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Industrial Chimney: Method


  • Plastic tubes used to package large tablets make ideal chimney stacks, especially with the characteristic lip at the open end. As a bonus the white plastic of the tube is generally compatible with polystyrene cement making it perfect for gluing plastic details to!

  • Rinse out the tube and remove any labelling. Any print directly on the tube is easily removed with the rough green side of a regular dish sponge; scrub until only white plastic remains. The abrasive surface of the sponge will also help key the plastic for gluing and painting.

  • A deodorant cap makes an excellent base providing a good fit for the bottom of the tube while adding height and improving stability with its extra weight and wider footprint. Attach the base of the tube to the top of deodorant cap with superglue and allow to dry.


  • As the white plastic tube is compatible with polystyrene cement it’s perfect for adding detail with Plastruct section and Plasticard. 

  • EXTERNAL PIPES: Choose a Plastruct tube or angled section thin enough to sit reasonably flat against the curvature of the tube and cut to the desired length. One or both ends of the section can be either cut at a 45 degree angle to run ‘out’ or ‘in’ to the chimney or at a 90 degree angle allowing it to be capped. Glue the section vertically to the tube with polystyrene cement. Once dry the 90 degree cuts can be capped with a piece of wider profile plastic section. By mixing profiles and sizes an endless variety of industrial looking details can be added.

  • REPAIR PATCHES: Cut small squares or rectangles of thin plasticard which will readily bend to fit the shape of the tube or base. Once glued in place ‘rivets’ can be added by cutting thin slices of Plastruct rod section and gluing them to the corners.

  • Extra detail can be added using spare plastic odds and ends. Tiny parts from plastic model kits and off-cuts of sprue make ideal greebles for this. 


  • Apply a base coat of acrylic black spray primer to the entire model, be sure to prime the inside of the chimney.

  • Once dry, apply a light coat of grey acrylic spray, any uneven or speckled areas will add visual interest to the texture of the chimney.

  • Once the grey coat is dry, paint any areas of metallic detail in black ink. This creates a good base to dry-brush with metallics, finishes such as tin, brass, bronze etc can work well in this context.

  • Decals, industrial signage and graffiti can be added for extra colour and detail, these can be sealed with a coat of matt spray varnish for added protection when handling.

  • Roughly outline the edges of any raised areas of detailing with brown inks, brushing downwards for streaks of rust and dirt. Repeat this process around the chimney opening adding darker tones to create a rim of grimy runoff.

  • Black and brown weathering pigments can be applied to the chimney opening and areas of the stack to break up any featureless areas of grey and add a generally tarnished effect.

  • For an extra polluted finish the interior of the chimney can be painted with textured paints to suggest the filthy and exotic residue of cyberpunk industries.

  • Ominous chimney stacks loom over a ChemSlum gangs refinery.

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