Friday 29 July 2016

Shield Transfers Review

I have resisted using shield (or banner) transfers in the past, for two reasons. Firstly, I think they are expensive! Secondly and more importantly, everybody seems to use them and you can feel a bit of shield transfer fatigue when you browse through images on various forums and blogs. However, when I bought the Danes from Saxon Miniatures there was a set of transfers thrown in as part of a deal, so it would be silly not to give them a try.

I had read on a forum somewhere that they can be fiddly to apply. This was my experience with the first couple, but then I got the hang of it and it wasn't too bad. I have 16 shields in the unit, half are hand painted and the other half are transfers. The biggest problem was that they do not fit - or rather they do not fit all the shields. They are obviously designed to fit the rimmed shields. The instructions are to paint the shield face white before applying the transfer, so any size discrepancy results in a white border. You can see this clearly on the left shield, but there is also a little on the rimmed shield on the right too. Now that I have fitted them I will have to go back and cover the white bits. Dark age warriors would often cover the edge of their shields with strips of leather to strengthen them and prevent splitting of the wood, so luckily I can paint the white bits as leather. I'm not sure what you would do if it was a medieval metal shield, I guess you would just have to blend it in as best you could.

I like the designs, they are really nicely done and I can see the attraction. The more intricate examples are lovely and it would be a real challenge to replicate them by hand - imagine trying to achieve anything like these Irish symbols. The simpler designs like those in the photo above are not impossible to achieve by hand/brush. In terms of time, adding in the covering of the white borders, it will have taken me roughly the same for applying transfers or painting by hand. The main attraction to me would be the very intricate designs that are nigh on impossible to achieve with a brush. After trying these first few transfers and learning a few lessons, I think I will probably get more for future additions to my dark ages and medieval collection.


R Singers said...

I bought some transfers and flags for my Vikings and Irish. I've decided the transfers are far too fancy for the Irish and have I have started practising hand painting shield designs.

Nord said...

Good luck painting your shields, it's the part of the process I enjoy most.

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