Recently I have been working on a couple of different projects. Firstly, I have returned to the Space Wolf which was started some time ago. Initially I was dissatisfied with this model and it sat on my desk untouched because I couldn’t quite work up the motivation to finish it.
However, I have worked out what it was about the model that I wasn’t happy with; the warm yellow colour on the shoulder pads clashed with the cool blue/greys of the rest of the piece. Because of this I decided to go back and repaint the shoulder pads black and add the heraldry of Logan Grimnar’s Great Company (which came from one of GW’s new Space Wolf decals). I think this decision has really paid off and the whole model looks a lot better for this change.
I have not always been a fan of using decals on miniatures. There are a number of problems which can occur with them if not applied correctly which can ruin a model. Firstly, the backing material shows up as a faint glossy outline making the decal very obvious and, secondly, they do not always follow the contours of a model and can look creased or uneven. Fortunately there are a couple of tricks which can be employed to combat both problems.
The first trick for successfully applying decals I learned from Imperial Armour Model Masterclass vol 1. Apply a coat of gloss varnish to the surface where you wish to place the decal. This serves two functions: 1) it provides a smooth surface for the decal and prevents the problem of having air bubbles trapped underneath it. 2) it helps to hide the glossy outline of the decal.
Second, Model Scale Industries produce two products specifically designed to help with the applications of decals. These are Micro Sol and Micro Set. These help to soften the decal and make it more malleable so that it fits the contours of a model. Begin by applying a thin layers of Micro Set over where you want the decal to be. Then place the decal on top and slide it into position using a damp brush. You can then use a brush loaded with Micro Sol in order to soften the decal and shape it to the model. You have to be careful when doing this as the Micro Sol actually melts the decal and can make it very fragile and easy to tear.
Once the decal is positioned leave it to dry and then apply a second coat of gloss varnish. This both protects the decal and completes the process of hiding the glossy film around the edge. Once the gloss varnish has dried I dull it down with matt varnish. For this I use a bottle of brush-on Testor’s Dullcote Lacquer, although any matt varnish would do. I prefer the brush-on varnish rather than the spray as it gives you a greater degree control but it’s up to you which kind you use. For the Space Wolf the varnish actually ended up being a little rough looking and so I sanded to down with very fine emery paper (Tamiya’s p2000 finishing paper). Anything too abrasive will simply sand away all your hard work.
I have also been continuing with my Epic ork army. Below is a test model for my Evil Sunz blitz brigade. The red took me a little while to get right as at first it looked a little too flat and I ended up working back and forth lightening and darkening the red until I was happy with it. Below are roughly the steps I used to achieve the finished look:
1)Basecoat the red areas with Mephiston Red (you may need to use 2-3 thin coats to ensure even coverage).
2) Highlight this Blood Red.
3) I then washed it with Baal Red and shaded the recesses directly with Devlan Mud.
4) Then I layered it up with a several thin coats of Blood Red in order to produce a vibrant red.
5) This was then highlighted with Blazing Orange followed by small edge highlights of Vomit Brown ( a nice yellowy-brown colour, pure yellow would be too bright) on only the most prominent raised areas and sharp corners. Be careful no to overdo it or the whole model will look too orange.
Now that I have the basic method sorted out to my satisfaction I have started work on the rest of the formation. Here is how they currently look:
Tomorrow I’m off to Grasmere for the week in order to do some work with Wordsworth’s manuscripts but when I get back I will try and get these finished.
Have a great week,