tips from Anthony Barton
Guide editor Richard Moore offers some suggestions
on the basic things needed to either paint your own
figures, or get them professionally done.
you'll have an area that will be a permanent painting
spot. Your own bedroom or study is the best place.
If you have young children you need to keep your paints/figures
out of their reach or, if you are a young person,
where you can stay a little bit disorganized (messy)
without your folks (or wife) getting peeved.
need to work out if oil or water-based paints will
be the most suitable for you so ask the people at
the shop you get your figures from or check out the
local games group. Remember with oil-based paints
you'll need turpentine to clean your brushes and hands.
you'll need a range and of course that depends upon
the nationality of the armies you'll be painting.
of the list are -
Brown - light and dark
Green - light and dark
Blue - light and dark
Grey - light and dark
Metal - gun metal or steel
buying your paints remember to check the facing colours
of the various regiments in your chosen army and get
cans of those.
have to say brushes never last long when I paint so
I do not go for the most expensive variety, but many
people do. You'll need medium brushes for larger areas
of your figures and sharp-pointed ones are invaluable
for smaller parts and details.
are the thin balsa wood, plastic or metal platforms
that you fix your painted soldiers on to. The rules
you choose will decide the size of the bases and how
many figures you place on them.
can be painted or covered in flock - a grass and terrain
lookalike - or small pebbles and sand.
are masses of books around on Napoleonic uniforms,
but for good basic starters it wouldn't hurt to look
at Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars 1796-1814 and Uniforms
of Waterloo by Philip Haythornthwaite and Jack Cassin-Scott
(aided by Mike Chappell on the latter).
of the Napoleonic Wars, 1796 to 1814
Napoleonic Guide suggests two Internet sources
of free Napoleonic flags. Click
here for details.
sharp box-cutter knife to trim excess metal off your
bowls for cleaning brushes.
have seen some utterly stunning boxes that people
store and carry around their miniature soldiers in
and some must cost a fortune. I have to confess to
being lazy and a bit mean and took one of my figures
down to the hardware store and checked out some plastic
tool boxes. I settled on a five-drawer container with
opaque plastic sides (to see the figures) and a carry
handle. Seems to work for me.
you are serious about wargaming and building your
own table-top battlefield you should try to keep all
manner of materials stored away somewhere.
rubber offcuts, plastic pieces, balsa wood, cardboard,
pieces of package protection foam and matches are
all excellent to work with.
Now if you have the money, or are a terrible painter,
or don't have the time then you can do what I have
done and buy second-hand figures. It
is not the cheaper option, but it is much faster.
I now have a good basic selection of 15mm Napoleonic
troops that include hundreds of British (my first
purchase and a little down on painting standards,
but good enough), a complete Saxon army (professionally
painted), French infantry and 50-plus French dragoons
(again professionally painted).
It is a bit of a mixture but I'm not gaming at the
moment and can afford to take my time picking up figures
here and there whenever they are available at the
local games shop or wargames club should be able to
point you in the direction of a good miniatures soldier