Tuesday, May 17

Glowing Vehicle Wrecked Markers Made Easy

How To: Vehicle Wrecked Flickering Smoke
A modeling article by Immortal

There are few things worse than flipping over a beautifully painted, free handed, rhino or similar vehicle over when it gets wrecked in a game. Many people place tokens or dice on a vehicle, but this can cause confusion, but these still do little justice to the vehicle that you spent so much time to paint. There is a quick and easy way to make effective markers that not only easily convey to your opponent that your vehicle is toasted and increase that battlefield ‘feel’ by creating flickering columns of billowing black smoke that you can safely place on top of your tank. Here’s how…

I was helping to judge (and mostly take pictures of) the inaugural Feast of Blades last March when I saw one of the players who brought these simple creations to mark his wrecked tanks. I asked him how he did it, as I have seen them quite a few times. It’s surprisingly simple.

What you’ll need:
                -a pack of flickering battery powered candles
                -Cotton balls
                -White glue
                -Black Spray-paint.

I bought a pack of flickering candles at a Hobby-Lobby, but they can easily be picked up at a wedding style store or even a Halloween shop if you can find one. The more ‘orange’ the light in the candle, the better. The ones I got have a little button on the bottom that turns them on and off, and the battery will supposedly last for days of continued use.

Step one: pulling cotton
The bigger the cotton balls you get, the better. Take a cotton ball and gently pull it or stretch it out till you get a ‘wispy’ look from the cotton and be careful not to fully pull it apart. You will need a handful of cotton per candle.

Step two: Glue the cotton to the candle.
Take your pulled cotton and use the white glue to stick it to the candle. There are many ways to do this, and I chose to give the markers a column of smoke look by gluing the cotton to the outside and then up from the candle. Don’t be shy with the glue, when it dryes and is painted, you won’t be able to see it as long as you keep the glue on the inside of the cotton and the more glue you use the more stable the column will be.

Step three: Painting
Now, once those columns of cotton are dry, it’s time to spray-paint them. Note that you do not need to completely coat the cotton in paint. The less you use, the more white will show through and the more the candle will shine through. I chose to paint from the top down to give the effect that the smoke is turning black as it’s raising into the air. Spray lightly and be sure not to overdo it.

Once dry, you have a cheap and easy way to make your tanks look cool, even when wrecked.

* Note: If you don't paint/put anything in the inside of your Rhinos, these can usually be stored inside the tank itself, which makes for longer life.*

What are you doing for your vehicle destroyed markers? Is anyone out there actually making destroyed models of their tanks to use? Do you paint/ destroy the underside of the tank? Let us know



  1. Id like to order 5 good sir! ;) I always thought this was hard... Guess not. Ugh, I guess it is time for me to stop being lazy.


  2. Nice, I have my own path to the same result.

    Looks good! The light realy is the over the top factor.

    How do they show at a GT type enviroment in a hall with bright lights?


  3. They show quite well actually, and the more of an orange color of light that you can get the better. As long as you don't over spray the cotton, it'll show. What I like it that it isn't overly bright, so its not distracting, but you can still see the flicker.

  4. I use the same but made from the stuffing of dogs toys / stuffed toys / teddy innards (gruesome!) and Purity Seal varnish it into shape before spraying with paint. Very durable.

  5. Huh, never thought to use a varnish before I painted it... good idea!
    What do you mean by 'shaping' it?

  6. Thats alot of cottonballs!