Saturday, January 8, 2011

6mm Napoleonics for 'Grande Armee'

I was going through some old shots of my 6mm collection and I thought I would post a few for those who may be interested. These bases were made up for Sam Mustafa's excellent corps-level game 'Grande Armee'. I started this project several years ago when we were working abroad and I knew it had to be something that would be fairly portable. All of the castings shown are from Adler miniatures which I quite like (a little stumpy but I like the animation). I've always been quite impressed with the massed look that is possible in this scale and so I packed on as many castings as I could.

Knowing that I was taking on this project solo meant that I had to collect and paint armies for several nations. It been a slog but I now have a decent representation of most of the major powers. I think the only big one that is conspicuously absent is Russia (which is strange as I find their participation quite fascinating).

I originally wanted to use thin steel for the bases but I decided against it for fear of the models being damaged by players picking up the stands by the figures. Instead I went with 3mm wood ply bases from Litko as they have a thicker edge for grabbing hold of.

I also mounted a thin strip of magnetic sheet on the right rear corner of each base so I could affix unit designations mounted on custom cut thin steel strips. Works pretty well.

I have a load of already painted 6mm stuff yet to be based but I get easily exhausted as I find the process quite fiddly. Each infantryman has to be cut from the strip and glued on the base individually (as I like to arrange them shoulder to shoulder) and Adler spaces their figures too wide on their cast strips. It pretty much takes me a whole evening to get one base properly, completed with groundwork and finishing sprays.  I really should quit whining, buck-up and get them done someday...


  1. Hi Curt

    Great blog, and nice to see you're into the 6mm scale as well as the more beautifully detailed 28mm stuff. There's some fabulous paint and basing work throughout the site: inspiring!

    I'm getting back into the hobby after a 20 year hiatus, and I'm trying several scales (and hope to have a blog of my own running to cover my activities in due course). I'm neither gaming as such, nor even part of a group or club yet, but I want to base figures in such a way, and in appropriate numbers per base, so as to not wind up with unplayable armies.

    How are you basing you're 6mm stuff? As in what are your base sizes, and what are your numbers of figures per base? And is there as simple resource available anywhere that wargamers can go to for ref on this? I don't really want to spend £20/30 on a set of rules at this stage, as I'm still just considering my army options, and buying and painting figures, etc.

    So far I have some 10mm and 28mm Napoleonic collections, just starting, and I'll probably add the 6mm scale so I can do larger battles as well. I'm thinking of doing the 1812 Russian campaign in 6mm, and getting all the forces I need myself, so I'll be able to do this project autonomously, and please myself to some degree. But I'd like to come out of it all with armies I can use with other gamers in the long run.



  2. Hi Sebastian,

    Thank you for your kind words and welcome back to the hobby!

    My 6mm collection is mounted on 3" square bases (3mm thick). I usually have between 45 to 60 infantry per base including a couple mounted officers, skirmishers, etc. The cavalry are 20 to 40 depending if they are light or heavy cavalry. Each base represents a brigade of infantry or cavalry.

    There are several online resources for small-scale gaming. I would check the Yahoo Groups as I remember seeing several 6mm specialist groups listed a few months ago. Also check for the 'Grande Armee' rules Yahoo group as there were several guys who were doing the 1812 campaign in a big way (Borodino is always a tempting target in this scale).

    The trick with 6mm is not to get too bogged down in trying to paint too much detail. The figures are so good that it is tempting to go this route but it will slow you down to a snail's pace. To be frank once you have 40-60 of these guys based together you are not looking at the details but the mass, especially when viewed from 6 feet away. I will often concentrate my efforts from the chest up as that is what is being seen for the most part. If you are doing tight ranks of figures try to plan your painting to concentrate on the front of the front rank figures and the rear of the rear rank figures as it is those two sides that will predominantly be seen - the middle ranks will mostly only be seen from the chest on up.

    Anyway, I'm rambling here but I hope some of this helps. Have fun and once again welcome back to the hobby!



  3. Very very nice, love the mass effect you have built up here