Sunday, February 20, 2011

The decal debacle

I thought this post would be finished by now, yet I hadn't even started until just now.  I'm actually feeling more like sleeping than writing for once, so this will be a short/sparse one, heavier on pictures than on text.  As per last time, I attempted to finally finish the first batch of assault marines the other day, with mixed results.

An innocuous group shot.
Things started well enough, with the painting and the finishing.  After the optimism of the week before last, things on the painting front have bogged down.  The above shot represents the near totality of my work for the past eight days or so.

Detail shot.

Witness above the poor squad markings and static grass.  Taking a suggestion from somewhere or other, I filled in the shoulder X with the Micron pen and I'm mostly happy with the result.  It doesn't overpower the model, but it acknowledges the detail, and it doesn't look like I just ignored the pad anymore.

The favored son of the first batch.
The good news through everything that followed is that this guy up here was unscathed.  Having a sculpted chapter badge meant he didn't need a decal, and so looks exactly like this picture.  Except that he's varnished now.

Shoulder detail.
A closer shot of my shoddy squad markings.  I decided to just put them wherever I felt they'd work.  Considering how individual each marine's armor is, it seems silly that the squad markings would be so rigid.  I had planned to mix Roman and Arabic numerals for the different squads, using decals or "freehand" as necessary.  In the wake of recent events, I'm reconsidering that.  You can also make out the finished blood drop swinging away.  I had intended to paint these up as gems, complete with highlighting scheme, but wanted to get them done.  The vials got the same treatment.

Check out that base.
I got some static grass from EV, which worked like a charm.  I was worried the bright green would look out of place, but I think it works well.  Plus the green grass echoes the green spot color on the purity seals and company badges, so there's that.  Which is nice.

The decal aftermath.
Taking pictures of the decal disaster proved more difficult than expected.  Since the decals were reflective, most of my shots were far too fuzzy to show anything, despite having turned off the flash. 

This was the best of the batch.  Honest.
The problem was that the edges hadn't adhered to the minis.  The varnish helped a lot, but not enough to leave alone, so I started pulling and scraping off the decals.

This one turned out well.
I thought this one was a complete success, but looking at the picture I see one of the lobes of the left wing is missing.  It looks much better now, despite that lobe, after a bit of ministering.  I'll touch it up a little bit and this guy will be done.

This one turned out not so well.
This marine...not so done.  The decal was determined to stay on, enough to make me get out a knife when my fingernail wasn't sufficient for the job.  The good news is I didn't make it down to the plastic.  The bad news is that I have to repaint the shoulder pad before trying to decal it again.  This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me reluctant to finish models off, but in this case I wasn't worried.  I knew I might do this sort of damage, but I was confident that I could fix it up and make it look fine.  It remains to be seen whether or not I can actually do that, but I don't think it will be a problem once I pick a brush back up.

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