Sunday, 8 March 2020

AFV markers for Chain of Command

I like to try and keep the gaming table uncluttered particularly from gaming parephenalia like dice and tape measures. The same thing applies for game markers. While they are something we can never quite escape I've been trying to find way to make those markers blend in more and be a little less intrusive. With that in mind I wanted to make some markers for AFVs as reminders of various misfortunes - be it driver killed or main gun damaged.

I've had the game markers that Too Fat Lardies supply for games like Chain of Command and What a Tanker! but I don't particularly like using them in their current form. I decided that between those and what I could find combing through my spares box for odd pieces of track I could come up with a few workable ideas. Keeping it simple I stuck these on to different bases - some MDF rounds plus some of the plastic bases the Perrys supply with their boxes of plastic 28mm figures. They were then textured using PVA glue and sand.

The gun sight markers can be used to indicate a tank that has been fired at in a previous phase, or to mark a damaged gun sight.

The bullet/shells can be used to indicate a damaged gun or a gunner out of action. The spanner can indicate driver out of action or other mechanical issues.

For an immobilised vehicle or one that has bogged down, I thought a length of track would work well.

I wanted to be able to lay it under the tracks of an AFV (and yes I know, as the observant of you may have noticed already, some of this track is the wrong way up).

Once I was happy with what I had I wanted to make them up to match my existing terrain and markers. The first thing was to give them a coat of grey primer.

Each item was then painted.

This gave me a good idea as to how well these might work.

Finally the bases were flocked in my usual way, which is a two step process. First I put down a layer of scatter type flock.

This is followed by a layer of static grass to finish them off:

The other thing I find helpful to mark is when an AFV has moved flat out as this makes it harder to hit. As the move often occurs in a previous phase it's easy to forget when factoring in how difficult it is as a target. I thought a plume of dust would be a great way to do that. Polyester cushion stuffing is ideal for this job as it is rigid and makes a better shape than cotton wool. To help it stay in position I glued it down to an MDF base to give it some weight.

All it needed was some earth colour to make it look more like dust. I used my airbrush and gave each of them a misting of Tamiya Flat Earth.

Not sure if I've overdone the size of the dust plume, it's probably more suited to the desert. Although having said that I know the summer in Normandy 1944 was hot and dry, making dust a major issue. So perhaps it's not too wide of the mark.

Just in case, I've also made some smaller ones.

I think it's a very effective look for little effort and works well.

Given that nearly all our games of Chain of Command are played as part of campaigns I thought it would be useful to have some wrecked tanks to use whenever we re-fought over a map where a tank had been knocked out in a previous game.

With that in mind I used an old model to make up a burnt out Sherman.

I have done the same for a wrecked T-34 and I have put together a tutorial on the technique I used which you can find here.


  1. Genius! I'm pinching that idea. :0)

  2. What great ideas Mark, love with the ideas you have come up with, especially like the damaged tracks and trail of smoke.
    cheers John

  3. Those markers look great Mark. :)

  4. Great stuff, once the current flurry of distractions is done, I'm copying those.

  5. Great tips here, thanks. I wouldn't fret about the size of the dust markers, as you say Normandy was hot and dry that summer. In the desert the dust could be 2 or 3 times the size.

    I've seen most of those accessories in stowage packs, but where did you source the spanners?

    1. Thanks. The spanners came from Too Fat Lardies, they are markers for What a Tanker (and I Ain't Been Shot Mum as well, I think), but you could also try a company like Lidko.