Special Projects

Fire & Smoke Markers 
These are easy to make and look very good on your table.

Two very creative people provided inspiration and technical guidance for these.  Here is the first: Fire and Smoke at elladan.de, you should go check it out! Just as a clarification, the "Acrylic modelling paste" he describes is also known as Acrylic Gel, a product you buy at art or craft supply shops.

Deviating from Elladan's suggestions, I used pennies instead of washers and kept the markers fairly small. The pennies were painted black & black felt was glued to the bottom of each so they stay put on an angled surface and so they won't scratch-up any nice models I want set on-fire.

Here  is another example of the same approach. Mumsy did an excellent job on these and I used her example  when I was painting my markers up. We both use Golden Acrylics Gels, I used the High Solids Matte Gel and she used the Gloss, both of these are excellent products. Liquitex is also a good brand and other brands, like Stevenson are  equally useful. With this project the advantage of a gel is that you can dab  it onto materials that would normally soak-up paint, like the  pillow stuffing used for the smoke, and remain in control of where the colour goes. Acrylic Gels are really useful, I  use the matte variety for basing minis and the gloss is excellent for  rivers & other water effects. These products keep a very long time  if properly stored.

For painting the fire, I mixed up small amounts of red, orange, yellow and white tinted acrylic gel. These needed some thinning, but not too much; just enough water to allow them to work easily with the brush. Then I painted the fire, working from the top down and outside in, starting with strokes & streamers of red then moving lower down, adding dabs and smears of orange. I made sure that brighter colours would overlap the the darker ones wherever two colours met. I moved on to the yellow working in the same way and finally highlighted carefully with small spots of white. The nifty thing about working with a gel is the way you can smear one colour into another and this works to your advantage when trying to make good looking fire.

Smoke Markers are easy; just don't paint in any fire... However, I do want to emphasise Elladan's excellent advice about creating good looking smoke from pillow-stuffing, so I'll repeat it here: Don't spray the pillow stuffing too dark or too evenly. When the black paint is  dry, spread-out the stuffing at the top and on the sides to get a more  transparent look. After spraying, the inner material of the stuffing is  paler than the outer and this adds a great deal to the realism of your  smoke or fire markers.

I used an airbrush to spray my smoke markers and that worked very well, giving me lots of control over the final result. A can of spray paint also works very well.

Materials Required:
  • Washers, or other bases
  • Hot glue - a fast and easy method to glue the pillow stuffing to your bases, just be careful of the hot glue! CA glue is also an option, but this gets messy very quickly!
  • Polyester Fibrefill -pillow stuffing
  • Black Spray Primer, I used Golden Airbrush Carbon Black, but a spray-bomb will work just as well.
  • Acrylic Gel - Matte or Gloss
  • Acrylic Paints or Acrylic Inks in red, yellow and white

Have fun with this,