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Relight My Fire

Image of MARK HOLLANDMARK HOLLAND shows us how to build a bonfire with lighting effect.

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As Guy Fawkes' Night is upon us, I thought it timely to build a small bonfire for the entertainment of the 'population' on our shop layout. Unfortunately it’s just a bonfire, as we haven’t figured out how to make fireworks in OO Scale yet!

A few of the items used in the project: Busch BU1018 Crowd Control Barriers, Faller FA180612 Pallets, and Train-Tech TTSL40 Smart Light Fire Effect.

Once the pallets were removed from the sprue the light unit was stuck down, then a rough circle of pallets was glued down as the base of the bonfire.

Next was to build up a frame to support the pallets as they are built up. Just a simple 'tepee' was built from matchsticks for this. Please remember to cut off the match heads before use, you don’t want to risk having a real bonfire!

Once the 'tepee' has set, stacking of the pallets can begin. No need to be particularly neat with this, just neat enough to make it stable. Glueing each layer as you go helps keeps things from getting too tricky to stack.

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When you are almost to the top, insert a wire or two (I used a couple of paperclips). Then finish off building the pallets up. The wire is there to support the smoke that will be positioned on top of the stack.

A quick paint of the base in your preferred colour, grey for us. Then give the stack a rough paint in some browns and greys, leave that to dry then a rough going over with some black to give the pallets a burnt effect.

Because we always believe in ‘Safety First’, I added some barriers to go round the bonfire, simply assembled by just gluing the feet onto the rail.

With the smoke (cushion stuffing) added to the wires on the top of the bonfire stack and power added, we have a bonfire!

Have fun and stay safe if you are having a real bonfire. If not maybe try building a miniature version yourself.

After reading this article you may wish to look up my article on the burning Volkswagen camper van we have on our layout, this used some of the same items and techniques as the bonfire above.

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