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Building Army Car One

Light Weapons (21 pieces)
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Suggested Retail Price
$12 USD

Armor (36 pieces)
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$12 USD

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Sargonarhes writes:

There are groups online 3D printing weapons and things for toy cars for Osprey's Gaslands game. I know, I have a brother getting very involved in that game.

Revision Log
7 June 2019page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

I previously took apart a toy car. Now I want to customize it as the first car in my post-Apocalypse Army of Sam racing team/faction.

Road Rage

My personal preference is to start with a set of rules in mind. In this case, I'll be using Road Rage from Stan Johansen Miniatures, and since I'm not that familiar with the rules yet, I'm going to clone one of their car designs from the rulebook: the 69 Chevy Chevelle SS from page 38 of the rulebook. It's a car with average armor and three weapon systems.

Chevy Chevelle design

Some parts of the design won't need to be modeled: the upgraded suspension, armor-piercing ammo, and the cement block dropper can be assumed to just be there.

So what I want to add are:

  • front and rear "big bumpers"
  • one .50 cal HMG firing forward
  • dual .30 cal LMGs in a turret
  • dual .30 LMGs firing to the rear

For the added parts, I'll be using bits from the armor and weapons sets from Stan Johansen Miniatures. This provides the advantages of convenience (I don't have to scratchbuild anything) and standardization (by using a set of weapons for a series of cars, it will be clear to all the gamers what a car represents).

Armor set

From set RW009 Armor (catalog picture shown above), I will use the gun shields (bottom right) to make the improved front bumper, and the ventilated armor piece (top right) to make the improved rear bumper.

Weapons set

From set RW008 Light Weapons (catalog picture above), I can use roof-mounted .50 cal MG (center left in picture) and the body-mounted .30 cal MGs (center bottom).

What's missing? While the manufacturer does make a turret set, they don't make a turret with dual .30s. (Although pictures in the rulebook show such turrets!) So I will kitbash something together.

Washed body

Starting with the metal upper body, I apply a wash of green ink to accentuate the details (see above), spray with matte clear to get rid of the gloss (which also has the effect of lightening the apparent color), and drybrush with green to add highlights and remove any wash errors.


The car's wheels have a noticeable seam, which I file down. I paint the tread dark gray. The wheels are then superglued to stay at the end of the pins/axles.


Turning to the black plastic bottom piece, I superglue the ventilated armor piece to the rear bumper. I cut the armor panels from the gun shield, and glue them to the angled front bumper on the right and left sides. Then I spraypaint the bottom with camouflage green to match the upper body piece. When the paint is dry, the axles are slipped back into place and superglued.

Lower body

A painting mishap left some of the paint on the bottom piece very rough textured. Fortunately, that's not a bad effect for a chassis! (And most of this in not visible when the car is assembled.)

Front bumper

A wash of green ink and drybrushing with kelly green brings out the texture in the armored bumpers (front bumper, above; rear bumper, below).

Rear bumper

The interior piece is superglued to the bottom piece. It won't be visible in the finished car, but I think it will help to hold the axles and windows in place.

Interior glued into place

I want to give the impression that the car has bulletproof windows. The inside of the clear plastic piece is painted silver (two coats for good coverage), then black (to make the windows less opaque). The window piece is then glued to the metal body with Tacky Glue (a brand of white glue).

Windows glued in

The front windshield, unfortunately, was cracked when I took the car apart. Then again, maybe it's a realistic damage effect!

Windows glued in

Two of the .30 cal. LMGs are basecoated (sprayed) in camo green, then washed with green ink and drybrushed with kelly green. The gun barrels are painted gunmetal metallic. These will be the rear-facing guns.

.30 LMGs

To kitbash a turret, two of the .30 cal. LMGs are superglued base-to-base, being careful to keep the gun barrels parallel. To give the impression of a turret that rotates, the guns are then superglued to a small button (the holes are filled with putty). The turret is then painted as above.


To mount the .50 cal MG to the hood, a hole is drilled. As it happens, the inside of the hood has a raised numeral, different on each car so far – on this car, the '4' makes a perfect spot to start the drilling. I tried a twist drill, but it was taking a long time; so I switched to a battery-powered drill to finish the hole.

Hole in hood and primed MG

The heavy MG is primed white, painted gunmetal metallic, and washed with black ink. Then drybrushed silver to make it stand out. It is anchored in place with a blob of gel-type superglue under the hood, being careful to align the gun properly.

Heavy MG in place

(Then I repainted the gun to be less shiny!)

The final stage was to assemble all the parts: upper body to lower body, rear-facing .30 cal MGs to the car doors, turret to the car roof.

Reassembled car

My preference is to base the finished cars, in the perhaps vain hope that it will encourage my fellow gamers to handle the cars by the bases and not touch the cars themselves. Starting with a 1.5" by 3" wooden base 3mm thick from LITKO, I paint one side dark gray (the bottom is left unpainted). To help identify the team, I paint the base edges green.

Painted bases

(I painted extras because I have two more cars to do.)

When the paint is dry, use an old brush to apply a thin layer of white glue.

Glue on base

Gently shake a tub of black sand to make sure the sand is level, and press the base glue-side-down into the sand.

Base in tub of sand

Remove the base by the edges, and use your finger to brush off any sand that may be along the sides. Any whitish areas are just the glue, which will dry clear. (If you put too much glue, you might get ripples in the sand texture.) Let the base dry.

Textured base

I'm going to use magnetic storage for this car, so this is a good time to apply the adhesive magnet sheet to the bottom of the base. I get these from LITKO, cut to the exact size to match the wooden base. The paper peels off the adhesive side, and the magnet sheet sticks to the wooden base.

Magnetic sheets

Usually, the magnetic bases are a perfect match for the wooden bases. With the three bases I made today, one is a perfect fit, one has a slight overhang, and one (in the foreground below) has an overhang along one edge:

Magnetic bases

If the mismatch is minor, leave as-is and the adhesive will be neutralized when the base is sealed later. If it bothers you, cut it off with knife or scissors – if using scissors, angle them so the paint on the base sides isn't scraped up.

Seal the bases with a clearcoat (or they'll be shedding sand on your gaming table). Then I like to write something on the underside to remind me what the model is and where I got it from. (Try not to smudge the ink like I did!)


Then glue the car down to the base, and the project is done!

Army Car One

Army Car One

Now, time for some assessment. What went right with this project? It was a relatively simple conversion (no major repainting or rebuilding of the toy car), and I think it looks fine for tabletop gaming.

Army Car One

Where could improvements be made? First, I need to find a way to take the car apart without cracking the window piece. Painting the inside of the clear plastic piece does give the look of 'glass' windows, but handpainting the silver gives a streaky result – I'll try something else next time. And the clear glue left unsightly bits where it seeped around the windows, so that needs improvement.

Army Car One

Perfection is not expected with a post-apocalyptic battle call, but still, everything is a little crooked: the turret guns, the turret itself, and the bumpers!

Army Car One

Maybe I should have painted the interior piece black, as it is visible through the wheel wells.

Army Car One

I didn't add any markings to this car, but in the future, I may add an identification number on the rear body.

Army Car One

Looks like there's a gap between the upper and lower bodies on the back right.

Army Car One

Live and learn – on to the next project!