When I first picked up Armada, I thought I could live with the unpainted fighter squadrons. Once I saw how other people were painting theirs, however, I knew I would need to see them through. I quickly devised a way to knock them out quickly (after all- part of the appeal of Armada is that you can play right out of the box!), while making them look much better on the board.
As a general guiding principle, remember that these fighters are SMALL, so painting on them is really about creating an illusion. When you look at close-ups they look pretty rough, but in the middle of a huge furball on the board, the individual blemishes disappear and the fighters look awesome!
Without further ado, here is the list of colors I used. Note that I used el cheapo 99 cent craft store acrylics. Vallejo or PP paints or whatever else will work better, but these were fine.
The main colors of paint you'll need. Green is optional (for Astromechs). Not pictured: Red. The wash I use is a great product by CGR Painters. I love it. Do yourself a favor and buy a bottle right now! Q-tips will be essential. I used a fine 00 Windsor & Newton Series 7 brush and a cheapo "bigger" brush (forget the size).
Paint your marking colors. Here I am doing Blue Squadron. Use the mold lines as your guide- lines along the front fuselage, and blocks on the back wings.
Use black for the cockpit (there's a little indention to guide you) and the engine fronts.
Use orange for the engine glow.
Using a fine brush do 3 small dots on the astromech in varying colors.
One stand at a time, hit them liberally with your wash. Then quickly use the Q-tip to clean up any excess- pay special attention to the fuselage and laser cannons. In the picture you can see how much the wash brings out the detail!
Go forth and defeat the Empire! May the force be with you.
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