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"10mm Grand Scale Miniatures Painting Tips and Guide" Topic

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Shader23 Nov 2005 12:26 a.m. PST

Hi, firstly sorry for my bad English.
I just started assembling 10mm army for Warmaster Ancient.
I came from 1/72 and 25/28mm scale and a lot of painting tecniques from these scale didn't "fit" the new one, so I'm asking if anybody know where find some guide or painting tips.
Thank you.

Andrew May123 Nov 2005 12:51 a.m. PST

Hi Shader, your English is just fine!

Alot of people use the 'three foot rule' when painting smaller scale figures such as 6mm and 10mm. This means that the minis should be painted with enough detail to look good from around three feet away.

Also, remember to make the colours on your 10mm minis a half shade brighter than they should actually be – this will make them stand out against the base and be more easily identifiable from across the table!

You don't really need to use much shading, and a thin wash of black paint should be enough to line the recesses of the minis and bring out the detail.

Sorry I can't help with any online guides, but the advice I've just given you was advice passed on to me a while ago by other members of TMP and it works!

Have fun, laugh

The Magister Militum23 Nov 2005 1:57 a.m. PST

I am not the worlds best painter but I use the following which works for me.

A black undercoat using the Howard Hues Equine Black (a bit of a product plug but it seems to really work for undercoating).

I then paint every part of the figure with a mix of painting/heavy dry brush in the appropriate colour, using a darker shade where I have more than 1 version (for example, and again it is using Howard Hues as they are all I paint with, I would use Spartan Red 1086 for a red cloak and then highlight it with Austrian Red 1087)

I then ink areas of wood and flesh with a brown ink. Some areas with strong colours the red cloaks etc may get a coat of glaze but normally not.

I then highlight the figure either with a light dry brush or a highlight on raised areas to bring the detail out. I use lighter colours here. For example for a rifle I would use Rifle But 1769 and then highlight in Wood 1165.

If you batch paint units you can turn them out in about and hour and a half per unit.

Our display figures are not painted this way (but they are done by people who can really paint) but for units on the table it works pretty well. The figures do need to have good detail however and I can only comment on how our own Magister Militum 10mm are to paint.

HistoriFigs23 Nov 2005 6:01 a.m. PST

Lots of ways to paint 10mm figures…

Our website has an article by Mike Frank (one of the Scruby "crew" in the ealry 70's) on painting N-gauge (10mm to 12mm) figures. You may find some helpful tips, here is the link:

Bob in Edmonton23 Nov 2005 6:47 a.m. PST

One option for paintiong over black primer is to follow the black priming with a heavy drybrushing of white—relaly brings the detail out (so you can see what you're painting)and lets colours with a weaker pigment (e.g., yellow) stand out. Also shows you where the highlights on the figures should be.

Bob in Edmonton

TERMINATOR23 Nov 2005 7:34 a.m. PST

Definitely agree on black primer if you are doing strip type figures.
Dry brushing with white or giving a liberal basecoat of flesh does help show you what you are painting. Painting shields with a light coat of white for lighter colors to cover better is useful. I do a basic but thorough paint job and then wash using a black/brown future based ink wash. Brighter colors are best if you give the figures a wash. The colors will dull down some when you do so. The wash brings out all the details, so I don't feel shading is necessary.
I am working on Carthaginians using Old Glory 10mm figures, packing figures in for a truly epic look. I have just finished four units of Gauls, which totaled about 180 figures.
So I guess I didn't feel I had time to shade, or that if I did so it would be worth the effect in this scale. I will probably do some shading for command figures such as generals.

Eric Landes23 Nov 2005 8:58 a.m. PST

I actually use the same painting techniques Peter Berry explains on his 6mm page ( for the OG 10mm strips. Works great.

I'm certainly not the fastest painter on the planet, but using those techniques, I average about 4 minutes per figure and they end up looking good on the table.

Jim McDaniel23 Nov 2005 9:29 p.m. PST

Shader, no apologies are necessary for your English, infact I'd be utterly happy if I could speak your native language as well as you write mine.

Gppd luck with your painting efforts.

Judas Iscariot23 Nov 2005 10:56 p.m. PST

I have never been too fond of the black undercoat method for some figures.

Specifically, if the figures have a lot of flesh showing. I tend to use a white primer/undercoat for those.

The Macedonians from OG I have used a white undercoat on, and they look really good and have not taken a lot of time to paint either. You just need to get used to doing a lot of dark washes of various shades depending uponthe amount of shading needed. I also tend to only use black as an undercoat or wash if I am going to be doing a very dark color. Otherwise I use a very dark brown for colors such as reds, yellows, oranges, flesh, etc) and a very dark green or blue for colors such as blue, green, violet, etc.

You will be really surprised how much the colored wash will make the finished effect sharper and more effective…

You also do not need to do a lot of drybrushing at this scale. After the wash a gentle wet-brush (similar to dry-brush but with the paint in the brush still fairly wet) to pick out highlighted areas work wonderfully. Also, for areas where the color is to be a consistent shade, but just needs the edges shades, this technique produces a less harsh look than the black undercoat. Those areas just ned to have a normal paint touch up to bring out the highlighted areas.

The only place where I have spent any time on these figures is on their helmets and shields. The helmets I have done in a dark blue with a light blue dry brush and gold trim. I was surprised that you can see the Gold trim of the helmets fro over 3 feet away. The dark brown wash over that area, combined with the daark blue wash of the helmet combined to create a very effective contrast for the gold-trim…

On the Romans that I have I am using a similar technique (I have both Magister Militum and OG Republican Romans). I have painted in the colors for each area and then washed all of the areas (save for the skin, usually the wash done on the surrounding areas will be enough to contrast & shade the flesh) and then gone back in with the same wet-brush technique. It produces some very bright finishes with enough shading to see at over 3 feet, and looks much cleaner at under 3 feet…

Shader24 Nov 2005 12:27 a.m. PST

Thank you very much, I start collecting every advice and I will make some test.
Thank's again.

Last Hussar28 Dec 2005 9:20 p.m. PST

I go with the 3 foot rule. I keep just a few colours on a figure and only paint detail on the figures that will stand alone (generals etc). People who inspect figures at 3 inches get told off. I find a intricately painted figue can look a mess of colour at a metre distance.

Watch the crowd at a sporting event, especially something where they where the kits of the teams, such as football. The pictures on a TV will be larger than your figure, but how much detail can you actually see? The reason why people go for 10mm is that you can get 10-15 figures on a base instaed of 4-6. What you need is the colours that will stand out in a crowd

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