Saturday, July 2, 2011

Zombie Truck

Sometimes I get stuck on various projects. They're either too hard, or they don't interest me, or I don't have the right paint, or the planets aren't aligned properly. Who knows why, but sometimes I get myself in a position where I simply never finish anything. I've been in that sort of rut lately - building a fair amount, but not finishing anything.

To try to get things moving again, I decided to set myself a mild challenge. I'd just written a 160,000-word novel that was my own take on the ever-popular (and very cliche) zombie apocalypse. One of the "characters" in that novel was a gun truck hastily assembled out of whatever came to hand. I decided to build a model version of the truck that appeared in my novel, building it in the same way that the characters in the novel built it - quickly, roughly, and with whatever came to hand.

The basis was Revell's "Tactical Truck" kit, a rough and fairly crude rendition of what I believe is an M34 six-by truck of roughly 1960s vintage. To supplement the truck, I allowed myself to use whatever I could find in one of my Tupperware junk bins, which included some 1/35th scale armor accessories and a bunch of scrap plastic and wood.

So what have we got? Plastic rod roughly welded across the windows and windshield. Pieces of plastic sheet scabbed onto the doors and roof as applique armor. A crude framework "welded" together to support a plywood roof. Heavy wood planks "bolted" to the sides to keep the evil undead from getting handholds and easily climbing into the truck (I ran out of Grandt Line nut-bolt-washers so you'll have to imagine there are enough bolts). An angled "zombie-catcher" made out of scrap plastic sheet and rod that's intended to keep roadkill zombies from getting into the radiator. Extra lights. A CB radio and a US Army radio that I believe came from a Tamiya Humvee kit.

Not seen in the back of the truck are a 55-gallon drum of fuel, about forty gallons of fuel in jerry cans, forty gallons of water in plastic jerry cans, some MREs, and all the ammunition cans I could find. There's junk on the roof, including a ladder, rope, scrap lumber, and a sand channel I made out of sheet plastic.

There's a .30-caliber Browning machine gun for the shotgun passenger. There's an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon at each "broadside" position. And to deter pursuit, there is a pair of .50-caliber M2 heavy machine guns at the rear corners. There are also various M16s and pistols here and there, and a couple of M60 machine guns thrown onto the roof just in case.

It looks pretty crude, but it was meant to look crude, and it was built in three days. But best of all, it's done. And it made a significant dent in my supply of junk, which isn't a bad thing either.

I think it needs shovels and more spare tires, but I couldn't find any in my junk bin. Life's tough when zombies attack.