Cosplay Stimpaks




Introduction: Cosplay Stimpaks

About: I currently make things as a hobby but really want to turn it into a career. Most of my builds are accessible to the everyday person at home with a small tool set and a large amount of ingenuity. One day I'...

Firstly I'd like to say, when I started research for this project I was very surprised! There were very few resources on the internet detailing people making stimpaks for their Fallout Cosplays. I would have thought they'd be the staple of any FO costume given their constant featuring throughout the games.

The projects I did find were quite impressive, some 3D printed and others home made. What they lacked however was any kind of step by step instruction on how they were made, or in the case of 3D printing, the accessibility for the everyday person with a tight budget to make.

In this instructable I hope to show you how to make a (fairly game-accurate) stimpak for very little cost. I have only made one of these so far, any improvements will be posted as updates once I've made them.

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need

This is a list of the bits n bobs you need to make 1 stimpak.

1. A milk carton top- This will make up the back of the pressure gauge on the simpak

2. Thin sheet aluminium- e.g. from a coke can, needed to make the front housing of the pressure gauge

3. Syringe- I used a cheap syringe normally used for measuring cough medicine, this is for the main body of the stimpak

4. Craft foam (EVA) - I bought an A3 sheet for £0.80 from Hobbycraft. This is to form the casing for the syringe and will later be painted to look like metal

5. A mechanical pencil or pen- This forms the 'arms' of the pak. Bin the insides and keep the casing

6. A nut- Used as part of the neck of the pak, I found these curved ones look quite good (will try and find the name for them asap)

7. Screw of nail- Used as the needle

8. A clear plastic bottle- For the glass on the pressure gauge

9. Printer card- for the readout

10. Surgical tubing- For the tubes, two pieces of about 5cm each


1. Dremel with rotary sanding disk

2. Hot glue gun

3. Blowtorch or heat gun

4. Super glue/epoxy glue

5. Epoxy putty, water and red food colour (optional, will be explained later)

6. Painter's tape

7. Plastidip spray or liquid latex

8. Silver spray paint

9. Weathering washes

10. Scapel/craft knife

Step 2: Measure Out Your Foam, Cut and Glue

Take your foam sheet and wrap it round your syringe. Try to get as tight a fit as possible. Once you've done that, mark where you need to cut with a ruler and use a craft knife to cut the foam into a rectangle.

Next, measure the width and length of the scale on your syringe, then cut a rectangular window in the foam to those dimensions. When wrapped round your foam the scale on the side should show through.

Once happy that your foam fits the syringe snugly, get your heat gun or blowtorch and apply heat from a distance over the foam. You should see the foam go from dull to glossy, this means it can take paint better and gives a better texture. DO NOT hold your heat source too close to the foam, or it will just shrink or burn up. (Apologies, these bits needed both of my hands hence why there aren't pictures).

Gluing: Align the window in the foam with where you want it positioned on the syringe. Run a line of superglue around the inside of the window and hold down firmly, once this is attached then glue down the rest of the foam to the syringe body. Make sure you glue the window bit first as otherwise the shape can warp or won't stick down evenly.

You should have a seam in the foam where it joins together, use hot glue to seal this, try not to use too much to avoid having a visible seam (I struggled with this bit but I imagine with practice I'll get better).

Step 3: Make Your 'arms'

This is for the cross arms of the stimpak. Take your mechanical pencil and remove the innards. Get the casing and mark it up, you need one long section (about 5cm) and three shorter sections (1-2 cm, just make sure two are the same length). Use a cutting tool (e.g. hacksaw) to cut it up evenly.

Take your longest piece and with a Dremmel with sanding bit equipped, sand down through the middle of the casing to make a semi-circle incision (don't sand all the way through, you want it as one piece)

Step 4: Painting

Mask off any areas that you don't want painted. For me this was the exposed parts of the syringe. Make sure you really press the tape into any little gaps so paint can't leak through.

Plastidip- Now on it's own foam doesn't take paint very well. If you're pushed for budet you can skip this step or coat your foam in liquid latex, but in my (limited) experience Plastidip gives the best result.

Plastidip acts as a primer too. Spray all the parts that need to be painted with dip so they'll all have the same texture when painted. This includes the milk top and the bits of pencil you've cut up.

Let the dip dry, then spray all the parts again with silver spray paint.

Once everything is dry you can remove the tape. Use a scaple to scratch off any bits of paint that managed to get through.

Step 5: Pressure Gauge

Luckily I was able to find the readout for the stimpak pressure gauge online, so here it is:

Thank you to this user as it saved me a lot of time.

Scale up the readout to fit your milk bottle top on MS Word, then print it out on paper of card. I had to trim mine down a bit, but it finally slotted into the cap.

Next, to make the needle for the gauge I simply snipped off the end of a cable tie and glued it in place.

To make the cover for the gauge, I traced its outline onto a piece of plastic cut from a bottle. This was glued down over the readout. Then I repeated this with a piece of aluminium, but cut out the middle as well to form a ring to surround the display. This was glued over the plastic.

Finally I cut out a triangular piece that hid the bottom of the gauge from view.

Step 6: Assemble

Get the 'arm' part and the three other bits you cut from the mechanical pencil. Glue the two pieces of the same length to the ends of arm (look at the photos to get a clearer idea of this). Later these bits will attach to the rubber tubing.

Take your nut and glue the final section of pen into it, then glue the pressure gauge onto the top of the pen section (see photo).

Glue the nut into the semicircular indent you made into the 'arm' with your Dremmel to make a cross shape.

OPTIONAL: Fill your syringe half way up with red food colouring and water. Plug the top with epoxy putty and glue to prevent leaks.

Finally glue the flat side of the nut down onto the top of the syringe. Glue a nail or screw where the needle should be (you might want to add a blob of glue to the end to prevent accidental stabbings)

Step 7: Add the Tubing

Make two small holes in opposite sides of the pressure gauge, near the top. (Scissors or a knife should do the trick). Thread one end of the surgical tubing through each hole and glue in place. Take the other ends of the tube and thread them into the pencil-parts at the ends of the arms. Add glue here too.

The small button on top of the gauge is a small microphone I got out of an old laptop. I'll try to think of something that is more readily available to use. When I get the chance I will look around B&Q then update this bit.

Step 8: Weathering

Washes should be available online, or at games workshop. I'm currently experimenting with home made washes to save money, but for now I'd say it's best to just buy them. I used a rust wash and a dirt wash

Brush on your wash very heavily, then wipe most of it off with a tissue. Keep repeating this until you see it properly settle in the crevices like proper dirt. Give your model a once over with this and it should look suitably old and wastelandy.

Step 9: Finished!

Sit back in the comfort that, when you encounter your next deathclaw or supermutant, you'll be well equipped to deal with any damage dealt out!

In all seriousness, hopefully you'll be left with a nice little prop to use for cosplay, or to just decorate a shelf somewhere. I'm thinking of adding a magnet to the back so when not in use I can stick it to the fridge. There's a couple of bits I'd like to modify to make it as game accurate as possible, mainly the arm bits, but for a first try I think I got pretty close.

As I said before, I'll upload any updates as I go. Hope this has been useful!

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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    that is awsome


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you :)


    3 years ago

    Great job! I had shown this to my brother (a very big Fallout fan) and my brother thought it was awesome and now wants me to make him one. Thanks for the tutorial (and making one kid really happy)!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Absolutely no problem, I'm glad you guys liked it, let me know how it goes if you make one!


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you very much :)


    4 years ago

    Fantastic job.


    Reply 4 years ago