Originally by Shawmuscle
1. Use reference, find as many images that inspire you as you can. I take a couple hours/days doing this before and during character creation.
2. Learn design principles and art fundamentals, such as Large, Medium, small – Color theory – Anatomy – Functionality (for armour) – Contrast – and for renders Light theory. You can find YT videos on all of these topics.
3. Fail quickly, try out many ideas early on in your design process as this is the main piece of the puzzle, it will not matter how much detail you add to a poor character design.
4. Silhouette must be distinctive for a game like total war as the unit is far away, this is why some of the unit proportions can look odd in wh2.
5. going back to fundamentals, use color wheels, my personal fav is adobe online https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel , I typically take the main faction color as the base and see what combinations match my vision for the character.
6. Time, this is the one advantage you have over pros, there is no deadline for you, so take your time.
7. Tell a story, what is this characters back story, let it show in the design. For example a battle hardened warrior will most likely have scars and markings on his armour, no character lives in a vacuum.
8. Look at cosplay armour, this will show you how it fits together and make a much more realistic/plausible design.
Hope these few tips help you as much as they have helped me