Victorian Science Fiction Painting 15mms

Back to whence you came

I play "Victorian Science Fiction" or VSF wargames these are an alternative history in a fantastic setting parallel to our late 19th century. My models are in 15mm scale or approximately 1/107th scale ratio. This scale has both advantages and disadvantages.
On the negative side, very few companies make 15mm VSF figures in this scale, and it is, as a result, less popular among VSF players. The figures are quite small, and it is not easy to impart a lot of character on such small castings.
On the positive side, there are lots of other 15mm 19th century figures and a few fantasy figures to use as well. The small scale allows for very easy conversions, often just by a change in painting scheme. Best of all, in 15mm you can afford to buy, store and field a much bigger variety of forces. Despite being only a bit smaller (say about half the size) or 25-28-30mm figures, the price of 15mm figures is often as low as $0.18 USD each. You can have an entire unit in 15mm for the price of a single 25-28-30mm figure.

Here we see a fantastic battle set on Mars. You can see some of the troop types in this photo. Closest are some Algerian Tirailleurs (a light infantry unit). Behind them you can see a line of French Foreign Legion. Milling about behind them are some cavalry of the Spahis D'Afrique. Also seen are some fantastic "Landships" and a column of mounted FFL in the rear.

To see many more images go to my VSF Battles page

The color and flair of the uniforms of the period is one of the attractions to VSF gaming to me. Researching the historic uniforms can become a hobby of its own. You can check up some typical uniforms at the Red Shadow's page.

Royal Marines make their way down a country road and support the advance of a steam tractor.

To see how I make other Victorian Science Fiction items, go to my VSF How To Page.

Figure Selection

In starting a VSF collection in this smaller size, one is faced by several decisions. As the selection of specific 15mm VSF figures in this scale are still quite small, it is perhaps best to start with a line of historical figures you like. I have created a 15mm 19th century figures list to help folks find a supplier they like. As Victorian Science Fiction is by nature non-historical one can feel free to select forces that may never had faced off in the real world. My collection has grown from several different historical lines: Stone Mountain's French Foreign Legion (FFL) and Frontier's Boxer Rebellion and Spanish American War. As these cover a very wide selection of nations all within a short period of time, it seamed reasonable that cross matching the forces might make for entertaining wargaming. Since that time I have added figures from many other makers. I tend towards the larger 15mm (or 18mm figures). I hope to be expanding the size comparisons on the 15mm 19th century figures list page.

I hope to add painting guides and tips on historical figures in the near future.


For my Martian troops I wanted something exotic, but still quite humanoid. As at the time I started this project few low technology aliens were on the market. I decided to use Elven figures to represent the Martians. I have purchased from a number manufactures, but have found that those produced by "Black Raven Foundry" to be the most suitable for my tastes. They are large 15mm (or 18mm as this size of figures are becoming known) and thus match well with "Old Glory" figures which make up a large part of my collection. The styling of the "High Elves" from the Black Raven Foundry line are quite exotic looks.

go to the painting of Martian Bow troops.


For the natives of Venus I have decided on Black Raven Foundry's Lizardmen. These are of considerable heft and height, and look more like crocodiles then lizards. I hope to add a painting demo on these figures as well.


One of the very useful technique to add shading is the "Miracle Dip".

Go to the Dip method.

You can go to Model Battle Gallery Page. to see other projects I am working on.
Or if you would like to see figures grouped and mounted on bases. You can go to my VSF Battles page

It has been pointed out to me that the name "Magic Dip" is a trade mark for a product used to create a marbleizing effect on craft items. If you are interested in this product go to Magic Dip page to check it out.

Links and References

I have been modeling for almost 35 years now, but it would be silly to think I know it all. I like to read up on how others are doing things, and the web is a great way to do just that.

For a more detailed and complete sources of "how to"s it is hard to beat The Painting Clinic
Perhaps better suited to larger scale figures Spencer Keen offer some great incites into how to paint more dramatic figures.

A useful trick to give vehicles a more weathered look is salting . This little trick can be used to make a chipped paint effect on aircraft models and such. No really reason a robot might not suffer the same kind of paint damage.

I hope to be able to add more latter.

Thank you for looking:

To head to my Home go to DyeHard's Home Page.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.