Help support TMP

"Why Don't You Use A Painting Service?" Topic

71 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Remember that you can Stifle members so that you don't have to read their posts.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Painting Services Message Board

Action Log

01 Apr 2020 2:00 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions boardRemoved from Wargaming in General board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

GF9 Fire and Explosion Markers

Looking for a way to mark explosions or fire?

Featured Profile Article

Escaping to Paradise

Personal logo Editor Gwen The Editor of TMP has been spending time in paradise lately.

Featured Book Review

5,310 hits since 2 Dec 2017
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Whirlwind02 Dec 2017 7:23 p.m. PST

I was wondering why gamers who have large lead mountains and plastic piles don't use painting services.

A – I'd rather spend the money on more shiny lead and bare plastic because I get joy from the collecting.

B – I play with unpainted miniatures, so painting is a nice to have at best or simply not necessary at all.

C – I feel that painting services are too expensive for what they are

D – I couldn't afford the standard of paint job I can do myself, even if I only paint 10% of my stuff

E – I don't trust anyone else to paint them

F – Having someone else paint my figures is cheating

G – I am more comfortable paying for "things" than "services"

H – I don't have much of a lead mountain or plastic pile

I – I will get round to painting them all one day, despite all past evidence to the contrary

J – I buy all my miniatures painted in the first place

K – Something else

willthepiper02 Dec 2017 7:44 p.m. PST

For me, I like to think that it's F, but I feels much more accurate. :P

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2017 8:21 p.m. PST

K, I suppose.

For me, painting miniatures is one of the most enjoyable parts of the hobby, so I wouldn't outsource it.

Actually, every part of the hobby is about equally enjoyable: building things, kitbashing, painting ground cloths, writing scenarios, writing house rules and scenario rules, playtesting scenarios and house and scenario rules, running games, playing games, writing AARs, participating in internet forums, going to conventions, seeing my friends, and crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me, and hearing the lamentations of their women.

I think the only part of the hobby that I outsource is the writing of entire rule books and game universes. Those aspects of the hobby represent a degree of work that is probably beyond what is enjoyable for me as a hobbyist.

Neal Smith02 Dec 2017 8:24 p.m. PST

D and K, I like painting and I like my style.

Grizzly7102 Dec 2017 8:24 p.m. PST

A little bit of C, D, E, F, and I'm sure that I applies too.

Black Cavalier02 Dec 2017 8:40 p.m. PST

K – I would be happy to have a painting service paint my figures. And have had a few do some small batches. But I'm too cheap to pay for large amounts of them to be painted.

Toaster02 Dec 2017 8:43 p.m. PST

K, I enjoy painting and am quick enough about it that actually building up a lead mountain would require far more disposable income than I have.

Also I actually paint figures on commission for friends so I guess I am a painting service.


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2017 8:53 p.m. PST

L. Eventually I might. It's taking a fair amount of work finding and organising all the painting instructions for them to follow that's been the obstruction.

DisasterWargamer02 Dec 2017 8:54 p.m. PST

D and I

A bit of K – Painting actually helps me relax and reduce stress

Scott MacPhee02 Dec 2017 9:12 p.m. PST


Painting IS the hobby for me. I enjoy gaming, and I fit it in when I can, but I paint every day.

Grelber02 Dec 2017 9:24 p.m. PST

A, D, and I. I'm closing on retirement rapidly, and I'm not at all sure how much money I'll be able to spend on figures once I retire,, so I'm trying to finish up purchases for projects now. On the other hand, retirement will give me more time to paint (maybe).

Since I usually build both sides, I had hoped at one time to have some money coming in to have at least some of the "bad guys" painted, but the extra money came in about once, then went away, so that never happened.


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2017 10:53 p.m. PST

K bad experience with two different painting services.

Did have a local who painted superbly and he did
many of my figures for me.

Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2017 11:40 p.m. PST

D I paint, therefore I am !

goragrad02 Dec 2017 11:49 p.m. PST

Another D.

And while some services produce impressive paint jobs I have my own view of what the final result should look like.

It is also gratifying to get favorable comments on the miniatures.

Cerdic03 Dec 2017 1:31 a.m. PST

A and H

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 2:33 a.m. PST

C I guess. I have thought about it but never decided to spend the money on it. The standard of their painting would probably be much better than mine anyway.

14Bore03 Dec 2017 3:42 a.m. PST

Painting is half the fun of it, and granted services paint miles above my skill level but its my quite time.

FusilierDan03 Dec 2017 4:19 a.m. PST

A. And as others have said I enjoy painting even if I a bit slow and not that good. If it wasn't for the painting I probably would have dropped out of the hobby years ago.

Vigilant03 Dec 2017 4:37 a.m. PST

K. I like to paint my own figures in my own way and I couldn't afford to pay someone else anyway.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 4:39 a.m. PST


Should note the overseas painting services seem to have regular trouble with customs.

And I take it that "all the evidence to the contrary" is your personal situation? For 40 years, I had more money than time, and the pile of unpainted castings mostly grew. For two years I've been retired with more time than money, and I'm very glad I have that surplus lead.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 4:39 a.m. PST

K I enjoy painting.

Whirlwind03 Dec 2017 4:42 a.m. PST

And I take it that "all the evidence to the contrary" is your personal situation?

No, apologies, it was just a light-hearted aside as a nod to some gamers who take this wry view of themselves.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 4:55 a.m. PST

M – I do use a painting service.

Wargaming and painting are both hobbies. My hobby is wargaming.


Gonsalvo03 Dec 2017 4:56 a.m. PST

D, K, F
I enjoy painting, and am usually pretty productive. With well over 10,000 painted 28mm figures, I shudder top think what it would have cost to have someone else do them!

jeffreyw303 Dec 2017 5:28 a.m. PST

Painting _is_ the hobby. I would be more inclined to pay someone to play games with my figures than pay someone else to paint them.

razuse03 Dec 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

yup…I agree…for me, painting is the hobby. When I field my own painted troops in a game…there is nothing like it…serious…love the hobby for this reason. I feel a connection to the troops.

Patrick R03 Dec 2017 7:52 a.m. PST

C, inveterate cheapskate who still deludes himself with option "I"

Ragbones03 Dec 2017 7:54 a.m. PST

N. I enjoy painting my own figures but have had thousands of figures painted by an old friend, Terry Sirk, and a painting service, Fernando. During the glory years of building armies for different eras my megalomania outstripped my ability to turn out painted figures so I turned to others to help. Now that I'm older and retired I don't have the desire or disposable income to build new armies. I'm just augmenting existing collections, filling in gaps.

KSmyth03 Dec 2017 8:22 a.m. PST

A, C, I I really enjoy painting, and once I'm rolling on a project can turn things around pretty quickly. If painting services work for others, that's super, but I'd rather do my own work.

Winston Smith03 Dec 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

All of the above? Particularly C, E and F.
I didn't see "I think I do a better job than some of them" as a choice. grin

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

I don't like to paint and I'm not very good at it. I prefer to find one of my customers who is a good painter and swap painting for product(usually 4:1).


Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 8:47 a.m. PST

I just like to paint my own models … DOH ! huh? wink

Winston Smith03 Dec 2017 8:47 a.m. PST

+1 Jeffreyw3.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian03 Dec 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

I do if I need to. IF I have the funds I can ship off projects that I want to complete (as I did for my Napoleonic Prussians and Russians). But then I tend to want several hundred figures painted.

Some projects, like ACW, I just go ahead and do my self. Smaller project (100 or less figures) I do my self as well.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 9:13 a.m. PST

So I guess the follow up question is, if you have a huge unpainted lead mountain why do you keep buying more?

Maybe *shopping* is the real hobby after all, like Imelda Marcos and her shoes….

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 9:48 a.m. PST

Wolfshanza and Extra Crispy for the WINS !

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 9:53 a.m. PST

:K" for me I guess. I enjoy painting the figures, and I like my style. However, I would consider having a service do the painting for various native hordes if I ever returned to colonial gaming. That is th eone thing that keeps me from it.

Perris070703 Dec 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

I could not afford the paint job for quality better than I can do myself. I keep buying more so I have something to do after the apocalypse. Or retirement. Whichever comes first.

wrgmr103 Dec 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

K, I like to paint, however recently I found I had way to many figures than I needed, so I swapped painting for figures.

Bowman03 Dec 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

M for me. I do send figures out to painters.

I like painting and paint all the time. I think my painted figures look good. But I send stuff out to the painters when:

1) the figures are boring to paint (eg., classical Greeks, WW2 figures)

2) the figures are difficult to paint (eg., Samurai and Imjin era Koreans)

3) the figure just are no fun to paint (eg., ACW and Fenian Invasion figures)

4) the figures are sculpted to be non-paint friendly (eg., anything by Wargamers Factory)

5) having a big pewter/lead/plastic pile is more depressing than anything else.

Giles the Zog03 Dec 2017 1:13 p.m. PST

D through F
Also K – I like all my figures to have the same style, and as painting is part of my hobby, I'd like to do it myself, no matter how clumsily. Along with getting the basing the same – this really helps tie in all the figures in an army or gaming system. (Yeah I know I *could* request a painting service not to do this but that would be a really boring job on receipt of the finished product)

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 2:50 p.m. PST

To paraphrase a book comment, we don't just buy a figure, but the time to paint it.

advocate03 Dec 2017 11:13 p.m. PST

I can't afford it, for the most part, but I'd rather paint them myself anyway.
And I've enough painted figures to play with as it is, so my gaming is not slowed by my glacial painting speed.

repaint04 Dec 2017 3:52 a.m. PST

E I don't trust anyone else to paint them

I have had a lot of crappy jobs where the painter doesn't understand what he is painting.
Sometimes, explaining would take so long that it is faster for me to paint the figures myself.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

Most of my figures are painted by others since 1980. Bought of eBay or directly. Painted by Fernando, Nick N, and others. Now am retired, like Robert P so not so much money. I am trying to exist by just playing with the 50,000 painted figures I already have. So what to do with the 29,000 unpainted that I have?

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2017 2:23 p.m. PST

I started out paying for professional painting. I paid $3 USD-$4 per 25mm figure -- this was back in the mid-90's. I don't feel that it was excessive in price, actually, I feel the quality was worth the money…

However, after I paid out around $700 USD in figure painting, I realized that the $700 USD I spent on the services of a friend, who is a pro-painter, would buy me a trunk-full of craft paints!

I decided that my painting skills were up to the task, at arm's length. I paint slowly, but I do paint. I also am a huge fan of The Dip and Magic Wash techniques. This accelerates my painting, dramatically.

My painting is GEtGW quality: Good Enough to Game With, at arm's length. I'm past 50 years of age, so my eyesight is not what it used to be, either. Hence, the GEtGW standard. It is also why I only game with 25-28mm figures, as well as 54mm figures. Anything smaller, and high quality painting is a waste of effort and time: the details cannot be seen unless the figure is 6" from my eyes! Why bother if I game with them at arm's length?… YMMV. Cheers!

Chuckaroobob04 Dec 2017 6:27 p.m. PST

K: I have used about 4 or 5 services, but all of them had issues. They would not follow direction, they delivered a year later than planned, etc etc.

COL Scott ret06 Dec 2017 9:51 p.m. PST

A, C, I, basically I am just too cheap.

I have other things to spend the money on.

Marc at work07 Dec 2017 2:36 a.m. PST

I accumulate figures faster than I paint because I use 1/72, and they often go out of production. So a plastic pile means I have what I want when I want

Dragon Gunner17 Dec 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

C and D

What exactly am I buying? I recently checked out one website that had different levels of painting service, showed examples and offered price quotes. The basic paint job with no detail ran around $10 USD per miniature ( something I could do myself). They had several other levels of service and their top notch service ran around $25 USD-$30 for a quality paint job (something I cannot do). To paint my Necromunda gang would have cost close to $300. USD I would hate to think what an army would have cost. The quality paint job could easily get into thousands of dollars for an army and is now unaffordable.

In spite of that I might break down and use the service because I detest painting. I would rather play games, design scenarios and GM campaigns.

Pages: 1 2