Quality Levels

If you want a quote please EMAIL ME at frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com
Quality Levels

Tiny Plastic Spacemen can paint to a few different levels, depending on your requirements and budget.

We can match any codex, battle book or rulebook army colours you wish, or your own custom colours as well (to the best of our ability, based on pictures you provide). An airbrush will be used for priming and basecoating the majority of the model, with normal brushes finishing the finer details. All descriptions below include a matte varnish for protection during transport and play.

 

Basic
If you’re on a strict budget or just need masses of troops/cannon fodder in a single colour, this is the level you’re looking at. The idea of these models is to provide lots of your army’s colour on the table at a quick (and cheap!) rate.

These models will be painted fully assembled and will look fine from a few feet away (so your opponent will easily be able to recognize your army models), however up close you will notice that details such as faces, badges and gems will not be painted. Larger weapons will be painted, but smaller weapons will be left to be added later, or you can leave them as-is. There will be some basic shading to help the overall look of the model, but no highlights such as drybrushing or line highlighting to pick out the edges – again, you can add the highlights later. If you have us assemble the models (which is an extra cost), you may notice small gaps or mould lines left during assembly, however these will not be noticeable from more than an arm-length away.

This level includes basic sand basing material if you wish, as well as a layer of varnish to protect the paint while playing and transporting the models.

Get a quote! Just email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

Basic Quality – Games Workshop Blood Angels Tactical Marine,
ready for you to add details at a later date!

Basic Quality is painted more or less with these steps:

  1. Basing: done first to speed up the process
  2. Primer: black, grey or white depending on the basecoat required
  3. Basecoat: to match your army colour
  4. Varnish: semi-gloss or matte varnish to protect the paint during transport and play, and also provides grip for future coats of paint when you decide to add details
  5. If you want to see how this compares to the other available quality levels, click here!

If you want a quote please email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

 

Tabletop
This option is the normal standard usually used for general rank and file, the cannon fodder that make up the bulk of your army. These will look pretty good from a few feet away on the table or in the typical low light level of a gaming club.

Like the Basic option above, these models will provide lots of your army’s colour on the table at a quick rate, but will look much better up close. The models will be painted assembled, and if you have us assemble the models (which is an extra cost), you may notice small gaps or mould lines left during assembly, however these will not be noticeable from more than an arm’s-length away. The highlights will generally be edge lining on larger areas and drybrush on smaller areas. Some washes will be used for shading, with a plain base of sand with scattered small rocks.

Get a quote! Just email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

Tabletop quality – Games Workshop Tyranid Termagants

Tabletop quality using just a few colours spread across one squad
Games Workshop Chaos Cultists
(with higher quality bases as requested by customer)

Tabletop Quality is painted more or less with these steps:

  1. Basing: done first to speed up the process, usually using sand and some small bits of gravel glued onto base
  2. Magnetizing (at extra cost): completed at this stage for ease of painting
  3. Black Primer: first primer coat underneath all overhanging areas (under arms, wheel covers, etc.)
  4. Grey Primer: provides highlights and main primer layer for basecoat
  5. Basecoat: to match your army colour
  6. Highlight Basecoat: usually this means edge highlighting in strategic spots, using a colour lighter than the basecoat
  7. Basecoat Wash: to darken shade or recessed areas
  8. Varnish: protects the main color during the detail painting
  9. Secondary Basecoats: skin, weapons, armor trim and other areas get their main basecoats at this stage
  10. Highlights on Secondary Basecoats: again, this is usually edge highlighting weapons and other larger areas (skin gets a soft blend of a lighter skin shade)
  11. Secondary Basecoat Wash: to darken shade or recessed areas
  12. Details: lenses, some gems, eyes, screens and other details are picked out at this point
  13. Varnish: to protect all the work done so far
  14. Base: main colour, wash and highlight
  15. Base Rim: to match your army base rims for overall cohesion
  16. Varnish: mostly for the base to protect the rim from knocking against other models but also for any areas of the model that were touched up
  17. Matte Varnish: final varnish to dull the gloss of previous varnish coats
  18. If you want to see how this compares to the other available quality levels, click here!

If you want a quote please email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

 

Good Tabletop
This level is for more important models like sergeants, captains and other battlefield leaders. This is also a good option for ‘centrepiece’ models like your biggest monsters, flyers and tanks that will be in the centre of the fighting!

These models will be zenithal primed or pre-shaded by airbrush before basecoating for smooth shadow & highlight gradients. During assembly, they will have more time spent on them to cover up gaps and remove moulding lines. Gun barrels will be drilled where appropriate with appropriate-sized drill bits. More work will be done to bring out the detail to the eyes, face, weapons, icons, headdresses and more. Any decals included in the kit can be applied if requested. The base will also be a step up from the standard, with some scattered details such as grass tufts, debris and other pieces. These will look good at a very close distance, but under a magnifying glass (or in a close-up on a computer screen) you may spot some stray paint marks here and there.

Get a quote! Just email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

Good Tabletop Quality – Eldar Dire Avengers with Exarch
(with standard quality bases as requested by customer)

Good Tabletop Quality – Eldar Crimson Hunter
(with standard quality base as requested by customer)

Good Tabletop Quality is painted more or less with these steps:

  1. Basing: done first to speed up the process, using a couple of grades (grain size) of sand and different sizes of gravel glued onto base
  2. Magnetizing (at extra cost): completed at this stage for ease of painting
  3. Drill Gun Barrels: where appropriate
  4. Black Primer: first primer coat on all overhanging areas (under arms, wheel covers, etc.)
  5. Grey Primer: provides shadow and main primer layer for basecoat
  6. White Primer: provides smooth highlights on larger or rounded areas
  7. Basecoat: to match your army colour
  8. Highlight Basecoat: usually this means edge highlighting in strategic spots, using a colour lighter than the basecoat
  9. Basecoat Wash: to darken shade or recessed areas
  10. Varnish: protects the main color during the detail painting
  11. Secondary Basecoats: skin, weapons, armor trim and other areas get their main basecoats at this stage
  12. Highlights on Secondary Basecoats: again, this is usually edge highlighting weapons and other larger areas (skin gets a soft blend of a lighter skin shade)
  13. Secondary Basecoat Wash: to darken shade or recessed areas
  14. Details: lenses, some gems, eyes, screens and other details are picked out at this point
  15. Varnish: to protect all the work done so far
  16. Decals: any requested decals applied at this stage
  17. Chipping: any requested paint chipped areas (such as around shins, knees, mud guards, etc.) applied at this point
  18. Weathering: some mud and streaked dirt can be applied at this point if you request, for a battle-worn look
  19. Base: main colour, wash and highlight
  20. Base Rim: to match your army base rims for overall cohesion
  21. Varnish: mostly for the base to protect the rim from knocking against other models but also for any areas of the model that were touched up
  22. Matte Varnish: final varnish to dull the gloss of previous varnish coats
  23. If you want to see how this compares to the other available quality levels, click here!

If you want a quote please email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

 

Display Quality
This is what everyone wants! If you want a model that will make your friends go WOW! when you place it on the table, go for this. Choose this level if you want a really nice, high quality model you’d want to put on a shelf, behind glass or under a light to show off to your friends, yet can still put on the table to put it into battle. A model at this level will have more more time taken to provide more depth to the model, using more & thinner layers of paint and many extra techniques that you won’t see on most tabletop models.

Get a quote! Just email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

 

Display Quality – Imperial Knight Warden kit

So what does ‘display quality’ mean?

  • The main thing is that when looking at it very up-close, for example a single hand’s distance or at full screen resolution, you wouldn’t spot any mistakes, stray brush marks or anything that isn’t meant to be there. Nothing should take away from your viewing and enjoyment of the model.
  • No gaps between model pieces
  • No mould lines
  • Where appropriate, gun barrels will be drilled with appropriate-sized drill bits, including details like the side holes on Space Marine bolter barrels.
  • Smooth, seamless colour blends by using an airbrush, several colour hues with very thin layers of paint, plus custom mixes where necessary.
  • Airbrushed glow effects in areas that make sense to have it (such as lights, lava, eyes, energy weapons, ‘daemon vents’) – or where you request it, of course!
  • Various techniques will be used such as hairspray weathering, salt weathering, marble effect airbrushing, chipping, use of various pigments and more, to get the desired effect you want on the model.
  • The model will have a scenic or themed base, using spare model parts, resin or brass etch pieces to make it look extra-cool. This can be your choice to match a particular background or your army, or I can match the base to the model in an artistic fashion.
  • Names and icons can be freehand-painted on scrollwork or banners (for an extra charge).
  • Of course any decals you like from the model kit, plus extra decals I may have on hand.
  • It will still be playable on the table (meaning you’ll be able to touch it without paint or pigments coming off) but will be a much higher quality and have more detail done to it than any tabletop-quality model.

As you can imagine, due to the amount of work needed to make a really good display model, this should be reserved for very special models indeed! Please note this option will also add a significant amount of time and cost to the estimate.

Display Quality – Imperial Knight Warden kit

Freehand example

In addition to the painting steps outlined above, Display Quality adds many more steps to make your model stand out on the gaming table:

  1. Basing: the base will be built up using various modeling materials and the model posed as much as possible on the base
  2. Zenithal priming and pre-weathering done before applying basecoat
  3. Second Highlight for Basecoat for extra contrast
  4. Gloss Varnish followed by matte varnish: protects the paint applied so far
  5. Secondary Basecoats: careful masking of main basecoat and then painting skin, weapons, armor trim and other areas for their main basecoats 
  6. Highlights and Second Highlights on Secondary Basecoats
  7. Gloss Varnish: protects the paint applied so far during the oil wash and detail painting
  8. Oil Wash: a wash that provides a defined dark edge for armour panels and areas of the models such as where the skin of the hand meets the metal grip of a weapon – an advanced technique taken from scale modeling
  9. Gloss Varnish and second Oil Wash: if required to give extra depth
  10. Matte Varnish: protects the oil wash and provides grip for detail painting and pigments
  11. Details: lenses, some gems, eyes, screens and other details are picked out at this point, with highlighting and shading as needed
  12. Varnish: to protect all the work done so far
  13. Decals: any requested decals applied at this stage
  14. Chipping: any requested paint chipped areas (such as around shins, knees, mud guards, etc.) applied at this point
  15. Rust: pigment washes or spot treatment using texture paints
  16. Dust: a light, very thin layer of brown or tan applied by airbrush across the lower half of vehicles and lower legs of infantry models
  17. Heavy Mud: light-coloured mud and streaked dirt can be applied at this point if you request, for a battle-worn look
  18. Fresh Mud: dark-coloured mud and streaked dirt can be applied at this point if you request, for a fresher ‘just from the field’
  19. Final Details: oil and fuel stains, footprints, handprints, fresh scratches, etc.
  20. Gloss Varnish: for tough protection layer over all the work done so far!
  21. Base: main colour in the proper colours, plus washes and highlights
  22. Base Details: any bits or model pieces painted at this point in the same fashion as the rest of model
  23. Base Rim: to match your army base rims for overall cohesion
  24. Final Dust: same as the previous very light dust layer, this simulates light road dust on vehicles – done in the same colour as the base
  25. Varnish: mostly for the base to protect the rim from knocking against other models but also for any areas of the model that were touched up
  26. Matte Varnish: final varnish to dull the gloss of previous varnish coats
  27. If you want to see how this compares to the other available quality levels, click here!

If you want a quote please email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

Display Quality – Imperial Knight kit

 

Museum-Quality (aka Golden Demon, Crystal Brush) – I rarely have the time to devote to a single model like this, however I have entered high-effort models into Golden Demon before. It’s something I aspire to do with each model I do for myself, but honestly I would not comfortable trying to get someone to pay for, because of the number of hours put into something really really good. If I were to take on this work, I would be more comfortable doing a vehicle or walker of some type rather than a standard size model on foot. A museum-quality model would be a Golden Daemon or Crystal Brush finalist at a minimum, and would probably never leave a glass cabinet, much less go on the gaming table.

If you want a quote please email frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com

 

Matching your army – We can match any codex, battle book or rulebook army colours you wish, including your existing army. You will need to supply example pictures so we have a very good idea of what we are matching. Please note that because of lighting, camera and photo differences, matching of paint colours and finishes is nearly impossible to get exact unless we have your models in-hand, but we will do our absolute best to match the colours you want.

Mixing and matching quality levels – We can also mix and match levels of painting quality within a model or army (as seen in some of the sample pictures), we will talk about this as we discuss your project.

Expectations – We are fully aware that what people think of ‘good v. really good’ varies from person to person. No matter what quality level you want, you can expect regular photo updates and will be asked to provide feedback, answer questions, etc., to make sure you get what you’re expecting. We want to make sure your models will meet your expectations!

 

If you want a quote please EMAIL ME at frank@tinyplasticspacemen.com