Though I like a uniformity throughout an army, it’s not always easy to pick different squad members out of a lineup.
For my Ultramarines, I went with the official codex solution of giving them smallish squad markings in roman numerals. While that’s canon and they look cool, it does make them a huge pain to differentiate. Even with each type of model (assault, tactical, dev) having a different shoulderpad and each squad having an individualized marking, it’s still quite hard to differentiate them on the battlefield (or even putting them away).
EDIT: For some reason I still have never done up posts for my older Ultramarine stuff that predates the blog, so I don’t have good pictures to illustrate that point. You can make out some of the detail in this photo, but the squad markings are so small, you won’t be able to really tell them apart.
For my Tyranids, I took a more obvious approach, having learned a lesson from my Ultramarines. Each squad is differentiated by colored flares on their head and/or tail to make them stand out. Those worked well because the stain tones down my color choice, and they’re just a small splash on an otherwise identical palette. The problem there is that they are, again, a little too subtle. At times, it can be difficult to tell which model belongs to which squad–especially when viewed from directly above. A good example of their color markings can be found here.
For my cult, I’ve taken a different tact. For better or for worse, I’ve opted to go with a more noticeable marking in painting the pants of the unit in an entirely different color. That should help them stand out a bit more–and frankly, if you look at my acolytes, it definitely does the trick. I do find myself wondering though if it’s the right answer.
But I feel like I’m pot committed at this point, so I’m going to continue the scheme with my Metamorphs. To prepare, I’ve marked the bases of each model to break them into five man units. Each unit contains at least the following:
- 1x Model with robed legs
- 2x Models with official crushing claws (well, official ones or ones that I had cast)
- 2x Models that were made from Neophyte bodies
Well, that was the original intent (And what you should see from the photos). I have actually since gone back and changed the membership up a bit by taking the four Neophytes that had “skirts” covering their pants and made those all the blue squad. This was because they had so little of their pants showing that it was going to be difficult to identify their squad marking. The end result is that one of the squads has 80% of them with the exact same body.
It’s not ideal looking, but I’ll try to use them less frequently to make up for it, so the only time that they’ll really see the table is when I have at least 40 other metamorphs out there, so they’ll easily get lost in the shuffle.
For colors, I went with much the same colors that I went with on the Acolytes, but also expanded it a bit. The only ones that are dangerously close are the deep/bright red and maybe the purple/pink. Each one of those is essentially a pair of colors that I use for a base/highlight, so the lighter version of each just gets an extra layer of highlight–with the base color being a little more covered.
It’s not an excessive amount of progress, but considering that my blog has been quiet as of late, I’m going to take what I can get…