Tuesday 10 September 2013

DIY Dragons teeth


This is something that I love doing. A cheap, effective way of producing something with general modelling materials that most of us use. I would love to claim this as my own idea but I found this on a Spanish modellers blog a while back. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the blog to give him full credit.

Dragons teeth were used across Europe during World War Two as an effective way of blocking the path of armoured vehicles. They were essentially large shaped blocks of concrete with heavy steel rings embedded into the top of them for ease of placement. The two photos below show the real things in a field and a finished 1/35 Dragons tooth that I will be showing you how to make:

Please Note: 

The template you require is the photograph at the end of this page. you can right click on it with your mouse, save it to your computer and use as you require. I am sure that you can scale this image up or down to suit 1/72 or 1/48 scale as required

Materials Required:

Printed template on A4 paper
Polyfiller or White household filling plaster
Course Grit sand paper
Black Acrylic paint or grey/black pigment powder
Adhesive tape
PVA glue (white wood glue)


Take the printed template and cut out each individual dragons tooth template and glue them to the BACK of the sandpaper sheet. You don't need to be too precise at this point with your cutting as this will come later. Once the templates have dried on the back of the sandpaper, turn the sheet over and coat the rough surface with a light coat of undiluted PVA and allow this to dry fully. Once the sheet is fully dry, you can know carefully cut the templates from the sandpaper sheet. These stages are shown below:

Now carefully fold the triangular sections in on themselves to form form the shape of the dragons teeth ensuring that the rough sandpaper surface is facing inwards. Carefully tape the sections together to form the mould as shown in the photograph. You will be filling these with plaster and because of their shape, they will naturally tip over. I would strongly urge you to fix the base of the moulds in place at this stage of the process with some blue tack to prevent this from happening:

Now its time to mix the plaster. I have added some black acrylic paint to the plaster which will give a grey consistency to the plaster, where once dry will resemble the concrete that the teeth were made from. However if you would prefer to leave the paster white and paint the teeth once dried, that is of course your choice. Once the paster is mixed to a thick but runny consistency that I would described as extra thick double cream or thick custard consistency, carefully pour into the mould and allow to dry fully.

Once the teeth are dried, carefully remove them from the mould. You will find that the mould has absorbed quite a bit of the water content from the plaster and will most likely need to be thrown away. I tend to leave the teeth to dry for at least 24 hours before I start any finishing work on them. The finishing work is a simple case of running the base of the teeth over a flat sheet of fine grit sand paper to flat it off and then drilling the top of the tooth and adding some thin gauge wire in a loop to resemble the tooth at the top of this page:

An there you have it, some perfectly made dragons teeth that will look great in any WWII European diorama. The following photographs show the three different sizes of the two different types of dragons teeth that can be produced using the template. I have also uploaded a photograph of some of the teeth next door to a 1/35 figure and willys Jeep for a size comparison:

I hope that you have found this a useful DIY project for producing these Dragons teeth. The template of the teeth is below and has been uploaded as original size, however please check for rough dimensional accuracy before you make them as I cannot guarantee that it will save as an accurate size on my web site.

1 comment:

  1. Nice article! I'm not yet in the habit of making dio's, but I'll certainly remember this when it comes to making props.