Argen earned £50
in eM-4 credit


Heavy Metal Hatchet Headz
by Arjen Pilon

After painting my savages I wanted to equip them with post apocalyptic vehicles… I had loads of toy cars to spare anyway.

When converting the vehicles I generally first strip it down as far as I can. Then I weather it by filing, drilling, sawing and bashing it with a hammer. Sometimes I replace the wheels and add extra detail like stowage, grills or bumpers.

I also add welding detail by squeezing out letters, lines or spikes from a tube of Vallejo Plastic Putty (VPP). This stuff (available from EM4) dries pretty hard and takes paint well (it basically is very thick paint anyway) and it's a great way of adding small detail pretty quickly.

I painted all vehicles in the same way and the method was quite straightforward. I start with a black undercoat and a grey drybrush.

Then I pick out the metal bits (mesh and bumpers and the like) lightly with metal paint. The metal bits (and select parts of the vehicle) are rusted with orange and light brown. I paint on names on those models that haven't had them puttied and them dirty them with earth tones.

I paint the underside and wheels completely with slightly thinned down earth, then wipe it from the wheels. The rest of the vehicle gets an additional drybrush with earth, especially around the wheels.

Finding a driver or gunner model for your car isn't easy, so I made my own. I wanted my crew to look like their tabletop counterparts and the easiest way to do this is to make sure they have the same head.

In some cases I just used the upper bodies from the regular models, where this wasn't possible I took the body from the EM4 Trail Bike Rider (who wears a shirt and a leather coat).

In the latter case I did a head swap with the appropriate model. I added spare arms and made the legs from putty.

I removed all steering wheels from the cars and instead glued those into the arms of the driver models. This makes sure the steering wheel doesn't look awkward in their hands and also makes positioning the models easier.

Some models, most notably those in cramped or closed cars, got a smaller steering iron because the steering wheel would make them too big to fit through the windows. These drivers double up as gunners.

Man o' War and Dio

More a desert ship than a car, Man’owar was a Solido 1:50 GMC DUKW 353 amphibious truck which I picked up relatively cheaply. It was a bit small for my bulky models so I removed the driver's compartment and made room for a model on a 25mm base.

I glued the original steering wheel back. I removed most fiddly plastic bits for future use and added chains to both sides. On the front I stuck on mesh 'teeth' and a spare skeleton as a grisly trophy. On the sides I wrote the name "Manowar" and "Hell On Wheels" in Vallejo Plastic Putty.

Dio is my favourite model and also the leader of my savages. He has the legs of the savage with the mask, the arms of the model with the claw and the torso of the savage with the chain. This combination makes him stand pretty tall. To top it off I sculpted the longest hair of all my savages on him.

Jag Panzer and Butch

Jag Panzer is a NewRay 1:43 Jaguar XJ-S V12. I replaced all wheels and bashed the body up a bit with a hammer. I replaced the front and rear bumpers and added an air intake from my bit box. I also added some stowage and a magnetised machine gun made from an EM4 sentry gun.

Butch got a head swap, more hair, a weapon swap and a new left arm.

Freedom Call and Snake

This car used to be an old Burago 1:43 Fiat Tipo. It was a rather dull model by itself so I spiced it up by adding an air intake sculpted with MagicSculp (also available from EM4).

The nice thing about MagicSculp is that it gets really hard when it cures. This makes it easy to file and therefore great for smooth mechanical bits like this.

I replaced the ugly Burago wheels with some spares, replaced the rear seat with a plasticard platform and added a bumper on the back and spikes on the front.

Snake received a new haircut and a paintjob, that's all!

Carnivore and Shark

Carnivore was built to fill the need for a vehicle with a larger transportation capacity. It used to be a Cararama/Hongwell 1:43 VW T3 van.

Once again I cut away the roof and rear hatch and added a mesh platform. I added a chain to the rear to prevent models from falling out during gaming. In the front I removed all plastic bits and barred the resulting gap with pieces of 1.3mm wire.

I wrote the name on the front with Vallejo Plastic Putty again. Rather than remaining wheeled, this monster became a half-track. The tracks are from an old toy and the front wheels are spare truck wheels.

Shark got his arms replaced and some more hair. I also fixed his shin armour.

Mercyful Fate and Leopard

This model is a Hongwell 1:43 Mercedes Benz 300T. I removed the roof and the rear hatch completely.

Then I sculpted a new bumper with putty and added skulls and mesh to the front. In the back I added some wire to prevent models from falling out and a platform for models to stand on.

I also stuck on a magnetised harpoon made from a toy gun, a pulley from the pick-up truck ("Iron Maiden") described below and a spare spear.

I also replaced the rear wheels with a slightly beefier pair and added a fuel can. I wrote it's name on the hood with Vallejo Plastic Putty.

Leopard was only a minor conversion as well, I re-sculpted the hair and painted his legs as spandex in a leopard motif. To make the spandex look convincing and shiny I mix in some Vallejo Metal Medium in regular paint.

Iron Maiden and Ozzy

This vehicle was a really cheap 'made in China' 50's style Pick-up truck. It was undersized too. I removed the grill and replaced it with mesh, added a mesh platform in the back and an armour plate in front of the windscreen (because there was no way I could get a driver model in there).

I added a plasticard bumper too. The model was still boring and undersized, so something had to be done: I grabbed my trusty tube of Vallejo Plastic Putty and started squeezing out spikes everywhere.

The look was very effective and I named the vehicle "Iron Maiden". It requires more careful handling than other vehicles but at least this cheap ugly die-cast was saved.

Despite the cool look of it I removed Ozzy's hat to make him fit in better with my crew. I added hair but otherwise he's not converted.

Dream Evil and Buzz

"Dream Evil" is a Maisto 1:43 2006 Dodge Magnum RT. This model received quite a bit of attention. I cut off the rear roof and added a mesh platform.

I also sawed out the rear hatch and the front grill. The front was replaced by a bit of plasticard with holes in it. To make the vehicle look more sinister I scarred it with a saw and a drill. I also added a rhino horn (inspired by the movie "2019: After The Fall Of New York") sculpted from MagicSculp.

Persecutor  is a bit of everything: the legs and arms of the savage with the chain, the body of the savage with the mask and the sword and head of the savage with the sword. Another naked butt model so I painted on spandex again. red and white stripes this time.Because the wheels of this model were ugly I gave it four double truck wheels instead. Unfortunately all this converting left the driver's seat a couple of millimetres lower than before, making the driver seem like a child.

The base model for Buzz is very nice, but I didn't need two flamers so I converted his weapon into a fuel-fed buzz-saw with some plasticard. I also gave him long loose hair and painted the discs on his left leg as bottle caps.