Wednesday, May 13, 2009

French so far

I tried my hand at taking a shot of the infantry that I've painted so far. They're starting to look quite "mass-ey" I think.


Here are the latest miniatures off the painting bench, some French Legere.
Because they're almost all blue they're nice and quick to paint - no cuffs to mess about with. The only slightly strange thing about them is that they should really be in hussar style boots but they're all sculpted in trousers. Not really a problem and I think the more colour the better at this scale.
No new colours used on these - the green plumes and epaulettes are as per the volitgeurs in the previous post. The rest is done in the same way as all the other french. I'm much preferring the new musket colour and will go back and redo the grenadies soon to bring them in line with this.

Friday, April 24, 2009

French Voltigeurs

After a long-ish break, more updates. These voltigeurs were fun to paint, though a little awkward to get paint in everywhere due to the poses. I think they're great sculpts though.

Colors here are as per the rest of the french (see step by step on grenadiers) with a couple of additions.

Green plumes and epaulettes are Vallejo Deep Green highlighted with GW Camo Green. I took a look at the Vallejo green paints and most of them are very very thin. Normally that's good but for bright colours I prefer something a bit thicker right out of the pot especially if you're just dabbing it on.

Yellow collars and plumes are the GW Foundation paint Iyanden Darksun with yellow over it.

Finally I changed the colour of the rifles to what Braxen suggested in his original tutorial all along. Vallejo Light Brown 929. It looks better.

On the painting table are a bunch of legere, so those should be next up on here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Uniform Plates Online

Being a bit too cheap to buy all the Ospreys that I should like I've found the following useful:

Funcken - Premier Empire

A good number of plates on the French. Use the "Prec" and "Suiv" links up in the top left to browse through different pages under the same heading.

Leinhart and Humbert - Les Uniformes de l'Armee Francais

Combines brevity (uniforms are condensed into a square) with detail. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key, in French.


A huge list, ordered incomprehensibly, and in German. Fortunately my German extends as far as basic country names, which is about all you need for this.

More Knötel, in French

The link goes to French Line Infantry, but the links in the top right will take you to different pages, most of which have a big link to Uniforms. Follow those and look for links saying Planches de Knötel.


This site used to have terrible terrible navigation. They've redesigned it to have better navigation, but now they just dump a bunch of plates on you making you open each one to see what treasures it might contain.

Cent Jours

A much better side, but only covering uniforms for the 100 days campaign. Pick an army, then a branch of service, then a regiment and finally click "Uniformes" next to the flag to see the plates.

Monday, March 2, 2009

French Chasseurs

Some French Chasseurs. I spent a bit less time on these than the Cuirassiers and now, looking at them up close, it shows. I think they look fine in the flesh but doing close-ups like this is a bit punishing. The good thing about this blog is that it makes me finish things in order to post them. The down-side is that I can see all my mistakes writ-large.

One thing that would make these look a lot better would have been a better choice of green. I used VJ Goblin Green over VJ Deep Green which looked like it had enough contrast but the darker green just gets lost. I also applied the highlight over too much of the mini. When I get onto Dragoons I'll try a darker base colour and a smaller highlight.

Also, painting teeth on the shabraques at this scale is neither easy or fun. I miss outlining saddle cloths and pistol buckets now, not something I thought I'd say.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

French Cuirassiers

I found these a bit annoying and fiddly to paint, though I think they came out looking ok in the end. I'd say they actually have too much detail and some of it obscures things that you'd like to paint - for instance, the cartridge case makes it about impossible to paint the turnbacks. I ended up spending a bit longer on these than I should have done, which was mostly my fault for not going about them in a logical way.

Face, trousers, gloves, jacket, epaulettes and carbine are all done with colours as per the infantry a few posts down.

The yellow cloth is GW Golden Yellow over GW Iyanden Darksun (one of their foundation paints). This doesn't give great contrast, but the foundation paint goes on nicely over a dark undercoat in one coat, and the yellow brightens it up a little.

Plumes and horsetails are just VJ London Grey drybrushed over the undercoat. The sheepskins are white dry brushed over USA Tan Earth.

The black horses are a mix of Iraqi Sand and Black heavily drybrushed over the undercoat, then given a black ink wash. They look ok up close but at any distance its hard to tell they're not just plain black. Next time I'll try something with a bit more contrast.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

French Line Officers

Not the best faces in the Adler range in my opinion, but nice and easy to paint at least. I have twenty odd of these done now.
The Adler command strips contain figures based at different angles which makes it a bit awkward to get into a rhythm of painting them. So I cut them apart and base each type of figure individually so I can work along them as a line.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

French Mounted Infantry Officers

These officers will be based with a few of the infantry battallions when they're finished. I worked on these before I tackled any cavalry because I wanted to get a feel for painting them and try painting horses on something not too critical. I find horses a bit intimidating as usually when I paint something brown it looks like wood, not like horse.

The men were painted in the same way as the infantry below. The only difference is that shako trim, cords and epaulettes were done in Vallejo Dark Sand. I tried using metallics for these and they didn't look good.

Saddle cloths are Dark Sand trim on GW Blood Red cloth. The Adler sculpts are top-class here. The sculpting's better than my painting of them.

The lighter horse is
  1. GW Vermin Brown
  2. GW Chestnut Ink wash (fairly thick)
  3. GW Vermin Brown again
  4. Muzzle and Socks are white over Vallejo Iraqi Sand
  5. Mane and tail drybrushed London Grey over the undercoat.

The darker horse is
  1. GW Scorched Brown
  2. GW Bestial Brown
  3. White blaze

French Grenadiers

These are some of the first figures that I painted. I used a very nice guide by Braxen on his blog
(Painting 6mm French) as a starting point with just a couple of changes. I'm going to reproduce the steps I use here with my own modifications, but full credit to him for taking the time to figure out what colours work well.


Brown gesso with a little black. I'll cover my masochistic approach to undercoating at a later date. The short version is, I don't use sprays, ever.
As Braxen says, a brown undercoat looks like black at a distance but makes the end result a lot less dark overall. This was a great tip and not one I'd have thought of on my own.

Base Coat

  1. Vallejo Red Leather on the face, hands, cuffs, collar, epaulettes, plume and backpack
  2. Vallejo Basic Skintone on the face and hands
  3. Vallejo London Grey on the chest, legs and blanket roll
  4. Vallejo London Grey on the shako peak, around the shako top and a little dab down the sides of the shako
  5. Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue on the jacket
  6. Vallejo German Camo Brown on the rifle


  1. Vallejo white on the chest legs and turnbacks
  2. Vallejo USA Tan Earth on the rifle
  3. GW Blood Red on the cuffs, lapels, epaulettes, plume and on the shako cords
  4. Vallejo Ultramarine + spot of Vallejo Andrea Blue on the jacket

  1. GW Mithril Silver on the bayonet
  2. GW Shining Gold on the shako plate, epee handle and hilt of the epee scabard.

Notes (and a couple of deviations from Braxen's guide)

  1. Shako cords are extremely annoying to paint. I don't bother painting them and then painting over them.
  2. I prefer Blood Red to Vallejo Scarlet. It looks a lot redder to me. I'm also a bit colour-blind to red so that could be something to do with it.
  3. I paint faces as early as possible because once they're done I feel a big weight off their mind, and if they look half decent I tend to do a better job on the rest of the miniature.
  4. I think metallics look better on bayonets than doing a non-metallic-metal look. I use metallic paint for things that are actually metal (eg. shako plate) and use normal acrylics for things that are metallic cloth (epaulette fringes, gold shako cords, saddle cloth piping etc).
  5. The adler figures don't seem to have any clear indication of where the rifle stops and the bayonet starts. My early attempts ended up with guys carrying what looked like a pike strapped to the end of a short stick. This does not look good.

Welcome to my blog

Before I started collecting 6mm Napoleonics I took a look around the web for guides on painting them. I found a couple of blogs that had nice pictures ( and especially) but not much information on colours and step-by-step guides.

So I decided to make the blog that I wished I'd been able to find. Its quite possible that the target audience for this consists of only one person (me) but if that's the case I'll still have a reference when I forget how I did something. Hopefully though someone'll find this useful for ideas for their own miniatures.