You can’t have too many vehicles for modern skirmish gaming. Even if you’re not driving them they make great cover!
So here we’ve got a mix of different civilian softskins in a range of materials: diecast, traditional resin castings, and a home resin 3D print.
Studio Siberia Diecast UAZ Patriots
Diecast models are a great source of cheap vehicles for moderns, especially if you want something that isn’t a fighting vehicle (or even if you do…)
I got these from Studio Siberia, who have a really interesting range of stuff and will send it to you all the way from Russia for less than the bloke down the road will sell them to you. Obviously their collection skews towards Russian and Soviet equipment, so check them out if that floats your boat.
The UAZ Patriot is a pretty common modern Russian 4WD, and these models came with light bars and insignia for the police. Since I wanted them for Black Ops games they really had to be repainted as menacing black SUVs for folks like my corporate security goons to zoom around in. We actually played a game recent with these vehicles in a convoy going through a shanty town and getting ambushed, it was a lot of fun and really shows how you can use Black Ops to put on some interesting wargames that aren’t just “two armies march across a field” (although there’s nothing wrong with that!).
Since they’re die casts they’re pretty easy to disassemble for a respray. The light bars got snapped off and the holes filled, and the whole body was simply sprayed with gloss black and then reassembled. One nice feature you get from diecasts is opening doors, which for skirmish games is actually a handy little touch. It looks great when the vehicle starts getting shot up and the occupants have to debus.
So, highly recommended little models. They’re durable, easily customisable and cheap. They’re current US$7.82 which is about £6, and at that price you might as well order a few things and minimise the effect of postage from Russia. Unless you’re reading this from Russia, in which case Привет!
Those Patriots make great “star” vehicles, but for modern skirmish gaming you need vehicles as scatter terrain. Some vehicles parked outside the objective look great, and they’re essential if you want to do an urban setup. So I started looking for cheap resin ones to dress up the table with, as well as the 3D printed option below.
If I recall correctly these two are from Urban Construct, I bought them at the same time I got their nice SWAT van for my police. They’re pretty good castings with good surface detail, but they are slightly messy around the wheels and wheel arches. Not a biggy, as that’s easy to hide with paint. I bought them off a very well laid-out stand at a show but most of their extensive range of vehicles doesn’t seem to be listed on the website, which is a shame. I don’t recall what I paid for them, except that it wasn’t expensive (in the £5-10ea range?)
There’s not much to say about resin models really, you just slap paint on them and they’re done! The white van has come out a lot nicer than the pickup truck did. Sometimes I think I can paint, and then sometimes I look at what I’ve done and just think “Wtf?”
3D Printed Ford Focus
This is a pretty economical way to do it. My software tells me that the resin to print this cost £1.07, but figure probably about double or triple that once you account for all the other costs. Either way you’re getting change out of a fiver. For something which is really just scatter terrain that’s a winner.
The 3D model I used is one from Thingiverse (Ford Focus ST) but to be honest I’ve found many of the 3D car models out there aren’t easily printable. Many are based on 3D renders for computer graphics and so contain a lot of extraneous nonsense like bulbs inside the headlights, interior detail and details that are too small to print in 28mm like radio aerials and highly detailed wipers. This model was hollowed, tilted and printed in 0.05mm layers and came out showing almost no layer lines. Because resin is expensive I hollowed out the model, so unlike the paperweight-like resin casts above this vehicle is really light.
It took me a couple of goes to get right. For my first attempt I scaled it at 1/56 and it came out looking like a go cart next to 28mm figures. I think it’s the extra height from the bases and the tendency to “heroic” proportions that do this. So I had another go at 1/48th and that’s the one you see here. Now that I’ve got the supported and sliced 3D model I could print more any time I like, which is where 3D printing starts to get cool. Getting the first print sorted can be a real faff, but after that you can just print copies whenever you like.