Monday, 9 February 2015

Yet MORE more frugal gaming: armour support!

Frugal gaming is good for more than just terrain and monsters. Let's take a look at some armoured vehicles I bashed together for my Neo-Soviet figures, who do double duty as the Planetary Defense Force in my Petersen's World Warhammer Sorta Thousand setting.

The first vehicle is a little tracked rocket launcher vehicle, based on a Robogear "Varan" model. Here's what it looked like when I got it off eBay at like £8 for a dozen vehicles. The driver would normally sit in that little hatch at the front, looking a bit (but just a bit) oversized for 28mm and, perhaps more importantly, completely stupid with his head sticking out at chest height.

Sorry about the lighting. GW Space Marine for scale. 
I added a canopy thing made of scrap card and an armoured slit thing from a broken Poundland army toy. I picked up a cheap 40K tank driver from Lead Adventure and then stuck on a spare Warzone assault rifle that was kicking around my bits box.

Then I slapped some paint on it: 

The heavily-armoured Guards models are Fantasian Stormtroopers from the old Legions of Steel game.
They were another cheap swap from the Lead Adventure Forum, I believe.
The rank-and-file are from Copplestone Castings.
I haven't given much thought to a background for this vehicle other than that welding two whacking great launch rails to a wee little tractor is exactly the kind of thing that the cash-starved, bomb-happy forces of planetary despot Viktor Glushin would do. Also, beause it started life as a Robogear toy, it does actually fire little plastic spring-loaded missiles.

Next up is the Lancer, known to Glushin's people as a "light tank," which is a nice way of saying "piece of junk." Underpowered and undergunned, the Lancer is dead meat on any real battlefield, but the Petersen's World forces were able to pick up a load of them cheap -- and why not? When you're up against no more than native rebels with antiquated small arms and swords or rioting mobs of disgruntled workers, the fact that you have a tank at all can make a big difference. 

The Lancer started life as one of a big bag of plastic army vehicles I got in a charity shop. You can get the originals for a couple of bucks. Mine cost less than that. I snipped off the gun and stuck on a long, slender weapon from a Robogear model (from the same eBay bulk buy that got me the Varan), with a pair of cut-down surplus weapons from the Wargames Factory greatcoated shock troops. The MG on the front came from a Secrets of the Third Reich model I picked up in the discount bin at the Orc's Nest, while the sensor doodad on the top is a bit from some GW kit or other. I suppose it should be green too, but I was getting bored. The exposed tracks got some crude armor cut out from layers of card. If I had that to do again, I would use something else -- it's a bit too obviously stuck on. I also created card panels to cover the fact that the chassis is hollow. The Neo-Sov theme is completed by a WWII Russian aeroplane decal and a hand-painted patriotic slogan.

So yeah, it doesn't look too great, but it was still about £2 all told, so I can hardly complain. 

As a tip: if you want to make one of these, you have to scrub the hell out of the plastic to make it take paint well. I think I actually sanded mine. In the end, that was probably unnecessary, but I didn't want to take the risk of that plastic shedding the paint.


  1. I am in awe of your ability to turn junk into toys!

    1. Thanks! There's nothing to it, though. It's all just a question of perspective.