Wednesday, 17 September 2014

I Daubed Them My Way Part II

On To Part 2.....

First things first

Paint brushes

I always use a sable brush, I have tried the pro art acrylic ones but at half price of a series 7 brush they always end up in the bin within a few weeks as the points go.

The brushes below are ones I recently picked up on Amazon. 

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Size 000 - £7 but worth it

The point makes it the ideal brush for painting 6mm

I also picked up a 00 size too for larger areas

With proper care these brushes will last a long long time 

On to the job at hand....

Paint brushes require paint and here is my collection of various pots of acrylics made up from Vallejo, P3 and Coat D Arms. I like to have a lot of colours on the shelf as it suits my style of painting.

Time to get started.... flesh first (always)

I am using Vallejo flat flesh here which I have emptied into flip top bottles as I don't like the Vallejo ones too much (they clog up and you have to dilute the paint) I have diluted the paint already which makes things easier.

Starting with the archers I apply the flesh, it's as easy as a steady hand and not applying too much paint at a time. Work along the entire strip, makes no difference if you start with hands / faces / arms.

Round the back.... repeat the process and paint the archers hands and if needed touch up the face.

Job done


Next up it's base coat time.

For the Persian Archers I have chosen two colour schemes
Licorice allsort blue and pink.

First up the blue.... Vallejo dark turquiose

Apply the paint by blocking in the colour.
Don't try and cover all the black primer, it's important to leave areas out to shade the figure...

Next - Vallejo Sunset Red

You get the picture, you can see that by leaving some of the black you get an instant shadow.
This will become more prominent later once the highlight's are applied.

Job Done

TIME TAKEN 22 mins

Next up is the painting of the bows

For this I chose Vallejo Orange Brown...

It's much quicker than the base coat and the entire strips took about 8 mins to paint.
Again leaving a black area free creates a shadow around the bow and archers hand.

Next up the legs - I just used white here and really just slapped the paint on Shaw style.
This takes no longer than a couple of minutes to do 180 legs front and back.

Time to paint the Quiver - P3 Rucksack Tan is the preferred colour here

Job Done


The figures are starting to take shape now and it's time to add the magic touches.
Whilst the figures don't look bad there's a few finishing touches which need applying...

I read a lot of posts about painting 6mm and it seems that people prefer to just apply base colours and be done with it. For me adding a highlight is an essential part of the painting process and the end result just looks 100% better with the lighter tone applied.

Highlight 1 - Elton Pink

This process is actually faster than it looks, a simple dab on the torso followed by a few brush strokes on the arms and the highlight is done.

You can see the difference in effect between the base coat and highlight

On the rear just a simple dab on the hoods brings out the colours nicely

And for the blue......

Same process different colour, here they all are highlighted. The black primer now starts to work with the highlight and really brings out the depth in colour.

They do look bright but for me that's the idea. Using dramatic colour tones in the base coat and highlight makes the figures stand out on the table. 

To highlight or not?

Your call but for an extra 26 minutes total for all 90 figures I think it is worth the extra time!

Vallejo flat red - arrow tips
Using the 000 brush here to just apply a very small amount of red paint to the arrow tips...

P3 bright green for arrow tips on the pink figures.

All done and dusted, the arrows took about 3 minutes to paint in

Final paint job - the bases

As I am using Coat D Arms Brushscape for my Persian bases I want a close match with the model base so for this lot I am using Vallejo Buff.

This is perhaps the most boring part of the entire job, with the models all painted the application of the paint to the bases is a tad tedious but nonetheless necessary.

A good 20 minutes later and presto

These are now all painted and ready for a coat of matt varnish

This is only half the job and I'll post photos of the Sparabara front rank figures once they are done.


TOTAL PAINT TIME = 98 MINS for 90 Figures

The finishing touch....

I discovered this artist varnish a few Years ago and have never looked back.

It retails at just under £6 and goes a very long way.

This really is the gemstone and really brings the colours to life on the finished models.

I highly recommend this stuff, yes it's a bit smelly and you need to thin it down with white spirit but it really does lift the finished paint job to a higher level.

£1 brushes have their use!

Shake the bottle very well to mix the varnish

You don't need much, I tend to dip the brush in and use the lid as a palette.
I tend to thin it down 50/50 with white spirit. It won't work as well if you use the stuff neat out the bottle.

Coat the models and don't be too conservative, it's imprtant to give a good coat of varnish.

It looks like there is a lot of varnish here but you just work it in and use a piece ok kitchen paper to mop up the excess varnish.

Try not to let the stuff pool as it needs to be applied thinly and evenly across the models

The varnish dries in about 10-15 minutes and you can see the finished results below.

Photo's don't always do justice but the varnished models are noticeably more "vibrant" than they were prior to the application.

Finished models ready to base!

You can add a few minutes for the varnishing but it's hardly worth worrying about.

With 55 minutes prep time from part one and a further 98 minutes for half the total of 180 figures we can summarise with a total time of  251 minutes for the whole painting job or  4.183 hours

I just doubled the archer paint time to get to this result, the Sparabara are actually looking like they will paint up faster.

That's it for this part, I hope that you may find something useful here that may either inspire you or help improve your current painting approach to 6mm figures. For me personally I want to get my figures on the table as quickly as possible but without too much compromise. The techniques used herein allow you to achieve "the best of both worlds"

Summary of handy tips.....

  • Remember that by using a black primer you are making life easier. Whilst grey and white primers offer a brighter surface for your paint, you cannot use this method and it will take you longer to paint the figures.
  • Preparation is key to a good finish.
  • Don't try and cover areas of the model with paint, leave enough black primer for shading.
  • Thin down your paint, if it's too thick it will clog up detail.
  • Always highlight!, it is definitely worth the extra time.
  • Use a sable brush - preferably "Kolinsky" sable
  • Use artist matt varnish for that "special" finishing touch.

I'll be covering basing these models in part three which is the final stage of getting these figures ready for use. I have ordered my steel bases but they may take up to a Month to arrive so watch this space.


  1. Good stuff as always Russ, I will try this method on my medieval

  2. That was really good; some great ideas that might speed up my technique.