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Water Towers and Tanks

Water Towers and TanksThis page describes the construction of rectangular storage tanks. An alternative method for tall round tanks can be found in the industrial terrain and ork fort pages. The tank illustrated was made by orks... hence the huge, orky rivets!


  1. Foamcore

  2. Thick card, such as picture mount card (ask a picture framing shop for offcuts)

  3. Card or foam card for the base

  4. Flock, sand or gravel for the base

  5. Red lentils (or other small hemispheres, eg split peas)

  6. Balsa wood stick for the legs (see chain link fencing)

  7. Bamboo barbecue skewers for reinforcing rods

  8. PVA glue


  1. Decide upon the basic dimensions for your tank and cut out the sides from foam card. Stand the sides up on a piece of foam card and mark the size for the bottom of the tank, so that the bottom will fit inside the walls of the tank.

  2. Measure off an appropriate length of balsa stick for the legs. Again, the rougher the wood the better the finish. In each corner of the foam card which will be the bottom of the tank draw around the balsa legs and cut out the corner to allow the legs to protrude into the tank.

  3. Glue the sides and bottom of the tank together with PVA glue, allowing the sides to overhang the bottom slightly. When firm, push the legs through and glue. While the glue is still wet stand the tank up and slide the legs into position to get the tank to stand level.

  4. Embellish the tank with strips of mount card to produce a rim on the top, reinforcing strips on the sides, and reinforced corners. Make the corners by scoring a strip of card, bending it to 90 degrees, and gluing in place. You can often encourage the card to stick by sliding the card back and forth until the glue 'grabs'. If you wish, cut a rectangle of card and stick it on the side of the tank at an angle as a repair patch

  5. Stick red lentils onto the reinforcing strips to give the appearance of large rivets (very orky looking!)

  6. Cut the plastic rod or barbecue skewers to length and glue them between the legs as reinforcing rods. Cut strips of mount card and glue them across the legs as reinforcing bars. Make these appear to be fixed to the leg by putting lentils on the ends as rivets or small bolts.

  7. Glue the tank to the base. Spread PVA glue on the base and cover with sand.

  8. Paint the whole tank assembly (but not the legs) with slightly watered down PVA glue to seal the polystyrene edges. Produce a texture on the tank by dabbing a brush all over so the bristles splay out.

  9. Spray black and when dry drybrush with chain mail or silver.

  10. Paint the legs as for chain link fence posts. Paint the reinforcing rods black and dry brush with silver.

Water Towers and TanksYou can create reinforcing or repair bands on the wooden legs by gluing a strip of thick paper around the leg with a lentil 'rivet' over the loose end. Paint these silver.

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