I started on these guys months ago, and have finally gotten around to finishing them. It's nice to have a second tactical squad completed. It was a definite hole in my army, and I'm looking forward to fielding them, given that I've kitted them out with plasma weapons for a little extra punch.
Since the last WIP, I coated the models in satin varnish and oil washed them. I then edge painted the details like the armor panels, pouches and purity seals. It takes a steady hand, but this step, in combination with the wash, helps to make the details pop.
Next I placed the decals on the shoulder pads. It's important to note here, that if you want your decals to work, you need to be sure of two things:
1. The surface is absolutely smooth. This can be accomplished using a layer of 'ard coat.
2. You use a solvent like Mr. Marks Softer to smooth the decal out over a curved surface.
I'll go into application of decals in greater detail in a separate tutorial, but those two points are the most important to remember. The 'ard coat creates unwanted shininess, but that's OK - we'll cover it with a coat of satin varnish in the final step. (you need to do this anyway, as the decal is shiny as well.)
The solvent is absolutely necessary for curved surfaces. When you apply the decal over a curved surface, especially a compound/complex curve like a shoulder pad, the decal will buckle and refuse to lay flat. A solvent like Mr Marks Softer will make the decal extremely pliable, causing it to hug the surface perfectly.
Note the model below. The decal has several air bubbles and is not laying flat. The solvent fixes this. A careful eye will see that the decals on the models in the background are smooth and wrinkle free.
I base most of my smaller miniatures using GW texture paint. I know you can get gritty paints for cheaper elsewhere, but the GW paints come in a variety of colors, and dry quickly. Here I've applied Armageddon Dust to the bases. When it dries, I'll wash it with Agrax Earthshade and then drybusrh it using Vallejo bleached bone.
I shoot the squad in a showcase later next week.