But... where do you begin?!

But what if you have a limited collection? How can you even begin experimenting with colourschemes if you have a limited collection? Guess what: no matter how many parts you get, you will always be low on certain colours or parts, heck, even the designers at Lego work with limitations!

Narrowing down your options

An interesting example of this is the discussion of the lime/orange Power Miner colourscheme in this interview with AFOL-gone-designer Mark Stafford on Brothers Brick:

This little excercise will probably be very similar to the one you have to go through once you begin looking around for the part-types you plan to use for a MOC:

Crucial parts

Razorback Fighter 3046 3688 3685
Black x x x
Blue (x) x x
Green x
Dark Stone (x)
Old Dark Grey x x
Old Grey x x
Navy Blue x
Red x x x
Red Brown (x) x
Royal Blue x
Sand Blue (x)
Tan x
White x x
Yellow x
87 Razorback (7/11 2008)

When deciding the colourscheme for my Razorback Fighter, for instance, the three most crucial parts for design turned out to be especially troublesome.
As can be seen from the table on the right, I could only achieve a match with three different colours - and that's not even considering pinconnectors and cheeseslopes that were also nessecary!

75 Bun-Bun (18/03 2007)Another example of making a virtue out of necessity is my Bun-Bun-fighter: I would've liked to keep it in a white / orange colourscheme, but since 1x4 hinges haven't been produced in orange yet, I went for an analogue colourscheme by using red instead.

Using the colourwheel in practice

My Samurai Class Fighter is quick little build in a good example on how you can use the colourwheel to make the best of your limited selection of parts:

This was a quick little build on August 16th 2008, that basically started out black with the central SNOT-brick, engine cone, side hinges and tail.

I wanted to attach some wings to the hinges, and decided that trapezoid flags would fit the tail best.
I only had two of these, however, and knew they had temporarily dissapeared, and the only alternative was the bag of dark blue ones I'd gotten from a grabbox somewhere.

And then I realized that I finally had a chace to use my recently build colourwheel: What was opposite to blue? Orange!
Actually, dark orange would probably have fitted the dark blue better, but my assortment of parts in regular orange is fairly good, and when I found a few dark blue clickhinges and orange 1x2 plates with handle to hold the flags, the main colours were settled.

Since the dark blue hinges and special orange plates ended up right next to each other (and wasn't contrasting too much because of the darker tone of blue), I decided to repeat the orange/dark-blue stripe on black on the rest of the MOC as a general pattern.

Finally I had to choose the transparent colour for the underslung retro-style gun, but since I had Halfhead visiting (it was him who came up with the engine cone/clickhinge-combo), I didn't want to spend a lot of time digging out my old collection of transparant 1x1 plates, so the final colour-choice was either red or yellow, and I think red fitted the darker colourscheme better.
Though, I won't guarantee that the gun hasn't turned trans blue by the time I get around to re-shoot and upload this MOC ;-)


These practical examples concludes the colour-tutorial proper. I hope they have convinced you that it is actually fairly easy to create decent colourschemes using basic colour theory and your trusty colour-wheel - and that colour- or parts-limitations may actually work to your advantage!

In the final page of this tutorial, I've condenced some good advice on colourschemes from the people on CSF and assembled a couple of links to other colour resources on the web.

[return to colour tutorial index]

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