How to drill bolter holes

2017-09-01 Khaiell

Most of the miniatures, be it plastic, resin or metal, come with flat gun points with no hole. You can easily fix that with the right tools. And the Citadel Hobby Drill is not enough.

Tools for drilling bolter/gun holes
  1. Mark the centre of the nozzle with a sharp point. I use a tool used for marking ceramic tiles.

This step is very important as it is tricky to drill a hole perfectly in the middle and an off-center barrel hole looks bad. The small dent you make will allow the drill bits to stick to one spot.

  1. Drill a shallow hole (1-2mm deep is usually enough) using a 1mm bit.

Use the point you made earlier to guide you. My tool of choice is the standard Games Workshop hobby drill with the thinest bits that come in the box.

  1. Drill a wider hole using a 1.2mm bit (or 1.5mm for heavy guns).

The difference of 0.2mm may seem trivial but is noticeable. As you need precision to stick to the centre and at the same time you have to be careful not to damage the model with the drill bit pushing plastic aside, you do it step by step: a tiny point, a thin bit and the final bit at the end.

Note that it is sometimes difficult to buy a 1.2mm bit. Look for precision drill bit sets designed to be used with tools like Dremel.


See the pictures as separate pages: Tools for drilling bolter/gun holes

You may also find these interesting:
During the April 16-17, 2016 Weekend at Games Workshop stores you had a chance to get a special edition remake of the original 1985 Space Marine model. The new version is substantially beefier than the original and the difference is much more striking than the one between the original Mk. 4 marines and their 'Betrayal at Calth' reimagining »
Reviews 18-04-2016 Khaiell
The trick is to think backward. Normally you paint shadows in the recesses of a model and then highlights on the edges emphasising how the external light plays on the shape. Fire has a light of its own and so the roles are reversed and the deeper you go, the lighter it will be. »
Converting and painting 25-08-2017 Khaiell