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"Why so many more British than American pro-figure painters?" Topic

18 Posts

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952 hits since 14 Mar 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 12:36 p.m. PST

I don't have anything to back this up other than what I see on the web. But there seems to be so many more Professional Painters in the UK than in the US. Why is that?

You would think considering the population difference there would be more in the US. Maybe because there are more hobbyist in the UK? Do American's just like to paint their own figures more than the British do? American pro-painters more into fantasy and sci-fi?

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 4:16 p.m. PST

I noticed that too. If you Google "historical miniature painting service" you'll find that most of the hits are from the UK, but that doesn't necessarily mean much because it's based on algorithms and "search engine optimization."

I don't think there are more professional miniature painting services in the UK than the US per se, unless we're talking proportionally to the populations in the respective countries. However, I would say that there are more painters in the UK who advertise themselves as "historical" painters. OTOH US-based painting services tend to emphasize fantasy and sci-fi because most of their clientele are casual types who favor those genres over historical.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 4:37 p.m. PST

Yeah, I thought of that myself. I think most of the money in the US is in fantasy and Scifi.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 4:45 p.m. PST

I have an acquaintance who paints part time. Won't touch historicals, those gamers don't pay. He gets $10 USD-15 per foot figure (talking 28s here), $40 USD-80 for big mech/troll type stuff, and $15 USD-30 for mounted figures. So he sticks to 49k, War Machine etc.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 4:55 p.m. PST

American painters also tend to charge higher rates, and would itemize separate charges not only for different Levels of Painting but also for assembly and flocking/basing. These costs can really add up.

Miniature painting as a full-time profession just doesn't pay the bills in the US without charging such rates I suppose.

Oberlindes Sol LIC14 Mar 2019 6:25 p.m. PST

Didn't we have this topic up a couple of hours ago, and now it's gone? Very odd.

I had commented that Americans tend to do things ourselves, so we hire fewer people to do things for us than the British.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 7:46 p.m. PST

I'm an American and I paint all my own figures!! Also sell painted figures.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Mar 2019 9:59 p.m. PST
Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 8:37 a.m. PST

Many US painters have plenty of work without advertising. I have had excellent work done by at least 4 different folks who do not advertise.

MiniPigs In the TMP Dawghouse15 Mar 2019 11:49 a.m. PST

Maybe it's a matter of the clientele being in the USA? British painters might have to advertise more and thus you see them more.

The comment that the British want other people to do things for them more than the Americans is absurd. As a matter of fact, I would imagine it's the opposite. Maybe Americans care less about the art and more about the game? Maybe it's a quality thing; Americans, like myself, want lots and lots and perhaps the British are more satisfied with a smaller quantity of nicer looking goodies?

It could also be tradition. Aside from a couple of very good American painters (The best American Painters are every bit as good as the best British ones), most of them just dont develop the same level of art you can find in the UK. Quite possibly this is because Americans go into it for the wrong reasons; hearing tell of making a quick buck and then finding out it's actually slave labor.

I know it's all in the eye of the beholder but some of the paint jobs that people cheer for on here I wouldn't let my dog play with.

I notice generally that American figure painting services tend to go belly up at a faster rate than some of the British who seem to paint for decades. Maybe it's because the British do it for therapeutic reasons? All I know is that it is true I have one very good American painter and maybe 4 or 5 British painters.

whitphoto15 Mar 2019 1:45 p.m. PST

Socialized health care

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 4:06 p.m. PST

Bill, I know that the painting services list is out of date. You still have the Command Post link and Dave retired from painting over ten years ago.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 4:09 p.m. PST

+1 whitphoto

I think it must be easier to be a painter or to start a business in the UK and Canada because you don't have to worry about providing healthcare to yourself or your employees. Huge advantage.

Oberlindes Sol LIC16 Mar 2019 1:33 p.m. PST

Wait, painting services have enough employees to have to provide health insurance? That's way a bigger business than I imagined.

haywire16 Mar 2019 3:31 p.m. PST

Many US painters have plenty of work without advertising. I have had excellent work done by at least 4 different folks who do not advertise.

Yeah, I know some that get plenty of work just from the local stores and their gamer groups

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2019 5:15 a.m. PST

I've been trying to get on the TMP painting services list for, like, everrrrr.

There is the email address there to report issues. But, being the same one you have to use to get onto the list I can only say, good luck!

Karnophage02 Apr 2019 7:29 p.m. PST

The problem is that most Historical Gamers are not willing to pay for the detail they want in their miniatures. I can understand why they rather ship out hundreds of 25mm miniatures to one of the Asian painting services just because of the cost. Most American professional painters wont even consider charging less then $6 USD a miniature even in bulk. It does not help there are not many new historical miniature painters in the US. We are aging just like the rest of the hobby. I still do some painting but not as much as I use to do.

MiniPigs In the TMP Dawghouse03 Apr 2019 4:39 p.m. PST

A lot of historical gamers are indeed cheapskates but it is equally true that the world of miniatures painters is split between those who paint seriously and flakes who both feel sorry for themselves and think everyone is trying to take advantage of them.

When I find a serious painter, I stick with them but for every serious painter, there are several flakes.

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