Don't Have A Pip-Boy? Try Making One

The Fallout 4 collectible Pip-Boy is out, but not everyone was able to get one. Some people who did get one, though, may actually regret their decision to buy the Pip-Boy. If you fit into either of these groups, however, you could always modify your Pip-Boy or build one yourself.

On a subreddit, users have been posting their own homegrown Pip-Boy mods, makes and custom paint jobs. We found a few that seemed especially noteworthy.  

The Pip-Boy With A Custom Paint Job

For those users who purchased the Pip-Boy and were disappointed with the shiny plastic look of it, you could follow the example of scuurvy. Scuurvy purchased the Fallout 4: Pip-Boy Edition game, and then completely dismantled the Pip-Boy. He then painted the body and, coated a few pieces that are supposed to be made of metal in the game with graphite powder to give them a metallic shine. Scuurvy also replaced the fake plastic screws with real ones by drilling holes for them into the case and then touched up the finished product with a paintbrush to simulate an old rusted look.

The Budget Pip-Boy

If you didn't want to pay out the extra $60 for the Pip-Boy, you could hand craft one out of cardboard, like this homemade Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV by emangameplay. Surprisingly, this Pip-Boy actually looks more realistic and closer to the one seen in the Fallout 4 game than the official collectible Pip-Boy does, because of its textured and somewhat aged look.

The 3D Printed Pip-Boy

If you really want to go all out, you could design and 3D print your own, or print the one designed by YTec3D, which is available as a free download. YTec3D didn't just create one of these, though; the company made two models in various sizes. One requires a phone, whereas the other one does not. The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV Phone Edition is similar to the one sold by Bethesda, but with a much more realistic look to it -- and it features a functioning tape player that can be used to play games like Red Menace.

The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV Accurate Edition is still under development, but it does away with the phone entirely, and instead uses a Raspberry Pi connected to a battery and LCD screen. This version represents a greater challenge for users, however, as only the Pip-Boy itself can be printed, while the electrical components will need to be manually installed later.

There are several other user-created Pip-Boys showing up around the web, so if you are interested in making one yourself, be sure to show us what you can do.


Michael Justin Allen Sexton (or MJ) is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. As a tech enthusiast, MJ enjoys studying and writing about all areas of tech, but specializes in the study of chipsets and microprocessors. In his personal life, MJ spends most of his time gaming, practicing martial arts, studying history, and tinkering with electronics.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • Quixit
    Or you could just download the app to your phone or tablet and use it unimpeded.
  • g00ey
    I've never been a fan of such useless gimmicks. If it was possible to use it instead of the in-game PiP-boy, otoh, that would've been something.

    Otherwise, I'm more interested in the manufacturing process than the gimmick itself.