Shanties courtesy of Starbucks heat-sleeves. Note the corrugated metal look of the cardboard. Perfect 20mm scale.

Here are three Shanties ready for painting, with a car “hangar” to the left. You can clearly see the Smarty/ Candy Necklaces in their native state: they look like Cheerios which I didn’t use b/c they are even more brittle and designed to be absorbent for milk, which I thought would be a pain to paint!

I cut a pattern to form the four walls from one piece with slanted roofs, which I glued on last. These designs were invented by my friend Rene, who is also the one who discovered the Starbucks coffee holders. While he used a Hotglue gun to make his, I used basic white glue, which required me to use clamps while they set, and to make them in an “assembly line” fashion to allow the glue to dry. I generally avoid using a Hot Glue gun simply b/c they are so messy with glue strings everywhere, but both glues are useful for filling gaps between the cardboard seams (although drafty shanties should be de rigour, and are easier to build too).

You can see the Emory board in the background where I used  it to sand the Candy Necklaces flat. The candy dust got everywhere and lent a vague tart-sugary taste to the air. You can also see the Kleenex tarps hanging from the buildings, stiffened with watered down white glue (I believe I’ve already discussed the process of this in an earlier post). The extra bits in the hanger are tank bogies from 1/72nd scale models, which look sort of like Hub caps (also from Rene’s creative brain).

Gatehouse in Refinery Town

    Left "Gate House" of Refinery TownHere’s a section of the Road Warrior “Refinery Town” gatehouse. The tires are dry-brushed gray with a black wash over them. The firing step are Woodsies chipped up to make them look like worn boards. Note the wastelanders waiting to be painted for scale (20mm from Stan Johanson minis, very nice figs for the most part).

Stacked “Tires” (actually Smarties and candy necklaces)

Overall,  I like the Smarties better as they already have the general shape of a tire. Once I got the walls built to the height I wanted I filed the edges of the top tires using an emory board to round them out, then I took my Dremel tool and (I think) a 1/8″ drill bit and carefully drilled out the tops. To my surprise the candy wasn’t quite as brittle as I expected and I drilled them all out in no time with no breakage. I later tried this on a single candy and it shattered everytime. Apparently gluing them into a mass reinforced them strength.

Also, even though these are candies (and I still intend to lacquer the heck out of them to keep out bugs) I don’t think it’ll be too huge of an issue b/c they are not terribly sweet and an ant would probably not find them very interesting. Then again, I don’t plan to find out! These were easy to build using an assembly-line process, but now that Football season is essentially over, I won’t have something to fill the time while the glue dries between layers.

Two-lane highways

These are some road sections I’ve been working on. They are 20″ long and represent two-lane

highways as I recall seeing them in Arizona. They are raised using black foam-board, glued onto white foam-board. The median between the two highways is going to be rugged ground to cross, and cars can spin off the roads out of control into the relative safety of the desert: assuming there are no wasteland raiders waiting behind a boulder to ambush them.

I plan to set up my two 6′ tables end-to-end to make a 12′ long highway, and as the cars exit one end we can return them to the starting point for a potentially limitless race.

Last Sunday I painted the yellow traffic lines on them, and after I flock the ground with random desert grass I’ll add a new photo of the finished result.

“Bombshell Bar” (left) and “Ritz” flophouse (right) with lollipop stovepipes with X-acto for scale.

Okay, I guess I’ll kick this off by describing my newest project: Road Warrior. Both general post-apocalyptic scenario terrain and specific elements from the movie itself.

After learning how to capture images from movies on my computer (my techno-savy wife gets all the credit… and the blame for this blog as well), I played Road Warrior on Netflix “play now” on my computer. BTW, it is no longer available on play-it-now, which sucks. Anyhow, I paused numerous frames and stole images of the Refinery Town, as well as the cars in Humungus’ road-clan for scratch building ideas.

Side note: I think it’s funny how post-apocalyptic gaming is getting hot now, but everyone wants to arm their cars like “super-technicals”, rather than be purists and give everyone crossbows and pneumatic-arrow cannons. I’m going to try using crossbows and high-speed “boarding actions” like the movie to see how that works out. We may just go back to firepower on Chevys, though, if the games aren’t fun.

Okay, back to the main idea. So first off I spied a school bus at the local CVS that is a near-perfect version of the one in the movie. It’s the larger scale “toy car”, but most of the hotwheels will look fine next to it, particularly b/c it’s mostly a gate, and not a driving vehicle. I converted the bus using PLASTRUCT HO scale “Diamond Plate” (the stuff’s pretty pricey, but you get two sheets and I have only used half of one sheet so far on car conversions, so it’s worth the money). That was for the gate-side. For the inside I glued some wood scraps for the shelf, and put some random bits on the shelf. You can see it clearly in the movie-pix, which I will put in my Flickr account as inspiration. I also used an old trick I learned from Stone Mountain minis to take Kleenex and white glue to make tarps with wrinkles. They dry hard, look great, and are really easy to make once you get the hang of mixing the right amount of water with the glue to not tear the Kleenex. BTW, I’ve tried both TP and Paper Towels to lesser effect. The TP is way too fragile, and the Towels are tough to saturate with enough glue, and they usually have a texture on them you don’t necessarily want.

I’m off to take some pictures so you all can see what I’m talking about. More soon.