6mm Napoleonic British Line Infantry

I know, it’s been a long time since I’ve got myself these tiny little tin soldiers from Baccus… But what can I say? Life happened :P

Things have settled down a bit now, and I’ve finally managed to complete 3 bases of Napoleonic British Line Infantry. I’ve also finished a few hex terrain tiles that I’m planning to use instead of a terrain mat. Here are pictures of these little Brits posing on top of the hex tiles.
(Note: You can click on the pictures to see a larger version)

Since I’m a relatively new miniature painter, and especially since this is my first foray into Napoleonics… do be gentle with your comments!

I do know that the backpacks, equipment belt and canteen are of the wrong color, and I just couldn’t manage to paint in the facings (sleeves and collars) on such little miniatures… but I have a better idea now, so my next batch should probably look better!

P.S Oops! Only after taking these photos did I notice that I forgot to paint the edge of the bases

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6mm Spartans Rebased using Baccus Basing System

I had introduced my 6mm Spartan hoplites a while ago.

Now, I’ve always known that Baccus (my 6mm manufacturer of choice) sells this basing pack called the “Baccus Basing System”, which includes fine sand and short static grass that are specially selected to be compatible with 6mm miniatures.

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But being the cheapskate that I am, I didn’t believe that the “normal” sand and static grass will look too big/long and out of place. So I went ahead with my own way, and this was what I got with my first attempt at basing 6mm minis.

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You can see that the grass is so long that it reaches above the knees, making these Spartans look like they’re wading through some thick jungle undergrowth.

I had also scoffed at buying pre-cut MDF bases, so I cut out some 1mm thick plasticard sheets to the required size and glued them together to make a 2mm thick base. Apart from this being a whole lot of work, I just couldn’t cut the sizes accurately enough by hand, so the seam between the two pieces of plasticard sticks out like a sore thumb.

After weeks of agonizing over how best to correct these problems, I finally broke down and bought a pack of 40 pre-cut 60mm x 30mm MDF bases and the “Baccus Basing System”.

Then I removed my Spartans from the old sub-standard base, and re-based them using the“Baccus Basing System”, going “by the book” in accordance with the instructions included with the pack. One slight deviation I made was to paint the base of the figures green instead of the recommended brown, as I thought it would look more natural against the grass.

And now, I hereby proudly present my re-based Spartan hoplites!

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Looking at the end results, I think that maybe I should have sticked “to the book” and painted the figure bases brown. The green color seems to give a clean but artificial look.

But all in all, I’m impressed with the “Baccus Basing System”, and how easily it gives good-looking results!

Experiment in Creating 6mm Terrain

After taking a look at Michael’s fantastic tutorial for creating modular terrain tiles, I just had to give it a try.

Since this was my first ever attempt at creating terrain, I thought it best to experiment on something expendable. What more expendable than those ubiquitous CDs? I grabbed hold of a couple of obscure ones that came with some digital gadget or another years ago, and “sacrificed” them :P

Well… while the results weren’t exactly what I was expecting, they were satisfactory enough for a beginner’s first attempt. I think the grass flock I’ve used were a bit too green, giving an artificial kind of look.

Another disappointment was the dirt road. I’ll need to work on a better blend of colors, as the ones I’ve used don’t really give the impression of a dirt road.

Oh, and we welcome our special guest models: 6mm Spartan hoplites! :)

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Baccus 6mm British Line Infantry, Primed!

I’ve recently purchased a good number of packs 6mm Napoleonic British from my favorite manufacturer of 6mm miniatures: Baccus

Now I’ve got a bunch of Line Infantry washed, prepped, primed, and ready for painting!

I hate the noxious smell of spray cans, so I prime all my miniatures (be they 28mm, 15mm, or even 6mm) by hand with black acrylic gesso.

This takes quite a bit of time, but I like the absolute control it gives me. I don’t know how many times I had to apply additional spray coats because there were certain portions of the miniatures that the spray didn’t “hit” properly!

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Basing Test for 6mm Napoleonics

I’ve recently picked up both Lasalle and Black Powder (the two major rule sets that seem to be all the rage these days with Napoleonic wargamers), and have been thinking of how best to base my 6mm naps so that they can be used for both rules.

Lasalle recommends building a unit as a group of 4 to 6 bases sized 40mm x 20mm, while Black Powder recommends their units made up of 6 to 8 bases sized 20mm x 20mm.

So if I simply go by their recommendations, it would seem best to use a 20×20 basing. This way, I can join up two of them to create 40×20 bases when playing Lasalle.

But my problem is… would this look good?

I personally love the massed look of 60×30 or 60×60 bases that seem to be the norm when it comes to 6mm. These bases are so roomy that you can place a minimum of 24 figures on them, and some people go all out to make each base into a “mini-diorama” or “vignette”.

But on the other hand, I like the idea of using groups of smaller (20×20 or 40×20) bases, since this will allow me to change the formation (March Column, Attack Column, Line, Square) of my units, which is a rather important part of “Petit Tactical” rules like Lasalle and Black Powder.

So I cut out some hardboard (thick cardboard) bases, grabbed a bit of Blu-Tack, and made some mock-ups to give me a better idea of what the end result will look like. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough miniatures lying around to effectively demonstrate the full effect. But still, I think this mock-up gives a rather good idea of what I can expect.

20×20 Basing

First up, mock-ups of a unit consisting of six 20×20 bases:

 

Well… while they certainly look practical for changing formations and such, they look a bit too “gamey”. Another consideration is that I’ll probably be fielding a good number of units, which would probably mean that I’ll have to spend a lot of time moving these guys around the table.

40×20 Basing

Next are two bases of 40×20. I didn’t have enough spare minis to make the required 4~6 bases, but you get the idea :)

Visually, they certainly are a big improvement over 20×20.

 

60×30 Basing

Lastly, here’s a mock-up of a “scenic” 60×30 base.

Even though I’ve placed 36 figures on the base instead of the usual 24, it still feels more like a “vignette” than a gaming base. I think this can be a problem if I want to use multiple bases to make up a unit, as each base would tend to stand out.

 

So what’s my decision?

I’m definitely ruling out 20×20, but I’m torn between 40×20 and 60×30. I have a bigger order of British infantry on its way over from the U.K, so I’m thinking of making a better mock-up with actual unit sizes before committing myself to a base size.

I’ll give an update when it’s done! :)

First Attempt at 6mm: Spartan Hoplites!

Here’s my first attempt at painting 6mm miniatures.

It’s actually been quite a number of months since I’ve bought this army of 6mm Ancient Greeks from Baccus, but only recently shrugged off my lethargy enough to get two units of them painted and based.

Once I set my mind to it, I was surprised at how easily and quickly I could paint these minuscule soldiers; it only took me a single weekend to complete 96 figures!

Oh, and I am aware that the accepted historical appearance of Spartan hoplites is of them carrying bronze shields with a red “lambda” painted on it… but I thought a red shield with white “lambda” would have better visual appeal, especially at such a small scale :)

I’ve cut out two pieces of 1mm thick plasticard, measuring 60mm x 30mm and overlapped them together to serve as the base; I’m still undecided whether I want to continue using this method for the rest of the army. I’ve recently bought a bunch of 2mm thick hardboard, so I’ll probably experiment and see which I like best.

In any case I’m as yet only a beginning miniature painter, so please try to refrain from demoralizing comments! :P

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First Look: Baccus DBA Early Imperial Roman Army (25mm GS)

Note: The “First Look” series are not intended to be in-depth reviews of the products in question. Rather, they are supposed to convey the first impressions I had when I first received the product.

Direct Link: https://www.baccus6mm.com/includes/products/ancient/25mmgs.php
Price: 21.28 GBP
Shipping: 25% of order (5.32 GBP if only ordering this item)
Contents: 436 figures

Baccus is well known for producing remarkably good-looking 6mm miniatures. In fact, I’ve seen people say that Baccus’s miniatures actually have crisper detail than some 10mm counterparts. While I can’t verify this statement for myself (since I don’t own any 10mm miniatures myself… at least not yet), I can say for sure that Baccus miniatures look good enough for me to believe it.

My order of Baccus’s “25mm Ground Scale DBA Early Imperial Roman Army” has arrived last night, so I decided to write up a First Look article for it.

For those of you who are not familiar with DBA, it’s an abbreviation for “De Bellis Antiquitatis” and one of the most popular rulesets for miniature wargaming in the Ancients era. DBA is supposed to be played with either 15mm or 25/28mm miniatures, and provide different “ground scales” for each size.
If you are using 15mm miniatures, the width of the base of each unit should be 40mm, and 1 inch will equal 100 paces.
If you are using 25/28mm miniatures, the base width is 60mm instead, and 40mm will stand for 100 paces.

The idea behind Baccus’s “25mm Ground Scale DBA Army Pack” is to provide enough 6mm miniatures for you to cram onto a 60mm base. The objective is to make them look more like actual units, as opposed to the “few soldiers hanging around” look with larger miniatures.

Since the actual number of miniatures that are put on a base does not matter in DBA rules, this is a good method of making your game look more spectacular without having to change anything in how the game actually plays.

The first thing you’ll notice about this army, is how unbelievably small it is. I mean, a whole Roman army that fits in a postal package the size of a generic magazine?
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Here’s what the army looks like, after I’ve grouped them into units and laid them out on a sheet of A4 (210mm x 297mm) paper. The round metallic thing in the middle is a 100 KRW coin (measuring 24mm in diameter), which I’ve put there for comparison.
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The contents of this DBA Army Pack is as follows:

  • 60 strips of Legionaries, 4 figures on each strip
  • 36 strips of Auxiliary Infantry, 4 figures on each strip
  • 12 strips of Auxiliary Cavalry, 3 horses on each strip
  • 4 strips Bolt Throwers, a Bolt Thrower and crew on each strip
  • 4 strips of Moorish Cavalry, 3 horses on each strip

That’s a whopping 436 figures in all!

Next, let’s take a look at each of these little guys up close and personal.

First up is the quintessential “Roman soldier”, the Legionary.
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Most of the spears have been bent out of shape during their voyage halfway across the globe. But then nothing’s broken, and white metal is flexible enough for me to straighten them easily enough.

You may also notice the amount of detail that has gone into a miniature this small. One important point to remember is that this close-up is probably a lot closer than an average gamer will ever see (or care to see) these miniatures in real life!
Another nice touch is that each unit contains a “command strip”, which has a commander (centurion? decurion? I’m not familiar with Roman-era TO&E) and his retinue.

Next is the Auxiliary Infantry.
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And here’s the Auxiliary Cavalry.
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And the Moorish Cavalry…
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And lastly the Bolt Throwers.
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I think the Bolt Throwers are supposed to be cut off from the base, and assembled separately. I’ll have to fiddle around with it to be sure.

Anyway, it’s really fantastic to be able to field a suitably large-looking army for the cost of a couple of dinners!

I’ll follow up with another review when I get around to painting these guys. But don’t hold your breath, because it may take me a while to paint 400+ figures…