I’ve always been a fan of using LED lights on the gaming table. After seeing the Assault on Innsmouth and Incursion tables built by Grégory Privat for Salute, I knew that when I built my own demo table that I wanted it to have 2 things: LED lighting and real smoke. Not being an electrical expert [by any means], I wanted to make the lighting process as painless as possible. For me, that’s where this company comes in.
We miniature gamers and hobbyist have never been shy about borrowing from model railroad enthusiast, and Model Train Software makes using LEDs super easy. They also offer some awesome effects kits, but we’ll talk about the easy first. When ordering, after you have selected the lights, kits, and colors you want, the process of selecting power supplies and wiring is made simple. You have the option to use D/C power, 9 volt battery harnesses, and even coin cell holders. They will even pre-attach an on/off switch if you want! You can quite literally know nothing about LED lighting or wiring and get exactly what you need. Now, let’s talk about the effects…
I’ll talk about the welding kit first. Obviously, you could use it to represent a welding job of some sort. It would be great for a set piece where there where some engineers repairing [or building] a Mech or Walker. But, with a little creative thinking, there are almost endless uses and applications for this kit. You could use it to represent a: malfunctioning power transformer, science fiction power reactor, battle damaged [but functioning battle suit], magical spell, or crackling power fist. That’s just a few that I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure you already have a few ideas!
Fire! The fire kit also has many use. I’m not even going to bother to attempt to list all of them. What I will say about this kit is I like the way that it scales. The smaller lights can be used for torches or burning barrels. The larger bulbs can easily be used to represent a building or wreck fire. I also found another great resource and tutorial for fire effects while searching the net…
Brushfire over on the Dakka Dakka forums posted some great pictures and a nice tutorial on building these fantastic markers- simple, cheap, and effective. They are built using LED tea light candles, fiberfill batting, hot glue and a little paint. If you scroll down through that post, then you’ll also see a video that shows off the effect in action. Cool! Right?
Hopefully I’ll have some photos of my own to show you soon. I’m currently working on perfecting my real smoke effect, but that’s a topic for later!
Good luck with your next lighting project!