Thursday, 26 April 2018

Gaslands! Assemble the Team...

Gaslands is a post-apocalyptic game of vehicular carnage, with teams of cars, monster trucks, buggies, bikes and a host of other vehicles duking it out for supremacy. I wrote about it earlier this month here, I talk about it in an upcoming episode of the On Minis Games podcast, and have otherwise been thoroughly enjoying the game.

While the games played so far have used cars raided from my son's toy collection, I thought it was high time to add some guns and whatnot to the mix. Being a responsible fellow, I decided the best and safest path was not to start smashing up my son's toys, so I bought a few sets of Hot Wheels cars from a local shop under the clever guise of buying them for my son. I need to pause here and say that for anyone interested in Gaslands, the Gaslands twitter account, and Gaslands Facebook page are both a wonderful source of inspiration, and well worth checking out if you're interested in the game...

The first games played were with simple Hot Wheels borrowed from my son...
Cars in tow I cast about for some suitable weaponry to add character to these supposedly post-apocalyptic agents of destruction. I lighted on two solutions, both left overs of various other projects. One was a set of sprues left over from Heavy Gear, a ready source of suitable weaponry. The other was a set of sprues left over from assembling a bunch of Fireforge Games medieval knights and whatnot. Good spiky bits that the average post-apocalyptic citizen would deem the height of fashion. Having found a ready supply of bits, I set to work work...

A rather visually pleasing mix of vehicles now suitably upcycled into the nouveau post-apocalyptic style, with appropriate wheel spikes, point bits and guns. I should add I also scuffed the cars with some sand-paper in order that the paint applied might adhere better. I also used a fly-wire repair kit to add mesh to the windscreens. In the the collapsing future, glass is hard to obtain. Many players go the full hog at this point, drilling the cars apart and stripping them down the metal, using a dremel to achieve all manner of goodness. I took the lazy route.

An 'Indian Red' first coat. Thick and glossy, if I had my time again I'd buy a different type of rattle can.

I decided it would be rather fun to attempt the salt chipping technique. This can be found on YouTube, but basically involves wetting patches of the car, sprinkling salt on, respraying, and then using a toothbrush to work the salt off. This leaves a rather nice patina look, but since the undercoat wasn't as rusty as I would like the effect wasn't as good as I had hoped. I should also add here that given the paint was glossy, applying water was problematic. The water pooled into little balls, curse you surface tension, and didn't work in the way I had imagined it might. What I did in the end was respray with a matt varnish, and then applied salt, pressing down on the clumps to force them to spread out. This worked better.

With some seasoning...

And sprayed again with grey.
All that remained was to brush the salt off. I should add that leaving a car for a few days with the salt attached causes the stuff to stick really well. With the cars I'm working on at the moment I had to use a blade to chisel the salty goodness off.

I masked one of the doors when undercoating this to keep the original Hot Wheels paint showing. Also, the patina effect looks more like massive corrosion, but shiny.
Following this I painted on any of the other required colours and then gave the cars a heavy black wash. I went back over again with the colours used in the base coat, and added some spots of brown wash to give a rust effect. Lastly I used a little Tamiya weathering kit I've had sitting around for years to add more rust, and some soot near the missile pod.

This stuff is great. You apply it with a little make-up thing, and it looks awesome. It does leave a powdery finish, which didn't go well under the top coat of varnish, but still, I really like this stuff.
So, all that done, my first two cars were complete and ready to take the field. I have a bunch of others to do next, but the first two are ready to roll!

Overall I am happy with the results. They didn't take too much time, and I think they look suitable. I have some more lined up to do next, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they come out!


  1. I have the rulebook but haven't had a chance yet to play the game.
    I love what you did with the Cars and when I want to play the game I guess I need to employ a similar tactic for buying my own 😁.
    While buying LEGO sets for Mobile Frame Zero I already did the same 😉.
    Do you play with your son? I found the rules to be a bit daunting, especially as my eldest is only 7 at the moment. Which is also the major reason I haven't done anything with the game yet.

    1. Hey Wouter! Yes, I played with my son. He's eight, and initially all he wanted to do was get his vehicles into the highest gear possible. :D But he can play the game no problems. I would agree that rules appear quite dense from reading, but in practice they are really straight forward. Choose a template, roll dice, use dice, move car, shoot.

      I found the play aids on the Gaslands website to be handy for me to follow. I walked him through what he had to do each turn ("Ok, so what move are you doing, are you rolling all your dice?" etc).

      I also made suggestions through our first game or so - you could use that slide to do x, or use that spin to do y.

      The game seems procedural, and for the first game does feel like that for the first turn or two. But after that it just clicks and moves along at a steady pace. My son started off slowly, but on our second and third game he was going along fine. I still need to remind him of steps or rules or whatever, but it works well.

      If you do try the game, I hope it goes well!