So how do you do it?
I suppose there are a couple different ways really. Painting, conversions, basing, theme or any combination of methods.
But it all boils down to having an army you can call your own. Something that you can be proud of and is "yours." Maybe we gravitate to the method we know best... for some of us it's painting, some of us do unbelievable conversion work and some of us stick to a theme that's in line with background religiously. I don't think there is a right or wrong way. Case in point, Ultramarine Blues is going with resin bases for one of his upcoming force to make them stand out.
As I was cruising the blogrolls recently, I kept coming across posts that dealt with Vostroyans. That got me thinking, I wonder what army has the hardest time standing out from all the others.
Maybe a better question would be "How do I make my Vostroyans stand out from all the other Vostroyan armies out there?" And actually, you could insert just about any faction in place of "Vostroyans" in the previous sentence.
Now I'm not talking about making your own chapter, regiment or hive fleet, I'm talking about Codex defined armies with known color schemes and background info.
How do you make your army stand out from the others?
Take the three Vostroyan army examples below, all will be great looking armies when done. But what makes them stand out?
Vostroyans from The Path of the Outcast
Vostroyans from misterjustin
Vostroyans from Santa Cruz Warhammer
I know with my Deathwing, it's the painting technique. I don't have any real conversion work in the force or any great theme (it's Deathwing, there's only so much you can field).
I do have some unique looking models in the form of the pair of MK1 Land Raiders, but I'm really left with painting to make my guys stand out from all the other Deathwing forces out there.
Is it enough, can it be considered a success? I don't know. They're mine, they're playable and they look different from other forces in my area (honestly just because they're fully painted), but do they stand out?