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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Painted Iconography or Decals?

This is a question that has plagued me since I started the hobby. I personally suck at hand drawing and painting icons, but decals were limited to what was provided and never quite looked right once applied. So as I often find myself doing, I turned to the web for help.

Luckily I found this great tutorial for Custom Decal Sheets on Bell of Lost Souls. Not only was the tutorial right on about how to make your own decal sheets, it also opened my eyes to some wonderful products called Decal Solvents. The tutorial recommended Micro-Sol and Micro-Set but there are various ones on the market available to you.

This little tutorial has really helped me improve the looks of my armies. Once I got the supplies all I did was fire up Paint Shop Pro (any graphics program will do) and a quick surf of the web for "Black Templars" provided me with many images I could use for my models. I picked out the best ones and made a few combinations and soon I had my very own decal sheet ready to print off.

Now it is important to follow all of the steps in the tutorial, you don't want to forget to spray your decal sheet with the High Gloss finish. Let me repeat... you don't want to forget to spray your decal sheet with the High Gloss finish. It is also important to know if you will need clear decal paper or white.

The solvents were the truly incredible thing for me. They make your decals soft so they better adhere to non-flat surfaces. Even on a flat surface they help the decal stick better and you end up with much less if any air under the decal. This gives the decal that painted on look and the results are awesome.
If you struggle with painting on icons for your minis, I hope you will find the tutorial as useful as I did. I have included a few images of my models so you can see the results that you can get. If you have any questions or need any help please feel free to let me know.


RonSaikowski said...

I'm a big fan of painting them on myself. I like the little inconsistencies that come with doing each one by hand. Call it character I guess.

BJ said...

I still attempt to paint them and I am sure once my skill gets better it will be my preferred method as well, but until then I use this method.

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