6mm Painting Tutorial: Microworld Wood Elf Spearmen

It’s been a bit over a year now since I purchased my first 6mm miniature, and in that time I’ve painted roughly 1500 give or take of the little buggers.  That said, while I’m certainly no expert, I do have a bit of experience.  I’ve also noticed my painting method is a bit different than most, so with the public good in mind (and my own ego), I thought I would post my painting method, using my latest finished set of Wood Elf Spearmen as an example.

Initially I prime per one of my earlier posts, very thin gesso.  Often times I will wash with borwn or black ink as well, in this case though because of the bright colors, I did not put a wash on most of the figures. With the figures stuck with poster putty to milk/juice caps, I start blocking in colors.

elfpaint1 elfpaint2 For the hair I used multiple colors, mostly oranges and blonde colors.  I will normally start with the hardest to reach spots just as in 28mm painting, normally the torso.  As the faces are hidden under cowls on many of the spearmen, I elected to paint the skin first.  In this case I went way out on a limb and used VMC elf skintone.  Next up was old reaper master series Linen white.  I love this color (although it is the worst smelling paint in the world), I cant for the life of me repeat it with other paints,  It will be a dark day when I run out.  It is difficult to see in these smaller pictures (I left the pictures full size if clicked on) but I’m not worrying to much about being super exact.  You don’t want paint all over, but mostly what I’m worrying about at this point is making sure all the prominent points are saturated with color.

elfpaint4 elfpaint3Next I painted the cloaks P3 Meridius blue.  That mess of blue in the background is actually from painting tyranids.  I like to keep it old school, so next up is some Citadel/GW Spearstaff brown I’ve had since I was a kid.  Its still good (at 23+ years of age), and again a great color I don’t know how I will replace.

elfpaint5 elfpaint6The primary color for the elf part of the woodland faction has been the meridius blue color, but I didn’t want these guys to just be  a wall of teal, so i went with whit(ish) shields, using GW Ulthuan Grey.  Terrible name aside, its no longer generally available (although you might find it in the odd hobby shop), the exact color isnt important, I just wanted a bluish light color, not green/brown like the linen white I used. [Please note: after completing this post I realized that I totally screwed the order up here, and I had left just primer on the shields until after washing, putting grey on AFTER that.  So….there you go….back the the remaining post….] Next I painted the pants and boots Reaper Sandy Brown.  With some silver for the spear tip, you could stop here.  Honestly, everything I do beyond this is only even barely noticeable when you hold the things up to your face.  Microworld figures are so detailed I just cant keep myself from trying to make them look even better (Rapier and Baccus get the same treatment, I’m not biased).

elfpaint7For humanoid figures i normally use either GW Agraxx earthshade, or occasionally nuln oil, and wash the whole figure.  I wanted to keep my colors bright as possible for these guys though so I used Army painter Soft tone this time around.  Again, you could stop here and have a pretty good looking paintjob.  They come a bit dark, but the wash gives nice depth and covers up basically all but the most egregious of mistakes.  I elect to continue on and go back over all the base colors again, I don’t repaint the whole area, but basically place a highlight on everything (with the exception of hair).

Elfpaint8 elfpaint9I made one alteration this time around, using reaper golden blonde on the tunic highlights (the soft tone already gave the white a nice nutty tone i wanted to emphasize).  I didn’t wash the shields to keep the white color, but I did add a meridius blue stripe to all the shields in the end. I also wanted to put another highlight on the cloaks since the area is so prominent, and used P3s arcane blue (per their color system i think).  Don’t laugh, but on lizard men I put a third highlight 😛  The last step is to finish up with some GW Rune fang silver on the spear tip.

I was going to post some pics of my basing, but its frankly not very inspired, and this post is already a lot of words.  As mentioned I have lots of other projects going on, but I am currently working on some Microworld Wild Elves that I hope to top these guys with next and will post as soon as possible.



Wood Elf Spearmen and Mighty Armies

Despite the lack of posting, I have not abandoned my 6mm fantasy project.  I have continued to paint, though the pace has slowed a bit with more projects being started.  I was also working on particularly large group of Microworld Wood Elf Spearmen, large groups obviously taking longer to complete.

elfphalanxfront1 elfspearphalanx2I have to say, I feel these are the best guys i have done so far.   Everything was washed (this time with Army painter soft tone, normally I use GW agrax earthshade), and then highlighted.  As usual, the figures themselves are amazing.  There are two poses, one with cloak of head and one with (heavy) metal hair (which I painted several different colors).  I made a total of 9 stands, I must have lost a guy somewhere, as I am one spear man short of a 10th stand.  Which is fine, I’m working on some command stand that will need soldiers.

leftsideelfspear eflspearfrontThe last picture there gives an idea of how small, and how detailed, this little buggers are.   That is a bottle of Coat d’ Arms Rat brown, lid being maybe and inch across.  As I was using the Woodland Army’s theme color, light teal blue, for the cloaks, I elected to paint the shields light gray, and then adding I diagonal stripe on them.  I quite like the the way they came out, some more than others 😛   My next post will likely be a tutorial on how I painted these guys.

frontbackselfspearOne new, now partially completed, project I have started is to stat out all of microworlds figures for mighty armies, starting with of course the elves and lizardmen, which I have completed.  Ive partially completed The people of the sun units I have, and will then start on the rest of microworld’s line.  First up the Woodland Realm.

Unit name, point cost, FS/SS, s

Centaur Archers 4 7 2/1 Mobile, Shoot 2
Centaur Nobles 4 6 3/1 Fearless
Forest Giant 8 4 6/3 Gargantuan, Mobile, Magic Resistant
Gnolls 2 4 2/2
Hawk Riders 5 Flight, Lance/shooting1 (eagle)
Lesser Treekin 6 4 5/2 Monsterous, mobile
Medium Centaurs 3 7 2/1 Mobile
Owl Bears 4 3 4/2 Fearless
Pixies 3 3 2/1 Scouts, Shoot1
Werebears 5 3 4/2 Fearless, Rampager
Wild Elf Warriors 4 4 2/2 Rampager, fearless
Wood Elf Archers 4 3 2/1 Shoot 2, long-ranged
Wood Elf Spearmen 4 3 4/2 Disciplined

Next up the lizard men, same format.

Armored Brachiosaur w/ howdah 9 4 6/3 Gargantuan, Shooting 1, Mobile
Armored Brachiosaur w/ ballista 10 4 6/3 Gargantuan, Artillery, Mobile
Armored Brachiosaur with Sorcerer 8 4 6/3 Gargantuan, Spellcaster
Ceratopsid Guard 5 3 4/2 Disciplined, magic resistant
Lizard-Ogre 5 3 4/2 Rampager, Fearless
Lizardman Archers 2 3 2/1 Shooting 1
Lizardman Spears 3 3 4/2
Lizard Man Warrior 2 4 2/2
Pachyceph Cavalry 2 7 2/1
Triceratops Battlewagon 8 3 5/2 Mobile, Shooting, Long range, Monsterous
Triceratops w/ Ballista 9 3 5/2 Mobile, artillery, Monsterous
Triceratops w/ sorcerer 7 3 5/2 Mobile, Monsterous, spellcaster


Most have these guys have only been used once or twice so far, and as you may have noticed, I have fudged points and added abilities.  I have all the different expansions, as well as might armies ancients, and used (or reviewed for use) all the different abilities in them.  There are also variations for some guys depending on what drop on I may use. I made up the gargantuan, which for now is an additonal point beyond monsterous (roughly) and just adds +1 FS and +1 SS.  As the rules are designed for larger scale figures, i’m forced to come up with some kind of variation on larger scale guys, as the potential variance is pretty different.  I.E. No one playing mighty armies at its designed for 15mm will have a 2 foot tall figure, whereas at some point I may have or use the equivalent ratio at 6mm.

Space Hulk moves a long, I am roughly half way through the Genestealers at this point.   I’ve hit a bit of a snag though….

vik1 vik2I’ve been hit by the historical bug, and currently have roughly 150 really upset, armed, and hairy 28mm men.  The main computer game I have been playing recently is Crusader Kings 2 (a fantastic game), and has really got me interested in the so-called dark ages.  I came across the Saga rules, saw how cheap plastic saxon and viking box sets were and Bam, viking and saxon armies in the mail to me.  So far there have only been some messing around with the figures, but once space hulk is finished the guys will be my next project.

As mentioned, soon I will try and post up a show and tell of how I have paint my 6mm guys….hopefully sooner rather than later.