As I’ve said in other posts, I appreciate a good looking game table full of terrain. I’m often more captured by being immersed in the aesthetics of a game than the actual game mechanics. One thing that can ruin this immersion for me are objective tokens and other things on the table that simply look out of place. In a pinch, I get it. But, I always prefer to have matching painted terrain objectives on the table.
Over the years I’ve painted 15mm WW2 figures to be used primarily for the Flames of War game system. For one of the scenarios, we needed a downed German plane. I had recently purchased a few pre-painted 1/100 scale planes and figured I could sacrifice one for a good cause. A few chops, fresh bullet holes and some paint and I had a new objective marker. Ok, there were a few more steps but you get the general idea.
On a similar note, I found using “fire markers” at the spot where a tank gets blasted apart can really make a battle field look awesome (and a good idea of how well or poor you’re doing as a battlefield commander). For Flames of War, I found an easy way of making fire markers using steel wool.
Here’s the steps to making fire markers:
Supplies: Washers, steel wool, red and yellow acrylic paint, super glue, black spray paint
I start out by using black spray paint on the washers. This way, the silver from the washers won’t bleed through the final product. The next step involves attaching the steel wool to the washer. I use thick super glue and an CA accelerator like Insta-set. This product cures the glue rapidly which is great for this type of hobby but terrible for your fingers (I have a bad habit of gluing my finger to the model). Steel wool works really because you don’t have to do much to get it looking like smoke and fire. Pull apart the steel wool and it will leave a “tail” that you can simply tear off and then glue to your washer. You might need to flatten the bottom of the steel wool so that the glue has a good surface to attach itself to.
Painting steel wool is also very easy. I prefer to spray paint the steel wool black but leaving it grey works just as well. After the spray paint has dried, I added thick coats of red paint. Very little precision went into this step. Just slather it on about 1/2 way up the steel wool. The final painting step was to dry brush some yellow highlights on the steel wool once the red had dried. That’s it. Making this lot of markers took me about 1 hour. Here are some photos of the process described above.