Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Six New Cars, New Link

Super-quick update - six new cars from Rick Maturi and a link to Rogviler's Library. All available at the usual place,

Stourbridge Competition, Theme from Thunderbirds and 12" long Cars

The Stourbridge club's fantasy competition was finished a couple of weeks ago. I ran two games of A&A each night for a different batch of players. Each player got two games and whosoever scored the most in their two games was the winner. I gave a point for each damage point inflicted, five for each component and five for converting up a car. I did sometimes have to randomize firing order to see exactly who did what - for example if cars A & B shoot at C we need to know which of A or B shoots first because they might destroy the target before the other gets his shot(s) in. I also rolled for all systems during a treshhold even if the driver or fuel got taken out, the idea being that more system losses = bigger explosion = happier arena crowd.

With five points on offer for bringing a converted car, all four players turned up with cars selected and converted for the occasion.

First up was Ashley Hewitt, who repainted a Matchbox Ferrari F355, adding a Ground Zero Games turret and plastic spikes. Dave Orton converted an old Corgi Juniors VW Beetle Hot Rod, repainting it white with '53' racing number and creating massive ramming spars from plastic pieces from his bits box. Mike Drew knocked up a lorry in black with armour plates and turret guns, looking very much like a land-going battleship. But Andy Morris went one better. Although he didn't convert his car, he did bring along the Thunderbirds theme music. To the sound of this, Thunderbird 2 flew over the battlefield, dropping one of its cargo pods from which Andy extracted a model of Lady Penelope's pink Rolls Royce. Five points just for the brilliant entrance? Yes m'lady.

However neither of the four was able to touch Jimmy Watton's 58 points (from the first Friday) so Jimmy becomes Stourbridge Fantasy Competition Champion for 2001 and has to organise 2002's competition.

I've acquired some cheap cars from a local discount store - 12" friction-driven Opel Vectras for 99p each. I've started converting them to giant-size Axles and Alloys cars, at time of writing one is converted and needs painting, the other is waiting for more bits to turn up in the bits box - I sort of used all the good stuff on Car 1 and forgot about the need to keep some stuff back for Car 2. Car 1's customizing equipment mostly came from a Disney 'Atlantis' toy and the usual card plates and aluminium mesh. Scale-wise these wil probably need 4 x the usual measurements (which equates to a Car Wars scale of x12 - ack!) so whether I will ever get to play with these is not clear. Still they'll look good when photographed for the site. Not sure how practical they'll be when trying to measure 80" or similar for a move and 96" for a laser shot.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Rick Maturi has sent in some more photos of cars. These will be uploaded when I next look at the backlog.

Something I would appreciate some advice on - late last year I managed to acquire a Scalextric TR7 off ebay (something I had been after for a while). This led me onto browsing the web for things slotcar-related in an attempt to get more TR7s and I was amazed to see the level of sophistication in terms of clubs and layouts achieved by slot car racers. I used to have a Scalextric when I was little - two mid 70s era F1 cars and a short figure-of-eight track but the modern hobby scene has really got me interested.

I'm tempted by a HO set, partly because of it's smaller footprint, and partly because it looks practical to build up a four-lane layout. The modelling side of it especially appeals to me, I like the idea of painting up vac-formed bodies and then swopping them around on the chassis's. However I don't know if HO scale is still a current thing - I see plenty of track and cars available in the US via the net but I'm not sure if Tyco and the rest are still making it. Of course with HO slot cars really being 1:64 I doubt it would take long for the glue and aluminium mesh to make an appearance...

I suppose a good alternative would be to hunt down a local slot-car club, here in the West Midlands (UK). I've been told about one in Smethwick, but from the promotional flyer I saw in my local model shop it looks a bit competitive and full of rules, which frankly turns me off - I'm not a competitive individual by nature and detest competitive streaks in others at work or in hobby pursuits (i.e. competition wargaming) I'd just be looking to have an occasional (i.e. not every week) laugh with a bit of light-hearted Scalextric racing.

If you could offer me advice on either HO-scale slot car'ing or a West Midlands club then please feel free to email me at

On a non-car related point it turns out that my home town (Dudley) has supplied both of the British Taliban members currently held prisoner in Cuba! I think we're all highly amused - Tipton (their suburb) has always had a reputation of being populated in it's entireity by nutters!

Monday, January 28, 2002

The wet-and-dry paper approach to basing works really well. I used a medium grade in a dark grey and then drybrushed with Citadel Codex Grey. A Hot Wheels Taildragger (unconverted) was then glued to the top and I'm pleased with the effect. I suppose the next stage is to mask off the base leaving narrow lines exposed for white or yellow spray paint to represent road markings or similar.

Just done an update to add three converted car photos from Rick Maturi, to be found at More would follow but it's all in one of my Yahoo! mailboxes and typically having set the evening aside to finally get off my arse and attend to all the backlog I can't seem to get onto the UK mail site. Bloody typical.

Looking ahead to the impending release of Car Wars at x 3 scale I thought I'd better base some cars up on 3" x 1.5" bases. I've gone for a quick and dirty approach to groundwork - grey coloured wet-and-dry paper to represent a tarmac (asphalt) surface glued to balsa wood. The bases are drying at the moment, once dry I'll drybrush them up a bit and see how they look. More later.

Well I've decided to migrate the news page of the site onto (which is this BTW). Hand-appending to the old code was starting to get unwieldly and I seemed stuck in a rut of typing up new entries and never getting around to FTPing them up - hopefully this new format should make it a bit less of a hassle.