Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let's start smoking!


Warning: the Surgeon General has determined that smoking can be hazardous to your health unless you are...

Isabella Rosselini or...

a 54mm twelve-pounder light gun-howitzer

A couple of years ago I had some success at using cotton balls to replicate gunsmoke in a 54mm toy soldier narrative of the Sunken Road fight at Antietam (which you can view here).  I thought I'd try it again for the artillery on my table-top setup.

The materials list is very basic: gun, cotton ball, paper clips, glue.

Using my drill press (safety glasses, please) I bored out the barrel on this beautiful 54mm Britains Napoleon,  Man, these are nice guns; you can find them on ebay for about 35 bucks, the detail is absolutely outstanding.

I straightened out two paper clips, I used red and yellow in case they were visible through the cotton I wanted them to approximate flame.

I doubled over the red clip and twisted them together with a needlenose pliers.

I applied some Elmers and ...

worked the paperclip through the cotton ball, shaping it to the desired effect.  Note the thickness of the paper clip "stem";  this will make for a nice snug fit in the barrel.

Plugged into the barrel a convincing battlefield effect is achieved.  Because of the paper clip armature the smoke wont "droop", which could look a little dopey.

If you do a lot of photography of your scenarios (Scott you undoubtedly are hip to this) flame can be added by applying a red Sharpie to a Post-it note (3M and AP I'm open to a product-placement deal), cut out the shape and lay it into the cotton ball.

Using the "retouch" paintbrush in i-photo I smeared around the colors...

and came up with this  pleasing effect. 

Of course like  Marvin and Tammi  say...

"Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby"

Soldier on!




Brianne, You may call me Mistressyness said...

Man O Boy is that sweet! The simple tricks are the best tricks!

Scott B. Lesch said...

Nannie, I am definately going to make some "BOOMS!"when I get home. Thanks for the idea!