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TOPIC: Painting Questions
PM oppi
Standard User
Posts: 27
Painting Questions
21st Feb 2016 04:25:22

Hi guys. Im about to get all my colors together, but i have  a few questions before i start.

1. Should i use black or white primer ? So far i only used black and i liked it. But i can imagine that i miss some details when priming black as opposed to white.

2. Do you use washes ? I was thinking of buying different colored washes, but im not sure if you would actually notice it on those small models

3. Do you use varnish ? i always used car spray matt opaque, not sure if i should do this with those small figures

4. Do you try to get all the details done ? like special button colors for certain army groups or different Hussar uniforms.


Thanks :)

PM keithabarker
Standard User
Posts: 57
Painting Questions
21st Feb 2016 04:46:50

Im not an expert painter. It all really depands if you are painting for wargames standard or "collectors" standard.

My plan is that the army should look good on the table with figures in mass at arms length.

So I do a lot less detail than some of the experts who show pictures here.

1. I always use black primer. Dry brushing brings out the details I think. I user lighter shades of paint than the irl uniforms which seems to work well.

2. Never tried on 6mm

3. Yes matt

4. No because I am painting to wargames standard. But I try a little harder on the headgear and of course for generals, guards and command strips.


PM rsjahn
Standard User
Posts: 100
Painting Questions
21st Feb 2016 06:44:49

Hi Oppi,

1. I'm using a light grey spray paint. I have tried black, but my eyes aren't that good anymore, so for me its way easier to paint a light surface.

2. As wash I'm using Newton Ink 'Peat Brown'. I prefer brown, if find black shadows to gloomy  But that really is open to your personal taste.

3. I varnish with Humbrol acrylic spraypaint - the ink gives a very glossy surface, so I find it necessary. All silver and gold I'm painting after the varnish.

4. Well, details - I'm trying to bring out all details, that are sculputred.

Hope this helps

Cheers, Ralf

PM ithoriel
Standard User
Posts: 61
Painting Questions
21st Feb 2016 10:31:15

I undercoat with spray matt black from Halfords.

I use either GW Agrax Earthshade or Army Painter Soft Tone for shading

I varnish with Humbrol Matt acrylic spray or Army Painter matt spray.

Details ... my Epic Space Marines have Tac Markings and Chapter Logos on their shoulder pads ... nuff said?



Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

PM I am a spambot
Standard User
Posts: 47
Painting Questions
I am a spambot
22nd Feb 2016 06:30:33

1) Up to you.  Either (or, indeed, certain other colours) can produce good results.  For what it's worth, I used to use black primer/undercoat, but went over to white.  White works very well with pale colours.  With armies that have a reasonable amount of visable metal armour I would still use black.

2) With a white undercoat I usually use a final wash of very dilute peat-brown with a certain type of diluted floor polish.  Other than that, I don't usually bother when painting 6mm figures.

3) Whether I varnish 6mm figures depends upon how I intend to base them.  For figures on 60mm by 30mm MDF bases, I don't varnish, but use the 1/3 liquid floor polish to 2/3 water with a little peat-brown ink that I mentioned under point 2).  For black undercoated figures on those bases, I just put a coat of diluted PVA (white glue).  On the other hand, for figures destined for 40mm wide cardboard bases, I am afraid that I brush on clear, matt 'traditional' (i.e. spirit based) varnish for wood.  With the larger bases you and your opponents are likely to pick them up by the bases, whereas with the smaller, thiner bases, you are likely to handle the figures nuch more.

4) No chance!  I couldn't paint buttons on 6mm reliably, and if I could, I would not be able so see them when playing.  With 6mm a face is a single dab of flesh colour.  On the other hand, I make an attempt to get facings etc to be a believable colour, based upon actual regiments.  (I would suggest that this may not be quite so necessary with smaller scales as larger, if you are having difficulty with your research.)

With 6mm, nice basing is much more importantant than detailed painting.

PM peter
Posts: 368
Painting Questions
22nd Feb 2016 10:21:14

Hi Oppis,

As you will find, there are lots of different answers to your questions and you will find what work for you.  For what it is worth, here's my input:

1) I use black undercoat.  For me, 6mm is all about the impact produced by high contrasts and only a black base allows you to create that effect.   When combined with using lighter/brighter paint shades this really makes figures stand out when finished.   6mm is not about subtlety!

2) I don't normally use washes, but have done so with good effect on the 20thC models I have painted in the past few months. 

3) I don't varnish, but I do use thick bases and handle the figures using these which protects the paint job.

4) I don't paint every last detail, even on the one-off bases used for display and photography.


I will echo the comment in the last post.   Getting the base right is at least 50% of the job in terms of getting nice looking units.  Get that right and the rest falls into place.




- The Overlord
PM oppi
Standard User
Posts: 27
Painting Questions
22nd Feb 2016 10:49:58

Thank you for all your input. I think my best bet is to "sacrifice" 2-3 Strips with different methods and see what i like more. Gonna post some updates when im finished 


Thanks !

PM Bradley
Standard User
Posts: 24
Painting Questions
13th Nov 2016 11:26:07


One quick point to add.  I first painted a strip and was so upset with the result that I put away the little guys for a few months.  Tried another strip, this time a little better but I couldnt get my head around all the details I was not painting so put them up again.  Finally recently I broke them out again vowing to finish a couple strips before giving up again.  Well for some reason the more you paint the better you get at it I guess.  Because even though I wont be winning any golden deamon painting awards when I put them on the paint table under the lamp and look at the from a few feet away I have to say I like them.  Its something that was hard for me to grasp before I witnessed it first hand but in 6mm its the overall effect your looking at not each individual model.  Sp mever give up if you keep at it eventually they will turn out the way you want and then you will realise just how fast and easy they are to paint !  


Email dourpuritan PM dourpuritan
Standard User
Posts: 352
Painting Questions
13th Nov 2016 11:54:21

Hello oppi, I never undercoat! I always use white primer, which, after drying, I wash with black to bring out details and provide shading. I block paint, acrylic satin varnish, then wash with black or brown magic wash (a home made wash using floor polish, water and ink. As a consequence my figures have a sheen to them, but this makes them more comfortable to handle and easier to see in non-daylight. I never paint buttons on anything smaller than 10mm.


PM Whirlwind
Standard User
Posts: 146
Painting Questions
15th Nov 2016 07:59:41


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