Friday, April 3, 2009

Really Bad Painting?

Well I finally got my Christmas present in the mail.

I ordered a couple of hundred Adler 6mm Napoleonic French and Prussians to be sent to a painter in the UK to be painted and then sent to me. In the process of sending the finished package, the painter used an old PO Box address from my PayPal account instead of the address written in the email which contained the order and the painting instructions. The result was that the Post Office here probably sent it back to them and eventually the painter confirmed they have received them back. I paid another postage charge and the painter sent them on their way to the corrected address and a little over a week later they arrived. Good stuff!

So why am I upset?
I would not go so far as to say upset. More like disappointed. Not about the shipping thing. More about the painting thing. Here’s why.

I priced up a quick list of painters worldwide for 6mm Adler Napoleonics. I generated this list from previous business and a quick scan through google and TMP. The average price per infantry fig was about 25p to 30p with a couple working at 20p. One painter had 8p and I was keen to see examples of their work. This price was attractive to me because as much as I hate painting myself, I cannot justify spending large amounts on figures and/or especially having them painted. On top of that I my project is for large masses of troops and so will need a lot of painting to be done over the years.

I was satisfied with the rate and guessed I would not be getting a nice paintjob for that price and that I would end up with what I paid for. But that was okay as I will be fielding large numbers of troops on the table and I ultimately said to myself “how bad could they be?”

Boy was I wrong.

While I was prepared for a “not so great paintjob”, I was not prepared for a really bad paintjob. I hate painting and therefore am not that good at it either. But these are way worse then anything I have ever done.

Am I overreacting based on 8p per figure.


When I sent the order through, I asked for no basing to be done, and no pompoms painted as I would do all that myself. So did they really need to pump through them as quickly as they normally do? I don’t think so. I could be misplacing my disappointment but I still think there should be a basic standard before the “you get what you pay for” comes into play.

My French Infantry paintjob.

French Line recently received from painter.

Anyway, I will be touching them up a little and I may get to paint more of my figs myself.

Let me know what you think.


Allan (AJ) Wright said...

Actually, I don't think that's a bad paint job for 8p each. That's much less than half of what the next lowest competitor charges. If you paid 20p I'd be upset, but for 8p I think you got your money's worth.

Mandarin said...

Given that these are 6mm, I think the painting service did a good jon. It might be a style thing, while yours are very "clean", the painting service output is more "impressionistic" which some actually prefer.

David said...

I guess so. Was the 8p per figure worth not having to paint them myself. I suppose.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Once based. Then decide. I use several different sources for my figs. Including manufacturers and painters. This is for 28mm too. Once I;ve done my standard basing on them I can't normally tell what unit they are much less what manufacturer and paint job they are. I have to go round the table and pick them up. Overall impression of the unit matters unless it's for display.

David said...

I have based them and you can tell what they at arms length - usually the standard for 6mm mass gaming. I will probably go for one of the 20-25p painters next or do them all myself. We'll see.

Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

I would be disappointed too.

Behind_The_Wire said...

For what it's worth I don't think they're bad for 8p, though compared to your own there is an obvious 'drop' in quality and I do slightly question why the bloke hasn't been able to do the faces without getting blue on them. The brush control is sloppy even for 8p a figure (and let's face it when you add it all together you're talking a reasonable amount of money on a bulk order).

I usually charge 25p a figure and an additional amount for basing, and that's one standard, I dislike offering 'excellent', 'good' and 'average' levels. But in terms of getting an army rapidly on the table top, at 8p a figure based up (they'll look fine at distance), they're perfectly adequate for war gaming.

Kind regards


Swordlord said...

I'd pay for your paintjob - but not the ones from the painter you used! 8p is only worth spending if you think its worth what you get. To me those figs are ruined. I wouldnt pay money to ruin my figs!

TGbR said...

It seems to me that you missed the point about 6mm so many others. The point is to emphasise the numbers of figures and not the detail of paint work. This is why I use Navwar (H&R) exclusively. I may put in a greater effort with vehicles in the Second World War and Moderns, but infantry and cavalry regardless of the period get the basic paint job. Of course I do use five packets for each Napoleonic infantry battalion, and I am never tempted to examine my figures at a close-up distance. 1-2m is far enough for me. I'm there to use them, not to display the painting.

David said...

You are right TG! It is easy to miss the point of 6mm. Some say it is to get larger units for the same cost as 15mm while some will say it is to get more units for the same cost as 15mm. Either way some would attempt good paintjobs and some would settle with generic. I guess I am always working on the balance that satifies me. Over time I have always gone generic painting with normal 12 man battalions but recently moved to 24 man battalions and as my painting skills have improved, better painting. I am still painting better for commission jobs than my own.