Monday, 13 April 2020

Thirty Years War 6mm progress 9: Arquebusiers and Swedish Horse

Arquebusiers (using Baccus mounted Dragoon figures).
The vivid green sleeves pop close up but generally the
addition of sleeves is underwhelming.
Having made good progress in March on my 6mm Thirty Years War armies for Tilly's Very Bad Day I decided to devote April to the same project.

Next up for attention were the mounted Arquebusiers and Swedish Horse. While there is no foreseeable prospect of using them in a normal game, painting is a good therapy in these troubled times.

The Arquebusiers are particularly closely packed which makes access difficult. Another way to look at that, however, is that those awkward areas are naturally in shadow and so don't need to be painted!

The main downside of not painting something is that it's not contributing to the overall lightening of the blocks. Other than that it's part and parcel of the approach I've adopted.

Another problem - and this is nothing to do with crowding - is the the surface available to be painted. Given the areas that are intended to be left brown (straps, accoutrements, small arms) and the shadow between them, there is very little figure left to paint - basically just the sleeves and that is a very small area.

At this stage I'm wondering if block painting, especially when combined with pre-basing, works better with 10mm figures because there is more area to paint. With 6mm it may be better to give the figures an overall 'end' colour.

Commanders, Swedish Horse and Arquebusiers.
Hats off to the addition of hats. Bits of horse, hats
and, of course, the bases are really all that
shows at a distance, and, therefore, all that's
worth painting!
Anyway, back to the job in hand. When painted the sleeves hardly showed. I got completely bored with this lack of impact and decided to move on to the hats. As expected, these really stood out and lifted the blocks immensely.

So, let me once again evaluate the painting approach with regard to these particular figures...

They had a pinpoint dab of flesh for the faces which took hardly any time at all, some tiny dabs of colour for the sleeves which required a bit more care and effort because of access, and a bigger but easy application of colour to the hats which were painted with 2-3 brushstrokes.

All in all a good effect IMO was achieved for an extremely economical effort. I can and will add more detail to lighten the blocks, but it will hardly be seen. Whatever more I do the blocks are not going to end up looking very different from the way they look now.


  1. Coming along nicely Richard.

    1. Yes, Simon. I'm still waiting for some guidance on Saxon uniforms to be published by Steven Thomas but I should have the rest of the painting finished by the end of month, unless I do decide to add unnecessary detail! That will leave flags, pikes, foliage and spraying with matt varnish to do at a later date. Next month I want to focus on doing some initial work on a range of Rampant armies.