Using Games-workshop Water Slide Decals (Easy and Cheap)

A very easy and cheap tutorial on how to use Games-workshop water slide decals and get great results.


So I know I have had trouble in the past with the Games-workshop water slide decals and after learning how to do them easily and getting good results I decided if anyone wanted to know my method I would do a tutorial. So hear it its!

I got a shoulder pad I had from my bits and decided to paint it up so that if worst comes to worst I can always use it for basing another miniature in the future. So with that in mind and my army being World Eaters I opted to do an Emperors Children Shoulder pad and decal.

So let’s get to it.

Materials you will need.

1. Games-workshop water slide decal of your choice.

2. Two containers or water (one to clean your brushes, and one that is clean to soak the decal and wet your brushes and thin your paints/varnish.

3. Games-workshop Technical paint ‘Ardcoat

4. Matt Varnish (I used Vallejo’s Matt varnish)

5. Pair of tweezers (to hold the decal in water).

6. Your desired brushes.

7. Paper Towel.


I based the shoulder pad with Abaddon Black. Then I did to coats of Xerxes Purple. On the trim I based them in Brass Scorpion. I then dry brushed the purple with Pink Horror and applied a wash of Carroburg Crimson. Finally I applied 3 coats of Auric Armour Gold to the trim. I wanted to have the dry brush texture there so you can see that all details are preserved doing this method.

Step One

Now that the shoulder pad is painted the way I wanted I applied a generous coating of ‘Ardcoat that was thinned with water (about 1/3 water) all over the purple part of the pauldron (shoulder pad). This is to seal and protect your work underneath as well as give you a smooth surface to apply the decal. If you want you can apply more coats, but I find one works. Let that fully dry.

Step Two

Grab your decal with your tweezers and hold it in the water (Note: the new decals only take about 30-45 seconds in the water, but the new ones take longer).

Next you take the decal and put it near where you will apply it to the miniature. The older decals stick a little more to the paper so you may have to use your finger a little to get it moving off the paper. The new ones you can just use your brush. Make sure the brush you use to apply the decal is wet, this will be important for the next part.

Step Three

The application part is not as scary as you may think. Here water is your friend which is why it’s important to have already sealed the area you will put the decal with ‘Ardcoat. You don’t want to flood the application surface but you do want enough water to form a very small puddle under the decal (this is why you need your brush wet). The decal will bring water with it, but if it doesn’t use your brush to gently get under the decal and let the water on the brush pool underneath it.

The reason for this is the water will allow the decal to move across the surface you want to apply it to so you can gently move it around with your brush (opposed to it setting right where it happens to make first contact with the model). I recommend a brush with firm short bristles for this so you have more control

That is the brush I use to apply my decals. It hold enough water without flooding the surface, and its stiff enough to allow great control

Once you have the decal where you want it, take the corner or your paper towel and gently press down on the decal. This will set the decal where you want it and will dry up the water. You can dab the area if there are wrinkles or excess water after you have the decal set in place.

Next apply at least one (I do two to be safe) thin layer of the same thinned ‘Ardcoat as before, over the application area (the decal and the purple of the shoulder pad) to seal the decal in place and protect it.

Step Four

Apply a generous amount of matt varnish over the whole application arena. I don’t thin the matt varnish, I just put some strait from the bottle on my wet pallet and then paint it onto the shoulder pad.

Here is what it looks like after one coat is dry.

How many layers you do depends on your personal preference. Since I am doing only one shoulder pad for this tutorial I don’t have a comparison like I would on a fill miniature. I found doing my Iron Warriors that one this coat and two thin coats of matt varnish made it look identical to the other shoulder pads I had not used ‘Ardcoat on. So here is a picture of this pad after I have applied the tow thin coats on it.

I hope this helps you and saves you some money not having to buy any products specifically for doing decals like this. If you have any questions or need me to clarify anything please feel free to ask and I will be more than happy to answer!

Making Krälgor: Part 2

Here at long last is the second part to making Krälgor.

Phase 5 Base Painting

So at this face I put down all of my basic colors that I would build upon.  Note that I tried to do NMM (Non Metallic Metal), but after several horribly botched attempts I gave up and opted for metal.

Phase 6 Final Layers

Then next step was to do the final layers that would be the actual colors of things I was going to be adding more detail to later.  Basically this made the colors more solid.

Phase 7 Details and Freehand

Finally I got to fleshing out the details and doing some freehand. I did some Chaos Runes on the armor to (try) and make it look like they were burning.  And I wanted to add some screaming skulls and faces on the inside of the cape.  I also wanted to give him the classic World Eaters tribal tattoos like you see on Angron.

Phase 8 Final Details

Lastly  I touched things up like the XII on the flayed skin on the leg and added more definition with the final details.  I also painted and varnished the base.

And here he is complete!


New CSM Models: Iron Warriors.

I finally finished painting the new CSM kit as Iron Warriors. First IW units I have ever painted so all and all I’m pretty pleased with the way they turned out. I decided early on I was going to just paint these guys for the tabletop and not put to much time and detail on them. I’m both happy and embarrassed to say that this is the fastest I have ever painted this many models at once before lol.

Looking at art of iron warriors most of it will show them in either really shiny gun metal armor or armor that is so dark it is almost black. Most paint schemes I have seen people do often have them metallic but extremely drab so that they look very dull, or extremely shiny so that their armor looks like it gets polished 20x a day. I decided I wanted to go with something in the middle that would also be easy/fast(ish) to paint. The look I was ultimately going for was to start out shiny, and darken it up to look very worn as if it had been dirtied bad blacked from a siege. Then to keep it from looking to drab I used a lighter silver to do some subtle edge highlights to make sure it kept the shiny look while also being very drab. On the bases I new I wanted a dirty battlefield look, and I’m quite pleased with the result I got on the bases. Since I was going for quick tabletop ready results I opted to use the water slide decals instead of free hand. My past experiences with them were not good at all, but after more research and a new method I am very pleased with how easy and fast it was to do them.

If you want to know any of the paints, steps, techniques or any other step of the process just let me know and I will be happy to tell you!

Here they are posed with my scratch built terrain.

New CSM Squad Kit

So I finally finished building these guys and I got to say I have mixed feelings. The models look amazing, but they are a nightmare to build. What you see is what you get with these guys. The only customizable parts are the heads and arms(most arms). The poses are pretty limited when paring them with the arms because many arms wont fit well on certain bodies. And on that note, let’s talk about things fitting together…

If you aren’t planning on equipping these guys with with chainswords and volt pistols then get ready for a tough time. Almost none of the bolter arms fit well, and some of them (2 pairs) are so bad that I had to use some greenstuff to make them attach to the torso.

As far as building them goes, I would reccomend only building one at a time taking pieces from the sprue as you build each one rather than get all the pieces off first. The reason for this is because these guys only fit together one way and if you dont know which parts to use it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle (I sadly had to do the puzzle approach).

So now to the instersesting things. If this is anything to go off of it seems like this kit reinforces the rumors about the World Eaters and Emporer’s Children getting their own armies and kits soon. If you notice the transfer sheet on this kit as well as the pictures on the back only contain Chaos Undivided Legions. Here is to hoping right?

Painting the noise marine part 2

Well he is coming along slowly (very slowly) but surely.

The hair was very frustrating to see how I wanted to do it, and I will likely regret my methods in the future. But hey, every mini is a learning experience (for me at least). The hair is largely finished ad the point minus some highlighting and shading I want to add. So far the most difficult thing about painting this guy is the fact that I still have no clear vision of what I want yet.

On one hand I want to make this guy as gaudy as possible, while still having a general theme. On the other hand I what to make him a bit more traditional Emperor’s Children looking (but that seems boring to do with this awesome mini). In the end this lack of vision is causing me to leave many areas unattended while putting in details that I know I want to do (which will be hell later on to touch things up), and this in turn makes him look more like a patchwork mess. I may take a break working on him until I can have a more solid idea of what I want to do. So far what I do have any idea about wanting to do is a “Starry Night” type designs on the shoulder pads that I will have as a back ground of any symbols I paint. And on the right leg I want to attempt to get an interesting pattern that is inspired by this

I think if I can get close to this choral look that it will be really cool looking and very reminiscent of the Laer (which is where the Emperor’s Children first encountered Slaanesh). Not really sure how I will do that though.

As for the left leg I what to attempt some free hand where I have painted the area grey and attempt to paint this image of Slaanesh on his leg

then the brown part of the leg I think I will paint leopard print to stick with the more traditional paint scheme seen on this guy and his 1991 counterpart.

If you have may ideas or feed back, I would love to hear from you, and I would very much appreciate any advice or suggestions!

Painting the Noise Marine part 1

So I finally got this guy base painted. Since I am pretty much just painting this model for fun I opted to not use spray paint to prime him like I normally would had instead base painted him by hand. So far I am not really sure what I want to do with him, so 90% of all the areas I based black are areas I am still unsure how I want to paint them.

Creating Better Khorne Berzerkers!

Anyone who is a huge fan of the world eaters has likely seen some amazing Khorne Berzerker (KB) art, be it online, the cover of black library books, or inside a CSM codex. Reading about KB in black library novels, or other sources one quickly sees that thwys guys are seriously awesome ruthless badasses who are arguably the most iconic units in all of WH40K. I mean what is more bad ass than a group of elite units that are so pissed off all the time that they will keep sharing and fighting even when mortally wounded and blown in apart. These guys are like the black knight of Monty python’s holy grail if they where tripping on PCP and in roid rage “Tis but a flesh wound!”. These guys are the reason I decided go with a world eaters army in the first place instead of a Black Templars army (ok, so I may have an obsession with fanatical psycho butchers lol).

So if you love the world eaters and specifically the Khorne Berzerkers like me you will likely be familiar with the the disappointment of getting your first Games-Workshop Khorne Berzerker kit. I mean, dont get me wrong, there are definitely worse looking kits (*cough “obliterators/mutilators”) but the kit is just very bland when compared to some of the amazing lore and art of these guys. And then there is also the whole issue of the god awful captain/champion head in the kit. you know the one…

I MEAN COME ON GW!!!! Dont get me wrong the kit other than this guy is not a bad kit, but… it could be so much better.

In short the KB are just begging for some kit bashing to liven up the models.

So without further adieu, here is my first squad of kit bashed and (in my opinion) greatly improved khorne Berzerkers!

Before I dive in I want to make available the parts I used as best I can so I will attempt to list the parts as best I can as well as the site or link of where I got them.

The bare heads I used other than the one with the topknot as well as the awesome world eaters and skull shoulder pads are from

Sadly however neither of those are available anymore. All the same I highly reccomend checking them out, especially if you want to customize some cultist or imperial guard.

Skulls from

The other bits I used I got from

The kits I used bits from are as follows.

● Chaos marauder horsemen

● Wrath mongers

● space marine tactical squad

● chaos Raptors

● Khorne Berzerkers (obviously)

● possessed CSM

● CSM Aspiring Champion.

● MK III power armor Heads (specifically the Crest for those helmets)

* sadly can’t remember all of them since I have been collecting bits for awhile now, and some of them where given to me so I am not positive of what kit they came from.

The first thing I did was made some more interesting heads. I took the horns (bunny ears) from some AoS khorne heads I had bought and attached those to different helmets and heads. I also took the MKIII helmet created as mentioned above and added it to a normal KB helmet.

The first pic I cut off the exhaust vents from a KB back pack and added skulls in there place.

The second pic I cut away part of a KB helmet and a part of one or the puppets war bare heads and added the face there so I could sculpt with GS later to make it look like his helmet was broken revealing part of his face.

The first pics are the first guy I made. I used a maurader horsemen arm for the bare arm. The chain sword is a Raptors chain sword that I added a medallion of khorne to its hilt from one of the KB chain swords. The raptor chaonswords and arms look really awesome as they are far more gruesome looking than the more basic KB weapon arms. I also took the combi-weapon from a terminator and attached it to a KB arm for one of the squad leaders. Next I attached banners to some back packs.

The last few pics are close ups of other KB I made and a different angle of the first one again.

This guy I made because I was inspired by two things. one the World Eaters Blood Priest as described in Khârn: Eater of Worlds (Pg. 55-57 I think). And the later was the awesome looking chain sword which reminded me of a 40k version of this weapon wielded by the Uruk-hai berserkers in LOTR The Two Towers

So I made this guy like he was screaming out a challenge to any brave enough to come die by his hand!

Head and shoulder pad is from puppetswar, the book is from the CSM terminator lord.

Here are the front views of half of them the one in the middle and directly to the right of him are two squad leaders.

Here is the gang all together after they have been primed, plus one special character that I will do a separate post on (can you spot which one it is?)

So there it is, my KB. If you would like to see more be sure to follow me, and as always if you have any questions, comments or critique please feel free to contact tact me!