I think the secret is to find a niche in the market that there is some demand for, and I tend to make extensive use of washes which speeds up the process. This tends to make the figures look quite grubby, and combined with drybrushing they look dusty as well! This grotty realism seems to be all the rage at the moment, and although I prefer my own figures to be nice and bright and shiny, I find painting the grubby way much quicker and fairly therapeutic.
A slot I have thought about is painting Oldschool style traditional regiments for sale... Spencer Smith, Minifigs, Warrior etc..... what do you think? Nobody else seems to do this, but demand may be non existant.
We'll see how things go. I sold a few hundred quids worth last year, so I starting the new year with a plan to paint one month for sale, and one month for myself. So far this year, I have painted 8 Spartans, 6 Norman Cavalry, 14 ECW infantry, 12 Outlaws or rangers and 3 LOTR trolls! It is rather fun chopping and changing periods and keeps my interest up.
Pricing is a contentious issue... I wouldn't dream of buying prepainted figures myself, but then that is the best part of the hobby for me, gaming comes a long way second. For others the game is everything and there seem to be plenty of folk with no inclination or time to paint, but who want painted minis to play with. There are some stunning figures for sale on ebay...I was amazed to find one painter selling plenty of 28mm historical infantry miniatures at £60+ EACH. They were works of art, but even if I could paint that well, I'm not sure I could spend all that time on one figure without getting bored. It just shows there are plenty of punters who have funds to spend on their hobby (and good luck to 'em). Conversely there are some pretty basic paint jobs that are selling as well.
I am pitching my figures at about £6.50 for infantry and £15 for cavalry which of course includes the cost of the casting, but nor basing. I've sold at this price before, and it seems an average price for workmanlike figures, which I hope mine are.
Anyhow, I will post new units as they come up for sale, and please pop over to my page here at Malplaquet Miniatures ebay sales.
Any constructive comments would be much appreciated as well, and commissions even more so!