Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Cunning Plan - 6mm Baccus Dwarves

A week before the Easter break, I received my battle pack of dwarves from  Baccus6mm. Based on our usually busy schedule, I calculated I had enough time to get them painted for a HOTT game I had planned for Easter Monday unbeknownst to my opponent, Marc.

The minis themselves were crisply molded with very little flash but some strips had large sprues on the bases. These were easily taken care of with a coarse file. The alloy itself is what I would call "medium". Much harder than the old lead minis, a bit harder than my Essex 15's but not as hard as the alloy used by Corvus Belli. This gives the dwarves a good weight for their size and makes them very robust. The only area of concern was the command strip standard poles which are very thin and will probably need to be replaced with a plastic bristle or dress makers pin in the future. The only assembly required was for the war carts which went together with some 5 minute epoxy. Cyanoacrylate / super glue would have worked as well if not better but I would have wanted to use a gap filling variety.

Painting was straight forward but more time consuming than I expected. I mounted all the strips onto painting sticks using generic Blu-Tack. I find this is much easier for repositioning and removing the figures than white glue or hot glue and is reusable even if painted. While some of the bigger 15's can be a bit heavy for this method, the tiny 6mm strips weren't going anywhere.

Priming was done with grey generic automotive primer. I didn't hit every nook and cranny but then I have only recently started using a primer coat at all. My painting technique is best described as dab and flow. More or less following the painting guide on the Baccus site, I started with an overall coat of Tamiya aluminum. No particular reason for Tamiya other than it hadn't dried up in the 20 years since I last painted any minis. This was followed by dabbing on GW elf flesh on all the faces and hands.

Once the main colours had dried it was onto the beards and hair. With silver armour and helmets, this is one of the few places to easily add colour. The hair and beard pass was followed by another for weapon shafts, weapons and shields. Now this sounds straight forward but in fact each new pass revealed some bit I had missed in the previous pass. So working on the hair revealed any number of helmets in primer grey requiring touch up and colouring in the shields exposed where beard colour was smeared over armour - and more touch ups. The paints used were a mixture of acrylic craft paint (cheap) Tamiya (on hand), GW (my wife's) and one bottle of Vallejo which was beautiful to work with.

One of the saving graces was the presence of a number of artillery models, the war carts and single hero figures. Just when frustration set in with the mass painting, I could take a break and do a single model 15mm style.

One of the final things to do was to go over the boots, touching each with one of several browns or black. Then onto basing. Since we were to be playing HOTT, I based them up 15mm deep as Blades. Over this went a wash of wrought iron as I will be "flocking" with coal and stone. Remember all those boots I painted? - all gone under the wash and given the narrow space between the two ranks, much of the detail on the back of the front rank and front of the back rank is now lost in shadow.

Final thoughts, The Baccus dwarves are very nice figures and look great en masse. My painting technique needs to be further simplified to avoid wasting time on things that won't be seen.

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