Hey guys, you probably all know how much I love transfers. So I couldn't resist buying one of the new XL sized decal sheets for my Ultramarines. Read on to find out more about my thoughts about the new sheets, as well as size comparisons and large sized pictures.
In White Dwarf they said the three new Marine sheets would be huge, much larger than the size of the pages of the magazine. Well, that's typical Games Workshop hyperbole. While slightly larger than a copy of White Dwarf weekly, the sheets are in fact only A4 sized (210x297 mm). Check out my size comparison picture - the white sheet of paper is A4. So they are the same size as the recently released Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus transfer sheets.
And here I can present you a large picture of the transfer sheet. It should be much easier to make out all the different designs than on the rather small picture on GW.com.
Some things I noticed: In the upper left corner, there are three sizes of chapter symbols. Regular ones for power armoured Marines (same size as on the small decal sheet that comes with every Space Marine infantry kit), but also slightly larger ones for Terminators and slightly smaller ones for Scouts. A nice touch. Other noteworthy inclusions are vehicle markings for all ten companies, Crux Imperialis symbols for Veterans' shoulder guards and vehicles, variant chapter symbols for characters and Veterans, designs for Tyrannic War Veterans, bordures for capes and banners as well as a host of larger designs meant to go on tanks.
On the scrolls in the vehicle livery section is actual text printed (in english). The white script below that is meant to go on Rhinos has latin text instead (hard to see on the picture) - doesn't make that much sense.
Above the large "U" with the golden type there are 8 designs that are meant to go in the recesses of Auspexes (I believe). Above them are golden bullets for the best marksmen, right next to them are small black aquilas that should work well as tattoos on bald heads.
GW have stepped up their decal game a while ago. Nowadays, they underprint white under their designs, that means that even white and yellow areas will cover dark surfaces completely and appear very bright. I noticed the change with the new Eldar transfer sheet. Initial print runs don't come with white underprint, while more recent ones do. The printing quality is also very sharp, and they use actual gold paint. In this regard, there is no reason for complaining.
I mainly bought the sheet for the company banner designs, which I think are a great idea. I don't like to paint freehand insignia, but love working with transfers (by the way, don't forget to check out my tutorial for transfers looking like painted on). There are also a couple of other very useful transfers on the sheet. On the other hand, I'm not really fond of some of the larger designs that are meant to go on vehicles, like the ones with the green laurels and the pierced Tyranid head. They look rather flat and would have benefitted from some shadows or gradients like they can be found on the company banner designs.
Last but not least is the price. Actually I feel the price GW is asking for a single sheet of printed paper is outrageous. As a graphic designer, I regularly work with printing plants, so I suppose the manufacturing costs of one of these sheets must be in the cents (or pennies). They're probably one of the products with the highest mark-up GW has to offer. It's even more infuriating that the sheets are the same size as the Imperial Knight and Adeptus Mechanicus ones, but are more expensive. As usually, GW tries to get away with high prices, by making products "while stock lasts". I only justified the purchase with the intention to sell all the transfers I don't need.
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