Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Smoke Effects: Made Easy, Cheap, and Fast out of LED lights.

Want to spice up your game visually? Don't like to work that hard? Boy, do I have the tutorial for you! Here is a picture of the required materials.

++ Glue gun
++ LED Electric tealights 6 pack (found at Michael's Craft store) ~$6
++ Stuffing used for pillows or stuffed animals (also craft store) $2
++ Black spray paint (Krylon, is what I used)

The process of construction isn't really rocket science.

1) Grab a grapefruit portion of stuffing and shape it all smoke-like by pulling at it in random directions.
2) Slather hot glue all over the top outer ring of the tealight.
3) Slap the smoke cloud on top of the tealight. Hopefully, without burning your fingers.
4) Take it outside and spray it lightly with the paint. Best part is that the paint will hold the stuffing in place, so no need to glue anymore than in step 2.
5) Done.

I went dark with mine to hide the tealight. Also, I found it looked better NOT to take off the fake bulb from the LED. It somehow makes the light brighter and more flame looking, even though it is only a cheap piece of plastic. It is a mystery.

Here is the explosion from the Land Raider before it is flicked on. There is a little toggle switch on the underside. Also, one can replace the batteries in these lights, but it is cheaper just to buy more tealights.

Bonus: I took left over stuffing and Penny coins to make little smoke markers for my Dystopian War ships. They will represent one point of damage. I made these by putting stuffing in my fist and rubbing it as a child would make a sausage out of clay.

I figure that I will use the smoke markers as damage markers since I am not a huge fan of the cardboard chits. Also, it is more cinematic this way,, too. It may get too cluttered.

Class dismissed.

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