Saturday, June 21, 2014

Destroyed Vehicle Markers

This is certainly not a new idea ... it has been done before.  My recent game with Adam Clark had him pull out his destroyed vehicle markers ... which are based on using electric candle tops covered in cotton.  They look great on the table so I quickly set forth on creating my own pile of destroyed vehicle markers for my Bolt Action games.

Outside of waiting for the "tea light candles" to show up, it takes almost no time at all to make these!

Here is what you'll need:

The supplies needed to make the markers.

The first step is to shape the cotton.  I pull at the sides to make it into a larger circle (larger than the diameter of the tea light candle), then I use my finger to create the hole for the tea light candle to fit in ... place it over one of the tea light candles then pull on the top part to form the plum of smoke.

Form the cotton ball.

Next I put white glue on the top and sides of the tea light candle (but not on the "flame" part).  Once the glue is on I put the formed cotton over the tea light candle and then I roll the tea light candle between my hands and form it around the base of the tea light candle ... and work on the rising plum top.

The cotton attached with white glue.

Next I use the black spray primer at a distance of about 1 foot to ** lightly** spray the cotton ... moving closer as needed.  I hit the very top part of the plum of smoke a little heavier ... but mostly I make sure to get a good even hit around the marker.  The paint will help the cotton maintain it's form and add some durability.

Black spray primed cotton.

Let it dry and done!

I test the light before I start the whole process
(I've had a single DOA so far).

Here you can see the marker in action on the table.

This is a super easy and cheap why to add a ton of flavor to your WW2 gaming --- I plan to play a couple of games using these for the windows of burning buildings ... another great application for them.

In other news ... I'm nearly finished building 4Grounds Pegasus Bridge set --- I plan to run this scenario at CelestiCon a couple of times.  It is a rather large bridge ... can't wait to see it fully done ... I'll be attaching it to a custom board with river, etc.  I've also got to finish painting the edges on the main span ... but getting there.

85% finished Pegasus Bridge by 4Ground.

That is it for now ... but more to come soon!


  1. Whoever came up with this brilliant (excuse pun) idea must have had a 'Eureka!' moment.
    Ive seen something similar to represent volley fire usinf randomly flickering leds in a line covered with cotton wool to represent powder smoke.

    1. Heck yeah! An outstanding bit of gamer innovation right there ... I'm more than happy to steal the idea :-) I have a bunch of the volley lights done (Warlord Games sells them). I use the volley lights for my Napoleonic games :-)

  2. Fantastic marker, this work is most impressive...congrats!

  3. Nice work. I may make a few for this Bolt Action Kick off Weekend! I have the old plastic flames that I have been using but those do look way better!

    1. Oh yes, upgrade from that expensive plastic stuff ;-) This is sooo easy to do! :-)

  4. Now that is an eye catching marker!

  5. Nice tutorial! Might have to put my led candles to good use too now that you've shown that this works!

  6. What are your thoughts on the Pegasus Bridge Jay? I am just finishing up mine right now. Until you see it in person, you can't really grasp how big it actually is! I'm going to need to buy some more folding tables...

    1. I'm really liking it ... it is every bit as big and imposing as I would expect ;-) I'll be doing some custom basing ... and boards with the river and such to finish that part off. I had the Warlord kit ... which I sold ... but kept the good bits, like the 75mm gun position and barracks. I had a little trouble with the instructions in a couple of spots --- but 4Ground customer service is beyond reproach in my experience. I'm a bit mixed on the grey colour used for the "road" part ... but I'll survive :-)

    2. Also --- I don't know why anyone would get the Warlord one ... the pre-paint here ... even if you change some of the colours, saves you an enormous amount of time. Just like with Warlord releasing their "La Haye Sainte" set ... again, nobody should by that ... wait a month or so and get the set from 4Ground ... which looks outstanding. Not sure why Warlord has so firmly hitched their boat to Sarissa ...

    3. Agreed 100 %! I was going back and forth between the Warlord version and 4ground - you definitely get "more" with the Warlord set, but ultimately my experience with 4ground's Dead Man's Hand buildings pulled me to them (which by the way, your videos on DMH last year was what made me buy into the game! Thanks!). I also had trouble in a few spots - wish they had a line or two of written instructions every once in a while, probably would make things a bit easier!
      As always, great write up, looking forward to seeing what's next!

    4. Excellent ... I have some more gangs to get painted for DHM ... and the new buildings to finish (bank and stables). Great and fun game ... hopefully the videos were useful :-)

  7. Nice tutorial for the markers and a great WIP shot of the bridge. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.

    By the way I have the warlord Pegasus Bridge and I'm absolutely happy with it. The kits are great and I needed the figures as well. Additionally I don't mind the work with painting it...
    And it was even cheaper than the kits would have been from 4Ground. On the other hand when I bought it the 4Ground kit was neither available nor announced...

    But I agree it would have been a good alternative and for La Haye Sainte or anything else I would have a look at 4Ground first...


    1. There is certainly nothing wrong with the Warlord bridge ... it looks great when it is completed as the many photos out there of it show :-) I had bought mine as well not knowing that 4Ground was going to do one ... and knowing what I know now I would have just waited and spent the extra money for the 4Ground one since I like and want the pre-paint ... and the accuracy of the 4Ground bridge. When I saw the La Haye Sainte set released by Warlord, and knowing now that 4Ground will have theirs in less than a month (July 17th), I'll be waiting for the 4Ground set.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Wade ... nice to see the "Dilettante Gamer" is still trolling the web :-)


    To bring knowledge to the public about the robbery of the private museum of Aspeg "Musée de Pegasus Bridge&Battery de Merville" by the politico, militaro, touristique complex called comité du débarquement..............
    laws are not respected...........14 years of impunity for the robber...............

  10. pure genius, thanks for the pointer!