“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.