Upgrading and Detailing Wiking Vehicles

Outdoor recreation is a big part of the story on the FCFL. Having a few boats being towed around helps convey that.

I picked up two sets of Wiking vehicles, including boats on trailers, for my gift layout project. I kept the powerboats and one of the older model Mercedes for myself and added some quick, fun details.

Boats on Trailers

I applied some strings of very tiny letters and numbers from an old boxcar decal sheet to the bows of the boats for registration stickers. I didn’t fret over legibility or accuracy.

I “tarped” one of the boats by spreading a thick layer of Squadron White Putty over the top of it and sculpting it into “tarp” shape. This took a few rounds of sanding and filling to get the shape and finish I wanted. I painted the tarp a flat dark green.

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The boats were molded white with yellow interiors. I brushpainted the other boat to add some detail, then added a couple of wire fishing rods and a scratchbuilt styrene cooler.

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These are both towed by Atlas SUVs. The trailers are good enough – not great – but I think the detail of the boats distracts from them.

Mercedes Downgrade (riches to rags?)

One of the cars from the Wiking set was an older model Mercedes. I made it look more realistic by removing the solid black “window” insert and crafting a basic interior from bits of strip styrene. I painted the interior tan, the bumpers and wheels silver, and the tires rubber brown.

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The front of the car needed a little definition, so I used a needle file to shape the headlights. I then sprayed the body with a heavy coat of dullcoat. When the dullcoat dried, I gave the body a wash of my rust-colored alcohol ink solution. When the alcohol dries over the dullcoat, the finish looks like badly faded paint over rusty metal.

I made a new windshield and rear window from strips cut from the flexible clear plastic insert from a pack of Preiser figures. I glued these in place with CA.

I borrowed a whimsical sunglasses image from the Internet and printed it about 3/8 inch wide. I cut it the height of the windshield, then carefully folded it into accordion shape. I then installed it behind the windshield like one of those cardboard sunshades, tacking it in place with a little CA.

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With the work of a couple evenings, these Wiking vehicles stand out in the traffic on the layout.

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