Some more about good smoke

October 25, 2010

At the same time last year I made some smoke clouds for wargaming and I told you how I did it here. Just recently I decided to use up the remaining materials that were taking up valuable space around the hobby room by making more and selling them. It was also a great opportunity to test a number of things:

  1. Are the raw materials still OK to use after one year, especially since they weren’t kept in a cool, dark, dry place but dry places in varying degrees of light and varying degrees of heat?
  2. Can I follow my own written instructions (always useful to know)?
  3. Was there anything I missed in compiling  my instructions for your (you, the reader’s) consumption?

The answers to all of these is a definite ‘yes’.

This means there was something I missed in compiling my instructions, and it has to do with the latter section of part five – “While holding in your hand, squeeze out as much paint/water as you can. Then place it to dry”. What did I miss? I missed the chance to illustrate tuft-squeezing.

Begin like this:  . Have your glove or gloves on, old newspapers spread out to catch errant  paint drips and the tufts within easy reach.

Pick up a tuft in a gloved hand. Position or turn your hand so the palm is facing down and on an angle towards you. Bend the fingers and angle them down so they resemble a claw, like this:  and then squeeze the tuft as much as possible in your fingers. The paint should easily squeeze out and down and away from the tuft (hopefully back into your paint container that should be sitting underneath), rather than sitting somewhere in the hollow of your hand and then being re-absorbed back into the tuft, which is what will happen if you squeeze it with your palm facing up like this:

After the first (or “claw”) squeeze  is important to also do a secondary squeeze where you simply make a fist (again, palm facing down to the ground) and squeeze the tuft inside the fist:  . Again, the paint will squeeze out and down and away from your hand.  

Such squeezing techniques will be very valuable if you don’t think you’ll have enough paint to do the batch, which I thought might happen to me this time. In the end, I didn’t run out and still had a little of the undiluted stuff left for some other project, possibly making hills or bombed buildings or some similar terrain features.

So, a bit of a pedantic post but I hope those ‘visual learners’ out there will appreciate the extra detail and photos.

PS- I made this smoke with the intention to sell it at a Swap & Sell in a few weeks’ time. If it doesn’t all sell, I’ll let you know here and list it on Ebay.

3 Responses to “Some more about good smoke”

  1. Paul said

    Good luck with the selling. Does the smoke have any odour?

  2. […] I explained and demonstrated (with photos and all) how I made my wargaming smoke markers – if you don’t remember, click on this link. I’ve been very happy with them ever since and they have been serving me very faithfully, […]

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