Thursday, 22 May 2014

Imperial French, Franco-Prussia War - Baccus 6mm

Regular readers may recall brief mentions that in my own particular lead/plastic pile are a number of 6mm figures. My brother bought the Franco-Prussian War starter set from Baccus at the Derby Wargame Show (when it was held at Derby Uni buildings which shows you how long ago it was, over two years?). I knew he was interested in the period but I had been subtlety (obviously too subtle) trying to convince him to buy larger scale figures "Oh look at these lovely 15/28mm figures" and such like, trying to put him off buying the Baccus figures for purely selfish reasons including: 
  1. They are tiny, 
  2. They are full of detail (they've even got bloody moustaches! I ask you) and 
  3. There are literally hundreds (and hundreds) of them. 
The pictures show some of the initial force of the Imperial French Army, three hundred and eighty four figures to be precise, which consists of the French Imperial Infantry Booster Pack (two hundred and eighty figures) plus a few stands from the starter pack. There should be three hundred and ninety two but with two of the bases I've left the skirmishes off, something I'll repeat with more of the bases because with the Polemos rules you don't actually need to place skirmishers on the bases. In fact if you read the rules one of the first things it states is that you don't actually really need any figures at all! You can simply play the game with plain MDF bases as long as their marked up correctly; it made me laugh anyway as I thought it was a very frank and honest (or mad) approach from a company that should be trying to sell you figures.

These figures had been languishing on the 'to do' painting list for so long because I honestly wasn't looking forward to starting them because:
  1. 6mm figures are really tiny. Don't believe me? Go find a rule and measure out 6mm...see, it's tiny. They're about knee height to a grasshopper or a 28mm figure. 
  2. They are full of detail (Moustaches! Have I mentions that these all these 6mm figures have moustaches, yes ALL of them) and finally, 
  3. There are hundreds of the little buggers. To misquote Colour Sgt.Bourne (Nigel Green) from the film Zulu... "Frenchies - thousands of 'em." Well, around fourteen hundred in total for both armies as it eventually turned out. 
After the guilt of delaying starting on the miniatures became unbearable I finally prepped the entire force and then...ignored them again as they looked overwhelming. I felt like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. After yet another long delay with my brother occasionally asking, "When are you going to start on those 6mm figures? "They're next on the list, honest" (they never actually were).

Finally I realised I had to make a start if only to stop my brother nagging me. However once I had started to get into the rhythm of painting them (a block and batch technique is definitely the way to approach these) I started to actually enjoy it. Readers may be surprised to note that I don't generally enjoy painting, viewing it almost as a necessary evil, I much prefer modelling and building stuff.

Seen en masse they do, even if I do say so myself, look impressive. And this is still less than a quarter the figures to paint, there are the rest of the French, the entire Prussian army and some of their allies to paint so around fourteen hundred in total. The best thing is that I know it's achievable, hopefully completed by the end of the year. To achieve the same look using my normal 28mm figures would, I honestly think, take me a lifetime to complete. The only 28mm figures even approaching this effect is my ECW Royalist/Scottish army. I know for a fact that I'd lose interest in them way before looking like the massed forces of these 6mm miniatures.
Ironically, after saying all that, I won't be switching to 6mm figures in the foreseeable future. This is simply because I have far too many 28mm figures waiting in the 'to do' painting list, all of them I want to complete eventually As mentioned previously I'll be concentrating on more skirmish style games in the future. Right, I'd best get back to painting the remainder of this little lot.