Fallout Inspired Vault-Tec Medical Box

I still haven’t finished the Skyrim Dagger. It is a ton of work and mess. One of these days I will but in the meantime I have something for you nerds.

IMG_2121If you like Skyrim you probably like Fallout and if you are like me, you will see things sometimes and go, “That totally looks like something from Fallout.”

IMG_2109I was at work and saw this old spill control kit upstairs that we haven’t used in decades. I thought to myself, “I could turn this into something inspired by Fallout to put in my nerd office (which I will have to take pictures of and show you guys later).” All my wife thought was “Great, more clutter.” But when you are a nerd and a collector, clutter is life.

So I am at work, I have none of my tools, paint, anything. How am I gonna do this? What I did have was vinyl sticker paper for my printer. So all I had to do was a little photoshop and there would be no mess. Sweet.

IMG_2110So I got to shoppin. I grabbed some elements from google images. A good Vault-Tec logo, and a red medical cross in high res.



I realized that the spill box had an off white cream color to it due to years of fading. So I took a picture (below) that best showed the color and matched it in photoshop as best I could.

FullSizeRenderI measured the door, creating the exact size in Photoshop. I added the elements together on the matched color canvas. Used fonts close to the Vault-Tec ones. Here we have it.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 9.42.59 AMThe image was too wide to fit onto one sheet of standard sized paper so I split it in two.

Right Side Paper Left Side PaperThe paper I was using was very heavy so I set my printer on the heaviest it could do and printed them on full page. I got a metal ruler and a box cutter and cut the stickers out. I taped the two stickers together using masking tape because it pulls away easier than any other tape as to not tear or pull up color.

IMG_2115At this stage I realized that you would be able to see the green letters on the box through the stickers so I did have to paint some. I found some super old white paint in storage and wiped it over the letters with a towel because I had no brush. 2 coats to cover it completely.

IMG_2113I placed the sticker carefully where I wanted it and taped one side down to the box so it would not move.

IMG_2118I pulled the side I wanted to stick down first up and pealed the backing away. Using a flat object I scraped from the middle out to avoid bubbles. Sorry I don’t have pictures of that. It’s hard to take them when you need both hands. Repeated with the other side.

IMG_2119Apart from putting the lock back in, we are done and it cost zero dollaz.

IMG_2120In this light you can kind of tell a slight color difference but I think it turned out pretty damn well for not making a mess and not spending a dime. If you are wondering, I totally got permission to take this box and goof around on work time making it.





Skyrim Steel Dagger Progress

Well I promised an update with photos if things were moving slow, so here they are. It is pretty self explanatory, so I am going to save all of the build details for the final piece.DSC_0154

DSC_0158DSC_0156DSC_0157DSC_0160DSC_0159DSC_0161DSC_0169DSC_0170DSC_0163DSC_0165So now all that is left is some shaping, sanding, gluing and priming to finish the model and its off to the really expensive part… Molding and casting. Thanks for being patient.


Skyrim Weapon Rack

DSC_0153If you recognize this thing, you probably play Skyrim to much. This is a weapon rack that can be found in most interior locations in the video game, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. This was sort of a side project I decided to do because I am waiting on a shipment of materials to make a steel dagger from Skyrim with. I thought to myself, when the dagger is built it would be cool to display it. What better way to display a Skyrim dagger than with a wall mounted weapon rack from the actual game?

72850_screenshots_2012-03-07_00009So I started with this pic I grabbed from the internet and basically traced it poorly in Photoshop to get this.

Skyrim Weapon PlaqueNow, stop laughing so I can finish the post. Anyway, I printed this out onto two sheets of paper and taped them together to make a stencil.

DSC_0124By now, if you are a die hard Skyrim player, you have probably realized that this rack is not to scale. Correct, I didn’t want to make a giant, heavy, expensive one that could hold a great sword. However, if you wanted to, you totally could.

DSC_0122So I made a card stock version that was better for tracing and traced it on the backside of the wood I was using. Then I hand cut it out with a Dremel.

DSC_0125After some sanding and staining I got this.

DSC_0126I wasn’t sure how to create the metal frame around the edge so I decided to try experimenting with clay, which I have never used before.

DSC_0127This is self hardening clay that you don’t need to bake. The plan was to shape it, let it dry and since it is black clay I could just paint it with acrylic silver to get the metal affect. A horrible plan indeed.

DSC_0129I rolled it and shaped it to the best of my ability and it looked pretty good.

DSC_0131Unfortunately this clay’s package lied when it said minimal shrinkage. It shrank severely and cracked into a few pieces as well. Another thing about clay is that it is heavy and dirty, so I decided to use the pieces to make a mold and cast plastic from (also a first for me).

The stuff below is Smooth-On OOMOO 30. It is a medium grade silicone mold compound. Its an equal parts mix with a 6 hour cure time.

DSC_0136Now the only reason I actually knew how to do this is by taking a class on casting and molding and watching tutorials online. If you want to do this you should study up because it is expensive and very easy to screw up if you don’t know the basics. A good source of info is www.smooth-on.com. They have tons of tutorials on various products that are extremely helpful.

DSC_0134I have the silicone so I needed the plastic. I chose Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 305 because it was simply in stock at the store. Also an equal parts mix, Its light weight, durable, and cures in 30 minutes. The down side is that it turns bright white but paint can fix that. Next I needed a mold box.

DSC_0132There is a billion ways to make a mold box but a cheap, one time way is this. I traced a box around the broken pieces onto some foam board and glued foam board walls around it. In order to make sure no silicone escapes you have to really hot glue the hell out of it. I used tape around it just for some reinforcement. Next I glued the pieces to the base of the box,mixed and poured the silicone.

DSC_0133By some miracle the silicone stayed in but I hit a bit of a snag. I did not have enough silicone to cover the pieces and you need at least a half inch layer over the top. The store ran out of OOMOO 30 so I took and gamble and used 25 which is a weaker silicone but it was a one time mold so I wasn’t worrying about tearing it.

DSC_0138This is what I got. You can see two colors because OOMOO 30 is purple and 25 is teal blue. It is dirty because I did not spray sealer on the clay. Since clay is porous it will stick to the silicone. Not a huge deal it just needed cleaning.

DSC_0142After cleaning I mixed and poured the resin.

DSC_014530 minutes later it was bright white and hard as a rock which meant I could de-mold it.

DSC_0146To my surprise it turned out perfectly. Now all I needed to do was a little gluing, sanding and painting.

DSC_0148Since the clay did shrink before molding I re-shaped the wood to fit the frame and then screwed it on from the back with wood screws. The ring in the middle was installed with super glue.

There you have it. Come back in a couple of weeks or so for an update on the Skyrim steel dagger. As always, questions and comments are welcome. Use the contact page or comment form. As always… shut up nerds!





“Pipboy 1000” Fallout Inspired Arm Bracer


I’m jokingly calling this device the Pipboy 1000 because it seems like an earlier model of the Pipboy 3000 from the Fallout 3 video game. I have always wanted to do make a Pipboy 3000 but it has been done so many times and I just felt like doing something with my own spin on it.

This probably one of the more in depth builds that I have done. Everything is nearly from scratch and if you are interested in it, the entire build process is further down after the final product photos.



DSC_0087DSC_0086DSC_0084Equipped with some extra perks.



DSC_0072DSC_0074DSC_0103 copyDSC_0109DSC_0112 copy

I took the liberty of posting a video of the bracer so you can see and hear the display.

For the video graphic, rather than try and make one myself which would be a disaster or ask my VFX buddy to take time out of his busy day to make one for me, I just bought some that looked “Fallout-ish”. You can get the exact ones here and here from pond5.com for a fairly decent price. From there I just edited them together with some distortion and sound effects from Soundtrack Pro and made a 5 minute looping video.

The Build:

So I guess we will start with the internals. I didn’t want to use an iPod or my phone for the screen like a lot of people do. So I went cheap mp3 player with a touch screen shopping and came up with this.
DSC_0025I got this cheap piece of garbage on Amazon for about 40 bucks. The touchscreen is extremely finicky but it does the job. Next is the speaker and cable.

DSC_0007The speaker is just a cheap battery operated portable one from radio shack. To connect the two I needed a female to male adapter cable. I ended up needing a different one than the one in the photo, do to a space issue on the bracer. Basically, it was the same cable but with a right angle male head.

So now that I had what I was installing, I needed to figure out how I was going to install it. For this particular project I wanted to use everything as is and keep them in tact so I could still access batteries and memory cards and what not.

DSC_0036So I traced out the dimensions of the player onto some card stock and glued them together to make the cover for the screen and the speaker.  Once they were glued together I coated them in resin (the stuff below).

DSC_0009This kind of resin is a great because it doesn’t have a strong smell or vapor that will stink up your house or suffocate you to death. Its equal parts filler and hardener and it dries almost clear with a yellow hue. For those of you who do not know what resin is, its basically glue that turns into hard plastic. So coating the card stock with it turns the card stock into a nice, hard shell casing for the screen. Once painted it looked like this.

DSC_0037To get the riveted effect I glued on some card stock that I punched out with my leather hole puncher.


Lets talk about paint real quick. If you have seen my work before you probably know that I mostly hand paint with acrylic and then seal it with a clear coat spray. I particularly like to hand paint things I want to look metal because the brush strokes create a warn, scratched, or “brushed steel” look. To get an old, beat up, metallic look I usually have a black base and then brush with the metallic color. You don’t want to completely cover the black coat. You want to have just enough showing through that it gives it that older, forged metal look. To get the rust effect I mix the two paints below and lightly stipple the areas I want to looks rusted. In this case the rivets and welded looking spots.

DSC_0040To cover the cable I used some of this stuff. This is 1/2 inch split loom tubing for covering electrical wire. Like anything awesome, this can be found here on amazon and you can get 100 feet for 13 bucks.

DSC_0041I cut it to the length of the wire and cut out a space for the male connecter to set in so the top was flush and then I hot glued it and painted it.

DSC_0042The Blade:

Half way through the project I decided that it would be badass to have a giant bayonet style blade sticking out of the side of the bracer.

I didn’t have any fancy PVC foam board so I used regular 1/2 inch Elmer’s Foam board that you make science projects with. Unfortunately when you go the cheap route it is harder to work with but it can be done.

DSC_0003So I cut out the shape I wanted, carved an edge and sanded it to make it smooth and sharp. I also attached a piece to the back of the blade so it could slide into the connector on the bracer.

DSC_0006I then brushed it with resin. I also added a bit of black paint to the resin so I could have a durable dark base since the blade will probably take some damage, if it gets scuffed you wont get a white scratch. However, if you don’t have the proper resin color it jeopardizes the integrity of the resin so I just added another coat and I was good. Btw, if you ever use resin in a project, stock up on cheap brushed because they can only be used once.

DSC_0010After some sanding and painting I added some leather lace to make it pretty.

DSC_0035The bayonet connector:

I basically built a box out of quarter inch foam board around the blades connector piece and left one end open so the blade could slide in.

DSC_0021Paint, resin and rivets of course. Simple.


Mini Cross Bow:

Halfway through making the blade I thought to myself, there should be a cross bow you can put on this. Why not? I found this little cross bow toy at a board game store at the mall for 7 bucks.

I shot some darts with it at my window. It is surprisingly powerful and accurate.

DSC_0023Anyway, I added some paint and hot glued another bayonet connector to it. The bow also came with a blue string so I tried to dye it black and failed miserably. I ended up replacing it with a black hair tie I got at walgreens.


So what does a cross bow that is suppose to look real need? You said it! Real looking arrows which we can make out of aluminum sheets and tubing like so.

DSC_0027I was able to cut the arrows out with some heavy duty scissors. I then took my Dremel and ground out a slit in the tops of the tubes so the arrow head could slide in. Then I lightly hammered where the tube meets the arrow head to clamp it shut and super glued it.  If you are wondering if I tried shooting one of these out of the bow you would be correct. However, they just kind of fall out and almost stab peoples feet.

DSC_0028After everything was done I was able attach all the pieces by cutting holes in the leather and hot gluing it from the back. I added the tabs for reinforcement because well, its just a good idea.

DSC_0044DSC_0052So as you can see, the behind the scenes of the bracer is pretty ugly so I covered it up with some left over brown fabric. This is also a good idea so you don’t have all that jagged stuff stabbing your arm.

DSC_0051Once I got the shape I used liquid stitch to fold and glue the edges back.

DSC_0056So it looks like this.

DSC_0057Now I needed to attach it so I just liquid stitched some Velcro the bracer and the inlay. I was pretty generous with the liquid stitch as to not rip off the Velcro when I removed the inlay.



Final Touches:

I attached the arrows with antique brass rapid rivets. to do this you would need rivets,  a rivet setter, a plastic/wood hammer and preferably a leather hole punch . For all of my leather needs I use Tandy Leather Factory.

The little metal disk on the right is a decorative concho. It looked like a vent or some sort of sensor so I thought it would be a nice touch of detail.

DSC_0117Now that I had everything built I needed to figure out how to strap it to my arm. I didn’t want to use snaps or Velcro so I just did it old school with 3 straps, strap slides, and button studs.  To fasten the straps to the bracer I used regular rivets from the hardware store because they are durable and much easier to use.

DSC_0118Dirty it up:

Now that it looks all fancy I decided to knock it down a notch by stippling black shoe polish all over it with a brush. This gives it a nice, dirty, wasteland final touch.

DSC_0046DSC_0049Just to touch on some things I missed if people are interested. The metal screen covering the speaker is another piece of aluminum sheet that I sanded and drilled holes in. I also took leather lace and glued it around where the leather bracer meets the covers for a beveled and more layered look.

Well that is it. Any questions or comments just email or comment below. I hoped you enjoyed this absurdly long build and if you didn’t, well, shut up nerds.

Steampunk Nerf Barrel Break Shotgun

I was at Toys R Us because I am a giant child and I can’t help but check out the Nerf guns when I saw the Nerf Barrel Break.

I thought to myself, I haven’t modded a Nerf gun in a while and a futuristic double barreled shotgun just seemed to cool pass up.

I reinstalled the bullet rack on the side because I wanted to put the compressor on the tac rail.

I made six brass buckshot type bullets and two “explosive” amber liquid bullets just for fun.

The brass bullets are made out of an old brass clocks legs and hardware. The liquid bullets are vinyl tubing capped at both ends with 3/8 brass flare nuts. The liquid is actually watered down, Tangerine Orange Mio water flavor.

You can find all of the compressor pieces in the plumbing section of any hardware store. Its made with 1inch copper pipe cut to the length of the rail, 1inch caps, 3/8inch copper Tee fixed to the back, a soft copper coil running from the Tee to the steam gauge and the gun, copper pipe hangers connecting it to the tac rail hardware, and a brass valve handle screwed into the front.

Lets talk about steam gauges. I searched high and low for a vintage steam gauge or any sort of steam gauge looking object I could make look like one and I came up empty. Then I found this build to help me out. Basically the build is about taking a brass closet door handle thing below.

You find a picture of the style indicator dial you want online or use the guys in the other build and print it out. I wanted to use a real indicator needle so I just decided to make my own dial as well.  I am providing a plain one and the one I used in my project down below if you feel like using mine.

After I got all of the parts together I got to work.

I actually used the plastic from the package for the glass cover. After I added the paper dial, gear, and clock hand, I glued the plastic to the front. Since the package comes with two of those brass door things, I cut the brass ring off of the front of the other one with a Dremel and glued it on front if the plastic to have a nice beveled edge around the plastic cover. From there I just wrapped the outside, under the edge in some leather to give the finished dial a beefier look.

For the final touch I cut out a leather grip for the handle instead of just wrapping the handle in leather lace or something like that.

That concludes my barrel break build. I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions or would like more details, comment or shoot me an email. Otherwise, shut up nerds.






Bullet Shield Prop

This is a prop I made for a short film called Tracked that will be coming out in a few months. The story required a homemade bullet shield plate that gets shot with a large caliber bullet.

I took some cardboard from some boxes I had around and cut out how I wanted the plate to look. I did some layering to make it look like someone had made it out of scraps since the movie is in the post apocalyptic future.

I cut out a bullet hole with an exacto knife. Then I painted it with fiberglass resin from Autozone. The resin basically turns the cardboard into hard plastic. After that I covered it in Bondo body patching mold also from Autozone which gives it that tan sculpture look. From there it was just sanding and painting. I used black matte acrylic paint for the base and then silver acrylic paint for the metal sheen.

When I was all done with the plate I made a mushroomed bullet out of the cap of a paint pen. The mushroomed part is just hot glue that I layered up around the base.

Total finished product.





Tron Tables

These are some tables I modified for a Tron fan film that was not able to be completed. I didn’t want them to go to complete waste so I figured I would share them with you guys.

Tron Table
 The table above was a foyer table I bought from Amazon that already had removable, frosted glass panes in it, which was nice. This was supposed to be in a bar scene so I got futuristic looking stools for it, also from Amazon. For the lights I went to Home Depot and got a few small, wireless, fluorescent lights that you use under cabinets and whatnot. This would allow for the tables to be easily moved and for no cables in shots.
Tron Table 2
This table took a bit more work. It is an outdoor coffee table, also from Amazon. It originally had no walls around it and was completely see through. I frosted the bottom side of the glass with can of spray on frost from any hardware store. Then I used black foam board and cut out a panel for each side of the table that I could pop in and out for easy access to the lights. I also used white foam board on the inside to get a little extra pop from the lights.

Captain America Helmet and Shield

So I really wanted to be the WW2 Captain America for Halloween but I wanted a quality shield and helmet. Now, if you have had the same idea I’m sure you figured out that it is A – impossible to find a good shield for a good price that isn’t a 400 dollar replica and B – just plain impossible to even find an actual CA helmet and not some crappy mask.

So what do I do?  Well I have never sculpted before so that is kind of not an option. I can’t cast mold one because, well I don’t have template to make a mold. So like most of the stuff I have posted I like to build off of and modify things that already exist to reach my goal. Lets start with the shield.

I shopped around for a decent shield on amazon and came up with the Captain America Adult Movie Shield by Disguise. This is is honestly a total piece of flimsy crap but that’s why we modify it right? So I cut off the original arm straps and build and insert made out of black foam board and white foam disks. Basically I built a foam shield and glued it to the back of the actual shield.

Before I glued it I inserted these old army straps left over from an old project and custom fit them to my arm. Then I painted the entire back with silver acrylic paint to give it an old brushed steel look.
From there I just decided to and paint the bullet mark details and what not with black and silver acrylic and of course, clear coat. Now the helmet.
The helmet took quite a bit of trial and error to get right. The main piece is an actual little kids mask. On amazon once again, I found the Marvel Avengers Movie Hero Roleplay Mask Captain America by Hasbro. From there I went to Toys R Us and bought a little kid’s Tony Hawk skateboard helmet, gutted it and cut about a quarter of the front off and riveted them together. I’m sure from the vents in the helmet you can tell its a skateboard helmet but hey, no bodies perfect.
I use automotive paint for almost everything. For this project I used Ford Royal Blue.
I hand painted the wings because I could not find decals anywhere on the planet. It kinda looks like crap but I can live with it. Haters gunna hate.
Here I added some actual leather where the gap is in between the skate helmet and the masks fake leather. If you do decide to do something like this, drill ear holes in the leather so you can actually hear stuff. Anyway, I had extra leather and a plastic clasp so I went ahead and added the chin strap.
So here is how horrible it looks on the inside but it gives you a good look at how everything was modified together. A plus from the skate helmet was that it also provided me with the padding, which is nice, so don’t throw it away if you go this route.
All in all this project, not including shipping, took about three days and cost me roughly 120 bucks for both the shield and helmet.