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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How fast will my figures be done?

A. Depends on the size of the group, and how much other stuff I have in my queue at the time. (Also depends on school etc., I'm a graduate student and my producivity lessens in the months of December and April.) I will always give you an estimate as soon as I see your figures, and if I’m more than a week late I’ll rebate you 10%.

Q. What kinds of paints, etc. do you use?

A. I use Citadel or Floquil primers. I use all water-base acrylics, including Vallejo, Citadel, Armory, Polly S, Reaper, and Liquitex. For finishes, I use a matte spray from Armory or Citadel. If a harder finish is required (Deluxe quality figures only) I use a brush-on flat or satin finish from Armory.


Q. What’s the difference between “Basic” and “Deluxe” quality paint jobs, other than the price?

A. Basic is fast, fast, fast. I do it very quickly! This means fewer colors--I’ll use the same brown “leather” color on his shoes that I do on his belt, pouches, etc. It also means I don’t go back and clean up the fig afterwards; if there’s a little splodge of metallic paint on his hand, I’m not going to worry about it, as a viewer looking at the unit overall would not notice small flaws like this. (Of course, I fix BIG splodges! Just not the tiny ones.) Lastly, it means I don’t fill in slotbases with ribbon epoxy, and I use a matte spray finish for protection.
Deluxe takes however long it takes to get the figure perfect. I’m no Golden Demon winner, but I’ve won quite a few local competitions and a few con prizes in my day. I do very meticulous work on Deluxe figures, correct all errors, use a wide palette of colors for maximum appearance, and do more in-depth shading and highlighting than I would on a table figure. I take a lot of pride in my work; I will never send you a deluxe quality figure that I would not be proud to enter in a competition myself. I also fill any gaps in the base or the figure with ribbon epoxy, and I will use a brush on finish as well as the matte spray to protect the paint job when done.

(Incidentally, please don’t ever enter figures I’ve painted for you in a painting contest of any kind. I know that in a practical sense I can’t actually prevent this, but it’s bad karma--so don’t! Thanks.)


Q. Why do you charge more for Napoleonics and 18th Century than for other figures?

A. My experience is that the uniforms for these figures are far more complex and colorful than those in other periods. Also, people playing games in these periods tend to want the uniforms to be fairly accurate--the beauty of the "look" of Napoleonics is one of the draws, after all! Since doing figures in these periods is more time-consuming than those eras both earlier and later, I charge a bit more to paint them. Obviously, if you happen to have Napoleonic figures with only 1-2 uniform colors and simple clothing, I will charge you the same rates I would for Ancients or Moderns.

Q. Why do some types of figures say "no basic quality available?"

A. I base my rates on how much time it takes me to paint the figures, working out to a rate of about $10 per hour. 6mm figures are very difficult for me to do quickly, and don't take ink well (one of my major time-savers on larger figures, I use a lot of ink.) I found on my last big commission of 6mm, I had two grades of paint job--"Deluxe" and "looks like total crap." There was no middle ground. So I don't even offer a basic price, because I know that to make them look good at all will take about 15 total minutes per strip, at least. As for the others, 54mm is much the same--time consuming, and details can't be fudged for speed since the scale is so large. RPG figures I don't offer basic because each figure is different, colorful and usually highly detailed, and I end up spending as much time on them as I do for command figures for wargamers. If you have a lot of RPG figures, and you really do want them done fast with little detail, we can negotiate a lower price for them... but my experience so far is that when a customer is getting things painted to use in RPG's, they want them to look as good as possible!

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The Painters' Den * Rocky Ripple * Indiana