The Joys of Color Scheme Planning and Execution

One of the things I wanted to do when I started collecting my Scythes force was have a consistent, regimented color scheme across all squads – the full Codex Experience, as it were – because with my previous attempts at marines back in the day, I did it in sort of an ad-hoc way. I also wanted to improve the “canon” Scythes of the Emperor paint scheme, of which I am not fond, so writing up a quick outline document before I ever touched paint to model was a nice way of killing two birds with one stone. Those Bolter and Chainsword color planning things helped a lot, too, but fundamentally I found having everything all planned out before I even bought a model helped me a lot.

This is the basic color scheme progression. On the left is the basic trooper – black armor with yellow trim. In the middle is the fire team leader (who will lead the second combat squad if the full squad is deployed in this way) with a yellow helmet, and then the sergeant who additionally reverses the shoulder pad colors.

Squad markings are basically codex by the book, save that the fire support chevron is fully filled in to ensure readability of the squad number (and painting over transfers is a massive PITA, I tell you what). The chapter symbol is crossed scythes, but high-ranking individuals and company banners may display a single scythe instead.

Elite troops have white helmets. Originally this would have been 1st company troopers, but this has expanded to include any units which are usually filled by veteran troops. (In game terms, I’ve decided this means anything in an Elite slot – mostly because I wanted Reivers to have white helmets.) (And yes, elite fireteam leaders sort of get lost in the shuffle, but oh well!)


And finally, officers have red helmets – there are no official markings setting Lieutenants and Captains apart, as it’s usually easy to tell in practice.

I decided not to show company anywhere on the model, because I couldn’t think of a nice elegant way to do it that would preserve the limited palette I’m working with, work on any mark of armor (which ruled out what would have been my first choice, numbers on kneepads), and preferably be something I could do with a decal. So I was pleased to see that a lot of the codex chapters in the, er, codex, just don’t show company colors, and it fits with the Scythes fluff in that they’ve essentially had just the one company for quite a long time anyway.

And that’s that. The ooonly thing I might do differently is look into getting chapter symbols from Shapeway or custom transfers or something – each individual marine’s symbol is wonky in its own idiosyncratic way, sadly. Hindsight and all that!

Author: chubugamer

I'm an American who has been living (and gaming) in Japan since the mid-90s.

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