Here I show how I made some components for terrain from some simple and cheap (mostly free) materials. The idea of this bunker was for it to be large enough to hold a small transport vehicle for Games Workshop's Sci-Fi minis game, Warhammer 40,000 (WH40k).

WARNING: You should not attempt these procedures without an adult present.

U-Shaped Handle

The perfect handle for any hatch and it is really easy to make, after a practice run or two. :)


  • Styrene rod of desired thickness (I used 0.10" diameter rod)
  • Smooth pliers with adequate taper to accommodate desired length of handle
  • Candle & something to light it with
  • Materials for pinning
  • Hobby knife or The Chopper (ideal for cutting thin styrene rod)


1. Grasp the rod in the tip of the pliers and hold it near the flame. Use as little heat as possible. If you get too close, the rod will melt and deform in unwanted ways.

2. As the rod softens and begins to bend, rotate the pliers 90 degrees. This prevents the rod from falling down and smacking the table, candleholder, etc., and helps use the torque of the rod's weight to bend the rod. Pull the rod away and tweak the bend slightly by hand as the rod cools. You have a few seconds to work with it and you can heat it again as necessary to soften it.

3. Grasp the rod as closely to the first bend as is appropriate for your desired handle length. Heat and bend the rod again, as before, taking care to heat only the area where the second bend is to occur.

4. Now, clip off the excess rod material. Clipping the piece as a unit provides a nice flat, flush surface common to both ends of the handle.

5. Now we have a handle, ready for mounting to a door or hatchway.

6. Here is an example of a handle affixed to a hatchway. I used the pinning approach to affix the handle with 5-minute epoxy because of the small amount of surface area that is actually affixed to the hatch.

Small Hatch Lid

Often, you'll want to put a hatch on a flat surface to provide an access point. This hatch is a good size for a storage container, e.g. fuel tank.


  • Fabric snap
  • Spare round piece of plastic (I used a spare wooden shield from the a set of skeletons)
  • Materials for pinning


1. Pin the fabric snap to the plastic disc with 5-minute epoxy such that the excess pin protrudes from the bottom of the hatch lid. The pin is really necessary for the overall structural integrity of the component.

2. Drill a hole in the desired location for the hatch and glue it in place (I use 5-minute epoxy).

Reinforced Door

Your toy soldiers have to get in and out somehow.


  • Styrene sheet 0.60" thick
  • Styrene strip 0.125" wide, 0.020" thick (I cut this from a sheet of 0.020" styrene)
  • Fabric snap
  • Materials for pinning
  • Xacto knife or The Chopper (ideal for cutting thin styrene rod)
  • Faller plastic cement (the syringe applicator is very handy for this.
  • 5-minute epoxy


1. Cut out a rectangle of styrene sheet 1.5" H x 1.25" wide

2. Lay down one strip from the top left to bottom right corner of the door and glue it in place with Faller plastic cement.

3. Lay a piece across from the bottom left to top right and mark the angle to cut.

4. Cut the piece and trim as necessary, then glue in place with Faller plastic cement. Note that the pieces don't quite perfectly match up to the initial strip. That's all right, I will cover that up later. As long as the cut strips are parallel with one another, it's good enough.

5. Using The Chopper, I then clip off the corners. This approach really speeds things up because you aren't worrying about cutting the strips and door exactly ahead of time.

6. Finally, glue a snap in place. I used the other half of the snaps I used to make the small hatch lids above. The important part is using a snap large enough to cover the joints. I glued the snap flush against the door. If you want the snap inverted so that the flat part protrudes, as with the small hatch door, then I strongly recommend you pin the handle in place.


Questions? Comments? Please let me know via my questions/comments form!