the way some people go through shoes.
Now it isn’t to say she is a bad driver (she isn’t as bad anymore) but that these vehicles wore out pretty quickly. A minor repair for these cars often cost as much as the value of the vehicle.
Her brothers both had connections to mechanic shops where the staff kept a supply of written-off Tempo/Topaz to cannibalize for parts. It was so common that all the staff were good at appraising if repairing the one in front of them was easier than stealing parts to fix one of the ones out back. So whenever she had car problems she normally ended up with a new car…sometimes for only the cost of parts and labour. The shop normally came out ahead as they ended up with another car to cannibalize.
Anyhow, I found this was fun to paint and I was actually going for the faded grey colour common to the Topaz. Until the dirt was added it looked like an over-drybrushed black car but the dirt helped sell the faded paint and small dings. I am very tempted to turn the other Tempo into a Mad Max car, but I may hold off until I have more of them. Something very silly to me about turning one of these junk-heaps into a survivalist car.
If you are wanting to populate your own urban landscape, I will mention that little cars like this are gems. The reason is simple: nobody wants to collect jalopies or commuter cars. Collectors want the sexy sports cars and tooled-up trucks. So, when you do find the beaters I recommend you snatch them up as they give a lot more reality I feel.
Anyhow, to wrap things up I present the cars I have thus far.
In total I have 12 cars, but the BMW’s may not see the table as they don’t quite match. Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to try adding a bit of personal meaning to your terrain and games.