Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Athenian Hoplites (WIP)

As befits "post 479" (cf Platea) I present my Greek Athenian hoplites from Xyston. Now I consider Xyston to be the Ferrari of 15mm miniatures. Though it is a blessing and a curse at the same time, because of my love of their detail I cannot rush them and always want to them "justice", hence progress can be somewhat slow. After my last Basic Impetus battle I decided it is time to reward my Athenian and Spartan hoplites and they had earned their shield decals. Those who know me or have read some of my blog posting will know I don't really like doing decals, it's that final fiddly bit I find really annoying (but strangely satisfying when done). However as a treat to my Xyston Athenians I cracked open the LittleBigMan hoplite decals I had been saving for a rainy day (see below):

Now these shield transfers are an art form in themselves. They are truly beautiful, but their application had been scaring me for the best part of six years and I was hoping they had not "gone off" as per Airfix decals of old! They are not the normal water soluble kind but are an adhesive stick on 'wonder product'. They have three layers: a protective outer covering once removed revealing a sticky inner you slap on the shield, reversing onto the model. Then there is a protective layer of paper stuck onto the transfer by water soluble glue which when wet slides off the decal revealing a mini Greek master piece (see below - and Iapologize as my BB camera does not do them justice):    

A word of advice, follow the instructions. My first transfer was wasted and I nearly cried my eyes out, as stated clearly in the instructions, paint your shield white for best effect. Once on you cannot move it around and pulling it off destroys it. Getting the shield in the middle is an art that comes with practice, however touching up the transfer around the shield with paint is nearly always necessary (to merge the shield with the figure seamlessly) and allows you the opportunity to shadow in and highlight to cove up slight imperfections. The flatter the shield also the better! I would practice first on the not so symmetrical transfers first (see below - the first three shields on the right hand stand are good examples of this): 

The biggest pain was snipping around the shield decal as the closer the cut to the circle of the decal the better, otherwise you could get an annoying 'see though' overlay spoiling the figure. That aside, it is worth it! I also have some Veni Vedi Vici shield transfers which are thoroughly passable (see below) but suffice it to say I was so awe struck I 'upgraded' enough of my hoplites required to field a full DBA Early/Late Athenian army.    

All in all a satisfying follow on to the (albeit Basic) Impetus outing :)  


Tim Gow said...

Very nice. My painting of that period (albeit in 25mm) has ground to a halt.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I think my active days of 15mm painting are numbered

25/28 may in the long run be a much more practical scale for me too

Best finish these off while I can ;)

Regarding painting, I try to keep a circular scheme of many periods each fighting for their "moment in the sun"