Creating double sided banners, Part 1

I thought I might expand a little bit on one of the banners I built as part of a commission I'm working on. The banner is designed to be double sided and go on the back of this jetbike.
Sure, you could buy a double sided banner "bit" that is close to what you want if you can find it, otherwise you've got to make one from scratch.

I'm making one from scratch and I figure the best way to explain this is to break it down into three parts.
The concept, the building and the painting.

Double sided banners can be a little more difficult than single sided banners. The first thing you need to do is get your concept down.

How big is the banner going to be?
What shape is the banner going to be?
What image will be on the banner?
And remember the image that goes on one side usually goes on the other side and sometimes it's reversed. Make the image complex and you could be in for some real work.

For this project I knew about the size the banner would be. Not so big the model would look like a mascot carrying a huge flag across a field, but big enough to get some detail on it. You can tell from the pic above that the first "shape" was a little more rectangular and had a triangle tab on the end of it.

After some tweaking, it was decided that the banner would be square and the tab would be cut off. Don't be afraid to try different shapes and sizes. I use regular paper and keep cutting out different ones until I find just what I'm looking for.

As for the image, the original idea was to have an eagle holding a sword in his talons. After sketching it out and looking what we had, we decided to go with something less like a picture and more iconographic for his army.
We kept the sword, added another one and added a flowing scroll across it.
This also fit with the shape of the banner better.

Sometimes it takes a bunch of emails between a Client and myself to get an idea straight, sometimes it's done with just one sentence.

Either way, now is when you really want to iron out all the kinks and make sure you've got a solid idea and you like it. You've got a good amount of work ahead of you (especially if you're scratchbuilding the banner) and you don't want to get further along only to discover you wish you'd done something different.

Try new things at this point and figure exactly what you want before going any further in the process. Take the images you like a try combining them in different ways, think about the background for your army and what kinds of images lend themself to that.
Some things will fit naturally and others won't, each army has certain images that we all associate with them.

And don't worry about making the drawing fit in that tiny area you have. That's what copy machines are for. Draw it as big as you need to and then shrink it down to fit. I do it all the time.

Once we had the concept set, it was time to move to construction.

My Project Link: Space Marines Commission

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Beautiful painting job Ron.
    It's nearly exactly what I'm doing w/ my homebrew chapter Royal Venom. Purple and gold just go so well together.
    Granted I'm not nearly as talented (yet) a painter as you are (totally jealous), but I have some pics on my deviant art page if you're interested in seeing. Not a ton there, work is progressing slowly, but I'm interested in any tips or advice you could provide.

    Can't wait to see the next banner step.

  2. Longscope: Thanks, you can't go wrong with just about any one color and gold for an accent.
    But there's just something about purple and gold that looks really sharp.

    Saw your Land Raider on your site, nice work on the weathering and paint chipping on that one.


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