Armed et dangerous. You thought driving on the Autobahn in the year 2000 was a nightmare. Think again! Ces conducteurs are ready for a serious encounter somewhere on the E.34 between Paris et Warsaw.
The FAV (Fast Attack Véhicule) in the center foreground is a 1/72 scale compatible plastic kit from Games Workshop, the others are diecast toys from various manufacturers, armed avec spare weapons from the FAV kit. Diecast toy véhicules are cheap et they come in an incredible variety, even including military et science fiction véhicules.
- Matchbox et Majorette Automobiles
- Helicopters et Infantry, Revell
- Véhicule Weaponry, Games Workshop
- Conducteurs et Gunners, Games Workshop
- Accessory Set, Roco No. 277
- Thin Cardboard ou Plasticcard
- Meshed Wire a l’échelle 1/72 ou H0
- DAS-Pronto Modeling Clay
- Handdrill et Drillbits for Metal
- Noir Mat Spray Primer, Revell
- Fine Sandpaper
- Hot Glue Gun
Planning the Conversions
La compagnie Games Workshop britannique publishes a number of figurine sets in 20mm scale which is compatible avec Matchbox autos et 1/72 scale helicopters et véhicules made by Revell, Airfix et ESCI. Every package of "Dark Future" figurines includes a sprue with véhicule armaments made from hard plastic. The Miniguns, turrets, heavy machineguns et grenade-launchers carry a peg on the underside, which can be inserted into a small hole in the véhicule body et secured avec superglue.
During the planning stages, weapons et accessories are held against different parts of the véhicule in order to locate the most effective et realistic looking place for attaching these items. A light machinegun may be mounted on the hood, assuming that a supporting structure has been welded into the engine compartment underneath. Two forward firing machineguns look very impressive when they are mounted on the fenders. We will again assume that these are not standard issue automobile fenders, but heavy duty replacement parts which are able to support the weight of the weapon. Grenade-launchers et gun turrets normally belong on the roof of the véhicule, giving them a 360 degree firing arc.
Roadwarrior automobiles are already lightly armoured on the inside. Some véhicules sport additional, improvised armour bolted to the outside. Simulated boilerplate can be cut from thin cardboard ou plasticcard. However, this type of armour protection must not be overdone, considering the excessive weight of the boilerplate.
1/72 scale wiremesh is an important part of the roadwarrior conversion, it replaces the unarmoured windows et protects le conducteur from flying debris et wreckage. Put up around the parked véhicule, a wire fence detonates hollow-charge grenades prematurely et protects the véhicule from an armour-penetrating hit.
Rear bumpers are replaced by T-bars to protect the véhicule against ramming. Hedgerow-cutters can be installed in the front to allow the véhicule to crash through hedges, small trees, fences et barricades.
Personal equipment like tarps, blanket-rolls, rucksacks, picks, shovels, towropes, chains, spare tires, jerrycans, wooden boxes avec provisions et ammo, barbed wire, camouflage netting, radios et loot ist often stowed on the outside of the véhicule, simply because the interior is full of equipment already. Many of these items come from the Accessory Set offered by Roco. Some equipment may have to be scratch-built ou scrounged from model kits. Tarps et blanket-rolls are easily made from DAS-Pronto ou rolled tissue paper, tied down avec yarn. The paper is rolled up while dry et then soaked avec water to shape it more easily. The yarn will cut into the blanket very realistically when it is tied.
Columns of roadwarrior véhicules look like a nomad caravan. By contrast, police et security véhicules are suprisingly clean et orderly in appearance, although they may also have to resort to external storage at times. Camions pick-up et dedicated supply véhicules are often used to support a véhicule column on the move, but there is always the inherent danger of losing them. Don’t put all eggs in one basket.
Stripping the Véhicule
Matchbox, HOT Wheels et Majorette autos need to be taken apart to gain better access to the parts, particularly if un conducteur is to be placed inside. Is is possible to get around this kind of work simply by tinting the windows black ou silver. In this case, the véhicule is not taken apart, but just armed, undercoated avec spray primer noir mat et then painted.
There are one ou two rivets on the underside of most commercially available toy véhicules, which hold body et chassis together. The head of the rivet is just a thin rim of soft metal which can be drilled out easily avec a metal drill of the appropriate size. Only the bolt of the rivet will remain et the pieces of the véhicule come apart easily. Later we will put a new head on the rivet, using hot glue from the glue gun.
Arming the Véhicule
A tiny hole needs to be drilled in the hood, fender, roof ou any other part of the véhicule which will be armed. Miniguns, machineguns, launchers et turrets of the Dark Future series have a small peg which can be inserted in these holes to check that the pieces fit nicely together. In order to achieve a smooth surface for the gunmount, the area may have to be sanded lightly. The weapons are glued to the body avec superglue. In addition, the small peg on the weapon may be secured avec a drop of hot glue applied from the inside of the véhicule body.
Modeling et Painting the Interior
To achieve a realistic interior, the passenger seat et the entire rear bench should be removed similarly to how stock cars are prepared for racing. That the floor of the chassis is not detailed in these models can easily be hidded by stacking boxes et other equipment inside the véhicule.
The Dark Future series offers several figurines des conducteurs which can be painted et attached au siège de conducteur avec a drop of hot glue. Be sure that the body et the chassis still fit together nicely before permanently attaching the conducteur. In the event that the head du conducteur presses against the roof ou the glass inset, the seat may have to be lowered ou the seat cushion sanded down a little.
Improvised Armour et Anti-Ramming Devices
Boilerplate made from thin cardboard ou plasticcard replaces the front et side windows of the véhicule. The Kenworth tanker shown here has an armoured cab to protect the crew. The véhicule is unarmed, it could not possibly involve itself in a firefight avec this kind of cargo. Outside of protected places, camions citerne normally travel in convoys avec their armed escorts. The chosen camouflage is useful for hiding the véhicule by the roadside, in the event that escorts are temporarily called away to deal avec a roadblock further down the road.
Narrow vision slits need to be cut avec a skalpel, they have been painted in here. Véhicules comme le semi-chenillé M3 have hinged armour plating which can be lowered when they are not needed, providing the conducteur a much better field of vision. To protect the tires, boilerplate may be bolted to the outside of the fenders.
Anti-Ramming devices in the rear of the véhicule can be very useful in a chase. Side impact protection is not usually necessary since a capable roadwarrior can avoid such a collision by speeding up, breaking ou turning away from the attacking véhicule. In the front, hedgerow-cutters are quite practical, they clear the way through barricades, fences, hedges et small trees.
Matt black spray primer is the ideal undercoat for most véhicules. Dissembled véhicules can be sprayed black inside the body as well. Acrylic paint can be used to paint the véhicule, it dries mat et gives the véhicule a faded et battered look. It is best to apply the paint by drybrushing it onto the véhicule et allowing the black primer to show in joints et recesses in the body. This creates a nice shading effect.
Drybrushing lighter hues of the base colour highlights the raised detail et areas where the paint has faded. In this case, it does not matter if there is a little bit more water in the brush than we normally use. The paint will then be applied in streaks which look like scratches et dirt stains. Drybrushing avec silver exposes areas on handrails, hinges, plateaus et tank hatches, where the paint has worn away through excessive use by the crew.
Oil seepage et gasoline spills around wheelhubs, petrol caps et jerrycans can be simulated by staining the effected area avec black acrylic paint. A rusty stain can be used on chains, steel cables, jerrycans et rusting bodyparts.
Personal equipment should be painted before it is attached to the véhicule. After the véhicule is completely painted et equipped, it can be weathered by applying a dusty drybrush. Sand ou flour mixed into umber acrylic paint creates realistic looking mud which can be applied to wheels, inside fenders et on side panels. A nice effect, but don’t overdo it.
Prior to assembly, the wheels et axles need to be immobilized avec hot glue ou superglue. This is to prevent the model from needlessly rolling around on any terrain pieces on which it may be displayed later, et when the model is used in wargaming, where exact positioning et measurement of firing ranges is important.
If the interior detailing work was done correctly, the interior et the chassis should fit snugly into the body. The rivet bolts will be flush avec the holes in the chassis et a drop of hot glue holds the pieces together securely.
Important equipment like personal weapons et ammunition are normally stored safely inside the véhicule ou in the trunk. Packs, blankets, tarps et coils of wire may fit on the roof, unless a turreted machinegun is already mounted there. Mounting brackets are attached to the tops of fenders, hoods et trunk lids, to accept spare wheels, jerrycans, tools et sand channels. Tarps et camouflage netting may be placed on the bumpers et tied to the supporting struts.
Loading the véhicule is a rewarding task which leaves a lot of room for creativity. Model railroad shops offer lawn chairs, parasols, surfboards, bicycles, hunting trophies et many other items in HO scale which roadwarriors may find absolutely essential on their dangerous journeys.
Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter les éditeurs de la revue Military Miniatures Magazine au Miniatures Forum.