- Summer project time! Make a little killer car a la "Mad Max." All images: Lisa Tate

"Mad Max" Toy Car Project

15w ago


I have seen a growing number of modelers who have made either original models of cars, trucks and bikes styles after the post-apocalyptic and dieselpunk worlds the likes of Mad Max, Death Race or similar franchises.

Many of these are made from modifying already existing models, just as some chop shop in a dystopian future world might do.

With summer starting off, here are a few tips on working with your kids or teens to make an easy Mad Max or Death Wish car:

First you need a car. Cheap discount store knock-off versions of Hot Wheels or Matchbox are pretty easy to find, as well as other small, nondescript plastic cars. There might be a few tucked at the bottom a toy box or drawer at home waiting to be appreciated once again.

Next, hit it with some flat paint; black, grey, or camouflage. Paint or stencil on some numbers or words, use some small temporary tattoos to make it “meaner,” then “beat it up” a little by adding some scrapes with a small crafting knife, or with smudges of contrasting paint.

Give a 94¢ toy from the bargain bin nice spray job, get them read for the post-apocalyptice landscape.

Now, here’s the fun part. Do some scavenging around the house for some embellishments. Gather some nails, toothpicks, little jewelry chains, gears, other items to give it some offensive or defensive “weaponry,” or just to make it more impressive. Attach these with glue gun or some strong jewelry glue. This is can be really fun to work on with your kid, especially when start making up little stories behind each vehicle, and it’s weapons.

A few odds and ends ready to become part of your car.

Remember, these cars will tell a story, and it interesting.

I should note before adding anything, be smart about the age group you’re working with. If you’re working with younger modelers, avoid the “pointy things.” Kids can use little gear embellishments, hex nuts or other less dangerous items. Shaping pipe cleaner (aka chenille craft stems) in place of nails or toothpicks will also work for kids.

Once these items are added, you cans stop there, or add a base. I like to capture the spirit of the Road Warrior by spray painting piece of sandpaper black or grey to look like asphalt.

Scapped sandpaper can mae a nice display baser for your car.

The main thing is to look around at what you can use, and get creative. If these guys in the movies can build these in a barren wasteland while getting shot at by mutants and pirates, you can make a pretty mean little car at a nice clean table on a summer afternoon.

Do these up right and your car will “carry you through the gates of Valhalla. You shall ride eternal. Shiny, and chrome!”

Image: Lisa Tate