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Jordan Peacock

Gaslands: Red Rocket and Leadfoot

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Some friends of mine are starting up a Gaslands league.  My ability to participate is in doubt, due to my crazy work schedule (any given week, I may rather belatedly learn that it's time for me to find a hotel and schedule a flight for NEXT WEEK somewhere, and goodbye to weekend plans) but I've still found the time to dig up a few Hot Wheels and turn them into post-apocalyptic monsters.  I already had plenty of messed-up old Matchbox, Hot Wheels and other-branded cars of this general size corroding away in my garage, but I've been on a "Fallout" kick, so I wanted some vehicles that could potentially look as if they'd come from the Fallout wastelands.  Toward that end, I went shopping.


(So far: Cheapest deal I found was 69 cents per blister pack in a "Special Purchase" bin at my local Home Depot -- cheaper than Walmart, Big Lots, or the Dollar Tree.)


I've got several cars in progress, but I wanted to at the least meet the minimum requirement to participate in the first game, should my schedule cooperate.  (The first game is supposed to have 50-can teams, with no sponsors, with the idea being that the players can jockey for sponsors based on placing in the first game ... or something like that.  I'm not exactly clear on how it's going to go.)  So, I went with a minimum-size car/truck team (well, I suppose I COULD have built a war-rig) of 2 vehicles: a Hot Wheels '52 Chevy Pickup that I've dubbed "Red Rocket," and a Maisto Leadfoot that I've dubbed ... "Leadfoot."  (It seemed a nice enough name already.)


I used epoxy putty and some Instant Mold so I could texture-stamp strips of putty to make quickie "armor plates" to cut and glue onto vehicles, in addition to whatever random bits I had available.


In Gaslands terms:

> "Red Rocket" (25 pts): Middleweight truck (15 pts) + Ram (4 pts) + Rocket Launcher (6 pts).  Rocket Launcher is shown with forward facing, but I could optionally detach and reattach it for a backward-facing ANTI-TAILGATING MEASURE.  (Hee!)


> "Leadfoot" (25 pts): Middleweight car (12 pts) + HMG turret (4 pts x3 for turret = 12 pts) + Grenades (1 pt).  


That should be just enough to allow me a spot at the table.  Eventually I hope to kitbash some scale-appropriate bikes and buggies, and to try my hand at a war-rig, though I don't know what the points parameters will be for future games, so for now I'm basing it all around the typical 50-can (50 pt) model.  I suppose if I were really serious, I could try mounting tiny magnets on the vehicles and building an armory of swap-out weaponry, but ... eh, I've got way too many other projects vying for my time for that.  ;)


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Love what you did with the red truck.  Conversions look like crazy fun.  Bet that truck corners like a piece of broccoli though. :) 

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18 hours ago, Inarah said:

Love what you did with the red truck.  Conversions look like crazy fun.  Bet that truck corners like a piece of broccoli though. :) 


If it were replicated in real life, it would be heavy in all the wrong places, for sure.  And I can't say that the mounting of that HMG on the roof of the "Leadfoot" makes much sense, either.  Maybe one of my future constructions will have slightly less implausible engineering, but I wouldn't bet too much on it.  ;)

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After the latest Gaslands game (zombie apocalypse scenario!), I visited my friend, "Dr. Rhubarb" in his road-machine workshop, as we talked shop and looked over a bin full of die-cast cars and trucks that he'd picked up from Ebay and various other sources.




One topic that came up was how he was crushing several stock cars to stack up as wreckage (with the idea being that our Gaslands events are taking place in the vicinity of what used to be an old racetrack complex, I suppose) for "junk barricades" and other obstacles.  He tried using a hammer and a vice to crush them in interesting ways, but I thought that it might be neat to have a car look like it impacted against a small, sharp point, rather than just being *generally* crushed.  Like, for instance, the car hit a pole ... or it got T-boned!  So, voila -- Dr. Rhubarb (pictured) decided to try simulating that by taking the narrow end of a metal file and putting it up against the side of a die-cast car in the vice. 

We donned safety goggles, for well-justified fear that pieces might go flying.  They most certainly did!  I got a bit of plastic shrapnel to the face.  (Don't try this at home, kids!)  Thank goodness for those goggles!




Another view of the experiment (above).  The metal body crunched up in interesting ways, but a lot of newer die-cast cars have a lot of *plastic* elements, and those don't necessarily crunch up in a convincing way.  For instance, the windshield popped out and was dangling -- intact -- out one side.  Of course, such elements can be broken off when finalizing the wreckage for the table.




Anyway, I started talking about my own experiments with transforming McDonald's Happy Meal "Pixar Cars" toys into roadside wrecks for my Fallout-themed scenery, and how one element was that I used some putty to transform the tires into "flats."  (I mean, you're not going to have a years-old wreck sitting out, rusting away, with fully-intact, fully-inflated tires, right?  Either the tires are going to go flat, or someone's going to swipe those wonder-tires and put them to better use!)  Dr. Rhubarb had the novel idea of whipping out a blowtorch to apply to the tires in an experiment to see if we could find a quicker way to produce some "flats."  As I don't happen to have a blowtorch, and there is bound to be some protest if I start setting fire to anything that isn't a candle in my house (especially anything that might stink up the garage with the smell of BURNING PLASTIC), I don't expect to master this technique for myself.




While the plastic was still hot and soft, he jammed the tire against a hard, flat surface, and that flattened out those tires pretty nicely.  (As a side-effect, the bright labels on the tires burned away.  Eh, those looked way too crisp and clean anyway.)  The plastic undercarriage can be seen buckling underneath the toy car, but that's easily enough removed for the final terrain piece.



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I finally got around to converting the Hot Wheels "Custom Volkswagen Hauler" pictured earlier, into a Gaslands War Rig.




The trailer top fortified area is made with a couple of resin pieces from the tops of Dropzone Commander "Battle Bus" models (I have other plans for the ~10mm scale buses themselves) that just happen to fit pretty nicely into an opening on the top of the trailer, with only a little knife-trimming of plastic to make room.


The gun positions are a "mini-gun" from a HeroClix "Foolkiller" mini (also pictured earlier) -- it can be trimmed off fairly easily and cleanly with a hobby knife, and I'll likely fit the leftover minis with other types of weapons so they can find use elsewhere as "minions" for some odd 32mm scale game.


The exhaust stacks behind the cab are from a "Robogear" set (I think they were supposed to be guns), and the ram is some sort of Warhammer 40K bit (possibly Ork?), with some scraps of Robogear/Tehnolog/Platformer panels for armor plating on the cab, and some old screen from a wrecked weather door for the windows.


I loosely patterned this after the look of the "Wicked Shipping" trucks from Fallout 4.  (It doesn't strike me as a company name or logo that looks particularly evocative of the pseudo-50s-60s-meets-the-retro-future look that seems to drive the aesthetics of a lot of the game elsewhere, but, eh, it's canon, so I'll go with it.)


For scenery, I've got the rig on some Hot Wheels track, Secret Weapons Miniatures "Rolling Hills" Tablescapes Tiles, and in the background a few Halo Micro-Ops terrain pieces (around 20mm scale).

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Some more photos from a recent holiday game using the "zombie" scenario.  (Objective was to run down and "collect" as many zombies as possible -- no shooting zombies allowed, though shooting other vehicles was perfectly fine.)


Dr. Rhubarb's battle board.  The unfinished turrets served no role in the game, and were just placed there for the fun of it.  (Got to have some way to keep those zombies from pouring out of the arena?)  The tanks are treated as being full of Explodium: any contact with the base (or any hit from an exploding car within range) causes the tank to erupt in a 6d6 explosion affecting all within Medium Range.  Chain reactions are possible ... so we usually space them beyond Medium Range of each other.

House rules for this scenario: Zombies can be taken out by exploding cars or tanks (if at least one hit is scored from the explosion).  The player whose car exploded (or whose car hit the tank and caused it to explode) collects the zombies for scenario-winning purposes.  ALSO: We skipped the rule whereby if you get wrecked, then 5 of your collected zombies magically reappear next to the wreck.  (Rationale: What's the fun in having a rule where your exploding car can collect zombies, if they're just going to "respawn" next to your wreck?)


Dr. Rhubarb's team, above.  The pickup had a "Foolkiller" gun mounted on it (I donated a few that I found as 25 cent singles at a local game store), and also an armor plate and weapon from a Warhammer 40K vehicle (treated as a "death ray" from the expansion rules).  The VW bug was treated as a "buggy."  The mohawk is made from PVC, and the exhaust pipes from PVC tubing (with heat applied to make the bends).  The giant rear tires were swapped in from a larger-scale toy.  I believe the forward-mounted gun was a pewter piece, and the link on the back is another 40K "bit."


My "Red Rocket" truck on the left (armed with rocket launcher and ram, with "Piledriver" feat), and "Leadfoot"/"Leadhead" (I keep waffling on the name) on the right (standard car with turret HMG on roof, and grenades, and "Powder Keg").

The fact that my truck had a meat-grinder on the front served no real in-game purpose insofar as the zombies were concerned, but it made for more entertaining mental imagery.  I should have brought the red Play-Doh.

Here's where it started to go south for me.  Remember how I stated that if your car hits the tank, you get the zombies from the resulting explosion?  Important point, there.  My pickup had the "Piledriver" effect, which meant that I could ram a smaller-class (lightweight) vehicle -- such as a buggy -- and then move it up to a Short Template distance away, positioned however I liked.  I was able to use this to position the buggy in contact with the tank, which triggered a collision: KABOOM!

Problem #1: *I* don't get the zombies from the resulting explosion.  HE does.
Problem #2: Oops.  I'm within the blast radius.


So, the poor little buggy was out of the action, and by this point both my truck and car were heavily damaged, and could get wrecked at any moment once they got within range of attacks from that death-ray truck.  Worse, there were only two zombies left, and Team Rhubarb was in the lead ... by two zombies.  I was going to throw in the towel since there was no way I could *win*, but Dr. Rhubarb suggested we should at least play for one more turn, since it COULD at least end up as a tie.

The only sensible thing was to barrel down full speed toward the remaining zombies, racing to get there before the death-ray truck would amble back around for another pass.  This unfortunately put my two vehicles on a collision course with each other ... but I just BARELY managed to fit the "swerve" template in front of the Red Rocket Truck so it could narrowly sweep in front of the Leadfoot car, racking up Hazard points (not quite a wipeout, but getting there!) and barely missing a collision.


The "Leadfoot" car, having the advantage of a straightaway, and already at a higher gear (speed), managed to run down its zombie, but there's no way it could hope to turn about and get the remaining one, and at this point the death-ray truck was lined up to get that last zombie -- possibly before the Red Rocket.  So, there was only one "sensible" thing to do: Ram it with Leadfoot!  This wrecked Leadfoot, but brought the death-ray truck to a sudden halt.  Leadfoot subsequently exploded.  This wasn't enough to take out the death-ray truck, but that wasn't the point here: the truck was still at full speed, so it got a couple more movements before the death-ray pickup could get turned back about to face the zombie AND accelerate to the point of reaching it.

The last zombie got mowed down (BZZZZZZ-SPLORCH!), and the game ended in a hard-fought *tie*.

And the crowd goes ... "Meh."  (In retrospect, we should have had an odd number of zombies on the table.  ;)  )

But, hey, I still had a blast!

Now, eventually we've got to get those Tanks o' Explodium painted up.  Something that dangerous deserves to be a little less dull grey.

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