Friday 7 September 2012

Arcane Armorials, 80's shield designs.

Everyone wants shield designs and hand painting 80’s designs for your whole units can be a bit of a chore. Games Workshop recognised this and in 1987 brought out Arcane Armorials a set of water slide transfers for shields and banners. With there vibrant primary colours they are perhaps an acquired taste but highly evocative of the period as shown here.

 So let’s say you’ve dug out your Arcane Armorials, or scored some on ebay like Orlygg? Chances are time has not been good to them, the colours have faded, the chances of the transfer working are slim. It is still possible for the owner of these delightful designs to get some modelling use out of them. The first step is obviously to scan them into your computer, this is exactly what Orlygg did with his, to then print out and attach with PVA glue.
 These look great and is using the never before used transfers for their original purpose in a way that mitigates for their age.

I’d like to explain how I got the best out of my own by using the Gimp and a different method of attachment. The first stage is to scan as said the next is to defeat the detrimental effects of time by playing with your colour balances. I also took the opportunity to add a little high lighting that sadly didn’t come out so well in the finished print. Next time I’ll over egg the pudding. These are then printed onto sticky paper.

An added bonus is you can have a few of the same design on one sheet. I think in the future I'll be drawing my own designs correctly sized for us all to use IP free!

Cutting out is simple with a pair of scissors, and attaching the design child’s play.  Though tacking the backing off can be a bit tricky!

 So long as do not alter the size of  your image and you print your resulting jpg out at actual size with no margins they come out the same size they were scanned in at. A perfect fit, though I think my black ink is running out, still the greenish hue looks good!

I think you’ll agree the ones attached here to some of Rudlug’s finest look identical to the originals, all for 10 minutes work.


  1. Nice work on those orcs. Ruglud's don't look right to me without a good old Arcane Armorial stuck on their shields. I am pleased to see someone else loves these transfers too.

  2. Yep - could have done with some of these when I painted my Ruglud's up. Large numbers of freehand shields is indeed a daunting task!