Painting & Modeling Total Beginner's Guide

On Differentiating Units

Once you've got a lot of Corps units, how do you keep them from getting mixed up on the table? Inside, I highlight some creative community examples on differentiating your Corps units.

When it comes to the hobby side of things, one of the questions I often see beginners pose in the Facebook group and on the Discord is: what’s the best way to make my units look distinct on the battlefield?

It’s a good question, and one I struggled with at the start. At first, I intended to paint each Stormtrooper unit with a different color pauldrons, but ended up settling on something different (which you can see at the end).

But my story is just one, and so I went to the Discord users for some help. I received a ton of photo submissions after asking very nicely, so thank you to everyone who submitted their unique take on differentiating Legion units.

A Galaxy of Choices

Shown below are three user submissions, ranging from simple and obvious to advanced and nuanced. Following those three is a photo of my own design. I hope you find these useful for inspiring your own creativity!

Without further ado:

1) Simple and Clean

Sploosh, aka Doug K, from the Legion Discord uses a simple but wonderfully effective colored dot system to differentiate his units. Great for beginner painters or those who want to do things quickly!

2) Stylish and Clear

Dustin Foran took the above idea a step further with his Shoretroopers. There are colored marks on the edge of each base to differentiate the unit, but still allowing him to have stylish premium bases.


3) A Nuanced Take

Orkimedes, aka Kyle, does two things: first, he paints the headbands of his Rebel Troopers different colors to identify unit, and second, he puts a small Sabaac card on their backpack. Very cool idea, and well executed!


4) Groggy’s War Dogs

I snapped this photo of my own units at the Northeast Open this summer. You can see two distinct squads here (of five total that I’ve painted). On the left, “Scar” squadron; on the right, “Stripe” squadron. I like that they look both unique and cohesive as part of a larger army!


Hopefully this has helped you figure out what to do for differentiating your units. If you’ve got other ideas or suggestions, leave them in the comments below.

Happy differentiating, Commanders!

5 comments on “On Differentiating Units

  1. On any unit I have a duplicate of (wookiees, rebel troopers, stormtroopers, etc.) I put a single aurebesh letter on the side of the base of each model to divide them up. It’s not immediately distinctive, but it is very much in-universe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joshua Brown

    I like to do different basing but within the same setting.

    Eg sand no bushes, sand with rocks, sand with bushes and rocks, cracked creek bed etc

    For an upcoming theed board i’m making i’m going to mimic this with my basing for prequel factions, so small cobblestone bases, sandy bases, garden bed, larger road tiles etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I use colored stripes on the right arm as part of the armor design.

    Liked by 1 person

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