Saturday, 25 February 2012

Help! Really need some advice, completely stuck with Praetorian Guard colour scheme and can't carry on until it is sorted!

Original Praetorian Imperial Guard 
Original Praetorian Imperial Guard 
I'd really appreciate it if people could read this and make some comments because I'm a bit lost....

So here was my original Praetorian colour scheme I came up with. I had intended to only use actual Praetorians as veterans but I now have enough to make up the platoons!

So going back to this guy, I like him but don't love him, and if I have to paint 100's, I have to love them.

Traditional Praetorian Imperial Guard 
Traditional Praetorian Imperial Guard
I can't 100% decide what I don't like though. The red is definitely wrong and you can see below I have changed that and I love it now so not an issue. Didn't like the bayonet white, again now sorted. Here we now come to the problem though. I like the green cuffs, (not the collar that's now gone) but I'm not sure about the model as a whole. There seems to be too much going on, and it doesn't all work together?

Rifleman Praetorian Imperial Guard
Rifleman Praetorian Imperial Guard
So I tried out a traditional blue colour scheme and really like it, its simple and I think it really works, but I kind of miss the green cuffs, but then I couldn't have blue trousers.

And now comes the final problem along those lines.....

I always wanted to do some squads (eventually a whole platoon!) in a 60th Rifle inspired scheme. After some playing around this is my take. Now I love this guy but the one thing I am not sure about is the epaulettes (and the boots need to be darker but I will sort that). The brown works I think but I don't love it. Maybe grey/white coloured epaulettes? but then maybe he should have grey trousers, but I really like the brown. Or maybe the epaulettes should match the gold of the redcoats? Would that work?

And most importantly how do I get the army to gel? I need a colour across all I think, but I have disregarded red I don't think it goes with the earthy green colours. So do I drop the blue and reinstate the green cuffs?

Really at a loss and have complete painters block now till I decide. Any comments (even if you think I need to start from scratch!) are welcome I just need some opinions to help me out, don't care if they differ from mine or each others....


  1. I am no expert, so take anything I say with a grain of salt, but here are my thoughts anyway. (Because I know the pain of having a main colour scheme that is a little off!)

    Your right, there is too much going on in the original. You have a 3 colour clash. Red and green are complementary which is why they work by them self, but adding yellow throws the balance out. Red yellow and blue in the traditional colours (at those hues) balance out well. But as you said you lose the green cuffs.

    Ideas? Complementarily works, Triad works how about a Tetrad? One of the painting rules is to not go past 3 colours but 4 can work if you’re carful about it.

    The darker red goes with the darker green so if you want to change the red brighter you will have to change the green. The yellow completes the blue (as a duo) but as a foursome the blue would need to be slightly purple.

    You could try the original with dark blue pants but it might be too much. Really you want the blue next to the yellow and the red next to the green.... hmm
    What about this- working off the original scheme: blue pants, yellow stipe. Red jacket green collar, cuffs and trim. Yellow epaulettes but put a blue centre shoulder board in them.
    It’s not the original Praetorian scheme but I think it would go with your other Victorian praetorians.

    For other ideas and getting the hues right try using this

    As for the 60th Rifles I’d say put that aside for now and work on one scheme at a time. When you get to them don’t try and have them match the redcoats, just give them a scheme that works for them. The helmets, guns and bases will tie them to the rest of the army.

    That being said, if you felt you really wanted them to match, that dark green that you used for the collar and cuffs would look great as a jacket. How about red cuffs (to balance it), then just do the rest in shades of brown.

    I don’t know if any of this rambling is useful, but if it gets you thinking then I hope it helps. Don’t start from scratch your other dudes look awesome!

  2. Man I would love to be in your head right now because it looks like you have a million and one good idea's put can't decide on which one to do. But never fear Commissar Dave is here to try and help.

    I think the problem you have is trying to make the painting complicated, because looking at your painting standard you are painting them as if they were individual's like your special model's or HQ's. Now I like all three, but what I think you need to do is cut back on your colours as you have to many. With my army I went with four main colour's that I knew would work but diffrent from the GW model's, so I went with the Red coat, White helmet, Black trouser's and Belt, and Green weapons. I also kept the highlighting to a minimum because I wanted them to look good as a squad rather than an individual, I have saved that for my special model's and HQ's.

    I would drop your first attempt as I feel it is to dark and to much happening, but is still a great looking model. I would go with the second as it work's really well and I like the blue. But what I would change is the epualettes to white and do the bayonet scabbard the same as your first model. If you do that the model will tie in very nicely and will look great on the table.

    I see were you are going with the 60th and I like it, but as Col Ackland say's you need to concentrate on the main army first and get that right before moving onto these guy's. Now as a guess I would say you are going for the Royal Green Jackets look from the TV series Sharp. If that is the case if what you need to do is change the epualttes from brown to black and I think this would work really well especially like you say once you have made the brown darker.

    So that's what I think I hope I have helped and not made thing's to complecated for you, and good luck on what ever you decide.

  3. I would put the green jackets to one side for the time being and focus on the red jackets first.

    While having lots of different colours in your army works well for Napoleonic armies where you have 100s of each colour I think that you run the real risk of having a disjointed army as having just 10 green jacket men with entirely different colour for everything else (when your total army is only 100 men) won't look like they belong. Its a lot like the guard armies of old where you have cadian, mordian and catachan in the same force!

    You need to have some constants (with regards to colours) for all your troops. I want to include some green jackets at some point but it is difficult to square with the rest of my army. I think you can only change some much with regards to the colour scheme a dn have it still look like it belongs. The difficult part is finding that line.

  4. Thanks very much for the comments guys its really useful and much appreciated.

    Col Ackland, Totally agree on the colour theory front, been thinking a lot about it since you mentioned it before and I think you said your most loved armies stuck to it. That comments been nagging at me ever since as the penal legion troopers I'm doing are an easy colour scheme to like (shades of grey - simple) but the more I looked at the Praetorian, the more it came apparent I didn't love what I had done and I think I need to. Thanks for the suggestions on how to incorporate the green with a four colour system but I don't think its going to achieve the aim of a colour scheme I love. Its too far away from the traditional blue/red/yellow while not being far enough (like the rifle scheme) if that makes sense.

    Dave, thanks, I like to plan and think everything I want to do out, hence the colour schemes, cannons, ratlings etc. but I can't start the main bulk until I have settled on the scheme. Thanks very much for the compliment, but I don't think I'm that good a painter, definitely getting better the more I try things out I'm finding. But I have just been using tips from the citadel guide, I don't spend too long painting, the two guys above were quite quick and simple so hopefully when I settle on things I should start rolling stuff out! I tried white epaulettes I can't seem to get them right? I tried grey as the base and then drybrushed white over the top but it didn't seem to work, and then the helmet needs to be white and I'm not sure whether I prefer it bone coloured. And the thing is if I go with white I think I would want to go back to green cuffs and black trousers but then I think again I would be in the too much going on category. I'm not sure exactly what to do, I really like the blue trousered model and I think it may be the colour scheme. I might try one more test with that green/black/red/white scheme and see how it looks but then it completely goes away from colour theory so don't have high hopes, we will see. Thanks for your advice though.

    Col Winterborne thanks also. I think you might be right but its sad to think there wouldn't be any rifle troopers in my army. I was thinking of doing the heavy weapons in blue artillery colours reverse the blue and red scheme basically and replace gold epaulettes with red, if I use the blue and red scheme for normal troopers do you think they will work? Also your army has inspired the following thought....

    Ok possibly crazy thought but what would people think to an entire army of the green jackets??? I was dead set on red jackets but the more I look at my rifleman I love him and I'm tempted.

  5. A whole army of green jackets? As a non red-jacket man myself I say go for it!

  6. Green Jackets! yeah, I'm all for Praetorian diversity, and that sounds cool!