Discussion about value of painted miniatures

Over on the Lead adventure forum you can find a rather interesting discussion about the value of painted miniatures. Recommended to read . To be found here

“Been thinking, (which is normally a bad idea), about the value paint adds to our minis and come up with a few questions? Namely;

Does it, add value?
To what standard does a mini need to be painted for the value to increase?
What is pro painted? Which is a daft question but there must be some way to gauge it? Are there other criteria for example one does see tabletop standard.
Should some minis that are collectable and or rare simply not be painted?
Do you buy painted minis or have you bought painted minis? Why/why not. I have not but then they tend to cost more unless badly painted and I love nothing more than restoring some old neglected mini.
To what extent can one make a living from painting minis.

etc… hope to generate some interesting discussion.” Golgotha on Lead Adventure Forum.

7 thoughts on “Discussion about value of painted miniatures

  1. Actually, it’s a REALLY interesting subject.

    I do not truly believe in the collectible value of miniatures, of course they do have “personal” value (which is immense), but not truly a marketable one (takes more time, space and effort that is worth, imo).

    I’ve always found the problem in “paint to order” that one of the joys of wargaming with miniatures is the direct interaction with them, in every step of the way. If you get them painted it’s not quite the same.

    I’ve always wanted to believe that it’d be complicated to get extra miniatures added to an army if you lose contact with whoever was painting your army, for it’s hard to replicate styles. But as I learn, and see there are extremely good professionals out there, I see that a “tabletop quality” paint scheme could be achieved by two painters on two different places (or even Museum quality, else check what the Perry bros did on Gallipoli).

    Many more things to say, but it’s a thing that truly piqued my interest. Thank you for bringing this topic out.


    • You are welcome and quite right in your statement I think.
      I myself see some value in very good painted miniatures . It is always a case of what the buyer is willing to pay like in every other business as well!


  2. I bought some ready painted Battle Honours French and Portuguese Skirmishes many years ago and they were excellently painted, Much better than I could have hoped to paint at the time, and still! I also had painted some feudal English, Simon de Montfort and his sons, de Warrene and son (I think) and some standard men-at-arms, archers and spearmen. Also, the Space Hulk miniatures game was painted by a pretty good painter for my son’s Christmas present many, many years ago. This is the only one of those I have left.
    As my painting has improved over the years I have painted and sold figures to aid the cost of my gaming. Not the best painting but above average (IMHO) than many you see at shows. certainly not near the BIGREDBAT but nicely painted.
    There is value or they wouldn’t be sold/bought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It kind of depends… I usually would say any mini gains in value when it is painted. After all someone spend part of his lifetime (hopefully) cleaning up and painting the mini. So in general that should have a value.

    There are exceptions. If I see mini that has not been cleaned the least looks like it was simply dropped into a few buckets with paint (= mismatching colors, lots over overpaint) I personally feel that it is no better and no more valuable than a mini straight out of the box.

    Is this what happens in real life. Unfortunately not. You often have problems getting even the retail value for your minis. Even in those cases where the people know what quality they are getting. And often enough you have people arguing, that they will have to strip the paint off to paint them so they can match up (quality wise) to the rest of their army. When you look at their armies you know that it should rather be the other way round. Looking at battler ports they post later you often see they never repainted anything and just wanted to lower the price.

    I guess this is the world we are living in today, where no one wants to pay a fair price for anything anymore.

    But that is also the reason why I tend to keep my painted minis even if I do not need them anymore. At times I give some to my friends if they start a new project. At least in those cases i know they are finding a good new home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is exactly what I do ! I am in the lucky position that I don’t have to paint for a living so it is only my favorite pastime but still I think miniatures well painted should be more valuable then unpainted ones.


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