Alright. So I scrath build as much of my warmachines as possible, and I see a lot of people doing the same or converting their own.
One of the really tricky parts is finding wheels that look good enough, that has the right amount of detail. I’ve seen many examples of people using lids as wheels, but the often look like lids.
So since I haven’t seen homemade wheels as good as my own, I decided to write a tutorial of how I do them. They are cheap, require a very limited amount of skill to make, are done fast and the look good.
Tools, materials: Hobby knife, magic marker, sand paper, super glue, plastic glue, milk carton lid, plastic strip, thin plastic rod.
Step 1: Take your lid. Draw 4, 6, or 8 lines on top of it. And draw a line along the edge. Most lids are simple to broad, looking silly. I cut mine to roughly 5mm, fitting for large bulky machines. 3 mm would do the trick for Empire cannons or chariots.
Step 2: Take your knife, cut the side of the lid. This can be tricky because of the thread inside the lid, so watch your knife.
Step 3: Cut the spokes into the wheel. Make them as broad as you want. I make mine just a bit wider than the 2mm plastic strip.
Step 4: These lids, have some cool detail on the sides. But a cut those away near the spokes. Because we have to glue here later. I also make a rounder edge with my hobby knife, because these are straight after cutting in step 3.
The plastic lids have a very hard and fine surface. So glue and paint has a very hard time sticking. The paint on my first set for the Hellcannon kept falling off. So the trick is to sandpaper the entire surface of the wheel - and make sure it’s everywhere. Inside, outside, beneath, all corners, all edges. Then make fine cuts with the hobby knife. Both / and . This won’t show when the wheels are primed, but it makes everything stick.
With a couple of rivets (see step 8) we could use the wheel already - having something better than a lid. At this point it would also be easy to add some a layer of green stuff and make it look like wood - will try that for my upcoming empire army.
Step 6: I’m gonna add more details though. Going for a chaos star look. Use super glue. Plastic glue won’t melt the hard lids. Note how visible the scratching is an compare with the picture in the last step.
Step 7: Add the plastic strip. Only one stip crosses the others, so they won’t get too high. this also hides many of the places the underlaying strips line up. This is why we had to cut off details earlier. Use super glue. Plastic glue won’t melt the hard lids.
Use super glue. Plastic glue won’t melt the hard lids.
Rivets. Cut up your thin plastic rod. 0,5 mm in length. Than you can use the plastic glue. I use the point of my hobby knife to pick up the rivets and put them in place. Then a soak up the excess glue with a piece of toilet paper.
Normally i would also add a wicked scythe here or a dwarf buckler. But this is for the Iron Demon so a train thingie-ma-bob will be attached later.
The wheel is finished. But here’s a picture with a black base coat.
If your budget is extremely low, there’s even options other than plastic strip and rod.
You can cut plastic strip from many container lids. From a box of store bought potato salat or something.
Instead of plastic rod, you can cut of a couple of hairs from the garden/outdoor broom. Those red ones. Same thickness, still plastic, zero cost. Also great for pinning.
A painted example
And lastly here’s an example of another wheel all painted up.