Sunday, October 9, 2016

Mighty Macedonians

    As regular readers of this blog might recall, a little less than a year ago I acquired almost 300 Macedonians and Thracians from fellow HAHGS member, Edgar. The first of these have pushed their way of the painting table at last. They have been almost ready for about 2 weeks now, but distractions associated with teaching a medical student in the office and boosting the Wizard Kraft Kickstarter delayed their completion. That was compounded by trying 2 new items in my modeling repertoire.


Here's a first view of the "White Shield" Phalanx, composed of A&A 28mm figures. . 


Very nice sculpts as you can see!


Edgar had generously supplied me with a big supply of  Little Big Men studios shield transfers. I approached the prospect of using them with considerable trepidation. This proved to be well founded. My first mistake was assuming that these were decals. Sop I cut them out, soaked them in water briefly, slid off the paper, and applied them. They utterly refused to stick, or conform to the curve of the shields.  Read about applying decals, watched U-tube videos, and thus and it was off to the hobby shop for some Microset and Microsol solutions for decals. Dutifully applied according to the instructions and... nothing - no adhesion, so shrinkage into place. Grrrr!!!


At this point, I of course recalled the first antidote to Murphy's Law - "When in doubt, read the directions!" Unfortunately, the transfers came without any. BY now, I had included these simply were not decals, and that was why my approach was failing so spectacularly. A Google search turned up the LBM website, and with some hunting around on the website, a pdf instruction sheet was found. Unfortunately, the instructions were about as clear as mud. Worse , they made reference to two DIFFERENT styles of LBM transfers, and it turned out that Edgar had thoughtfully labeled the transfers in groups as "old" and new styles". 


So it was back to consult once more with Sir Google. That disclosed some much clearer instructions, and especially a U-tube video of using the transfers. Aha!  Now at least I understood how they were supposed to work. Applying them still proved to be tedious, especially removing the clear plastic fronts/backs on both styles.  


Once figured out, I have to say that they look great. My next unit will be much faster and less stressful. Meanwhile, I have all the stuff I need to work with decals, but no actual decals, LOL!


The dark "Magic Wash" worked especially well on these figures, just needing some touch up of the off white ("Craftsmart Bisque) areas of the capes and vexillum standard. 


I later painted the center of the "bell" of he trumpet black. The other thing I used for the first time was Walther's "Goop" for attaching the shields, and the many super glued pikes that had already popped off during the painting process. I found the instructions somewhat intimidating, but in many ways the stuff is rather similar to my old standby, Duco Cement, although the big tube was harder to control than the small Duco tubes are. Hopefully the bond will be stronger. 


One Phalanx painted, 5 more to go! In glue as in Simon Miller's Ancient rules, victory goes To the Strongest!

25 comments:

  1. They look beautiful, well done with the "Magic Wash" ...great job!

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    1. Thank]s, Phil. I was undecided as to whether to paint the rims of the shields Bronze, so I left them white.

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  2. Peter! Your pikemen look terrific! As for the LBM transfers, I like them a lot. The only time I encounter difficulties is when the shield is markedly convex. Then, the transfers have trouble conforming to the very rounded shield face. Your transfers look darn good to me!

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    1. Glsad you like them, Jon. Once a figured hem out, wasting about 20 in the process, they came out well.

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  3. aw...these pikemen look lovely! I tried, years ago, LMB transfers and discovered they were a pain in the backside! :o) having said that, you did an awesome job with your shield transfers on your figures....

    cheers,

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    1. Thanks, Phil. Even after figuring them out, they take about 2 minutes per shield to do! Your own shield work is so awesome, you have little need of them anyway!

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    2. :o) you are exactly right Peter! I prefer to paint my 15mm/28mm Ancients shields/banners because it's quicker for me to paint than time spent on LBM transfers/decals.....

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    3. If I could do them as well as you do, I's agree. As it is, I think there about 100 more LBM shield transfers in my future, LOL!

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  4. Very nice work :)
    I have had my struggles with LBMS decals on 'curves'!

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  5. They look great! I have about 400 of those things to apply, but haven't had the heart to begin! Unfortunately, your 2mins per decal note makes me wonder if plain bronze might now be the answer ;)

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    1. The hardest part is peeling of the clear plastic backing that covers the adhesive. On he "new" transfers, this is then stuck onto the shield, pressed down onto the shield, and then the paper backing that covers the other side (top) of the transfer is wetted and easily removed. Aside from peeling off the clear plastic layer (and cutting out the transfers), the rest is pretty easy once you understand the process. I would say it is worth it!

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  6. Great work Peter - love the Macedonians and you have done a wonderful job. Great to see the lead getting to the painting bench.

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    1. Thanks, Carlo. There was a definite bottleneck in September!

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  7. They look great Peter! Coincidentally I've just taken a break from Napoleonics to paint up masses of 28mm Macdedonian phalanx. Been using bad language about these LBM transfers, though I had the instructions! Cutting them out was the bit that annoyed me most. I will have to stick up some pics of my own efforts shortly :)

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    1. I await your own Tales of Transfer Travails, Mark. I didn't mind cutting them out (Leave a bit extra around the designs!), except the set that I wasted!

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  8. Great looking unit and I have to say the shields look great, nice sculpts and painting.
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks, Iain! Along with the wash, there is considerable shading on the red tunics, especially the unarmored men, and the flesh.

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  9. I remember when you purchased these, and they really have come out beautifully. I too have a bunch of LBMS transfers ahead in a few future projects and have the same feeling of trepidation. Still, if I can get them down to two minutes a shield that will still be quicker than painting them from scratch, and they do look very good. Well worth the effort on yours, and it will be interesting to see what you can get them down to next time around.

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    1. Once I FINALLY understood how to do them, they weren't that bad. Getting them centered (you can't see the designs when you apply them with the "new" style, and especially peeling off that damned clear layer over the adhesive - that's the tough part! Varnish them a day or so after application with acrylic varnish (spray is fine).

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  10. Ancient gaming.... been too long since my last ancient battle. Reading your Mac report makes me reach for the old measuring distance sticks and dice. Maybe a New Year Resolution......to play at least four ancient games next year.

    M

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    1. Even a couple a year would probably be good, Michael! Can't let the WW2 and Napoleonic troops be the only ones to escape from their boxes!

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