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Codex Colors


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What's important to me is that each army have it's own feel and unifying paint scheme. The Codex colors are a good source for this unifying material for some people, others can come up with this stuff on their own. I personally got into painting space marines when there was nothing more than suggestions for colors schemes in the original WH40k Compendium. There were about 10 or so of us playing in our group at the time, and we each agreed to paint our ten man squads in different schemes, so we quickly tore through the "official" schemes.

 

Since then, I've shied away from official schemes, since I can be more creative, however, I'll usually put some effort into a back ground for my units that ties in with either the official game back ground (IE, 40k for my space marine and IG armies or WFB) or my RPG campaign (my Warmaster army is painted as the army of the king's army of my campaigns major country, my Warlord crusader army is currently being painted to the color scheme of a religous order in the same game world).

 

For people with no inclination to paint (IE, a person could assemble an UltraMarines or Space Wolf armies strictly through ebay and convention flea market sales and still have it look decently unified) or who lack the will or ability to be creative with their schemes, the Codex's serve a good purpose. Oh, and lest I offend anyone - just because you lack the will to be creative and use your own scheme doesn't mean you're lazy or anything - if you really like the Space Wolf or Crusader colors, lacking the will to paint them otherwise simply recognizes the fact you'ld rather paint to the official scheme. Nothing wrong with that.

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[sarcasm=ON]

Unless you're gonna paint them the right colors (ie the Codex, official, real colors), then they're gonna be so wrong you shouldn't even bother.

[end sarcasm]

 

That was a response I saw years ago when I first looked at CMoN. Someone gave a 1 or a 2 to a well painted squad because they weren't the appropriate fluff-green for that faction. Never cared for that attitude. It's your army, paint them however you want.

 

Personally, I love seeing the over-reaction by Codex-purists when someone paints them intentionally different (the purple and pink Barbie Eldar springs to mind). For that matter, someone local sent a bunch of Flames of War players/fanatics off the deep end with a paint job on a German tank (a camo "Pink Panther", complete with cartoon Pink Panther looking out the top hatch). :devil:

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Personally, I love seeing the over-reaction by Codex-purists when someone paints them intentionally different (the purple and pink Barbie Eldar springs to mind). For that matter, someone local sent a bunch of Flames of War players/fanatics off the deep end with a paint job on a German tank (a camo "Pink Panther", complete with cartoon Pink Panther looking out the top hatch). :devil:

 

 

Reminds me of the time I converted some plastic car models for a 3D version of Car Wars... The guy whose house we were playing in was from a whole family of classic Corvette collectors - he calls his old man over to check out my 'vette that I put together (think it was a '67, maybe), and the guy starts getting tweaked cuz I painted it all pro-autoduel instead of stock yellow. It's a freakin plastic model. I thought he was gonna blow some brain cells when he pushed the button I put on the back that made the auto cannons pop out the side panels... If I ever hit the lottery, I'm gonna buy a really nice old Corvette and paint it period Russian camo in his honor.

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Geez, sounds like some of these guys would freak out at my friends expertly painted Hounds of Heck* Space Marine chapter - cause he used the whole Space Wolves codex, mini's and decals, but a really cool green camo with flames paint job.

 

I've seen some really nice painted codex stuff. The aforementioned friend did a really nice Codex version of the Space Wolves as well, but I admit I more thoroughly enjoyed the thought he put into his Hounds of Heck* chapter, with the whole color scheme, and even the background fluff he wrote for them as a spin off chapter of the Space Wolves. That stuff impresses me as much as the guy who can paint to the codex and get every detail "right."

 

I think I like doing the non-codex stuff more because I'm in a sense creating my own codex for the army, which adds to the enjoyment of the painting.

 

*LL for CK there.

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For that matter, someone local sent a bunch of Flames of War players/fanatics off the deep end with a paint job on a German tank (a camo "Pink Panther", complete with cartoon Pink Panther looking out the top hatch). :devil:

Rich told me about that, wish I had seen it. :devil:

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I'm not just talking about 40k here. I've seen warmachine players who thought all Khador should be red and all Menoth white. It spills over into other games.

 

My Menoth is brass / gold armor, with all black clothing. Looks sweet on the table, and people don't realize it's Menoth right away. I think it is the only non-white menoth army I have ever seen.

 

Mike

Who also painted his Rach in CAV a nice camoflage green / khaki.

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For that matter, someone local sent a bunch of Flames of War players/fanatics off the deep end with a paint job on a German tank (a camo "Pink Panther", complete with cartoon Pink Panther looking out the top hatch). :devil:

Rich told me about that, wish I had seen it. :devil:

 

I thought it was still in the display case (on one of the lower shelves). I'll have to look next time I stop at G+.

 

-edit- nope, it wasn't there today

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Geeze I just dropped a lot of money.. on the miniatures and now you are going to ride me about the color I painted them....

 

Personally I went with Purple and yellow... A little fire and pitchfor motif on the shoulder pad.. and called them laker marines..

Even got a couple cheerleader types from blood bowl and made standard bearers..

 

Of course when I was playing 40k.. You culd get thirty plastic marines for thirty bucks...

In any case...

 

do what you like not what the other person expects...

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For me, it depends :devil:

 

Sometimes I'm inspired by an "official" color scheme and may try to duplicate it. Sometimes I'll be inspired by the artwork (as opposed to painted official models), and will try to match that. Sometimes, the army needs a certain touch of fluff, and I'll borrow a bit of fluff and integrate that into my color scheme. And sometimes, I'll make my own fluff, and use that fluff to tie my models together.

 

Having done a number of "alternate" color schemes for NQ magazine, I'll give some examples of my thought process. Say I'm trying to build a color scheme for a Trollblood army. I want them to represent a tribe from the cold north. So I look at the official colors, troll skin is a blue/green color with some pink accents. I want my models to fit in the universe so I'll play on these color. Coming from a colder area, my trolls are going to be a lighter blue, and will still have some pinkish colorations around the thin stretched skin areas. And to keep the whole color scheme cold, I decide to go with purples for the cloth, and a violet brown for the leathers. I stuck with the tradition of plaid for the cloth, and used some light blue and brown on the purple cloth. So it's no longer the "official" scheme, but it still fits in the universe (at least in my head).

 

Let's do another example, an alternate Skorne scheme I did. Again to fit the universe, I needed to tie my colors in with something that was established. The color I picked was gold. Skorne have a lot of gold on them, so I kept that aspect for the sake of verisimilitude. Then I ditched the whole red and went with an Ivory color for the majority of the armor and clothing, which fits with the desert scheme. This creates a warm monochromatic look. I needed an accent color that didn't break the harmony, so I used orange for the accents which stays in the same area of the color wheel, but is still far enough from the red to look far different than the official colors. I couldn't stay with a warm brown for the leathers because they would be indistinguishable from the warm golds I was using, so I went with colder browns. And for swords and such I used a warm grey to depict iron instead of steel to continue with the warm colors.

 

When painting an army, I think it's a good idea to fit your army into the universe in which you'll be battling other opponents. I don't find this limiting, I find the thought process to be more stimulating.

 

I don't really have a problem with off the wall color schemes like bublegum pink or taxi yellow armies. But it's not something I'm brave enough to attempt. What does put me off a bit is using one army's official scheme to paint another army. Not saying it can't be done, but it's not something I would do for my own armies.

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When painting an army, I think it's a good idea to fit your army into the universe in which you'll be battling other opponents. I don't find this limiting, I find the thought process to be more stimulating.

I can agree with that sentiment. This is particularly true of games like Flames of War - I don't care if you painted a unit that actually existed, but at least give some reasoning for your color schemes. For some games and armies, like WH40k, this is real easy - the official canon already says there are 1000s of different space marine chapters, so why not go outside the codex?

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I think its better to talk about WWII instead of Flames of War. This is an historical subject as such and there is hard evidence for all the varied uniform combinations that existed on all sides. Now I can see where a historical purist (not necessarily FOW which plays a little fast and loose with history at times) would object to a pink panther, I wouldn't care, as long as the individual is aware that he probably disqualified himself for receiving a best painted army award because of his unit of pink panthers (even a single one, you just painted yourself a big target after all which is a tad counter productive). I'm tempted to do this now a whole platoon of five would look awesome on the table. Now in a painting competition especially since most of us historical guys have to compete in non-historical categories I would give full marks to a well painted pink panther. If it was in an historical category it wouldn't make the first cut no matter how good it is. There is a reason we call it historical.

Edited by Heisler
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That's why I mentioned Flames of War, and not historical or WWII. That's one reason I can't get into historical gaming - I just don't want to do the research a really good historical paint scheme would require. This isn't just about gaming, either - for my model railroad layout, I don't particularly want to model past stuff, either - my entire layout is set 20-25 years in the future, where I have quite abit of latitude in painting/modeling things. At some point, CAV tanks and gunships are getting added to it as well.

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And therein is the fallacy of historical research, at least for WWII. That's one thing that I will give lot of credit to the FOW guys. They have created some excellent painting guides in the various campaign books and if you want you can buy their uniform paint sets and just follow the directions on the back of the box and you are good to go, no research required its practically paint by numbers with Vallejo Paints. They do the same with vehicles and there is no such thing as standard camoflauge scheme. All you need to know is that a German three tone scheme is dark yellow, green and red brown, want to paint the ambush scheme? Add dots to those three colors. Camoflauge is relatively rare on American vehicles so Violet Brown is your friend (Not Olive Drab). Soviets use a darker green sometimes with camoflauge sometimes without. It is fun reseraching the slogans written on the sides of their tanks though. British maybe two colors or even three in the desert. French tanks are just plain fun they have some wild schemes but again everything you need the FOW guys provide.

 

Napoleonics? Well okay that's a different story. Two $15 Osprey books will get your through most of the French Army though. The research is only extensive if you want it to be. I have seen guys sit and spend hours more on developing their own Space Marine Chapters than I have seen my groups WWII or even Napoleonic research.

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