Friday, 29 May 2015

Give the man a stripe!

A little aside with my Gatling crew regarding how I apply the trouser stripes. Now up until now I have hand painted the strips and being a graphic designer by trade I am a little persnickety about how straight a straight line is!

While perusing through my local model store I came across a decal product that I thought might help speed up and make more accurate trouser stripes. It's called Model Technics TrimLine...

What immediately caught my eye was that it was available in the very bright orange that I have been painting my Molatarian soldiers' stripes. Basically it's a long roll of self-adhesive vinyl strips of varying widths - three of which are ideal for the use I have in mind. (There is a range of colours and the roll is about three quid.)

I had two concerns about this product - how flexable is it (can it conform to bent legs) and how thick  are the stripes (would it stand out as being obviously a stuck on decal). Only one way to find out...

Well, while the stripes are not too thick they aren't all that flexible - they are really designed for coach-lining models and being applied in straight lines. So getting then to curve to the natural pose of a toy soldiers leg was a bit of a challenge and I had to do a wee bit of cutting with a scalpel to get them to 'bend' the way I wanted.

However, with perseverance I eventually managed to get them to applied in an acceptably realistic manner...

OK, so they don't bend very smoothly but I reckon it's good enough - to be honest I don't think I could have tried the TrimLine out on more difficult poses (except perhaps kneeling). As the majority of toy soldier models are in straight legged poses most will be a lot easier work than these little fellows.

The next issue was just how noticeable these stripes would be as transfers as I was a little worried they would look stuck on. But they actually did look too bad (they are quite thin) and there was no noticeable 'white edge' to them to give the game away. So I carried on and went to the glossing stage...

As I had hoped the application of a coat of gloss seemed to smooth out any obvious 'step' between model and stripe, and the effect was to blend the transfer 'in'. At a distance the stripe looks as if it is just very carefully painted on! (Lovely straight edges!)

Experiment a success I should say - though I am probably open to accusations of 'cheating'. Still, when you think of the work involved in painting a whole regiment of these chaps (20 figures say) - that's 40 stripes in all and that's a lot of time and concentration. TrimLine would really speed up the creation of my figures and is an improvement over my less than perfect line painting methods.

(I am sure there are some modellers out there that would make short work of painting stripes freehand - but I'm afraid I am just not one of them.)

1 comment:

  1. No one would have accused you of 'cheating' if you hadn't given the game away. You could have enjoyed the 'Ooh- lovely painting' comments !