24 October 2019

Witness Weekend: Part 1 (Gaslands)

Glorious "Dark Future" artwork by Carl Critchlow
I don’t think that I know anyone who dislikes Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.  I remember the buzz about it in school the day after it was shown on TV in the mid 80s; one of those collective experiences that only tend to happen with live, historical events these days.  I did genuinely know of a guy going out with a woman I worked with, who thought that Fury Road was rubbish, but he was - honestly - a car mechanic who couldn't drive, so that deficient yahoo backed up my argument, rather than contradicted it.

Therefore, although there is no accounting for taste, sometimes there is absolutely loads of accounting for taste.  And if the idea of gluing toy guns to toy cars and driving them at your buddies toy cars doesn’t sound like fun to you, then the exit is over there, next to the buttock-less leather chaps press and mohawk straightener and you should...

I had a copy of Car Wars in the before-times, but I never played it.  Far too many tiny bits of cardboard, not enough miniatures: it put me off (although that retro cover art is pretty groovy)

I dabbled with Dark Future back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. It didn’t work out terribly well: I was gravely disappointed with the results of my toy car postapocalyptification.

And then, suddenly, thirty years later, Gaslands came along...


...and so about a month ago, I decided to revisit the toy-car-war-machine miniature gaming sub-genre with a lifetime more experience. 
As we all know, the best way to get a game off the ground is to make it into a group project with some reliable sorts, so I rounded up a few blackthumbs and set us a brief:

"Prep a car and a buggy, for Gaslands, each equipped with a forward firing machine gun, work to be started Friday and finished before Monday."

The brief was intended to match the requirements for the introductory scenario in Gaslands: Refuelled, shown above. 

The brief was also optional, but helped to focus the mind for those of us easily paralysed by a shiny rulebook full of chrome options.  Some of the people that took part stuck entirely to the brief, and others did not: none of that mattered, it was all about sharing the simple pleasure of gluing instruments of destruction to toy cars.

This is what we witnessed on our way to Valhalla:

Mr Saturday's "Faithful Sons"
The Preacher

Mr Saturday here. I was late to the party, having watched my compadres fall to the love of mutilating toy cars over the last few weeks. There's only so long you can resist in the face of such blatant enthusiasm, and so I took part in Witness Weekend.  I was only going for one car though, to feel out how my gang might look. So The Preacher came to be, of The Faithful Sons gang.

I had a stash of old cars (the base car here is from 1979) from my Dark Future days. These unloved wrecks are now lined up to be given new life in Gaslands.

I had no dedicated conversion parts for this car (something due to be remedied shortly) so it was into the depths of the bits box. It's hilariously fun kitting out a toy car for post-apocalyptic combat. Like dystopian mindfulness. I used 95% washes, glazes and drybrushing to paint the car, so it came together pleasantly quickly. Next up I think I'll try something a little heavier to give the Sons some punch.

Salem's "Crypto Minors"

I'd just got a new compressor for my airbrush, and enthusiasm for Gaslands was pouring from the Scale Creepers out through my screen and deep into my brain.  What man could resist the allure of disassembling toy cars and respraying them in a post apocalyptic aesthetic, like some sort of tiny backyard chop-shop for ants?  Not me, that's for sure.

Quickly hitting up various online stores I found the new Gaslands Refuelled rulebook for about AU$30 delivered from Book Depository, and I snuck out of work for a "coffee run" that involved scoping out a few second hand stores for Hot Wheels (with no joy), then heading to a department store for same.  The options found were pretty cool, but not quite the pittance I was hoping to spend.  So I grabbed the less cool, but only AU$1 each, Japanese-inspired sportsy type cars.
The book arrived, and after a quick scan through it settled on Miyazaki as the sponsor that best fit my cars.

When Witness Weekend rolled around I completely ignored all the sound advice that had been given and set about drilling out the rivets to disassemble the chassis.  Pin vice to electric screwdriver drill to Dremel to my actual handyman drill and I finally got the grunt to tear those bloody rivets out.  An afternoon in the stripper got most of the paint off, but not all, so I just buffed over the remaining paint edges to hopefully get a clean finish when I hit it with the undercoat.  That was also a minor fail.

"Neon Genesis"
Airbrushing went well with the new compressor though, and the Vallejo light grey undercoat with Minitaire ghost tint purple over the top came out nice and rich.  I tried to get a fancy underneath lights effect with a white stripe and yellow/green ghost tint spray over the top.  I think I should have taped up and sprayed the white instead of hand brush painting it, as it's a bit rough. Oh well, this was the quick and dirty trial, right? Right.
So 4 or so hours later and I've taken a knife to some old RTB01 arms to get pistols for rear guns and mounting a bolter with extended barrel on the side. The driver obviously just rolls down the window to change magazines when he runs out of ammo.

The companion ute ("pickup truck" to people that don't like metric) will have a 360 degree turret mounted mini gun or rocket launcher, magnet swappable. But he didn't quite get finished.
So at the end of the weekend I have the shiny vehicle Neon Genesis. Completely missing the dirty Mad Max post apocalyptic vibe that's genetically programmed into me as an Australian. I felt like I missed the point, kind of. 
However I can console myself that I can do this underage cyber crew of savant Japanese drivers, The Crypto Minors, as one project, and then find some second hand more muscley cars for a second, dirty, crew.
"Neon Genesis"


Rochie's "Toecutters"

I fucking love Mad Max. Like, really, really love Mad Max.  Even the shite pile that is Beyond Thunderdome cant tarnish the other three I lobe it that much, so when Cheetor, riding the tsunami of enthusiasm for Gaslands that has swept us up came up with the idea of a weekend of bashing hot wheels into post apocalyptic death machines, how the hell could I refuse? 
A quick rummage turned up a pair of suitable subjects, and off I went! 
I don't have many before pics, cos I'm an impatient dickhead and was too excited to take any, but after a couple of days of dismantling, cutting the fucking fingers off myself, rebuilding and frenzied sponge weathering, heres the results! 
The Toecutters

This was a great little mini project that has returned some fantastic results from all involved, fingers crossed they'll all meet on the Fury Road in the not too distant future. WITNESSED!

Bazpaz's "TorqueMadmen"
The Big Red One
Bastard Son of Herbie
The TorqueMadmen, a bunch of swivel eyed zealots. Let’s make Earth great again by kicking off all the Martians, but first let’s win some races for a trip off the planet.
The TorqueMadmen


Cheetor's "Crazy Horses"

Yeah... so not to do with Crazy Horse the native American, or Neil Youngs band named after that guy, but named after a song by The Osmonds.  Yeah it does make sense... I don't have to justify myself to you.
"Jessies Girl" and "Naranja Tostado"
I went for a fairly vanilla approach to prepping these two Gaslands vehicles, sticking to the brief fairly tightly.  I approached my first two Gaslands cars in a freeform way, largely unconcerned by the game rules and how the items glued to the car might affect them.  
For these two I wanted to go for something a little more specific, while still aiming for the fast throughput that I want in this project.  I'm aiming for fun gaming pieces, not display quality.

"Narana Tostado" always struck me as a nice way to say "hot orange", so I decided to call the orange buggy that.  I just like the way that it sounds.

As for naming the other car...

I have loved this song since I was a kid, and I has a classic rock feel appropriate to car related themes I think.  The lyrics are unashamedly psychopathic, bizarrely made actually less troubling if "Jessie's Girl" turns out to be a car (hint: Jessie isn't driving the car.  Nobody has seen Jessie for weeks...)

"Jessies Girl" and "Naranja Tostado"
My approach for painting the Crazy Horses is summed up in the post on my blog, but suffice it to say that wasteland chic is the order of the day for now.  I have plans for other approaches later on, but for now its all about getting them done.

L to R "Hammerhead", "Jessie's Girl", "Naranja Tostado", "Sawtooth"


More Scale Creep Witness Weekenders to come, there were too many for a single post.

1 comment:

  1. These cars are all brilliant and a much needed kick in the mojo to get mine done. INCOMING!