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Painting and Basing Irregular's 2mm Sci-Fi

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Mera Semu writes:

Gorgeous look and beauty and art is really relative and beautiful. Thanks for sharing

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12 November 2001page first published

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Reader James Marshall has provided this article on how he painted and based some of Irregular Miniatures' 2mm science-fiction vehicles.

Why 2mm?

I've always been a fan of 2mm figures although my main area of interest is 25mm Renaissance. I was looking for a generic set of figures with two things in mind:

  • ease of painting
  • and low cost

2mm provides both these things and the Irregular Sci fi line also happens to be very nice with a slightly funky feel to it. Irregular also do a dedicated 2mm set of rules called Hell on the Margin by Jim Webster which are reasonably generic. I wanted to be able to start and finish a project for once before the enthusiasm cooled!

Where did I get them?

I ordered the minis from Eureka Miniatures in Australia. I asked Nic Robson at Eureka to send me a mixture the "Human" (IKS 1-6) and "Alien" (IKS 7-12) vehicles. I also ordered two of the dropships (IKS 29). Listings of the range are available at the Irregular, Eureka or Silver Eagle websites. As usual my order arrived promptly and the figures were cleanly cast.

2mm Comparison: WWII Russian Tanks (above) and Human Sci-Fi Vehicles (below)

It is worth noting that the 2mm Sci Fi figures are huge compared to the other Irregular 2mm lines. They dwarf the terrain that Irregular produce. This of course makes them easier to paint than some of the more fiddly ranges.

The Paint Job

I was interested in adapting the figures and rules to game ground forces of the Cardassians and the Federation in the Dominion War from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. No mechanised ground forces were ever depicted in the series, so I thought I had some artistic licence in terms of the figures and the paint job.

I decided the "Aliens" range would suit the Cardassians and the "Humans" the Federation.

The "Aliens"

The Cardassian military uses a yellow brown to paint their Starships and I decided to use the same on their ground forces. I used a mixture of Citadel and Humbrol colours.

  1. Undercoat with Citadel Bestial Brown (spray can)
  2. Drybrush with a mixture of Citadel Snakebite Leather and Skull White.
  3. Wash with both Snakebite Leather and Scorched Brown (sometimes mixed).
  4. Touch up highlights with lightened Snakebite Leather.
  5. Another wash of Snakebite Leather to soften the highlights.
Painted Alien vehicles

The coils are painted Citadel Blood Red, and Golden Yellow is used on some cowlings.

The "Humans"

The Feds were painted with exactly the same technique except that I used Humbrol Oxford Blue. Some detail is picked out in yellow and red. I found that sometimes the washes were too thick or thin and I would redo the wash or the dry brushing until I was happy with the result. The great thing about 2mm is that this is not too much of a chore.

Both forces were painted and varnished with Citadel Clear Varnish in the same evening.


Hell on the Margin recommends 5cm by 3cm bases with three vehicles per base. I decided to use two per base.

Balsa is too fragile and I donít like card for bases. The 2mm Yahoo mailing listmembers recommended either thin plywood or plastic card. I went to my local hobby shop and baulked at the cost of the plywood. I decided plastic card would do just fine!

Human sci-fi vehicles on unpainted bases

I scored the card for purchase and stuck the figures to the bases with super glue. I then covered each base with a coat of milliput. This was the most tedious part of the whole procedure. I also tried to incorporate some terrain features in to the bases, clumps of trees, a small pillbox and craters. I thought these gave the models a slightly more sci fi feel about them.

Aliens on finished base

I painted the bases with Tamiya Matt Earth and drybrushed with a mixture of earth and white. The trees were painted Humbrol Grass Green. On some of the bases I raised the gravs with a "jet" of Kneadatite putty to have the effect of the grav lifting off. In the rules vehicles can achieve" sub-flight" and engage aircraft. It just seemed to much of a hassle for this fun project to do them all.

Finished vehicles on the gaming table

Final Thoughts

The only disappointments were that the speeder bikes are really just blobs and the human tank (as opposed to the SPG) is small and pretty underwhelming. On the other hand I really like the "Alien" range.