The Trouble with Chaos - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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    Jul 2006
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    The Trouble with Chaos

    Blue Table Painting Update
    Monday, July 24, 2006
    Issue 83
    Like this newsletter? Supplements and newsflash updates are out twice a week! Sign up on the front page of our website.

    Heartfelt Thanks
    To those that help make Blue Table a reality, a heartfelt thanks from all of our families. Without you, we wouldn’t have this great job!

    Blue Table Buzz
    Give a good review of our work on forums or newsgroups and get up to a $20.00 credit for assembly or painting on your next army. OK, here are the rules:
    · Must be for a full army you had painted by Blue Table
    · A full army would be any project of $300 or more. Fair enough?
    · You must really mean it!
    · Please email me the links to your posts. Subject line Blue Table Buzz
    · Your posts should include a link to
    · You can make up to four posts on different sites at $5.00 each.
    · You will get an email back confirming your credit.
    · You can get a direct link to a Gallery album by right-clicking the text description, choosing Properties then copying the link.

    Warhammer on Special
    During August 2006 Blue Table will acquire your Games Workshop models for 20% off. Please mention the July special from this update. If you want a whole army done, I will give you an even sweeter bulk deal on your models.

    See bottom of page for specifics.

    Here is some history. When I started Blue Table back in December 2003 I was painting almost entirely whole armies for Warhammer. That was the speci-ality. The prices reflected this: a basic price for massed infantry and a higher price for the few hero models.

    With the advent of Confrontation and War Machine I had to adjust the pricing. I remember painting some GW orcs and then the next week painting some Confrontation orcs. The latter had sausages, teapots, clocks, miniature chests, chickens, and all sorts of crazy stuff all over them. It became clear then that I would have to charge more for Confrontation figures.

    I didn’t like the idea of levels. I wanted to have one level… GOOD! What you see on the website is what you will get. Well, I’m finally breaking down and offering levels of work. It was clear from the outset that the standard 1-4 ranking wasn’t going to hold. I’m working on something that will encompass the whole of miniature-dom.

    This solves another problem I call the <coolmini syndrome> where someone gets an overly optimistic view of how models should look based on viewing masses of amazingly painted figures without any idea of how long they really take to paint.

    Models on box covers (what I would consider Display Quality) take likely in the two to six hour range per model. That Blue Table can even approximate that for $5.50 per basic infantry is a miracle.

    Thoughts and Threads
    Here’s an interesting thread. I contacted the painter of this figure and found out it took her around 60 hours to paint. Even a full time full bore painter would still take at least 40.

    So, how much is this model worth? How much does it cost to hire a professional artist to work a full working week on a project? I would say in the $400-800 range.

    Thousand Squats
    OK, here’s another one (oh and this article is a great read). From the description it probably took no less than 120 man hours. That’s three weeks at full time. What should that cost? To hire a professional artist for three weeks?

    Another factor in pricing is the administrative stuff: packing, advertising, materials acquisition, communication by phone/email, digital photography, repairs, travel, etc. In fact, a professional artist will spend 20-30% of their time doing administrative stuff (like writing this update!). For six full time artists on staff at Blue Table there are two full time administrative staff—that’s about right. I think most aspiring miniatures painters don’t factor this in.

    My purpose with all this is to illustrate that Blue Table offers a very affordable service. Our objective is to put a painted army in the hands of the common man. If you can afford to play at all, you can afford to have an army painted. We will assemble and paint your typical army for $800-1400. It seems like a lot of money, but it’s really not considering what the going rate should be for the time and skill involved.

    Do you know anyone that has three unpainted armies? They should have at least one painted army instead of a bunch of white primered figures.

    Happenings at the Studio
    Bill and Ty, our two stalwart assemblers, took on a huge amount of work and caught up with like twenty projects this week, winning a wager against the office staff for a fat credit at our LGS.

    I am working on a Skaven army, Clan Skryre themed. The Treekin idea has fallen into disfavor—it was too limited. I finished up my D&D campaign and Blakfyre games this weekend, and that was bittersweet. Instead, I’ll be running War Machine and Hordes on Wednesday nights. I have a Khador army in the works.

    We got in some figures from a sci-fi game called Infinity.

    They are some really amazing sculpts. They have optional parts for clear holo-display targeting systems that is very original—you have to see it to understand. The sculpts are very clean and ball-in-socket joints make them very pose-able. The dronbots would be just perfect for some alternate units or conversions in a Tau army.

    Blue Table Wants Your Soul
    To get Blue Table started I cashed out my retirement (from teaching), inheritance, and all our life savings. I am completely invested in this endeavor. So, I take every potential client seriously. I want to win and keep you as a client for the long haul. So, maybe not your whole soul…

    I have no personal life. Until we are booked up I have to be down at the studio at all hours working on it. It’s very sad.

    However, we are going to a family reunion next weekend, no matter the consequences! The studio will be in good hands.

    Reach out and Touch Someone
    Shawn = Owner
    &#183; Yahoo Messenger ID is jazzmouth
    &#183; Phone 801 372 8545 see if I don’t pick up!

    Heather L. = Office Manager
    &#183; Yahoo Messenger ID is middlepillarpath

    All the best,
    Shawn Gately

    Blue Table Painting
    Objective Painting Standards

    This is a guide for painting figures, to keep quality within a range of quality (not too low nor too high). This is only a guide. The Art Director’s judgment can lean in either direction, but not jump from one Level to another.

    Some models are more complex than others by virtue of how they are sculpted. This is primarily why there is a range of price inside each level.

    Models that are larger will pay more because of the amount of area that needs to be painted. However, they must still meet the same definitions according to their level.

    When the Art Director critiques a group of ten or more models of Level 3 or less, the models are considered as a group with only a few pulled out as representative of the group. Other models are all given 360 degree consideration of every model.

    Rating 1-9Client pays for Infantry

    Level 2- Just the Basics $2.50-$3.00
    Paint applied to whole model
    Two levels of shading
    Basic base (one feature)
    Minor errors are evident at 18 inches
    No eyes

    Level 3- Standard $5.00-$7.50
    Three levels of shading
    Standard base
    A few minor errors evident at 12 inches
    Zero or one form of embellishment
    Basic Eyes

    Level 4- Elite $8.00-9.50
    Four levels of shading
    Standard base
    No errors
    Clean Eyes

    Two or Three of the following:
    &#167; Specialty Base
    &#167; Embellishment
    &#167; Detailed Embellishment (counts as two)

    Level 5- Champion $12-18
    Four levels of shading
    Decorative base
    No errors
    Clean Eyes

    Three or Four of the following:
    &#167; Specialty Base
    &#167; Embellishment
    &#167; Detailed Embellishment (counts as two)

    Level 6- Hero $20-28
    Five levels of shading
    Narrative base
    No errors
    Detailed Eyes and Face

    Four or Five of the following:
    &#167; Decorative Base
    &#167; Specialty Base (counts as two)
    &#167; Embellishment
    &#167; Detailed Embellishment (counts as two)

    Level 7- Display Quality $50-125

    Level 8- Award-Winning $150-450

    Level 9- Divine $500-1500

    Levels Shading
    Shading has reference to the blending of one color into another to create the illusion of depth. The smoothness and distinctness of the transitions is the key here. In this case it can also refer to other elements added to enhance the appearance or feel of the model. Most, if not the entire model should meet the requirements for shading even if different parts qualify for different reasons.

    Traditionally, shading is achieved with layering, drybrushing or blending. And these techniques can be used to qualify for a layer of shading according to this guide. However Drybrushing can only ever count as one level of shading.

    A well-applied single or dual layer of glaze can count as two or three layers of shading

    1) a deep, almost black layer.
    2) a mid-range layer.
    3) and a lighter layer at the highest points.

    To achieve further levels of shading, or the equivalent to meet the standards of this guide, you can:
    &#167; Deepen the recesses
    &#167; Highlight the high areas
    &#167; Provide differentiation of tone or color between areas
    &#167; Undercoat with a solid layer of paint
    &#167; An embellishing layer (eg rust, slime, polished areas)
    &#167; Differentiation of color or contrast (eg picking out belts, rivets)
    &#167; Blackscale on top of a deeper layer (counted as one or two layers)

    Plain Base
    (no features, just painted solid and flocked)

    Standard Base
    (two features, eg gravel and grass, most bases from the Basing Guide are like this)

    Decorative Base
    (standard base with one feature, eg rock, skull, bush, wreckage)
    A Decorative Base of 30mm or larger may need 2-3 features
    If there is no feature included during assembly, the painter should create one (this can be something non-integral, like a pool of blood, or a bush which can be added after priming and painting)

    Custom Base
    (the top of the base is completely re-done and has 1-2 features)

    Narrative Base
    This is a type of Custom Base, but has an unusual element that contributes to the story of the model, something to enhance the flow or background of the piece.

    Dioramic Base
    (generally can only be done for large models, includes features that tell a story, up to and including one simple additional figure)

    Complex Dioramic Base (dioramic base with the attention given Level 4 attention)

    Award-winning Dioramic Base (dioramic base with Level 6 attention)

    Embellishments&#183; War paint
    &#183; Tribal markings or Tattoos
    &#183; Embroidery (on a cloak, for example)
    &#183; Runework (on clothing, weapons, sheathes, quivers, etc.)
    &#183; Patterns (on clothing, weapons, sheathes, etc. could be dags, spirals, squares, arabesques, or the like)
    &#183; Weathering (dust on robes, rust, pock marks, dribbling slime)

    Detailed Embellishment (same as above but with more detail)

    Eyes and Face
    Basic Eyes (white with black iris)
    Clean Eyes (edge, white with black iris)
    Detailed Eyes (edge, white with black iris and eyebrows)
    Detailed Face (same as above but with lips)

    Last edited by MagickalMemories; July 25th, 2006 at 05:12.
    Blue Table Painting
    --Miniatures painting service. High quality, good prices, and quick turnaround.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member The Salmon Thief's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
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    I would have to say your links are not working, probably because you used HTML tags, which are not allowed. Try [color=""] tags for the font color and [url] tags for links. ^_^

    I've been following updates on your website, and everything looks awesome... very nice work you do.
    Gloria Imperator, The Firstborn Stand!
    - 2000pts Inquisition, 2000pts Vostroyans, 3000pts Vampire Counts, 1400pts Daemons, [WIP] 2500pts Death Guard

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    Thanks for pointing that out.
    I went through & deleted the [color] tage & everything was fine.
    I was using [url] links, but the [color] tags were interfering.

    Also, thanks a lot for the kind words on our work.
    Blue Table is proud, not only of the quality of work we produce, but also in the time & price we do it for.
    Once we have recovered from the crash we had, things will be far more complete than they are now.

    Thanks again!

    Blue Table Painting
    --Miniatures painting service. High quality, good prices, and quick turnaround.

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