After seeing this Black Templar Terminator Assault squad on samson minis the other week, I decided to share it in this Hobby Focus article. The squad comes from samson minis and I love the blue tint to the black armour. That and it's suitably dark too. All that aside, the real thing I wanted to point out was the saturation in the colors on the models.
By saturation, I mean how pure the color is and vibrant. It's not muted by adding white or black or a complimentary color to it to "tone it down" some. The lightning claw blades are almost pure red. The helmet is white, the armour, while dark has a vibrant blue look to it. The dirt is a rich brown color and the grass is vibrant green. Sure the models are dark overall, but the coloring is really saturated and it gives them a very distinct look.
Now the flip side of this is to remove some of the purity in a color and mute it a bit. These Bad Moon Orks from Mar's Project Blog are a good example of it.
Image from Mar's Project Blog
These coloring here is not as saturated, but the effect is no less as good. The green skin is not super pure, but even being desaturated, it reads as a very particular shade of Ork skin. The colors all seem to have a hint of grey to them as well. The high contrast combined with the muted colors gives them a washed out look like their clothes aren't new or repaired regularly... perfect for Orks.
That and the basing... it too is muted using greys and browns that aren't really pure in color. It helps with the feeling of the model overall just as the rich colors do on the Templar bases above.
It comes down to what you want your particular army to look like. You can take out the purity of your colors or you can make them super rich and vibrant. Both sides of the coin have different effects and can give your army a unique look.
I tend to pull some of the saturation out of my colors. I haven't quite mastered the true "muted" look, but I can get it sorted out on occasion. And don't forget, by using both methods on the same model, you can add focus to your models and draw you reader into certain aspects.
Make sure to check out the other Hobby Focus Articles too!