Tuesday, 24 April 2012

British line battalion - step by step painting guide. Part 1.

Here is a colour by colour pictorial guide to how I paint my 6mm figures, in this case a typical British line infantry battalion with white facings. I hope it proves useful to anybody just about to try this scale and shows how simple steady brushwork and a consistent basing style can produce reasonably good results in 6mm. The figures are of course Baccus line infantry, 5 strips of 4 figures plus a command strip. Also going on this base will be 6 skirmishing figures (riflemen in this case) and a mounted officer. 31 figure which I find looks OK on a 60x60mm wooden base (as sold by Baccus, really good quality and nice and thin). I'm going to run through shade by shade with a shot of each stage, so here goes!

Firstly, figures are undercoated by brush in black. Then I take Foundry flesh shade and paint in the faces, hands and the arms and jacket areas. This will provide a base for the Blood Red and give a clean bright finish.

The first image shows the quality of the castings, the shako plates etc are clearly defined! Next I take the Blood Red and paint over the jacket areas. I use a Citadel 'fine' brush all the way through, frequently washing the brush to keep a good point. I try to keep the paint right on the tip only.

Next is the facing colour, in this case white facings. Paint the collar and cuffs. The collar is a very fine and quick stroke of the brush with paint only on the very tip. If any gets on the face dont worry as we will add mid tone flesh next. I also add the white over red to the plume, but I dont paint crossbelts etc at this stage.

Now highlight the dark flesh with mid tone flesh, this brings the figure to life I find. This stage I regard as phase 1 completed.

OK, next paint in the trousers, light grey in this case, could be white of course. I used Foundry Charcaol grey light. I add a dash to the lower tummy area then paint down each leg carefully. I also use this shade to paint in the blanket on the backpack, just 3 dots rather than a solid line.

Now I make a coffee before I tackle the crossbelts etc! Take white a paint in those belts trying to get a single stroke of paint. After that I add a line of white down the back of the musket as a strap and a dot or two of white for the haversack below the canteen.

Next take Calthan brown (Citadel) and paint in the muskets, not forgetting the stock below the hand. I also add a touch of brown to the hair at the back of the head. Paint the same brown as the base colour of the officers horse, leaving a touch of black in the shadow areas. Then take Foundry Tan and mix a touch of white as the horses highlights.

Almost there now! Foundry 'spearpoint' is next. A fine line down the musket barrel does it. And of course the bayonet, as shiny bayonets stand out in this scale nicely.

Now take Foundry 'shiny' and touch in the shako plate carefully. Paint in any officers lace etc and the points of the flag poles.

They're now about done. Take sky blue light and paint in the canteens. This light blue touch stands ou nicely on the rear of the figures, Its well defined on the casting. That's the figures painted now! I just paint the base areas in dark angels green and add flags at this stage as they can be a bit fiddly in 6mm so it's easier to do when you can still hold the strip by the wine top base.

And that's it. Ready for basing which I will cover in part 2. painting time on the above 31 figure was probably around 1and a half hours excluding undercoating, with a break to make coffee half way through. Fast accurate brushwork is the key, and not overloading the brush. Don't let the paint dry on the brush and if the paint begins to skin over add a touch of water to keep it fluid but don't overdo it or it wont cover well. I hope I have covered everything, back with the basing part 2 shortly.


  1. Great tutorial. I'm doing some Baccus Prussians at present and will try this approach. Much appreciated.

  2. Hope its useful Phil :-)


  3. Very interesting, it seems like a lot of steps but you do it quickly. I suppose the time saver is that you only have to fill the brush once. You certainly get great results.


  4. Hello John. Thank you. I think the real time saver is the scale of the figures! What seems to take an age in 28mm is just literally a few quick strokes of the brush in 6mm. I use only the very point of the brush though so have to pick up paint for almost every stroke, each crossbelt the brush needs a dip for example so its like left shoulder down to right waist, recharge the brush and tilt the figure then right shoulder down to left waist, recharge the brush and so on! Takes much longer to describe than to do of course and it avoids any 'blobs' of paint. Probably only the bottom 1mm of the brush gets to see any paint at all.