Monday, October 3, 2011

Rhino Smoke Stack Drilling

Brother C here with another quick tip..

so I keep seeing all these 'armies on parade' on the interwebz and for some reason they go through hours and hours of perfecting their models, trimming, sculpting and painting so they are ready for display and to woo the judges.

but a common thread that I keep seeing over and over again, and its honestly become a pet peeve of mine, has been that people don't drill out the smoke stacks on their rhinos/razrobacks/predators.

seriously ?? you drilled out of the gun barrels, why not the smoke stacks?

ok, here's a very quick tutorial on how I accomplished the drilling for my smoke stacks.

step 1. trim the mold lines on the current smoke stack if you haven't done this already.

step 2. create a small divot in the center of the smoke stack using the point of the blade of an Xacto knife. (I have also found that using the corner of a razorblade also worked very well) this is to be used to 'guide' the pin drill so be sure its large enough to accomplish this.

step 3. drill a small hold in the center of the smoke stack using the pin drill. *NOTE* the size of the hole is NOT the final size of the hollowed smoke stack. we are just looking to get the depth of the excavation we want.

step 4. take your Xacto blade and use the hole you just drilled to scrape out the remaining excess plastic you don't want in there. be very careful here, you can easily take too much, you want to leave a rim around the top for painting, etc. to give it the depth to make it look legit. Also of note, once you hollow out a good portion take even more care to straighten the hole, so you aren't left with an upside down cone shape which CAN Be seen from your eyes while playing and just looks sloppy. (an example of what this looks like and what to avoid is shown in the image below)

step 5. is to paint the inside black and come back later with some touchups on the rim, and some final highlights.

note, this is a very simple tutorial. take it for what it is.

from the reactions I've already received from the guys at the club, it makes a big difference.. My favorite is the one guy said 'I didn't even realize people don't do that until I saw yours.'

does anyone else have any other tricks for getting their rhino smoke stacks drilled out? maybe i'm crazy and you don't need these drilled out and they look fine as is?

feel free to post your comments, and flames here.

i'll be posting my final BFS Dark Angels list up here soon I promise. still working out the final details.. its THIS WEEKEND.

-Brother C


  1. Never even thought of that, thanks mate!

  2. I had not looked at other people's tanks that closely. I had just thought most people had drilled there exhaust on there vehicle's. I guess it just made sense to me...

  3. Instead of the exacto work, you know you could just use the proper size of drill bit to do this a lot faster, right?

  4. Thank You!
    It's totally a pet-peeve of mine too!

  5. @ AoM yes, I assumed that one could just use a large bit to get the hole drilled faster. honestly, it doesn't take very long to Xacto the hole and I prefer the control I have with the blade.

    do they make hand drill bits that large, or would I have to jump up to a dremel at that point??

  6. For my larger Drill bits that don't fit my small hand drill I use masking tape and rubber bands