Burning Red Freeway Fightin' Murder Machine





Way back in the before times; Prior to wargaming, miniature painting, and dereliction of blog writing I was on the crux of beginning my journey into the realms of imagination.  It was the mid 1980s and I'd just discovered Fighting Fantasy novels which had piqued my interest in Dungeons and Dragons and tales of swords and sorcery.  I pretty sure I'd recently watched the Road Warrior for the first time on late night television well past my bedtime so I was pretty stoked when I went to the book store in search of my latest imagined adventure and discovered this.


Still badass after all these years.

This image was indelibly burned into my brain.  There was something inherently badass and dangerous going on in this picture.  The supercharged red demon was equal parts hot rod and tank.  It was covered in pokey spikes and blades.  The dude had a rifle that looked as big as he was.  The driver (I'm assumed she was the driver) was an archetypal 80s lady decked in leather.  I was 11 at the time and didn't know much about girls but I was pretty impressed just the same.  Looking back I can read into what I was seeing then much more clearly.  At the end of the day all I really need to add now to clarify is a soundtrack.  The only thing missing in my interpretation then was. "Here I go Again" by Whitesnake and leather chick rolling around on the hood of that thing.


The stripped base model and the stunt double to show where it started.

Juvenile fantasies aside since I've been painting and modelling wargaming figures I've wanted to build this.  Last year I built a PA hot rod from a Bugatti.  On completing that project I realized I might just have learned enough to finally bring this project to fruition.  So I had all the parts I needed and figured I could have go at it.  I used a 1/43 chevy cadillac as the base model.  I cut the roof from the body and clipped down the struts that joined it there so I could reattach it at a lower and at a slightly different pitch.

The adjusted angle with plasticard holding it in place.

I'd considered soldering things back in place but realized the mucking about with the iron was time consuming and the build wouldn't be as durable.  Instead I made up two plasticard panels that ran the length of the roof and secured them to the body with green stuff.  It ended up being quite solid once it set and the next step was only going to toughen it up that much more.

Crew compartment blocked in and preliminary detailing.

I packed the window openings with milliput.  The plasticard panels gave me a foundation to build on top of and the material performed very well.  I was able to shape it and smooth it to conform to the rest of the frame without too many problems.  Once it set I was able to sand it and clean it up a little better.  Around the same time I found the ends of two ancient resin shells I have had kicking around for almost twenty years.  The stench of them wafts out everywhere whenever I crack open the container I have them buried in.  Resin usually doesn't strike me as bad for my health but I am sure these are poison.  On the safer side I ended up finding two wooden skewers as the long pokey bits on the front.  I used some more scrap plasticard to build a low and high plate for the plow beneath the bumper.

The unpainted model starts to take shape.

I raided some junked plastic kits for additional parts.  The proto blower on the hood is probably from a opel blitz kit.  The turret is one of the rollers from a GW Russ.  The guy with no arms in the cupola is a biker from the Warlord/Wargames Factory Z range.  At this point in the project I couldn't find his arms or a suitable replacement and got distracted by easier to find fare.  I did block in the front plow and join the cupola to the roof before I gave up but I remember taking a break and painting something else for a while.  
  

Last details prior to paint.


Once I had sanded everything down as much as I was willing to I completed the front face of the blower, and added the portals on the crew compartment with some green stuff.  I drilled into the hubs on the front wheels and pinned the tips of some GW mounted marauder spears for the wheel spikes.  At that point I felt that everything was in place and it was time to add paint.


Not perfect but it's clear what it is supposed to be.


I ended up going with a bright read and shiny metal look.  I didn't go to town and try to duplicate the reflected sky and earth.  It all seems a little bright to me to fit into my conception of the post apocalypse.  I love the Burns painting but as it it seems just that.  Maybe too removed from the rest of the world.  It may be part of the reason why I got lazy trying to emulate the image.  I plan to finish up the gunner so I can place him in the cupola; Yeah, eventually I found suitable arms for the job.  I'm tempted to add some chipping and weathering in strategc locations.  I don't want it beat to hell but just some wear so it belongs with my other stuff if in better repair.  A fun project at the beginning but I felt bored with it by the middle.  I'm happy with the result for what I put into it and recognize I dropped the ball on the back end.  Here's some parting shots and a little mood music to pipe you out.  I screwed around with the format of the blog as a whole when I posted this;  What do you think?





Comments

  1. That is all kinds of awesome! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ivor. Hopefully this will kickstart some more activity here. I really sluffed off on producing content but can shhot for a more active final quarter.

      Delete
  2. Superb build from start to finish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Simon. I rushed the tail end a bit but still had a good run building it. Something as stupid as misplacing a component and disrupting the flow really cramps my hobby mojo though.

      Delete
  3. An awesome homage to an image I vividly remember too. A great bit of faithful modelling. My only constructive suggestion is maybe some gloss varnish on the chrome and windows to really make them pop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that the tail end of the build was pretty lax Paul. It does need a finish. Once I get it sealed I'll definitely paint some floor was on the portals. I do need to revisit the chrome; I'll probably do a final facelift once I get the gunner ready.

      Delete
  4. Big fan. Looking to do some Dieselpunk games myself so this is right up my street.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Clint, I'm glad you found something you enjoyed. I'm not very good at sticking to one area of interest so my content can be a crapshoot if you aren't as easily distracted too. I do plan to revisit my TNT project so there should be some other stuff eventually. Speaking of dieselpunk someone in one of the groups showed me some of their Mad Maximillian stuff. It's awesome! I had considered building something like Papagallo's Lone Wolf out of an Me-109 kit I have laying around and that inspired me so it might be happening before the end of the year.

      Delete
    2. I too skitter around from project to project so I know the feeling well. (Oh so well). I have seen the Mad Maximillian stuff (online not live) and am interested. Also interested in the old Crimson skies game (Board not computer). So by seeing this vehicle I am well and truly hooked. I hope to start my first attempt soon and will like you blog it.

      My thanks sir

      Delete
    3. The Crimson Skies setting rocked! I didn't see the Maximillian stuff live either but onliners shared some great photos of their projects (range models and an awesome scratchbuild). In the near future I hope to put up some new content for The Walking Dead and maybe some Old West and Gothic figures. I haven't read the rules for Dracula's America but I ordered some Victorian Vampire Hunters from Bad Squidoo Games (My Last Sunrise) and want to channel a House of Hammer vibe as fearless Euro vampire hunters take passage to the colonies.

      Delete
  5. Love this.. I recently picked up the new comic of the gamebook. I have the Jim burns art book with the complete painting ( really cheap on Amazon ) btw..along with of course the original ff book.. Consider me a fan :D

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment