Thursday, February 12, 2009

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.


  1. I'm sorry to say that these are not 6mm figures so the steps you describe are those that were originally used for 15mm figures, and may still be sued for 10mm miniatures. The entire point of creating 6mm figures in the first place in the 1960s was to reduce painting to the least necessary. Painting should not be the noticeable on a figure that size. The effect should be one of a mass of figures, by using lots of them in a unit.

    Greg the banned

  2. Don't worry Greg, there are lots of them.

    Just because you can use 6mm as an opportunity to do a fast paintjob doesn't mean that you are required to.

    I don't think painting "should" or "should not" be anything other than what the painter wishes it to be.

  3. Your miniatures look great!
    I have just started painting 6mm Napoleonics too; so this blog is a very nice surprise.
    I am working in some Baccus Austrians (just finished my first batallion of 24 figures last night).
    The French are soon to follow and your guide will be very helpfull.