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Old 08-15-2004, 09:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Models/Minis for Car Wars

First post! Yay for me!

The new edition of Car Wars gives us a great scale for using $1 Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars for games. I've asked a lot of people where you can get good weapons, turrets, etc, to glue on, and I've received various answers, but none that I could actually find to purchase that were affordable.

Which gets us to scratchbuilding.

Anyone have any ideas, experiences, photos, websites for turning off-the-shelf toy cars into fighting machines?

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Old 08-16-2004, 08:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Just outside ground zero
Default Re: Models/Minis for Car Wars

Games Workshop sells plastic "bits" for their lines. I don't see it listed on the website anymore (and I hate navigating the online store portion...terrible design), but you could check the back of an issue of White "I'm really a catalogue in disguise" Dwarf. The Warhammer 40K line should have ample weaponry that could easily stand in for Car Wars weapons.

IIRC, the bits were pretty cheap and they were sold in sprues (is that the right word) so you got a bunch at once.

The only thing to keep in mind is that you'd be glueing plastic to metal. Super glue will eat the plastic, and plastic glue won't hold to metal that well. That is why the Secret Masters created two part epoxy putty. :-)
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Models/Minis for Car Wars

GW's stuff is so hideously overpriced.

I have used CAV and Battletech weapons. Pretty much any mecha game works.

I need to get some pics up...
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Old 08-19-2004, 04:19 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Default Re: Models/Minis for Car Wars

I bought some plastic stock bits from a hobby train store. For about 99cents (Canadian) I got a baggie with 6 or 8 little white plastic tubes, about 6 inches long. They had a huge range of sizes, from about 1mm dia up to about 1/4 inch (sorry about the mixed units). They came hollow or solid, and there were also squares, right-angle, rectangles, etc. It's just cheap flimsy poly something, but I was planning on using really small pieces anyways.

A friend of mine bought some at the same time; it was his idea. I haven't done anything with mine yet (sooo laaaaazy...), but he's put together a few "prototypes".

Basic idea: Cut one of the large round pieces (3-4 mm dia) in half lengthwise. You only need a piece about 5mm long. Glue this to a surface on the toy car (front, side or back) so the round part faces out. This is the mount for the barrel of the gun.
Get a short piece of smaller round - maybe 2 or 3 mm diameter, 2 or 3 mm long. Glue one end of this to the round outside of the first piece on the car.

Now you have a passable imitation of a gun barrel on an elevating mount protruding from the vehicle. Paint will make it look better.

For turrets, same idea, just don't cut the first piece in half. Place a round piece, maybe 4 or 5mm dia on the roof of the car. Glue a short gun barrel, just like above, to the side of your "turret" (choose your facing well, it's permanent). More paint. For this, a solid piece for the turret is best, otherwise you have to fill in the turret with something. Glue works, but it's messy.

The same parts can be used to make EWPs, jump-jets, rocket tubes, etc. I haven't figured out how to make something that looks like a laser (they have no barrel, just a lens, right?), and the finished product doesn't quite match the descriptions in the ADQ article about state-of-the-art, but I think it looks cool.

The plastic also comes as small, thin sheets. I haven't tried yet, but I was thinking this could be stuck on to look like chassis-and-crossbow style armour.

No pics, but perhaps my laziness will go on vacation and I'll get some of this done.

One final idea - glue the wheels of the car to a sheet of plastic or very heavy cardstock of the right size to fit the new turning keys. This will also keep your car from rolling around on the table.
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Old 09-13-2004, 12:46 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Peoples Republic of California
Default Re: Models/Minis for Car Wars

You can buy sheet styrene at most hobby shops (styrene is the plastic used for most plastic models), it comes in various shapes and sizes and is fairly easy to work with once you get used to it. Super glue works fine with both metal and styrene, or as mentioned 2 part epoxy (good if you need to fill gaps).

Two of the big companies for styrene



Many model and train stores also carry brass or aluminium shapes and tubing that might be helpful.

Also Roco mini-tanks might be helpful, its a smaller scale 1/89 (HO) vs 1/64 for hot wheels but some of the gun turrets etc might be useful. I can't find a website but they are pretty common at most hobby shops. Also 1/72 or 1/76 scale models of armored vehicles or aircraft might be handy and the scale is close enough for most purposes. Same goes for 20mm wargaming mini's.

There are several model building websites out there that are great for learning new tips or finding out where to get stuff.

Fine scale modeler (also a magazine)

Scale auto (also a magazine)

And I have a section on my own website where I show how to so some things (but no autodueling yet)
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