How to Drill Gun Barrels Tutorial

I find that it’s the little details that make models look that much better on the tabletop. Little things like removing mold lines, gap filling and of course, drilling gun barrels! I thought I would demonstrate this on the new Deathwing Terminators!

I have my own little method when it comes to drilling out gun barrels on my models, and I thought I would share it with you all!

So first up is the TOOLS that I use. I have a sharp hobby Knife with a good point, a normal 1mm drill bit, a slightly fatter 1.5mm drill bit, and finally a big chunky 2.5mm (I think) drill bit. This one is pretty blunt so works perfectly for what it’s needed for!


++ Step One ++

The usual clean up of the model, we need to make sure that the area we are drilling is flat and clean from flash or sprue marks:


++ Step Two ++

We mark the two point for the holes using the sharp knife point. This stops the drill bit moving sideways as you rotate the drill bit:


++ Step Three ++

using the normal 1mm Drill bit that comes with the GW Hobby Drill Pin Vice thing, we drill the barrels (Note it’s best not to drill the side barrels yet):


++ Step Four (Optional) ++

For Terminators I prefer larger holes on the storm bolters, however on normal bolters the 1mm hole is perfectly acceptable. Using the larger 1.5mm Drill bit, we can use the original 1mm holes as guidance for the larger holes (drilling a smaller hole first is easier and safer than drilling just a large hole!) I find going as slow as possible with the rotation helps not split the plastic, especially if you’re close the edges. The plastic turning white will let you know that it’s starting to weaken:


++ Step Five ++

From drilling the larger holes we have left a bit of a mess, using the sharp knife I quickly slice this away. Very Easy:


++ Step Six ++

Finally we use the large blunt drill bit to add a bit of a bevel to the barrel holes. I find that this adds a bit more depth and detail to the barrel rather than just blunt holes. As the drill bit is larger than the hole it can’t grip to cut into the plastic, so it just wears it down to give us that bevelled look. About 10 rotations usually does it :


After this you can now drill the side holes with the 1mm drill bit. The reason we didn’t do this earlier is because I have found that it weakens the plastic too much when drilling the larger holes and can cause the plastic to split!

Some more pictures of a few models!

DrillingGunBarrels009 DrillingGunBarrels011 DrillingGunBarrels013 And of course this method can be used for other weapons, such as assault cannons! Using different sized drill bits can give you excellent results depending on the weapons. Much better than just 1mm Holes in everything! Just be careful and patient!DrillingGunBarrels015


  • grim_dork

    Thanks, great information.