DIY Casualty Markers

Now that I’ve started playing games set in WWII, I have more casualties from machine gun fire – every squad has at least one light machine gun (two in Soviet squads for a short period) and every platoon is supported by a heavier machine gun. So I found myself with a shortage of casualty markers.

Plastic Blood Splatter Tokens from Litko

I’ve used the Blood Splatter Tokens from Litko for years to mark when a figure has gone out of the fight (OOF) or become obviously dead (OD) in my games. It was time to order more. BUT, as I looked around the stacks of boxes containing my hobby shame, I realized I had enough scraps and acquired crafting skill to make my own.

A thin sheet of foam over a decade old

At first, I thought about using scrap pieces of foam core board from some recent builds, but I found a thin sheet of foam I’d bought from Michaels ten or twelve years ago, maybe longer. I had bought two of them, one white and one tan with the thought of using one for the ring in my 5150:Alien Fight Night games and the other for use as an arena in my Red Sun Black Moon games.

The foam sheet is 12″ x 18″, about 2mm thick, and was found in the Kid’s crafting aisle, you know, the one with the bright colored feathers and googly eyes. However, you can make these markers out of foam core, styrofoam paper plates, chipboard or even cardboard.

Start by drawing an amoeba looking pattern in about a one inch square and then cut them out with scissors or a craft knife.

The next step is to paint the markers red on both sides and the edges. Tip, use acrylic craft paint – foam and cardboard are thirsty and drink a lot of paint compared to the paint used for miniatures. You can get a four ounce bottle of craft paint for under a dollar compared to the less than two ounce bottle of miniature paint which costs between four to six dollars. I used Folk Art’s Lipstick Red (a favorite color of floozies everywhere).

Once the markers are painted, they’re ready to use. This last step is optional, but one I usually take with any terrain I’ve built and that is to give the markers a coat of Mod-Podge. This coat makes the markers a bit stiffer and more durable. And, if you goop it on, you get some interesting textures as well.

This was a quick project, the longest amount of time spent was waiting on paint and the Mod Podge to dry. Now, I have more casualty markers to use on enemy NPCs – well that’s wishful thinking as my friendly figures also take casualties.

I hope you found this post helpful. Comments are always welcome. Also, let me know what you use for casualty markers in skirmish games.

8 thoughts on “DIY Casualty Markers

  1. Those look great! I used red felt to make mine — it’s a little easier since you don’t have to paint it. And then I made some in blue for aliens! I don’t get the shiny effect that you got, though — yours really looks like a pool of blood.

    1. Thank you, the shiny effect is from the Mod Podge. Even though it is the Matt Mod Podge, it still has a bit of a sheen to it. I’ve never applied Mod Podge to felt, so I don’t know what kind of effect it would have. It dries clear.

  2. Nice article, thanks 🙂

    After reading it I thought they could be another colour on the flip side so you could have eg orange for OOF and red for OD. And I’ve seen floozies wearing orange lipstick as well 🤪🤪🤪

    Enjoying your campaign, thank you 🙏

  3. Very nice!

    If you’re feeling fancy, bright red paint, with a *tiny* touch of black, mixed with gloss medium (i’m pretty sure Mod Podge is a decent replacement for this but don’t know) makes a crazy accurate simile of blood, for a fraction of the prize of the “technical paint” sold by hobby companies. I’d say make a tiny bit, put it on top of one of these finished ones, and see if you like the result! If so you can apply this to all of them!

  4. Well, I thought you were being kind of cheap, and should just head down to the local HobbyLobby and buy some red foam instead of going to all the trouble of painting the gray foam. Turns out it’s a really horrible shade of red, and you’d want to paint it anyway.

    1. Lol! I would have, but I don’t go anywhere these days except to the grocery store a few blocks away. I mean a tank of gas lasts me about 2 months, now. Anyway, I used what I had & think that it’s the Mod Podge coating to seal the piece that enhances the red paint & how it looks on the table

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