Thursday, 23 February 2012

A bit of re-evaluation.

I have been thinking a lot about how much information needs to be displayed on a trooper's uniform and it has led to a re-evaluation of ideas.

I have been surfing the net to find out about unit markings for British soldiers and there is nothing below the company level (apart from rank/trade). That made me think about why I need to be quite specific about how I mark my troops and to be honest, it is just so that I know which miniatures should be in which section/fire-team.

With that in mind...

I received my order of transfers from Dom's Decals today and have discovered that some of the decals will be too big for my purposes. That is what you get for 'trial and error' ordering and is no way a reflection of the excellent decals that Dom's Decals have supplied. The particular decals in question are the geometric shapes that I was going to use to designate section status (command, support, troops)...but why do I need to do that? The British army don't have that level of insignia on their troops so why should I?

So...until I come up with a new picture to show off what I am planning, here is what will be on the helmets of the troops:
1. Regiment symbol (RH side)
2. Platoon number (on top of regiment symbol on RH side)
3. Section number (on LH side)
The section number will only be on troop sections and will be white for the 'charlie' fire-team and black for the 'delta' fire-team.

Only three decals per helmet now.

Flexibility is the key to success.


  1. Keeping the markings simple and subtle helps reduce sniper effectiveness in RL, for sci-fi it doesn't much matter. In the field we used a selection of coloured electrial tape to designate units and belongings but it wouldn't have meant anything to outsiders and wasn't visible beyond point blank.

    Don't overlook the effectiveness of additional decals and patterns on the base of the miniatures along the edge/lip.

    All the best.

  2. Cheers for the input :).

    We use a similar tape marking system in the RAF when we get detached abroad (to keep tabs on kit)...but as a techie, I just get rank, RAF, Union flag and 16 AAB markings to wear.

    I'll be using plenty of decals and even the ones that don't fit the troops will fit the tank squadron I plan to build in the future so they won't go to waste.

    Most of the markings will be black or white (they'll be quite subtle on the grey background). I haven't decided how I will represent the ranks but I have plenty of time to worry about that.

  3. I agree with the above, there is no need to necessarily, reflect real life precautions in our painted armies. Actually all these elements might very well help to build a narrative structure that creates visual connections between models, eventually contributing to the army uniqueness.

    On the more practical side, if the decals are geometrical, with a little caution you can always cut them to the appropriate size. If 50% looks good then problem solved (and you have just doubled your decals xD )

  4. They are about 3mm square. For each platoon, I need 28. I want to try to remain sane so trimming them down will not be high on my list ...I just couldn't face it :).

    They are geometric shapes but they aren't solid, they just have a thick outline so I wouldn't be able to get a useful shape from them...good idea though :).

    I do err on the artistic side of reality when it comes to the troops because if they were properly camouflaged, how interesting would they be without a bit of contrast? It is the reason I've used brown on the troops instead of black.

    I still have to decide how to paint the vehicles yet...plain or camouflaged?