Haha thanks! He was a quickie. But to punch him up you could add more colors, and really finesse the contour part, spend a bit more time blending or creating contrast and such.
For sure! If you got him that'd be fun to see the starting point. The more visual information you find at the outset the more stuff can be noodled. Or if the starting image has a very different look, you can also adjust opacity/saturation or add a quick contour to carve it out. It's nice to start larger, just cause it's easier to make out what's there and to apply transformations when it's bigger so you don't get too much fuzz.
One thing I forgot to mention, basic but which is helpful is to leave a little room to play when you set your canvas sizing. This can help later if you need to add a thicker contour or want to light the unit like with actual shadows, so you don't clip at the edge of the canvas.
To extend the canvas go to
Image tab > Canvas
Here you can clip or expand the transparency. You can also position where the new canvas will be by centering or dragging the rectangle in the mini. This is also a quick way to control your crops by using the px entered. To cut canvas away rather than extending.
When you copy one image into another Layers at different sizes will show a yellow highlighted marquee where the edges are.
If you need to bring these back in line click
Layer > layer to image size
When you paste something into your image click the floating selection in the layer menu on the lower right, and choose "To New Layer" from the drop down menu to give it a home. I mentioned that in the other guide, but it's a good one to remember. Otherwise the new thing will paste into the current layer.
Layers can be raised or lowered, in order, or have different adjustments made to them. To select the layers go to the menu at the bottom right and select the images with the eyeballs next to them. Doing this you can apply color to only one layer at time.
To get extra fancy you can search alpha channels and color masks, to see how using the eraser/paintbrush to slowly change from one color to another can be done. Basically the same way people would digitally colorize a BW photo, WW2 in color style. Although for our purposes with images that are smaller using the selection tool and colorize can get you pretty close to that with fewer steps, so that's why I thought it made sense to begin with that.
Oh and one other cool trick for units
Transform > Flip Horizontal
This is the way to quickly see if the image is going to carry facing the opposite direction. Sometimes if you're adding in stuff with drawing, if you goof a hand or a boot or whatever, you will be able to tell more easily by doing the flip. Like holding up a drawing in the mirror, the stuff jumps out where it's wonky when you invert hehe.
And finally one quick mention, but it has a bit more to do with the placement of the unit. Or like if you're trying to combine multiple units together into a single graphic I guess. When putting stuff together it's usually more visually appealing when shapes strike each other in particular ways. Here's a quick guide that describes what tangents are and how to avoid them. https://emptyeasel.com/2008/11/18/avoiding-tangents-9-visual-blunders-every-artist-should-watch-out-for/ For our purposes this would be stuff like where one unit clips into another and dismembers it, or where two shapes touch along an edge in an awkward way, crowding essentially. So having a little bit of canvas can help for that. Then when you're doing the unit place it's less likely for one shape to run into another in ways that create visual confusion or a sense of unease.
Similarly when you set up the placement, you can do stuff like having the infantry be lower down within a tile, so that the larger type units like a big bomber or giant tank won't challenge the sense of perspective as much. Basically so it looks like the infantry guy is standing closer to the viewer and the big stuff is more behind him.
Other stuff you can do for consistency is to make units of the same type at the same size or same rotation/tilt, or using abstract shapes to help organize the look. Or basically to choose one dimension along which the units will look similar and keep that consistent (say the hue range of the tint) but then to play up some other element for the differences. Like a painted on roundel to the fighter's wings or just showing the faces and hands of the infantry but otherwise having them dress to color. Kinda like picking a major color and then a safety color. That sort of stuff.