Grow Your Own Painting Service

Why ship your figures halfway across the world to pay Sri Lankan children to paint your figures, when you can just grow your own locally? Now, I’m sure once you start accounting for prorated shelter, food, education, bail, etc…, it’s not quite as cost effective, but if you ignore all those real costs, it actually looks quite cheap!


I got my two older children, 7 and 9, painting this weekend. I have sold Old Glory Pancho Villa line US Marines that I was probably never going to do anything with. I mounted them and primed them, then painted up a few to serve as samples. Then on Sunday afternoon, we all sat down and painted a few figures.
I taught the kids to paint with the Velas technique I’ve mentioned here before. The figures were all primed white. The paint was diluted 1:1 with water, like the “stain” technique, leaving natural highlighting. This was as far as the kids went. I dipped the figures using Minwax Polyshades Tudor that night, and will base them and seal them tonight.
The kids painted fairly well! The technique is a speed painting technique, and fairly forgiving of mistakes. My 7 year old painted 2 figures and my 9 year old 3 before pretty much getting bored and wanting to do something else. Still, once they are based and finished, you won’t be able to tell which I painted and which the kids painted while you are playing. Closer inspection would be needed.
When I present them the finished figures, I will also pay them each $2 for their time. $1 a figure is more than I intend to pay them in general, but hopefully it will make a nice incentive for them to do this on and off. When they are older and can paint unsupervised, I have visions of vast well-painted armies that I’ve paid pennies on the dollar for.
As long as I can keep them from figuring out how to sell on eBay…

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4 Responses to “Grow Your Own Painting Service”

  1. Mik Says:

    Do you have pics, and are you taking orders?

  2. Andy Says:

    No pics yet. No orders yet– if, they only have the attention span to paint 2-3 figures a week, it’s going to be a while before they get through my backlog!

  3. Deano Says:

    Did you let the kids pick the colors or did you tell them what to paint what? The pictures are actually fairly good!

  4. Andy Says:

    I painted four figures up ahead of time for them to use as a reference. I talked to them briefly about the differences between trying to accurately reflect history and fantasy, and regular uniforms and irregular outfits.
    Today, we’re probably going to paint some very old Harlequin Nightlings, and I’ll give them much more leeway on how to paint them.

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