Cooking up a smoke marker for Fire and Move

16 March 2020

Having failed at our first attempt to create smoke markers for our Fire and Move game, we are going to try again. But this time with cotton wool.

Whether or not the markers work this time round, it will hardly be a financial disaster. Cotton wool costs about 80p for a ton from Tesco's, so we have a lot of material we can play with.

Our aim is to create fire and flame markers for brewed up, burning tanks. We still intend to achieve this by using the original paper clips and pennies as our base.  However this time the plan is  to feed cotton wool through the paper clip to look like smoke and flame and fix it into place with Gorilla superglue.

We then sprayed  the cotton wool with black acrylic paint and then followed up with some grey acrylic paint.

If you want to do this, you will need some paint spray, latex gloves, a cardboard base and an airy space to spray in. We used the neighbour’s garage. 

When we sprayed the cotton wool with the black paint we needed to ensure it was not covering all of the wool in a solid coat. We were looking for a smokey effect. When we were happy with the look of the black paint, let it dry for a few minutes and then added some grey paint - mainly at the top. 

This is to make it look like a bit more like smoke and give a layered effect. Wherever we felt it was too light , we gave it some more black paint. 

Here are the smoke markers with the added grey paint. Smoke is not a uniform colour, so you cannot really get it wrong.

Once they had dried for a few hours, The next stage is to try and imitate the flames that are producing the smoke. To do this, we used two largish brushes and some red and yellow acrylic paints.  

We dabbed away.  adding the yellow paint starting at the bottom and brushing upwards and not worrying too much about how it looks at this stage.  

We did the same with the red, dabbing it on as if the yellow wasn’t there so it mixed it up a bit.  This should make it look like the yellow and red are curling around each other and reaching up into the smoke.

I wanted the markers to look energetic, there are lots of reference to the "ammunition cooking off" and exploding.  I hope we have captured that here.

I think these are looking great now and are quite convincing as markers for brewed up, burning and destroyed tanks. So we finally have a solution for homemade and cheap smoke markers, straight from the workbench.