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"Any advice on painting 6mm?" Topic

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1,191 hits since 27 Jun 2017
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Lord Ashram27 Jun 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

Hey all,

Well, I'm about to tackle my first 6mm project (a samurai army, but I am crossposting because I figure the nappy guys should be good help) and I am a bit scared.

I went with 6mm samurai because it feels like I can do a lot of shortcuts… undercoat black, dry brush with a hint of grey, faces and hands with flesh, spears and sashimonos, and done…

Does 6mm need more detail than that to look good enough? I am not looking for a huge detailed beautiful army, but rather for enough back banners to satisfy my samurai desire:)

And do you need to do as much detail on the second rank of guys?

Any advice more than welcome!

TonicNH27 Jun 2017 6:41 a.m. PST

fraid my Google-fu has failed to find anything specific to samurai but if you haven't already seen it tis might help


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 6:47 a.m. PST

Hmmm. Black priming and drybrush sound right. I would give them a black wash following the prime in case you missed anything, and I usually drybrush white--everywhere with a cheap flat brush.
Detail you'll have to judge for youerself. The general rule is the more castings on the stand the less detail each one needs to be credible. I usually paint everyone the same and put the best-looking in the front rank. Paint, base, grass. If when you're done, you decide they need more detail, add it to the front rank. They'll still be accessible.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member27 Jun 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

Baccus' painting guide is helpful, IIRC their site also has an alternative perspective up; there's also a good one in one of the Battlegames issues, I think from the period that's available on Wargames Vault.

One tip for 6mm is to do them a bit brighter than you would a larger figure. Your sealant and distance will automatically darken things, so you need it a bit brighter, specially for something like samurai.

Rabelais27 Jun 2017 7:16 a.m. PST

I did a bit of a guide on how I did my 6mm Sengoku here:

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

You might try Adler UK, because I think he has a guide on painting 6mm figures.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 8:39 a.m. PST

I always say "paint the unit, not the figure." Think of the block of 24 as a figure, that kind of thing.

I don't dry brush. I'm a "dab and go."

Prime black. Then assembly line it:

Do all the faces
Then hands
Blanket roll
Pom pom

The goal is to use the same "stroke" over and over. When I get in a zone I can paint very, very fast. I once did a battalion of 288 French Napoleonics in 3 evenings. (2 full nights painting, one half prime and prep, one half basing). Say, 12 hours total from baggie to base. Though in reality I spread it out over 4 or 5 days as I recall.

Here is what that looks like:


Barcephus Inactive Member27 Jun 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

looking good Extra Crispy

GoonerFrog Inactive Member27 Jun 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

Extra Crispy has it spot on. This is how I do all of my painting. You can paint faster due to the repetitive hand motion. I actually do all left hands, then all right hands and so on. You will get into a zone that allows you to complete large blocks of troops quickly.

I put up to 8 stands in base to base contact on long popsicle sticks that are affixed to a spool. I complete the same item for all figures before I move to the next item.

I did my rather large Baccus Confederate and Union Armies, which I purchased from said Mr. Crispy, in about a month and a half.

Cheers pb

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 2:34 p.m. PST

Boy Windy X is correct about lightening the colors. Look up scale effect and see the difference small figures make in shades of gray, the best examples are small scale modern ships vs. larger ships. All my early 15's are way too dark. I would even suggest a dark gray primer, not black, with a white dry-brush.

Khusrau28 Jun 2017 4:04 p.m. PST

Lighten colours (a lot), undercoat black, and aim to use 'dots' to paint with. As an example, here:


hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

I agree on substituting dark gray primer for black, and lightening colors. Most (all?) black-primed 6mm I've seen look way too dark at normal viewing distance, IMHO.

In fact, if you are able to use the smaller Heroics and Ros, you don't really need a dark primer at all. The army on the left is light-gray primed, and both armies use much-lightened colors.



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