FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to see the answer.

About the Company

  • White Metal Games is the brainchild of the owner, Caleb Dillon. White Metal Games built its foundation on eBay starting in 2008, which he used as an outlet for selling his custom, one of a kind conversion work. eBay (and conversions) are still a cornerstone of our business to this day.

    The website began as a blog and later added a full range of services. WMG was registered in 2011 and incorporated in 2016.

    Over the past decade we have risen to one of the most prolific painting commission studios in the world. From our one-of-a-kind conversions, to over 20,000 photos in our galleries, you might say we are raising the bar for other commission studios and leading the way!

  • White Metal Games employs a full time staff of seven artists and administrators, plus a part time staff of five. We are always looking for new artists to add to our roster. You can learn more about potential openings here.

  • Yes. Our 1,800 square foot studio is located in Knightdale, North Carolina. Feel free to stop by and tour our facility in person. Just call first to let us know you’re coming. Find our address and phone number on the Contact Us page

  • Yes. By request we are happy to set up some one-on-one lessons here in the studio. Our regular rate for this is $30 per hour. You can take advantage of many studio resources such as airbrushes and compressors, a huge selection of paints, a variety of bits for your personal kit bashes!

    Whether you are a novice, just getting started, or an experienced hobbyists looking to learn how to airbrush, we are always happy to help!

Miniature and Project Information

  • At White Metal Games studios we train to maintain our level of consistency as much as possible between the artists. Training a group of painters to all paint the same way is challenging, but rewarding for our clients. We keep detailed records for every miniature we paint, so that any artist can create a consistent product for return clients.

    When possible we do attempt to match the same artists to repeat clients when schedule permits, to ensure the most consistent style. However, we reserve the right to distribute projects as we see fit for workflow purposes.

  • WMG processes orders on a first come, first served basis using a painting queue. This way you can watch your project as it moves through our queue. Unless any major changes are made to your order, it should follow the painting queue almost exactly. The typical queue is booked for about 4–6 weeks, though at certain times of the year progress is faster or slower.

    Our average turnaround once a project commences is less than two weeks. That means that once your project comes up, we should be able to complete it very quickly.

    Small projects under $500 will progress through the queue VERY quickly, and in some cases much sooner than the projected timetable. This is like the equivalent of a “fast checkout” experience at the grocery store, and ensures that clients with small orders aren’t penalized by clients with massive collections.

  • For small projects, like single figure commissions, we can paint your model LIVE on our Twitch Channel! This is a unique way for our clients to take part in the miniature painting experience, participating in REAL time, and even making suggestions if you like!

    We broadcast weekly at 2pm Eastern Time on Wednesday–Friday, or at 10am ET if that better suits your schedule.

    Let us know if you are interested in this unique option.

  • In general WMG retains any spares from any project we work on. Partially this is a “community approach”, in that bits from your project go on to serve the next clients, as bits from their projects may have been used in your project. It also really helps in service to our Patreon and Conversion services.

    If you wish for your bits to be returned to you, just ask and we’ll set them aside for you. In particular, bits ordered from third party companies that have a clear value we will happily return to you upon request.

  • Yes, we do handle rush jobs, but the cost of labor goes up commensurately to how fast you need the project done. Essentially this allows you to “cut in line” but at a premium cost. Let us know your timetable and we’ll be able to adjust your estimate.

    Of course, many X-factors can impact rush jobs, such as the availability of all required materials, shipping, and level of detail to be achieved, among others.

  • Communication up front is key to ensuring that we have a clear picture of the client’s vision for their models and we try to get as much information as possible before we begin. Our MO ensures multiple quality control checks along the process, including at the assembly, priming, and painting stages. The weekly update process ensures that any oversights are caught early in the commission and hopefully any errors or corrections will have already been noted by the client before the final portfolio is presented. Mistakes are more common on short commissions, when there may not be any update prior to project completion.

    In most cases errors will be minor and commensurate with their level (i.e., errors will be more common on lower level projects than higher level projects). We are happy to make limited revisions on your project as necessary to ensure your 100% satisfaction.

    In the event we are unable to come to a satisfactory resolution, we will offer to refund the labor of your project in part or in full, depending on the level of dissatisfaction. Fewer than 1% of our buyers ever request a refund of any type.

  • After thousands of orders over a decade, we very rarely have had any trouble with deliveries. Models are packaged with care, using a variety of shipping materials including non-fibrous cotton sheets, custom foam trays, bubble wrap, packing foam, and shipping wrap.

    Any package over $100 USD in value is insured and requires a signature confirmation to collect upon arrival.

    Of course, once a project leaves our doors, there is always a chance of damage during transit. For minor breaks, we suggest making repairs yourself with easy to acquire super glue, such as is found in most sundry stores, DIY centers, or game shops.

    We pack every mini with lots of tender loving care and even more soft materials to make sure we prevent every break we can.

  • White Metal Games offers a comprehensive range of services, from painting and conversion—to terrain and display boards (and much more). While most services offer painting, no service in the entire world offers as many services as White Metal Games!

    Some of those services may not be things you can do yourself, either due to limited time or ability. Perhaps you have a demanding job that usurps all your time, or perhaps you are a parent and have many familial responsibilities. Or maybe painting just isn’t your thing.

    We understand. Our ideal client is someone with a great love of the hobby, but no time to devote to painting. You should never feel guilty about hiring a commission studio to paint your models, it isn’t a failing on your part. You are supporting small business and ultimately you will be more satisfied with the final results.

    Much like learning carpentry or playing an instrument, painting is a skill that can be learned. But like any craft, the more time you devote to it, the better the results will be. Our average painter gains thousands of practical hours of experience each year. Painting is as much about learned muscle memory and hand eye coordination, as practical experience. Put simply, this is what we DO.

    Most hobbyists have larger collections than they can practically build and paint on their own, or it will take years to do so. With new models being released all the time, older models will sit unopened on shelves, replaced by newer models. Even if skill and time isn’t a factor, proper brushes and paints can consume hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of your hobby budget annually!

    Don’t compromise your vision for a project because of the limited time you have available. Don’t think you have to spend years learning to paint before tackling that dream army or project!

    You don’t have to be a great painter to enjoy playing with them. And let’s be honest, you’d rather be playing, right? Leave painting to the pros . . . we’ll leave victory to you!

Prices and Payment Information

  • If you live or are stationed in the state of North Carolina, we are required by law apply whatever the current sales tax is to items that are bought by those living in the state. Sorry to all our fellow North Carolinians.

    What you pay for in taxes, however, you make up for in speed of service; in some cases your models will arrive the very next day.

    If you live outside of North Carolina, or will have your item shipped out of state, then we do not collect sales tax.

  • eBay is a great market for various goods, but there is a price increase when dealing with eBay and its payment distribution system. In many cases the eBay price may be 15–25% more than what you would get if you contacted us directly. eBay, PayPal, and other fees make it tougher to price lower on eBay. That being said, eBay is a highly competitive market and you can always find good deals in our eBay store that now has over 1,200 items!

  • Miniature painting is a global marketplace, but prices between services vary wildly, especially when you consider conversion rates between currency. Many services are one painter operations with little to no overhead, resulting in very low prices and inconsistent standards, pricing, and turnaround.

    Doing research into our major competition every six months, we can say with confidence that our rates are commensurate with most top industry providers in our field. After nearly a decade of unsuccessfully trying to under-price our competition, we decided to settle on the things we could control; reliable customer service and transparency, expedient turnaround (6–8 weeks in most cases) and consistency of quality (which includes detailed record keeping so that future projects will match past projects). All of these do carry a premium commensurate with the value we offer.

    Our rates are derived from practical experience. We track each model we build and paint in-house and use those rates to accurately assess exactly how long models take to build and paint and at every level. Price for us is simply a measure of time, and we have gotten very good at estimating time.

    We always hesitate to raise rates as clients grow used to the old rates and change can be challenging to adjust to. As our business has grown, so, too, has the cost of doing business. Our prices, when combined with the continued support of our client base, will help sustain our business in years to come.

  • Technically no, but for orders falling below $300 we ask for payment up front to begin. This is essentially our “day rate”.