how do would you make a toy smoke ?

I know some older toys would blow a small puff of smoke like trains and robots is there a way to do that on a small scale ?

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I don't know if you noticed this one, the uh, Wizzard Stick(r), here:


Also the Zero Fog Blaster(r)


You might be interested in that since you mentioned a "toy gun" application.

I'm an artist and I make small UFOs and I sell them at the Gallery I was thinking of maybe finding some way to make them smoke by touching a small a switch and then making contact for some elements and making smoke kind of come out little holes in the Flying Saucer thought it would look pretty cool people are buying them though really well I just thought I had a little extra time anybody got any ideas as are still go with this glycerin water and then I probably make an element on a something if anybody has any ideas and appreciate it thanks

rickharris3 years ago

Usually glycol dropped onto a heating element.

Triclaw (author)  rickharris3 years ago

this is what I was thinking about I want to do this on a small scale in a half inch pipe attached to a toy nerf gun so the barrel will smoke after the dart fires

Burf3 years ago

The model trains I used to have had a small tank under the smokestack that was heated by a electrical element. I used a mixture of glycerin and distilled water to create the smoke.

Triclaw (author)  Burf3 years ago

do you think this would work inside a toy gun or would it be to large to manage it

Burf Triclaw3 years ago

I used units similar to these:


You'll have to determine if they are suitable for you needs.

I was looking at this smoke making gizmo, and I've never actually seen one in real life, so I was trying to get my head around this. I think I've got a reasonable mental picture for this now. Do not worry about replying to this, unless I've got it totally wrong.

I am guessing the smoke "unit", like the one you linked to, is a small tube containing an electric heating element. The tube is closed on the bottom, and open on the top.

Also guessing the smoke making fluid is poured into the top, and then the heating element cooks the fluid, making something resembling smoke, which rises out the top of the tube.

The type-1 shape of smoke generator, on this page,
looks like it could hold roughly 1 cm^3 of fluid, and based on the specs for voltage and current, actual physical power delivered to the heating element is around 1 to 2 watts.

Also guessing, in the context of a toy train, the usual way to refill the tiny tube-shaped smoke generator, is by using a small syringe, or eye-dropper. In the video linked below, the narrator uses a syringe.

You are pretty much spot on. The only thing I would add is they come in various sizes for use with the different train gauges and some made for specifically for use with model building and factory chimneys.

On the subject of tiny heating elements, I was standing in the check out line at the local Walmart(r), when I noticed a USB-rechargable electric cigarette lighter there among all the other junk strategically placed around the check out lane, in the hope I might "last-minute" purchase it. I think it was like 8 USD, and I did not buy one.

Assuming this gizmo is powered by a lithium-ion battery, like the scribbles on the packaging suggest, then this heating element has a voltage of around 3.7 volts, with a current of, I dunno, maybe 0.5 to 1 amperes or so. In terms of raw power, what is that, around 2 to 4 watts?

If you want to actually see one of these gizmos in action, I found this Youtube video,

via a search for the words, "slider + usb + cigarette + lighter".

I guess it has enough power to light the end of a cigarette, but I am not certain how well it would work for turning glycerol+water into smoke.

I think further research is required.

Triclaw (author)  Burf3 years ago

that looks to be along the lines of what im looking for will have to try it

Any toy that creates a puff of smoke does so heating either water or uses a chemical smoke that is heated. Look into model train smokers and chemicals.