The creation of the hand grenade
While the MK3A2 hand grenade does exist in real life, the version seen in Half-Life 2 is much larger, so buying a replica to repaint was not an
option, and I would have to scratch-build the hand grenade to the appropriate size instead.
After measuring the hand grenade to be 3 inches wide, I thought
these old PVC pipes from my garage's rain gutters would work
perfectly as the base.
To cut the required length of pipe at a perfectly straight angle, a piece
from one of the spout couplings was placed around it to make a
straight edge I could follow with a hacksaw.
Since the world-model is slightly longer at 7 inches than the
view-model at 6 ½ inches, I decided to cut the pipe at 6 ½ inches to
make its overall length somewhere in between once the other parts
are added to each end.
Since the spout couplings were already made to fit onto the 3 inch
wide pipe, I thought they would work perfectly as the metal caps for
the top and bottom of the hand grenade.
After cutting down the end caps to the right size, they were further
shaped on a lathe to give them a perfectly flat edge.
The black ring underneath the top cap was made from another spout
coupling that was conveniently already black so I wouldn't have to
paint it later on.
The bottom of the hand grenade was cut from a sheet of thick plastic.
The circular indentation in the center of the bottom plate had to be
hand-carved into the surface since the bottom plate was too large to
fit into the chuck of my lathe.
An empty plastic spool was cut in half to become the top plate since it
had a convenient center tube I could mount the fuse into later on.
The roughly cut edge of the center tube was carved completely flat on
my lathe so I could mount it the other way around to shape the front
of the top plate.
This was the last prop replica I created before buying a 3d-printer, and I got rid of a lot of random parts by building it, so still plan to mainly
hand-build everything else because of how this hand grenade turned out. I was even accused later on to have bought this as the real-life
version to remove its explosives, which I will take as a compliment at my attempt at realism.
If you found this project tutorial helpful, please support my future projects on Patreon.
The previous house owner for leaving the PVC rain gutter parts floating around in my yard with other junk.
Whoever threw away the random parts I used after dumpster diving.
2 weeks - Between 12 July 2017 and 21 February 2019.
PVC rain gutter pipes - 0 NOK - Already available.
Rain gutter spout couplings - 0 NOK - Already available.
Gift ribbon spool - 0 NOK - Excess from my Zenia life-size figure.
Electronics enclosure - 0 NOK - Already available.
Sheet metal - 0 NOK - Already available.
Random parts - 0 NOK - Already available.
Tamiya XF-58 olive green paint - 0 NOK - Excess from my SHODAN life-size figure.
Tamiya XF-76 gray green paint - 0 NOK - Excess from my SHODAN life-size figure.
Total - 0 NOK / $0 USD
A pencil was used to mark the width of the top plate at 3 inches wide,
then the excess plastic was cut away from the top plate using a sharp
The curved groove in the top plate was carved out with a small
wood-turning tool that came with the lathe.
The small numbers that are punched into the top plate were drawn
onto it first to better see where to add them, even if I probably got
some of the blurry numbers wrong.
Since I didn't have any number punches at hand, I removed the metal
coating from a typewriter ball-head that I heated up against the
plastic with a soldering iron to make the numbers melt into the
surface of the plastic.
The neck of the fuse was turned on a lathe to fit perfectly into the
center tube of the top plate.
After measuring the lever a few hundred times, I drew a template of it
on a sheet of cardboard that I could use to trace the shape onto a
sheet of metal.
The metal sheet of choice came from a random CD-player that already
had a knurled black coating I thought would look good underneath the
other paints I would add later.
The sides of the lever were hammered to the right angle over a
random metal object that had just the perfect width for it.
After beating and shaping the metal sheet over a few more random
metal objects, the lever was starting to take shape.
I was going to add the ridge on the lever as a separate piece, but
decided to at least try to shape it into the metal like they had done on
the original, so after a lot of hammering and shaping, the ridge turned
out just fine.
The mounting tabs of this electronics enclosure reminded me of the
front hinge of the fuse, so I decided to cut it into various pieces to
reassemble them into the fuse itself.
After cutting the electronics enclosure in half, the two pieces were
glued together with the mounting tabs overlapping.
After cutting off the excess plastic from the fuse, two plastic tubes
were glued onto it to become the front hinge.
More pieces of plastic from the electronics enclosure were glued onto
the fuse to fill in the missing walls.
After removing the excess plastic, I decided to leave the top and back
of it open since these areas would be covered by the lever anyway.
With the hinge pins in place, I could slide the lever onto them and cut
off the excess metal from the hinge tabs.
A paper roller from a receipt printer was glued onto the underside of
the fuse so it could be attached to the rest of the hand grenade.
To finish off the hinge pins, the openings were closed up, and a
smaller pin was glued into each end.
A few holes and other details were also cut into the sides of the fuse.
The game model shows a small brass knob sticking out from the side
of the lever that I thought was probably the end of the safety pin, so I
decided to make the safety pin from some interesting looking pieces of
The pull ring was also originally from a hand grenade fuse, and had an
appropriately large size for this hand grenade.
With the safety pin in place, the small brass knob on the side of the
lever looked pretty much the same as on the game model, even though
it strangely enough stays behind after the safety pin has been pulled
out anyway, because of video game logic.
Just because of the impulse to pull the safety pin, I realized the whole
lever hinge system could actually work instead of gluing it down, so I
wanted to add some random parts to the fuse to make it look
functional and interesting in photographs.
While hand grenade fuses usually house a hammer that flips up and
strikes an igniter, I wanted this fuse to look more electronic and
futuristic in design, because of how it flashes and beeps when armed
in the video game.
After all the various parts were completed, they could be sprayed with
several coats of primer spray.
Most of the parts were sprayed with a steel colored paint, except for
the lever that was already made of steel and the main body that would
have completely different colors anyway.
After spray painting the main body with a dark green paint, several
lines of wood-glue were applied onto the surface to make the next
layers of paint look worn and chipped after removing the wood-glue.
Strangely enough, the graphics of the world-model is nowhere to be
seen on the view-model, but I decided to add them to mine anyway to
make it look a lot more interesting.
After scaling up the texture file to the right height, I could trace off
the text and numbers to scan them into my computer and print them
out to use as stencils.
Because all the holes of the letters were not attached to the letter
bodies like stencil letters usually are formed, I had to carefully cut out
the hole shapes and mark them off to show which letter they belong
The other stencil for the main body was even tinier to cut out, but
with a sharp knife and some time, it was quite possible.
And here I thought this was a hand grenade, and it was a grenade
hand all along, and an offensive one at that.
The stencils were attached to the main body with a light coating of
paper-glue, while being very careful not to rip apart the letters with
The paper and glue were carefully rinsed off under a stream of warm
water, leaving only the newly painted text with no glue residue
Since these types of hand grenades have some sort of sticker on the
bottom plate, I decided to add a square of aluminum tape to mine that
was cut to the same dimensions as the sticker shown in the texture
After gluing both the top and bottom caps into place, the whole hand
grenade was weathered with an airbrush, applying black paint into the
cracks, and brown paint over the scratches and chipped paint to
A silver paint pen was also used to paint some of the scratches to
make them look more recently made.
After painting the whole fuse to a dark green, all the smaller details
were painted to look like brass and steel.
The fuse and all its parts were also weathered with my airbrush, using
the same black and brown paints.
The lever was also weathered the same way, with brown paint being
airbrushed onto each corner and other raised areas to make them look
worn and rusted.
The tiniest stencil of them all was the one for the lever, with the holes
of the letters being almost the size of tiny grains of sand, but I
managed to cut them all out in the end.
The tiny stencil was also rinsed off under a stream of warm water, and
the whole lever was clear coated to protect this new tiny text and the
rest of the surface.
A few sheets of transparent packing-tape was also applied to the
inside of the lever and its hinge tabs to prevent them from rubbing off
the paint of the fuse when removed.
After airbrushing the rest of the hand grenade with a semi-gloss clear
coat, the whole thing was completed and looking quite dangerous for
a piece of rain-gutter piping.