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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tavern Talk: Army Theme

For this month's tavern talk collaborative post this is what we received as the topic. How important do you view the theme of an army when writing your lists, assembling your army or painting them?  Is it a small trifling thing that you pay little attention too or is it some big arching theme you have carefully planned or spread through your entire army?  If you do theme then, how do you achieve it?  Why did you choose that theme?  Since I had already discussed this topic on my 40K blog I decided to just re-run the article here on The Winds of Magic.

In general there are 3 ways that I create a unified theme for my armies aside from using army composition. The first is when selecting the color scheme for my army. The second is when deciding how I am going to base the army. The last one is using some form of iconography or other extra detail that can tie the theme together.

In the image above I am showing two different ways of how I achieved a unified theme with 3 different units from my Dwarf army. The first of these unifying elements is the use of two colors, a burgandy red and polished gold. If you notice these two colors appear on every model in each unit. They can be used on small or large section of the model. For instance the heavily armored Ironbreakers in the middle have both colors appearing on their shields. Similarly, my dwarf lord with shield bearers had the red appearing on the shield but it also seen on the bearer's helmets, while the gold is used on numerous details as the entire model. Lastly with my bolt thrower crew the red makes a dominant appearance in the color of the war machine as well as the crew clothing and the gold once again shows up on many of the details.

The second method I have used to unify this army is the material and colors used to base the models. When doing an army I will stick to using the same material and colors throughout. I also will take down notes so that in the future when I added models to the army I know exactly what material I used to get the bases looking the same. With my Dwarfs I used cat litter that was based in Chaos Black then drybrushed with layers of codex gray, fortress gray and finally skull white.

With some armies, especially in 40k, you may already have a unified color scheme, but that doesn't prevent you from making your army stand out from others of the same type. This is where I will use Iconography or other extra details to make armies like my Black Templars look unified but still stand out from other Black Templar armies.

The image to the left is the heraldry for the Kilburne Crusade, otherwise know as my Black Templars army. I tried to keep it very simple so that I could easily duplicate it on my models with paint or decals. Throughout my entire Templar force I have used the iconography to tie the army together in a unified theme.

In the image above you can see how I managed to get the heraldry on several of my vehicles. While in the image below I show examples of how I fit the heraldry onto my Marshal as well as a crusade squad unit. The round knee pads are particularly good for using the heraldry colors on.

I have also used a similar technique on my Orcs and Goblins for Fantasy Battles. There I used red tattoos as well as red war paint to unify the army. I plan to do the same with my Orks for 40k only using blue tat and warpaint. The option are only limited by your creativity.

Well there you have it, those are the three main ways I choose to use to give my army a unified theme. I would love to hear or see some examples of how others accomplish this. As always thanks for taking the time to read my thought. I welcome any and all comments, so please feel free to leave them.

Till next time,



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