Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Machinas (not really)

OK, then, If you have not been following Carmen's Fun Painty Time and his amazing work with large cowboys and samurai, you've missed out.  But the coolest thing on his blog (and he has retro 1950's space ship racing there somewhere) is the Machinas post apoc car thing.  Which has even spawned a kickstarter card game.

Now this is not actually anything to do with Machinas.  What 'Evil Cartoonist' has done with some toy cars to turn them into post Apoc cars is innovative and well executed.  Which is something you'll not see here:

These are the cars with which I whiled away the endless summer holidays of my youth, building roads around my grandparents flower beds: When I found a place that did not cause any conflict (at the bottom of the garden under the apple trees) the roads and little mud walls stayed there for years.

So you can see, a lot of the cars ended up with alternative paint jobs.  I probably stopped playing with these about 31 years ago (at a guess) and started crashing BMX (short-lived) and soon embarked on decades of AD&D and MERP.

And then festooned with decals, mostly left over from airplane kits.

Now, I spent years keeping these clean(ish).  Now I spend ages trying to get my 40K models to look this weathered.

You can tell the age of the car by how many times I re-decorated it. These two range rovers are my favourites.

And you can see the newest car there is the 1982 car show XJS.  Sheesh.

Now, as a car owner who has cars that looked like this (not teeny tiny, but obviously old and battered to heck), I'd hate to think what these would look like inside.  My W reg golf (old W, Scipio, you do the math) was never clean, it looked like one of those awful Topgear experiments.  IRL, these toy cars are full of dirt.

Now call me sentimental, but these cars are a link to a very happy childhood now long gone.  So they'll be lovingly hidden away in the loft.

And these plastic men were all dug up from the flowerbed in the few years after my grandfather died - when he was still gardening, he left that shady corner alone.  There's a shop in the town I grew up in which used to sell models and toys as well as art supplies (it only does the art supplies, the last time I was back there).  It was a brilliant place and I have fond memories of going there with my dad.  All of which leads me to think that there are about 200 airfix soldiers in the ground there somewhere where my grandparents lived.

And finally a confession - I was on ebay and there was an Elysian army advertised.  I put in a bid, not expecting to score.  But incredibly I did win and it's a not insignificant dent in my resolution not to buy more stuff.  Oh well, at I now have something to put in my Valkyries.


  1. Hm.. are the elysians painted? if they are you could retrospectively edit the pledge to "not buy any more unpainted stuff" :)

  2. Aw.... This is a very cool post and a nice look-see into your childhood.

    The only thing I have left of my own toys was my Legos collection and my son now owns and builds with those.

  3. A man after my own heart. The legendary assaults of Paras and Commandos on to the top-secret German Flowerpot HQ at the bottom of the garden are still commemorated today. Some of those 1:35 Jerries took a hammering (the German CO always seemed to end the battle by leaping out my window and plunging to the garden below.

    A very nice look back. And that comment about weathering is so true - rather than buying powders we should just bury our tanks in the garden for twenty years.

  4. ...and WHO ON EARTH writes "Oh yeah, and by the way I just bought an Elysian army" as an afterthought?!

  5. In 1982 I was still 3 years shy of being a twinkle in my old mans eye.

    Doesn't matter the age, I think most young boys will have had similar momentos of their childhood. My mam and dad handed me a box last month they found in the roof space filled with my old toys. Unfortunately most of my cars ended up in the old crusher (the space between the bottom of my bottom bed leg and the concrete floor of the immigration flat I found myself in as a six year old transported across the pond to Australia) and my army chaps took an unhealthy liking to looking at the Australian sun through the lens of a magnifying glass, or became fodder for 'conversion' tests while I built up my original miniature collection.

    As to the Elysians - I think you chumped me to that lot then you cheeky bugger - though I would have stayed silent on it until next year to keep my current year pledge alive! Its probably a good thing you got it as the missus already looks unkindly upon my collection and has started making noises about maybe down sizing.

  6. I call this poem
    1982:An Ode to Zzzzzz

    What a year,
    Twinkle to a tear.
    Went the distance,
    came into existence.
    Finished a race,
    Got egg on my face.

    Now thirty,
    Very nerdy.
    In my den,
    Painting men.
    Wife to annoy
    And a little boy

    Enjoyed your post.
    Vee dub the most,
    Plastic beats led,
    In the flowerbed.
    What’s the plan,
    With those Elysian?

  7. I’d like to add that I think it is no coincidence that the week that you get all nostalgic and remember your grandfather you also come into possession of an Elysian army!

    The Elysian Fields or the Elysium is the Greek afterlife where these chosen by the gods as righteous and heroic live in joy and peace.

    I’d consider it a message and a gift. But maybe that’s just me. :)

  8. Relics of bygone times, having survived the elements and lovingly looked after and cared for since their rediscovery: This are the essence of a "Machinas" car.