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Warwick

Paying for paint

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So I have decided I'll have to live to be 96 to paint all of my miniatures. It's an estimate. I keep buying more so I might be into the 100s now. So I have also decided to pay someone to paint my miniatures. Anyone else do this? How did you like it?

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Email Gus. He has a few painters that he has been using for the shop paintjobs. And they are fantastic. Have no idea of cost details, but the work output has been great.

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I have everything painted, and have used a number of different artists over the years. I even referred one or two to guys to get some of the stuff done for the shop's demo armies. Standard prices for tabletop quality* for rank-and-file grunts seem to run about $5-10/figure. You can certianly pay much more, if you desire. I guess I can offer some thoughts after the hundreds (thousands?) of figures I've had done.

 

1. Decide how much you are willing to spend - this will help narrow the field a bit in choosing a painter (or painters, if you are going to hand the job to multiple people).

2. Do you homework - check out samples of the artist's work at the quality level you desire (a number of painters will paint to various levels, so be sure you are seeing examples of work similar to what you will be paying for)

3. Don't overwelm the painter! - it is tempting to send everything you have for a faction (if you are having an army painted) at one time, and some painters are ok/prefer that. Others will run in terror. I like to work in "troop" size batches whenever I can. I send some grunts (cuz they can all be painted the same way at the same time) as well as a few character pieces (because they are generally more interesting, from a painter's perspective).

4. Play to your painter's strengths - different painters have different strengths and weaknesses, and each have their own preferences in what they like to paint. Keep your painter happy with feeding them the kind of work they prefer, and you will a) get better results, and b) keep them as a painter much longer.

5. Get good contact info - nothing can kill a job like bad contact info. Make sure you have a good e-mail, physical address, and even contact phone for your painter, in case you need to contact them for any reason. Give them the same for you.

6. Be nice to your painter - I frequently "tip" the people the paint for me. I send along extra basing materials, LE miniatures, and the like to say thanks for their hard work. Cultivating a good relationship goes a long way.

 

~v

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I have everything painted, and have used a number of different artists over the years. I even referred one or two to guys to get some of the stuff done for the shop's demo armies. Standard prices for tabletop quality* for rank-and-file grunts seem to run about $5-10/figure. You can certianly pay much more, if you desire. I guess I can offer some thoughts after the hundreds (thousands?) of figures I've had done.

 

1. Decide how much you are willing to spend - this will help narrow the field a bit in choosing a painter (or painters, if you are going to hand the job to multiple people).

2. Do you homework - check out samples of the artist's work at the quality level you desire (a number of painters will paint to various levels, so be sure you are seeing examples of work similar to what you will be paying for)

3. Don't overwelm the painter! - it is tempting to send everything you have for a faction (if you are having an army painted) at one time, and some painters are ok/prefer that. Others will run in terror. I like to work in "troop" size batches whenever I can. I send some grunts (cuz they can all be painted the same way at the same time) as well as a few character pieces (because they are generally more interesting, from a painter's perspective).

4. Play to your painter's strengths - different painters have different strengths and weaknesses, and each have their own preferences in what they like to paint. Keep your painter happy with feeding them the kind of work they prefer, and you will a) get better results, and b) keep them as a painter much longer.

5. Get good contact info - nothing can kill a job like bad contact info. Make sure you have a good e-mail, physical address, and even contact phone for your painter, in case you need to contact them for any reason. Give them the same for you.

6. Be nice to your painter - I frequently "tip" the people the paint for me. I send along extra basing materials, LE miniatures, and the like to say thanks for their hard work. Cultivating a good relationship goes a long way.

 

~v

 

Another element I would add is to consider the amount of information a given artist prefers to work with. Some want specifics about what the color scheme to is supposed to be; some want the freedom to let their skill shine. Often you can work with the artist to find where the happy compromise lies. For that matter, setting your own expectations about the amount of control you are going to have is also worth considering.

 

hope that makes sense.

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Another element I would add is to consider the amount of information a given artist prefers to work with. Some want specifics about what the color scheme to is supposed to be; some want the freedom to let their skill shine. Often you can work with the artist to find where the happy compromise lies. For that matter, setting your own expectations about the amount of control you are going to have is also worth considering.

 

I bought a Darkspawn Demon army and I did exactly this with my buddy Greenie. I like his work, and yes, we agreed to a price, but my one stipulation for the colors etc of the army: It had to look as evil as he could make it. That was it. I'm relatively easy to please as far as paint schemes go, and if he was doing something new, then he would call or IM me and then we'd talk about it. Sometimes it sounded good and in practice, looked bad so he started it over. But, they turned out sweet. :wub:

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Scott makes an excellent point, one that I'd forgotten to include in my list (mostly because I was distracted at work; it took me something like 3 hours to finally finish that post between calls). There is some work that I want done where I want very specific paint work. However, most of the time, I prefer to give the painter carte blanche when painting my stuff. I've found that when you let the painter work in whatever colors they feel like, more often than not, you get their best work, and often is ends up being something that surprises you - something that you might not have thought to request to begin with. Here's a few examples of stuff that was done that way that I was plesantly surprised when they returned to me:

 

Tentacles

Inquisitor

Basilisk

Thornback Troll

 

~v

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