It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week I prove just how far I’m willing to go to find the perfect kitbashing and scratch building bolts!
When you kitbash a lot of Ork miniatures, like I do, you get a little obsessed with bolts. My Deff Dread Gundams have them, my Mek Big Gun has them, and most of the Orks I’ve kitbashed have bolts on their weapons or back plates. Even fantasy minis can use a lot of bolts for things like doors, treasure chests, armor, and flesh or iron golems.
So I’ve spent way too much time thinking about kitbashing and scratch building bolts, and here’s what I’ve found. Below are three different methods:
Method 1: Plastic Cylinders
The bottom row was made with discs cut from a soft plastic cylinder. This method also works with harder plastics, so look at the sprues you have, since they might have rounded sections that are perfect for making these types of bolts or nail heads.
Pros: Looks like a fat nailhead or a flattened bolt head. The neat, round shape is consistent, even if you cut them at an angle.
Cons: None really, it just takes practice cutting them thin enough.
Method 2: Bread Bag Clips
Bread bag clips are the miracle material. Cut them into thin strips, then cut these into small squares to make rough-looking boltheads, which you can see in the middle row of the image above.
Pros: Cheap and readily available.
Cons: Looks too rough for modern or futuristic applications.
Method 3: The Secret Ingredient
Clothing zip ties. They’re my secret ingredient.
Look closely, and you’ll see all those little bolts just waiting to be cut out and turned into amazing decorations for your next kitbashing project. The top line of our example bolts is made from these, including the loose bolt lying next to them.
Pros: Looks just like the real thing.
Cons: The soft plastic makes them really difficult to cut nicely, and I’ve not managed to do any reasonable amount of sanding on them to perfect the dome shape.
Of the three, method 2 is my go-to for Ork conversions and fantasy kitbashing, while method 1 is great for neater applications. Method 3’s going to be saved for those times I need a higher level of detail, or if I need loose bolts for my Grot Oilers.
How about you, which methods have you used, do you have another trick to teach us, or do you have a question? Pop it in the comments below.
Hey there, I’m Rodney!
I’m a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. Welcome to Rising Phoenix Games!
Dwarves Rule! By the Power of Greyskull! Jesus Saves! Turtle Power! Bionics On! Waaagh Ork! For the Golgari, for the Swarm! ThunderCats Ho! Skate the Apocalypse!