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To Transfer or Not to Transfer?

posted Jul 20, 2012 00:44:50 by Greg2thePerson
Being an unabashed fan boy, I regularly check the "What's New Today" blog on the GW website. Today when I opened it up I was immediately blown away by the Steam Tank they showcased. After drooling over the pictures for a few minutes I actually read the text, only to find out that the mural was not the world's greatest freehand, but actually an intricate transfer.

What are your thoughts on this? Are intricate transfers a reasonable thing to add to a model, or is it a "cop out"? Would you use something like this on one of your own models, perhaps as a banner?
The slightly less beautiful host.
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7 replies
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Gargobot said Jul 20, 2012 01:55:10
I don't really think there are any "cop outs" in painting - if it looks good, it is good. I do, however, think freehands tend to look better than transfers, when it comes down to this kinda stuff.
Examples:




It's probably not as hard to pull off a decent transfer though. Kinda reminds me of drybrushing vs. layering.
Anyway, considering my lack of freehand skill I'd at least consider this for banners and similar sized surfaces.
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MrSaturday said Jul 20, 2012 09:59:13
Good argument, something of a bone of contention with some. I think as long as the model looks good when finished, the technique is irrelevant. Why go blind painting freehand if you can use a transfer? Is airbrushing a cop-out? Resin bases? Using washes? Nope, all legitimate as long as the end-result looks great.
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ScottMorgan said Jul 21, 2012 00:57:45
For my $.02, I'd rather see hand-painted work but I also recognize that painting straight up artwork or murals is a vastly different skill than painting 3D models - and made even that much harder when at the scale we're talking about here. A good execution of a transfer is absolutely a great way to accentuate a model; as long as the artist is honest about the process and doesn't claim credit for the original work if it's not theirs, more power to them.
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jake_hutton said Jul 21, 2012 03:18:18
Yeah I have been using transfers on my brets because honestly Bret knights are core, but they need heraldry so transfers seemed like the answer. I value freehand, but i'm still learning and the amount of time it takes me to do simple designs is crazy.

I agree if it makes the model look great its legitimate. I think being honest is important, but I'm not sure if it should count against the painter. Like some have said its similar to many short cuts taken by painters.
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ScottMorgan said Jul 21, 2012 16:39:14
Let me clarify - when I said 'be honest about it' I didn't mean that it was some sort of negative stroke; I was more referring to the example in the article where the painter made a transfer of someone else's painting. It's also a degree of difficulty thing - when someone uses transfers to put small, crisp numbers on a model it looks great. When someone hand-paints those same crisp numbers, that's a harder skill to master and worth acknowledgement. That's all I was trying to say.
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jake_hutton said Jul 22, 2012 00:57:59
Gotcha Scottmorgan, I agree. :)
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MichaelJordal said Jul 23, 2012 14:14:45
Am I the only one that found it ironic that GW was featuring someone that copied someone else's painting and put it on their tank. Just seemed a bit funny with how much GW loves people copying stuff:)
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