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Author Topic: Second hand miniatures  (Read 3614 times)

Offline Soju

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Second hand miniatures
« on: June 17, 2007, 04:57:55 AM »
We've all been there... we've always wanted those archaic pieces of metal that was once the glorious heroes of the tabletop!

With the advent discovery of the inter-web and the all amazing science of international shipping, now we have access to those old and dusty warriors...

But not all trades go well, and indeed some have been somewhat 'ripped off' for various reasons, such as steep prices, oil paint being used (making stripping a pain), wrong miniatures are sent... and above all else, they've been CONVERTED (to a low quality).


This thread is about those woeful days, when you opened the package and saw that what you got was absolutely crap! It is also about people you see on ebay or any other place on the internet that ... some what sells things at ridiculously high prices for something that is rare, but overly 'ridiculous'.

Mods; if this is not within rules (because it does technically deal with prices of GW miniatures) please shut it down.

Members; please participate with good heart, we're not IMO here to judge those people selling things at bra-diculous prices; rather... just mention the fact that there are things like that, and it's ridiculous (word of the day). So that this can be a reference for first time buyers of second hand miniatures; we can analyse the auction but let's not all shout "oh he's a jerk!"

So just to start it off, here's my 'holy crap I can't believe he's selling that at that price' auction.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Gaming/War-games/Other/auction-105000831.htm


Okay... so for 300 bucks, I'm supposed to get 41 miniatures...
That's around $7.30 each! No way that that's worth the 'buy now' price... but who knows what the reserve is...
I would like to compare this with another deal I actually bought;
40 1st Maurauder figs of the Imperial Dwarfs and Dwarf heroes.
2 of the same era Dwarf cannons.
All for, ... $70.00 NZD... that's already 60 cents a figure!
Okay two extremes, but what do you all think of it? The Halfling auction seems wayyy too steep atm to buy now. What is your appropriate price for it? I think anywhere between $80.00-$150.00 (NZD) is a reasonable price for those, because they are actually painted quite well - even though I'll probably strip'em. That way each mini will be somewhere between 1.90~3.60; I think that's an acceptable price range for some of the older mini's.

sj

p.s. this is my rough estimation of the different dollars and GBP's.
NZD : AUD = 1.20 : 1.00
NZD : GBP = 2.80 : 1.00 (I usually just triple it - interestingly, Euro is a bit similar)
NZD : USD = 1.50 : 1.00

Offline redjoey

  • Posts: 716
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2007, 04:03:23 PM »
I think models on ebay are up and down in price due to the nature of the site. Some people will put sky high prices on something because they think they can get the price and some people will bid on things that are so overpriced it makes you think what is going through that bidder's head.

The flipside to this is the low starting price. This encourages more bids from more people and normally makes items go at more than shop price, I find this really stupid.

I buy a lot of models on ebay, some for my army and some to paint and sell. I find the ones with the lower starting prices normally go for a lot more than those with high starting prices.

The thing is while people buy things they will continue to sell them at extortionate prices.

Ridiculous.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Offline Wyzer1

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2007, 09:08:23 PM »
My best deal was an Eldar army I bought. I purchased it for ~$350 on ebay.

I sold a lot of it for around 1/2 price of retail to friends (the models were mostly metal and unprimed) and the rest on ebay for over $600

I usually don't overpay, but sometimes I just want the model! I have got other good deals, but most I don't remember or weren't truly spectacular
Long time Wood Elf and Empire player with newly acquired High Elves

Offline Soju

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 12:02:20 AM »
@ redjoey - I buy a lot of mini's second hand too lol. I can't survive by buying from actual stores... I know what you mean in terms of the starting prices; the lows attract more buyers and the final price really isn't worth the mini (IMO anyway); where as reasonably high starting prices don't attract as many buyers at first, but can pick up because people take a closer look out of interest anyway. In the end, it depends IMO on the quality of the mini, as well as the person selling it - their background and their feedbacks are something that we should all carefully trawl through... also it doesn't hurt to be nice and polite lol.

I think the worst case scenario for me was when I kept on bidding on some Rogue Trader era Imperial Guardsmen models; there were about 10 men. But the other bidder kept on going, and in the end I paid about $60.00 NZD for them... oh the shame lol. Oh well, the RT commissar is too kool to pass up IMO.

Recently the best deal I've ever done was for $150.00 (NZD) get 3 boxes of Empire Men at Arms (the 6th edition) in MIB condition, the grail reliquae unit, extra individual character models (engineer, champion), extra pilgrims and a Bretonnian M@A boxed set MIB condition also. Of course the horror of that deal was that it took almost 12 weeks to get to NZ (damn this island nation) and in the end, the NZ couriers busted a hole in the box and I lost TWO shields! (yes two... lol).

@ Wyzer1 - I don't think I could ever buy an entire army... lol. My tiny 2 by 4 room will just suffocate me with miniatures, books and art supplies lol.

In terms of overpaying; it again depends on the mini that is being sold I guess. I bought a bits bag recently for about $12.00 (NZD) and it had so much stuff in it I couldn't believe my eyes. And they were all in neat condition, none of that painted over, plastic glue encrusted crap that you sometimes get - the worst ones being of course the models that have been flocked up to their knees... I mean, what the?!

Also the sweet deal that I got from one of the forum boards for the griffin general - omg man... it didn't have it's box, but it was never touched. And it wasn't expensive at all. I can't remember now... but I knew it was defintely below $50 or $40 NZD

So errr... yeah... people should be going into these deals with their eyes and ears all on super sensitive mode...

sj

Offline Fafnir

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 10:45:25 AM »
I also buy many miniatures on e-bay, and I have the added challenge of beating fellow buyers who pay significantly less in P&P, since the seller must ship oversees to me. My solution has been to buy poorly-painted, disassembled miniatures (I only buy metal) that I later strip - they go for considerably less than the decently-painted ones. Another trick has been to buy in batches; sellers posting a large batch of different miniatures (all Empire of course) tend to attract fewer bids, because many buyers only bid on listings containing exactly what they are after. The result is often that I pay less for ten halberdiers and half a dozen handgunners than I would for just the ten halberdiers.

One thing I have noticed though is that new, unopened boxes have reached starting prices so high, I can buy them for less at an online store.
EDIT: see Africa for more examples ...

Offline Soju

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 12:09:58 PM »
I know what you mean, in terms of buying batches, I learnt a similar (if not the same) trick from my boss who owned a relatively successful liquor store in our neighborhood (I say 'relatively' because after he opened up, another half a dozen shops opened up on the same long road...)

Anyways, he called it long term investment buys. lol a long name that 'batch purchase' seems infinitely better.

But the principle is the same, buy things from one seller in large numbers, because if you calculate the total price of the large batch, and compare it to the specific component/unit that you want, then technically you grab a tonne of extra stuff at cheap price... whether or not you NEED it or not doesn't matter. Just sell it off later.

New 7th boxes getting more expensive? Hmmm that is quite the oddity...

sj

Offline redjoey

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 12:43:54 PM »
But the principle is the same, buy things from one seller in large numbers, because if you calculate the total price of the large batch, and compare it to the specific component/unit that you want, then technically you grab a tonne of extra stuff at cheap price... whether or not you NEED it or not doesn't matter. Just sell it off later.

Like buying two old Steam tanks for 12, keeping one and selling the other a week later on ebay for 18? Effectively I got paid 6 to have a steam tank in my army.

Postage can be a killer. I have been looking at some Reaper minis that I can only get from America. The models are dirt cheap normally going for 2-3. The postage for some of the sellers goes up to 15!!!! How expensive can it be to send a blister pack in the post?
I disagree with this kind of price hiking because I managed to send a large package containing lots of old 40k stuff including tanks, metals, plastics and bits to America for 15. Crazy. And I am going to be charged the same for a single blister?

Like I said in my first post I paint some up and put them back on. I have found two good times to sell painted minis.
First, when GW have just released a new book. Never fails, people will pay over the odds for painted mini of their new army.
Second, when there is a tournament going on. I have had two of my minis used in tournaments. I have had a Spellsinger in a French tournament and a Strigoi playing away in an American one.

I have also found that the smaller the mini the higher price it will go through. I have had problems getting rid of larger minis like Ogres and Ogryns but smaller ones like Spellsingers, Empire captains, etc. Get a bid on almost immediately.
I have never understood this logic as there is a higher mark up on price with the smaller minis.
It is nothing to do with postage as I try and keep my postage to what I will be paying to post.

A small tip for bidding.
When you have found something you want, think up the price you are willing to pay. To this, add 5 on top. This way you will never be outbid by 50pence on something and sat thinking if only I had put another bid in. You will be outbid by 5 at least, knowing you didn't want to go that high in the first place.
Sometimes you will win within your original budget, sometimes you will break into the 5 but still win.
Yes, it will cost you more than you wanted on the odd occasion but your buying will even itself back out.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Offline Phydox

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2007, 01:21:57 PM »
When I first started using ebay for stuff, it was almost a 2nd hand garage sale.  You could get stuff pretty cheap.  Now, you see more and more "How to" books/cds about selling on ebay, and all it did was push the baseline for what people pay higher.

I used to bid on stuff but what I found was:  I'd bid on an item, and when it finally got near to the closing, I'd end up stopping, because the price is almost what I would pay to the guy at the corner store giving me 20% off stuff-and no shipping.  So, I figure for the $5 more, I'd rather just support him and keep him in business. (So, I have a place to play).  Not only that, I know what I'm getting, and not getting mislabled crap.

I look at ebay but only for out of production stuff.
Gadzooks!!!  Release the Pigeon Bombs!

Offline wissenlander

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2007, 02:55:10 PM »
I ended up getting the NEB through e-bay.  I paid a few bucks cheaper in the end to what I would've had to have paid at my local store (that no longer has any WFB stuff).  I basically went to the pay now feature because I tried to bid twice on other books but the price kept getting bumped up.  In the end, the guys who bought them probably paidd close to if not more than what they would've spent at a store.
Me and Wissenlander had babies!

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finding photographic evidense that Wiss smiles is going to be hard...

Offline Rufas the Eccentric

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2007, 03:59:30 PM »
I'll admit, I'm a dinosaur*.  I don't buy much of anything on-line.  I prefer dealing with people face to face.  I did get a very nicely painted Ork Speed Freak army (at least 2000 pt.) at Historicon in Lancaster Pennsylvania.  Even though the convention was entirely related to historical gaming, there was a lot of Warhammer stuff at the garage sale.

* However, I am from the Cretaceous Period, unlike Midaski who hails from the Triassic period.  :engel:
Sigmar on a sling, the stuff some people come up with. . . .

Offline Soju

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2007, 08:32:05 PM »
@ redjoey - yah, post is the true crippling factor. Recently the NZ dollar has been strong, so I've experimented with shipping things in, and it's still so ridiculous, my wallet isn't the only thing that's bleeding and tearsing it. 15 pounds for shipping from America?! Gosh... that's like 40 bucks NZ!!! Like said before, I did shipping from America for 12 weeks, and that was around 20 dollars NZ... normal mail...

And yeap, gotta love investment buys! (ala 6 metal mini's for 10 bucks = sell each for five)
Strangely people on trademe have a tendency to demand that painted models be stripped... because painted models no matter what quality = bad. I don't get it. But that's the general trend I got from using the site.

Oh, and budget is very important in you not overbidding etc.  :mellow:

@ Phydox - I wish there was a local shop that I could get discount prices off... grargh, this place is too small to have any decent shops who aren't dying from strong NZ dollar lol (ahhh the irony - is that irony?).

@ wisselander - I buy my books from online too! Unless it's like the odd 'cameo' appearance I would like to make at the local GW store lol. "Oh hi guys... I'll just take the ... army battalion box thanks... ciaoo~~~".

@ Rufas - I'm not sure if we have those kinds of big meetings as often as the warhammer tournaments happen, but hmmm... it'd be nice to see some garage sale with warhammer stuff. Dinosaurs are kool. Enough said.

sj

Offline Fafnir

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2007, 02:24:04 PM »
Strangely people on trademe have a tendency to demand that painted models be stripped... because painted models no matter what quality = bad. I don't get it. But that's the general trend I got from using the site.

I don't think that's so strange - in fact, I agree with it. I buy second-hand miniatures because I use many old or oop ones or GW-online-only, but unpainted is always better than painted. It doesn't matter how well anything is painted; if they are to be in my army, I have to paint them. So painted miniatures equals the hassle of stripping them, regardless of quality.
EDIT: see Africa for more examples ...

Offline LochNESS

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2007, 04:25:26 PM »
2nd hand is just great. I've gotten loads of cheap minis from e-bay or other places. My complete metal (though unpainted) DoW army was less then 30% of the GW price these days. Some I might have to buy through mailorder as there are a couple of minis that tend to go for extreme prices but generally you can get minis very cheap. Like said, badly painted minis can be stripped (metal using paint thinner or other materials, plastics can be stripped with brakefluid) and repainted. Some stuff gets resold to gain some profits hehe :)
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Offline Finlay

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2007, 09:26:54 AM »
i think ridiculous postage is a standard for all internet sites. i bought a hockey glove once, postage was about 5 quid, it took over a week to arrive from when the money was taken from my account, and came in an a4 envelope, inside a sandwhich bag, with one first class stamp. probably cost them no more than a pound. bastards.

second hand is good, if you're patient. i have a nice captain on foot (i now have this model, an old metal greatsword i painted up and the new plastic captain on foot... too many!), and one of the old elector count models which i am going to use as my GotE on horse.

i had trouble buying 6th ed state troops though
I don't care about the rules.

Pass the machete.

Offline wissenlander

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2007, 02:24:21 PM »
I did get lucky with purchasing quite a few second hand minis at my local store, before they stopped dealing with Fantasy. :dry:  I ended up grabbing a Helblaster for like $5-10 and 30+ swordsmen for $25.  Half the models were put together, and quite poorly in some cases and there was a bad paintjob on the standard bearer, but for that amount of money it was worth it!
Me and Wissenlander had babies!

not together.

finding photographic evidense that Wiss smiles is going to be hard...

Offline Ross

  • Posts: 118
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2007, 02:18:50 PM »
just bought 15 puffy sleeves this morning for less than a fiver....god bless you ebay, my only hope for not buying into the pyjama revolution

unfortunately, lost out on 15 dwarfs by 20p in the last minute (3.20, why didn't i raise the bar when i had the chance). I've started buying the occasional discworld novel from ebay as well, due to there being a drought at charity shops, a gr8 resource 4 literature (got the complete hitchhikers guide to the galaxy for 25p the other day). With p&p, its a little more than i usually get them for (by 50p-1.50) but at least not the 6quid benchmark most bookstores ask.

Finally, the old wood elf army book was 1.50 inc p&p, so got that as a little present for my gf when i get back to our flat....who needs jewellery when you can have fluff. 2nd thoughts....mite have to get her a necklace as well.....maybe

Offline Soju

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2007, 03:48:03 AM »
I recently bought whole heap of old school Reiksguard knights... since they were caked in paint after the first stripping sessiobn, they need a second! That's possibly the most annoying thing about second hand mini, sometimes they're CAKED in paint. Literally 3-5 layers of paint... urgh.

Another thing that does tick me off are the people who sell brand new items at marginally cheaper prices... I konw in the end its cheap, but ultimately people are here to buy cheap stuff (like 40-50% of the original price sorta thing) not 5% or 10% sales... those are great, but in the end with postage it ruins the whole experience, you might as well have gone to GW or a hobby store and bought it from there...

Recently I picked up a VIP card at Vagabonds NZ. Atleast that'll insure me 15% discount off every model! But yeah... the thing that really ticks me off are people who think they're smart by selling things at 5-10% off but charge postage on top to regain their price... I've been eyeing out a box of bret knights... only $40.00 NZD (when store price is like $55.00) ... fifteen dollars is a lot of money... but I also want the trebuchet the same guy is selling at equally cheap price... oooo do I dare spend a 70 bucks on minis ... AS WELL as a new computer? lol...

sj

Offline redjoey

  • Posts: 716
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2007, 11:47:49 AM »
oooo do I dare spend a 70 bucks on minis ... AS WELL as a new computer? lol...

You can buy a new computer for $70? Will you get me one, I'll pay the postage  :icon_wink:

Yeah, I don't buy the 'buy it now and save 30 pence' items. I would rather take my chances and wait for somebody to be selling them for less unless I am buying multiple units from the same person so I can save a reasonable amount on postage.

Reaper minis.
I swear, I will end up being an ambassador for these guys. I love the minis and the prices, even at buy it now prices , are really cheap. I spent a few days sending messages to guys in America to find out postage costs. The lowest I got was $4.59 (about 2 and a bit) for a single model and the highest was about $24 (over 10). Madness.

So I have a new friend in America  :-)

This is the model I bought from him
http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/dwarvesu/14303_G
for a total cost of 4.65!!!!! That is less than going to GW and picking up the same kind of model.

This model is obviously not for my army (friends birthday coming up so buying and painting it for him) but the quality is top notch.

In case anybody is interested in buying Reaper minis on ebay may I suggest using markframpton. Cheap minis and a very reasonable postage cost.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Offline Soju

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2007, 12:19:24 PM »
LOL You could probably buy a cruddy typewriter style computer for 70 bucks that breaks as soon as you look at it!

It's gonna be costing me aroun 1500 buckaroos for an upgraded harddrive... since I like my 18" LCD Flat screen (why on earth would anyone need a flippin' 22" I don't really know lol - but I'm sure it'd be nice!)

Yeah... I do like Reaper mini's, they make nice lady models.

Same as the one that is linked via coolminiornot store. They have nice ladies too.

Because GW only released few good women miniatures, my personal favourite would be the Joan de Arc copy Bret special character, whom I also bought from trademe.com for... I think it was 20 dollars... not sure. But I knew it was a decent price for an OOP mini that I would die from ordering from GW HQ... and even then I don't think they have it in the online store.

But yeah, I keep coming back to postage... it's a real pain in the butt.

On the other hand, different miniatures are always nice too, since they are so brad-iculously cheap at times compared to the GW minis.

sj

Offline Phydox

  • Posts: 1097
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2007, 06:13:51 PM »
Reaper minis.
I swear, I will end up being an ambassador for these guys. I love the minis and the prices, even at buy it now prices , are really cheap.

Reaper does make very nice minis.  My only criticism is some are almost too busy.  I remember painting a female crossbowman that had so much detail, I spent more time figuring out what was what, then doing the actual paintjob.
Gadzooks!!!  Release the Pigeon Bombs!

Offline redjoey

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2007, 02:12:31 PM »
Reaper minis.
I swear, I will end up being an ambassador for these guys. I love the minis and the prices, even at buy it now prices , are really cheap.

Reaper does make very nice minis.  My only criticism is some are almost too busy.  I remember painting a female crossbowman that had so much detail, I spent more time figuring out what was what, then doing the actual paintjob.

Yes they do go OTT on the detail but I think this is why I like them so much. It gives a sense of depth to the character like he/she has brought some personal items or they have brought everything to get the job done. I think they make fantastic characters because they look so busy next to the normal troopers.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Offline Gargoyle

  • Posts: 902
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2007, 05:37:18 AM »
Has anybody noticed the number of 'dipped' armies that are creeping onto eBay?
Just recently I saw a dipped Lizard army from 'Ibisminiatures' with a starting price of 1000,00 pounds.
It's a quick way to make a lot of money out of existing miniatures.
Painting models by the 'dipping' method takes a fraction of the time that painting in a regular fashion takes and it has certain tell tale signs like the same pooling of woodstain at the bottom of spears or on the top of hammers etc.
It also lacks some of the colour detail that may not show up in photographs.

Watch out for armies that have a white undercoat and a dip (works really well with Tomb Kings), an entire unit of 20 models can take twenty minutes to paint, the end result is nice but it's cetainly not woirth a thousand British pounds (2 thousand American dollars).
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Offline redjoey

  • Posts: 716
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2007, 12:21:07 AM »
I've seen the dipped armies. There was an Empire one as well.

At a glance they looked ok but a bit off colour. With a closer look you could see they had been dipped.

I can't remember prices but I expect they made a fair profit on them.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Offline Soju

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Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2007, 01:38:57 AM »
Wow that's pretty smart.

I remembered this one guy painted like, a Scots themed army on our trading site (tradme) and it was the Empire models with kilts and such. And total up I don't think he sold it any higher than 150-200 dollars? It was I think, a battalion plus some other bits and pieces, but very very well painted. No dipping.

But yeah... that was my 2cent contribution to this convo. about dipped armies. LOL...

sj

Offline Phydox

  • Posts: 1097
Re: Second hand miniatures
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2007, 07:29:33 PM »
Someone posted a dipped Empire army on W-E (within the past month?) that was actually really nicely done.  I remember thinking "Damn, if i could dip like that, without ending up with thumbs that look like they've been somewhere they shouldn't have been, I'd give up painting and switch to dipping".

Then maybe I'd finish all those models up in my closet.
Gadzooks!!!  Release the Pigeon Bombs!