Tactical Command

Painting 6mm
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Author:  Captain General [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Painting 6mm

Is there an on-line tutorial on painting the little guys? I've done 25/28 mm and 15mm but never 6mm. they look a little daunting... like what size of brush do you use? How do you shade? Things like that. Thansk,

Stephen (Captain General)

Author:  Apocolocyntosis [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

Hi, I've moved this post to the forum's dedicated 6mm painting and hobby section, where you should get a better audience.

Author:  Warmaster Nice [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

I've been meaning to do a beginner's guide to quick and easy painting in 6mm.

Obviously it depends a lot on what army you want to paint, as some techniques are more suited to particular armies than other (For instance: Orks or Chaos can look gritty, and are extremely forgiving to paint, while Eldar need a smoother finish).

Some basic advice:

Use sprays for undercoat and a monochrome basecoat. Use quick, light sprays that only just cover the model: You don't want to obscure the fine detail. I prefer Citadel undercoats and quite like Army Painter's colored basecoat sprays.

Choose good contrasting colors for your scheme. At this scale you'll want starker contrasts than usual to make the colors pop.

Washes and drybrushing works really well at this scale. Depending on the scheme, it might be a good idea to do the basecoat and apply shades and highlights to this before applying secondary colors and details. But some schemes like camo look great if you paint the camo first and add a wash to tie everything together.

In my experience a good tabletop appearance comes from a good clean basic scheme combined with a few well painted bright details (like lights, windows special weapons etc.) that makes the miniature pop. If you go overboard and insist on proper shading an highlight for every little detail, chances are that you end up with a messy looking result, unless you are an experienced painter with a steady hand.
That said: It is entirely possible to use more advanced techniques and paint Epic minis that will give a 28mm scale miniature a run for the money in terms of detail.

Personally I like to use a 1.5 cm chisel-shapes laquer brush (Size 16 i think?) for drybrushing and a fairly large round brush for applying washes.
Detailwork is usually done with a size 1 or even 2 brush. This is a personal preference, but I like larger detailsbrushes as long as they've got a good tip. Much better paint flow than the ultra fine brushes, where some acrylics can dry up before they leave the brush (I do keep a few fine detail brushes around just in case, buf I rarely bother with them)

Author:  primarch [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm


I think such a tutorial would be a great help WMN. :)

I have often wanted to learn and become adept at painting, but have not really found a method nor a detailed explanation that I consider useful.


Author:  jimmyzimms [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

These are for onslaught minis 6mm and the colors are like not yours but the techniques and concerns are pretty universal and would probably be beneficial to give a watch to these (there's vehicles and infantry in his posts-don't let the use of airbrushes scare you either, it's handy and fast but not required)

The thing to remember with minis is that you're not trying to be realistic but emphasize the shape by use of color and contrast. As the mini shrinks the greater the need to make it appealing on the tabletop/display case and to have a discernable shape and color(s). This means that all your experience and techniques you're familiar with all come into play here (a good thing) but dialed up more to 11. YMMV but I suspect you'll find that you'll go a bit more extreme at 6mm with things like shadow and highlights (edge highlighting is very beneficial at this scale) than you're used to at 28mm as the subtlety that works there doesn't translate as well often times.

Most important is to have fun and enjoy the process and fund what works and pleases you.

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

OK now putting my 2 cents of experience into the arena:

1. Colored primers. These are honestly your best friend in speed and convenience and quality. I've not tried the new GW range but I hear it's actually pretty good. I can tell from first hand that the Army Painter color primers are amazeballz. Thy really do have 100% match with their complementary dropper paints. If they have a base you like then you're really in good shape.

2. Thinning paints. This is a requirement for smooth finishes but an absolute MUST for 6mm as the details can get clogged up so much easier.

3. Drybrushing or to not? No good answer here. Some poeple (apoc for instance) are absolute masters of the technique. Others like myself just cock it all up and it comes out wrong. I'm sure that's less the fault of the techique versus my (in)ability as a painter. The point being, don't listen when you hear people say that it doesn't work at 6mm. That's bollucks. Just figure out what works for you.

4. Washes. They work great at 6mm though I find I often put multiple applications and colors on to deepen the tones when using acrylics. Be aware this will change the color of the paint everywhere applied though. Don't be afraid of using oils instead or in addition. In fact I find them a superior choice plus due to how oils/enamels works, you actually can decide you don't like it and wash it off with white spirit. Here's two videos (at different scale but enough to illustrate techniques/concepts that can get you started)

An interesting tidbit about oil is that it doesn't change the color of the underlying paint very much. You get a more WYSIWYG.

5. Don't discount floorwax. If you want a tabletop worthy army with minimal fuss don't discount a product like quickshade. The whole hyperbole of "god kills a kitten" is crap. If the end goal is to play, being able to an army in a weekend is a good deal. There's a couple of armies here that are amazing that I know were used. There's also the dirty secret of Golden Demon awards is that more than a few award winning entries were done that way.

6. Pigments. Products like woodland scenics are amazing. Onyx here has done entire armies using just that over base colors and are award worthy.

7. Blending. If color blending and wet pallets are your deal then Rick On. They work equally well here too.

8. Regardless of what you do, try and do a formation all at a time. No matter what happens you will find that paints subtley change pigments as they age and that your techniques and handling will differ over time. This means you'll have a better time painting up those 4 Land Raiders together than doing one, then another 3 months later. This doesn't mean you need to do them start to finish, just do the same thing across the models in toto if possible.

Author:  Apocolocyntosis [ Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

The Epic armageddon and Epic 40,000 rulebooks both have good basic level 6mm painting guides.

Captain General wrote:
I've done 25/28 mm and 15mm but never 6mm. […] How do you shade? Things like that.

anything you can do at 28mm you can do at 6mm, just faster and easier. OSL, NMM fancy stuff can all be done at 6mm. If you airbrush at 28mm then airbrush away at 6mm. Think of a gem on a 28mm eldar mini – it's probably smaller than 6mm tall, so if you can blend it at 28mm you can blend on 6mm figures.

If you drybrush 28mm a lot, then drybrushing works even better at 6mm. If you shade with washes at 28mm, then it works even faster at 6mm.

I recently painted some titans to go with my 6mm infantry, the titans are ?28–50?mm tall but were painted with the same techniques the 6mm infantry were.

Colour primer is great, although as the minis are so small it's pretty fast to prime black/white then drybrush a base colour over the whole army instead, so colour primer is by no means essential.

Author:  kyussinchains [ Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

Also don't discount basing, nicely based armies with a more basic paintjob can look excellent, especially if you carry on the basing across the whole army, small grass tufts and tiny ruins can really set off the army

Also its worth thinking about contrasting the base and miniature colour so the figures stand out.... whitescars might get lost on snow bases for example, so it might be better to go for a lush green, my own yellow imperial fists are on ashworld bases after learning the hard way with my guard (I had my steel legion with their yellow-brown coats on brown bases as they just became a brown mass)

I suggest having a look round the painting log for some examples, guys like Apoc and Vaaish have inspirational plogs, WMN is the master of speed painting HUGE armies and there are plenty of other great painters at all kinds of skill levels to inspire and inform

Also my final tip, avoid the caffiene before painting 6mm stuff, shaky hands are not your friend at this scale!

Author:  primarch [ Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm


Agreed kyussinchains. I was never very fond of basing back in the day, but what I have seen done here has changed my mind completely and I am having all my project stuff based.

It makes a big difference. ;)


Author:  Wakelessrex [ Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

@Jimmy, if I may ask. your # 5 wjat exactly are you talking about there?

Author:  wargame_insomniac [ Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

Another +1 for basing. It also makes it easier to pick up tanks etc on the tabletop with less worry that you might scratch any of the paintwork that you spent time on. And sometimes helps keep the figures from rattling around so much whn being transported in figure cases. Durability is good.

Author:  Rastamann_The_Returned [ Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

Wakelessrex wrote:
@Jimmy, if I may ask. your # 5 wjat exactly are you talking about there?

If you go online and search for the dipping painting method you'll get Jimmy's reference. Basically, there's a product that is used for waxing floors that provides instant shading to any model, no matter the scale. You just block in the base colours and then dip the model in that "Future Wax" (I think that's the brand) and then shake off (literally) the excess, or apply with a paintbrush for added control.

The Army Painter dudes have gotten it packaged in a way that relaxes people a bit - they call it Quickshade:

http://shop.thearmypainter.com/products ... tGroupId=1

Author:  Rastamann_The_Returned [ Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

To be fair @Captain General, it's easier to paint in 6mm than 28mm, as the smaller sized models are more forgiving of mistakes and look great with a wash and a single highlight (particularly high contrasting highlights)

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

Yup various stains for wood working, such as minwax, when appropriately thinned, have been used for decades now in the modeling world. I used to see historical armies with thousands of figures done in little time with the technique. The Army Painter team has a prepackaged product that's is effectively three different colors available and already at the correct consistency which to be fair, does remove a bunch of hassle for the cost. As a bonus the tones of the quivkshade have matching washes (with the same name) available as well. I'm a big user of the Strong tone quickshade on my bases which are built up using textured paint. The quickshade creates a protective layer on what is basically acrylic paint and helps deepen the shadows. The same hold true when you brush it it on a mini. As Rasta pointed out above, you could knock out a tabletop quality army with base + shade (minwax or AP quickshade, doesn't matter) in little time. You can also involve edge highlights, blends, and other techniques as well to great effect (the afore mentioned WHFB winning model that used minwax).

Author:  LastChanceToDance [ Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Painting 6mm

This thread is highly relevant to my interests.
Said beginners guide would be very welcome.

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