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Evening 1 - the Baccus 6mm Challenge

Peter Berry, owner and grand panjandrum of "Baccus 6mm" figures put out a challenge on the 17th of June 2004. What he wanted were 20 people who had never painted 6mm wargames figures before to receive a free army pack and to paint them up, relatively quickly please. His reason being to show people who doubted the usefulness and niceness of his figs how easy to paint and nice to look at they were.

I was a bit later to start than I could have been, real life and all that, but I was enthusiastic to try, which might be a bit of a drawback in Mr. Berry's scheme, the close minded probably wouldn't have fired off that email.

What I wanted from this exercise was a illustration, to myself, of how these things would be to work with and would the end result justify the extra time required to paint so many figures, even if they ARE smaller than normal. I'll admit that my period interest for 6mm would be either Medieval, or English Civil War and the only period that Mr. Berry knows I'm interested in using this scale for is the one he doesn't do, namely Medieval. So this could be a good way to find out how these things did, even though the man donating them might not get any direct financial benefit out of doing so.

The time I had to spend was evening only, mixed in with talking to my wife, checking emails and watching TV, so this isn't my full and undivided attention being focused here, so it you tend to concentrate purely on your figures when painting then you are bound to take less time. All paints used are Acrylics from across the ranges of Vallejo, Humbrol, Miniature Paints, Tamiya and Games Workshop.

Since the paint job on figures looks terrible, more than the actual awfulness of my lack of talent, when magnified beyond their size where appropriate I've included pictures at close to real size.


What arrived was enough infantry for maybe 8 and a half elements, the list requires maybe 7, four elements of pistoliers, one of which will be the general, and a unit of Dragoons.

Every fourth infantry strip is a "command" strip with with a banner bearer as well as a drum, sergeant with partizan and a musketeer.

It's every second cavalry strip that is the command, with trumpeter, banner bearer and officer.

Mr. Berry also supplied a sheet with a colour guide, useful as "The War of Spanish Succession" is something I know nothing about and I am lucky in that his website has an example of how to pain exactly the figure and nationality that comprises most of my infantry.


The figures are fairly clean and have a scary amount of detail on something so small. If you look at the back of the coats of the infantry there are lines moulded there that could be used for putting piping on if you were mad enough.

Although there was some bending of Flag staves and a bit of flash on the rifles it wasn't too long a job to set these to rights.

The metal is very shiny but I'm sure once it's dulled with the primer the trouble I'm going to have distinguishing detail for it being too shiny is going to be replaced with the problem in seeing detail because it's too dark, luckily I have an anglepoise lamp with built-in magnifier, the old eyes aren't what they used to be.

Even the bases are reasonably flat. Only a couple of bases had any large bits of flash to cut off and sand down. For most a quick sanding did the job of making the undersides of the bases nice and smooth.  

Next thing to do, mount the strips onto flat sticks for ease of mass painting. This is the first time I've ever done this, next time I'd use more sticks and have fewer strips on them to make them easier to work with by having a "handle" at either end.

Although the cavalry will be based side by side I've left them in their "file" configuration for painting


I actually think undercoating this lot is actually going to be the longest and least fun job of this whole exercise.

I used Miniature Paints's "Black Primer" with a brush I didn't care about as I believed, and I think I was proved right, all that tiny detail acted as a saw to cut off bristles as I merrily undercoated away.

This is how a couple of Cavalry troops look like close to. The undercoat is enough to bring up all sorts of detail, like sword scabbards and blankets on the saddles.