Building a budget Armory – Part 1

I’ve been wanting to try the Armory ITS mission for awhile but never had the Armory piece to support it. I have a family so splurging on pre-made terrain was a no no for me as I can only just afford the models, at the moment I make do using the Mototronica terrain set, Ikube papercrafting and a bunch of 1/43 scale toy cars for scatter terrain. My friend usually brings some holo ads and another Mototronica set so between us we have a dense enough table. The Armory seemed like a distant dream…that was until I spotted a nice thick shoebox we were about to throw in the bin, suddenly…ideas!

So, with a tape measure and pen, hobby knife, ruler and PVA glue to hand I got to work on making my own Armory from a humble Clarks shoebox. I found the cardboard to be really durable as far as cardboard goes.

Stage 1 – The Initial cut

The first step was cutting out the initial Armory walls, this was really easy as it was just a case of cutting down the shoebox lid to make an 8 inch square. As you can see I cut out an 8 inch corner and then just moved it to the other corner to see what it would look like.


Stage 2 – Finishing the cut and adding doors.

The next step was simply using a pen to mark where my 8 inch corner touched the other corner of the shoebox lid, I then used the hobby knife and a ruler to cut the other corner out. This left me with the 2 corner pieces which together form an 8 inch square.

I then used PVA glue (not diluted) to glue the corner pieces together underneath.

After this I used a ruler and pen to measure where the doors would be in the middle of each wall and cut them out with the hobby knife.


Stage 3 – Glue, glue, glue…

Now that the Armory was taking shape I needed to make it more sturdy and secure. I basically glued every crack and crevice I could find along all the edges where the cardboard meets. Where corner walls overlapped slighlty I glued them together too.


Stage 4- Features

The next step was to try and give the Armory some character. I looked around online for ideas and liked the way the Customeeple Armory looked. Using this for inspiration I got to work with leftover shoebox cardboard to make some varied designs on the outer walls and floor. I did 2 designs adjacent to each other all around the walls.

Some of the pieces went slightly wonky after gluing them so I need to go back and straighten them up, or pull them off and reglue them but overall I’m happy so far. I had stick some pieces underneath to try and level it but may redo this too.

After this I plan to add a few more features and then blast it with primer for painting, stay tuned!



Any suggestions or ideas to make this shoebox Armory even better? Do you make custom terrain or mess around with cardboard and household items? Share in the comments!


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