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I've been working on this piece, on and off, for a few days now but this is the first chance I've had to actually go online and post something.

For this entry I decided to build an abandoned caravan and car and in keeping with the theme of my recent entries it is designed to fit into my post apocalyptic 1962 Cuban Missile War setting.  Therefore the caravan is based on designs that were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s.

I started by cutting the basic shape of the caravan out of some packing styrofoam.

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While I was first looking at various caravan designs I found a template for a simple paper caravan with side panels that matched what I was looking for almost exactly.  It only required a bit of resizing to 28mm scale and cutting out the doors and windows to be ready for use.

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I glued some black painted card to the foam core where the doors and windows would be.
For the glass windows I cut out some plastic packaging to the appropriate size (some broken and some intact).  The "glass" was then lightly distressed it with sandpaper, given a dirty wash and then glued it to the inside of the card panels.  The panels were then glued to the foam core.

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Since the caravan didn't arrive on the scene under its own power a car was needed.  Fortunately I recently found a number of models from the Pixar movie "Cars" that were fairly cheap (1/43 scale from Zvezda).  Luigi, a Fiat 500, fitted into the setting perfectly.  The smiley mouth and windshield eyes were filled with Plasticine and then superglued  to harden it.  It was then given a spray of undercoat.    

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While the cars paint dried I started painting the caravan.  I went with a two tone paint job as those seem to be quite popular with caravans.  The lower half was first painted a dulled down silver to represent the metal cladding (aluminium or galvanized steel) and then a thinned down light blue was painted over that to give the appearance of fading and flaking paint.  

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The upper half of the caravan was given the same treatment but with white.  The door was glued into place with a small wedge of scrap wood to keep it partially open.  For a more decrepit look I applied some heavy rusting along the edges and places where panels would meet (rusty caravans seen to be rare but I did find a few pictures, so Huzzah).  The rust is made from fine sand glued in place, painted black, then heavily washed with orange and finally given a light drybrush of assorted reds and oranges.  The flat tires were made from a flat wooden bead and some painted card for the hubcap. 

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The last abandoned car I made was a burned out heavily rusted and half buried wreck.  I wanted to go for a different style this time so my little Fiat 500 was painted white and heavily stippled in a mix of raw and burnt umber with occasional patches of red oxide.  The indicator and tail lights were painted with transparent glass stain paint, the windows were painted black and given a coat of semi-gloss and the chrome parts were painted a dulled down silver and lightly stippled to create spots of rust.

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That's it so far, the towing hitch and gas tanks should be appearing tomorrow along with some more weathering and dirt on the caravan and car and then basing to finish.    
Wow, cool. You did a great wheathering job in the caravan!
I added some additional weathering with more staining and extra dirty windows to both the caravan and the car.  I also built a towing rig from some wooden craft sticks, it was then painted up as heavily rusted using the same technique as before.
The gas cylinder was made from a wooden bead and topped with some pieces of scrap plastic.  It was then painted white and followed up with more weathering and corrosion. 
I also added some tail lights to the caravan made from some reflective plastic.  

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At this point all that was left to do was basing.  I used a 15cm by 10cm piece of 5mm cork tile as the base, glued on a layer of sand for texture, added some assorted grass tufts, flowering plants and some cacti.  I then decided to make a plant I had never tried before, a flowering yucca.

I started with some plastic aquarium plants.    

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I cut off several of the leaf clusters and a few individual leaves and glued them into a more compact bush. 

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I cut a short length of florist wire, heated it with a flame and then pushed it through the centre of the bush.  Every thing was then painted a darker green and the end of the spike had several layers of sand added to bulk up the flowering section.  Then my camera battery went flat so no more photos till the final entries are posted. 

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This is my backup FINAL ENTRY, just to show it has been completed in case the official Final Entry thread isn't started before the official competition end.


For this competition I decided to build an old style caravan and car abandoned in the Mojave Desert.  It’s built for 25/28mm skirmish gaming in a post-apocalyptic setting (1962 Cuban Missile War) but could easily be used for any time from the early 1960s onwards.

The caravan is made of 200gsm card wrapped around a core of packing Styrofoam.  The windows are distressed plastic packaging, the wheels are made from flat wooden beads, the towing rig is built from a wooden craft stick and the gas cylinder was made from a wooden bead and some plastic scrap.  The whole thing is painted in a weathered two tone pattern.

The car is a model of “Luigi” from the Pixar movie cars, with his mouth and eyes filled in it’s now just an old Fiat 500 slowly rusting away.

The grass and flowering plants are made from an assortment of Mini Nature, Woodland Scenics, and Warlord Games products.  The cacti are from Pegasus Hobbies.  The flowering yucca is made from plastic aquarium plants, florist wire and 4Ground White Blossom flock.

It is based on a 15cm by 10cm piece of 5mm cork tile.  The body of the caravan is 6cm long, 4cm wide and 4cm tall.  The Fiat 500 is 5cm long 2.5cm wide and 3cm tall.

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The abandoned caravan and Fiat 500 in the Springtime Mojave Desert

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Caravan right and rear view

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Caravan left side view

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Caravan rear left view

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Fiat 500 (it is not glued into place as I'm short on suitable cars at the moment and may need to use it in another place some time, think of it as modular design).   

This is such a cool build. I love it from both a composition and an execution standpoint. How did you do the flat tires?