OOP Rare & Pro-Painted GW Miniatures

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There it is, after looking for ages you've just seen the perfect mini to be your new general, the picture's a bit blurry but he's OOP, Rare & Pro-Painted, he's got to be good hasn't he! ... hasn't he?

Well maybe not. Sadly these terms are bent or abused on a disappointingly regular basis and sometimes sellers just lie. This is a quick run down of what the three terms mean and how to avoid getting caught out.

OOP means out of production. As long as the seller isn't lying  it should be simple enough really, the trouble is OOP seems to imply all sorts of extra thing which it doesn't actually say like 'rare' or 'valuable'. Sometimes of course OOP models are rare and that makes them expensive, more often though it means that they are no longer the latest thing and are in fact as common as muck. If you're unsure about the seller or the item first check the Games Workshop website to make sure they're not still making it; their specialist games corner holds quite a few surprises, as does their 'collectors' section and old models can still be found in the regular army sections too. There is nothing wrong with a seller listing an item as OOP aslong as it is, just make sure you, the buyer, read it for what it truly means.

Rare is a bit harder to define. With OOP it's a simple statement about whether GW still make the mini or not, 'rare' is not so black or white. In general most people would say it is fair to describe a model as 'rare' if its scarcity is a significant factor in its price ie it's difficult to find and that makes it worth more. Typically this only applies to games day models or other highly limited run pieces such as old board game minis which were only made for a limited time and sold limited numbers. The actual value can only be found out by checking the completed listings. Remember if you search Ebay listings you will find what people ask for items, only by searching completed listing will you find out how much items actually go for. 

Pro-Painted is one of the most blatant lies told on Ebay but luckily it is very easy to prove true or false, it may come as a shock to some people but this term does not tell us anything about the model at all. What it actually tells us is that the person who painted the model is a professional painter. A professional is not just someone who 'does stuff for money' (although that's a part of it) but someone who has a high standard of skill & knowledge, a demonstrable track record and a sound understanding of the ethics and practices of their profession. Let's start with the basics then, ninety nine times out of one hundred such a person would have a name, a business address and a website, if you're unsure about a 'pro-painted' mini simply ask the seller who painted it and how you can verify that it is their work. If it turns out that actually it is something the seller knocked up himself a few years ago in his garage then unfortunately, however good they might think it is, it is not pro-painted and you run the risk that it was in fact painted by an Orc wielding a "Mop {cursed} (-3  Dex)".

So let's say it passes the test, its pro-painted, is it good? Maybe, check the photos. Professional painters turn models of varying quality depending on what they were commissioned to do. The basic standard is typically referred to as 'tabletop' standard which means a model which will look good on a tabletop among a horde of other models. The occasional model such as the general will be done to a 'display' standard, the idea being that if you took these out from the multitude and stuck them on a plinth and stared at it then it they still look good. The quality of the models will ultimately depend on the skill of the painter and the budget of whoever originally commissioned them. 

If in doubt pester the seller for more pictures, ask questions and always check the completed listings to make sure you're not paying over the odds, if in doubt don't bid on an item if you think you might be paying too much for it or if the seller is a suspicious character. This is Ebay; things will always come around again.


It might be my imagination however an increasing number of people who should know better are now listing items as 'Rare OOP' when they are still available from GW and in many cases asking in excess of twice the retail price in the hope that someone will be trusting enough not to check. I just had a quick scoot over the first page of Mordheim completed listings and in excess of 1 in 5 were incorrectly listed as OOP with a number selling for well over retail.

Please be aware that GW still cast and sell large numbers of models from the following games:

Battlefleet Gothic*
Blood Bowl

*available from both GW and Forgeworld

There are a number of models for these games which are genuinely OOP and quite sought after but there seems to be a widely held assumption that these games and all of their components are no longer manufactured; this is not the case. Additionally GW still produce some Dogs of War units and some of the older characters, units and monsters are available as 'collectors' pieces from various different parts of their website or on limited release.

Most traders on ebay are both informed and honest (in my experience anyway) but to guard yourself against the occasional dishonest or misinformed seller please always check the availability and retail cost before bidding even if the seller seems like they should know what they're talking about.

Any sellers reading this please bear in mind that 'OOP' means 'Out Of Production' as in 'Not Made Any More'. It does not mean 'sold on a different part of the website' or 'packaged in a different box'.
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