Making Modern Concertina Wire


Since coming to Armorama.com I have learned a lot of tricks, especially from the message boards. On some of my posts I mentioned we should put some of the questions and answers into article form. Since I thought of it I felt that I should practice what I preach and write some myself.

My modeling skills are very basic. Recently I have returned to modeling after a 15-year layoff. Many of the methods mentioned on the message boards where much easier than I thought, even for beginners. One of these methods will be discussed in my article, with more to follow in the future.

Before I go into too much detail I want to clarify what is and is not being made by this process. This is for modern concertina wire, not barbwire, razor wire, or anything else. If you’re not sure what concertina wire is just look at some Desert Storm pictures. Many of the hummers and Bradley's are carrying them. The hummers usually had them on the hood.

You won’t need a lot of materials of materials and they don’t cost much.

Window screening
Not any window screening will work. It must be the plastic, non-woven type. If you do get the woven type it will fall apart when you cut it. I got the smallest role they had at Home Depot for just over $5.00. The role is 3 feet long and I forget how wide but you have enough material to make more roles of wire than I can count. There were 2 colors to choose from, black and gray. Black was my choice for 2 reasons. One, the wire itself is black, and two, it stands out much better when cutting.

A light colored cutting surface
Poster board works great because of its size and it’s cheap. I tried to use some better cutting surfaces but the darker colors made it too hard to see the wire (as you may be figuring out by now, you will be dealing with small thin lines that aren’t real easy to see). Also, you will be cutting 3-foot strips and you won’t have to move the material as much with such a large cutting surface.

A good sharp #11 blade in an X-acto knife
I know a lot of articles say, “use a sharp blade”, but you really should listen this time. Inside the plastic exterior of the screening there is some stringy material that a dull blade won’t always go through. Most importantly it makes you’re cutting more accurate. A dull blade will try to push or move the material, but a sharp one will cut right through.

Paint for weathering
Just use your normal tried and true material and methods for this. There is generally a little rust on the wire and the tips may have a little silver coming through. Since weathering is always different from person to person I will leave it at that. That’s it, nothing that will set you back too far.

Copyright ©2002 - Text and Photos by Andrew Johnson (drewgimpy). All Rights Reserved.

Project Photos


About the Author

About Andrew Johnson (drewgimpy)

I mostly build armor models, but also dabble in some sci-fi and aircraft.


Nice article! It made me wanna go do some concertina wire although i have no use for it right now! Riddle me this Batman, as I haven´t tried doing this myself, is it possible to use a solid metal ruler to cut the whole lenght with one precise cut? That´s the way I cut everything from foil to paper and if precision is needed , the error can be less than 0,1mm. But I don´t know if this material stays put during a long single cut...any experiences? And one vocabulary question. Is window screening the material that´s used to keep insects outside the house? That´s what it looks like. Thanks Andrew! Toni
AUG 13, 2002 - 12:54 PM
Thanks Andrew; a great article and great timing. Two days ago I picked up a roll of screening (2'x7' Ace Hardware, $4.99) with the idea of trying out this method. Now, with your assistance, I am assured of success. Mike
AUG 13, 2002 - 07:16 PM
Great idea and article. I have one item of discussion and that is choice of color. I cannot comment on color for WW2 & Korea. And I do not know the shade of gray color of screen. I would recommend gray for modern razor wire. The razor wire I had to place along the bottom of a gate in my motor park had a medium gray protective coating and now has a pale orange patina from sitting out in the humid Tennessee summer. Just an comment, still love your concept and thanks for sharing it Now I know what to do with scraps after repairing window screens.
AUG 14, 2002 - 12:35 AM
While rummaging in my garage earlier today I found something that could work. I'm not really sure want it's called or what it is, but I am pretty sure that it is used for connecting two pieces of drywall together. It comes in a roll like duct tape. It is, however, kind of sticky, but not much, they may be helpful or not so, but painting it may take away from some of its stickiness. Just trying to help, though I don't really know much about what I'm talking about.
AUG 19, 2002 - 09:17 AM
Great article... made me want to whip some up.. so I did. I am a little less discerning, and with a bit of twisting, turned it into rolls of barbed wire. (or not.. you decide) I love learning new techniques! Thanks Mike
FEB 22, 2003 - 11:01 AM
Great article Andrew!!! I will be using this for the dio project I'm currently working on.
FEB 22, 2003 - 03:20 PM
I know this is a very old post; but I'm hoping there might be someone around who might be able to help. I'm thinking of using this method to make section of perimeter in 1:35 scale. Does anyone know where I can find some T-posts to stake the wire onto?
AUG 30, 2018 - 02:33 AM
Evergreen? I know they make “I” channel and you could slice off one side? Or Plasruct too.
AUG 30, 2018 - 03:04 AM
Thanks Top!
AUG 30, 2018 - 03:10 AM
Evergreen also do an sngle iron profile in various gauges/sizes.
AUG 30, 2018 - 04:02 AM