How to Make Fallout Bottle Caps, A Quick and Dirty Guide
While I was adding the finishing touches to my Fallout New Vegas 10mm SMG my mind started to wander towards how I would approach the photoshoot for the finished prop. While I would have loved to put together a suit of power armour and test the limits of my terrified neighbours*, I thought it would make more sense to make Fallout bottle caps for the shoot.
*For the record, I live in a Yuppie neighbourhood, there are lots of curtain twitchers around here.
How to Make Fallout Bottle Caps
As I was in a hurry I decided to use the tried and tested method of using labels printed out from the computer for the artwork. If I had more time I would have sent these away to be printed onto bottle caps, as there are now many companies online that will do custom bottle cap printing. However, I needed the caps that afternoon, so my only choice was to fire up Illustrator and set the printer to stun.
The first step to make my Fallout bottle caps was to drink a whole bunch of beer. This step is super important, be sure not to cut corners here folks. Once I had acquired enough raw material for the bottle caps I found some reference photos on the internet and drew up the designs in Illustrator. I have a background in graphic design, so this was pretty straightforward, even after all of the delicious Italian lager. However, if drunkenly drawing out vector graphics isn’t your jam, feel free to download my Fallout bottle cap graphics and print them yourself.
On to the physical build. If you want to make Fallout bottle caps, you need to start with a decent primer. I used an automotive filler primer on my caps, applied straight from the rattle can.
The filler primer was hit with a hairdryer to speed up dry-time as I was in a hurry and my wife wasn’t in line of sight. Once it was dry I went over the caps with a coat of matt black. I used my airbrush and Vallejo primer for this, but black spray paint will do just as well.
The next step is to paint the caps silver. Again, I used my airbrush, but a rattle can or hand painting will be fine. For the paint spotters out there, I used Vallejo gunmetal grey.
The Sunset Sarsaparilla caps were sprayed with a redish brown. Feel free to brush paint them, I’m not your dad.
The next step was to cut out the printed labels. If make Fallout bottle caps for yourself, I suggest printing them onto label paper. I didn’t have any in stock, so I had to use regular paper, which meant I needed to glue the artwork on using a glue stick.
Next up is weathering. Grab some dark brown and black paint and get it onto the caps using your preferred method. I used the airbrush this time, but I usually prefer making a thin wash of paint, applying it all over and then wiping away the excess.
The last step is a simple one – drybrush the caps with silver paint. Get a lot of paint on your brush, wipe almost all of it off, and then bash the living hell out of the caps with it. This leaves a small amount of paint on the raised edges, producing a worn look.
Last of all I hit the caps with some clear coat. As I had the airbrush out I used a Vallejo matt varnish, followed by a coat of gloss. However, clear coat from a spray can would work just as well here.
There you have it, a quick, cheap and simple way to make Fallout bottle caps. All in all, I probably spent about 3 hour on this project, including the time it took me to make the artwork. Now that is complete I am pretty confident I could produce another batch of caps in under an hour. Just remember, put your points into charisma and take the cap-collector perk and your wasteland shopping experience will require fewer caps.
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I’ve been making things since I was old enough to pronounce Lego. Consequently my maker life has been spent constructing, kit-bashing and scratch-building anything and everything that has taken my fancy. After dedicating my time to Wargaming, Model Armour & Railways, I stumbled across what has now become an obsession – Prop building.