Thursday, 1 March 2018

With your shield or on it...

Time to finally squeak in my second post for the month. This one follows the last, in which I wrote about painting up some 15mm Gauls for Sword and Spear. This last week or so I managed to find some time to start the basing of two units, and I also decided to give some shield transfers a go. I read a few posts, watched a couple of YouTube tutorials, and purchased a set of transfers for testing from Forged in Battle, the same company that produces the miniatures I have.

8 figures to each base. I prised the miniatures from the stands I have been using to paint them on, and glued them down. Next time I may do the front or rear row, use the basing material and then do the second row and finish the basing material...

Here I've used Brown Earth paint from Vallejo. It's almost like gauche. Very thick and tacky to apply. The texture though looks brilliant. My next step with these is to dry brush lightly and use a mix of static grass and tufts to add some detail. I think they'll come up nicely. Note the painted shields...

These are the transfers. They look lovely, but do require a lot of preparation. First, the bosses need to be cut out (apart from the circles which are punched already, as you can see in the image of the reverse below). This means using a scalpel to carefully slice out the crosses, so they will neatly go over the raised bosses on the shields. It is painstaking and annoying. Especially given that several of the shields look very similar, but are actually differently sized. On the smaller ones the boss extends to the very rim, meaning you can cut the transfer into several pieces if you're not careful.

After cutting out the bosses, the shields themselves need to be cut out. This is also painful.

You might notice that the shields in this image are now white. Why? Because of the man second from the left in the back row. He was the first test, and I left his shield painted to see how the transfer would go. It barely did. It is almost invisible. So, I spent the next hour or so repainting all the shields white again.

The Brown Earth from Vallejo I used on the bases - very nice, but a bit annoying to work around a set of miniatures already based. I will rethink that for my next set. On the left are the two bottles I used to help with the transfers. I read that these are highly recommended as they are excellent in helping the transfer come off and adhere to the shape of the surface. The shield transfers from Forged in Battle are actually sticky. You peel away a tiny film of clear plastic on the front and stock them face down on the shield. Then apply water to the back. I wasn't sure how this would fly with the Micro Set and Micro Sol, but I tried it anyway and it seems to work fine. The transfers come off easily, are easy to reposition, and set snugly against the shield surface.

For all the pain, the transfers look brilliant. I still have to repaint the rims, and touch up any little gaps here and there, but I think they look very nice. Once fully complete the units should look great. Jobs left to do: repaint the shield rims and touch up. Dry-brush the bases. Apply some static grass and tufts. I'll post again once they are all done.
I also managed to glue down my Gallic camp... all the pieces here are from Baueda, and look great.
Lastly, these two books came in the mail. They'll be handy in working out colour schemes and whatnot for my troops. Both are lovely and contain excellent art.


  1. Wonderful shields...and I can't wait to seeing this camp finished!

    1. Thanks Phil, I like the look of the shields - need to finish them off now! I'm looking forward to painting the camp, hope it comes up well!