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How To Make, Paint, or
Convert Practically Anything

No matter how many articles there are out there on how to paint, make terrain, mix “miracle dip” or paint eyes on 6 mm figures, it seems there is always demand for more. I guess because we’re always looking for a tip to either make our painting better, or easier, or both. Herewith are a few contributions from friendly readers, fellow enthusiasts and your humble narrator.

For links to other sites on how to paint, base, and otherwise turn your lead into art, see my links page.


New! Videos!
That’s right, I’m ready for my close up. So now we have “how to” videos for your enjoyment. (Well, just one so far, but more to come). Te focus will be on simple, cheap, good looking projects and techniques. Up first: how to make good looking crop fields for peanuts.

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What’s in your bits box? Got any mis-cast houses, or houses that are just plain ugly? Don’t bin them, set them on fire!

Here’s my method for making flame/smoke plumes from clump foliage. Waste not, want not.

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Woods and forest run down hills, but getting our model trees to do the same can be difficult. Here is a simple (and cheap) technique for making canopies that flow with the terrain.


How do you store all that stuff?

Here is how I do


Sheet magnet rules! If you base your troops on steel, sheet magnet will be your best friend. For example, here are very handy unit movement trays I made for playing To the Strongest! Besides speeding play, these bases serve a number of informational functins, and help reduce table clutter.


Ditch the bucket! If, like me, you hate rolling endless numbers of dice, here is an option - using just 2d6 to get pretty much the same results!


Informational Basing: The Flock and ground cover on your bases can do a lot more than just look good. It can convey key information without the need for tokens or chits.


I’ve been asked and now I’ve answered. What the heck are those tiny beads on your bases for?

Answer: They are unit ID markers!


Battlefield in a Box: An entire miniatures game in one box? An idea for a portable game box, perfect for travel or introducing new people to the hobby!


Leipzig In Miniature: Not content with one insane project I’m working on two! Come on in, the soup is fine.

Gettysburg In Your Pocket: A miniatures game of Gettysburg the size of a boardgame. This little project will use Baccus 6mm figures, and my Bitter Angels rules. To keep the board portable I’m converting from inches to centimeters. So the ground scale for this game will be 1cm = 100 yards. Follow the madness here.

I’m frequently asked for my insight and advice on using painting services. Okay, here it is!

Since my gaming club has gotten into World War I naval, I thought I’d share the basing technique we’re using. It gives a clean look to the table while helping our senior members see, find and move their ships! Ah, the perils of gaming in 1:6000!

I’ve seen both masking tape and strips of felt used as roads. Neither look even remotely good in my opinion. But rubber or resin roads, while looking great, are expensive and take a lot of time to paint. Here’s yet another cheat - cheap, fast but decent looking roads.

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It frequently happens that one side in an era is known for having seemingly endless waves of conscripts. And very often this tends to be the Russians. In World War 2 this certainly applies to Soviet infantry. Here is a tutorial on how to achieve victory through mass production: I paint 100 15 mm Soviets in 10 hours. This takes the figures from bare metal to flocked bases.

While terrain boards can look awfully impressive, and using plain old felt can simply ruin the look of a game, I’ve been looking for an intermediate solution. Better looking than felt, cheaper, faster, and easier to store than terrain boards. The answer: the dedicated gaming mat.  

I’m always amazed to hear how fast some people can paint. So one day I decided to see what I could do. I decided to speed paint a complete 24 man regiment in 4 hours. The goal was to go from naked lead to finished, based regiment in that time (though it could be split over several sessions). While the results are not beautiful, if the alternative is naked lead on the gaming table.....

A short article on how to paint horses, provided to me by Gilles Daquin, a reader/visitor. (Note: I have taken the liberty of slightly editing his text to conform with more normal American English). Be sure to take a look at his online gallery, here.

If you’ve ever wondered how to create your own unique figures by modifying ones you have purchased, wonder no more. Here is an excellent, well detailed tutorial on how to do conversions - converting one figure into another! Author Jim Vidlak has graciously allowed us to host this excellent article here.

“You can’t possibly paint something that small!” Such is the reason some gamers give for refusing to consider buying or using 6 mm figures. Determined to prove them wrong Peter Berry, the force behind Baccus 6MM, gave away free armies. I happened to be one of the lucky 20 winners. The catch? We had to paint them and write them up for his web site. Here are my results....

In an effort to improve my painting, I tried following along with an outstanding tutorial written by Ian Marsh of Fighting 15s. Here are just a few shots of my results.

If you have ever wondered how to cast something in resin, here is an outstanding tutorial from Dan Perez Studios  that walks you through the entire process in great detail. Fantastic work, and very well illustrated. Note: Link opens in a new browser window.



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