Are you swamped with primed plastic minis? Do you have shelves filled with beautifully modeled minis just screaming for a drop of color? Do you break out in a cold sweat, and convulse of the floor at the very thought of washing and highlighting the mass of plastic sitting in your foam case? If this is, in fact, the situation then maybe I can help. Lets start by not getting our hopes too high. I think that would be better for everyone involved.
First. A word about where I stand. I own many Warhammer 40k and Fantasy Battle Armies. I currently own Necrons (Painted), Chaos Marines (Painted), Ultra Marines (Mostly Painted ~90%), and Orks (about half painted). On the Fantasy side I have Warriors of Chaos (They were painted 15 years ago, I'm currently replacing old models with new hotness), and Ogre Kingdoms (Jackie is painting... Someday). I have had an Orc and Goblin army which was fully painted and based when I sold it. I also had a Dark Elf army and Imperial Guard, both painted before I got rid of them.
My current policy is to never, NEVER sell an army. I wish this had been my policy forever as I would still have some sweet armies to play games. Oh well.
I have painted hundreds, maybe over a thousand models. I will never win a painting award. Will not happen. That being said, I think I'm fairly good. My models are shaded, highlighted, and based. I would say I'm high-middle tier at most events. Like I said, I wont ever win an award, but I like to think that my models add to a gaming table rather than take away from one. What I'm saying here is that anyone who has put the time into painting, basing, and building movement trays knows that it takes just a little away from the game when you're playing an army full of proxy pieces, black primer, and trays that don't fit.
If you happen to be 'That Guy' understand that it's your prerogative. It's your time, your money, and in the end your decision on what your happy putting on the board. Its a question motivation. If its important to us, we find a way to make it happen.
Now, a few tips to get you moving. First, and this is important: Models never unpaint themselves. I have 180 Ork Slugga Boyz, and 80 Ork Shoota Boyz. How did I get these painted? One at a time. Guess what? Eventually they get done. You just have to put the ass in the chair and the brush to the mini. Make it a point to paint SOMTHING everyday. I'll join you in this endeavor. I have a lot more to do with my Ork army, as well as Warriors of Chaos.
Next. If you're looking at a lot of unpainted minis, or about to begin collecting a new army... consider dipping. Most experienced painters will scoff at this, and in their defense a dipped mini wont hold up to a nicely painted mini at close inspection. However, a dipped army does not look inferior to a hand painted army at table level. Don't know about dipping? Watch here:
Now, this is using Army Painters Quickshade. I have in my possession Minwax Polyshades. It's about a third the cost of the Army Painter shade and its exactly the same stuff. Go to Lowes, Homedepot, or any local hardware that sells wood stain. Make sure that you get their dark stain, tudor, or walnut. You will also want a can of Testors Dull coat to remove the shine from the minis.
Another good way to trim some of the time out of painting minis and still get solid results. (We are doing this for Jackies Ogre Kingdoms project) Get yourself some Army Painter colored primer. In this case I firmly believe the Army Painter product is the way to go. For Ogre Kingdoms we got Barbarian flesh, and we are priming the entire model. Painting painting paints, boots, weapons, and hair... then using washes to add shading.
Now while you're painting you may want to enjoy a few podcasts dedicated to the hobby. A few of my personal favorites are Garagehammer, Ohio Hammer, and The Painting Tabled. The last one, you guessed it, deals very directly with the subject at hand.
Whats this? You suck at painting so you just don't do it? Well, in this case you will always suck. Frankly painting is indeed something that some people are just really good at doing, while the rest of us have had to practice. Like I said earlier, its all about putting the ass in the seat. Most everyone sucks at first, and if you never do it, you wont ever get better.
Now, go get yourself a good set of brushes. Again I'll point you to Army Painter. They have a 3 pack of very good brushes for about $16. A fine detail, 'Standard', and drybrush. Citidel also makes good brushes. Just make sure that your brush comes to a point. No matter what size it is it should come to a nice point.
I tend to use Citidel paints, as these are just the paints I have always used. I understand that Reaper paints are very good. I know that they come in a dropper which I find interesting. I actually am thinking of picking up a set here in the next few months and trying them out.
Alright, in closing. Just do us all a favor and paint your stupid miniatures. Don't hire it out. Don't slack off... you spend a lot of money on these things, paint them! Do us all a favor already!