Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Real" Fire!

This big guy is a clear plastic Reaper Bones Large Fire Elemental. I haven't painted it yet; what you see is the result of "real" flickering fire action, effected by a cheap, disassembled tea light inserted into the mini. It's a cool trick, one that I've seen elsewhere many places. Frankly you could just as well skip this little tutorial and check out the much better one at Chris Palmer's excellent "All Bones About It" painting blog. One thing I tried to do was make the tealight accessible in case it ever needed replacing, so if you're interested in what I did differently, feel free to soldier on!

Here's the tea light, painstakingly torn apart with the aid of a hobby knife and razor saw. You can see where I slit down the middle of the base to begin getting inside the thing. Also shown is a regular 2" metal washer.

The guts of the device, glued to the washer. There was a lip at the bottom of the tealight that I had to slice off to make it flush with the washer. I also had to be sure that the switch at the bottom was accessible through the washer and had enough clearance to operate, and that I didn't get glue in the switch!

I built around the electronics with Milliput. At the time I had the figure glued to the base and had both in position over the electronics; this way I could sculpt around them and not get any putty in any sensitive bits. You can see that I've already primed the base in this shot.

I did a lot of cutting to make the base as short as possible while still containing all the gizmos inside. You can also sort of see where I drilled into the base of the figure so the lightbulb would go in. You can also see my new approach to attaching the figure to the base: I drilled three holes with a pin vice, inserted push pins from the bottom, and trimmed them so they were about a centimeter tall. I then drilled holes in the bottom of the figure to match.

Here you can see the bottom of the figure with the base attached. Note the three pinheads.

Here's the figure standing with the base attached, but disconnected from the full assembly.

And here it is fully assembled next to Sven the 1/72 comparison mini, who is feeling unaccountably warm all of a sudden. I did the best I could to minimize the height of the base, but it's still rather tall.

Totally worth it, though!
I still need to figure out how I want this critter painted. Chris has some excellent ideas. I'm pleased with how it's going so far though; I can take everything apart and reassemble with little effort, and it's already all glowy and cool. And glowy and cool is about everything I want out of a fire mini.


  1. Excellent work ! I've never do such a work even if I would like to try !
    maybe it's an easiest way to try ?
    Thanks !

    1. Thanks Sam! The biggest pain was chopping up the tealight so it could be used the way I wanted. I used to do this sort of thing when "kitbashing" model railroad buildings, so I sort of know what I'm doing!

  2. pretty nice blog, following :)