I put my 6mm scale historical wargaming protect on the shelf at the beginning of the year after becoming daunted by the prospect of assembling two large armies (given the rabble rousing I was giving the project among my gaming friends) and discouraged by a general lack of interest.
After spending time assembling and priming my Frostgrave warbands, I’m realizing I still like the idea of it big pike and shot armies in 6mm.
However, it’s such a niche subject and scale, that I’m walking back any ambition of a publicly released set of wargame rules for it. No, this is probably just going to be a personal passion project.
The upside? If this is just going to be a random project of mine, I don’t have to be in a hurry!
So assembling these tiny guys ends up being relaxing, which is what I’ve been slowly working on the past few nights.
I’ve gotten an additional two units assembled: one medium sized base (100x50mm) of cuirassiers – those pistol-wielding, heavily armored cavalry who can be reasonably considered the successors of the lance-armed gendarmes and medieval knights.
I’ve also put together a small base (50x50mm) of pioneers / siege engineers who would be erecting field works, ditches, and barricades. I was still working out how to make these units work just right when I was working on the rules, but right now, I’m happy to be just modelling the units and worrying about returning to the rules later.
I followed the same process as I have been using with my 6mm minis. This isn’t anything revolutionary or new to those working in smaller scales, but for those 28mm friends of mine who have asked, here’s how I’m going about it:
- Sand the bottom of the bases
- Stick 8-12ish minis on a stick with a dab of Elmer’s glue or double sided tape
- Prime (using plain ole Krylon primer in brown for these)
- Apply big blocks of color, not worrying much about any details or if I over paint certain areas. The photos here pick up much, much more of the detail than you’d ever notice when actually playing a game at tabletop distance with 6mm miniatures.
- Apply a wash to the minis with Army Painter Soft Tone
- Prep the high-density version of the MDF bases by spray painting the bottom and painting the sides. This is an attempt to prevent warping.
- Cut and apply the 50x10mm magnetic strip to the rear of the base (for the label)
- Use Gorilla Glue to adhere the minis to the bases
- Apply glue to the bases, then cover in aquarium gravel (brushing off any bits that stick to the minis – this happens a fair bit with the close order troops of this period, especially at this small a scale)
- Paint over the gravel with a mixture of Elmer’s glue, acrylic paint (the cheap arts and craft type you find at Target or Wal-Mart), and a bit of water. This helps the base material stay in place, plus gives you some color.
- Once dry, apply dabs of glue, then add your grass, foliage, and stone.
- Print, cut out, and glue your paper label to the metallic strip, then place it on the magnetic strip at the back of your base.
Writing that all out makes it read a lot more complicated than it actually feels, I promise!
I’ve now got four units put together. I think this gives me enough of an idea with 6mm to tackle one of the iconic units of the era: a big, terrifying Habsburg tercio.
The large base for these rules I’m fiddling with is 100x100mm. I’ll likely need 27 musketeers, 30-35 pikemen, plus a few command figures.
Might add in greatsword and sword-and-rodella skirmishers in place of additional pikemen if my order from Microworld gets in within the next week or two. Not sure, yet!