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Jordan Peacock

Afterglo Drive-In Theatre - Ruined Vehicles

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For Necronomicon 2019, one of the adventures I'm running is "Rooby-Doo and the Creature Feature" (for which I did that flashing "neon" sign earlier).  For the drive-in lot, I've worked on a number of wrecked vehicles -- some consisting of old Happy Meal toys (circa 2006 tie-in with Pixar's first "Cars" movie), but also a friend of mine has a 3D printer, and has let me work with a few "misprints" from his own Fallout terrain efforts.


This station wagon is patterned after a vehicle from the games, but due to inadequate "scaffolding" in the model, and having a ridiculously thin shell interior without proper in-fill (someone had roughly "translated" it from a polygon model from the game, I think, without really optimizing it for actual 3D printing), there were a lot of places where the shell was falling apart.  Of course, that's perfectly fine for a WRECK, right?  But it was just in such odd ways that I thought I'd do better to just use some epoxy putty and fill in the gaps anyway (and complete the missing bottoms of the tires, as the model was roughly cut off at the undercarriage).


One thing that did not work out at all was the bubble canopy, but I decided to work with that.  First off, I thought I'd put some skeletons inside.  For that, I have an old and very brittle collection of Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battle "Skeleton Army" skellies.  Right from the get-go, those things were fairly fragile and prone to falling apart (pinning was not a practical option with pieces that thin, and I hadn't even learned about the practice by that point anyway), and since then I've largely been able to retire them and replace them a number of alternative skeletal warriors (such as, say, Reaper Bones skeletons, but with wire sections to replace those bendy spear shafts).


So, into the driver's seat went an old skeleton that was broken off at the shins anyway (and nobody can see the feet under the dash, so that works perfectly).  I used some epoxy putty to give him a little fedora and scraps to suggest clothes.  For the passenger side, I had an odd Clix body left over from some sort of conversion, added a spare Skeleton Army skull, then used putty to make a dress and Bufont-style wig.

Since this was intended to be at the drive-in, I added a "jumbo" box of popcorn -- paper marked with Prisma thin markers for the stripes, and with penciled-in lettering.  I used a few crumbs of putty to give a hint of popcorn inside.  I also rolled a piece of paper to make a big Nuka-Cola paper cup, used a tiny circle of paper for the lid, and drilled a hole through it to insert a piece of paperclip acrylic sheathing (I skin that stuff off of paperclips all the time to use the wire for pinning) to make a big straw.


For the clear canopy, I observed that a plastic container in the recycling bin left over from a Publix container of watermelon chunks (yum!) had lots of round surfaces on it that could be evocative of a bubble canopy if only I cut it at the right angles.  I cut out separate pieces for the front windshield, rear window, and the rounded top, and used some leftover plastic (PLA) pieces of scaffolding (from another 3D print project I had to clean up) as the frame strips to go at the edges.  I left a few smudges on the surface left by the glue since, after all, this is POST-APOCALYPTIC, so the windows shouldn't be absolutely pristine.  (As has been pointed out, I probably should have dirtied the windows up MORE, but it's hard enough to see what's actually inside, so as more a matter of vanity and presentation I decided to leave them *mostly* clear.)


The "nozzle" (not sure what to call it) at the back was a part that didn't successfully translate in the 3D print, so I tried to recreate it with the cut-off tip from the cap of a depleted super-glue container.  It wasn't a perfect match by any means, but it looks okay-ish (better than just leaving an ill-defined lump there), so I'll roll with it.


The terrain boards are Secret Weapon Miniatures "Tablescapes" boards (12"x12" high-impact plastic textured tiles that link together at the corners) -- specifically from the "Urban Streets" themes (a mix of "damaged" and "clean" pieces -- the "damaged" ones featuring lots of craters, while the "clean" ones still have a lot of cracks I can do fun stuff with).


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Next up, there's the Pick-R-Up, a model from Thingiverse done by Grim6 (Michael Martin) -- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3815597


My friend Chris Thesing printed this off on a Printrbot Plus, no scaling (model is already made at 32mm scale), with 15% in-fill, using Solutech silver PLA filament, and no need for a tray (since the model is already flat-bottomed with an incorporated base).


The original model had a hard-edged base that I presume was meant to make it easier to determine base contact for miniatures games (Fallout: Wasteland Warfare in particular), but I'm not about to put every piece of scatter terrain on a base, and I'd rather it blend in a bit more with the terrain.  I tried removing the base, but it was so solidly incorporated that I would have destroyed the model in the process, so I opted to "camouflage" the edges of the base by applying epoxy putty and then texturizing it with a combination of plastic-clay texture-stamping, and mashing with a hobby knife and dental tools.  I then incorporated various random bits of detritus that had accumulated on my work space (clips of acrylic paperclip sheathing, snippets of sprue, mat board trim, plastic shavings, etc.) and also some paper elements.  The red mug and milk bottle in the foreground are actually a couple of sprue segments I chopped off that just happened to *look* at least vaguely mug-and-bottle-like. 




I also incorporated some printed paper elements, such as a "rusty" old-style license plate, some discarded packaging, and a magazine.




Here's a shot of the right side, with a discarded magazine, and also visible is that one of the tires is splayed out, emphasizing that this is a WRECK, after all, and not just a pristine Pick-R-Up waiting to be driven off.  (Although, really, I sure wouldn't mind painting up a shiny, intact one.  I'm sure it could be justified SOMEWHERE.  Honestly, I think the Atom Cats should have had at least one restored hot-rod in their garage, even if the game mechanics wouldn't allow for it to be driveable.)




I'd also like to note that, as far as Thingiverse "Fallout" models go, this one was the most solid model I've seen yet.  Usually, I'm working from mis-prints, because models were just ripped from in-game polygonal things that have no internal structure to speak of, since they were designed for video games and not to be turned into something solid in the real world.  As a result, some of the structures (such as a hollow canopy) that might be given some illusory thickness in-game get transformed into *nothing* when it comes out of the 3D printer, or nearly so, unless a lot of work is done to fill it in.  (Or that's the impression I get.  I haven't actually done this myself; a friend of mine for whom I paint minis is letting me paint up a few of his models for his own games, and work with a few cast-offs to use as wreckage for mine.)


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Chryslus Atomic V-8 model (model by Nick Hume -- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2553566 ).  This came out as an oddball misprint, in that the layer that was supposed to be for the windows was strangely offset within the model by a few millimeters.  I tried to fix this by using pieces of blister plastic for inset windows, and using a Dremel to scour out some of the areas where "fixing" it in this way would prove especially problematic (mainly in the front).  I used a couple of Games Workshop "Skeleton Army" minis to represent the former driver and passenger, with a few bits of putty to suggest scraps of clothing.


The billboard shows an image from the game (i.e., something that would be on an in-game billboard).  The street section is another Secret Weapon Miniatures Tablescapes tile (Urban Streets) that I just finished painting up today.

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I love the dead driver/passenger idea!
It certainly adds to the apocalyptic feel of it all.

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Frustratingly, I don't actually know who the maker was for either of these models.  (When I asked my friend who printed it for me where he got it, he wasn't sure.  He thought it was as part of a Kickstarter model deal, but I can't find any that seem to match up.  I'm pretty sure it's not on Thingiverse, as I've tried every keyword I can imagine and still haven't turned anything up like this.  So, if anyone has any leads, I'd appreciate it.)


One thing odd about this is that the same "fins" appear in each model.  I'm not sure if the "fin" structures on the van were even intended to be part of the model, as they seem to be designed to be on a different plane of reference than the angle of the van body.  This was even more pronounced initially, as there were some ridges very visible on the fin (still somewhat visible, despite my filling in with putty) that would be going up at an odd angle relative to the van -- but the same ridges are present on the fins for the wrecked car, and there they don't seem so out of place.  It's as if there was some sort of "clipping error" between the van model and a copy of the car.  I wonder if, were I to dissect the van model and bore through all the plastic honey-combing "in-fill" inside, whether I'd find another "wrecked car" shell buried within.


The car was printed in such a way that there were some pretty strong "scan lines" in the print, so I did a lot of filing and gap-filling (with epoxy putty) to try to smooth out the curved fenders of the car, and the bent-up I-beam.  By comparison, the van didn't come out quite as badly.   The "scan lines" are very visible on the debris pile around the car, but I thought it would be crazy to try to "fix" that.  (Probably better for me to just cover it with gravel/flock, as I ended up doing with the van.)


On the car, I experimented with cutting out some clear blister plastic (from some Reaper mini packaging) to insert into the window frames to give more of a look of "glass," but the result was ... meh ... so I didn't bother with that again for the van. 


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Another detail to finish out the lot: speaker posts!  Unlike the vehicles, which were 3D-printed with Solutech PLA filament, the speaker posts were 3D-printed in resin for much finer detail.  Each post is based on a penny that I stuck some epoxy putty on and texture-stamped for a trash-heap/rubble look, and then I went back to add to the look of accumulated debris with some Hirst Arts bits, scraps of printed paper, paperclip bits, and chopped pieces of sprue.  I've got 16 of the posts now, carefully tucked away in a foam-lined box with the cars, ready to decorate the "Afterglo Drive-in Theatre" lot next weekend.  Necronomicon is less than a week away now.  Whew!  (October 18-20, 2019 -- Tampa, Florida -- http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm)

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A few photos from the actual game I ran at Necronomicon 2019 this weekend:




Initial setup at the Afterglo Drive-In Theatre.  For the projection screen, I used a laptop running a sequence of old theater clips ("Let's all go to the lobby!" "Mmm, hot buttery POPCORN!" "COMING ATTRACTIONS!") and previews, along with some still-shots of various Fallout-universe posters (overlaid with some "old film grain" animated textures) that would loop silently in the background.


The projection tower / snack bar building is, as you might surmise, a magazine rack.  :)  Also, the Reaper Flying Saucer can be seen as part of the "kiddie playground" area up near the screen.




Another angle with the sign more visible.  I'm proud of my players for quickly deciphering the "mystery" of what was showing at the theater at the time the bombs dropped.  (Each side of the sign has *different* randomly-selected letters missing, so between the two it was possible to piece together that the message read: "NOW IN SMELL-O-RAMA" ... "1 GO-ZERO THE MONSTER KING" ... "2 REVENGE OF THE FISH-MEN.")


Oh ... and a special appearance by "Go-Zero" toward the end of the adventure:


Rooby-Doo heroically leaped onto the head of the "mega-deathclaw" to provide a distraction while the others hastily got the "History Machine" into gear to get OFF the theater lot!


And I personally was amused when the History Machine lost control (because the driver, Raggy, was busy every round hanging out the window firing his shotgun rather than, y'know, actually DRIVING) and careened right into (and through) a "safety reminder" sign at the edge of the lot.


And here's the Rooby Gang (and a Mysterious Stranger celebrity special guest star along for the ride) -- all Reaper minis -- arranged on a special reference sheet I made for the "History Machine" to keep track of seating of PCs inside the vehicle (when applicable):


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