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Author Topic: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles  (Read 1507 times)

Offline KD47

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  • Posts: 76
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Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« on: April 17, 2021, 11:26:34 PM »
Hello All,  The topic for today: post apocalyptic vehicles and how to get more for less.

Need to create a junkyard full of old wrecks cheaply, or have an idea for some custom war wagon?     A pretty decent place to start is with a quick trip down to your local toy, grocery or drug store.    Somewhere on an end-cap display, you'll be able to find a display with some die-cast cars, which are oddly close to 28mm scale.

If you'd like to look some up online, one of the companies that make these is Kinsmart and a link for some is here:  https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kinsmart+diecast+cars&crid=ZUU0BEKT8TOI&sprefix=kinsmart%2Caps%2C264&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_3_8  Mind you, I'd get these from a local source if I could.  Amazon makes enough money from everyone.   For some, you may want to look up specific items on eBay.   Solido makes a pretty good military line, though their price reflects that.

The advantages of die-cast cars are:  price, an interior, moveable doors, clear windows, decent realism.   The disadvantages are:  the scale can vary.   Y'see, these are toys for kids, and they're pretty much all the same actual size.    That means a Prius or Cooper will be the same actual size as a muscle car or full-size pickup.   So stick with the trucks, jeeps, toyota corrollas, muscle cars, SUV's and stay away from the really little (in real life) cars.   You're shooting for scales between 1/60th and 1/43rd scale.  Anything bigger than that is no-go.  Take a mini with you when you buy if you want to make sure.   Some of their physically larger limousines and buses work well too.

Mind you, the manufacturers aren't really that accurate with the scales anyway.  Miniature manufacturers are more diligent.   For example, Crooked Dice offers an excellent series of vehicles and post-apoc add-ons which match their miniatures nicely.  Spectre minis does as well.   Spectre also has some excellent vehicle add-on kits that you may want to consider getting to mod your other vehicles.   I'd wholeheartedly recommend both of these lines.   

But back to the topic at hand.   When you buy your little toys, get out the old screwdriver and disassemble them.   This will let you paint the exterior and interior separately and give you a lot more leeway in the way you work.   Use all of your weathering tricks on these: Rust, chipped paint, latex mask, salt-masking, etc.   You'll probably find many excellent examples in this forum.   Then re-assemble them and they'll look great.    Be careful when using flat spray on clear plastic though.   You'll want to partially mask off the windshields so that they can retain some of their clarity.   This can be used to great artistic effect.    Also: with a metal body, chipped paint and other damage is easy.   Take an old pocketknife and just scratch and scrape the edges until you get something that looks beat up, and then do your weathering.   Or do it after.  Or rub them against the pavement for a while or maybe drag 'em on a string.  Whichever works best for you.



Above are some examples.  The road-warrior car is a kinsmart, and the 6-wheeler was a rare russian die-cast model.   The APC is a re-painted Solido.   You'll notice the 2 Alvis Stalwarts and the re-worked UFO Shado Mobile.   Those were had through eBay.   For those kinds of things, I'm gonna have to recommend (with extreme prejucice) a rule to operate by:  If you can get a model that's really really beat up and has almost no salvage value, get that one.    Pass on the nicer ones.  Those shouldn't be converted except back to their original form as they are rare collectibles, and therefore represent part of our culture, and ought to be preserved.    But if you can get a really grungy one (for cheap), go for it.

Another advantage of the really cheap wally-world or drugstore models is that you can create a bunch of wrecks to use as scatter scenery or to build your own model junkyard.    Below are some that I've worked up with several of my trashed-metal techniques.



Enjoy!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 12:02:40 AM by KD47 »
For former content of mine, search my former user ID kalebdaark:

https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=4831

Offline mikos khan

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 201
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2021, 12:17:43 AM »
Some of those vehicles seem oddly familiar to me.  BTW, awesome work - as always. 

Offline Grumpy Gnome

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2617
    • The Grumpy Gnome
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2021, 02:00:51 AM »
Brilliant work and great advice, thanks!
Home of the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/

Offline clanmac

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 691
  • Danger - Stupid and Industrious
    • Clan Mac's Post Apocalyptia
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2021, 10:50:38 PM »
Great work. I love the smashed in windscreens.
Mac

It's not big, or clever, but let's do it anyway

https://www.facebook.com/Junkt0wn/

Offline Cat

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 614
    • Goblinhall
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2021, 11:08:00 PM »
Alackaday, I'm only seeing little there's a photo here icons, but no photos.
 
I've recently picked up a bunch of late-60s early-70s 1/64 cars for Mean Streets that will definitely be getting disassembled for weathering and dullcoting.  Will need to take a drill to the rivets in the chasses to pop them open.

Offline KD47

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 76
  • What is best in life?
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2021, 12:04:36 AM »
If you're not seeing the pics, try a different browser.  That's worked for me in the past.  Otherwise:


Smashed windscreens:   When the car is still somewhat new and fully assembled, take a lighter to a spot on the windshield very briefly, then push in with a nail.   Rub away any soot.   Grind away the center section with a dremel.   Then, with an old exacto blade, scratch the shatter pattern into the windshield.   Wash some white paint into the shatter pattern, taking care to not get too much on the other glass parts.   Thin it down considerably so it just flows into the cracks.   Feel free to fully dull-cote this section of windshield because...... who's gonna clean a shattered windshield at the junkyard?

Speaking of which......  if you have a pick n pull or some other auto salvage place in your vacinity, it's worth a couple of hours to visit one as a minor "lab" in artistic education.   You'll see how rust looks, what happens when cars get burned up or are left to rot for a month or five or twelve.   Wear sturdy shoes, and leave the flip-flops at home.


www.skankgame.com/Downloads/diecast2.jpg

www.skankgame.com/Downloads/diecastwrecks.jpg
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 12:10:30 AM by KD47 »

Offline syrinx0

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Scatterbrained Genius
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  • Posts: 2499
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2021, 07:42:24 PM »
Nice work on the wrecks.
2020: +128; 2019:-471 2018: -47; 2017: -100; 2016:+1;

Offline KD47

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 76
  • What is best in life?
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles UPDATED
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 12:05:17 AM »
Hello again all.   Been working on a few things to get a few more items for games.    So here are a few items to inspire you, at least I hope.



1:  A couple of technical trucks built from 1/43 die-cast gems from the local WalGreens drug store.   Since my games typically take place in the US, I  wanted a US kind of look to them.   Home spray-painted camo and lots of desert dust.   The MG's are russkie DSHK harkening back to their "technicals" origins and probably came up through Mexico via gun runners.   Spectre miniatures gunners, slightly modified. 

2:  A fairly clean government "bug-out vehicle" that practically screams "COP!" this one is useful to emulate escort vehicles attached to VIP's or as a battle taxi for military contractors.  This one has a few vehicle add-ons from Spectre Miniatures.     I wish they made these again or had them available.   Very handy, those.

3:  The Witch of the Outlands needs a really flamboyant custom-build to announce her presence on the scene.   This one took its inspiration from a piece of digital art I did on the subject which can be seen here (mildly spicy pinup content - external link to Renderosity Gallery):  https://www.renderosity.com/rr/mod/gallery/the-witch-of-the-outlands-gets-a-car-pinup-calen/2919136/


This next batch uses die cast cars to emulate some of those seen in the original Road Warrior movie.   Only the one in the middle of pic 4 is a stock collector piece, unaltered in any way so as not to ruin its collector value.     Decals:  you can get home-print decal sheets online for $3-4 apiece.   Plan your print carefully to maximize the number of decals you get out of one go.  I use a millimeter ruler to measure my surfaces first, and set my graphics program rulers to millimeters to get 'em right.

Hope you like 'em.  Have fun!

« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 12:14:34 AM by KD47 »

Offline Will Bailie

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1265
    • Will's toy soldier blog
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 03:26:39 PM »
Great post, excellent tips here.

If you are looking for a REALLY cheap source of die-cast cars, consider a trip to your local thrift shop - Value Village, Sally Anne, or one associated with a local charity.  They will often have bags of castoff diecast cars going for a few dollars.  Most will be distressed, and there will likely be a mix of scales and styles in the bag, but at the price you can afford to sort through and just keep the ones you want.  If your objective is to modify them to make wrecks or Mad Max style rides, it won't matter if they are already a bit beat up.

Offline Cat

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 614
    • Goblinhall
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 03:43:25 PM »
Sweet beans that Witch has an amazing ride!

Offline Kikuchiyo

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 153
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2021, 11:52:07 AM »
Those look great another project on my list

Any recomendations for make on the 1/60th scale cars? Particlualry looking for post war soviet vehicles

Offline KD47

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 76
  • What is best in life?
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2021, 12:05:01 AM »
1/60th scale cars:   a lot of the same techniques will work on these that work on 1/43 scale.    You're kind of headed towards 20mm / Hot Wheels / Gaslands territory here, which is a great territory to be in.   Post-war Soviet?   You'll probably have to do some digging on eBay and Amazon.  Maybe just a general web search.   My instincts tell me that you might be ordering from some model company in Russia.    Mind you, I have a couple of Russian manufactured models and they're good quality.   The shipping time might be a bit longer than the ones in the US.    If you want Post-War soviet in roughly 28mm scale, look at Solido on eBay.   Be willing to pay a bit more than the wallyworld toys though.

Now that I think about it, one of my first BTR-60's was a die-cast toy from Russia.  It was more of a standard 25mm scale but worked well with my Twilight2000 Russkies from Ral Partha.   I don't remember the manufacturer though.   Worth a few searches though.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 12:14:46 AM by KD47 »

Offline Will Bailie

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Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2021, 01:56:12 AM »
You can search for 'Techno Park' (or техно парк), a Russian (or Ukrainian) company that makes diecast toys.  They produce most common Russian/Soviet stuff.  You'll need to check on scale, as they seem to be designed to fit the box rather to a particular scale.

LAF member Cuprum sells them through his company Siberia Miniatures. 
http://siberia-miniatures.ru/index.php?manufacturers_id=16

But you could also find them through other sellers if you search a bit.

Offline Kikuchiyo

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 153
Re: Die-Cast toys into Post Apocalyptic vehicles
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2021, 09:35:20 AM »
Thank you both that's very helpful

 

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