Tutorial: Using Cars in 28mm miniature projects

by Massive Voodoo

Good Saturday morning Jungle dwellers,

time for this week's result in Tutorial voting. 
Again sorry that it took Roman this long, as he was quiet busy with doing a private coaching last week Thursday and Friday. He just did not find time to do the write up.

If you want to keep track with an overview on what articles happened so far 
please check this link!

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Romann now takes care of the article.
We hope you enjoy!


Counting the votes we saw a clear winner once again: 
17 to 4 votes for the article about cars. Maybe we should throw the garbage article out of the voting system, eh?

During my so far Basing Classes with a modern topic my students and I often encountered the thought on how to introduce cars in our basing projects.

On the first two classes about a good year ago we solved these issues rather unprofessional and spontanously. We just used what was able to be grabbed in a close by discount store or Roman even asked his god children for one of their Matchboc cars. Worked well, but not perfectly.
Why you might ask?


All the cars we used so far were not in the right scale for 28mm or 32mm Miniatures, they looked off. Still they looked cool on the bases though.

One of my students of my basing class used this Matchbox car and placed a section of it to his base. It integrates rather well, but if you imagine the miniature standing beside the car actually sitting in the car it's more like he would be packed inside a kid's electrical car. What was good about this one was that the quality and material was good to work with.

Another student asked for a car too and we found some really, really, really cheap ones in a discount store.  They were a little too big concerning the scale and compared to the miniature it looked like a superhuge american SUV. Superhuge. Additional to this the material was weird chinese plastic and after we primed it and started painting on it the color of the orignal piece (blue) always pushed back on what we did there. That was weird and scary.

So it was about time to think about cars in the right scale and I searched online for good articles about it. I found some in the tabletop gaming sector and decided to give these cars a try. Everyone said that the perfect scale for your 28mm or 32mm models is 1:43. 

While I was searching online in stores, ebay and other places I was quickly attracted to

They seemed to have the biggest selection of available 1:43 cars. As these cars are collectors pieces some of them are very expensive and I told myself for my needs of putting them on my miniature project bases I will only order ones that are on Sale. Not willing to pay more than 8 € per car, which is still expensive if you look on what they will be used for. I was able to even find some for 4 € which in fact became my future goal. Browsing took a while, but if you want to save money you can not save on time.

So many different cars. So many stories to tell with them.

As Bene and I are also in need of some cars for our big Zombieproject I ordered some cheap ones for testing them. This is how they looked when they arrived and I already placed some 32mm and 28mm to it. From left to right: Hasslefree Dwarf, Zombie by Zombicide and a Tom Meier sculpt.

Well, now how to check if they are the right scale. Get out and stand beside your car or your mum's car. Look for its size, now get back to your models and your model car and see if the miniature could fit inside and try to imagine the figure sitting in it. Does it look natural? I'd say yes.

So some more cars showed up in my collection mainly for the upcoming Zombie-Diorama. The icecream truck was quite expensive compared to the others, but I just needed it.

Diorama ideas already popped up in my head by just playing around ... Sorry for the F-word in the photo.
Pierre Julien mentioned the company "Heller" on facebook. They produce 1:43 plastic car kits, which definatly might be very useful when it comes to handle car conversions. They are made from plastic and we all know bending and breaking plastic is much easier than metal. Thanks, Pierre Julien!

How to use these cars - EXAMPLE
Following I want to tell how I used my first car in a Dioramabase that I am building and painting at the moment. Usually my bases do not offer the size to place a full car on them. So I have decided to saw mine in half. As these cars come in high quality, made from metal, offer great details and more there is one thing very important: Wear your protection glasses, just in case:

Using my metal saw I gave it a full go with maximum gorilla force. I planned upfront how I want to place the model and how my cutout from it should look.

Then I placed it in my base while building it with tons of superglue. The following base you see is a Fallout 4 inspired project and soon I will be able to tell you more about it.

As I want to have the car rather rusty and old I used my dremel and added some damage to it. I really enjoyed doing so as I was able to scratch away the color on the model and was rewared with a 3dimensional surface I would be able to paint later on with nice detail - Protection glasses and breathing mask!

Primed it looked really sweet I'd say.

Painting is fun on this ...

... and even more fun the more you proceed.

 Crazy base in Progress ...

Well I guess there are many more options that might pop in your own head. You do not have to make your cars all rusty and messed up. You can use one for a Zombie Diorama which looks rather intact, but left behind because of the lack of gasoline for example. You can use some to build up some gaming terrain for your table or just pimp one  as a Mad Max Car for our actual contest.

Options are endless!

I am pretty sure I will have more fun with these in my future projects.
I hope you enjoyed the article One more thing about inspiration: My future brother-in-law is at the Philippines right now enjoying a well deserved holiday and he made such a wonderful photo,fitting well to this article - a Siquijor Mercury:

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


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