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Painting 6mm Militia

When I was ogling over the Baccus range of AWI figures, I did a lot of searching online for other AWI 6mm sites and found Howe’s About That Then!.  It seems he made a great start on a resource then stopped, but what is there is really useful.  I particularly liked the part where he tells his method for painting militia.  I will take his work and expand on it here.

The varied appearance of the militia can be a dilemma for someone like me who likes a system for everything, heck when you are painting 72 figures at a time you need some order, even when those figures are only 6mm high.

Baccus makes a fantastic militia pack with lots of character.  They are tied for my favorite pack with the Continentals in tricorne.  With these figures in mind, it’s time to pick out some colors.  How’s About That Then! recommends

Chose two colours for each figure on the strip: one for the coat/waistcoat and one for the trousers. For example, Fig 1 = buff/grey, Fig 2 = dark brown/tan, Fig 3 = green/buff, Fig 4 = tan/red-brown.

I think this is a fantastic start, I used this and came up with the following Vallejo color scheme.  First color is for the coat, second color is for the trousers.

  1. buff / light grey
  2. tan-earth / german camo medium brown
  3. dark green / buff
  4. saddle brown / tan-earth

While I paint them in the same order on every strip I start from a different place on each strip.  Sound confusing, let me explain.  I start with number 1 on the first strip, on the next strip I start with number two, on the next number 3 and so on.  See the diagram below.

Mixing Up the Militia
Mixing Up the Militia

I continue this pattern throughout all 6 pop sickle sticks of troops in one of my units.

A number of troops in the unit are only in their shirts, this allows further break up of the pattern.  I paint the shirts on these guys with Ivory as suggested by the Howe’s site.  Then I paint their pants the color required from the pattern.  These are also the only troops in my whole army that don’t have black hair.  I paint these troops with dirty blond or brown hair.

After these few randomizations, it’s off to paint the troops like any other unit.  The only thing I would do differently is paint the belts a light color for dark coats, and a dark color for light coats.

The end result is quite a tidy little unit with a random but unified appearance.

End Product

As a recap, here’s my process.

  1. Undercoat in grey
  2. Paint the shirts ivory
  3. Paint the rest of the troops with the scheme refered to earlier
  4. Paint as normal from here.
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Gaining Mass, 600 Troops

Another installment of my continuing effort to show how great large amounts of small figures look compared to small amounts of large figures.  I have been adding approx 150 troops to every picture.  When I placed the troops for my British Hubbardton photo, I thought it would be a great opportunity to show the 600 troops.


These troops would be a representation of two British regiments for the Saratoga Campaign at a 1:1 ratio .

600 Models

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Hubbartdon’s British Troops

I have already posted the Patriot troops, so it’s about time the bad guys got their due.  The following units represent the British OOB for the Hubbarton conflict. I’ll describe the units in the first picture below.

Out front is the commander Brigadier Frasier.  Next is the 24th Regiment, behind them the grenadiers, light infantry, and Natives/Canadiens.

Bringing up the rear is von Riedesel followed by his Brunswick troops.  First the grenadiers and then the light infantry.

Hubbardton’s Brits

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Yorkers, Spartans, or Romans?

I was trying out a few different eras/wars to see what sparked my interest in January.  I have usually been doing a lot of painting when this happens, and I start to loose a little interest in the current project.  It’s a month later now and I’m back in the saddle with AWI now, but I wanted to get this out there.

I read a number of Osprey titles on The War of the Roses, Ancient Greece, and Rome.  I did some serious reading on The War of the Roses, but after around 4 books, I still didn’t know who was a Lancastrian or a Yorker?  Still very interested in the period, but knowledge of the subject is important to me.  I enjoyed my reading about Ancient Greece, but sheildwall-esqe type of battles don’t really interest me in the long run.

Finally I found a website, Geektactica, that inspired me to try the Romans.  With a British wife, I decided to work on the Romano-Galic conquest/rebellion type period (that’s a working title, until I know more about the period).

So at this point, I include some Roman Legionnaires, Early Imperial I think, with my last order from Baccus.  They were pretty great as far as quality it goes.  They paint up like a dream!  I really think you could have a great looking mass of these troops in no time.  I used four basic colors on them and that’s it.  You can get shield transfers, but that increases the cost another .5 times and I don’t see the point for 6mm.  I just painted some uniform shapes on them and went with it.

Here are the test models.  I think they are best viewed from a few inches away.  I see that my closeups are not flattering with the metallic paint.

I’m not sure I’ll still be into this period by the time I’m actually ready to start another project.  But I’ll have them on the back burner.  I want to finish this project and see if I need to make any fundamental changes in the way I do things.  IE, I suspect my bases may be too large to allow manoeuvre on a 6ft x 4ft table.  If so, I’ll have some thinking to do.

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First Scenarios Up

I have created the first two of my eventual Saratoga Campaign scenarios. You can find them at the downloads page.  Please go there and check them out.  Download as much as you like.

I would only ask that if you either enjoy them or have a suggestion, please leave a comment here to that effect.  I am putting these up as a litmus for my next three scenarios.  I’d hate to write more if there is something I could do better.

Thanks and enjoy.


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New Terrain Mat

I just recieved my new terrain mat from   It seems ok, I’ll write more about it later, but I have been wanting to post some pictures of figures that weren’t just on display.  Here are some figures as they would appear in the wild.  They are larger than the pictures that I usually post as they are greater in scope and need to be, so be aware of that if looking at them on a slow connection.

In Front of the Farm

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First Ever Attempt At Terrain

First House Ever
First House Ever

Ok, don’t laugh at me, but I have had my first ever try and creating some terrain.  These are PaperTerrain 6mm European Buildings, and they are fantastic.  I have built quite a bit of 15mm stuff for my previous WW2 project.  The 6mm stuff is quite a bit easier to build as it’s not as detailed.  I literally built these while sitting on the couch while my wife watched Supernanny.  They build fast and look great on the table.  They are also VERY sturdy when glued to a base.

I took more pictures than this, but they were terribly out of focus.   This picture has a stand placed infront to show scale, but I’m not happy with the depth of field.   I will take more and put them up.  I want to show the destroyed buildings that come with every PaperTerrain building, just pull off the outside layer and reveal the destroyed building below.

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Here Come the New Yorkers

This is the first New York Regiment that I have created, so it represents my first step outside of New England.

The 4th New Yorkers had some pretty distinctive uniforms and I imagine they are pretty well documented as they show up in most collections of plates.  They wore with uniforms with black caps, rather than tricornes.  If you are priming your 6mm figs with white, this unit is a breeze to paint. It probably took 20% off the total painting time.

I had a little fun with the flag as I couldn’t find any references for it.  One of the great things (and at times frustrating things)  about the AWI is that you have a lot of latitude due to lack of information.  I got tired of trying to figure out the flag with this unit, that they got a Yankee’s symbol.   Now that I’m posting it, I see that I put the roman numerals for 3 on the flag rather than 4.  I’ll have to change that soon.

The 4th New York Regiment

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Big Units

In my continuing efforts to show what 6mm has to offer in quality of quantity, I have taken some pictures of the next step in the “Gaining Mass” series which I will now call the “6mm Effect”.

This is a group of 6 units, approximately 450 troops.  This is larger than most regular regiments that fought in the Saratoga Campaign.  Though some of the militia regiments got pretty stupid big, over 1000.

450 Troops in One Block

Showing Mass 450 Troops
Showing Mass 450 Troops
Showing Mass 450 Troops, part 2
Showing Mass 450 Troops, part 2

This represents about 1/3 of the total troops that I have painted so far.  I need to start taking more pictures.

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Hubbardton Troops

I finished these troops a while ago, but haven’t taken the time to take the pictures.    Recreating all the units that fought at Hubbardton was the first goal I set for the blog.  Well, here are the Patriot Forces.  The Brits are finished and just awaiting photographing.

I’ll talk about the first photo in the gallery as the rest are just different angles on the same troops.

First we have Seth Werner on the command stand.  Behind him are the Green Mountain Boys then the 2nd New Hampshire Reg.

Next is Col. Francis on a command stand.  Behind him is the 11th Massachusetts and a unit of Vermont militia.  Last are the two units of militia that refused to go to the battle when ordered.  They will make an appearance in my scenario.

Speaking of the scenario, I should have it published on the site in a few weeks.  I will most likely double the number of regiments when I work out how many units, ie every regiment will be represented by two units on the table top.  This will make the game more dynamic, and is a necessary mechanism for an interesting battle.

The Hubbardton Patriots