Friday, 15 July 2011

How to make smoke/wreckage markers

Good day minions of the Plague Father. Today you get a little treat for your continued visits, if you remember from my last post you may recall that I mentioned about the wreckage markers on the board. Today I am going to tell you how to make them. If I do say so myself they look pretty amazing and take little effort. I remember seeing a tutorial on these about a year ago, but I can't remember where. In case you have forgotten or you are new to this corner of Nurgle's garden here is a reminder of what the markers look like.

As mentioned this project is really easy and really cheap. The materials you are going to need are:
  • A pillow or cushion with polyester hollow fibre filling (try and use an old one or you can use cotton wool as an alternative)
  • PVA glue and an old brush
  • Elastic bands (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Matt black primer spray (or any other colour you fancy)
Now I have seen people paint on the flames over the top, but I have also seen people use LED tea lights inside the polyester, this is the method I opted for. I got mine from my nearest Poundland and got 4 in a pack for £1 including batteries, bargain! There's some images below of them in the packet and when they are assembled and turned on.

OK, the first step is pull off or cut off with your scissors a general amount of the polyester pillow filling. Enough to wrap around the width of the tea light, making is thick or tall as you want your marker. Once you have done this assemble your tea light and turn it on to test it to make sure it is working. Then generously cover it with PVA glue using the old brush. Wrap the polyester around the tea light. For the polyester that is not in contact with the tea light (the part 'above the tea light), use the brush to apply PVA and then glue it to the polyester sealing up the entire seam. Once this is done apply an elastic band around the base of the tea light and another around the top on the polyester that hangs above the tea light. Then leave for the glue to dry.

Once the glue is dry remove the elastic bands. It is now time to trim and shape the 'smoke'. Using your scissors trim the base of the tea light so that the polyester level off with the bottom of the base. Then using your scissors trim the top to the designed length. Shaping the 'smoke is quite easy just pull, twist and tease with your fingers until you get the desired shape.

Once you have shaped your 'smoke' the final step is to spray it using your primer spray. The trick to this is spray from a further distance than you would when spraying your miniatures. You only want it to lightly coat the polyester. By changing the distance between the can and the polyester you will have varying amount of blackness to the 'smoke'. You could even try out your technique on some left over from your pillow or cushion beforehand. Once the paint is dry your markers are done and when turned on should look like this

And there you have it my loyal followers of Nurgle a simple yet very effective marker to use on wrecked vehicles. When the tea light is turned off you can also use them as counters on your vehicles to say that you have 'popped smoke'. Until next time my friends.


  1. Cheers for the guide looks pretty awesome, wonder if you could get red/orange lights to look a bit more like fire though the yellow ones look great too and cheat as well!

  2. Great tutorial they do look really good both as smoke and fire. Thanks for sharing these.

  3. They do look quite awesome, good tutorial.

  4. Very cool, I have a friend who uses the colored poly filling that represents fire and smoke (someone makes it commercially) and he adds the tea lights under it as well.

    I love the effect on the tabletop myself.
    Ron, From the Warp

  5. Thanks guys i cant take all the credit as its something ive seen around before, but I think it is really effective, I like the idea of trying to change the colour of the lights or polyester I might try it.

  6. You ever have issues with the candle light over heating the cotton? Aka, fire or melting?

  7. @cricket88 none yet and I've had one on for about 2 hours straight and it didn't even feel warm, so they should last an entire game without causing any damage.


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