For the longest time I've wanted to do Road-Warrior-Like car conversions with Hot Wheels. Probably since the first time I played Car Wars (even though, at the time, Car Wars was an entirely different scale). Well, ever since the release of Gaslands I've decided that I was going to make that dream a reality.
Having purchased the Gaslands rulebook I was armed with a reason to do a project (even though I didn't really have a specific car I was trying to build rules-wise). I bought a handful of Hot Wheels and picked one mostly at random to get the treatment.
I should have taken photos of the process but I was really just fitting this in as I was working on minis that pay the bills. But I can tell you that I started out but taking the thing apart. There are two pins on the undercarriage that you need to drill out. I did it with a pin vise and it wasn't a problem at all. The metal is pretty soft.
Once I had it apart I did some modifications to the body. I drilled out the headlights, added a couple of bullet holes, and dragged one of my Dremel bits down the right side. I used the same bit to add some damage to the front and back of the body. I then did some light sanding to the existing paint (320 grit) and gave it a light black primer.
At this point I went digging through my bitz boxes. I needed a weapon for sure, but I was also looking for other things to improve the look. I turned up a weapon pretty much straight off. It's a Rogue Trader era Lasgun. I can't believe I still have some of those things, but at this scale they make a good-sized generic gun barrel. It could be a laser, a light cannon, or a machine gun. I also turned up a similarly old shield badge for Warhammer that I thought would work good on the hood and a piece of brass-etch grill that has been in their since about 1997. Lastly I grabbed a sprue of parts from a 1/144 scale Robotech model.
I mounted the gun to the roof of the car with a bit of putty. I took the shield badge and used the Dremel to gouge a channel down the center of the back so that it would lay flush on the hood, then added some putty to smooth it all out. The brass went in in place of the windshield (as I was throwing that out anyway). I also cut a little piece of plastic to go over one window. The Robotech model turned up a couple of bits that looked like metal boxes or perhaps a fuel tank that I put in the back (you can almost see them in the pics).
At this point I could start painting. I started with the a hint of rust brown over the black. You can see it clearly on the steel panel over the right window. It was really there to show through a bit after I put on the next coat - implying underlying rust. The second coat was Warcolours Red 3. I faded it in much like I do my tank paint jobs. That is, I focus on the center of a panel and work my way out from there. It provides a nice color effect and in this case gives the car the look of an older vehicle that has had it's color slowly leached out by the rust that's coming through. Where I wanted to show much more rust I dabbed on a couple of different rusty colors - one darker rust brown, one bright orange. The trick with making this look right it to thing about where the car is going to get dinged up and stick with those areas.
I wanted the big scrape along the side to be fresh. I decided that rather than painting the exposed metal I was just going to expose the metal. When I used that Dremel bit it left a really nice polished metal underneath. So I took a toothpick and removed the paint from the scrape, then added a bit of rust to the edges. I did something similar with the bullet holes. I just carefully put a drill bit over the holes and scraped the paint from the edges of the holes leaving a bright metal ring.
The hood isn't actually black, it's actually a dark cool grey (Warcolours Grey 5). The skull is a simple white with black wash.
Overall this was a really simple conversion and paint job and it was a lot of fun. I have another dozen or so Hot Wheels at the moment that are all longing for some conversion work. I expect to do at least several more in the near future.