I will come right out and state that I mean no offence to anyone regardless of their skill set with this post, it is just an opinion that I have been discussing with my good friend Kevin and wondered if we were alone in this train of thought.
The whole debate centers around E Bay, yes that in itself is like Marmite for a lot of people, but I use it and am happy to continue to do so. You see being a wargamer and full time figure painter, there are great world wide opportunities to add figures to our collections using the mechanics of E Bay. Of course you need to avoid the Chinese / Hong Kong sellers who cast their own fake figures denying the real manufacturer of his income unless you have no issue regarding copyrights, slave labour, etc (but that is another debate entirely).
During our conversation, we discussed the PRO Painted tag you see slapped on pretty much everything. This made the debate much livelier as we shared the same sort of theory on this. You see what does pro painted actually mean. To me it is nothing, it means the person is trying to cash in using a tag to highlight the auction, it carries no guarantee of skill or quality. All it means is the person is either trying to paint full time to earn an income, or part time to earn extra cash and nothing more.
Now I may have this perception because I do paint for a living and find it hard to make a purchase of figures that I find wanting in many ways. That is possibly the perfectionist in me or is it the fact the word Pro which as we all know means professional or a bit of both. For me its a bit of both you see I can paint to a reasonable standard and if I am painting something to sell then I try to make it look the best I can, after all I do it to earn a living. So why do I see sellers using the Pro painted tag differently, well one scout through Ebay and it becomes obvious, battalions of 28mm figures all with distinctly Marty Feldman eyes, Horses that look as if they have just had an unexpected enema due to having human eyes painted on. Badly block painted figures that have clearly been shown a 4 inch decorators brush and based with a pile of flourescent green sawdust need I go on!!
What this actually does is make the task of sorting the wheat from the chaff much harder as there are many genuine hard working full time painters, whose work is lumped in with the I think I can paint auctions. Obviously there is no quick fix to this issue and I am merely venting a thought here. But why paint eyes if you cant do them, it only negates the figure and devalues it in my opinion. If you are proud of your work and it is of a good standard why no decent pictures, using the hubble telescope to take a picture from 30 feet away on a 15mm mini is not going to get me buying. I want to see the figures.
I have never used the tag Pro Painted in anything I have sold, simply because of the aforementioned issues and fortunately I sell most of my figures offered up for sale and they go world wide, so do people in general avoid anything that is Pro painted or are they like me and Kevin who spend a lot of time sorting good from acceptable to down right bad when they use E Bay.
Of course you could also argue that our standards are to high and we view it with an artists eye, rather than a gamers eye. This is highly possible I know I am a bit of a perfectionist, and living with a twisted head it could possibly be an issue that relates solely to me. Now in closing I dont mind people using the tag at all and could not stop people anyway. I just thought it would create some healthy debate on here.
Now because every post needs a little bit of eye candy here is my latest Napoleonic unit that is currently on E Bay.