Paul earned £30
in eM-4 credit


A CoZo Runabout
by Paul Williams

I found this friction-powered toy at our local £1 shop.

Even in its natural mauve and yellow colour scheme, I could see that it had potential!

At the moment, it provides transport for this young lady rebel as she rumbles about town.

After it was disassembled, the friction motor was removed (don’t want any players to be tempted to mow down the troops whilst trying it out!), the body shell received a coat of Humbrol no.64 matt light grey.

After this had dried fully, it had a coat of watered down black poster paint (1 litre for £1.50 from “The Works” - another cheap craft/book shop) which was polished off again whilst still wet, leaving a streaky, stained finish. Another quick polish when it was dry brought out the highlights, and the headlights were painted silver.

As can be seen from the photographs, the top of the vehicle has two pods which fold out, and a hole which originally held a clumsy looking claw arm.  I may try and build a small turret or radar dish to fit in here.

Hubcaps and the mechanical bits on the roof were given a coat of Humbrol 33 matt black. Once dried, they were given a rough coat of acrylic brown, with a further stippling of terracotta, followed by a thin wash of the black poster paint to dirty it down to a nice rusty-looking finish.

I used Inscribe acrylic paints – they’re pretty good for using on scenery and some vehicles. Mine come from the DIY section of a local bargain shop where they only cost £1 a bottle. Once all was dry, a quick drybrush of GW chainmail paint completed the effect.

The windscreen/canopy had a couple of coats of black painted on the inside, which leaves the outside a nice flawless reflective surface.

The rubber tyres and chassis were left unpainted, both looking fine in their natural form. At some point I may wash some brown paint into the tyre treads (if the paint will stick to the rubber!) and dirty the chassis up with rust.

The vehicle is pictured in scenery made from Hirst Arts blocks (

Hirst Arts produce a range of rubber moulds for casting your own scenery from plaster of paris. The items pictures come from the moulds for starship walls (#301), starship decking (#270) and starship cargo bay accessories (#302), and all are cast using Crystacal R extra-tough plaster.

The crates and barrels from the cargo bay mould are especially useful. If you cast enough, you could build a nicely claustrophobic warehouse interior in which to do battle (which I hope to do when I’ve cast some more!).

The crates are spray painted with a can of grey car primer from the £1 shop, with a wash of black poster paint when dry. This is polished off with a soft cloth to leave a nice shading effect (similar to the techniques recommended on Bruce Hirts’s web site).

A few extra crates and all of the barrels are painted with various shades of Inscribe acrylics, and also given the poster paint shading treatment. The cargo bay mould also has some nice panels of pipework which will soon be finding their way into some more of my buildings...