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2 - Painting in 6mm Scale

Early Imperial Army (25mm Groundscale)
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Celtic Army (25mm Groundscale)
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27 October 2003page first published

12,176 hits since 27 Oct 2003
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Robert Brown of Friar Barb's Painting Monastery writes:

Earlier this year, I approached Bill Armintrout regarding doing an article for The Miniatures Page focusing on painting and basing two 6mm armies. I thought it would be interesting to paint up two opposing DBA armies, and suggested Bill contact Peter Berry of Baccus 6mm figures (as Baccus armies can be purchased just this way).

{As a disclaimer, this article is not intended as a review of Baccus figures or a comparison of Baccus to any other manufacturer of 6mm figures. The focus of this article is on painting and basing. However, I will say that I found the Baccus 6mm figures to be well cast and well detailed.)

When painting larger scale figures (25mm & 20mm), I use multiple shades of a color, starting from the darkest shade and working out. Although this method could be used with 6mm figures, I wanted to try painting for speed with the 6mm, in order to see how long it would take to paint and base the armies. I think that this - the speed in which one can paint them - is one of the primary attractions of 6mm figures. So, I decided to use a black base coat and just one, sometimes two, additional color for the figures.

So...In the Beginning...there was paint...and brushes...and accessories!!!!!

My workbench, with the Old Lady paints on the right

I use an old plastic dish for a paint palette, a foam pad for a work station to place the figures, "old lady" craft paints, and various brushes (mostly red sable-type brushes). I find "old lady" craft paints provide a wealth of colors, are very inexpensive, and they give me an excuse to peruse the craft stores for more miniature gaming ideas!!!!

When the figures arrived from Bill, I inspected them to formulate a plan of attack. The Baccus 6mm figures are cast with 3-4 infantry per base (or strip), and the same amount of cavalry. This makes them easy to handle and paint. (I believe Irregular and Heroics & Ros are cast in a similar style.) I decided to paint the entire Roman army first, and then tackle the Celts.

Step 1 for me, as for most miniature gamers, was to clean and "de-flash" the figures. Using an Xacto knife and some files, the bases of the figures were smoothed and any excess flash was removed with surgical precision!!! (I am looking for a bit part on the new series Nip and Tuck!!!) Once this process was completed, it was on to Step 2 (hmmm...very orderly!!!)

The figures are ready for priming

Step 2 was Da Primin of Da Figures. For priming, I use flat black enamel spray paint. I found some very usable spray paint at A.C. Moore craft store for about $2.50 USD per can. I also use a large box lid (computer paper box, in this case) to hold the figures while priming. I find that this allows the spray primer to flow around the figures helping with coverage. Laying the figures flat, I prime one side, then the other. Lastly, the figures are set up right (leaning them against the inside box lid) and primed from the top down.

The figures have been primed

Step 3 was the applying of viscous tinted acrylic medium substances, or paint. Using "Old Lady" craft paints, and focusing on painting quickly to a wargames standard, I started with the flesh areas. On these figures that included the face, hands and arms, legs and - on the Celts - the torsos. And on some figures, a plump rump.

Once the flesh was done, any clothing was painted (pants, tunics, cloaks, etc.). After the clothing, the armor was painted - as was any helmets, weapons, shields and standards. On cavalry figures (the riders are attached), the horses were painted last.

The figures have been painted

Next Time - Basing!