Sunday, October 23, 2011

1/43 scale cars, trucks and helicopters for Zombie gaming

I have been haphazardly collecting 1/43 scale vehicles and helicopters in preparation for 28mm ATZ zombie gaming for the past couple of years. Things were just a little bit disorganized as a result, so I decided it was time to see what I had on hand. I have managed so far to only buy one duplicate truck,  a telephone/power type with cherry picker, which is good. I may try and convert that to something post-apoc'ish - more likely just return it to Toys-R-Us.

 I have cars dating from the 1950's up to current year models, and have tried to get as large a variety of styles and makes as possible. Vast majority are 1/43 scale but I have the odd one here and there that is bigger or smaller, or in some cases unmarked. If it looks close, I'll buy it. Most are diecast, but there's a few plastic mixed in. The desert camo HMMWVs are plastic toys, but so close to scale and so cheap I had to get them.

I have police, emergency, construction, sport utility, and commercial, as well as the typical passenger types. I plan to take some and do some crash damage, and have another dozen convertibles that I plan to wreck and stack for a junk yard set. Currently all the vehicles are in the condition I bought them. I'm debating on whether to try and do any weathering. Without an airbrush, I'm hesitant to try and do it by hand. I am comfortable in weathering WW2 AFVs, but typical modern / commercial road wear would be a stretch.

Vehicles have been bought from a variety of sources - the usual toy, discount, hobby and department stores, but also flea markets (Georgia and Indiana), thrift/Goodwill stores, convenience stores (Florida), and museums (Germany). Traveling as much as I do for work gives me the opportunity to find new places to scrounge stuff.

My goal is to be able to populate anything from rural (all the farm machinery) to big city environments. I also want to be able to do a truck stop scenario, thus all the big rigs. The trucks range in scale from 1/43 to 1/50. I am still looking for a 1/50 scale Greyhound style passenger bus. There's usually some on eBay but prices are more than I want to pay.

"Get to da chopper!!"

I have been fortunate to obtain a couple of diecast 1/43 scale Bell Ranger choppers, painted and decaled in LAPD livery. I decided I had to have a SWAT or Government "Night Chopper" ( Blue Thunder? - oh yeah, go to whisper mode), so I disassembled one and spray painted it matte black. Turned out pretty nice, although it was a real pain to get some of the pieces separated.

I also have another 1/43 scale chopper in US Coast Guard scheme not pictured. I still have to assemble it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

28mm Card and Paper Buildings - WIP

Recently I have been trying my hand at making some card/paper buildings to populate my eventual zombie apocalypse...

My plan is to use printed paper "skins", and attach the graphics to a variety of hard shells. I visited the local craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Walmart, etc.) hunting for suitable boxes (hopefully with lids).

I had good luck at Hobby Lobby, and using my trusty 40% coupons, and the 50% off weekly ads, I scored some nice raw materials. HL stock a set of about a dozen nested boxes with lids - bought for $6.00 ( after the 40% coupon). Nested boxes are way cool, cause I can minimize storage needed. HL also sells paper-mache boxes that nest, but are sold separately.  I found some raw wood boxes (open top/nested and kleenex/tissue sized) at Walmart.  Most card/mache boxes have averaged out to less than a couple bucks each, while the wood have been more expensive at about $3-$7 each.

I spent some time perusing images and textures on the 'net, looking for suitable samples. I then set up some templates in Visio, after taking careful measurements of exterior & interior sides, and interior floors. 

Next is to decide what type of building, then select walls, windows and doors, and any trim details. My templates are scaled so it is easy to size, scale, and tweak to fit ~28mm scale figs. I am using lots of sources - raw images, tiles, textures, and then use selective cropping, resizing, and image manipulation/editing to get the piece/parts I need. Initial efforts were slow and crude,but I am getting the hang of it and setting up layers and shortcuts to make the builds go quicker.

Here are some of my initial efforts...

I have a bout three dozen boxes now, ranging form a couple inches square, up to about a foot square, and both single and multiple stories. I hae several of the larger (6"-8") cube style paper-mache boxes that I will cut down to give me more variety in height.

I have no roofs done (other than the shanty iron ones shown) at this time. I am considering a couple of options, as I want to keep a) the lids/roofs removable,  b) have a rim around the edge that eliminates any sliding, and c) retain the nesting capability. More to follow as I progress.