Custom Fallout 3 Footlocker




About: I work for the Home Depot to pay the bills, and I am an animator, artist, and all around nerd.

Done Product

Step 1: Footlocker Prep

On Step one you are going to need an orbital sander, sand paper, lacquer thinner, a rag ( or paper towels will do), Primer ( I used Rust-Oleum clean metal Primer)

1. Take your footlocker and use the orbital sander with sander paper to get all rust or imperfections off the footlocker.

2. Next, use your lacquer thinner with rag or paper towels to get all the dust left from sander off the footlocker. You are going to want a clean surface for the primer.

3. After you have throughly clean dirt and dust off the footlocker with the lacquer thinner your ready to paint. Take your primer and spray the box evenly at the specific range on can. Allow time to dry mine was about 15 minutes or so then add second and third coats if needed.

Step 2: Making Stencils and Art Work for Transfer

In Step two you are going to layout your art work and come up with your designs. You are going to need a tape measure, X-Acto knife, frisket film/cardboard, paper, pencils, a sharpie marker and ruler

1) Get the measurements of your footlocker so you can figure out how to layout your artwork.

2) After you get your measurements your are gonna want to make some rough sketches of what you want on your locker.

3) If you are going to use any writing or lettering you are going to want to use Futura BQ Bold Condensed Font that is what is used on all the fallout artwork. I opened up illustrator ( Microsoft word or pages would work as well Future is a preloaded font in most word processing software) and typed out the wording I wanted and printed it out on regular 8 1/2 x 11 for my rough before I made it into a stencil. You just have to get the font size right depending on how big you want your writing on each side of your box. Mine varies from side to side.

4) Now making the stencils I used cardboard for some and frisket film for others. The cardboard was fine for the bigger pieces such as the 107 on the sides and the logo on the front. The Frisket film is better for more exact pieces such as the vault boy on the top and any small writing. If, you don't know what first film is I will explain it is a clear film with a sticky back on one side you can draw write onto it and the cut if out with an X - Acto knife after you stick it to your surface. here are a few videos that explain different methods

For my method I did the trace method the woman uses in the first video and the removed the back stuck it to the box and smoothed out my air bubbles with a soft putty knife like in the second video. Then cut out my design using my X- Acto knife. Now where to buy frisket film it can be purchased at arts and crafts stores that sell airbrushes the 9 x 12 is easy to come by but I had to order a roll of the larger stuff here . I needed a larger piece for the Vault Boy because his sketch was massive and wanted it to take up the whole lid of the box.

5) now that you have your masks and stencils done its time to paint...

Step 3: Painting

Now its time to paint this is one of the most time consuming parts of the project write after making your masks. You are going to need your masks/stencils, soft putty knife, masking tape, An airbrush (mine is a Testors Aztek line with dual action), airbush paints, mixing cups, airbrush cleaner liquid, mini compressor or propel can. I would go check out this site that have necessary airbrush equipment needed

1) After my primer had cured which took 24 hours but I let it sit a day or two longer I took my airbrush and mixed up a color to shade my footlocker to give it that beatup worn out look. I used a bluish-gray mix pictured to try and stay inline with other Fallout 3 products. the reason for laying this down first is that I could have it consistent throughout without worrying about over spray on other pieces on the box. In, picture one you can see the finished product of the shading process. I left the white primer visible in the middle with a dusting of my mix on top and made it heavier on the corners and ends of the box to make it look worn.

2) Next after your base coat of your shading dries and cures ( to dry a depending on your paint anywhere from minutes to hours, but to cure 24 hours is best) its time to airbrush on your stencils you will want to do these one at a time. I did the 107 on opposite sides of the box at the sometime because I was using the same color and the sides where far enough apart there was no worry of overspray. I put the cardboard stencil in the spot I wanted and adhered it to the box with painting masking tape (green or blue are the best kinds but regular white is ok as well) Next I took my airbrush with my color of choice loaded and sprayed it down being careful not to over spray. Then I did the same with the other pieces one by one till I was done.

3) After all my designs and wording was on the box I went back and did some more shading with white black and my original mix from step one. I dusted over parts that looked to dark such as words I wanted to make look more worn and hit up spots with the black that look to clean or to bright. I hit all the corners with a good amount of black to make them even darker.

Step 4: Clear Coat

This is the final step so your footlocker does not get banged up for real

I bought a Rustoleum flat clear coat (flat because if you buy glossy the locker will not keep that worn out look) from Home Depot and followed the instructions on the can to finish off the footlocker with a nice layer of protection and then let it cure in the specified temperature.

Well that is all hopefully yours come out just as well as mine good luck and enjoy..



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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't have a steel box to start with - this tutorial takes you thru the step to build the box too:

    (there is a short fan-film/vignette to get things started)


    4 years ago

    This is amazing! PLEASE keep making instructables!


    4 years ago

    dammit....v.a.t.s. 100% shot at the fallout sweet spot....instantly loving it!

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    thanks glad you like it now I have somewhere to store my Vault Boy Bobble-heads.


    Reply 4 years ago

    for the people ho do to have a more used look. check Adam Savage vid with about how he does it.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome! Now I am also reminded of how creepy Vault 107 was. We need a new Fallout game baaaaaaad :D