Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pimp My Figs!

Hello everyone. I'm new here, at least as far as posting is concerned. Eli was kind enough to let me post here after being a reader for what, Eli? Two years or so now?

At any rate, I wanted to discuss this topic here because, quite simply, I See Lead People has a wider readership than my blog, Victoria's Boys in Red (which is sort of a niche blog for VSF). Introductions over.

I want to talk about paying someone else to paint your figures, and the change of heart I have begun to have in regards to this practice.

You see, I used to be pretty well dead set against it. I thought "Sheesh - can't even be bothered to paint his own minis, or even try!" Now, I am no Michelangelo (almost typed Picasso, but then I realized I hate Picasso), but I can paint a reasonable figure and unit in scales from 2mm to 32mm. I research the uniforms for historicals, and do a reasonable job of recreating them. Not perfect, and I have listened to grognards 'grognarding' about the color of lace on my Napoleonic regiments.

Then it struck me: I have tons and tons of lead that I want to play with, but that will never, ever get painted. This is primarily because I am more interested in painting other figures with the rather limited amount of painting time I get. So, last year, I bit the bullet and sent a batch of GW plastic skinks and sauruses and some 15mm Old Glory British Lancers to a woman in Indianapolis to paint for me. She did a good job, and the price was reasonable (White Ape Painting Service, Cathy Hamaker). Not as cheap as Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, but no customs hassles, shipping was much less expensive, and I felt like I was helping out someone here in America. Insert flag waving here.

On Friday I sent out my second batch of figures to be painted. I am trying another service this time, also in the United States (upstate New York). This is 40 Zulus made by Stone Mountain that have been sitting in my lead mountain (approximately the size of Mauna Loa) for about four years. My club seems to be getting interested in colonials, so I really need to get some foes for my British troops done! I need them done fast, and I am already up to my eyes in other projects, and I haven't felt like painting these fellows for four years already...

All I have to say now is... "Pimp my figs!"


  1. You make some valid points, J.

    I don't have the disposable income to pay somebody else to paint for me. I can offer trade goods in the way of terrain or other minis but I'd rather put my cash into more lead. Besides, I'm not shy about playing with unpainted minis.

  2. As far as the disposable income is concerned... I'll be spending $60 to get all 40 Zulus painted. That does not include bases, but I wanted to do those myself so they match the others.

    And I married above my station, so to speak. She's a good one, I tell ya!

  3. They're 15s, not 28s. Not a bad deal, but not the bargain you thought.

  4. I heard about some inexpensive painters in the US, which kinda surprised me. I always thought these belong more to the Sri Lanka, Taiwan, or Bangladesh painting services that you mentioned....

    ...but how wrong I was!

    I wonder how can it be possible for an US resident to paint something advertised as 'award winning painting' for like $20 per 28mm miniature. And believe me, there's nothing wrong about it - if somebody can do it for that price, that's fine. But I am surprised it's of any use to an US resident.

    Now these Sri Lankans with the quality they can produce for $7.50 are really scary and impressive! But that's understandable when you remember they're located in Sri Lanka.

    No worries, I've heard positive feedback about the White Ape, so don't think I am trying to scare you. Just wondering how it is possible. ;)



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