Friday, June 4, 2010

Modelling: Differentiating Squads

I have a big problem differentiating one unit from the next when they are exactly the same between units. If you notice in the picture above, it's rather easy to tell each unit apart since you have the green ones, the grey ones and the purple ones. It will be extremely confusing once they are all in the same colour scheme. 

I am really open to suggestions to identify each unit from each other.

Here are a few things on top of my mind. 

I do not want to use a strong accent colour which will distract from the original colour scheme (purple - Hive Fleet Leviathan). A complementary colour is probably the best. I am thinking of putting a dot or two along the creatures' tails. One dot for one unit, two dots for another unit. The potential problem arises when I need more models for unit one whereby I will have to paint more Gaunts! 

Any other suggestions?


  1. with my wolves, since they endorse sticking the middle finger to the imperium and their dogmatic doctrines, my chapter allows for a greater variation of colors. Since my army is rather mech heavy, I decided to color code my tanks depending on how they are used, see my break down below:

    Shadow Grey: troop supporting dedicated units ie rhinos, razorbacks, whirlwinds

    Fortess Grey: relic units ie dreadnoughts and Landraiders

    Extra dark (tuned with "Nippon Paint" Gunze Sangyo line): fire base vehicles ie predators

    Finally, my troops have their respective shoulder pad markings. ie long fang in white & black, grey hunters in red and black.

  2. Do you distinguish which Rhino has which unit of troops? Do they have corresponding markings on their vehicles and shoulder pads?

  3. My grey hunters are fielded the same with however many squads I have. They are all identical so currently, I don't need to go into that level of specification. I think its good to keep it that way as my forces are always expanding but the use remains constant... besides, units of less than 10 grey hunters do not get an extra special weapon for free and their staying power is dramatically jeopardized with less than 8 units... Ray, you've seen how tough my tactical guys are even if I go and kill 5 of them on dangerous terrain they still got enough grit to take down your MC!!! Theres really no point in giving units less than 10 strong their own grey masarti.

  4. Grimcron does it in an easy way.

    He still paints the models from different squads in the same colours and theme so that there is a coherent army look. What he paints differently are the bases of different squads (e.g., green, brown, black, white, etc).

    Hope this helps.

  5. There are a few ways to solve the problem. Painting the bases is one of the best solutions, unless you are an IG and need to know if your unit is 10 Veterans and 20 Guardsmen or 15 Veterans and 15 Guardsman.

    Which is the same quandary that Raymond faces when he talks about painting dots on the tails.

    I propose taking a step back and think of something that does not involve painting. Like putting a marker on one unit. Something sticky, plentiful, easy to pin on and easy to remove. Like blue-tack, not on the model, but on the base. And not on the top of the base but at the side of the base.

  6. Painting bases easiest. If not different colour units for different squads. (Helmet, shoulder pads and pants etc)

    numbers can also be painted/decal on models shoulder pad if you are playing armies that have 2 legs or wear armour.

  7. Yup, i think marking/painting the base to be a good idea as well :)

    If got a lot of time you can make the base terrain the same for one group. E.g. rocks base for one group of critters, while the other group has grass and rocks on the bases haha!

  8. Marking bases is what I find is best. For the standard squad members, a distinct marking for each squad; I use vertical lines.
    Keep extras handy for when you need more models. Use a pencil to make the squad marks for that battle. When the battle is over, you simply erase the pencil marks.
    Only thing you need to worry about is if you handle the bases a lot and rub off the marks before the battle is over.

  9. @the other Kevin: Hey the pencil marking is an interesting idea :) I assume its marked on the sides of the bases. Visited your blog as well, i love the Nemesis Halberd conversion!

  10. The pencil idea is a good one. Hmmmm, it give me flexibility and at the same time the ability to distinguish each unit apart.

    The idea of using blue tack works as well. Both ideas I like!

    The final one I have is getting a piece of parcel string and having multiple 2 feet cuts. These serve as demarcation between units separating each!



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