A quick palette test for Legions Imperialis on an Imperial Fists Xiphon flight with escorted Storm Eagle.I had almost forgotten just how much I enjoyment I get from painting epic scale miniatures. Brings me right back to what got me into the hobby in the first place. You may have seen in my social media posts the White Scars versions, I will show more of those in the gallery at a later date once I’ve had a chance to take some proper photos of them. These I have done specifically for the launch of Legions Imperials, primarily to test out the palette, but mostly to start laying down some units I feel can translate across to the new game immediately.

Imperial Fists Yellow

The go-to colour for these was Games Workshop Imperial Fists Yellow contrast, the same as I have been using for my regular Horus Heresy Fists. One thing I learned from painting epic scale over the years is you have to exaggerate the contrast and the saturation a ‘lot’ to read well. I have a natural inclination to want to simply ‘miniaturise’ my existing painting methods for the smaller scale, but from experience what happens is you get a very dull or flat looking model. The eye just cannot read the contrast over such small surface unless you magnify in. I counter this by completely over-exaggerating the colours and highlights to help them pop more. That’s not to say you can’t still add atmospheric effects like weathering and noise to ground them into the world, but these need to follow the opposite rule and be scale-sensitive. Reduce chipping marks and go subtle with weathering.

It’s a balancing act between the two and often what I do is make adjustments as I paint the miniature, constantly re-evaluating how it looks as I work on it it.

Legion markings

I love making the marking in heresy asymmetric. There is nothing wrong with having uniform marking and legion decals standardised across units and formations. In fact that was a very traditional approach in previous editions, especially second edition. It was probably when Epic 40,000 was released I started to paint units to make each stand out more individually, this was especially true when I did the Ultramarines strike force for Epic Armageddon.

The two Xiphons have completely different patterns on the wings and nose, with asymmetric decals on the wings. The only common mark being the clenched fists icon just below the cockpit. Even though they are uniquely marked, the core palette of yellow and black helps unify them under the same detachment.

Legions Storm Eagle

I painted the Storm Eagle the same time in exactly the same process as the Xiphons. I purposefully made the markings symmetrical for the transport to contrast with the escorting fighters. These are really only a tester, but I’m happy enough with the final look that I think that I’ll commit to building out a seventh legion detachment or two in Legions Imperialis. I think the scheme’s high contrast between the yellow and black, plus the saturation in the yellow will make them really stand out in epic scale. Ironically other than some pre-release test samples for Epic Armageddon, I’ve never to this date painted an Imperial Fists army in Epic for my own collection. I’m really looking forward to doing more now.

I hope you find them interesting, feel free to comment below or in any of my social media channels what you think and let me know what forces you are planning to build once Legions Imperialis launches.