The 6mm Shields – Part 3

DSC01446I experimented tonight. using the finest point paint pen I had I tried drawing something like a republican Roman shield pattern. My immediate thought is #fail.

However, looking at a picture where the figures are around 6mm high, the net result is not too bad. I think I shall have to spend some more time at the stationers tomorrow looking for a white paint pen with a 0.5mm or smaller nib.

The decals look OK, but they are such a pain to put on and I have about 250 figures to put the decals on to. It’s worth preservering with the paint pen idea.

I think I’ll also get a couple of other colours tomorrow so I can do the shield pattern on the Auxiliaries and Cavalry.

The First Decals


So, I tried the first few 6mm decals tonight (four down, 150-odd to go). My initial reaction was that it is really quite fiddly. Tonight I put four decals on the figures and will leave them to dry overnight. Tomorrow I’ll hit them with some decal set which should soften the decal and have it grip the shield underneath (boss included).

My worries?

  1. The boss on the shield will not line up with the dot at the centre of the decal
  2. I may have put the decals on rotated 90 degrees
  3. The whole thing will crap out anyway
  4. After decal setting, the decal won’t set

I must admit, in the future, I think I will paint shield patterns, especially in 6mm. To do that, I think I’ll find some fine-tip coloured pens and use those to make the pattern.

I think were I to use decals again, especially on 6mm Roman shields, I would remove the boss before painting and leave the black dot at the centre of the decal as the hint of a boss.

More after the next step

Polemos Ancients Progress

DSC01412As one of the about 100 projects I have started at the moment (I really am a wargame butterfly, floating from bright flower to bright flower), I started the basing of my Polemos Ancients. I have three Baccus 6mm armies in various stages of completion:

  1. Pontic – unpainted
  2. Numidian – painted and attached to bases – flocking to be done
  3. Imperial Roman – painted but waiting for me to attach 150 decals to 6mm shields and then base.

I thought then a quick update well in order, especially as I haven’t posted anything for a while.

The photo above is of the raw materials laid out – the figures, MDF bases and adhesive magnetic tape. At my favourite stationery store, Stationery Superstore in Funan Digital Mall ((incidentally, my favourite mall here in Signapore as well)) here in Singapore I have discovered a nice range of magnetic tape. They are in rolls with widths of 15mm, 20mm and 30mm – what could be better for a wargamer. They also do a very nice inexpensive stackable storage box, but more on that later, perhaps. So, the photo above shows the basic materials for this stage of the process.

DSC01417The magnetic tape is cut to length and stuck to the bottom of the MDF bases.

The next step is sorting the figures to the bases. The Numidians being a basically skirmishing army are fairly spread out on the bases so each base will contain 8 infantry and either 4 or 5 horse. The Numidians have been painted as lighter skinned with differing coloured shields and tunics. The traditional view was of darker skin and unbleached tunics along with plain shields but hey, these look nice and will morph well into other armies when needed <—wargamer’s excuse for something a little out of the ordinary!

A quick snip with the cutters, a dob of glue, in this case, Tarzan’s Grip from Australia, and the figures are adhered to the base. ready for flocking later.


Next step is on to the Romans.

Painting Service – DJD Minis

DSC00370In an effort to thin the lead pile a little I sent some 6mm figures off to a painting service. I already had some 15mm ACW being painted at Miniature Lanka and had been happy with their service but for the 6mm, I thought I would give DJD Miniatures a try. The price was good so I made an inquiry to Richard there, got a formal quote and sent two 6mm armies off to him.

The figures were Baccus 6mm and were Romans and Numidians (see the last post here). I did not send any painting instructions (too lazy to spend the time researching for this) – just sent the figures. I must admit that I was really looking forward to see how these turned out and how near or far from my own painting style they would be. Near my style and forces would look consistent on the table.


I was quite pleased with the result. The two photos here are taken with a Macro lens and so get you much closer to the figures than your own eyes can.

DJD Minis runs their service out of Phuket, Thailand and I will happily use them again for painting – in fact, I am looking at a pile of unpainted 6mm Napoleonics even as I type Smile

Numidians are Finished

P1010112I finished the 6mm Numidian DBA army this weekend – part of my Singapore project. I painted all options for this force and they can all be seen in the picture. This will enable me to pad out some of the Punic Wars collection as well as well as provide an army to play some battles of the Jugurthine War.

The next army to be painted will be the Polybian Romans – a good opponent for the Numidians for the Jugurthine War. The Jugurthine War takes its name from the Berber king Jugurtha, nephew and later adopted son of Micipsa, King of Numidia.

To provide for the full list for DBA, I painted 21 elements (a DBA army normally consists of 12 elements). This lets me adopt most of the interpretations, in wargaming terms, of how the  Numidians arrayed for battle. The most significant difference is in the infantry where the Numidians can be represented as a pure skirmishing force or a force with then ability to stand against some opponents and to excel in rough terrain. The elements produced were:

  • 1 x Light Horse Commander in Chief (and his alternative, a Cavalry C-in-C)
  • 5 x Light Horse – the famous Numidian Cavalry
  • 6 x Psiloi – Numidian light foot – this is one interpretation of Numidian foot
  • 6 x Auxilia – these can be swapped for any of the Psiloi above to provide the other main interpretation of Numidian foot
  • 1 x Blades – these are like legionaries and represent Roman deserters during the Jugurthine Wars
  • 1 x Elephants – there is some evidence to suggest that Numidians may have used a few elephants at various times.

I am looking forward to getting the Romans painted, and some terrain made, so that I can get down to some games.

Singapore Wargames Project–Test Army–Numidia


Over the weekend I finished the first six elements of the test Army. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was building a six army campaign set. To that set I added a Numidian force, as much to test out things as anything else. Of course, they will also provide a contemporary opponent for most of the armies in the campaign set as well.

I finished six elements of Light Horse over the weekend. I finally decided to use four figures per base for the Light Horse, these looking in sufficiently open order to pass as Light Horse.

Apart from working out how the figures would work in 6mm scale for DBA along with the number of figures per base to use, I was also trying a number of new things and techniques with this army.  I had been talking to some friends who had a different method of painting to me which included both basing the figures before painting and undercoating in black followed by a wet dry brush of white, then normal painting and washing after that. The new things I was trying were:

  1. That new method of painting
  2. Reeves Poster paints when used with Citadel Acrylics
  3. A new varnish (Krylon)
  4. Finishing things in the Singapore environment

The picture above shows the final result with a ruler placed for scale. Note that if you magnify the photo to 1:1 scale (that is, the scale the camera sees) you can see a whole lot of bad in the painting. Looked a 1:1 life scale – that is, where 1cm in the photo measures 1 cm in life – and the figures look quite neat.

Lessons learned from this process however were:

  1. Reeves Poster Paints, whilst heavy in pigment, seem to take a long time to try enough to use a Citadel wash over the top of. The Devlan Mud wash was washing the poster paint away. Fortunately, not too much of it washed off and it, by accident, provided a third layer of colour to the horses in particular.
  2. I varnished the figures with Krylon Spray varnish. I took the figures to the balcony and sprayed in the morning on a sunny day when the humidity was a bit lower than normal here and the temperature a little lower. When I bought the figures back into the apartment and the air-conditioning the varnish appeared to cloud up over the figures. The black hair appeared grey for example.
  3. I need to try some test varnishing on Reeves black as well as citadel black to see whether it is the atmosphere or the the paint causing the clouding.

All in all, however, I am quite satisfied with the first six elements. I have an element of elephants, one of Cavalry and all the infantry to paint next. Wednesday night will be the next painting session. I’ll also get around to writing up the making of the playing surface you can see below the figures.

The wargame at Anthony’s over the weekend has also motivated me to start working on the terrain for the DBA project.

The Armies – II/33 Polybian Roman

P1000974This weekend is a busy weekend. I’m meeting my old boss from Korea, CW, at 2 for a couple of beers at Changi and then this evening on to Beerfest Asia 2011. I suspect that as a result of these two cultural events, tomorrow will be spent reading … but picture books only. Saturday morning though I got on with a couple of things whilst doing the weekly washing. I managed to finish painting the base board (more of that in a later post) and also to write up the Polybian Roman Army.

The Polybian Roman army reflects the Romans organisation at the time of Rome’s struggle with Carthage and Hannibal in particular during the Second Punic War. To that end the classical symmetry of the Roman Army is reflected in the structure of this army.

Probably the best initial wargamers source for information on the DBA Polybian’s in particular is at the Fanaticus website – and in particular the notes on the Polybian Romans.

Number Type Comments
1 3Cv The general element and bodyguards
1 3Cv Roman or allied cavalry. Could also be Spanish or Gallic Cavalry instead of native Roman or Italian allies
2 4Sp The Triarii – the veterans of the Roman Army and generally those that formed the third line. Armed in the traditional way of a long spear and shield – in many respects the Roman version of a hoplite
6 4Bd These are the Hastati and Princeps – and are those that perhaps did the majority of the fighting. Armed with the new pilum and trained in its use as well as the use od the short Roman stabbing sword
2 2Ps These are the Rorarii or Velites. At the start of the period, Rorarii which were lightly armed skirmishing troops. These later evolved into the Velites, light infantry armed with shield and javelins and wearing the famous wolfskin.

There are no variations possible with the Roman army. What is listed about is the Roman Army in its only variation. IN many respects this reflects Rome well.

As with the Numidians mentioned previously, I am using four 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended in the rules for infantry. The Velites will therefore have 8 figures on the base and the Hastati, Princeps and Triarii will have 16.

The cavalry and the general are scaled to three 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended. The 3Cv bases will therefore have 8 or 9 figures on them (I’m still undecided exactly on how many to use).

The terrain requirements for this army are listed as Arable. This means that as I make the terrain I will need to make sure I have the following for this army:

  • Steep Hills – two are needed
  • Gentle Hills – two are needed
  • River – one needed – it should cross the entire board
  • Waterway – one is needed
  • Woods – two are needed
  • Built Up Area (BUA) – one is needed and this is one of the compulsory features
  • Roads – one is needed as this is the alternative compulsory feature to the BUA. It should be long enough to cross from one side of the table to the other

This the organisation of the figures and terrain for the Polybian Romans. The picture at the top of this is the figures and bases sorted and organised for the eventual painting

The Armies – II/40 Numidian

P1000973I spent some time this weekend doing two things for the Singapore Wargames Project. The first was starting on the game board and the terrain. The second was sorting the figures and the bases out. I was expecting that I would have some errors in purchasing and I did. I had a few too many figures left over from a couple of the packs I purchased – like why did I buy Tarentine cavalry? I also ended up discovering that I had miscalculated the number of bases I needed in the 40x20mm size. I know why that happened. As I sorted the figures out I found that I could pretty much do all the variations so I started to plan that way. This left me short some bases. Oh well, a quick order off to East Riding Miniatures tonight will see that corrected.

I decided to start with the Numidians as I am guessing they will be the easiest of the seven armies to paint. Looking through the list, I need to allow for the following troops to meet all the requirements.

Number Type Comments
1 3Cv This is the general and can have Gallic or Spanish bodyguards
1 2LH An alternate general to the one mentioned above
5 2LH The famous Numidian Light Cavalry
6 2Ps Numidian Light Troops – Psiloi. There is some discussion about whether these were, in fact Psiloi or more closely grouped troops such as the next type
5 3Ax Numidian foot troops – classed as Auxilia in the rules. These are good broken terrain troops but a little fragile in the open when faced by cavalry or close order infantry
1 El An elephant base. Elephants were used in the armies of Jugurtha and Juba
1 4Bd These are imitation legionaries or Roman deserters – these are from the later period, after the Punic Wars when Rome and Numidia fought.
1 3/4Ax These are either Spanish Scutarii, Gaetuli, or Ligurian deserters – trained by the Romans but fighting for the Numidians

These then are all the elements that I need to make to cover all options of the Numidian Army. For figures per base, a little experimenting and I worked out the following ratios:

Infantry – use four 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended in the rules. In this case, a 3Ax base of 6mm figures will contain 12 figures (the 15mm equivalent is 3 figures).

Cavalry – to give a little more space, I decided to use three 6mm figures for each 15mm figure recommended. A 2LH base in 6mm will therefore contain 6 figures (the 15mm equivalent is 2 figures).

Elephants, Artillery and Chariots – I decided that two 6mm models per base would work best. The 15mm equivalent is one model.

For references on the Numidians, perhaps the best starting places are:

The terrain requirements for this army are listed as Hilly. This means that as I make the terrain I will need to make sure I have the following for this army:

  • Steep Hills – two are needed
  • River – one needed – it should cross the entire board
  • Woods – two are needed
  • Built Up Area (BUA) – one is needed
  • Roads – two are needed – again, they should be long enough to cross from one side of the table to the other

OK, that is the organisation of the figures for the Numidians. The picture at the top of this is the figures and bases sorted and organised for the eventual painting.

I will update the next six armies over the next week or so as well as progress of the game board.

The Singapore Wargames Project – Part 6 the Materials

P1000946So I finally collected everything. I have the baseboard (thank you Doug for the idea), paint, materials for terrain, figures to make 7 DBA armies from around the time and area of the Punic Wars as well as pre-cut bases to base on it all.

A can of Tiger beer and a planning session gave me the plan. The project will follow the following order (well, that is the plan at the moment at least).

  1. Paint the base board. The reason for starting with this is that I feel it will be a basically straightforward job, fairly quick and give me something complete to look at to encourage me for the other parts of the project (especially as there is another wargaming project at the back of my brain at the moment as well).
  2. Cut, assemble and make the terrain pieces. again, something reasonably quick and there are a couple of techniques I want to play around with.
  3. Paint and base the army with the least number of figures to deal with. This will be the Numidians. Whilst they are not part of the base set, there are some Numidians present in some of the armies anyway so the extra bases will be painted at the same time. They will give me a head start to some of the forces as well as giving me something pretty to look at.
  4. Start on the main 6 armies. When it gets closer to this time I will decide on the order to take.


OK – ready to start. As I mentioned earlier I’ll be blogging the progress as this will help force me to keep to the plan.

To the left is a close up of some of the figures. The wooden bases you can see are 40mm x 30mm in size and the figures are just over 6mm small.

Right then, to paint! Tally ho the brush!

The Singapore Wargames Project – Part 5 the Figures

I mentioned that I was going to build this set using 6mm figures from Baccus 6mm. There are seven armies being prepared over time but I thought, as it was payday last week, to buy all the figures at one time.

Two orders were therefore sent to the nice Mr Berry of Baccus (his shopping cart got overloaded halfway through the order Open-mouthed smile) and if previous deliveries are anything to go buy, a nice parcel should arrive at the office next week.

The order was for the following:

Quantity ID Name
1 AGR8 Unarmoured Hoplites
1 AGR1 Hoplites
1 AGR6 Greek Cavalry
1 AGR11 Greek Bolt Throwers
1 AGR4 Psiloi – Bow
1 AGR3 Psiloi – Javelins
1 AMA9 Theurophoros Infantry
1 AMA15 Tarantine Cavalry
2 AGD1 Greek Decals
2 AIT1 Samnite Infantry
1 ARR1 Hastatii w pilum
1 ARR2 Triarii
1 ARR3 Velites
1 ARR5 Roman Cavalry
1 ACA3 Libyan Cavalry
1 ACA5 Veteran Infantry
3 ACA4 Elephants
2 AIR6 Roman Generals
1 ASP5 Spanish Heavy Cavalry
1 ASP4 Spanish Light Cavalry
1 ASP2 Spanish Caetratii
1 ASP1 Spanish Scutarii
1 ASP3 Balearic Slingers
1 ACE1 Celtic Infantry, stood
1 ACE2 Celtic Heavy Cavalry
1 ACE3 Celtic Javelinmen
1 ACE4 Celtic Slingers
2 ACE5 Celtic Chariots
1 ACE6 Celtic Leaders
1 ACE7 Celtic Infantry, charging
2 AMO1 Moorish Infantry
2 AMO3 Moorish Cavalry

This will be enough figures to make the seven armies with leftovers.

Later I will break up the armies into their contents. In the meantime, the next step is to an email an order to East Riding Miniatures for bases for the figures. I will be using the standard DBA 40mm wide bases for this.