Thanks for visiting my page. To help with navigation, here is a list of popular pages all about Marching in Colour

* The History of Marching In Colour - who is the man behind the words and service, how did it all come about

* Commissioning Models for Painting - how the process works, start to finish, and what you can expect

* Gallery of Artists Work - with over 20 years experience, here is a small sample of finished commissions

* ITEMS FOR SALE - as well as painting models, I also sell pre-painted models and assorted loose models and scenery on Etsy and Ebay. Links here!

* Trade in your old models for Painting Credit * click here for details

* To see details of all current commissions booked-in and estimated completion dates - click here

SCENERY and TERRAIN - for pre-made, handcrafted items of scenery and terrain, please click here

For TUTORIALS please follow this link - click here

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Commissiong Models for Painting - The Process

All enquiries should be emailed to

Enquiries are treated as strictly confidential and none binding. If you just want a quote, or have a few questions, please feel free to email me. I will endeavour to help as best I can.

This page is designed to give you a good rundown of the process of commissioning models from Marching in Colour and covers all the FaQ's I have received over the years. It can be a little hard to read in places, as I have tried to cover everything on one page.

If it ever looks like too much of a hassle to read - just email me with what you are thinking of getting painted and we can take it from there!


I offer one of the most flexible pricing structures of any painting service on the internet. My years of experience have lead me to realise that people commission models for a variety of reasons, some want fantastic looking individual models, while others simply want another unit of 30 with a bit of colour on them so as not to field bare lead!

To cover all these needs, I break my painting down into three main 'Standards'. These are -

Rank and File
Standard Quality, and
Premium Quality

Regardless of quality ALL models receive the same first basic steps included in the price-

Clean/Prep, all models are cleaned and prepared by removing excess mold lines and flash.
Undercoat, a black or white undercoat is evenly applied across the whole model
Base coat, the basic uniform of the model is painted
Varnish, a choice of matt or gloss.

The three standards then differ as follows -

Rank and File

At this level all models receive a base coat of the appropriate colours. Details such as straps and bags, belts etc are all covered, and the painting is always crisp and clear without bleed.

Rank and File is a nice basic standard which delivers quality work at a very affordable price.
These photos are great examples of 'Rank and File' level -

Standard Quality

The next level up - the 'middle ground' of my work is what I like to consider as the norm for my painting, and that is why I call it the 'Standard Quality'

At this level all the features you would expect are included - shading, highlighting, trim, belts, buckles, dry-brushing, washes, ink work and so on, all combine to produce great looking - yet still economically priced - wargaming model.

A good example of the variety of work can be found in the following photo -

From left to right,

The scales on the lizard feature dry-brushing, the snake has individually patterned scales as well as work on the eyes (including gloss for the shine). The toads skin has mix and washes applied, its tunic shade and patterned trim. The large cat has varying work on its fur and aging on its armour. The end rats have ink work on their leather armour, and steel studs picked out. The trim on the scale shoulders is also nicely picked out.

Premium Quality

The highest level of service is reserved for 'Premium Quality' work. The increased fee allows me to spend a considerable amount of time per model, to achieve a much higher degree of shading and highlighting allowing for a truly marvelous result.

Some examples of 28mm Premium include this Ogre, and a converted Orc.

Examples of Premium quality in lower scales - 10mm Copplestone Minis,

And in 6mm - straps and camo tops on GHQ!


When it comes to the actual pricing of a model, I work on data gathered from years of commission painting and try to give the best value for money that I possibly can.

My pricing structure is therefore flexible enough to differentiate between the time taken for a typical model, and one which requires a fair amount of additional work. Think about the difference between a simple dark age spearman, and the flair of a Napoleonic Hussar - the uniforms and thus the work required varies a great deal.

To avoid overpricing of one, or the under-pricing of the other, my fees are broken down into

Typical - the majority of troops and periods that dont have any special or fancy uniform needs, and
Complex - those models where extra work is required.

As Typical is generally the norm, it is easier to list a few examples of 'complex'.

Complex includes, most Napoleonics, especially the mounted troops. some WW2/modern with a high degree of camo patterns. Samurai where the armour and trim, lace and detail are all different. Medieval, where heraldry and shields must be painted in assorted bright colours.

For actual 'price per model', please refer to these charts -

Please note -
There is no 'Rank and File' for 6mm or 10mm. Offering three levels in these small scales just is not practical.

Machines of War - From Cannons to Tanks!

A cannon tends to fall somewhere between the price of an Infantry and a Cavalry.
Larger war machines tend to edge towards the price of a cavalry.

Tanks and other such vehicles can vary a great deal. Past experience has shown anything from two to three times the cost of a cavalry model. Camouflage armour also tends to be at the 'complex' price scale.


I tend to work with a variety of methods and techniques - whichever I deem best appropriate for the model. If the model is armoured, then drybrushing is usually a good call. If the model has a lot of leather, then inks give the best result.

I can however work to your preferred style, and can match samples provided.

Common styles I am familiar with are,

Layered - this is where the paint is used in thick or light tones, on top of coats, to produce shading and highlighting. This can be multi layered, producing subtle shading, or more harsh to produce more visible contrasts.

Dips - both actual 'dip' and the more controlled 'brush-on'. I tend to have in stock at least two shades of dip - a light and a dark. Where a specific shade is required I may have to order extra tins in.

Blackline - an old style which seems to have fallen out of fashion these days. Shading is done by painting a thin 'black line' into all recesses and areas which connect.

Please be sure to state if  have a preferred style, or if you wish models to be painted to a sample which you will provide.


The painting price does not include assembly, with the following exception - standard hand weapons and shields are always included in the basic painting price.

Where needed - such as in the case of plastic multi-part box sets -  I charge £8.00 per hour, or part of, for assembly. You will only ever be charged the time it takes. If that is 30mins, it would be £4.00 for example.


Similar to 'Assembly' above, this step is optional. Some people prefer to base their own models to their own specifics or I can base the models before they are sent. I have numerous flocks and grasses as well as scenic items like rocks, gravel, flowers for scenic and textured bases.

If you do require the models basing I charge a base rate of £8.00 per hour, or part of. This charge also includes all materials needed unless there is something very specific that I do not have.


I offer a choice of Matt Varnish, or Gloss finish on all models I paint. There is no charge for varnishing.


My prices tend to be very specific and tailored to be as economical as possible for all. I have tried to offer as best value of service as I can. That being said I do value extremely all my repeat clients, many of which are good friends and people I have known for years.

I also acknowledge and thank you for the commitment to using my service. Where possible I will always keep prices down, and try to offer a little extra, especially for large orders. I am happy to discuss this via email.

Time Scale / Updates on Progress

I work full time as a model painter. I am also self-employed. This means I put a lot of hours into painting and can be working from 8am till 8pm some days. That is a lot of models painted in a day, and a mountain in a week!

My service is also (thankfully) popular enough to ensure I have regular work lined up. This does mean that new enquires and commissions may face a short delay of a few weeks before I can begin on that commission. Once work does begin though, completion times are relatively fast.

I work on a first come first served basis from the moment we agree to terms. The best way is to email me your enquiry, and once we agree on a price and time scale I will book you in.

Throughout the actual commission you receive regular updates on the progress, including most importantly full colour photos of the work in progress.

I have two places where I post regular updates.

The first is here, on this blog, via this link - SCHEDULE which shows a schedule of all current commissions and projects and is updated on a weekly basis.

The other is updated often daily (and often several times a day!). It is a 'Facebook' business page and is used as more of a running commentary of the activities of Marching In Colour. You can join in by following this link - COMING SOON

Once the commission is nearing completion you will receive a series of full colour detailed jpeg images of the work for your inspection.

You get to change anything and everything you require. No work is final until you say 'I like that last photo - the job is done!'

Collar and cuffs yellow please! - No order is complete until it receives your final approval!

Postage and Packing

I use only quality materials to ensure your models arrive safely. I have been an avid Ebay seller for many years and have wrapped so many parcels I am practically an expert.

Where able I try to wrap every model individually, before packing the models tight and secure in protective layers of bubble wrap.

I tend to send by 'Recorded Delivery' where able. This method requires a signature upon arrival/collection and is generally a safe method of mailing models. 

I always provide full tracking details by email when obtained. 

Payment Process

My preferred method of payment is via direct Bank Transfer as this is the most economical for me to avoid payment fees associated with other methods. 

I do understand though, that this is often not practical or convenient for many people (overseas clients especially) so I also accept payment by any of the following methods - Paypal, Cheques, Postal Orders, 

No payment is ever asked for until the commission is completely finished and you have approved the final photos. Payment is then requested in full, before the models are released.

Occasionally a client may need to stagger payments (pay half one month, half the next). This is perfectly fine, as long as we both agree on this. I do not however release models until the last payment has been made.

Models may also be collected, and payment made, in person, if you are local to Stockton-On-Tees, UK, and occasionally a 'meet' at a gaming show/convention may also be a viable option.

Hope this covers everything. Any questions, please feel free to email me!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris - this is a great description of your services - so much better than most painting services. Thank you, Iain