Thursday, August 4, 2011

"All Gone Dead"

Continuing with the 80s post nuclear project theme music: Subhumans "All Gone Dead" was always one of my favorite punk songs of all time. I used to think it was such a powerful expression of the fear of a nuclear attack. Growing up near TMI, I always feared hearing the sirens for either a meltdown or some other kind of emergency. Add to that some powerful movies from the time and an active imagination and nuclear war was something that really worried me when I was younger.

Today, as a history teacher, I sometimes find it hard to explain to young students the feeling of growing up during the Cold War. How do you explain the fear of the real possibility of a nuclear war between us and the Soviets? (What's a Soviet?) It's just hard to put into words sometimes without sounding strange or silly. Maybe that's because our worst fears from the Cold War never happened, but in light of our recent experience with real terrorist attacks, the 80s US vs Soviet nuclear war hysteria now just kind of seems like something from a strange dream or a bad movie.

I was a little young for the "Duck and Cover" of my parent's generation, but I remember well things like Red Dawn and The Day After (and then later, the blast scene from T2). Punk really pulled all of that hysteria and fear together into some powerful imagery and music. It all sounds and looks kind of silly now, but back then the feeling of fear was palpable at times.

Inspired by my teenage fears and taste in music, I decided my post nuclear what-if project needed some appropriate scenery to go with it. I need that burned out landscape. The ruins I already have covered. What I don't have is cars. Burned out husks of cars. Nothing says post apocalypse like burned out cars.

All I had in my basement was a box of 1960s die cast cars (Franklin Mint I believe). Most of them weren't worth much or were too bad a condition to sell. So I decided to wreck 'em. I took the windshields out and removed the tires (those never survive nuclear blasts). After Googling some pics of burned cars, I decided I wanted to go with a extremely wrecked and completely torched look. I kept thinking of the kind of cars you see in the future scenes of T2 and stuff like that.

Here is the result. They are 1960s American cars, but they look sufficiently wrecked to fit into any post nuclear landscape. I need a lot more of these though, and I plan on hitting the cheap die cast sources this week to see what else I can find.

The paint job is done by spray painting a base coat of Krylon Flat Camo Brown. After that I drybrush and stipple a gray primer color onto the flat areas and on the major body panels. Follow this with a drybrush of metal to stripped areas and other metal parts. After that I drybrush and stipple a rust brown color onto most of the edges, blending into the other colors. Finally, a last layer of bright rust orange is applied by drybrush to the edges and heavily rusted areas. A final very light drybrush of white overall pulls it all together.


Remember kids! Duck and Cover! (and kiss your ass goodbye!)


  1. Keith,
    Drop me an email...I may have something to help you out with your kids.