The background of my Empire army is that it is the personal force of Konrad the Black, exile and mercenary. Konrad was forced to leave his family estates after his brother was corrupted by Nurgle and killed their parents and a large portion of their estate tenants and workers. He left his sister to manage what remained and travelled to Tilea, to sell his sword as a mercenary, to support her.
Years later he has built up a sizeable mercenary force and founded an order of knights, the Knights of the Black Hand. He still takes on mercenary contracts now and again but increasingly spends his time pursuing the minions of Chaos, in hopes of one day finding his wayward corrupted brother and putting him to the sword.
The modelling, painting and composition of the army is built around this background. Blue is the dominant colour in the force, but it's used in a fairly chaotic manner, with lots of different shades and patterns in any given unit, plus some whites, browns and the occasional green. You end up with something which looks much more improvised and hodge-podge than the usual bright, regular repeating patterns of Empire armies.
The detachments support this theme. I run two blocks of 9 militia, who naturally gravitate towards the hodge-podge side of things, and two missile detachments, 5 crossbowmen and 5 archers. For these I'm using miniatures from the old Battle Masters game, which I had as a kid. They're nice little minis that paint up well and have a vaguely Tilean feel to them, compared to the very Germanic modern Empire line.
I figured I'd dedicate one rare slot to something from the Dogs of War list to reinforce that mercenary feel. Crossbows or pikes would be flavourful but they also tend to replicate things I already have in the force, so I went with Ogres. The nice new Ogre plastic kit may have influenced this decision. I added beards and hair to them with green stuff and converted the unit champion partially. They use a splash of blue on their belly plates to tie them into the rest of the army, while still being visually distinct.
The last thing I have to add is a unit of pistoliers, which should be arriving in the mail any day now. I hope to convert them to look more Tilean than Imperial, but I'm not sure yet how I'm going to do that. I'll have to see the plastics first.
The one thing that stands out in this list as not really belonging is my Helblaster volley gun. It doesn't really belong, fluff-wise. I just can't leave it behind. It's a lot of fun to play; sometimes mowing down the enemy, sometimes blowing apart where it sits, and sometimes doing both at once.