DSC07955.JPGIts no big secret that I’m obsessed with figuring out how to get more gaming squeezed into my rapidly shrinking free time, but without having to sacrifice any of my favorite game genres. The most difficult of these is clearly the miniature game – a genre that not only takes 2-4 hours to complete a single game, but also has the added time sink of model assembly and painting before you even get to the table. It is with this in mind that I have sought to increase my play time by outsourcing my painting duties to a third party. To this end, I’ve enlisted the help of PaintedFigs.com, a Sri Lankan outfit dedicated to model assembly and painting. To test the merit of this whole endeavor, I’ve requested a small test effort – a 5-man squad of Chaos Terminators for my existing Alpha Legion army. The whole process isn’t complete yet, but I wanted to share my progress to date:

  • On January 29th I submitted an initial order request with a detailed example of the Alpha Legion paint scheme I use (I use a more traditional scheme than the horrifically ugly scheme promoted by Games Workshop currently) with the sergeant painted in their showcase quality and the rest in standard quality
  • Later that day, I received a detailed invoice from PaintedFigs for the whole job (including minis purchase and painting): $68.15 US [note: retail price for a box of Chaos Terminators in the US is $50]
  • On January 30th, I submitted payment
  • On February 2nd, PaintedFigs confirmed payment
  • On February 25th, I received a request for clarification concerning the assembly of the sergeant (PaintedFigs generally calls for two weeks for delivery of miniatures)
  • On March 4th, I received a link to the following gallery for my approval: http://picasaweb.google.com/paintedfigs/JoshAlphaLegion#

What are my impressions thus far? At this point, I’m pretty pleased – the paint jobs look solid, but I’d like to get them in hand before I make any final declarations on quality. They certainly follow my requested color scheme and are at least tabletop quality. The timeline is a bit longer than I expected, but given my own time constraints, definitely acceptable. As for the price – its hard to beat: for about 27% over retail, I’m getting fully painted miniatures to my specification at good quality. I’ll post photos and a final review when the miniatures arrive in the states, but at this point, I’m giving this approach a tentative “thumbs up.”