Speed Raceork and the Mork 5


Go Speed, GO!


This slightly odd project began out of a requirement for a vehicle and crew to take part in a “Deathrace 40,000” game being run by Captain Crooks at an upcoming gaming event.  If you imagine the Hanna Barbera “Wacky Races” cartoon meeting the 40k universe then you have it right.


The Speed Racer cartoon passed me by for whatever reasons, but I really do like the Speed Racer movie directed by the Wachowskis and released in 2008.  The trailers dont really convey the feeling of the film very well and it got slated by reviewers, but screw those hacks, they were wrong: the film is definitely worth an uncynical watch.


If you havent seen the Speed Racer movie, then this short trailer will help to rapidly explain much of what this project is about.  In particular keep an eye out for the Jump Jacks and Buzzsaws built into the Mach 5.

The concept for my even more absurd than the already absurd TV/movie miniature take on Speed Racer is as follows:

“Speed” is an ork wildboy that lives on a primitive desert planet called “Gogogo”.  One day Speed sees a fireball crashing down from the sky and goes to investigate.  He finds a wrecked Adeptus Mechanicus ship, complete with wounded Adeptus Mechanicus Genetor Kappa Iota Thaddeus Tesla.

In the process of knocking Thaddeus around a bit with a new piece of pipe dragged from the wreckage, Speed accidentally frees a Jokaero that the Genetor had been studying.  Upon release the Jokaero gets sadistic revenge on the Ad Mech, which Speed finds amusing and he and the Jokaero – now known as “Chim-Chim” due to a stuttering sound made by the badly beaten genetor – become best of friends.

Honour bound to the ork that freed him, Chim-chim now uses his kerrrazy space techno ape powers to turn Speeds club into something more technologically dangerous than it appears.  He also repairs/upgrades the crashed ship.  As his final gift to his saviour, Chim-chim builds Speed his very own tricked out buggy, called the Mork 5.  The head of the Genetor (AKA K.I.T.T.) is removed and installed into the console of the vehicle as an autopilot and also as a way for Chim-chim to get revenge.

The unlikely trip then fly into space searching for races and battle and the all live happily ever after, except for K.I.T.T. obviously, who remains in ongoing torment [CANNED LAUGHTER SOUND].


The dashboard display in the cockpit of the Mork 5.

Does that all make sense?  Sort of even?  Good.

In order to get all of that nonsense to work in miniature I had to do a couple of things.  The Gobsmasha vehicle model is the “Monolith Gobsmasha Version 1” visible here on the Collecting Citadel Miniatures wiki.  Im pretty sure that I saw one of those for sale in Games Workshop Croydon in ’91 or so, but I didnt buy it at the time.  I traded for this one recently and it was the main driver for this project.

Note the converted version of this Monolith Gobsmasha on the extreme right of the shot.

Note the converted version of this Monolith Gobsmasha on the extreme right of the shot.

Although the resin models were only available for a relatively short period of time and were never advertised in White Dwarf, once in a while they would show up in images of peoples armies.  A resin Gobsmasha showed up in the photos of Adrian Woods army (above).


The original Gobsmasha was defined in White Dwarf #136 back in the early 1990s.  It was a box shape made from card, a barrel made from a Smarties tube plus paint pot, a couple of spares from a Rhino kit and four coffee jar lids.  I tried to make one back then, but the vast increase in household coffee intake required to complete the vehicle meant that my version of that model never got completed.


The basic shape of the Gobsmasha – supposedly due to it being some sort of extra durable training vehicle for young ork wildboyz to come to terms with the subtleties of driving – remained after the first boxy cardboard version.  In addition to a surprising number of 28mm resin versions of the vehicle, the design carried through to the 6mm version

Gobsmasha squadron: veterans of many a massive battle in the 41st millennium (and also in the early to mid nineties).

Gobsmasha squadron: veterans of many a massive battle in the 41st millennium (and also in the early to mid nineties).

Adeptus Mechanicus/Space Marine/Epic was the first game that I properly got armies fully painted for (Eldar and Orks originally) and the 6mm Gobsmashas were one of my very favourite of the many ridiculous ork vehicles – they almost demand that the viewer “drives” them around making vroom-vroom noises.  Therefore getting one in 28mm was a kick.

Scale creep.

Scale creep.

The painting on the planned “Mork 5” had to be reminiscent of the style of the “Mach 5” from the show/movie.  So I painted it white with a red “M” on the front (on the rear of the barrel to cause as few painting headaches as possible) and a yellow “5” against a circular red field on each side.  The free hand is a bit rough to be honest, but it will do.


I dirtied up the vehicle quite a lot as 1) a pristine paint job would have been much harder to pull off and 2) its in keeping with an ork vehicle anyway.  I normally add all sorts of mud effects to the more rugged of my miniature vehicles, but I felt that a clean, recently changed set of tyres on the Mork 5 was more appropriate for a racing vehicle like this.


The signature gadgets on the Mach 5 are the jump jacks (hydraulic pistons that shoot out from underneath the car to rapidly launch it up and about a car length in any direction: see the video above) and the buzzsaws (which as everyone knows are essential for driving racing cars through forests at high speeds, cutting down trees rather than driving around them).  I decided that representing these on the model would be fun.

Jump Jacks deployed in laboratory conditions.

Jump Jacks deployed in laboratory conditions.

The jump jacks were made from pieces from the Mantic Battlezones terrain kits.  The parts were assembled unmodified other than magnetising the top to match with corresponding magnets in the underneath of the vehicle, so that the jump jacks can be added or removed as required, like a toy.

Buzzsaws deployed (plan view)

Buzzsaws deployed (plan view)

Similarly, when the Mork 5 comes across difficult terrain or just a rival competitor, out pop the buzzsaws to eliminate the problem.  The buzzsaws are from the ork Deff Dread or Killa Kan kits (I cant remember which) and were kindly donated by Captain Crooks (nice one Crooksie).  Again, magnets are used to attach the saws as required.


EDIT: The Mark 5 does have a few gadgets that I didnt include for various reasons.  The periscope nearly made the cut but I didnt bother in the end, I regret that slightly, but I wont be drilling into a painted model.  The bulletproof canopy could have been represented by some popup armour or something but it seemed redundant when the Mork 5 is sealed anyway.  I figured that the wheels on the Gobsmasha were distinctive enough as is without modification and the one area that might have been useful to denote as headlights ended up being the hard points for the saws.  That said, I may add a bird-drone at a later date: it appeals for a few reasons.

Anyway, as if all that wasnt strange enough, once the Mork 5 was finished I had to get a suitable techno-savant, mute, bionic space-primate model ready.  Luckily I had a choice of seven different cyborg primate miniatures to dig out of Miniature Mountain.  This particular model, from Ramshackle Games seemed to me to be the most suitable for the project.

Incidentally, Chim-chim isnt the engineer/co-pilot in the show or movie, but I used a bit of creative licence to expand his role for this project.

Winners dont do drugs!

Winners dont do drugs!

Finally I needed to have a suitable miniature to represent Speed himself.  If Speed Racer was a homicidal ork from space that is.  The thinking went like this:

Speed is young, young orks are primitive wildboyz and wildboyz drive Gobsmashas, so that all worked out nicely.  In order to suggest a little bit of the wildboy heritage (and because I wanted to try adding GW ork arms to Mantic orx bodies because I like the ape like look that it generates) I used one of the bare foot Mantic orx bodies.

I found a MaxMini orc biker head that had a suitable helmet and goggles (a visor would have been better but whatever) and added that along with a pair of GW arms.  I enjoyed using the ork biker arm with the length of pipe (or drive shaft or whatever it is) as it fits with the theme better than a massive axe or something.


Lastly, I added lapel sized collar points coming down each side of the chest with green stuff as an exaggerated nod to the soft, fluttering collar on cartoon.movie Speeds shirt.  I also put a wobbly bit of putty in a vaguely scarf like shape at the neck to cover up the join.  After painting, this is what the crew of the Mork 5 ended up looking like.

Speed raceork and Chim-chim.

Speed Raceork and Chim-chim.


Some pit stop shots follow:







That was a fun project.  It has put me in the mood for more ridiculous ork projects.


41 Responses

  1. Truly genius and madness are separated by the thinnest of dividers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heh. There are only a handful of stories to be told, and I prefer telling the funny ones 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback Paul!


  2. Great bit of work Paul really what orks are all about fun, as for the movie it looks like the fast furious meet Mario cart lol I’ll have to watch it sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fast Furious meets Mario Kart is the perfect description of that movie Frank, and who wouldnt want to see that? Its a very entertaining bit of cinema, I thoroughly recommend it.

      Thanks for the feedback!


  3. Nice use for the monkey and a great looking Mork 5. And hey, you now have justification for an ork drone and if you want one more gadget I recommend the periscope. That way you can sneak up on your enemies from out of the water. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a particular pleasure to get that Ramshackle monkey painted for this project David, its a fun model.

      The drone was on the list, as was the periscope, but time was a factor. The Mork 5 and a few other models need to be ready to travel to an event in a fortnight, so I had to call it after the Jump Jacks and the Buzzsaws.

      I had plans for the drone, I may yet get around to it, but the periscope was second from bottom on the list (the bottom being the bulletproof canopy: useful on the Mach 5, but redundant on the Mork 5).

      Thanks for the feedback!


  4. Good job mate, I’m glad it’s found a loving home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly has Chico, nice one 🙂

      The Epic Gobsmasha was one of my favourites back then, so I got added value out of this project as a result. We must get a shot of it alongside your Stinger in a couple of weeks.


  5. Top work that man…em Ork.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The space-ape does most of the heavy lifting actually, the ork is mainly there for the ladies 😉

      Thanks for the feedback Mr Kinch!


  6. Brilliant! Adrian Wood’s ork army is one of the classics and inspirational to this day — and yours is a very fine rendition of the gobsmasha. Perhaps what I like best of all is the excellent painting on Raceork’s goggles…! Great stuff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The goggles maketh the ork in this case alright.

      I had forgotten that Adrian Woods army featured a ‘smasha until last week when someone mentioned it actually. That magazine came out twenty years ago this September. I also turn forty this September, so that magazine bisects my life. It’s very strange to think that the WD issue that displayed the brand new plastic marine bikes happened so long ago now.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s builds like this that Deathrace was made for – as far as Wacky goes, Speed Raceork doesn’t just fit the bill, he explodes out of it on a pair of hydraulic jump jacks and buzz-saws it in half. With a fireball in the background. And glam metal music. Nice work 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Im not certain as to how useful representing the jump jacks on the model will turn out to actually be, but I was damned if I wasnt going to show the signature gadget somehow. How else will Speed perform car-fu otherwise?

      Im looking forward to getting the Mork 5 on the track, watch it explode on the first turn and see Speed and Chim-chim get run over by the other competitors.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent painting once again! I’d second Warburton on the goggles too, they are superb!

    Nice restraint on the weathering, something I find hard to temper 🙂 Once you’ve got a whole heap of brown & orange mixed up and a clean paint job it’s hard not to get overexcited 🙂 Well done!

    Regarding the cardboard vehicle instructions that GW used to publish sporadically in WD. Even though I grew up with them, every time I see one, it’s a jarring experience. Not for the quality or style of what was built, but it’s a reminder of what the company once promoted as an important part of the hobby. A stark juxtaposition to now.

    Anyway, enough griping from me 🙂

    Top shelf work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even still I get plenty from GW that I like, I just pick and choose the elements that I am interested in, like I do when watching TV or buying dinner or whatever. I dont have any real gripes with the company, even though I did really get a lot out of the plans that used to appear in the magazines.

      I went a bit nuts with the weathering I thought 🙂 I also had to go back and tweak it further – adding even more – to stop an unintentional symmetry that had occurred. Its a tricky thing to get the balance right on, its always easy to go overboard.



  9. What a great genre bending project! The gobsmasher has an instantly recognisable profile, but you’ve slapped about with the cross-referencing and mek add ons to result in a truly unique vehicle.

    Of course, painting is (as ever) fantastic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Axiom.

      While it was important that the colour scheme was recognisable, I didnt want to alter the vehicle silhouette too much. I love the old Epic model and with the resin version of the 28mm vehicle being fairly rare, I didnt want to butcher it.

      Essentially, I liked it as it was. I doubt that there are any other white gobsmashas out there anyway, so its still pretty unique I reckon.


  10. Fantastic – so many layers of geek, like a great big (delicious) geek onion. Your genius has brightened my Tuesday, thank you sir 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m speechless, dare I say ‘gobsmashed’ even. Ba-da-boom. Great project, can’t wait to see the full table of wacky racers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John, the sum of the parts did seem to add up to a little extra this time. Im sure that the starting grid for the Deathrace will be memorable.


  12. Blending in so much cool concepts at once, this is no mean feat. I really love all the details you’ve decided to not let aside and it truly is for the better.
    Damn impressive work once again and another ride in the line for what will surely be an epic race.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This project did jigsaw together particularly nicely. Chim-chim the Jokaero is the glue in the concept that holds it all together for me, plus it was a great opportunity to use the cartoony Ramshackle model.

      As mentioned earlier in response to Davids comment (and subsequently edited into the main post text) I hope to add a drone model to the project soon: its the detail that I do think that I should have added.

      Thanks for the feedback Asslessman!


  13. You’ve outdone yourself. The smasha, Raceork, the Jokaero, all spectacular. The weathering on the Mork 5 is bang on too. Epic win.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The model, the write-up…brilliant and inspiring! Great job Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mikko!

      Is it smug to be inspirational to oneself? If so then I am guilty, as I have a renewed urge to get stuck into a few more of the goofy ork projects that have been going around in my head for a few years.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is your most stonking blog of 2015. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Sho3box recipe for popular blog posts:

      One portion popular culture trope (cowboys, pirates, Speed Racer etc).
      Add orks.
      Season with stupid names conforming to dumb naming conventions.

      Thanks for the feedback Curis 🙂


  16. Those rock!
    I think I made one of those Gobsmasha’s many years ago…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I never finished my initial cardboard attempt back in 1991. I am glad to say that my Gobsmasha needs are well and truly catered for now.

      Thanks for the feedback coronasan!


  17. Absolutely daft. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe fractionally more daft than the other shenanigans going on in the 40k universe, but not much more I reckon 🙂 Although comfortable shirt and scarf combos are definitely something of a rarity in the dark millennium.

      Thanks for the feedback Barks!


  18. Seriously. This is so awesome! Of course one can never go wrong with Orks, but you take this to another level. Absolutely terrific!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Suber.

      Orks are unusual in that they are receptive to almost any theme being plastered all over them. Im not sure why orks are so adaptable in that regard, but they are. I have many more ridiculous ork plans.


  19. Great work as always. While I like the painting, I really enjoyed the write-up and rationale behind your various choices and thought processes. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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