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BLUF (or TL;DR for non-military) -
This is the process I am going through for making the Cap Stash from the Fallout series. I want it to be as close to game / world accurate as possible. Not sure if it's my ADHD or just my personality but I almost obsess with accuracy of my props.

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I make video game props for fun, then sell them online. I made a version of the Cap Stash last year but was never totally satisfied with the accuracy of it. The size and proportions of the tin I used before were off.

Game Reference (Sizing in-game vs real-life) -

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I took some photos in game and others I found online and in RPF to see the proportions and general sizing. Before you start typing, YES, I am VERY aware that Bethesda's in-game sizing is a total crap-shoot. Mentats appear to be the size of a family-sized box of cereal, a bottle of RAD-X is like a 5-Gallon bucket and these Cap Stashes appear to be the size of carry-on luggage. I know the game designers make things larger so players can see them, so my goal was to make something that had the right in-game proportions in real-life, while keeping the right sizing "feel" for the item. (Rant: I cannot STAND having to figure things out by "feel". I want clear cut data and properly sized items, or at least the same wonky proportions for all items.)
I did some looking around online to see if I could find what the game designer used as their reference. (Who knows, maybe I can get lucky and find exactly what they modeled it from and buy that. EASY day) .....No such luck. The closest tin I found was this style tobacco tin.

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The problem with it is that it's WAY too small when compared to the Mentats. These tobacco tins are 3.75 x 2.25 x 1 inches (so about the size of an Altoids tin). I choose to believe Mentats are about the size of an Altoids tin, which, going off the size difference between the 2 in that pic, would make the Cap Stash more than 7.5 x 4.35 x ~3. pretty big. Why on earth would you have a tin box that size filled with (according to Fallout Wiki) "between 14-23 bottlecaps"? That seems to me like a COLOSSAL waste of space. So I decided to size down a bit more and split the difference of the small tobacco tin and the ginormous size compared to the Mentats and try and find something around 5.5 x 3 x 1.75. This would still be in proportion to the Mentats/Altoids sized tin without being ridiculously huge.

Best real life option -
Not gonna lie....this part took AGES. I am fairly certain I searched the ENTIRE internet and looked at EVERY single tin box being sold on the planet. But after more hours searching than I'm willing to tally, I finally found this: a 5.5 x 3 x 1.75 survival kit tin made by Coleman.

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It is as close to the right proportions as I have found and the exact size I was wanting. But....(because there is always a "but") they no longer make them. So finding them is becoming much harder, much faster. I found 4 on Ebay that I bought up quick. I again searched the ENTIRE internet and found a couple companies that have some residual stock left over. Nothing much, like 25-50 boxes total. Which seems ok for a VERY limited run of me selling them. So my plan now is to see if I can make a Cap Stash that lives up to my ridiculously high expectations using the 4 survival tins I bought from Ebay. If I can, then buy as many as I can get my hands on online before they are gone forever.

Process -

Remove logo -

First thing I need to do is remove the Coleman logo. I read online that you can remove logos from metal using acetone and light scrubbing with steel wool.

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So, I set aside a couple hours for me to try this way, and when that failed (because of course no plan survives first contact with implementation) I could try several different techniques to remove it completely. Except, this one worked ridiculously well. The logo came off so easy, I had to collect myself because I wasn't expecting to work as well as it did with so little effort.

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Debossing - (Recreating the indentation around the border)


This is the part of the job that I honestly thought I was going to have to try and let go because I didn't think I would ever get it the way I wanted. I had grand plans of getting a piece of wood cut down to fit in the tin lid and press down to form the shape, or create a 3D model of a die and have that printed to use as a die. On a whim, I took a clay tool (that looks very similar to some embossing/debossing tools I saw online) and just tried manually pressing down the edge around the border. AND IT TOTALLY WORKED. I had so many reasons I came up with on why it wouldn't work. The tin would be too thin and would just bend in half, the lid would warp and wouldn't close anymore, but it was totally fine. It worked SURPRISINGLY well. I just put some pressure against the border.

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This is where I'm at the process. Below are the rest of the things I need to do to get it done. I'll be working on it and keep you updated as I complete things.

Designing the logo -
Hopping on the computer. I am going to use the game texture to design a better / more realistic / lore-friendly logo to put on it.

Adding digital aging to logo-
Ink transfer logo to tin-
Sealing tin-
Physical aging of tin (this thing is 200+ years old) -
CAPS logo -
Aging Tape -
Caps Process -
Damage Process -
Destroy Plastic seal -
FIRE (melt plastic seal) -
Smash caps (they have been pulled off a Nuka Cola bottle then used as currency, they're gonna be bent up) -
Sand edges to pull paint off -
Rust solution -


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The biggest kick in the balls is that they put a yard stick in the game and it's not accurate. Everyone got excited thinking it could be used to measure in game items and someone proved it wasn't accurate.
The biggest kick in the balls is that they put a yard stick in the game and it's not accurate. Everyone got excited thinking it could be used to measure in game items and someone proved it wasn't accurate.
I know right?! As an ex-animation student, I get why....but MAN it's still pretty frustrating. The 1st prop I made was the pewter, gold plated Septim from Elder Scrolls. I put in Skyrim in VR I picked up one off a table and started looking at how big it is...I realized the coin is the size of a freaking coaster! So I quickly decided I need to make things as accurate as possible, while just kinda...feeling the size out. Drives me bonkers.
In case you haven't already dug it up my (altoids tin) method is here:
I used some sand paper and a sharpie and the logo worked out great, a stencil could be used to try to get the font exact.

I think you picked a good size for a large cap stash. The debossing method you used it great.
In case you haven't already dug it up my (altoids tin) method is here:
I used some sand paper and a sharpie and the logo worked out great, a stencil could be used to try to get the font exact.

I think you picked a good size for a large cap stash. The debossing method you used it great.
Hey! I had not come across this! Thanks, this is good info.
I was considering sand paper, but I think I'm going to go with thin cardboard or similar color cardstock. I had planned on sizing out the CAPS label, printing it and cutting or plotting holes as guides! I'm really stoked to get it done. I'm currently testing printed vinyl for the leaves or using sublimation printing! I talked someone into letting me test sublimation on some smaller tins to see how it will look. I like the raised look (and feel) of vinyl kinda feels... cheap?? Like I slapped a sticker on it, I guess. Sublimation printing would be cool...if I can get it to work like I want. The damage will be a problem if it does work. And the cost. That method seems expensive.
Thanks! I really thought the debossing was gonna crush it. I feel like I really overthought sizing to death. But I do feel like its the right size. I came across a longer Altoids sized tin that I will probably be using for Mentats which seems like it might be my next project.
Update 8 Oct (Seriously, how is it Oct already???) -

I've been busy getting supplies for the project.


And yes...before you comment "Didn't you say you weren't gonna buy a whole bunch of the first aid tins before you knew that this would work because if you bought a bunch and this process didn't work it would be a HUGE waste of money???" .....Yes....Yes, I did say that. But as I worked on buying supplies I kept checking in on both stores that still had some of the tins and one of the stores sold I started buying tins from the other. I will probably keep buying around 10 every week or so until I clean them out....because I have a problem apparently.... Haha. It's a gamble, but at this point I feel PRETTY confident I can make this as good as I have it in my head. I'm willing to make that gamble. (And if I'm wrong....well, I have a BUNCH of extra medical supplies and some cool tins! Could be worse)

Supplies I've got so far -
Coleman First Aid Tins X 10 (Yeah, I know)
.7 Inch Masking Tape X3
Printable White Vinyl Sticker Paper X 1 (to test the leaves design)
Printable Clear Vinyl Sticker Paper X 1 (also to test the leaves design)
Different Printable Clear Vinyl Sticker Paper X 1 (also also to test the leaves design)
A tin I am hoping to use for a Mentats tin (I wanted it for size reference in relation to each other)
LOTS of rubber gloves (for use with the Acetone cleaning the logos off the tins)

Process Since Last Post (In no particular order) -

Test Label -

I took an in-game pic of the top of the tin.


I took a measurement of the length of the tin, then the "CAPS" label length and width and tape width. I then used ratio calculator to resize the measurements for all the items for the size tin I have.

Game Texture Size (in Inches)
L - 6.25 (Top) / 6.5 (Bottom)
W - 3.5
H - 2.5
"CAPS" Label
L - 3.75
W - 3.5
W - 1 / 1.25

Tin Size
L - 5.5
W - 3
H - 1.75
"CAPS" Label
L - 2.5
W - 2.35
W - .6 / .75

I used these numbers to figure out what size masking tape I needed and bought .7 in (right in the middle of both measurements) off Amazon.

I sized the game texture "CAPS" label to the correct size and printed it out. I wanted to make sure I was on the right track and hadn't made a mistake somewhere in my process. I cut the game texture label and used the tape to place it on my tin for a sizing test.

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So far so good, I think. The tape on the right is a bit thicker than the left, but....I may not worry about that....maybe. (we can look back in future and see if I did...I mean, I know I probably won't and I'll end up doing something stupid and over-the-top like cutting a strip off part of my tape and use it for the narrower right side, or something equally as extra.)

The Leaves Design -

I have been on the computer.... sort of reverse engineering the design from the game texture into something higher quality and that fits with what the tin actually is.

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This is the work in progress. I am taking the game texture and making my own leaves design over it, and using the First Aid tin embossed logo parts to place my design around it. When I finish my custom texture I will delete the game texture and tin images then ...figure out how to get that image on the tin... This part has been SLOW going. But, I am working on it. I'll have it done soon.

Why Nuclear WinterMints?

A few reasons. I needed a reason to have leaves. I wanted that reason to fit in the Fallout world. The game has a bunch of crazy products like "Blast Radius", "Sugar Bombs" and so on. A friend helping on this project suggested the name and I really liked it. It fits in the world and gives a reason for the leaves. I am going to add a "Package of NUCLEAR WINTERMINTS" to the supply list on the back of the tin (like is on the First Aid tin already).


I also bought a tin that I will be making a Mentats tin with.

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I wanted to make sure that my size comparison still looked good. I think it will work really well!!

So that is where I am in the process. I gotta finish the tin logo design. Then test different processes for putting ink or vinyl on the tin. I will update as I can.


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Update 1 Nov (Time for my monthly update, which is apparently my thing) -

Progress -

1st, I decided against doing sublimation. It may have been cool, but I had several reasons why I chose to go with vinyl for the leaves logo.
1. It took work out of my hands and put into someone else's. (Apparently I'm protective of my work! Haha)
2. Price. I sell these props and an additional ~$20 a piece to put it on there just wasn't cost effective.
3. I've gotten surprisingly good results from the clear vinyl I've been using.

2nd, I bought ALL the Coleman tins I have found on the internet. Kinda a bummer, but I expected it to happen at some point. But, "Good news everyone!" I found a substitute. It's not the EXACT right dimensions, but it's close enough that I can try and get over it....again, TRY. It's on Amazon which is nice, but the seller only sells them occasionally, so I'm checking on it all the time to see if I can get more.


Lastly, I finished the logo design.
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I nailed the leaves REALLY well I think. I added the "embossed" outline, added the "embossed" light source from the bottom left (that the game texture has if you look REALLY close), and even a light shadow from said fake light. With the clear vinyl I think it's going to really make it look just slightly embossed. I chose to design in something for the embossed parallelogram shape of the Coleman logo (We have started calling it the "TN part" because it's kinda Tennessee looking).

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Fallout 3 Lee Rapids Pharmaceuticals Wiki

I chose to go with Lee Rapid Pharmaceuticals, which appears in the Fallout 3 DLC - Operation: Anchorage. They only had the name I could find, so I designed a logo for them using the Coleman as reference. I made this part of the logo a little meta and made the font a little Fallout-esque and even threw in the Fallout Lightning bolt logo. I almost chose not to, but because the Lee Rapid logo as a whole is so small on the Cap Stash and the bolt so small to the Lee Rapid logo, I figured it will be fine.

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Here is a side-by-side of my design with digital aging on a screenshot of the tin and the game texture. I am pretty please so far. Less so about the next part. I am going to have to go back and as much as it pains me....... remove the parts of my logo that has been aged off from the game texture. (MRW) All that hard work, just to erase large chunks of it away. Seriously, though, I am very pleased so far and am very excited to see how it will look as a finished product. Especially with the aging of it. I am going to test removing the aged part of the leaves physically 1st, by taking a sanding block or paper and sanding off the ink in those places. One thing I worry might happen is I will destroy the vinyl and it will shred it and look terrible and make the whole vinyl peel off. If I can't get physical aging right, I'll do it digitally by just erasing those parts. I would much rather get it done physically, I think it will look better.

I am considering leaving the maroon circle and white cross on it. It would make sense for a survival tin to have this on there because....the real life version already does. Plus the maroon doesn't look bad with the other colors I think (but I almost failed Color Theory in Art college so maybe I shouldn't trust my own judgement, haha)

CAPS Label -

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I considered what to make this out of. The popular choice for people that have made this is sandpaper given what the texture looks like. And I agree, the texture looks a lot like sandpaper. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around why anyone would choose sandpaper as a medium to write on. Even in a post-apocalyptic world, I feel like there are better options. My head went to what other things you could find in a Wasteland that would look similar to this. I came up with cardboard or chipboard. You would find it in almost every garage or house in the Wastes. Add some black splatters, a dust stain or 2, and (IMO) you have the game texture. I went to the local craft hobby store and bought some chipboard.


I gave it a little splatter-spray of black spray paint. I printed out some sized CAPS labels from the game texture. Next I will use those to have a guide to cut or tear out a chipboard label. I will poke holes in the printed texture to show me where to write in "CAPS" so I get the font exactly right.

The Tape -

Before you ask, yes I am an obsessive monster apparently. I totally fixated on the tape width just like I thought I might. BUT...I found an easy way to get the tape the right size to match the game texture perfectly! I marked on the tape where I needed it cut, found a couple of 90 degree pieces from the garage that stacked up to the correct height and put a razor blade on it. When I spun the tape it made a perfect cut around the whole roll of tape exactly the same height.



(I needed .75 and .6. That is close enough!!)


I took the newly printed CAPS labels and the properly sized tape and put them on for a test shot. I am getting REALLY close to being done. I don't have much left before this will be done!!

- Leaves logo printed
- Leaves logo aged
- Tin aged
- CAPS label made
- CAPS label aged
- Tape aged
- Assembled
- Contents assembled and aged


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Update 7 Nov (Guess monthly updates AREN'T my thing) -

Progress -

Aging the tin -

I decided that the light blue patches on the game texture weren't a weird light blue paint job, that they were supposed to be tin oxidation.


I work with pewter on my Gold Plated Pewter Septims (currently writing the thread for that process too, it's a SUPER interesting process), I knew that you can blacken pewter with a Pewter Blackener solution. I also knew that pewter is traditionally 85 - 95% Tin, so being that I am working on a tin box, I had a 85 - 95% chance that the pewter blackener would work on it. (66)

I used my Photoshop clone GIMP and tweaked the game texture to create a black and white damage template to use as reference when I'm aging the tin. I did the best I could to match the damage using the blackener and a paintbrush.


I quickly learned that flat brush strokes look terrible for natural aging. The best looking marks were where I mashed the brush down against the tin. All it needed was a little violence! Haha. I think it turned out ok. I will do better on the blackener application with future Cap Stashes but this was a very successful test!

Adding the Vinyl -

Not gonna lie.... I probably should have waited to do this part.... but... I should have painted the embossed Lee Rapid (Coleman) logo white before dropping the vinyl on to help the text stand out, but I decided 1. I can't wait. I GOTTA see the logo on the tin itself!! 2. This is a test to see if everything looks ok together. Can you see the leaves on the tin? Can you see the tin aging through the vinyl? Can you read the text?

I printed out the complete logo on clear vinyl. I sprayed a ~ 99.9% water / .1% Dawn dish soap mixture on the tin and the back of the vinyl to assist in placing it by allowing me to move it before the adhesive does it's thing.


Here's what I learned. The soapy water trick....did not work. Like even a little. The only thing it did was make me and my whole work station wet and try to smear the ink when it got to the front to the vinyl. So I probably wont be doing that the next time. BUT, that's the whole thing with the scientific process. You throw things at the wall and see what sticks. What does stick, you keep. What doesn't stick, you fix. The soapy water....needs fixed. How am I going to ensure I get the perfect placement without being able to move it around???? (66) I'll figure it out.


I cleaned up the edges of the vinyl with a razor. It still needs time to dry. I will keep going over it trying to get the water out from between the vinyl and metal. You can see the Lee Rapid needs white paint behind it in this pic to make the text readable. Everything else turned out pretty well I think. Once it's totally dry I will make sure the vinyl is totally on (that little embossed ridge around it has a lot of water back around it) I will start working on removing some of the logo to match the game texture / the blackening I did to the tin. I haven't figured out that part yet either. It might come off with water... Or alcohol, or acetone. But that might eat the vinyl up. Who knows. I'll figure that out after I sleep.

And that kids is where I leave you tonight.

Will the water evaporate from behind the vinyl?
Will the vinyl adhere to the tin?
Will 66 get enough sleep?

Find out next time on RPF's Realistic Fallout Cap Stash Build!!
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This is such an ambitious and dedicated build thread. Looking forward to seeing the final product (y)
Thanks! I don't know that I would have called it "ambitious". "Extra"? Probably, haha. But thank you.
I will definitely let everyone see the final product here before I start selling them on other sites.
Update 13 Nov (My whenever update) -


This post is surprisingly pic heavy. Don't like it.....well, don't read it. Read something lighter, like the Silmarillion by Tolkien.

Progress -

Vinyl Update -

The water behind the vinyl did in fact evaporate. It actually sealed to the tin really well and looked like it was just printed directly on the metal. When I sprayed clear coat on it, you could only JUST barely notice the vinyl seam. The seam was so well hidden in fact, I couldn't get a good pic of it. It is going to work really well. (I also got really good sleep if you were wondering, haha). I also had time to think about the soapy water thing. It didn't allow me to slide the vinyl around like I was lead to believe....but the vinyl was able to peel up rather easily while I was getting it into position. And later testing made me realize that doesn't happen without the soapy water. Dry vinyl REALLY doesn't want to come off whatever it touches and bends, peels, creases and fights you every step of the I will keep using the soapy water trick.

Finishing the Back Supply List for the Tin -

The back of the First Aid tin has a supply list that I really liked and thought would add a sense of realism to this build.

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I wanted to replicate it as close as I could while staying true to the Fallout world. We came up with a fake list of what we thought would be in a Survival Kit put out by a company in the middle of a Nuclear Cold War. I wanted to tie in companies from the games into these items just to help sell the believability. Obviously I wanted the items we tied to the companies to make sense. I wasn't going to have ROBCO box of matches because it doesn't make sense in that world. We decided that having some of the companies logos on the back would look good and tie into the world really well too. So from our list I found some of the logos from the game that already existed, and made the other SharpWit design using GIMP.


And here is the final design for the back.

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For the "Bonus Item", I was thinking about those goofy "X-RAY Glasses" that the companies put in cereal boxes when I was a kid. I felt like that was something a company would do in this world. I researched when companies started putting stuff like that in cereal to make sure they started in or before the 40s, since that's when the Fallout timeline skews off from ours. Turns out they were putting stuff in way before that, so I was fine. I figured in the middle of this hostility a company would put in something like a "Commie detection lens". Not sure why, but the Legend of Zelda 64 Lens of Truth kept coming to mind, so I made up something like that. *Note* Almost none of these items are going in the tin I will sell, but I thought it would be cool to have the list from when it was originally produced.

In my research I came across this in game picture from Fallout 4.


I really liked it and thought it would go really well with the "Commie Detection Lens". When I saw the real tin had a phone number for questions about their product, I knew I HAD to put this pic on my tin. I even tried to match the font because I thought it looked really good.

And then there is the Bar Code.....I custom made that too..... That is all. (66)

Removing / Aging the Vinyl Design -

My next task was to try and remove parts of the logo that matched up with the missing parts of the game texture, and the custom blackened parts of the tin lid. The 1st thing I decided to try was a Q-Tip and that same soapy water from when we put the vinyl down. Why use the nuclear option (acetone and sandpaper) before trying something a little less dramatic?


To my absolute surprise, it totally worked. 1 or 2 wipes and the ink comes RIGHT off. So I followed the blackened parts of the lid and removed those parts of the ink. Easy day.

Creating the CAPS Label -

I wanted a little more texture on the chipboard for the CAPS label. I took a small spray bottle and mixed up some dark brown food coloring. A couple sprays all over the board and it had tiny brown dots all over it. It really made it look perfect!


I took the sized and printed CAPS label from our earlier episode and used it as a stencil. I put the stencil on the chipboard and used a razor knife and followed the edge all the way around.


I folded the edge over and tore it off to give it a more rough look. Then I took sandpaper and a file around it to roughen the edge up even more.


I used some dentist's tools I picked up to poke a bunch of holes in the printed template. Then I used a sharpie and wrote over the template on the chipboard so I would have the dots to guide me.



Now it's time to write "CAPS" with paint and water to try and give it that watered down, multiple layer look from the game texture.
Ok. I mentioned before that in animation college I almost failed color theory, right? This right here is the reason why. Follow my logic. If I have black paint, and I add white paint, I should get gray paint. (I'm tracking) But if I have black paint, and I add CLEAR WATER...I should black watery paint. Right? WRONG!! I get straight up gray liquid in the cup. I don't get it... But, whatever. I'm gonna keep going.


I do some testing to see how this gray looking mess will look and....actually it dries just like I thought it maybe I overreacted. Whatever, my color theory wounds are still there. Haha.


Here is the final product. I think it looks pretty good! The watery multiple layers are pretty good. I will get better at them as I make more, but for a 1st go, I'm pleased!


This last part I went back and forth on how I was going to do it. There is a light grayish ...smudge on the game texture on the top left and bottom right. My knee jerk was "Looks like dirt! I can use dirt!" Then the one helping me on this project said it looks to her like graphite smudge. I totally disagreed but am more than willing to try anything to see how it looks. If it looks good, cool, we keep it. If not we try something else. She got a light drawing pencil, made a heavy marking on a paper, then took the paper and rubbed it all over the CAPS label where the smudge was. It looks PERFECT!!! I'm am totally stoked and I don't have to play in the mud!! (And this children is why you should try any legit suggestion from someone trying to help on a project)


Here is the final product. I think it looks great!! The gritty texture of the smudge especially looks fantastic to me.


Aging the Tape -

I want the tape to look as aged as the rest of this tin. I took the measured out rolls of tape and put them on the back slick side of a label sheet. I sprayed coffee on it and sprinkled cocoa over it to give it stains and spots. Then I put it in the oven at the lowest temp to let it dry.


Realizing We Have the Wrong Color -

I take the CAPS label, aged tape and put it on the tin with our fancy vinyl for the 1st time to see how it all looks together. And it looks absolutely amazing! Completely the wrong color for the leaves, but absolutely amazing! (SOMEBODY could have mentioned that in my earlier posts to the guy who almost failed color theory, just saying...haha) It is VERY much a hunter green, and we need like...seafoam? IDK colors, whatever color the game texture is.

Cap Stash Game Texture.png

So the 1st thing I do is go the game texture and literally steal the color. I take 5 samples from the leaves in different places. I want the EXACT color of these things. I get 5 different hex color codes. I want the average color, so I find a website that can take 2 hex colors and find the average of them. I write out all 5 and then start finding the average for each pair until I get and average for the leaves as whole. This felt very math-y for building a Cap Stash.


I used this color and changed the leaves in my GIMP design to that. On screen, it looked PERFECT!! On the clear vinyl with the white background, it looked PERFECT!! On the clear vinyl with the silver tin background, it looked SO WRONG!!! That's when I remembered that because I am working with clear vinyl, the background color of whatever is behind the vinyl is going to bleed through. So even though I chose the perfect color in GIMP, it's not going to be that color on the tin. We will get to do my favorite thing in the world....and eyeball it to see which color "looks" or "feels" right on it....


As you can see, this part used a lot of expensive vinyl. But we got to something we both thought was as good as we could get it.

Help From Local Maker Space -

I recently joined my local Makers group. (Shoutout to MidSouth Makers!)

Now I get access to all their cool tools to help work on my projects. 1st item up, sandblasting the tins to take the paint, logos and protective coating off. (Also, if you have a Makers group in your area, seriously go check them out! They are great!)

That's where I am in the project now. I will be going to the Maker Space to sandblast some tins to get them ready for the aging and vinyl. I will keep you updated on my progress as it happens. Thanks for watching and stay tuned!


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Update 28 Nov (My whenever update) -

Progress -

Sandblasting -

I used the sandblaster at the local Maker Space to remove the blackening and logo........and kinda sorta slightly...completely destroyed my test tin.


So...probably won't be using that technique in the future to remove the logo and protective coating. (It was fun though!)

Che cosa?!?! -

Given that my test tin had kicked the bucket, I got a new tin to be my "test". (Not like I don't have enough to spare, right??) I got a new tin and used the same techniques from before to remove MOST of the labels (we wanted to see how it looked with the berry colored circle and cross intact) and to blacken it.


(I esp like the wear I put on the edge of the circle/cross) Then I printed out another label, even took the time to pre-cut out the circle/cross and TN embossed parts and slapped it on there...and.......(66)


Why in the actual hell is "SURVIVAL KIT" sitting RIGHT on the TN embossed part??? Anyone? It fit earlier...didn't it? Did I miss something? With ALL of my obsessing over this project, did I somehow miss the fact that 1/3 of my text blocks on the lid of this tin were just gone???

I legit spent an entire day trying to figure out WTF happened.


Turns out, Coleman changed their design at some point in their production of these tins. And (because as we determined earlier I am an obsessive monster that cannot control myself and bought every one I could find on the entirety of the internet) I got both designs. I was working on the one with the TN embossed part lower and made all my designs fit that, but when I got sandblast-y happy and destroyed that tin...I got a new one....One with the other design. I got a tin with the TN part about half an inch higher. So, at least I'm not going (more) crazy. That's a relief. Still sucks, mind you, but at least I didn't mess anything up or miss something huge like that.

Digital Aging -

After taking a breather on the tin logo redesign, I thought about the soapy water and blackening part. No matter how careful or precise I am...I will never get a perfect aging using soap, water and a Q-Tip. The ink removal will never line up to the blackener I put on the tin underneath. It will probably do well enough to pass muster, but....couldn't I do it....perfectly?? Couldn't I digitally age and blacken the tin, and use the negative in GIMP to remove the parts of my logo? So I set to digitally aging the logo I spent so long getting perfect.


I found a GREAT tutorial on YouTube for GIMP about layer masking. I was able to keep my design intact and add a black and white damage layer as a mask. GIMP then hid all the black and this is what I got. I think it looks very nice and jacked up! Again, I tried to follow the game texture on the leaves to make sure the parts of the leaves that are missing in game texture are missing in mine. This was more approximate than most of my other stuff thus far, but I think the design looks phenomenal!

Colors...Again... -

So now I know what happened with the TN / Lee Rapid logo placement, I can go back and see what I think of the look of the design so far.


I think the leaves look ok with the berry (and will look better with the aging I did) ......but now I notice that the leaves look....washed out? Almost transparent next to the SUPER BRIGHT circle/cross. Because the circle/cross is painted on there, it is WAY brighter than my ink on transparent vinyl. So...another problem. I like the circle/cross. I think it adds to the believability of the prop. It's a survival kit, it would have that on there. How do I make the circle/cross and leaves look the same? Answer - I airbrush paint the tin under the leaves white to make them pop out as much as the circle/cross. "Is that gonna be a whole new set of problems and be a complete and total pain in your backside?" I hear you ask through my computer....Why yes, yes it will. I've never even USED an airbrush before! "Does it add several more places to totally mess the tin up beyond usability for EACH one you do?" ALSO YES!!! I just can't think of any other way to get the ink to look as vivid as the painted cross. Doing this process will also ensure that I can get the exact color I want, since the printer prints thinking I'm going to have a white background, not clear/tin.

So, my upcoming tasks are -
- Fix the stupid TN / Lee Rapid logo placement in GIMP.
- Reprint vinyl with the correct placement.
- Make a stencil for my white airbrushing fiasco...I mean adventure.
- Test the stencil/white background for the leaves.
- Find lots of problems in these upcoming tasks.
- Find solutions to all those problems.
- Report back to you.

Thanks for tuning in to another exciting episode of Realistic Fallout Cap Stash Build!!!
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I continue to appreciate how verbose you are being in all these posts. Great detail and documentation all around (y)
Thanks! Honestly I'm really surprised anyone is actually reading them! I really wanted to document all of it, not just the good parts. I wanted anyone reading it to see that I didn't fly through this prop without any issues. That a HUGE part of making it (or anything really) was running into these constant issues and figuring out a way around them.

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