6mm Painting & Basing guide.


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. The basing guide follows.


So we have the battalion painted and ready for basing.

First step for me is to mark out the small area on the right rear of the base which will be my unit identification number. I want to avoid lots of markers on the table so will record stuff on a chart instead. Cut down the skirmisher strips. I then add a VERY thin sausage of blue tack to the bottom of each base. I do this in order to prevent the figures from slipping or moving once in the wet PVA glue, it's worth doing. Now coat the base liberally with PVA and brush it out to the edges, avoiding the small pre marked area. carefully place the figures in position and push down gently once you are happy with the composition. In this case 2 deep line with skirmishers in front and officer at rear.

Now I take my old box of ground cover material. Yes, it's an old Barbie lunch box ( slightly embarrassing!). In it I keep a mix of 1 pot of Ground Force scenics 'Earth scatter' and 1 pot of fine grit from the same company. Carefully lift the base and hold by its edges before covering it in the scatter material. So long as the figures are dry and you have been careful in placing them none of this will stick to the figures.

Let this dry thoroughly, about 4 to 5 hours I find before its dry enough for the next stage. Now take Vermin brown (Citadel) and adding a drop of water to thin it slightly select areas to paint patches and leave to dry. I use a then long handled brush to work in between the ranks being careful not to touch the figures. It drys down darker yet leaves a nice highlight on the exposed grit.

Once the brown is dry its time to add the flock. I love this part as the whole base springs to life as a finished piece. I use Citadel static grass as I like the quality. Baccus do a nice shorter strand grass for 6mm figures too. So now I carefully paint PVA glue over the non brown areas, using an old fine brush to work up over the bases where possible and in between the ranks. I tend to do this in stages as you can see.

And that's it done! I would say the basing is probably another hours work or so but it's well worth the effort and care required. Final shots show the completed base.


  1. Do we have to use a Barbie lunch box for our basing material? They are getting hard to find… :^)

    Great tutorial, thanks!

    1. Hi Dale - yes, it has to be a Barbie lunch box or the method won't work :-) I really don't know how I ended up using that, it was my Daughters, honestly!

      Good to have you here Dale,


  2. What size are your bases? What rules do you use for these bases?

  3. they look like the standard baccus 60 * 60, using baccus rules set ?

  4. Brilliant tutorial! Thankfully Ive two young daughters so no shortage of Barbie's merchandise ;)

  5. Don't have a Barbie lunch box - will a Frozen LB do as well?


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