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! 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.)