Monday, February 27, 2017

Twilight 2000, The Look on the Tabletop, Part 1, Vehicles

Twilight: 2000 is in some ways, a unique post-apocalyptic experience, it isn't quite Mad Max, it isn't quite Gamma World, or for that matter, Morrow Project. It's in a way, a world all of it's own. It's a limited nuclear war after 18 months of no holds barred conventional conflict took place. It's a shattered world, where 52% of the people on the planet are gone.

Villages and small towns are either abandoned, or teeming with life, both from the surviving original residents, and the refugees seeking any port in the metaphorical storm. The great cities are either radioactive rubble, or empty, desolate shells with a few desperate souls picking over the remains of the old world.

It's a world where vehicles are rare, and getting rarer, where the sophisticated weapons of war are giving way to mortars built in garages, and men on horseback scouting for the remains of the mechanized armies, themselves tied to farms to feed their remaining soldiers and camp followers.

It's a world where warlords reign, chaos is a part of life, and yet, there is hope. Hope in that someone, somewhere, will begin the long, slow, climb back.

This is all easy enough to reflect in an RPG...but what about a tabletop miniatures game?

That takes some doing.

Detailing Your Ride

As we all know, the devil is in the details for miniatures gamers. We like putting little things in, on, and around our models to a) link the figures and other items to all the other items in the game (especially terrain and vehicles), b) because everybody likes the "ooh you did that" factor,  and c) It shows off in a neat way how much time and effort you really put into your project.

Twilight: 2000 is full of that potential for little things. Vehicles are rare, and as such, they are going to have lots of gear on them, especially after all that has occurred. Soldiers by nature, are pack rats and acquire gear, this will be doubly pronounced in Twilight: 2000 as armies are going to live off the land as much as possible. 

So, your vehicles should have that "gypsy caravan look" as much as possible. Clean vehicles should not really exist in Twilight: 2000.

 This M1 has had a base added, some camo netting made out of ACE bandages and oregeno, which was then drybrushed varying shades of green and some extra stowage added to the rear deck. The scheme of the vehicle, while older, and perhaps not quite 90s era army, works for Twilight:2000 as this vehicle might have come directly from warstocks, as CARC three-color paint was notoriously difficult to apply.

This M1 is a MARS kit, which to be honest, was of iffy quality (but they were cheap). I had to do some real work with the machine guns, but they're on now. (but there is no loader MG) Note the extra stowage, the rolled camo netting, and the cooler perched on the right side bustle rack with the prominent "For Beer" legend on it. I painted that piece blue at first, then washed it over with green, with an eye toward showing it was a rushed paint job done with not much care other than to dull it down. The rest of the tank is heavily weathered with a faded paint job, showing the vehicle probably hasn't been to a depot in years. I also added a crude formation sign to the rear of the vehicle.

A trio of vehicles, a pair of LAV-25s and a M113. All are heavily weathered. The first LAV on the left has some extra sandbags, a brass aftermarket 25mm barrel from RB (it was a modified toy) and some extra jerrycans and some bottles from a stowage kit. The middle LAV (a Trumperter kit) has more aftermarket stowage, another aftermarket 25mm, and a Confederate flag attached to a radio arial I made out of thin wire. The M113 is a modified pre-build, I added stowage, heavy weathering and removed the .50 Cal in favor of a Mark-19, which is ubiquitous in Twilight: 2000. All of these vehicles are again, heavily weathered.

Don't be afraid to raid all sorts of sources for stowage. Aftermarket companies such as Legend Productions and Black Dog Models make some really nice stuff, and some of it is even tailor made for specific kits out there, but you can go with greenstuff putty, ACE bandages, oregeno and bits from kits and model railroad implementia.  Remember, regulations and pre-war load plans have broken down for the most part, doubly so if the vehicle you plan on building is in the hands of a warlord, or marauders. Most vehicles haven't seen anything approaching depot level maintenance in years, paintjobs are going to be either very faded, or crude replacements, and all sorts of unauthorized slogans, markers, and other implementia are going to be on vehicles.

Not to mention, there will be all manner of guntrucks and technicals to be found in Twilight: 2000. For inspiration, look at news coverage of the Libyan Civil War, or Yugoslavia in the 1990s. There are plenty of useful ideas that would certainly see action in a Twilight: 2000 universe.

In short, have fun with it. The "rule of cool" is going to be in full effect here.

The Stuff of Legends and Myths

Twilight: 2000 is a game of it's era. Like most games of the 1980s involving NATO and the Warsaw Pact coming to blows, there is all sorts of speculative stuff gaining wide currency in the game universe...such as these two vehicles.

Taken from the color plates from the US Army Vehicle Guide by GDW

So, you want these guys in your game? What to do? Honestly, I have not used either for my armies, as I am not that talented to build something like this from scratch. Now, I have harassed S & S for a LAV-75, and one hopes this blog will build that impetus, but again, it's all about the demand really.

But there are other, lesser speculative matters you can do yourself pretty easily. One of my big bugbears is, what to paint your vehicles? Twilight: 2000's vehicle guides had some color schemes of unknown provenance, to be honest (at least Frank Frey didn't seem to know, and he wrote the NATO Vehicle Guide). Other things, like red stars on Soviet vehicles (which even while I was a big fan of Twilight 2000, still makes me cringe a bit), are downright fanciful, to say the least.

Much of the hand-wringing, such as it is, is more hindsight based than anything else. But you have some decisions to make, in general, you can go with either of these routes:

1. Go Historical - Soviet Green for the various Warsaw Pact armies and three-color NATO for the NATO allies. It's historical, fits the period, pretty simple to do and the colors are easy to find. Not to mention the source material is out there to be had (and if you want your Soviets to have a dash of color, you can always do the three color scheme they began to convert to in the late 1980s.)

2. Go with the Game Universe - Paint 'em like you see in the color plates. The plates are there, and it would not be too hard to match colors to the plates, and if you make a mistake, well, keep in mind what I said above, paint is in short supply, and it will fade as time goes on.

Whatever you do, remember, weather and fade your models heavily, it lends itself well to the milleu.

Also, keep in mind, not all vehicles in Twilight: 2000 are drab, weathered AFV..some are like this:

Now here is something cool for a scenario and it says a lot with a little bit of work, note the chipping and slogans..Fits right into the milleu. Weathering is top notch. (Taken from the Lead Adventure Forum)

That is it for now, we'll be talking about terrain in our next installment. So stay tuned.


  1. I was playing around witha few kits I had on my workbench and I've found that you can make a passable crew- in- hull M1 Abrams buy replacing the turrt with one taken from a Styker MGS.



    1. Pete, if you make that happen, I will host the tutorial.

  2. Good work. Looking forward to seeing more T2K articles!

  3. Nice work, waiting to see more goodies you have!

  4. for an "LAV 75" I used a Team Yankee M113 with an M% Stuart turret and a square piece of plasticard tube as a barrel shroud. It aint pretty but it works.

    1. Doc, can you write up a tutorial of that? I would love to post it for interested people. I am sure the 20mm folks can puzzle out out to accomplish it themselves as well.


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Twilight 2000, The Look on the Tabletop, Part 1, Vehicles

Twilight: 2000 is in some ways, a unique post-apocalyptic experience, it isn't quite Mad Max, it isn't quite Gamma World, or for tha...