Friday, June 22, 2012

Making Windows for Marx Future Cars

Marx Cars of The Future are toys that seem as cool today as they did when they were first made in the space-age crazy 1950s. With styling that expanded on the big and burly cars of that era they seem plausible and completely ridiculous at the same time.

Originally cast with wheels on the bottom that don't seem designed to actually roll these cars make great stand ins for hover cars. Just snap the wheels out and they already seem to float on a cushion of air. Artist Ryan Howe used them for inspiration in our comic Yva Starling: Troubleshooter. I'm also planning to use them in my games of the Judge Dredd Miniature Game as Mega-City One transports.

There are reproductions of these that seem to be pretty cheap and available. Many war game hobbyists use them for games set in an alternate history sci-fi setting were design style never really changed much from the 1950s. They look great in this setting but would certainly be improved by the addition of windshields and side windows.

So I broke out another relic from the past, my trusty Mattel Vac-U-Form machine. This little tank has been around longer than I have and still works consistently and well. And for smaller vacuformed parts it can't be beat. It uses pre-drilled plastic sheets which are luckily still pretty easy to find. And in addition to the heat plate that softens the plastic I also use a heat gun to warm the plastic sheet more thoroughly. The sheet is clamped between two holding racks while it heats. This keeps the sheet taut and even. Then the soft plastic sheet is dropped over the form and the air vacuumed out. This draws the soft plastic over the form and cools it to set the shape.

I've made windows for the two closed cabin cars and I'm pretty happy with how they've turned out. Installing them into the cars can be a bit of a pain but just takes a few tricks. After trimming the windows out of the plastic sheet use either hot glue or green stuff putty to attach it to the roof. These are designed to fit very snugly to the roof of the car to pull the windows tightly into place. I used hot glue for mine and found that letting the glue set for  about 20 seconds before placing the windows helps the plastic keep its shape and fit more snugly. The part needs to be held in place until the glue cools.

Please contact me at if you're interested in picking some of these up.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Elder Thing Disruptor Weapon.

"The Old Ones had used curious weapons of molecular and atomic disturbances against the rebel entities, and in the end had achieved a complete victory." ~H.P.L.

Just a few quick pictures of the Elder Thing with disruptor weapon. I wanted the design of their weapons to be very Baroque and semi-organic without being bio-mechanical. These weapons can be fired in various ways. A lower setting produces uncomfortable heat and blistering, this is the setting most often used to control wayward shoggoths. By increasing the power of the weapon the Elder Things can cause biological material to boil or burn. And at its highest setting it will rip apart molecular bonds with highly explosive results. 

The only disadvantage to using these weapons is that the range and power must be set before firing and so fast moving targets often avoid the worst effects. It is noted in At The Mountains of Madness that the Spawn of Cthulhu and the Mi-Go seem to be able to avoid some of the disruptor's effect by nature of their odd physical reality, although this might only be revisionist history on the part of the Elder Things to explain defeats in battle by these foes.
The Elder Things will also be getting a large scale cannon weapon and close combat troops. The Elder Things miniatures are available here: