6mmfan's Blog

A journey into the world of making 6mm wargaming pieces

First attempts

Posted by 6mmfan on May 28, 2009

Making wheels for 6mm vehicles

After some good ideas from the 6mm yahoo group I had a futile at making car and truck wheels. In my previous attempts, I had used green stuff but I found it hard to get the shape and thickness consistent.  So I decided to try cutting them out of 1mm thick plastic card.
My idea was to get some brass tubes, file the edges and use them in a drill or dremel to cut circles. I made 3 different sizes – truck, van/suv, and car.

Cutting tools and some plasticard that I cut

I put tubes within tubes to scribe the inner parts of the wheels and put the in my electic drill. Some of them came out well, but I found the brass tube didnt cut through plasticard very well. So I tried the dremel but the high speed melted my plasticard into the brass tube (see the white plastic inside the brass bits in the picture above)! Some of these that survived have a nice raised area in the middle where the melted plastic gathered.

So I went back to the drill with my now clogged cutters. I also tried making some new tubes just for cutting the outside edges but that didnt really work either. In the end I got about 30 large wheels and a few medium and no small wheels as the cutter just didnt work well enough.

Some of the wheels that I produced.


The pictures show a few of the wheels I got out of it and none of these I was very happy with, and I spent most of an afternoon on it.

Later on I remembered I had some small return roller wheels from a 1/72 Marder and Leopard 2.  They are nicely detailed and will make great rims for the wheels.  I also remembered some 1/288 aircraft wheels I had from a Tu-160 Blackjack and a DC10. They are a little big but can be filed down and they will well for large 18 wheeler trucks.

Now I’m off to try this and I will post the results in the next blog.

Onto sculpting tools

Meanwhile after speaking to my mate who is going to sculpt some 6mm figures, he recommended making some scuplting tools as the standard ones are too big for making 6mm figures and terrain.

I had some dowel lying around and some old knife blades and needles. For the first tool I just bent a needle. The second tool was a knife blade that I rounded off  but I think it still needs to be shaped better, and the third tool was a needle which I flattened and then rounded the end to make it nice and smooth.

Then I sanded down the end of the dowel and drilled a hole for the needles to fit in. Next I glued on the needles into the hole with superglue. For the knife blade I cut a groove using a small modelling saw.


Finally I added a few layers of PVA where the needle/blade went into the dowell to help give it more strength and to prevent it moving around and coming loose.

I have yet to try these out but I will soon as I’m going to start making some scenery next…


5 Responses to “First attempts”

  1. Bill said

    For round parts, I use a hole punch like the one below:

    You can probably do something similar with brass rod and a hammer.

  2. Chris said

    Have you thought about using some sort of jig? Sort of a mold where you press in some sort of epoxy clay. When dry, you can pop out the wheels?

  3. 6mmfan said

    Thanks Bill

    I just brought one off our local version of ebay pretty cheaply as i’m sure it will be very useful.

    Chris, I have already started making wheels using Procreate (similar to greenstuff) and I’m pretty happy with the results, although I’m thinking about combing the two methods. eg punch the wheel out of plastic and then put some procreate on it and press the detail into it.

  4. 6milphil said

    See I think those wheels work, I really do. However I’d never try to scratchbuild vehicles so not sure there’s any worth to my comment…

    Thought of trying miliput? It can be worked soft and hard, maybe that’s of some use?

    • 6mmfan said

      I dont have any miliput but I will try some Procreate. Most of the wheels I made were too big as most car wheels are around 2ft in diameter (2mm in 6mm scale).

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