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Pixar Cars Play Sets as F:WW Terrain

A while back, I managed to get a box of used Pixar “Cars” play sets (from the first movie) for pretty cheap – partly because they were missing absolutely every last bit that could possibly be plucked or popped off without requiring the use of tools or brute force. For my purposes, that’s just fine: I plan on converting them anyway, missing parts are just fine for “ruins,” and if they’d been in TOO nice of shape I would have felt too guilty to start chopping them up.

My first one more-or-less complete (I reserve the right to go back and do a few more tweaks) used to be “Lizzie’s Curio Shop.” As it was missing the big sign on top, I made a new one out of “popsicle” craft sticks, PLA rafts (leftover plastic from the supports underneath 3D prints that a friend saved for me for projects such as this), and an assortment of fridge magnets from the thrift store, plus some “letter-board” letters from the craft store. (For the “light bulbs” on the signs, I used “friendship bracelet” beads, and used a Dremel to bore in some divots so they could anchor a little more sturdily.)

The baseplates on these buildings are the same thickness as the thinner Secret Weapon Miniatures “Tablescapes” terrain boards (the picture shows “Rolling Hills” and “Scrap Yard” themed plates adjacent to the base) – but in order to line up with the thicker “sidewalk curb” segments from the “Urban Streets” sets, they’d need to be put on a spacer or two.

The play sets are sized to accommodate roughly 1:50 scale die-cast “Cars” toys, and the end result of that is that the buildings more-or-less look okay next to 32mm scale figures (such as for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare), and that the doorways are wide enough to pass for human-sized double-doors … or, for gaming purposes, they’re wide enough to accommodate those 40mm wide BASES, without looking too ridiculously large.

Another consideration for me is that, as toys, they’re a lot more durable per the weight than, say, my MDF kits, or my old brittle Bachmann Plasticville kits. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if I had a dedicated gaming table, but a primary concern of mine is being able to transport these things for store demo or convention games.

Design-wise, the buildings from “Radiator Springs” benefit from an aesthetic that was meant to evoke “Route 66 Americana” – and that works pretty nicely, I think, for the sorts of rural areas that might be found in the wasteland, where the buildings might be more-or-less intact, compared to what piles of rubble and twisted girders you might find in the bombed cities. At least, it’s got the retro stylings down; it’s up to me to do something about the “futuristic” part of “retro-futuristic,” but that’s where furnishings and scatter terrain details come in. (I actually combined some bits from Plasticville kits, since the simplistic lines of Plasticville can read as “retro-futuristic” at times.)

I checked, and the doorways WILL NOT accommodate the Chryslus Coupe or similarly-sized model cars. (And that’s just fine for me, since I’m not about to paint eyeballs on the windshield of the Coupe and pretend this is a universe full of anthropomorphized cars! :smiley: I’ll leave that to someone else.)

The little “side yard” beside the Curio Shop is about big enough to accommodate the Coupe, however, so I suppose if you end up with a copy of this set sans all the trappings (that seems to happen a lot, judging from the cheaper lots on eBay), then it might be a good place to park a Coupe up on cinder blocks if you don’t have something else to fill the space.

Also, the forward “porch” roof section makes for a nice level perch for sentry turrets. (It’s possible to balance a couple on the back roof area, but it’s at an angle.)

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Well that is just all kinds of awesome, great work :+1:

Those are really impressive! They scale surprisingly well as well, the Modiphius terrain seems to fit right in among those buildings!

Thanks! Still in the queue would be a Flo’s V8 Diner, Luigi’s Tires, and Ramone’s House of Body Art.

I’m especially sad that the signs for Flo’s Diner and Ramone’s shop are missing, as they had a nice retro look and I could see them fitting for Fallout – but, hey, if I wanted them that badly, I could have just paid a lot more and someone’s selling intact sets on eBay.

Flo’s Diner is a bit weird in that it really plays up the “this is a world of cars!” theme like crazy, It’s basically a mash-up of a gas station and a drive-in restaurant (because for a world of Cars, that’s the same thing), and on top of that, the building itself evokes imagery of cylinder heads and an air filter, with light-up features top the stations meant to evoke the idea of the spark-plugs firing off in sequence.

I was thinking of maybe changing this into an electric car recharge station – to serve vehicles such as the classic Fallout 2 Highwayman (it wasn’t until Bethesda got onto the scene that cars became things any sane person should be afraid of going up in a mushroom cloud) – that just happens to also have a cafe/convenience store at one end. If I still had the “V8” signage, I could perhaps stick “ATOMIC” atop that … but then I suppose it would call into question why you’d name a place that serves ELECTRIC vehicles after a popular car that would NOT need such a service. So … maybe not that route, after all.

Ramone’s (since it’s no longer “Ramone’s”) is likely to get turned into a fast food eatery. I just have to make a new custom sign to put atop. If I could figure out a way to exploit the odd slotting mechanism, perhaps I could make multiple signs to switch out, so for a F:WW campaign, I could mix up just what sort of fast-food restaurant this is for any given scenario. The first signage I’m working on is “BOMBER WING” (working in a “boomerang” shape and a little Crimson Skies “flying wing” model plane) – a place specializing in spicy chicken wings. (I also have a plastic chicken from a Safari Ltd “Toob” kit, and I’m thinking of sticking one on the roof, and using some putty to sculpt a bomber pilot helmet on it, just for giggles, to serve as a mascot.)

Luigi’s tire shop has these stylized “tires” atop multiple points along the outside perimeter as a matter of decoration. I’m tempted to paint them up as donuts, and make the place some sort of donut emporium. I wish I could think of a Fallout-ish apocalyptic pun. I mean, turning it into a “Slocum’s Joe” would seem obvious enough, but I think that chain needs a little competition. :wink:

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Those all sound like really good ideas! Keep us posted on what you end up turning the buildings into :slight_smile:

This used to be a “Ramone’s House of Body Art” (Pixar’s “Cars”) play set, but the light-up “Ramone’s” sign didn’t come with it (nor did any of the other accessories). I got the idea of using it for a “generic” fast-food restaurant – I’d just swap out the sign and maybe some sort of props to hint at what sort of establishment it might have been before the bombs dropped.

The sign is made primarily of foam-core illustration board (layered), with laminated cardboard trim (cut out of a bit of packaging). The “BOMBER” lettering consists of fridge magnets backed on 40mm round-lipped bases, in turn on some discs that were “rafts” from a PLA 3D-print job. The “WING” part of the sign is more letterboard lettering. The pole is made from a couple of cash register printing spools, with some wooden chopsticks for a core, and putty as gap-filler. The base (attached to the toy baseplate – the sign pole can pop out) is an inverted orange juice container lid.

For the chickens, I had a couple of plastic roosters from two Safari Ltd “Down on the Farm Toob” sets. I used some putty to give them bomber jackets, caps, and big silly goggles, then put them on 20mm square plastic bases so I could perch them over the two doorways.

For the fortifications, I have some Secret Weapon Miniatures “Scrap Yard Barricades,” plus an up-ended Modiphius 3D-printed Corvega Coupe, and some assorted “generic” 3D-printed barriers.

The streets are Secret Weapon Miniatures “Tablescapes” terrain tiles – “Urban Streets” theme (damaged and “clean” versions mixed).

In the background are some McFarlane Toys “Halo Micro Ops - High Ground Tower” segments, a Playmates “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” play set, and a Fisher Price “Toy Story 3” play set, painted up as ruinous building facades.

I’ve also got the Modiphius APC there in the background, but I’m still painting it. I just figured it was far enough along that I could get away with putting it far in the back.

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That sign is brilliant! A really Fallout-y design, and made beautifully.

Having the building facades in the background are also great additions, they really make the table look more built up without taking up space for gameplay

Absolutely fantastic, love it :star_struck:

Do you prefer the tiles over a mat and does it take a lot of work to paint them? Doesn’t the paint wear off with mins on top?

The whole setup looks amazing mate.

@Wickedcool: Short answer: I prefer the tiles, but I’d use a mat if I had a decent one and it suited the job. It’s not really much work to paint them – mostly spray-paint primer, dry-brushing, and splashes of wash, with the occasional spot detail work (such as a rusty manhole cover or grate). Paint wear for terrain hasn’t been an issue – and I frequently use painted terrain tiles (not these, but others) that I’ve had around since the late 1990s.

Mats vs. Tiles:
I may use mats when they’re available and they serve my purpose, but the solid tiles are useful for a variety of reasons, and I have a lot more fun working with them. For instance, the interlocking street pieces in 12"x12" sections give me a lot of flexibility in determining the layout, whereas any “street” mat is probably sized to cover the entire play area, and it’s going to represent a single and arbitrarily-determined layout. With the tiles, I can more easily set up with a variety of different play areas – say, a mini-encounter/display on 2’x2’, an RPG encounter on 3’x2’ or 4’x2’, or a much bigger battle on 4’x4’.

Also, I’ve got a lot more freedom to customize the Tablescapes boards; the “Rolling Fields” style boards lend themselves nicely to grassy fields or to blasted wastelands, and I could probably make some nice snowy tundra-looking sections as well if I thought I’d get enough use out of it. The “Scrap Yard” tiles have a lot of interesting bits of junk worked in, and I’ve taken the opportunity to “Fallout-brand” it a bit – for instance, painting up mostly-buried oil drums with “Red Rocket” or “Poseidon Energy” colors and logos, putting the Vault-Tec logo on a flattened cargo container, etc.

Wear:
So far, I really haven’t noticed any wear. For most of these boards, most of the color is from the spray-on primer – either a Rustoleum “brown” for the wasteland boards, a muted green for “grass” boards, or a mix of spritzes of black and grey primers for the streets and concrete foundations.

If I were going for a more pristine, “clean” look – say, if I had a bunch of cyberpunk/anime/Tau-esque boards with gleaming surfaces and panels and lots of color detail – I might worry a bit more about scuffs and wear, but a lot can be forgiven for the “post-apocalyptic” look, even if it were an issue.

Even without the HIPS boards, I’ve been using Hirst Arts Castlemolds terrain (made with blocks of Hydrocal, usually sealed with acrylic house paint and then detailed with craft acrylics) since the very late '90s, and those pieces have far more to fear from silverfish in the garage (those nasty little bugs that like to chew up paper and chalky Hydrocal, among other things) than any surface wear. Any touch-up work I’ve had to do for paint has been for outright breakage (as accidents happen, and Hydrocal is brittle).

Painting/Prep:
As noted before, most of the work is just spray-priming the board. For wasteland (Rolling Fields or Scrap Yard), it’s mostly Rustoleum brown, but I might vary it with a few spritzes of black or grey here or there. For Urban Streets, I’ll start with grey primer all over, then a few light passes of black down the streets. For more green outdoorsy areas (Rolling Fields, but not so “wasteland”), a green primer with a few bursts of black, grey, brown. It’s sloppy and quick, and the bursts of different color primer are just to make it less “flat” as a starting point.

From there, it’s mostly a lot of dry-brushing and washes, with only occasional spot details of more color than that – and much of that is in recessed areas, such as craters and gutters (which generally aren’t as vulnerable to wear as the high points).

An exception would be something like the “Scrap Yard” tiles, with have a lot of “junk” items incorporated in them – some of the tiles are much more “flat” (inviting places to use as a foundation for structures), whereas others have incorporated “junk piles” that can represent “difficult terrain” or “low wall” barricades. I could just take a shortcut and paint it all generic rusty, but I prefer to take the time to add more details and make it look more cluttered in that particular case – so there, the Scrap Yard tiles do take me a lot longer to properly finish.

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Awesome terrain!
I had an eye on one or two of these for a while now, but wasn’t sure they’d fit in scale. And given the price these things go for, I wasn’t ready to take a gamble.
But now that I see that they do fit and can look amazing (as yours do!), I might take a plunge and get at least one. Probably Ramone’s, since I really like your Bomber Wing Restaurant idea. :slight_smile:

Do you plan on getting Sarge’s set as well?

@NoshrokGrimskull: Price and availability are factors. I just really happened to luck out to get these four play sets (still working on the other two, which are in pieces on my worktable right now) really cheaply. I mean, the major part of the expense was just the shipping and handling. I gather that these four play sets were the most common Cars sets, since they show up most often as used.

I would positively LOVE to fix up the Cozy Cone Motel and Sarge’s Surplus, since they really look like they’d adapt well just with some weathering and details. (I mean, sure, the Cozy Cone is meant to be a motel “for cars,” but add some doors and we’re probably okay. Sure, the logo shows a car snoozing inside a cone, but that could just be written off as being stylized to represent a motorist hotel.) But I haven’t yet run across some great used deal for either one. (Probably never for “Cozy Cone,” since I think that’s a “Precision”-only set, hence geared specifically for collectors.)

I do like the idea of a quonset hut building a la Sarge’s. After all, some of those showed up as bunkers in the Lonesome Road DLC for Fallout: New Vegas. I have a few plastic quonset huts from “Project Icarus” (Dust Tactics), and also a big plastic half-shell piece that was originally (I think) supposed to be part of a silo for a farm play set – and there’s not really much ELSE I can do but to turn that one into a big Quonset Hut.

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Wow on your answer-exceeded expectations

I finally made some progress on the third of my “Pixar to Post-Apocalyptic” terrain conversions. This one was originally a “Flo’s V8 Cafe” set, but most of the elements of the signage were missing, so I decided to “re-brand” it. I used the plastic “globe” topper from an old Safari Ltd “Toob” toy set, some Reaper 45mm round plastic bases, some wooden chopsticks, and some leftover plastic “raft,” along with some “pink stuff” foam board and several printed elements (arranged in Photoshop) to transform this into a Poseidon Energy “Power Center,” serving cars powered by gasoline, fusion, electric, or hydrogen. (Pricing on the sign is based on canon pricing for gasoline and fusion coolant in the Fallout games. I had to make up pricing for electric and hydrogen. Hydrogen-powered cars aren’t even canon … but I “needed” something to put in that sixth spot, to maintain some semblance of symmetry.)

In the Cars universe, Flo’s V8 Cafe was a gas station … because cars use gas as fuel, hence food. Visually, I thought it was a brilliant merger of not only the idea of a drive-in restaurant (a la A&W and Sonic drive-ins) but also a conventional gas station, but then ON TOP OF THAT, working in the V8 engine imagery. I’ve got to hand it to Pixar. :slight_smile: But for Fallout purposes, I just imagined that it’s a fuel-up center that has “engine” imagery for purely aesthetic reasons, and that the central area would be the “cafe” – or, in this case, I re-branded it as the “Vend-O-Mart” – or just a spot for vending machines, so this place could be fully self-service.

Originally, the toy had a top portion that popped open clamshell-style on an obnoxiously-large hinge. I decided to remove the hinge, replace it with an “AC unit,” remove any “furniture” elements bolted down in the top area, glue the roof on, then move those “furnishings” to the otherwise empty main floor area (which for whatever reason is made with a gear and turntable arrangement). I left the screws out to affix the main building shell in place so I could remove it for easier access to the room interior. What was once an ice box for cans of OIL (chilled oil is tasty for anthropomorphized cars?) became an ice cream serving unit (how exactly you pay for and get your ice cream treat, I’m not sure, but it’s THE FUTURE, so I’m sure there’s some overly-complex mechanism that you could wrestle with to get your 210±year-old frozen-and-probably-irradiated treat). Some strange dispenser with three clear bubble tops and three handles … I have NO IDEA what that’s supposed to be, but it looks retro-futuristic, so in it goes!

And then there’s some space for some standing vending machines, so I put those in there, and a trash can in the middle.

Now, one thing that occurred to me is that this station was sorely lacking “facilities.” I have the same problem with my Plasticville O-scale gas station (which I turned into another Poseidon-Energy-branded station). I happened to have a box of mis-prints from a friend, and that included a couple of incomplete cockpit frame sections that I put together to make a little chamber, with a piece of PLA raft on top for a roof.

But what to do with such a tiny structure? Aha! Public “Gotta-Go” (brand) pay-lavatory! I made a sign out of another section of wooden chopstick, two more 45mm round Reaper Miniatures bases (I got several of them by accident – wrong diameter!), and I did some more photoshoppery to come up with a sign. Motto: “When you gotta go, you Gotta-Go!”

I think I’m going to go back and make a price display for my older Poseidon “Fuel & Fusion” station. (Well, I suppose I could just use the same sign out front. It’s removable for transport/storage, and I don’t imagine that I would need BOTH stations on the board at the same time.)

So … that leaves the Casa Del Tires for next time. The more I look at it, the more I think I may just leave it “Casa Del Tires” rather than trying to turn it into a doughnut shop. (For one thing, it has a nice light-up “Casa Del Tires” sign, and I’d hate to needlessly destroy that for a conversion.)

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That’s a seriously impressive set up! Have you had the chance to try out any games on it yet? :slight_smile:

That’s a brilliant conversion, it looks great :slight_smile:

@Alaiteir: Sadly, no – no games yet. I’m in Florida, and though there have been some loosened restrictions on going out of the house to get things and even to dine outside at some of the restaurants, such gatherings as cramming into a house around a table to run miniatures games are still the sort of thing that are strongly discouraged by the current stay-at-home restrictions here.

Another bit of bad news for me is that Necronomicon, my “big game event” of the year (for which I’ve been putting together these Fallout scenarios for the most part) has already been called off for the year, even though it’s out in October. (Now would be about the time that we’d be registering our events and starting to put together the schedule.)

I’m still going to finish up these things anyway, in the hope I’ll have more done for when things finally DO clear up.

The thing is, if I’m going to actually do anything with Fallout anytime soon(-ish), my best bet is probably to go online with a virtual tabletop platform such as Fantasy Grounds … but of course that renders so much of my crafting efforts with miniatures and such rather MOOT. Maybe I can take “bird’s-eye-view” photos of some of my terrain boards to use as background textures. (In theory, I could do “top-down” pictures of the minis, but in practice it seems more common to just use portrait “pogs” online for games where facing isn’t a primary concern.)

So far as I know, there’s no F:WW RPG die-roller plug-in available for Fantasy Grounds, though. The best I can figure is that we’d need to use that chart that shows the breakdown of the symbols on each die, and just “roll” simulated polyhedrals and then look up the proper results on the chart.

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Didn’t u find the gas station to be small. I like the apartment building but many are tiny

Ah that’s a shame. I hear the virus has been allowed to spread a lot in the US, so staying safe at home sounds like the best idea even if it means less gaming. There’s always the AI mode as well :slight_smile: