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The $1 Gretchinmobile

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OSSL1 #948752
Suggested Retail Price

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Revision Log
17 March 2000page first published

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©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Some of you were a bit skeptical about the usefulness of the $1 vehicle recently reviewed for Showcase, so it seemed like a good idea to paint it up and show what it looks like. As it so happens, I've been looking for a vehicle to go with my Gretchin horde...

Gretchin admiring their new vehicle

Prepping and Priming

I used a hobby knife to trim off some flash along the seams of the gun barrels. The material (resin?) this model is made of is soft, so it is easy to trim. I also scraped off the "velvet paper" from the model bottom.

Next I washed off the model, both to get rid of any debris my trimming had left and to disperse any dust or finger oils the vehicle had collected. To my surprise, the model somehow absorbed the water! (Must be a hole somewhere, though I never found it.) So I cut two holes in the bottom - by twisting the point of a hobby knife to scrape away the soft resin - and let the water drain out.

I then primed the entire vehicle with a coat of flat black spray paint.

Basic Painting

This is a fun model but not one of the greatest vehicles ever seen, so I didn't want to spend a lifetime painting it. In that spirit, I decided to use a time-saving painting technique. First, I drybrushed the entire model with white paint, creating a black-and-white vehicle.

black primer coat with white drybrushing

My Gretchin gang's colors are black and red, so I already knew the primary colors for this vehicle. I wanted the shading to show through whatever color I painted on, so that meant using a thin paint. I chose to go with Apple Barrel, a hobby craft paint brand that works well for washes - Cardinal Crimson for the vehicle hull, then a drybrushing of Orange for highlights.

For the treads, I drybrushed Gunmetal Gray (one of the metallic paints from FolkArt. I used Ceramcoat brand Black (my favorite black paint) to paint the gun barrels.

Like most models, some parts of this vehicle are filled in with material where there shouldn't be anything - between and within the tracks. Some of the white drybrushing had accidentally touched these areas, so I went back with the paint and blacked them in again. The drive wheels and sprockets I painted red, leaving the openings black; I used gunmetal and copper to paint gadgety details. The wheels themselves I meant to paint dark gray, but the paint I chose - Aleene's brand Medium Grey - turned out lighter than I expected, giving an almost "whitewalls" look. I thought it looked like something my Gretchin might do, so I kept it that way.

close-up showing the track units

Detail Painting

The interior vehicle walls were painted the same red as the outside hull. I used a wash of gunmetal grey to give the floor a "worn metal" look. FolkArt brand Solid Bronze was used to paint the main gun shells. The same color was used to paint the machinegun's ammo belt, being careful to not put too much paint on the brush for fear of getting paint into the black crevices between bullets. Various crates and ammo boxes were drybrushed with Americana brand Sable Brown paint. A cable on the right side was painted gunmetal grey.

The machinegun was drybrushed gunmetal grey, then highlighted by drybrushing with FolkArt brand Silver Sterling. The gun butt was painted red to match the hull. Some touch-up was needed to make the gun opening look right.


The rear deck of the vehicle includes a big "pipe" held down with straps, two headlights, a bumper, and what might be an exhaust held inside the bumper. I painted the pipe FolkArt brand Antique Copper, but when that didn't contrast enough with the hull, I drybrushed with Sterling Silver. I left the straps hull-red, but drybrushed them with gunmetal to make them look worn. The exhaust was also painted gunmetal. I went with silver for the bumper, going for a "chrome" look. I painted the headlight rims silver, and the lenses orange. (I used Americana brand Pineapple - a light yellow - for the front headlight lenses.)

The vehicle still needed "something," so I experimented a little bit before finding what worked for me - painting the fenders "chrome" (sterling silver again).

The Gretchinmobile is done for now, though I'll probably do more work after I find (or build...) some crew figures for it. Most Orky vehicles have some kind of grafitti on them, but in my imagination my Gretchin aren't that intelligent. I'm tempted to just litter the vehicle with empty soda cans and snotling bones.

side view

Gretchin figures come from the Warhammer 40,000 boxed set. The adobe building is from Epicast. The hut and tree stump are from TCS.