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Author Topic: Pro painting - caveat emptor  (Read 719 times)

Offline Silent bob

  • scientist
  • Posts: 202
Pro painting - caveat emptor
« on: November 06, 2019, 09:07:58 AM »
I’ve recently got back into wargaming after a sabbatical of a number of years, so I decided to get back into it with my son..... For various reasons –I no longer paint (mainly my eyes are shot and my paint’s dried up) so to kick start our (hopefully) first gaming project, I decided to sell some surplus stuff and get a small collection of figures pro-painted.

This is not a tale asking for sympathy (I’ve got Facebook for sympathy) but rather as a warning to others.

I vetted a number of painters and eventually picked the one that I got on best with via e-mail, sent the figures and payment off and waited and waited, very poor communication no updates – the usual things occurred – a family holiday put him back, a couple of orders came in and he was getting stressed, so I threw him a bone and said there’s no real rush for my stuff – don’t get stressed but a bit of communication please......

Still waiting 6 months down the line – and I am now resorting to the Small Claims Court to get my money and figures back.

I will not include the painters name on line (its not fair ion him, in case there are real reasons for the delay) but if anyone wants to get some figures painted, if you PM me I will let you have his name – just so your warned.

As I say there is probably a very good reason why he is ignoring my e-mails asking for a progress report (the main one being -"it takes me too much painting time to reply to e-mails" strange for someone whose work comes in by post with remote customers)


Offline Vanth

  • bookworm
  • Posts: 53
    • Warcolours Miniature Painting Studio
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 12:26:07 PM »
As someone who earns his living from painting, it always saddens me to see things like this. This kind of things really makes lie more difficult for anyone involved, starting from those who do this as a profession: for many this is just a side job, undertaken during free time and this inevitably leads to delays, which lead to dissatisfied customers who cannot know who to trust anymore so, in the end, painting services as a whole are thought to be unreliable unless they are some south east Asia factory...
Vanth
"...there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in thyne philosophy..:"

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Offline Danger Close Miniatures

  • student
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 12:49:53 PM »
I know it doesn't help you now, but when I get a commission I always order the figures myself and no payment is made until the customer has seen photos of the finished figures. I've always thought this the right way to do it, it's no cheaper either way it just saves problems like this. Even if I have major issues, illness etc, the customer hasn't lost money.

Offline jetengine

  • scientist
  • Posts: 345
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 01:02:26 PM »
Much like kickstarter, communication seems to be the key issue.

Offline Silent bob

  • scientist
  • Posts: 202
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 01:39:18 PM »
There could be real reasons why this service has broken down and my main concern is the lack of communication

Wargaming painting services are largely run on trust – trust that the painter will do the work in a timely manner & that the work will be done to a suitable standard  and also trust on the painters behalf that the customer makes payment & gives instructions as to the work – both of which I have fulfilled.

In 40 odd years of gaming I have always painted my own stuff - quite prolifically (probably why me eyes are shot!!) and this is the first time I have used a painting service. (I am using another chap for my 10mm stuff since this and its going just fine)

I'm not going to let it put me off - I/we have another project on the go, which we'll carry on with but with but find a different painter.

thanks


Offline Cubs

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 3569
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 02:57:04 PM »
It's an all too familiar story sadly, there are one or two 'painters' out there with a long history of taking the money up front and then ignoring all communication. One or two stains the whole industry though. There is no excuse for this behaviour and I do not sympathise with those who cite family emergencies, illness, martian invasion etc.. as excuses for not responding to a customer's enquiries. You enter into a contract based on trust when you accept a commission and if, for whatever reason you are unable to uphold your side of the agreement due to unforeseen misfortune (because stuff does happen, people suffer blows to their personal circumstances all the time) you should be honest, keep the customer informed and, if necessary, return the models. I have run way over my expected completion times, lost or broken parts of a customer's model in the past and it's embarrassing to have to admit it and take the hit, but TS, I had to man up and accept the consequences of my own mistakes. My bad fortune/misjudgement/issue should not be passed on to my customer (see above re: trust).

The advice I always give prospective customers (of all painting services, not just my own) -

1) Choose a reputable painter with plenty of online presence and if possible, personal recommendation. Not always easy of course and no guarantee of future good conduct, but it's a good start.

2) Never pay up front. I don't see the justification. If the painter has your models AND your money, you're holding no cards at all. As a professional painter of 20-odd years I have only once had to threaten a non-payer with selling their models to retrieve my fee, but it did work and got me my money. I send my customer photos of the completed models, check for their approval, make amendments if required, then ask for payment before posting. I don't like being paid up front anyway, because for me, the motivation of working towards payment helps me to get them done quicker.

3) Start with small orders to get an idea of who you're dealing with. If it goes tits up then, it's a minimal loss to you and you've learned a valuable lesson about that individual.

4) If you honestly think you're being given the runaround and your models have just been stolen, trust your judgement and name and shame, giving the bald facts about the case (leaving out personal attacks!). Bad service needs to be reported because honest feedback is important to all. If there's a valid reason for the problem, this gives the painter a chance to set the record straight in a public forum. 

I hope you get your goodies back soon, painted or unpainted, and everything gets straightened out.
'Sir John ejaculated explosively, sitting up in his chair.' ... 'The Black Gang'.

Paul Cubbin Miniature Painter

Offline JollyBob

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • galactic brain
  • *
  • Posts: 4078
  • I've only had a few ales...
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 05:59:17 PM »
The only person I paint for these days is our own Paleskin, and I have had some of his figures on my desk for well over 12 months. That is shocking, I know, and I do try to keep in contact with him to provide any updates and reasons why I am so inept.

This year I have had to deal with moving house, gaining a degree, increasingly busy day job and most recently Bob Junior having a stay in hospital after coming down with the Diabetes (because Autism just isn't enough!). 

NONE of this is an excuse, and thankfully Paleskin is a proper gent and not narking at me to get things done. In order to make up for it though I will send batches back to him with no expectation of payment, and will go on record here to say that any more I can get done in future to finish this load are also gratis to apologise for my utter lack of time management skills.

I don't do this as a business, but if I did, I'd be bankrupt in about six months as even a feckless get like me can see its not a good model for making money...

Offline Silent bob

  • scientist
  • Posts: 202
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2019, 11:37:19 PM »
I know it doesn't help you now, but when I get a commission I always order the figures myself and no payment is made until the customer has seen photos of the finished figures. I've always thought this the right way to do it, it's no cheaper either way it just saves problems like this. Even if I have major issues, illness etc, the customer hasn't lost money.

Unfortunately I'm quite OCD about figures so I tend to pick and choose ones out a pack which fit in with my idea (plus I tend to get them from e-bay etc) and TBH the collecting and organising is part of the hobby for me but I can see how your method would work.

I've gotten myself some 28mm figures for a small Crimean Light Brigade collection, that I shall move on to after I've either got the current figures back or wrote them off.

Besides with my financial ineptitude - its better if I pay up front (it also stops my wife and kids getting the money)

For future reference does any one know of a good painter - who is reliable? (if so please PM me)

thanks
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 11:39:57 AM by Silent bob »

Offline Harry Faversham

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 2145
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2019, 11:33:33 AM »
Bob, applying the KISS Principle to your problem...
Have you thought of asking in these hallowed halls for a painter to have a pop at your figures. I've wheeled and dealed with several LAF members, buying and selling figures and on one occasion having some Hoplites painted for me. Not once have I crossed the path of a dodgy dealing wrong 'un!
Might be something worth thinking about?

:)
"Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

"I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

Offline Silent bob

  • scientist
  • Posts: 202
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 01:52:54 PM »
Hi HF,

That is my next plan of action, I have had one or two PMs recommending people and I am looking into some leads.

I am trying to find the best middle ground - quality to price.

Many pro painters are far too good for what I want (teeth and eyeballs) - and (rightly) too expensive - for my wifes modest means but I shall keep going. I need someone who can paint to a good wargames standard but not too fiddly.....

Thanks

SB


Offline Harry Faversham

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 2145
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 03:49:22 PM »
I need someone who can paint to a good wargames standard but not too fiddly.....

Thanks

SB

Bob, these were painted for me by a fellow LAF member. sadly, I can't tell you his rates as they were painted as part of a deal for skeletons of the 'Cursed Legion'!

::)

Offline mcfonz

  • mastermind
  • Posts: 1619
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 08:45:31 PM »
I've painted for folks as part of a trade before. I'd never commit to painting as a full time thing as I know my motivation can wane and painting loads of things you don't like isn't easy in the first place.

I did try as a kid, I say kid, I was 16/17. It can be wonderful, I had some great customers, even though I only ever had around ten. I also had some very difficult ones. That said, it is much easier now in that there are much more expansive paint ranges and folks can pick out colours that they might like.


Offline Silent bob

  • scientist
  • Posts: 202
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 10:49:31 PM »
Bob, these were painted for me by a fellow LAF member. sadly, I can't tell you his rates as they were painted as part of a deal for skeletons of the 'Cursed Legion'!

They look quite nice, pity I have no spare skeletons.......

Offline Silent bob

  • scientist
  • Posts: 202
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 06:04:16 PM »
Hi

Just an update - the painter has agreed to return my figures and refund my money. He is undercoating any figures he has painted/part painted.

Hopefully it should be this week, so at least it is a kind of closure and I can either abandon the project or find another painter.

Cheers

SB

Offline Cubs

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 3569
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: Pro painting - caveat emptor
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2019, 06:10:14 PM »
That's good news, nothing lost except time then.