Monday, February 13, 2012

Fire For Effects!

As I was browsing through all the wonders of the vendor booths at Gen Con '08- my first Gen Con- I wandered into the Armorcast yard and found some things that instantly sparked a brush fire of imagination. Here were these fire effects: missiles with exhaust trails, explosive cannon rounds, laser blooms, oh my! I greedily grabbed an assortment of effects that I HAD to have, and for a few seconds actually wished I was back home at my studio desk....That soon passed when I discovered the Dream Pod 9 booth, and so on, and so on. Once I did get back home, I immediately began using the wonderful bits that i bought. Then I began to have other visions of even grander special effects. I shall call this the George Lucas Syndrome- only without the shitty child actors, story-killing editing, and "WTF" CGI characters! Here are some pictures of my special effects:

This laser bolt was created with the broken end of a plastic paint brush handle. i just melted the one end and shaped it to fit the gun barrel.

Ok, he's not exactly firing, but his flame thrower is ready to light up a few cigars! I sculpted the flame out of 2-part epoxy.

This is actually a classic Battletech scaled mini ( 1:300 ). The missiles were made out of 1:35 scale bayonets. The missiles were then attached to wires which in turn were anchored into the launcher. Carefully using a can of spray foam, I applied the exhaust plume and missile trails.

This is meant to look like a particle projection or plasma blast. I got this idea from the X-Box Mech Assault game. However, I wanted to change up the color a bit. I used two short strands of anti-static wire and carefully built up some spray foam on the strands.

This was my first experiment with the anti-static wire and spray foam. I think this might also have been my first attempt at painting light source effects.

This is what happens when you decide to clear out the building with four heavy flamethrowers! the huge fire ball is not fixed to the mech. I made it as a kind of blast template by fixing a big wad of spray foam to a wooden base with a nail stuck in it for the flame stream. The range may be a bit too short, but it sure looks wicked cool!

Well, I hope nobody tried to look at this thread with a dial-up connection! I didn't realize just how many fire effects i had.


  1. This stuff is just fantastic, keep it coming! I think when I put together some of the mechs and vehicles for my 15mm sci-fi forces I'm gonna have to have me some fun with spray foam...

  2. That flame template is amazing. All of the effects are great, but that one is something that anyone could (and should!) use, regardless of their game.

  3. I never knew that flame marker was a flame template. I know a few games that could use this instead of a flat template.
    Would you think of making one (some) Spiff?
    You know, for those that don't have enough time for the projects already at hand?

  4. i never actually measured out a specific template, but it occurred to me when i did this that it would make an excellent template. it just so happens that i recently picked up a fresh can of spray foam....gonna add smoke to a Flames Of War combat train.

  5. These are brilliant, what brand foam is it?

  6. it is DAPtex plus by DAP in a black can. i found it in the paint aisle at Lowes, not back in the insulation aisle. it is specifically formulated not to over-expand like other foams.