A long time ago (in the blogging world), I posted about making your army stand out. I had a few pics of some nice looking armies done by other gamers to show what I was talking about.
The question I was looking at was how we all go about making our armies stand out from the crowd and how we make them our own.
Since I'm building my new Deathwing (eventually), I find myself struggling with how to make them look different from the rest of the forces out there. And by different, I don't mean painting them orange or anything like that even though I'm sure that would work.
I find myself struggling with the tiniest of things like how I'm going to paint the chapter symbol on their right shoulder so that it looks like something more than just a red blob sitting there. How I'm going to paint the bases to show that these guys are on a specific planet and not just another "battlefield?"
So I got to thinking, what can we as gamers do to make our armies stand out and what are some of the more common solutions I've seen out there.
This one is one of the easiest. Nothing more than a simple head swap or change of arms to give a model a different look. The big thing with this is that it doesn't require extensive greenstuff skills to pull off well. A well placed bit can change everything on a model.
2. Adding bits/trophies, etc.
Along the lines of the first one, this is more of adding things to models. Things like backpacks, gun scopes, swords or anything like that. This one has the benefit of tying all your guys together too to give them a unified look.
3. Conversion work
Once you start greenstuffing... it can be hard to stop. This is the next step after swapping out or adding on bits. You start making your own stuff or making things fit that wouldn't normally. This can be real simple like a pelt or real complex like a full length cloak on a model. The sky is the limit here.
Whether you go with the Codex approved paint job or you make up your own, trying out a new color or method can make huge difference. Who cares if their guns are always red? Paint them blue or another color and see what it does to the look of the army. That might be all you need to rise above the rest of the crowd.
Maybe it's a simple detail line an icon or a line around the border of an element. It doesn't always have to be complex.
Maybe it's really nothing more than adding that one last layer of detail in terms of a final wash or line highlight or one last well defined shadow to your rank and file guys to finish them off.
5. Your basing
With the explosion of resin bases out there these days, it's become very easy to get a nice environmental feel to your force for just a little bit more work. Working with resin can seem daunting for some folks, but it's fairly easy actually.
And even if you don't go the resin route, simply completing the basing on your army improves the look ten fold I think. There's nothing wrong at all with a basic textured base that is painted well.
In the end, it shouldn't take much to get a good looking force that stands out from everything else out there. Nothing says you have to have a fully scratchbuilt army to look good. Just changing one little thing can be enough to make your guys really look sharp.
As for me, I'm thinking about adding tabards to my Terminators (all ten of them) to give them a different look. Of course then I have to figure out what color I'm going to paint them so that I don't look like everyone else out there.