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When doing model fine details and symbols do you prefer to...  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
When doing model fine details and symbols do you prefer to...
Use standard decals
Create your own custom decals
Use detail on the original model itself
Deliberately buy upgraded parts for models with Symbols and detail on, to save using decals.
Model your own GS fine detail
Paint on fine details free hand
Don't bother with detail, just a basic paint job
I Don't Paint
Other (write in)

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Made in gb
Da Big Mek

London, UK

Poll suggested by mwnciboo
Made in gb
Spawn of Chaos


I buy upgraded parts, and also Green Stuff my own. However, I do buy custom pieces more than GSing, so that's what I voted for.

Made in gb
Slippery Scout Biker


Great poll.

Although I voted for decals, I do paint a lot of detail on freehand and also use moulded upgrades. There's a lot of factors at play here: Unit type, ease of transfer placement (flat spaces are easier than shoulder pads), space for transfer, the design I'm looking for.. and so on.

Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut

I couldn't work out decals - they always looked like they were about to peel off to me, so I do some detail (eyes) by hand, but the larger stuff I just ignore.
Made in bg
Cosmic Joe


The few models that i actually bother to detail stuff on it's GS'd. Decals for the mooks

Nosebiter wrote:
Codex Space Marine is renamed as Codex Counts As Because I Dont Like To Loose And Gw Hates My Army.
Made in gb
Pious Warrior Priest

English Russia.

if i', doing details I'll use an ultra fine brush, thougb i find for symbols and things, especially on vehicles i find that using a fine felt pen can really help.

Oh man, the first monster I see I'm going to sneak up behind him, whip out my wand, and shoot my magic all over his ass.

Woodville Household, Prepare for maximum toast! 
Made in us
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran

Chose Other because I couldn't select multiple answers.

I do a combination of pre-made decals + upgrade bitz.
Made in au
Pulsating Possessed Chaos Marine

In Firenze kicking Templar arse.


A Wise Ork once said a profound word: WAAAAAAAGH! Then he got trampled in the incoming stampede!
Current Army: Orks (2000+)
Fido198674 wrote:You know, O great dreadlord......who was that first ork to yell WAAGGHH? According to you sig, his name would now be Squishy, or Smooshed, but I wonder.....
Made in us
Fusilier Paramedic


Free hand all the way

CKD's Warband

Made in gb
Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps

On your roof with a laptop

Paint on free hand

This is a signature. It contains words of an important or meaningful nature. 
Made in gb
Been Around the Block


Free hand
Made in us
Doc Brown

San Diego

Micron pens are your friend for this.

Director at Fool's Errand Films a San Diego Video Production and Live Streaming company.


Made in us
Hellish Haemonculus

Boskydell, IL

I prefer having the models with the symbols already on, when possible.

Welcome to the Freakshow!

(Leadership-shenanigans for Eldar of all types.) 
Made in us
War Walker Pilot with Withering Fire

USA - Salem, OR

It depends. For Space Marine vehicles, chapter waterslide transfers are great. Same with Eldar runes. I will free hand text/writing on banners, though. (actual words, like naming models, not just squiggles on purity seals, although that works too )

Past armies 4500 pts, 4000 pts 2000 pts
current armies Space Marines 4000 pts, Eldar 3000 pts
Successful Trades: 4
Swap Shop - CSM/Demons for sale 
Made in au
Sinister Chaos Marine

I could have answered this question several ways. If there isn't any detail on the model i'll paint freehand or sculpt with GS if i have the time/patience.
Made in us
Painting Within the Lines

Riverside, CA.

I use the decals as a cheat sheet for freehand work.

My WIP painting page on facebook
Made in us
Irradiated Baal Scavanger


I prefer to have a mixture of GW bitz with added details, Green Stuffing my own details as I am pretty good at it and free hand painting the remainder. I try at all costs to avoid the decals as I have always felt that they simply do not look as good as the other aforementioned options.

2000 points of 5th Company

Blood Debt: A Blood Angels Short Story
Made in gb
Hellacious Havoc

Although i use decals on flat surfaces, i have never gotten one on a marine shoulder pad properly, so its the upgrade packs for me

Made in at
The Main Man

Beast Coast

In the past I've always tried to freehand things like insignias and numbers, but I'm not particularly good at it and I think I'll probably switch to using decals on future projects.

Made in us
Shunting Grey Knight Interceptor


I free hand and draw my own custom decals
Made in us
Loud-Voiced Agitator

I employ a mixture of these options...either buying custom parts, manufacturing my own, or painting fine detail on.
Made in fi
War Walker Pilot with Withering Fire

Finland, Espoo

Most of the time I draw the symbols with a thin black marker pen, and then fill the colours in (I'm not too good at painting freehand symbols without liners). Sometimes I take them from codex etc or just invent my own, depends on the model.

Made in cz
Stabbin' Skarboy

Czech Republic

I like to use decals for chapter/clan logos and then paint over them. This actually helped me to understand freehanding, which I use for other small details such as numbers, ork dags etc.

Made in nz
Spawn of Chaos

voted other:

I use a mix. it varies on the figure & detail being added
Made in gb
Man O' War


Im not very good at using decals so i just go freehand

Khador 75p
Menoth 35p
Circle 25p
Legion 25p 
Made in eu
Road-Raging Blood Angel Biker

Welwyn Garden City, England

I cant piant well at a decent enough level to do fine details so I don't bother.

Tried it once, mess up totally and had to re-do the entire paintjob so I havent bothered again!

5th Boudican Mechanised - 2300 points W:0 D:4 L:3
Iron Bloods - 4000 points W:1 D:5 L:6 
Made in us
Stalwart Space Marine

in a fire... AAAAAAAHHH!!$*five@!!

I kept screwing up decals because I am clumsy I started painting the Fists sigil freehand because all my decals got torn up. Now I like my fist design better than GW's (but FW's is still nice).

'ardboy Nob and his 'ardboyz
vs 2-3
Made in gb
Stinky Spore

Kettering, UK

Hi there. My first post on Dakka here!

I like to paint fine details by hand. I would make custom waterslide decals, but I don't like the finish they give and I find them far more fiddly to apply than simply painting the detail on.

'Da Zagblitzas' - 0pts Biker Army  
Made in no
Terrifying Doombull


Freehand all the way
Made in au
Twisting Tzeentch Horror


I find decals are a bit too fiddly for me so I mainly leave my shoulder pads etc blank. However, I did do an ok job on a cape recently

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