Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The future's so dark, I gotta wear shades

After a month of rotting, putrid carcasses, I'm now veering in another direction with another unfinished project checked off! This is the first of about five cars I'm planning on doing for Dark Future or other pose-apocalypse car games. Several years back, there seemed to be a boom in people in the oldhammer community converting hot wheels and matchbox cars for Dark Future. So I thought I would try my hand an picked up a hot wheels 1970 Buick GSX. And promptly did nothing with it.

Eventually, I opened the package and scrubbed off the decals with acetone. That is where I realized mistake #1: always pop the rivets and separate the body from the rest of the car BEFORE using any paint stripper. Quite embarrassing really, since I am very experienced with stripping models and know what is and is not plastic safe.

After that fiasco, I went to work on making it look post-apocalyptic. I added some metal covers for the side and rear windows, fashioned a hatch for the top, and attached a machine gun and a small rocket launcher. This was where I realized mistake #2: buy as many upgrade parts from professionals as you can, modeling at such a small scale is hard!

Next was priming and the rust undercoat. I airbrushed the whole car with Vallejo Game Air Dark Flesh, which turns out, looks nothing like the old GW Dark Flesh. But it was still brown-red, so it worked. After that, I put a coat of gloss varnish to protect the rust color from the worn effects that would (eventually) be applied. This was the next major stoppage in this project.

So it sat all rust colored for several months while I thought about the color scheme. Eventually I decided on a mint green, a color stereotypically associated with American cars from the 1970s. But I also knew I wanted a racing stripe. So I laid down a coat of AK Interactive Worn Effects and let that dry, per the instructions. Then I airbrushed a wide black line down the center. I took a damp, stiff brush and rubbed off bits of the black, making sure to pay special attention to the edges. After that was completed, it got another coat of gloss varnish.

Then I cut a strip of masking tape in the width I wanted the stripe to be and applied it to the car. Then, another coat of AK Interactive followed by Vallejo Game Air Scorpion Green. I added a couple of zenithal highlights by mixing in white. I removed the masking tape and went back to work with the damp, stiff brush. And another coat of gloss varnish. The metal plaints were painted with GW Chainmail and the Chrome with GW Stormhost Silver. Both were washed with GW Typhus Corrosion and the steel parts were also washed with AK Interactive Rust Wash.

I painted the bazooka in desert camo to give the impression that it was stolen from some military vehicle. Around the bottom I applied several layers of GW Stirland Mud. This was also washed with Typhus Corrosion and then drybrushed with Vallejo Game Color Plague Brown. The rusty spots were highlighted with various ochres and bright oranges.

This is where mistake #1 came back to really bite me. The tires were a mess, as they were a little melted and needed to be painted. That was a pain. Afterwards, the tires and the rims were also given a wash of Typhus Corrosion.

A this point, the entire car had a couple of thinned washes of Army Painter Soft Tone ink to make it look dirtier and bring out some of the definition.

The front windshield was "blended" from dark blue to white. I would like to think I put the highlights at the top because I envisioned the car riding off into the sunset with the light source low on the horizon. But the truth of the matter is I had a brain lapse and screwed my highlight up! There is also, somehow, a brown spot on the windshield. I have no idea how that got there and didn't even notice it until I took the photos! But after varnishing the whole model, this got a brushed on layer of gloss to amp up the shininess.


  1. Really cool mate. Mad Max would happily run this motor off the road I'm sure. :)

  2. Nice work. I look forward to see what else you come up with.

    1. Thanks! Unfortunately, based on the speed at which this one was completed, it'll likely be a while before I do anymore 😥

  3. Looks cool to me. I bought a bunch of cars a few years ago and have done nothing with them.

  4. I really love how you did the windshield. After many attempts (and failures) at them, I can attest that they are hard to get right, but you've pulled it off. Grand work!

    1. Thanks a bunch. The windows were fine with lots of thin layers. Just in the wrong order 😱