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Jordan Peacock

Fallout 2 Caravan Merchant (50291, 77256)

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A few WIP photos of the construction of a caravan trailer inspired by Fallout 2.  In short, a "caravan" would be represented by a few big-finned back-ends of retro-futuristic cars chopped off and converted into wagons, which would then presumably be towed by Brahmin teams.  Given the nature of the Fallout 2 engine, we never got to see any of them in action, and I suppose it would have been too much trouble to model them in Fallout 3 onward, so they never appeared again since.  I think that's a pity, since I loved how the sight of half a car chopped off and towed by a two-headed mutant cow pretty much encapsulated the better parts of the post-apocalyptic retro-futuristic aesthetic of the Fallout series.

 

fallout_2_caravan_trailer_wip_by_jordang

In this case, I took a McDonald's Happy Meal "Flo" toy (from Pixar's "Cars"), disassembled it, removed the windshield and "eyes" insert, then used a Dremel cutting wheel edge to saw off the back half of the car, and to cut out the trunk lid.  "Flo" and "Ramone" are rather low-riding cars, so that wouldn't do for a Brahmin-pulled trailer going across the wasteland -- and therefore I jacked up the trailer a bit by installing a couple of larger-diameter plastic wheels from a collection of WWII model "bits" I have in a bag.  I added a spare windshield from a broken Jeep model, used some craft wood "matchsticks" for the main harness structure, and then inserted a plastic peg under the rear section so the wagon can stand up better when being portrayed as being pulled by the mutant bull.

I put a few random junk items in the trunk (canisters, papercraft box), put the lid back on top of that (so as to appear over-stuffed), and then stuck some more junk atop THAT.  I had a bunch of leftover tail-tips from the "Ch'thon" conversions I did for bloodworms, so I had the inspiration to stick them in a bucket and turn this into a food vendor -- "bloodworm gumbo" sounded good, so I made a little sign to accompany the wagon.

The merchant is Reaper Chronoscope #50291 "Billy Bob, Zombie Hunter."  His pack animal is #77256 "Brass Bull," but with a second head and with a harness crafted out of sprue and junk, with a bit more putty, as a mutant bull.

In the background are some 3D-printed vending machines I fixed up, and the scenery consists of a "Toy Story" waste-disposal plant play set, and some Secret Weapon Miniatures Tablescapes "Scrap Yard" tiles.

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And here's a picture of the finished item, Billy Bob and all, which I intend to be part of the settlement that the Rooby-Doo gang visits in my Fallout-themed scenario for Necronomicon 2018:

 

the_bloodworm_farmer_by_jordangreywolf-d

 

For the "Brass Bull"/"Mutant Bull" base, I used a plastic 40mm square base combined with a HeroClix dial that I split in half, then affixed to each end, braced both by the integral base of the "Brass Bull" model, and a bit of putty.  The scenery consists of Secret Weapon Miniatures Tablescapes "Scrap Yard" themed tiles, plus a "Toy Story" play-set I turned into a wrecked building / settlement entrance gate.

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dd4jk1d-7a492103-87b2-4af7-bf44-86432fbe

 

I decided to expand upon my "merchant caravan" a bit.  This was made by taking an O-scale (1:43 scale) toy 1965 Chrysler convertible toy, applying some gobs of Japanese "plastic clay" (same stuff as Instant Mold) to the back to make a rough push-mold, then making an epoxy putty shell for the main trailer section and wheels.  I used some more putty to build up the tail fins, and used some dowel to make the braces in the front, with a piece of scrap plastic (a leftover from my "monorail" toy conversion earlier) serving as a brace for the harness, and more putty to make the various places where the parts might be held together with some now-rusted scrap metal.  (I figure this caravan trailer has been in use for quite a while.)

 

The canopy is made by bending over some paper clips to serve as a frame, then gluing a scrap of paper napkin over each one with enough slack that I could make it soggy with some paint and make it hang off the supports, and form some folds; once the paint dried, the canopy would stiffen that way, and be slightly more durable from the paint.  (I applied a little more paint just in case.)

 

The crate on the back is a Hirst Arts Castlemolds casting, with some printed paper elements for the warning signs.  The "Big Book of Science" is printed paper glued to a scrap of balsa wood.  The canister is a random "bit" from a model kit.

 

The teddy bear was made with some leftover bits of putty I had mixed up, that was starting to harden.  For the main body of the bear, I rolled a ball of putty, and then I made the limbs with "teardrops" of putty pressed into position.  For the head, I made a "kidney bean" shape (impressing it with the side of a paint brush where the "nose bridge" would be at the top of the muzzle), and then I used the rounded back end of a paint brush to make soft concave areas where the eyes would be.  The eyes themselves aren't sculpted -- they're just dots of paint -- and ditto for the button nose and the simple mouth.  The ears were made from tiny "worms" of fresher putty I was able to curl into C shapes and then press onto the head.  There's no wire skeleton frame for the "figure," so it ended up being warped this way and that as I applied bits of putty.

 

The horse is from a Safari Ltd "Horse Toob" set -- a collection of plastic horses I picked up at JoAnn Fabric a while back, because they're in the rough ballpark of 32mm scale, AND they haven't any saddles or caparisons or barding or other features that would lock them into a particular time period or fix them into a role as riding animals.  I made the air filter cylinders by chopping a couple of slices off of a piece of plastic sprue and drilling a few holes in the end, then pin-drilling attachment points at the edges of the horse's mouth, and affixing with small sections of wire. 

 

I made the gas mask lenses by putting a dot of super glue over each eye, applying a tiny ball of putty there (I took care to make sure both balls of putty were the same diameter), then I took the flat end of a round length of plastic sprue and impressed that into each ball of putty; the putty that just squashed outside the diameter of the sprue cross-section made a "rim" for each goggle lens.

 

The border and "seams" of the gas mask were made with little strips of "green stuff" ribbon epoxy, since it worked well for making long "worms" of putty I could work around a curved surface, affixing in place with dots of super glue, and then using a hobby knife to impress "seams" and to cut away little globs of excess.  The "harness" is made from "brown stuff" ribbon epoxy ... simply because it is about as good for the task as the green stuff, but is easier to work with.  (My "green stuff" supply tends to start hardening, and to become a real pain to work with -- BEFORE I actually mix the colors, that is! -- with a relatively short "shelf life."  I've often found it hard to work with even when I first buy it.  It probably has something to do with the Florida climate; I've heard of people keeping the old Duro ribbon epoxy in the fridge to extend its lifespan.  For whatever reason, the "brown stuff" seems to stay usable for much longer.)

 

Technically, a HORSE is something you just don't see in Fallout.  I think the "Fallout Bible" working doc flat-out states that there ARE NO horses in the Fallout world ... but then, I think it says the same thing about cats, and yet a bunch of them popped up in Fallout 4, and there's a Fallout: New Vegas tie-in comic that shows NCR troopers on horseback.  So maybe those cats don't exist according to canon, and maybe those horses don't, either, but past a certain point that's just silly, and I WANT A HORSE OF THE APOCALYPSE, so there it is.

 

I've got another caravan trailer in the works that has ANOTHER horse, but this time it's got a bit more of a Fallout mutant vibe to it.  There will be more on that once I get a good picture of it.

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dd4r8w3-db794f59-bc28-495a-8739-cbd660da

 

And here's the third wagon/trailer for the merchant caravan.  I think this should suffice for a while.  (Now I've got to figure out how to foam-pack/store/transport these things without them falling apart on the way, what with all the little bits.)

I didn't find any cheap plastic cows of the right scale to work with since the last trailer, so this time around, it's another horse.  However, I decided to make it a little more Fallout-esque, by granting it the same mutation that seems to plague so many post-apocalyptic herbivores: two heads!  Just to make things even weirder, the right head of the mutant horse has two eyes on the right side of its face, and none on the left.

 

I'm sad to report that JoAnn Fabric no longer carries the "Horse Toob," so I've lost my supply of close-enough-to-32mm-scale-for-my-purposes plastic horses without any saddles, caparisons, barding, etc.  They've got some other rough equivalent, but the packs are significantly more expensive, and I haven't yet found a "just-horses" pack.  (There's one "Farm" themed set with a single cow -- and it's around $13 for the pack, so that's not exactly a cost-effective option, either, if I haven't use for all the other animals in the set.  Due to the weird scale logic of these toys, all those other animals in the pack -- pigs, rooster, hen, sheep, dogs, etc. -- are roughly equivalent in size to the COW.  Argh!)

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Do you have a Michael's near you? I remember them selling the horse toob. Unless that entire set has been phased out.

Edited by pcktlnt
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Do you have a Dollar Tree, or some other store that sells everything for a single dollar?

My local store has bags of animals, I think one was just horses.

 

I won't get free until Friday morning to go check exactly what they have.

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19 hours ago, pcktlnt said:

Do you have a Michael's near you? I remember them selling the horse toob. Unless that entire set has been phased out.

 

Thanks for the suggestion!  Actually, come to think of it, there's one near a mall we sometimes drive to.  I'll just have to petition for the chance to swing by and check it out.  (It's a little too far off for me to take a solo trip to run "errands.")

@Brother Jim: Any time I have an opportunity to check out a dollar store, I make a beeline for the small, cheap toy section.  ;)  I was able to score a decent (for $1) plastic Conestoga wagon that way (or something to roughly approximate it), even though the included cowboys and Native American warriors were closer to 54mm scale.  However, all the cows I've found so far have *also* been the sort that would look more at home with 54mm scale than 32mm.  Thanks for the suggestion, though!  I'm pretty sure I've seen plastic cows of an appropriate size some time in the distant past ... but, alas, that was during a time when I didn't think I'd have a "need" for them.

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@pcktlnt: Follow-up -- I went by Michael's today, and -- sure enough -- they have Safari Ltd "Toob" sets!  I'm disappointed to say that the quality has decreased a bit, and the price I'm pretty sure is higher.  I found two sets with a cow: one was "Down on the Farm," and another was just "Farm."  Both were $12, and each one only had one cow.  (One also had a BULL, but for whatever reason any time I see a Brahmin in Fallout, it's a cow, so somehow putting a BULL there just wouldn't seem fully iconic.  ;)  )  As for the quality-decrease, I'm talking about the pre-paint job.  Last time I got "Down on the Farm," the tractor and trailer included in the set had painted tires and a couple of other details.  Here, the trailer was just solid red -- tires and all -- and the tractor only had a haphazard black applied to part of the tires (still red hubs, and the whole engine area was left red as well).  I suppose I shouldn't care that much since I plan to repaint these, but when I see "cheaper" product and higher price, it's disappointing.

 

Fortunately, I checked and there was a "40% off any one item" coupon at Michael's, as apparently they follow the same coupon model as JoAnn Fabric.  So I just got that one item.  ;)  With tax, it amounted to a little under $8.  Thanks for the tip!

 

I went for the "Down on the Farm" set again, since the tractor and trailer are about the right scale to work as scatter terrain -- and I could even turn the trailer into a *smaller* wagon for the merchant caravan (maybe pulled by a donkey -- since there's a dead donkey named Pugsley in the first Fallout, so at least *donkeys* must be okay in the Fallout universe).  Maybe I can use the rooster for some sort of a "Chicken Shack" fast-food place -- or even a merchant stall (with the implication that the over-sized chicken statue has been salvaged from a fast-food joint).

 

("Down on the Farm" Toob contains: ~28mm scale small riding tractor and trailer; ~28mm scale cow; ~25mm scale horse; ~40-54mm scale farmer with pitchfork; ~40-54mm scale sheep; ~40-54mm scale pig; ~N-scale barn; hay bale of indeterminate scale (hay bales could be in various sizes); ~40-54mm scale dog.)

 

("Farm" Toob contains: rooster, chicken, goose, pig, ram, ewe, dog, cow, bull, duck, goat, horse -- all pretty close to the same size, so the scale is all over the place, but the horse and cow at least are in the neighborhood of 25-28mm scale.)

 

Right now I've got a second head in the works.  I think I will go ahead and make a "cargo load" for the brahmin, but this time around it's going to be a *removable* load, so I can either use the brahmin as a wagon-puller, or else as a solo cargo-carrier.

 

 

Edited by Jordan Peacock
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On 4/16/2019 at 10:38 PM, Brother Jim said:

Do you have a Dollar Tree, or some other store that sells everything for a single dollar?

My local store has bags of animals, I think one was just horses.

 

I won't get free until Friday morning to go check exactly what they have.

I did this recently. My local dollar store had them in with the party favors.

I also got a set of basketball players and debates on some baseball but the extra height (35-40mm) made more sense for basketball. Maybe I can use them for standin goliath and firbolg too.

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