2 August 2018

Tutorial: Scrap metal guard tower

After building my scrap metal walls I found that it could be made into a rectangular castle. It was only missing a 3" square piece to close it up. So here's the result to build a corner - that turned into a guard tower.

Check out the terrain section for a bunch of tutorials on cheap scrap terrain.


  • Sprue
  • Super glue, plastic glue and hot glue gun
  • Cardboard, plastic card or aluminium trays
  • Toothpaste squeezer
  • Ice cream sticks
Step 1 - scaffolding 
Go through your pile of old sprue, find some nice long pieces. Cut them clean with a pair of clippers or your knife. I want my tower to fit into 3" cubes Deadzone, and was lucky enough to find to perfect sprue. Cut be cut to make complete sides, added a lot of stability without glueing. 

Step 2 - build the frame
I use the hotglue gun to fit the poles to a base. Superglue works as well, but I find hotglue is best. Use some smaller pieces of cleaned sprue (3" for me), to secure the scaffoldings shape. Add extra sprue here and there, as we'll attach the corrugated plating to this,

At this stage you should also think windows, doors and trap doors into the build. Make the framing for these with sprue.

Step 3 - floors
Use some ice cream sticks to make some floors in the tower. I've made room for a single trapdoor on mine. After this stage, the tower will feel real sturdy.

Step 4 - ladders
Using sprue, build from ladders for the towers. Gonna paint these up as rusty old metal. Going over the sprue, you can finde some pieces in the right size with a few steps already in. Cut smaller pieces to fill in the missing steps.

Step 5 - siding
Bring out your trusty old toothpaste squeezer (these are 5$ including shipping on eBay and 3$ on AliExpress). Make some plating from card board, plastic card or aluminium trays. Cardboard glues easier then metal. Metal can be bend around the corners, for a closed fit.

For this build my squeezer had hidden itself, so I had to use metal sheets only (leftovers from a previous build).

Use the cheapest super glue you can find out there. I buy 100 tubes at a time from china. Cheap, fluid (very) super glue. But it still strong, not the best for models. perfect for terrain.

Start from the bottom and work your way to the top. Change direction of the corrugated lines for easy detail. Add a few match sticks and ice cream sticks around doors and windows.

Step 6 - camo netting
Decided to add a camo net sun screen to the tower. Get some gaze from bandage (I've got some old military ones). Cut it up, give it a few sprays of brown and green.

I've secured it with super glue and dropped super glue here and there. It strengthens the gaze and make it stiff. And the glue dries up, leaving a nice camo pattern.

Added some net here and there for some extra details.

Step 7 - Painting
Spray paint (just use the cheapest) the tower grey and the wooden parts brown. Nevermind it overlapping a bit, it adds to the mess.

Bring out a few plates on each side with a different colour (I use muted blue and green), paint some other plates with a rusty mix. I use a wet palette and mix different metal colours.

Drown the entire thing in a heavy brushed on layer of army painter quick shade.

Step 8 - final detailing
After painting I added a few posters and warning signs. I found these on Drive Through RPG.
Add scrubs, static grass and leaves (harvested birch tree seeds).

To remove the shine from the quick shade varnish and keep all the grass and leaves in place - give a couple coats of matt varnish. Save some money and buy a cheap one for terrain use.


Fitting neatly into the Deadzone 3" grid. An easy thing to do, while still letting it work in a lot of other games.

And a 3' x 4' wasteland table settup. Using my a lot of homemade stuff (link to tutorials)  tin can silos, chain-link fencing, container, wooden palettes and scrap walls.


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  3. This is a great and inspiring initiative. Making good use of metal, paper and plastic scrap is one way to save the environment. Great content! Looking forward to reading more such posts.