painting page 1

Do you have a vision for your finished models but aren’t confident in how to achieve that vision?

Eliminate the pressure and time commitment associated with painting your models by letting the professionals do it for you!

Nothing compares to playing with fully painted models. Some events or tournaments won’t even allow players in the door with unpainted models!

How We Paint

– The White Metal Games Painting Method

Our goal is to create Efficient – Consistent – Dynamic miniatures.

Efficient: Great models shouldn’t take forever to reach the client. We use a team approach and assembly line to maximize workflow.

Consistent: With detailed record keeping and low painter turnover, clients can count on a consistent product as they add to their collection over time. Our goal is to match the same painters to repeat clients whenever possible.

Dynamic: Great models should stand out on the tabletop, no matter what painting level you selected. Our models should be visually interesting and convey depth.

Painting Levels

At White Metal Games we utilize an artificial level system to denote quality of painting and attention to detail. Level names are based on precious metals and gemstones. This system is well suited to a broad spectrum of clients with different expectations, preferences, and budgets. The higher the level the more individual time and attention will be paid to your model/project. If you are a detail oriented person, we recommend Gold Level or above. If you are more flexible and open to artistic interpretation, then you may find that lower level work suits your needs, satisfying you immensely.

As there is a minimal amount of work to be done on any figure, more profound differences will be seen at lower level transitions. At higher levels the details becomes more realistic and subtle; details picked out at lower levels are refined at higher levels. Much like tasting wine, not all clients will easily be able to distinguish the differences between Gold and Platinum levels.

This system allows WMG to cultivate artists as they grow; new painters work on lower level projects, utilizing our best painters for the higher level projects. That being said, at WMG we work as a team and no one model is ever the result of one artist; older artists mentor newer artists as they grow.

This system can seem subjective at times, as different models at the same level will not always reflect equal attention paid to the same areas of the model. For example, a detail may be more prominent on one figure versus another even at the same level. This is because not all details will be treated the same way on every figure. That being said, clients are encouraged to tell us what details THEY consider important so that we can treat them as such (learn more about how we classify details here).



Silver is our tabletop standard. Dedicated hobbyists paint to this level and we are simply acting as painters by proxy.

Figures are primed and given a zenithal (top-down) pre-shade by airbrush . The base coat is then applied, resulting in basic contrast (distinguishing bright and dark areas of the model).

Major detail and some minor details are picked out.

You may select any Standard, Tier 2 basing style for your model.


Electrum is our tabletop plus standard. The figure is primed pre-shaded, and base coated by airbrush, resulting in natural blends and transitions.

Highlights are applied to major details, resulting in a shadow, midtone, and highlight; three levels of contrast. Some fine details are picked out and occasional line highlights are applied to prominent edges. Models are often described as ‘popping’ or ‘standing out’ at this level.

You may either upgrade your Standard Basing to Wilderness basing, or select any one Effect or Embellishments listed below.


Gold is a High Quality level, intended for special characters and upscale collections. At Gold level we begin to incorporate advanced tools and techniques. and it should be immediately evident these models were painted by an experienced painter.

As with figures painted at lower levels, the figure is primed and base coated by airbrush. The pre-shade is carefully modulated to enrich contrast and emphasize shadow, resulting in extremely realistic transitions, distinct values, and smooth blends. Most fine details are picked out and edge highlights are applied to prominent areas.

Painting errors will be uncommon and only discernible under scrutiny.

You may either upgrade your Standard Basing by two tiers, or select up to two Effects or Embellishments listed below, in any combination (for example, upgrade basing by one tier and one effect).


Platinum is what many consider to be ‘Pro-Painted’ or display quality, and represents some of the finest work we do in studio.

Platinum is intended for centerpiece figures that see limited life on the tabletop. At this level our artists begin applying advanced art theory in order to make your miniature really stand out. Shadows and highlights are built up from complimentary colors; warm and cool colors are used in balance to create visual interest; the result being rich colors, blended with precision and care.

Painting errors will be very rare and only discernible under intense scrutiny.

You may either upgrade your Standard Basing by three tiers, or select up to three Effects or Embellishments listed below, in any combination.


Diamond is our Exalted Level and is best suited for showcase only models. These are collector’s pieces, intended to rival those of competition winners and not intended for game play. It is ideal for busts and dioramas.

Turnaround is slow, but the results are well worth the wait. Models of this level are treated as an artistic medium to convey an overall impression. A narrative backstory is often woven into the piece to increase the viewers understanding of it. Intimate details are readily apparent at this level.

Visually we approach color as a tool to bring out shape, definition, and environmental setting. Special attention to paid to not only value and contrast, but color modulation and temperature transition. All of this achieves one goal – to identify the visual point of view of the piece. Put simply, at Diamond level your miniature is a canvas for the artist who works with you very closely on this one of a kind model.

We use all the techniques outlined above, however, even more time is dedicated to detail and technique. Layers are blended seamlessly. Every detail is lavished and embellished. Painting errors will be very rare and only discernible under extreme scrutiny.

You may either upgrade your Standard Basing by four tiers, or select any number of Effects or Embellishments listed below, in any combination.

Diamond level pricing available upon request, but starts at $1,000.

Kingdom Death White Lion, Gold Level

White and Yellow

For models that are primarily White or Yellow we require that these figures be commissioned at Electrum level or higher.

This is due to the difficulties in layering and building bright, vibrant layers when it comes to these colors.

A New Client’s Glossary to Painter’s Jargon

Confused by some of the the lingo on the site? Here are a few of the more commonly used terms and what we mean by them.

Zenithal (i.e., Highlighting)

A top down highlight generally meant to mimic sunlight.

Pre-Shading / Values

Values refers to clearly establishing which areas of the model should be light or dark.

Pre-shading is a technique used to achieve this and separates our service from others in terms of turnaround speed and quality. Even low level models
look great and will convey depth through their basecoat.

Think of it like painting in black and white; when color is later applied this will result in very rich shadows and well defined highlights.


When we say ‘defining shapes’ what we mean is we are emphasizing a part of the model by outlining it’s area, generally by successive highlights.


Applying a contrasting color from beneath a model. For example, undershadowing a warm color over cold skintones, etc.


Contrast generally refers to opposites and using them to create interest and help parts of the model stand out more. Often contrast refers to light and dark, but it can also pertain to complimentary colors, such as purple and orange.


Each time we apply a paint to a model, whether by brush or airbrush, wash or glaze, we consider this a layer. For example, if we basecoat a model, then wash and highlight it, that’s three layers.

Details (Major, Minor, Fine, Intimate)
  • Major – Prominent areas of the model, noticed at first glance, such as armor, weapons, flesh, and clothing.
  • Minor – Parts of the model noticeable at closer inspection; teeth and claws, belts, straps, and pouches.
  • Fine Details – Parts of the model evident under scrutiny; buttons and rivets, belt buckles, locks of hair, muscle sinew, eye color.
  • Intimate Details – Parts of the model discovered under extreme scrutiny. For example, gems in a crown, scars, buttons on a console, etc.


All models are matte varnished to provide protection from chipping and abrasion. It also reduces sheen left behind from glazes and washes.

In some cases, figures are double varnished (first with gloss to increase contrast, then matte) for added protection. In the case of figures prone to chipping, such as pewter, models are always double varnished to add increased protection.

If you prefer another type of finish, such as Satin, let us know.

Prices Are Estimates Only

Painting thousands of miniatures each year we have learned there is no such thing as a ‘flat rate’ when it comes to painting miniatures. As such, this rate guide is meant to serve as a general estimator only.

Our pricing structure is based on how complicated a model is to both assemble and paint. Larger, more complex models to build or more complicated color schemes require more time to paint and thus cost more. We time nearly every miniature we build or paint, from start to finish. The time invested into like figures is multiplied by our studio rate to get a projected fee. For new figures, prices are projected from previously models of similar size, scope, and detail level until we have a chance to work with the actual figure, after which the price will be adjusted.

Pricing will vary greatly from figure to figure (even those in the same category) and may change over time. Models which have a level of assembly uncharacteristic for a model of their size/scale (such as Tamiya kits), or which are exceptionally detailed and time consuming to paint, will be priced accordingly and at a higher rate than normal for a model of their size.

For models in other scales, such as 6 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, etc. (for example, Battlefleet Gothic, and Dropzone Commander, to name just a few), or unusual pricing requests (such as Hummel figurines, Diecast Car repaints, etc.), contact us for a customized quote.

For a more detailed explanation of our assembly process, click here.

Board Game / Most RPG Figures

For pricing purposes, we consider Board Game and RPG figures as solid cast figures with little to no assembly required.

For example, Zombicide would qualify but Kingdom Death would not. (Kingdom Death will soon have its own pricing page, but until then, fill out the Quote Request Form for a personalized estimate.)

For RPG figures that are not solid cast, see our Characters and Heroes chart below.

Diamond level pricing available upon request.

Board Game / Most RPG Figures
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssembly*SilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
25 mm Tiny/Small Monsters$1$20$30$40$60
25 mm Medium Monsters$1$30$45$60$100
25 mm Characters$1–3$40$50$100$200
40 mm Large Monsters$3–5$35$50$85$115
50 mm Giant Monsters$3–5$50$70$115$200
60 mm Huge Monsters$10–15$85$110$200$300
80 mm Massive Monsters$15–20$150$175$300$400
120 mm Gargantuan Monsters$25$175$200$325$500
Colossal Monsters$50–250$200$300$500$800

*For solid cast models or those with minimal assembly required, assembly costs cover cleaning mold lines, washing to remove mold release agents, and some assembly when required.

Wargaming / Other RPG Figures

Diamond level pricing available upon request.

Infantry, Veterans, and Special Agents*
Special Agents are like Minor or Upgraded Characters (Longstrike, Pask, etc.)
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
20 mm Small Infantry$5$20$30$40$80
25–32 mm Basic Infantry$10$20$30$40$80
25–32 mm Veterans$10$30$40$60$80
25–32 mm Special Agents$15$35$50$75$100
40–50 mm 'Large' Infantry / Jump Infantry$15$25$35$45$100
40–50 mm 'Large' Veterans or Jump Infantry Veterans / Special Agents$15$35$45$55$100

*Veteran refers to figures with a greater than average level of detail for a model of their type. For example, a Blood Angels Tactical Marine has a level of detail commiserate with a Sternguard (and other veterans), despite their rank/status difference in game. Therefore we consider them a ‘Veteran’ for the sake of painting only.

Mortaraion, Gold Level Gargantuan Character
Mazdamundi, Gold Level Character on Monstrous Mount

Characters and Heroes

Characters and Heroes
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
20 mm Character Infantry$15$40$50$100$200
25–32 mm Character Infantry$15$40$50$100$200
20–40 mm Battle Standard Bearer on foot$20$50$65$115$225
40 mm ‘Large’ Character Infantry
(Saint Celestine)
50 mm ‘Oni’ Characters$25$75$100$155$275
20–40 mm Character on Cavalry/Mount, Monster Hero$35$50$75$125$200
20–40 mm Character on Large Cavalry$40$75$100$150$225
20–40 mm Character on Heavy Cavalry (Lord Kroak, Epidymius) on 60 mm base$50$100$150$200$225
20–40 mm Character on 80–120 mm Monstrous Mount
(dragons, manticores)
Gargantuan Character on 80–130 mm base
(Nagash, Magnus the Red)
20–40 mm Character on 160–170 mm Gargantuan Mount
(Alarielle, Archaeon Everchosen)
Weapon Teams and Artillery
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
Heavy Weapons Teams
(assumes 1–2 crew, 40–60 mm base and weapon platform)
Artillery/Siege Engines
(assumes 3–4 crew and bases larger than 60 mm, if at all)
Cavalry, Bikes, and Jetbikes
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
40 mm ‘Small’ Cavalry
(bikes, horses)
50 mm ‘Large’ Cavalry
(jetbikes, most warmahordes cavalry)
60 mm ‘Monstrous’ Cavalry
(skullcrushers, thunderwolves, etc.)
Beasts and Swarms
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
20 mm Tiny/Small Monsters$5$20$30$40$60
30 mm Swarms$10$25$40$60$75
25–30 mm Medium Monsters$15$30$45$60$100
40 mm Large Monsters/Large Swarms$25$35$50$85$115
50 mm Giant Monsters$30$50$70$115$200
60 mm Huge Monsters$75$85$110$200$300
80 mm Massive Monsters$100$150$175$300$400
120 mm Gargantuan Monsters$125$175$200$325$500
160 mm Enormous Monsters$150$200$225$350$600
Walkers and Monsters
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
30–40 mm Little Monsters
(tyranid warriors, ogryn, light warjacks)
40 mm ‘Oni’ Elite Monsters$30$40$50$70$115
50 mm Little Walkers
(centurions, warwalkers, canoptek wraiths)
50 mm Elite Monsters/Walkers
(tyranid prime, named character warjacks)
60 mm Big Monsters/Walkers
(dreadnoughts, carnifexes, sentinels)
60 mm Elite Monsters/Walkers
(Bjorn, Swarmlord, leviathan dread)
80 mm Round/105 mm Oval ‘Huge’ Monsters/Walkers
(Ghostkeel, Celestant Prime)
120 mm Oval ‘Giant’ Monsters’/Walkers
(trygon, riptide, bloodthirsters, soulgrinders, triarch stalker)
Enormous and Demonic Walkers
(soulgrinders, plague hulk, triarch stalker)
160 mm ‘Mini-Titans’
(Ta’unar, Acastus Knights, Stompas, Brass Scorpions)
170 mm Oval ‘Kaiju’*
(Imperial Knights, Nagash, Wraithknights)

*Price does not include magnetization.


Skimmers and Flyers

If you commission a flyer, be sure to specify your landing gear up or down, and if you’d like your canopy painted, tinted, or clear!

Skimmers and Flyers
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
Small 'Skirmish/Scout' Vehicles
(chariots, catacomb barge, vypers)
Transports and Medium Skimmers
(wave serpents, devilfish, drop pods)
Most Flyers and Elite Skimmers
(fire prism, heldrakes, stormtalons)
Large 'Flying Fortresses'
Superheavy Flyers
(stormraptor/eagle, Tigershark)
Massive Flyers
(Thunderhawk Gunship)
Colossal Flyers
(Tau Manta)
Exposed Crew*$10$20$30$40$80

*Exposed crew refers to the visible crew members on any particular vehicle. One crew member (typically the driver) is included, but other crew are full price for a like model. For example, an Ork trukk has 2 default crew (gunner/driver), whilst a Dark Eldar Raider has multiple crew. For painted canopies, there is no discount for not painting the crew.

Tanks and War Machines
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
Small 'Skirmish/Scout' Vehicles
(ork buggies, rhinos)
Medium 'Assault' Vehicles
(predators, ork trukks, wave serpents)
Large 'Mobile Fortress' Vehicles
(battlewagons, landraiders)
Exposed Crew*$10$20$30$40$80

*Exposed crew refers to the visible crew members on any particular vehicle. One crew member (typically the driver) is included, but other crew are full price for a like model. For example, an Ork trukk has 2 default crew (gunner/driver), whilst a Dark Eldar Raider has multiple crew. For painted canopies, there is no discount for not painting the crew.

Basing is not included with titan prices and varies based on size, scale, and scope.
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
Scout Titans 8–10”
(Warhounds, Revenants)
Battle Titans 11–18”
(Reavers, Phantoms, Great Gargant)
Warlord Titans 18–24”
(Warlord, Tau Manta, Mega Gargant)

Terrain / Fortifications / Scenery
Applies to sprue/kit terrain only. For custom terrain, contact us for a custom quote!

Terrain Tiles (Realm of Battle)
Terrain / Fortifications / Scenery
Applies to sprue/kit terrain only. For custom terrain, contact us for a custom quote!
Model Size / Descriptor / Detail LevelAssemblySilverElectrumGoldPlatinum
Small Terrain
(Aegis lines, etc.)
Medium Terrain
(single room structures, arcane fulcrums, weapon emplacements/batteries, etc.)
Large Terrain
(Bastion sized, Forests, Garden of Morr, Landing Pad, etc.)
Fortress / Manor Sized
(Fortress Redemption, Witchfate Tor, Skullvane Manse, Fortress of Redemption, etc.)
Game Boards / Tiles$100per2' x 2'tilesection


Tables last updated: December 27, 2017. Pricing tables subject to change without notice.


As this Lizardman advances in levels, his gear, and even his animal companion, advances with him!
As this Lizardman advances in levels, his gear, and even his animal companion, advances with him!

Epic Character Progression

As your character advances in levels and gains prestige, so should your mini reflect these changes.

Commission a new EPIC version of a character you previously commissioned and we’ll knock 10% off labor on the new model!

We can even convert the figure to reflect newly acquired gear, animal companions, or familiars!

Painting Only / Already Assembled

We understand that some clients would prefer to assemble their own models. For the purpose of ‘painting only’ quotes, assembly charges are simply omitted.

Matching Another Painter or Services Work

We are sometimes asked to match another painter’s style of painting, essentially reverse engineering a figure or unit. While we are happy to attempt to match another painter’s work and have had great success in this area, there is no guarantee. Colors may look differently on a video or photo than they do in real life, and some paints go out of production. We can do our best, but if you really like another painter’s work, we suggest contracting a model through that service.

3D Printed Parts/Figures Disclaimer

Low resolution 3D printed figures often have a ‘gritty’ surface texture, which makes achieving high end finishes on these figures practically impossible.

As a rule of thumb, the more you pay for your 3D printed figure, the higher the level of detail we can achieve.

Touch Ups for Life

As your drag your models around to game stores, conventions, and local events it’s inevitable that some of them will chip or get damaged in transit. No amount of varnish can guarantee protection for life. Fortunately, you are welcome to send them back to us as often as needed for touch ups.

Currently, there is no fee for this . . . not even return shipping! We do ask as a gesture of continued patronage for you to add a few models to your order. Our suggested minimum is $250, which could be a new unit, a new tank, a piece of terrain, or mix it up.

We also ask that you ship the models to us with the same care that we shipped them to you. Review our shipping guidelines to see how we ship and then try your best to emulate the method to ensure models show up with as little damage as possible.

If models are damaged to the point that touch ups are impractical, and it would make more sense to repaint the figure entirely, we’ll offer you a 10% discount on repainting the figure to any level you like. Be sure to check out our Restoration and Refurbishment services.


Infinity Addendum

Infinity Figures are a bit of a special case. They demand a great attention to detail because of the aesthetic of the game.

As such, Gold is the lowest level we recommend for figures of this caliber. Put another way, Gold is like a Tabletop Level for Infinity, and Platinum is like Tabletop Plus!

Effects and Embellishments

Even painting levels don’t cover all the painting basics! Painting levels refer to the quality of the paint job and attention to detail, where as Effects and Embellishments refer to technical aspects of painting, such as weathering, cinematic effects, and blood/gore.

You qualify for FREE Effects/Embellishments based on the painting level you select:

  • Electrum: 1 free effect/embellishment
  • Gold: 2 free effects/embellishments
  • Platinum: 3 free effects/embellishments
  • Diamond: Unlimited free effects/embellishments

Gore & Splatter

Rotten to the Core

bloody-sample-1 Lots of blood!

A gory mess!

Great for Chaos, Zombies, and the like.
Open sores and pustules, weeping wounds and spilling entrails, etc.

Rusty, disregarded weapons, etc.



Weathered or Rusty

Tons of OSL (object source lighting).

We look for places to put lightning or sparks, the glow of fire, lava, or plasma, even radioactive!

Dirt/grime/mud on boots/treads/tires.

Tarnish such as rust, oxidation/patina.

Chipped or cracked armor/metal plating, etc.




Heat damage (weapon barrels), Melta Damage, Acid Damage, bullet holes, etc. frozen-sample

We put snow and ice everywhere.

Hanging off gun barrels or vehicle bumpers, snow packed on vehicle panels, and lots of snowy/ice bases to match!


Cinematic Action “Hollywood Style”

Iridescent/Color Shifting Paint

Focus on action, tons of muzzle blasts and explosions, etc.

We traditionally use Armorcast Cinematic Effects for these conversions.

Prices listed DO NOT include the cost of the actual cinematic effects materials; only the cost to paint.

Iridescence is a color shifting property achieved by using special metallic pigments and iridescent mediums.

Great for metallic models such as Convergence of of Cyriss, Necrons, and vehicles!

Great for oozes, slimes, and chitin!


Pricing for these sorts of effects is based on the relative size of the model. If you want extra embellishments, for example two at Electrum level, these are our general prices:

20–28 mm figures and equivalent size 40–50 mm figures and equivalent size 60–75 mm figures and equivalent size 100–170 mm figures and equivalent size
Effect Cost $3.00/model $5.00/model $8.00/model $10.00/model

Free Hand

WMG quotes free hand technique (such as custom banners, etc.) on a case by case basis.

Here are some common requests and previous examples:

Banner/Standard $75
(character names, etc.)
Freehand Details
(pictures, symbols)
Knight Shoulder Pauldron $100–150 each


Themes refer to the style of painting, versus the level. It refers more to color choice and emphasis than detail level or technique. For example, ‘Blue Willow’ was a popular style of painting, where painters utilized a mostly blue palette to achieve a desired look.

Generally it doesn’t cost anything extra to ‘theme’ an army, but it may affect how we quote your project, so let us know if you’d like to theme your army so that we can quote appropriately.


Many game manufacturers sell pre-painted miniatures. Good examples of this include Dust Tactics, the X-Wing Game by Fantasy Flight Games, and Pathfinder Battles.

Repaints are generally about 25% cheaper than our traditional painting rate since the figures are preassembled and primed for painting. Models can optionally be rebased to help them stand out even more (some fees will apply).

For games in a different or unusual scale, such as the X-Wing Miniatures Game, the chart below summarizes our repainting rates. Detail level is commiserate with the original model, but can include a few extra details such as carbon scoring, OSL, etc.

X-Wing Repaints
Ship Size Sample Model Price
Starfighters X-Wing/TIE Fighter $25.00
Small Freighters Millennium Falcon / Slave I $50.00
Large Frieghter Hounds Tooth $75.00
Cruisers Rebel Transport $100.00
Capital Ships Rebel Blockade Runner $175.00