Some time ago I made a load of smoke and flame markers for my 15mm Flames of War tanks. I'd seen lots of ideas on-line for how to make smoke and flame columns for tanks that were destroyed and brewed up. My solution (and the tutorial I posted here) was an amalgam of lot of different ideas and yielded some solid durable models ideal for 15mm wargaming. The problem was that none of the markers I made were really suitable for my 6mm North Africa project. So I decided to make new smoke markers specifically made for 6mm scale vehicles, and this meant a different design approach was needed.
I decided to use paper clips, bent into a suitable armature, to glue the smoke column onto while holding it over the vehicle. The bottom of the paper clip forms a foot that slips under the model base, holding it upright. I have used ordinary medium sized (3cm) metal paper clips in these examples but you could use whatever you have to hand. Here are the steps I used to create my mini smoke markers.
|1 - Twist and open the Large loop by 45°|
|2 - Squeeze flat and distortions in the metal with pliers|
|3 - Raise the large loop up by 45°|
|4 - Bend so that both sides of the 'small' loop are the same length.|
This will be the base of the model.
|5 - Twist the large loop up again by 45° & then straighten the loop|
|6 - Once the large loop is straightened bend the tip round for safety|
|7 - Stick clump foliage to the metal armature with superglue.|
|8 - Mix PVA (white) glue and water in 1:1 ratio. It should be the|
consistency of single cream. Dunk the clump foliage armature
completely for 5 seconds and shake off excess liquid.
|9 - Hang the models on a rack to dry. Drying time will|
depend on air temperature and patience. I put mine on a shelf over
the boiler for 12-18 hours and they dried quite hard by then.
The basic 'smoke marker' is now completed and the PVA has hardened to make a very durable and hard model. All that is needed now is to paint to your own preferred design. I just wanted oily smoke columns so I spray painted the models black (two coats to ensure all the green foliage was covered) and then dry brushed lightly with grey and a touch of white on the extremities. The last thing I did was to paint the wire base with Vallejo Dark Sand (847) to match the ground cover of my North Africa models. And here is the finished result...
|Three 'brewed up' Panzers|
I'm really happy with how these have turned out. Now I just need to make another thirty or forty!