By Mike Frank
Of all the miniature soldier sizes/scales and there are many, N-Gauge is my favorite. First they are small and require no precise detail, second one can paint them quickly and in mass, third they look great.
Start by cleaning the figures. Not a lot is needed, as these guys are usually clean. Mount them on tongue depressors (get these at a drug store – they can be used over and over, practically forever); I use Elmers white glue for this task. Spray with flat white paint (ed. I prefer a primer instead of paint, but use whichever you like best) and once dry you will be ready to paint. I work with 20 to 100 figures at a time and the best paint for me is acrylic paint, Delta Cremcoat (ed. Mike got me started on these paints, and now I rarely use anything else).
Start at the bottom of the figure and work up with one color at a time. Let the paint dry between colors – if you are working with 100 figures, the first will be dry be the time you finish. Start with coats, then vest/pants, and facings. Use black for headgear, sword scabbards, boots and boxes – dark brown for muskets and flesh for faces and hands (and sometimes legs). Paint anything left undone; packs, blanket rolls etc. Now get out your brush with the least number of hairs to do the detail: hat trim, belts cording and the like. Now put a little silver and gold where needed. Last paint the stand (green, brown or buff).
If you wish, try a wash. This is not required, but it gives the figures depth. Use a watered down black or brown acrylic paint, or ink or even a wood stain. Watch out, don’t use brown on white, you won’t like it!
Still not done, try a little dry brushing with white – remember the only person you have to please is yourself.
Mount the figures, lots of them, on moving trays. Don’t stop here, dress up the tray with flocking, rock and grass.
Skill Level required: 1, Result level reached: 10
Cost: Not an arm and a leg, Greed: You will want more!