Sunday, 11 March 2012

Labelling the kit?

A perverse post perhaps but I am betwixt and between experimentation. You see I left a deliberate space at the back of each stand in the Heroics & Ross "German 1944 Panzer IV Battalion" to fit in labeling information. Now this is a good trick learned from more experienced friends as you can see at a glance what the stands represent. These same friends choose to field a historically named  "Division" and follow its Order of Battle and use a printed labeling system, printed from MS Word and Excel looking very neat and professional. While waiting for a copy of said templates to arrive I got impatient and popped into my local Hobbycraft and purchased a while "chalk style" marker pen. I penned in a generic unit designation on my painted stands (see below):

It's more Art Deco than Sans Serif and I am musing about its rough and ready appeal versus small but neat type face. Whether is destroys or augments my painting style? I can always paint over the label again with  brown and revert to using a cut-out from a printed sheet (see close-up below).  

Going more generic than historic also seems more flexible, "Pz IV #4" makes as much sense that "Lehr II/130 Pz IV #4" as long as I use either: the same division or different divisions are uniquely discernible with a different labeling look (colour?).  

Your thoughts appreciated :)


Paul said...

I like it. I always try and keep most units pretty generic. It helps awfully when trying to squeeze the most out of what you have actually got.

I think it also helps that your hand writing is quite neat.

Whisperin' Al said...

I'm probably not the best person to comment as I don't really like the look of labels as I think it affects the aesthetics, but I would go for something which is readable but not too i"n your face" - say a background colour more in keeping with the base colour and the text in an off white? Slightly less clear than the white I know but also less glaring?

As to historic/generic - I think that has to be personal choice.

Phil Broeders said...

I also go with the aesthetics bit - I'd put them on the battlefield and see how they look first.

But one idea might be better for you. A friend uses bits of terrain to denote the unit - using 'rocks' and bushes to denote the unit.

So 1 rock is unit #1, 2 rocks is #2 etc. A bush denotes '#5' - so a bush and 1 rock is '#6', bush and 2 rocks = #7 etc.

As for troops, Engineers are in a square formation, Riflemen in a straight line and SMG's in a staggered line (with rocks and bushes of course).

Fits with the scenery and is as easy to 'read' as big white letters!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thanks for the comments I found them very helpful

The more I see the white labeling the more in your face it gets and pulls your attention away from the kit. Also seeing as I now have my friends templates I think it is time to "compare and contrast" and chose the best.

I think I'll end up doing the desktop publishing label printing bit ;)

IMHO the above has a quaint "grease pen" operational control feel about it rather than "unit identification" and suitable for "map phase" of a wargame:

Footnote: For fans of the Big Bang Theory. One of the critiques of the Higgs Boson presentation at CERN earlier in the year was the "chief scientific investigator's" was her choice of Comic Sans font in her presentation. "How could this be taken seriously?" was the reaction of the pipes and slippers who essentially had been waiting fifty years for the results of the experiments.

Umer Sohail said...

Nice work.. Labelling all the kits :)