Monday, August 31, 2009

Choosing a painter

Once you post your ad, odds are you will recieve a handfull of responses to choose from. I will list the most likely:

New Guy: this is the guy who is thinking about painting for money. He maybe a good painter, maybe not. Odds are he has no idea what to charge for anything and thinks a little too highly of his own work. However it could work out with cheap good work, but dont count on it.

New Service: and individual or group that has just started and needs work to display to potential clients. Website may be up or in the process of going up. Usually these guys are a good deal, they are probably working bellow market and will give 110% just to have word of mouth and nice pictures on their webpage.

Established Individual: this guy has probably been painting for moeny for a while and knows his stuff. He should have examples of his work somwhere online. Price will be a factor in your decision as well as knowledge of genre.

Established Service: they are kind of the most boring responses to get. Its more "look at my website for quotes and examples" unless they need the business and then expect a better market rate.

Dont choose anyone without an example of their work either painted by them or a picture.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


There is the beginings of a new army in this picture, can you see it?

My Painter

The main guy I use goes by Gubnutz on Bartertown. I found him a while ago when I wanted some 40k stuff painted. He was interested in starting his own painting biz, but I think I keep him too busy.

He does great work, converting and magnatizing when I need it, slide transfers you name it.

Since people have asked, here is some examples of his work:
(I need to dust some of them)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I chose BK Armies for my Cadians.

I got an email today with pictures of the army.

Im ironing out some details before final approval. I think I am going to have him do 2 Valkyries and an HQ immediately.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I just got the email confirmation from thewarstore that my Malifaux order has shipped.

I was interested in it because of the following:

32mm heroic scale

wierd west setting


no dice, uses cards

It looked really cool and was a big hit at GenCon

My FLGS can't get it at the moment. So I will be playing it at home until he can and I can do a demo.

Anyway, expect to see it here sooner or later..

Ambush Z

I got interested in Ambush Z when a friend said he was playing Ambush Alley.

I knew Rebel Minis had a nice starter set available.

I actually had a hard time finding someone to paint these. Most services did not paint 15mm figures on a regular basis.

I decided to take a chance on an established service that I had not used before. We agreed on a price of $1 a figure. That is less than I have paid for Flames of War figures.

This is the finished result:

Zombies ahead!

I think he did a great job. I'm not that crazy about the Rebel Minis sculpts but the price was right. MPPP was a quick service that I will use again in the future. They did a good job with a scale and genre they hadnt done before.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Posting an ad.

After you have decided on a place to look for a painter, you need to post an ad.

Before i get to that, I did want to say that game specific forums are another good place to look for a painter. Most have a painting/hobby section, either at the companies forum or a fan forum.

That being said, when you post an ad you need to be as descriptive as possible.

What you need painted

What condition its in

Any special instructions

Does location matter?

What you need painted is pretty self explanatory. IE: "I have a Space Marine tac squad I need painted"

What condition its in. This is important because alot of companies charge for assembly, basecoating, basing, ect. I usually get things done on the sprue, sometimes I have things that are assembled or primed. I have yet to run into a service who is willing to strip the minis of paint. So you may have extra work to do.

Any special instructions? You need to tell them what kind of painting scheme you have in mind and also you need to tell them ahead of time about any conversions, big or small. My Cadians I am having done, I wanted a simple 2 tone desert scheme with desert basing. I did need 2 demo charges converted and paid for it. You can usually request an example figure either mailed to you or photos before its over.

Does location matter? All of my posts are tagged with "US only please". There are MANY painting services all over the world and alot of US posts attract Canadian painters. I generally find the customs to be too much of a hastle to fool with outside painters.

I advise against putting "I am wanting to pay XXX amount of dollars" on your post. You want to treat like an auction, with the winning bid being chosen by you. There are several factors you should look for in a bid and I will cover those later.

Warhammer ECW

Warhammer: English Civil War is somethign I've been meaning to do for several years. I've had the book since it came out but I have delayed getting into it because all metal armies are expensive.

The time period is facinating. It was the emergence of the "new model army". Swords and the like were being fazed out and gunpowder was being fazed in. Which left the army looking odd. Masses of pike flanked by massed muskets.Pike and shotte, which is a whole gaming genre.I also like the romanticism of the period. Royalists versus rebels.

Warlord Games has made it afordable:

40 multipart plastics for $30.

I got a few bites on Bartertown, all from people who had never painted the period before I got an email from IGWARG MINIS.

He quoted me $7 for infantry and $14 for cavalry. Cannon counting as 1 infantry figure. Sounded good to me, especially as he only paints at one level. So I sent him the box and a Saker cannon blister.

I will let you know how it goes.


Alot of people are curious about getting things painted and ask me where to start. The first step is a budget.

Whatever you spend on gaming a month, halve it. Stop adding to an increasing pile of unpainted miniatures and dedicate half that money to getting things painted.

You need about $50 to start, so set that aside either in your hand or in the bank.

The next step is finding a painter. I dont recomend using anyone you know or game with, that only leads to problems. Painting alot of minis can be tedius and humans by nature are procrastinators. You will have much better results with professionals.

Where do you find those? I use two places.

The first place I go is the painting services section of Bartertown.

The next place I would go is the painting services of The Miniatures Page

I prefer Bartertown because the painters can PM you, on TMP you need to post your email address for them to contact you. However, if you are getting anything historical done, you need knowledgable people, odds are they are on TMP.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Heavy Gear: Northern Recon Squad

After a couple of conversations with my friend Sheldon, mostly about DP9s Jovian Chronicles, I picked up the current rulebook for Heavy Gear.

All i knew about it was it was a Battletech Clone that appeared in the mid 90s. I have never played it and only seen people playing it a few times, mostly at Coast Con.

This rulebook represents the 4th edition of the rules.

Background? Blah blah, you are talking to the wrong person for background. I will say its similar to battletech only the "gears/mechs" are alot smaller. Instead of towering mechs 3-5 stories high, these are only 2-3 times the height of a man. The pilots legs are in the chest of them.

Its also true combined arms. Most armies are not made up of all gears, most use tanks, infantry and field guns. You can even field all tank/infantry armies and be fine against gears.

The rules seem well thought out and detailed but not overly so.

I really like how you chose a force. It goes by point cost, called "threat value". The average seems to be between 750 to 1500 TV for the game. You also have a "priority level" that governs what you can field. 1-4 with the higher the level the "cooler" units you get to field.

To put it in 40k terms, for a priority level 4 game, you could take more terminators than you could at level 1. The only thing is, you get more objectives. If you take a priority level 4 force and I take a level 1, you have alot more you have to acomplish and harder objectives in order to win.

You can also buy support options, such as artillery and airstrikes.

Record keeping is minnimal, this really got my attention as it differs greatly from battletech. You can use small card size sheets for damage or you can just use the dice system they sell. Unlike battlech damage is not area specific, depending on what type it is, you get affected.

The rulebook also includes background and info for league and campaigns.

It has all the "Adam's Hallmarks of a Good Game"

1. point cost
2. initative (no IGOUGO)
3. premeasure at any time
4. varried movement rate
5. "to hit" modifers

Also the game is 1/144 scale (15mm)

I picked up 2/3's of the sample Northern army in the rulebook and went to same painter that did my Uncharted Seas, NGArt studios.

I was a bit shocked at the quote I recieved back. $10 a fig. I went ahead and did it. This is what I recieved in return:

They look good, detailed and clean. The models were multi-part and bagged individualy with parts. No problems there.

I did not argue the price, but I dont think I will go back. I am used to paying $5 per 28mm figure so a smaller one for twice the price, irks me a little. Especially with no slide transfers or conversions.

After they got their website up and running I see that $10 is their base cost. I got a bid from them on another project at that amount and I asked them about $5. They said they would only do a basecoat and ink for that amount.

I have no problems at all with the job, just the price. I have been getting things painted for about 10 years now and nobody charges that much anymore.

New game, new service

I was interested in the new(er) game Uncharted Seas.

It is unavailable at my local shop so I purchased a couple of fleets and a rulebook from the warstore.

It sat around for a while, me losing the cards to one fleet and chipping the resin of another before I looked for a painter on bartertown.

The "winning bid" came from service who was just starting out.

I was extremely pleased with the price, the work and turnaround time. I wanted a good "tabletop" level as the minis where not very detailed.

For about $30 I got:

Dwarf fleet:

Orc fleet:

Great lines and shading, wonderful job. They even did the axes like I asked on the Orcs. I thought I had found a new service, but we will get to that later.