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"6mm Gamers DON'T Spend Less Time Painting!" Topic

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22 Jul 2019 10:16 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian22 Jul 2019 10:15 a.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

6mm Gamers Spend Less Time Painting and more time playing. With 6mm figures/models. True or false?

42% said "false"
16% said "true"

Mark 122 Jul 2019 11:37 a.m. PST

Clearly false, at least as applies to this particular 6mm gamer.

That said, I have seen 6mm gamers bring unpainted figures / vehicles onto the table on more than one occasion. And I have seen gamers bring under-painted (only spray base-coated, so basically small monochromatic blobs) onto the table on many more occasions.

But I have made up for all of these transgressions of untold numbers of gamers by the untold hours I have devoted to my own collection.

In fact I was going through my WW2 armies over this past weekend, to get some photos of the few Adler figures I have in my ready forces. I was impressed, duly impressed, by how much stuff I have managed to paint. I mean, you'd think I would know how much I have painted, as I was there most of the time. But wow, I found units that looked pretty darned good that I had forgotten I had! Companies and even battalions of tanks that have never seen a game board (yet).

And still so many still to be painted… and so many more I crave to buy.

(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2019 2:18 p.m. PST

Very False !

And still so many still to be painted… and so many more I crave to buy.
Very True !

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2019 3:37 p.m. PST

Less time per figure, yesss.

So many more figures…..

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2019 4:32 p.m. PST

Agree – painting up 72 6mm cavalry for a cavalry brigade is not much faster then doing 24 in 28mm!

von Schwartz22 Jul 2019 5:13 p.m. PST

Can't see as it would make much difference at all, less paint of course but if you are doing WSS, SYW, Napoleonics or similar and are detail oriented, or as I like to say 'anal retentive' you probably spend nearly as much time as you would with 15s or 28s.

With a hell of a lot more eye strain!! (smile)

Whirlwind23 Jul 2019 6:09 a.m. PST

I remember one wise gamer writing that the amount of time one spent painting was roughly proportional to how much one spent on the models in the first place, assuming you were painting them yourself, regardless of what those models actually were.

BigLee23 Jul 2019 7:33 a.m. PST

False…but I'm trying to rectify the imbalance!

Albus Malum13 Jun 2021 5:00 p.m. PST

But its more believable looking at 100 6mm miniatures then looking at 10 28mm miniatures.

williamb14 Jun 2021 7:14 a.m. PST

Less time painting per figure, but so many more to paint. I don't have an accurate count, but have thousands of them covering ancients to science fiction future with some exceptions.

Captain Pete14 Jun 2021 6:13 p.m. PST

Like Mk1, I spend a fair amount of time on my WWII vehicles and figures. Since I don't typically paint in larger scales I cannot say if I spend more time BUT I do a lot of detail work that those working in larger scales do.

In theory it should take less time but the way I paint, I don't think it takes that much less time. I am also painting larger units than most 28mm gamers would. I do paint many of the same details but just at a smaller scale.

Covert Walrus21 Jun 2021 4:23 p.m. PST

You can put just as much effort into 6mm as you can any other scale of course. The results might be less spectacular at first glance, but effort will always show.

le Grande Quartier General21 Jun 2021 9:27 p.m. PST

I agree with Captain Pete and Covert. I found with well-cast Napoleonic 6mm figures such as much of the Adler lines, painting can be quicker by far, with great results when a certain technique is used: Black undercoat, then drybrush outer and raised detail with titanium white. Wash on colors, finish with a black ink/water/soap/acrylic floor finish mixture. This brings the detail out even from an arm's length away due to color reflection, and the creation of contrast between the high and low parts of the figure and the detail on them. link

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2021 3:30 p.m. PST

I'm a 6mm detail freak !!!!

pfmodel23 Jun 2022 10:31 p.m. PST

I have to paint up a lot more 6mm figures than 15mm, so i suspect if you include basing the effort involved is similar.

Mark 126 Jun 2022 12:07 p.m. PST

I'm pretty sure I did not spend any less time painting my WW2 US Armored Infantry than an average collector of 15mm, 20mm, or 28mm would have done.

But as noted, I probably build larger units (more stuff to paint) than an average collector of those larger scales.

I think the painting / basing activities expand to fill the available hobby time. It's possible that those who don't want to spend time painting migrate to smaller scales. But for this gamer / collector, at least, that is not the case.

(aka: Mk 1)

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2022 3:48 p.m. PST

👍👍 Looks good !!!

pfmodel26 Jun 2022 4:25 p.m. PST

I think the painting / basing activities expand to fill the available hobby time.

Very true. Your figures do look good. I am in the process of rebasing my cold war German and Russian 1/285 force mix. A total of 500 bases for each side. That is about 10 times more than any normal person needs for a game. Point made!

Valderian07 Jul 2022 8:42 a.m. PST

Tricky question, but I think 6mm Gamers do spend less time painting! If you are a hobbyist or something in between, I think not because at least in my case I find the microminiatures more enjoyable than, let's say 15mm minis, and I spend more time painting them. I do not base 6mm miniatures unless the miniature is a soldier and I definitely do not base 2 or more soldiers on a base. I want to "respect" the 6mm soldier just like its 28mm counterpart laugh

pfmodel29 Sep 2022 1:45 a.m. PST

I have almost completed my French 6mm Napoleonic force mix and my conclusion is the effort is greater than a 15mm Napoleonic French force mix. I am using rules which uses 3 cm square bases and each base contains 12 infantry figures, each of which is individually easier to paint, but as there are 12 to paint, overall its more difficult than a standard 15mm 4cm wide base with 4 infantry figures on it.

I have previously painted up a 6mm ancients force mix and I found it rather easy, but for some reason I simply cannot avoid but paint as much detail as possible on each 6mm Napoleonic figure.

Ancients were simpler because the number of colours on a figure was about 4 to 8 max, depending on the figure. For a Napoleonic figure you need to paint the base, uniform, white pants, face, hands, backpack, gun body, hat, plume, and bayonet at a minimum. In many cases you need to paint the boots, belts, swords, drums and other insignia as well. The cavalry is even harder, although at least the number of figures is less. I just need to complete my Austrians, but once completed that is where is will probably end for 6mm Napoleonic's for myself.

I like the result, but if you are going down the Napoleonic 6mm path because you feel its easier, I can say that is not the case. I feel 15mm is probably the easiest scale to paint up an army. 25mm is very hard as well, as the painting goes to a different level. I am guessing 3mm may be the easiest scale, but that is only a guess.

For WW2 and Cold War, 6mm is the best scale.

dogtail29 Sep 2022 5:53 a.m. PST

I played a lot of games with 15mm miniatures, so I can´t say I played more with 6mm minis. But you get things accomplished, I can paint for 10 minutes and I can see progress with those tiny ones.
I painted lots of old baccus miniatures from the napoleonic range, now the new sculs have more detail, but are still easy to paint. So I honour them with more effort, but that is not the basic idea for 6mm. You paint them so you can see their nationality, put an enormous flag on top of it and voilà!

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2022 6:36 a.m. PST

6mm minis rule !!!!

pfmodel12 Oct 2022 9:40 p.m. PST

I have completed my new 6mm Napoloenic force mix and it was slightly easier to paint and slight cheaper, but the difference was not major. If you go down the 6mm path because you want an easy to paint army which is cheap, you will be disappointed. On the other hand if you are doing it because of the rules you are using or to get that big-battle feel, you will not be surprised. My detailed analysis video link is below.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2022 5:15 p.m. PST

Almost certainly true in moderns, false in horse & musket and "depends" in medieval and ancients. But the great appeal of the smaller scales is storage, portability and the appearance of the table, not cost in time and money per foot of contact area.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2022 5:28 p.m. PST


FlyXwire17 Dec 2022 5:24 a.m. PST

I'm headed the same way (downscaling), but now to 2-3mm, largely because I upscaled from 6mm for doing more tactical, skirmish-level gaming these past years.

Choosing to do 6mm, or 2-3mm isn't always about the idea of painting time, but for decisions to do larger-context scenarios.

The one thing the smaller scales enable, can be a gaming intention to provide more maneuver space. Funny, but the beauty of big models can distract from the constriction they often impose on tabletop maneuver…..which in turn, means beautiful games full of lovely painted figures are often firing-range-type reproductions (the element of maneuver to contact has largely been discarded).

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2022 9:48 a.m. PST

I am working on some 3mm figures now using Volley and Bayonet. Instead of 12 15mm figures on a stand, I have 96-100+ figures on the same stand. I am not saving any painting time.

freecloud18 Jan 2023 6:27 a.m. PST

I spend a lot less time per figure/model, but have to paint more figures/models per unit. Even so I a spend less time per unit.

And then I go and spoil it all by building a *lot* more units…. :D

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