F$&k transfers and the horse they rode in on

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K_Peterson

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I cannot stand transfers. And that intolerance stems from when I was a pre-teen, fumbling with them after assembling model planes. Always frustrating to deal with, and they'd never turn out right.

36-ish years later, I'm reliving the experience and it's not good nostalgia. :smile:

A couple of months ago, I fought with transfers again, this time with space marines and their curved pauldrons. After many, many poor results, I threw my hands up, painted over them and tried to find some other option. I thought, maybe there some kind of affordable option with 3D printed add-ons.

I've got a friend with a 3D printer, but I haven't seen him face-to-face since March. He'd print an STL if I asked him, but who knows when I'll see him next. So, I looked at Shapeways and Etsy to see if I could purchase something and get them printed and mailed. Shapeways turned out to have a lot of options - in fact, some options were convex so that they'd fit over a curved surface.

A little bit of cash, and a shipment from the Netherlands later... and I'm testing out options. This is one of them:

Transfers.png

Not bad, and a decent 3D print. A little more pronounced that I expected. Need to see if I can live with this as an option or if it's going to bug the crap out of me. If I can't live with it, I might have to pass altogether on any chapter symbology, because I'm definitely not going back to transfers.
 

Fenris-77

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Have you tried any of the transfer softener products that are available? They work really well and take the swearing out of shoulder pauldrons. Apparently a solution of water and white vinegar will do the same job, but I never tried it personally. Either way it softens the transfer and allows it to conform to curved surfaces.
 

Bunch

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Out of curiosity would a custom stamp work? I'm thinking something long so ink/paint only gets on the decal and you don't have to worry about the base touching and imprinting ink.
 

K_Peterson

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I've heard of Microset/Microsol but I've yet to pick any up. Watched a couple YouTube videos on using them, and one YouTuber still had to work the shit out of them to get fair results.

I might need to research further and pick some up. I'm still trying to find the best option for me, and was hopeful that the 3D printed material would work. They look pretty good, but seem a millimeter too high off the surface.
 
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Fenris-77

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Out of curiosity would a custom stamp work? I'm thinking something long so ink/paint only gets on the decal and you don't have to worry about the base touching and imprinting ink.
I don't think you'd get anything like the clean edges you want with a stamp. I haven't tried it though, so maybe...

What Chapter are you doing? Salamanders is what the pic looks like. If price isn't an issue why not just buy the embossed shoulder pads from Forge World?

Wait, I'm conflating posters here....
 

K_Peterson

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What Chapter are you doing? Salamanders is what the pic looks like. If price isn't an issue why not just buy the embossed shoulder pads from Forge World?
They're Salamanders.

That is an option. I bought the Salamander Primaris Upgrade set from GW some time ago but haven't used those shoulder pads yet. Have not checked out the Forge World ones.

The vast majority of my marines were from Indomitus, and as press-fit would require some surgery for pauldron replacement. Not out of the question, but that was one reason why I looked at 3D-printed chapter symbols. They're also significantly cheaper than the embossed ones.
 

Atelerix

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Shield decal companies these days tent to have stick backed clear plastic decals. Paint the shield white, cut out the decal and pop it on. The centre hole is usually cut for you, and they make decals sized for many popular historical ranges.

Another alternative to transfers is Nail Art stickers, y'know for decorating ladies' fingernails. I got some great silver swans for a future Dol Amroth project. Cheap too.

Neither solution will work for curved space marine pauldrons.

Just to really stew your noggin, there are companies that make decals for full tank camo schemes. If you don't fancy painting camo, you can spend hours shaping long, thin decals round every corner and crevice of a model tank!
 

K_Peterson

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Just to really stew your noggin, there are companies that make decals for full tank camo schemes. If you don't fancy painting camo, you can spend hours shaping long, thin decals round every corner and crevice of a model tank!
That's just pure masocism.
 

Arminius

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Speaking from close to total ignorance but what about printed self-adhesive stickers? Would not conform to surfaces as well as decals do, but much easier to handle, and probably better than 3d printed insignia.

I have some high-end Japanese mecha toys that came with stickers. Not that I’ve applied them (too busy/lazy/whatever) but I figure if they’re good enough for that purpose they would work for minis.
 

Atelerix

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Arminius Arminius the edges can show, but that's true of commercial shield decals (which are the same thing). Just depends where you put them, and how closely you can cut round the edge. So yeah, you can, definitely!

You can also buy commercial inkjet or laser decal paper. You have to seal the inkjet printouts before you dip them in water though!

The one colour that most printers can't handle is white. For homemade prints, you'll have to paint the background white on the model, then apply the decal.

One thing home printing is great for - custom dice. Blank dice are pretty cheap too.
 

Toadmaster

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Are you talking about water slide decals or dry transfers?

If decals, there are different films used on them. Some respond quite well to Microset / Microsol or even vinegar (weak acidic acid and a touch of soap to break surface tension is about all Microsol is anyway), others not so much. I also have some Walthers Solvaset which is "hotter" that I save for the more resilient decals. Not at all unusual to have to reapply several times to get a decal to settle down onto a compound curve. Having a good gloss clear coat for the decal to go onto is critical.

Dry transfers (rub on) are generally trickier to apply but, when done right can look very good.


If you want some real fun build a rally car, many of those are very easy to paint, usually just a single color, and then most of it vanishes under decals. I'm not really into racing, but I started to build them because I wanted the decal challenge. :grin:
 

TristramEvans

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Long, long ago...well before Warhammer, or even RPGs, I grew up putting together model airplanes (and helicopters, and monster trucks, and even one spaceship). It was at this very young age I first encountered the terribly exacting and punishing world of transfers. Many a ripped and crumpled decal in those horrific times, I can tell you. Many a swear never before having passed my virgin lips. Many the cries pleading to any diety or demon that would listen...

I wish there was a happy ending, or even just a point to that tale. But alas, much like the transfers themselves, it was nothing more than a very early introduction to the world of intense stress and frustration.
 

Arminius

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I still bear the mental scars from trying to build a large-scale Sopwith Camel four decades ago. Between water slide decals and having to do the rigging using thread, it was a very sad experience.
 

Toadmaster

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I still bear the mental scars from trying to build a large-scale Sopwith Camel four decades ago. Between water slide decals and having to do the rigging using thread, it was a very sad experience.

The first WW1 biplane I tried building as an adult was a DH2 pusher.

1610671983527.png

I would strongly suggest not choosing this as your first model, as it is basically just a pile of sticks and wires with a few solid parts mixed in.
Fokker's are not a bad choice, the DVII and DR1 triplane have just a few very solid struts that are easy to line up and almost no rigging.

My collection of triplanes, a Sopwith of the Royal Navy Air Service and 3 Fokkers for Werner Voss, and the brothers Richthofen. Manfred with one of his famous red triplanes, Lothar with a yellow scheme.

more triplanes.jpg
 
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