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More on Modeling Cars from the Wasteland

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m currently obsessed with the tabletop “vehicular combat” game, Gaslands. Besides it being a really well-designed and fun game (think: Car Wars for the early 21st century), the real addictive draw for me is the car conversions. Gaslands is played using converted Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and other 1:64-scale toy cars. You use parts from other cars and model kits, bits of paper, plastic, wire, and kitchen trash to suitably Mad Max-ify your combat cars. This turns out to be a ridiculous amount of fun. Because it’s all about looking trashy and broken and post-apocalyptic, you can get very satisfying results even if you’re not an experienced modeler or a great miniature painter.

As you might imagine, the Gaslands phenom has led to a bunch of Gaslands-related YouTube channels, most of them on how to convert cars. A lot of these are hit and miss, but there are some really excellent channels. My hands-down favorite for Gaslands modeling is JH Miniatures from the U.K. James is a very talented modeler and his channel is so much fun to watch. Besides the great builds, he does videos where he challenges himself to do things like convert a car in 15 minutes, convert a car for the cost of a pot of Citadel paint (£2.55), and his latest, to build an entire car solely from his scraps box.

Here are a few of my favorite of James’ videos:

If you haven’t heard, the reason we’re all about die cast toy car converting at the moment is that Make: is running a contest in partnership with Mattel. Called Hot Mods, the contest is open to anyone who posts a Hot Wheels car mod (of any kind, not just wasteland vehicles) on Maker Share. All you have to do is create a Maker Share account, post your project, and then fill out the Hot Mods entry form on Maker Share. The contests ends on Nov 30th.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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