Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Tutorial: Autopistol

A standard Sister of Battle bolt pistol (top) and a converted autopistol (bottom).

Last year I started a series of tutorials for creating smaller firearms for Warhammer 40k models, including a Sister of Battle Boltgun, a Space Marine plasma rifle, and a laspistol. This month, I wanted to create another human-scaled firearm to complement the laspistol, this time the ubiquitous autopistol! This tutorial is a little more advanced than some of the previous weapon conversion tutorials posted on this blog. Unlike previous tutorials, this one uses very few of the original weapon designs and contours to guide the initial cuts and to inform the final design.

Using a razor saw, remove large sections of the bolt pistol to begin shaping the pistol redesign.

Using a hobby knife, carefully remove plastic from the bolt pistol until you are satisfied with the shape. Next using a razor saw, carefully scribe a line around the perimeter of the pistol to differentiate between the frame and the slide of the pistol. If you are careful, you can create this line with another scribing tool like a hobby knife.

Using a pin vise, carefully drill a 0.4mm hole at the front of the pistol where the barrel of the weapon should be. Insert a 0.4mm brass rod into the pistol to create the weapon’s barrel. Using a hobby knife, carve out an ejection port at the top of the pistol’s slide.

Use modelling putty to add additional details to the pistol, things like an external hammer at the rear of the pistol’s slide and front and rear sights. I also sculpted a magazine into the pistol’s grip. At this stage, you can also use modelling putty to fix any imperfections or mistakes made in previous steps. For instance, here I reshaped the front slide of the pistol with modelling putty. I also used the razor saw to scribe some additional texturing at the rear of the slide.

- Adam Wier


  1. Great looking pistol, and for once the fat handle of the original bolt pistol is useful. How sad that this was built off of the "small" pistol too... all the primaris stuff takes huge guns to another level entirely.

    Have you used a scribing tool? Mostly used for making panel lines, but it might work here for your slide/body differentiation.

    1. The large handle of the pistol did work out pretty nicely in this case. All of the primaris weapons are pretty crazy in size...

      I have not actually used a real scribing tool. I have been considering buying one. I do think it could be helpful for certain hobby work. Have you used one? If so any recommendations?