Gen 1 Synth arm (Fallout 4)

Towards the end of the year I couldn’t decide on what prop weapon I might want to start next, so I chose to start on something a bit different; part of a gen 1 Synth from Fallout 4. Looking at the Synth, the structure and details of the arm appealed to me the most. A lot of the pieces for this build were quite small and most came from my plastic scrap box.

I began this project as I do normally by collecting images (in game pictures and art work). Of real use was a mod suggested by a friend, which replaces the main character with a synth. I was then able to open up the game and move the camera around to get some close shots. Using the images, I drew some scale plans using my own arm as reference.

From these I made some mock-ups from foam board and card to make sure everything looked right before beginning. I began with the hand and worked my way up the arm.

The hand was made from styrene plastic, acrylic rods and nuts and bolts that were cut to size. Holes were drilled and wire was added as tendons. Tiny pieces of plastic were added on underside of the fingers to hold the wire down. These aren’t on the in game model but make sense to stop the wire from being loose.

The main structure of the fore arm is some 8mm foam PVC with more styrene plastic additions. The tube at the end was designed so the forearm could rotate, allowing the hand position to be changed.

Onto this was built the elbow joint, constructed from more PVC pipe, foam PVC, styrene and wire.

Next up was the upper arm. After building the lower part from half a piece of pipe, I began working on the upper section. This was a strange shape to figure out, so I did a few sketches and a mock-up to help. The angled section was built hollow with scraps used to support and build it up. Body filler was used to fill any remaining gaps and blend everything together.

Further details were added with more styrene plastic. The bowl shaped depression was carved out using my Dremel, but I was unhappy with how it turned out. So I came up with a simpler way of doing it; drill a shallow hole, fill it with epoxy putty and press a large domehead bolt into it.

With everything assembled, I checked the whole thing and did a few small bits of filling and sanding.

When it came to painting I had sourced the perfect cream colour; Kobra Acero spray. After being primed the arm was given a two coats and then any parts I wanted to be metal were either masked off and sprayed or hand painted black.

Any metal sections were build up with layers of dry brushed silver acrylic. The ‘wiring’ was picked out in red, green and blue paint. The last details to add were the model and serial number for which I made a small stencil and painted them on.

To give an age worn and rusty look I used black/brown acrylic followed by dark brown and rust weathering powders.

Following this project I’m going to compile all the sketches I did. I really enjoyed creating the synth arm and would love to have a go at the head sometime next year. Or perhaps create something of my own design.