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!


All prices are given as estimates. I have been painting for a very long time and my pricing structure is very in-depth which means estimates are very close to being the actual finished price. I work on a 'per hour' basis, and only ever charge for work done. If I finish your models in under the top time I estimated for, I never charge the top rate!


(For further information and discussion on 'STANDARDS' please follow this link - STANDARDS)

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 incorporate the many varieties of need, I use a series of charts to determine pricing. The first of which is the STANDARD - A, B, C, D, E.

A leans towards the more simpler, basic, 'fast and easy' painting commission, while
E is for those who wish for a higher level of detail.

C is the more common choice, and my personal preference for painting. It produces fine looking models, with a good level of detail, and at a steady pace and price.

The stages - 
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
2nd coat, this is an additional level of shading applied before washes or highlighting
Light wash, an ink wash used to stain the base coats and add a level of natural shading
Highlight, often using the original base coat or a slightly lighter shade
2nd Highlight, an additional level of highlighting to really bring the model to life
Varnish, a choice of matt or gloss.

BLUE - denotes this stage is included on that level of Standard
RED - shows where a stage is not included.
ORANGE - represents a choice of either stage, whichever is best deemed to suit the model.


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

My pricing structures works to three individual prices, based on the 'Standard' chosen. These are as follows -

The average, or typical price - this is what I imagine the price to be based on the work involved
The 'easy' price - this incorporates a discount for the perceived ease of painting
The 'complicated' price - the opposite to ease. This is the estimated top-end price if the model is deemed to be difficult.

For a typical 25/28mm model the price chart looks like this -

The 'STANDARD' A, B, C, D, E are on the left. The three prices - Easy/Average/Complicated read across from there.

In the above examples, 

20 Dark Age Vikings - are a good example of what I consider to be 'average'. They can have pouches, and helms, brooches and jewelry, scabbards and shields, but their clothes remain relatively dull flat shades. For 20 models I would expect the estimated price to come in very close to £70. Some manufacturers are less detailed, so may come under £70, some have lots of minor detail, so may come in just over £70.

20 Ancient Egyptians - are the example for 'easy; Most models wear plain robes, perhaps a headdress, but very few details beyond a belt and maybe a pouch. To represent the slightly faster speed at which these could be painted I try to offer a slightly reduced price. An estimate for time taken/price paid would be between £60 to £70.

20 French Grenadiers - anyone familiar with the Napoleonic period will understand that the emphasis on uniforms played a large part in that era. Cuffs, collars, turns, lace, even the colour and shine on the buttons was important for the solider and period. The time required to paint models with extra details such as these is naturally a little longer. The exact time depends largely on the level of detail so a higher end estimate is called for, £70 to £92. 

The charts for other scales also follow a similar suit, with one notable exception - the smaller the scale, the less scope for variety of standards. It is very easy to offer multiple standards of detail on a 28mm model for example, but less so on a 6mm model. The 6mm chart just has one level of standard, but the typical 3 ranges of price. Again, my preferred, and the most common requested standard, is highlighted by the red bar.

Cavalry and Machines of War

These models are always 'approximations' of the standard and price of the associated model.
It is hard to price cavalry, as often much of the detail - saddlery for example - is cast on to the rider. Some mounted models may require extensive cloth barding with heraldry, while others - plains indians, ancient numidians - have little else but a strap or harness. As with all estimates I only ever charge for the time taken. If the approximation is too high, I do not, and never will, over charge.

This is similar for machines of war. Some cannons are plain and basic wood with a metal mounted barrel, while some chariots have very intricate pattern and detail.


My own style is detailed in the chart for 'Standards' above.

I work with base coats, and tend to shade with inks, and highlight with paint.

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.

Where needed, 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!

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