How to Paint 6mm Napoleonic Infantry – a look at painting Baccus Miniatures
So I have painted up a quite a few 6mm figures now and have collections of both Adler and Baccus Miniatures. For this how to guide I will be using the Baccus 6mm miniatures because I think they are actually easier to paint and base. This doesn’t mean I think they’re better however as the detail on the Adler mini’s are superb, just that it is far easier to paint up the Baccus mini’s quicker.
Much of what I recommended for painting 3mm miniatures applies here as well. Although the 6mm miniatures are twice the size they are still pretty small and require the same small brush. As I am painting the French also I will even be using the same coloured paints!
If you want to check out my 3mm review you can see it here. As said the tool section is the same so if you have read over the 3mm review you can just skip this part and head straight to the process.
Here are some tools that I recommend for painting the small miniatures:
I got one of these for Christmas a couple of years back and I have to say it has been a fantastic gift! I didn’t realize how much I would use one of these until I had it. No its not something you need to have in order to actually paint the miniatures but I have found it to be so helpful that I can’t not recommend it to anyone when it comes to painting.
This is perfect for if you want to paint in the evening when the sun has gone down of if you paint somewhere where the lighting is not great. I have found myself using this in the daytime too just because of the extra light right on top of the models means you can see exactly what you’re doing, and when it comes to these tiny models you need all the help you can get to see the detail on them!
The good thing about this daylight lamp is that it has a magnifier attached to the light so you can really see all the detail. If you fancy getting one for yourself they are available from Amazon.
For my larger models I was originally using the Games Workshop citadel fine detail brush, however I found that these struggled to keep a point and frayed far too often. After doing a bit of searching the recommendation for detail on models was this brush and after trying for a while now I have to say they are completely right to recommend it.
The trick to this brush is to keep it wet so as to keep the point otherwise it can start fraying as you paint, but thankfully just a bit of water will sort it out. The size 1 point is also perfect for getting the detail on 6mm and 3mm miniatures.
If you fancy giving this brush a try I found mine on Amazon here.
There may be some flash between the bayonet and the shako but this is easy to deal with by using a modelling knife such as this one here.
Most of the excess metal is actually likely to be on the bottom of the stand of the strip of miniatures. This can be annoying as it stops them from standing up properly and they may keep falling over so it is still required that you remove it from here. Due to the softer metal used for the 6mm this is actually surprisingly easy and you can either use the sprue cutters or the hobby knife mentioned above.
This is what I use for spraying an undercoat onto the miniatures. It is of course up to you how you want to do this – some people prefer to undercoat white and that is their choice. I use the Chaos Black spray from Games Workshop to undercoat the miniatures.
I use a few paints here, some from Games Workshop’s citadel range, but most from Vallejo paints which I think are just better quality paints to be honest. The main colours I will be using are Prussian Blue, White, Silver, Flat Brown, Iraqi Sand and Sky Grey. You can see further down how I’ll use them.
Okay then now that we have seen the tools that we’ll need to get started lets go over the process of doing it:
Step 1. Cut from the Sprues
Part of the reason why I chose to show this with Baccus miniatures is because of the ease of steps like this. There is no Sprue cutting really! All that is required is to clean up the flash as the miniatures are already in a good and workable state. Lovely.
Step 2. Stick to something for spraying
As with the 3mm miniatures I use an old DVD cover that I don’t need anymore which I don’t mind being covered in black spray. I stick all the miniature strips that I intend to spray down with blue tack in a fairly nicely spread out fashion so that I can cover them all with the spray and get the sides as well.
You may have to do this a couple of times as sometimes I miss the odd patch and there is nothing more annoying then a small bit of silver on a vital part of the model. It is far more noticeable when this happens on the 6mm miniatures than it is on the 3mm so it really is a matter of going over them a couple of times.
Once this is done just leave to dry for at least 30-60 mins before you start painting.
Step 3. Transfer to something better to hold with
Even though these 6mm are bigger they are still too small to hold without sticking them to something. I blue tack them onto 10p or 2p pieces as its much easier to hold on to a coin then the small strip that they are on.
Step 4. Paint the Jackets
This is my first part of the painting process. I begin by painting the colour of the jackets, which in this case is blue for the French. Strangely enough the blue I like to use for this is called Prussian Blue, which I add one stage at a time. First I do all the right arms down the line, which is followed by all the left arms and then the backs of soldiers.
Step 5. Paint the White
White is the biggest part of the French Uniform, covering the legs and chest region. These miniatures are in the 1812-15 uniform and are shown as having two straps going across the chest which I paint first, doing the straps for all the soldiers on the strip. This is then followed by me doing the legs for all the soldiers, including the back of their legs from behind.
It is noticeable with the 6mm mini’s if you miss parts of the leg so try and get as much as you can. This is due to there being less men per strip and because of the size. As these are bigger and more detailed it is even possible to paint in the white at the end of the coattails that should be on the French Infantry as I have done here.
Step 6. Paint the Brown
At this step I use the colour Flat Brown by Vallejo to paint in the brown on the guns first, then flip over the strip and paint all the brown on the backpacks.
For the 6mm I actually don’t paint the base brown although you can if you want. I find that when I base with sand it gives it a nice look anyway.
Step 7. Paint the Face
I have experimented with colours in this step and really it is up to you which colour you wish to use for flesh tones. For these miniatures I am using Kislev Flesh from Citadel – either way it does not really matter as long as it is light enough to see.
You can be a bit more detailed here than with the 3mm as some features are on the face. The way I paint it though is more impressionistic – I just do a line down the front for a nose and paint down the two cheeks. It is quick and gives a decent impression of a face from a distance which is how we will be seeing the 6mm miniatures anyway. Also you can paint the hands here too – something which was missing from the 3mm miniatures.
Step 8. Paint the Metal
This is used only for the bayonets. They are well detailed on the 6mm figures so it is easy to see where to paint them. I use the silver by Vallejo for this and paint a silver strip down the front of the musket before just colouring it completely for the blade of the bayonet.
Step 9. Paint the Grey
For this part it is painting the greatcoat rolled up on top of the backpack, so you can actually paint it whatever colour you would want the backpack to be. This could be a khaki if you want or light grey or, as in this case, a dark grey.
I do three distinct blobs along the roll at the top although to be honest it is not very noticeable from a distance and you may just want to do a thick line across instead.
Step 10. Paint the Pom Poms
This depends on what country/regiment/company you are trying to depict so it is up to you. When I paint the pom poms I use Russian Unif.WWII from Vallejo for the 1st Fusilier Company, Lothern Blue from Citadel for the 2nd Company, Bright Orange from Vallejo for the 3rd Company, Flash Gitz Yellow from Citadel for the Voltigeurs and Evil Sunz Scarlet for the Grenadiers. I don’t use anything for the 4th Company of Fusiliers as this should be violet and any paint I try to use never shows up on the black so I stopped bothering.
These are easy to paint just by putting an appropriate blob on. The good thing about the 6mm miniatures is that they actually have a distinctive pom pom cast in so there is no guess work as to where it should go.
You may also want to stop and think here about your basing before you colour the pom pom in. As I tend to base my Baccus mini’s in line formation it means each strip of men will have 2 colours rather than the whole strip being one colour. Perhaps you can see from the picture provided what I mean – two strips are required one behind the other with the two at the far end having one colour and the other two having a different one.
This is a separate section as basing really comes down to what you are playing so they could be any size you want. I am currently basing for using the Grande Armee rule set and so have used bases of 3 inches by 3 inches.
I used PVA glue to stick down some coarse sand.
Once the sand has stuck firmly – I let mine set overnight – I then painted it in a watered down brown.
Once the sand was dry I then dry-brushed it with Iraqi Sand to highlight the rocks.
The final step was using PVA glue to stick down some static grass
and then I was finished.
Suprisingly the basing takes longer then you think, almost as long as actually painting the models!
The 6mm come out very nicely when painted and it is easy to see much of the detail on them. The bright colours look nice from a distance and you can even make out some of the faces. They can be pretty quick to paint due to the small size of them and each strip should only take around 10 mins – bearing in mind that I am super slow at painting.
One of the major benefits to using Baccus is not only that they’re quicker to paint but also a lot quicker to base. They come in pre-sized strips with a good close spacing so that they look like they are in proper formation. This makes basing a breeze – the miniatures are heavy enough to stay in place while you try to position and glue properly, and easily fit together for a formation. It takes a couple of minutes compared to 20-30 mins for some other manufacturers.
Overall lovely miniatures to paint – although bear in mind these are the 1812-15 late French Infantry and Baccus do some earlier French Infantry which are a bit harder to paint in my opinion. Nonetheless they look great all lined up! Check out the few brigades that I have managed to do so far (not all are based yet).
If you enjoy the Baccus mini’s too please leave a comment or if you think I have left something out please get in touch and let me know!