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Replacing MSP paints in the kits

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I saw in a locked topic somewhere else on this board that the learn to paint kits might get the strip of pots instead of all genuine bottles, like LTP kit 4.


Please, I'm beggin' ya... don't!


I recently bought the first three kits at once so I could finally stop painting like a chump. The versatility from getting all three (and associated colors) is excellent! Plus, with everything in handy dropper bottles mixing and experimenting are so much easier. I'm having a blast, and wondering why I didn't do this sooner. The results have surpassed my expectations, and in the past three weeks I've spent more on materials and new stuff than the entire previous year (woodland scenics has now wound up with most of a paycheck or two along with Reaper). I actually threw out all the paint from my old palette, because it just can't compare.


Soon after, I immediately went out and found every possible interested future painter and harassed them to buy these kits based on the superb results I experienced. For a beginner or even someone looking to switch paint products, the first 3 kits as they are is the best $75+ anybody could ever spend. I fear that with the "pots" it just wouldn't be the same. No other hobby out there could give a newbie so much value and instruction for such an affordable price. If your goal is to hook new people in, leave 'em as they are (well, maybe update the books).


On that note, I had to think about kit 4 for a while before finally deciding to buy in, mostly for the instructions. Those "pots" were a real turn-off. Maybe they won't be as bad as I think they will (order should be here soon) but I'm not looking forward to it.


Hope I posted this in the right place, and a big "hi" out to other miniheads! ::D:

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Heya, and welcome to the boards!!


First, I would like to say thank you very much for speaking up about this; it definately gives us a different viewpoint, which is valuable to us. Often we hear a lot from distributors but not a lot from individual store owners or new customers. ::):


Unfortunately, keeping the first LTPK's with Master Series may necessitate a price increase, which I really would rather not do. We switched to the pots in the new format for many reasons, but for me it was primarily an opportunity to lower the price of the kits overall. I totally understand what you're saying about the selection of paints being a great buy--we hope to keep giving you extreme bang for your buck!--but at $3 per bottle plus all the other stuff that goes in we may be hazardously close to making a negative profit on those great older kits.


I would advise you to let people know that this fantastic deal may only be around for a few more months, and apologize if the pots make the kit less appealing to you even at the lower price.


On the plus side, yes, I am going to be re-doing the instructions for the older kits with better pictures, and larger format, at the very least!


--Anne ::):

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Thanks for the response, and I have a few thoughts to add:


-I figured the pots were an economical decision and that the profit margin would be tight/negative so I understand that. I was actually a bit surprised to get MSP in my kits. But I think a price increase might actually not hurt the kits depending on how much the increase was.


My thinking here is that with the kits as they are, all three represent an outstanding beginner's palette and can easily be used to paint other miniatures. It's a fine array of colors and shades, ideally suited for experimenting and playing around. Keeping them all as bottles as is allows the new painter to add on to the existing set easily, without having to replace a lot of core materials with bottles.


Given this, I'd still recommend these kits at $35 or even $40 because the quality of the product would still be worth it (getting all bottles). My LTP kit 4 hasn't arrived yet, so I might change my mind on the pots after I've had the chance to use them firsthand. Right now I just can't shake the feeling of "cheap" they seem to exude (even if they are actually quality and it's just the appearance). It kinda looks like a paint-by-number kit. Something granny might buy one or two of as christmas presents for grandkids she barely remembers, but only if she went to a FLGS to begin with. ::P:



-The second thing I'd like to add is that I've already been making the rounds urging purchase of the kits as is posthaste! (lol) Get 'em while the gettin's good.



The pots might not be as bad as I think, so it might make no difference either way to the beginner (and I've already got my kits so it doesn't bother me none), I just thought I'd weigh in because the kits as they exist are simply phenomenal as a base and even at an increased price I'd still say they were the best deal on the planet.

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I've been a long time lurker but never posted, having decided to leave it to the folks who everyone knows as respects. But having read this topic I felt a need to reply.


As a store owner (Games Plus in Mt. Prospect) I have to say that the LTPK #4 has been poorly received, at best.


Even though it is hanging on our 'new items' endcap since it came out we have yet to sell one of them. This is a sad thing given that all the prior sets have sold - and continue to sell - fairly well.


I have heard a number of comments about the fact that the mini-pots have turned people away from the kit. Even having the older Pro Paints in the kit as opposed to the mini-pots would make folks happy.


I think far to many people connect the 'strip of paints' to the old paint by number kits, little crafty things and non-adventuring gaming things as opposed to 'beginner' paints.


On a aside - bring back the boxes _PLEASE_.


They look more professional, they have a smaller footprint and they are easier to display.


The current blister packaging is huge, it's unatractive in it's bright red card and it does nonthing to flatter the contents on the kit. The professional picture of the contents on the boxes of the older kits made them far more appealing.


... but that's only my thoughts. :;):

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I'm sorry to hear they have not done well for you in your store. Overall they are very hot for us and are fast becoming a constant production item.


A return to boxes is just not practicle at this time. The material cost alone for a small box set up is 2.91 per set. With a dollar belonging to the foam alone. (petroleum product) The new blister arrangement arrangement costs .67 each including labor and allows the consumere to see what they are getting.


The paint strips were added to allow for more colors to be tried by the user and were chosen to work with the bottled colors.


If you add the retail price of the models, brush and bottled paints you will find the retail price of the set so no value was placed by us on the strips or instructions.


Display space is also optimized now as you will be able to display several different sets on a single peg. (sets 1-3 are being redone)


These were our thoughts as to the new design. We are always open to input.



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Yeah, when I saw it, I scratched my head.


First off, reverse the size of the fonts. It's too hard to see that this LTP kit is about skintones. Put LTP up where skin tones is.


Also, maybe reverse the way the blisters are displayed? The back of the blister is a large flat area that could be used for a old-style 'cover' image which is what sells the kit. So print the back of the card in full color, with images of the painted figs, etc. Then display the blisters 'backwards' on the rack. That way you have a nice full card advertising the blister contents. It also cleans up the 'display' as well.


So the back becomes a new 'front'. :)

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If it was feasible, I'd like to see the kits in two versions. The basic, which would have the string of pots, and a deluxe version with bottles. I'd pay more for that. Gladly, happily.


If this is not practical, then can we get a listing of the paints (or their equivalents) listed on the order page? I'm still waiting for my LTP Kit 4 so I can order the MSP bottles. A friend of mine got a free sample of the "pots" so I know I won't be using it. Straight to the trash.


Which means when Kit 4 shows up I'll be waiting on replacement bottles for the pot colors before starting.


The pots are just fine for attracting new people, but not everyone buying the kits is new. Some are looking to switch to a new brand, a new style, etc. (like me). I've been painting for years, and I absolutely love the kits with the MSP bottles.


But those pots I just can't stand. At least provide a list of the MSP equivalents on the order page for the kits and I'll be happy enough with ordering them extra when I order the kits. Which is also what I'll recommend other people do.

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"Free strip of sample colours in this kit"


"Buy the kit and get these handy additional colours at no additional cost"


.... etc.


Really a strip of sample pots is junk to me, but if it costs no more than buying the mini and the "proper" paints, the I'm getting the guide as additional value, and the strip of samplers for free to play with colours I might not otherwise get to try.... hmmm...

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If you add the retail price of the models, brush and bottled paints you will find the retail price of the set so no value was placed by us on the strips or instructions.


Display space is also optimized now as you will be able to display several different sets on a single peg. (sets 1-3 are being redone)


These were our thoughts as to the new design. We are always open to input.


I was betting costs were the reasoning - and I can understand & respect that. But... :upside:


Noone really looks at the costs involved (as a customer) when you have the little pot-strip sitting in there. That is viewed as a negative becuase they aren't considered 'paint'. I understand your thoughts but either they need to all be the pot-strips or they all need to be MSP/Propaints - IMHO.


Display space is _not_ what you mean when you talk about putting three of them to a peg... storage space is what is there. If I put kit 1, 2 and 3 on a peg (in that order) it looks only like three sets of number 3. If you could get the new carded sets dimensions down in size it would be handy, handy, handy.


That is why the oversized cards for the minis is annoying to the few stores (like us) who carry _all_ the miniatures and put them one to a peg face out so customers can see them and choose from them. Going from the old cards to the current cards ate up an extra 10 running feet 6 foot high.


The 'old' boxed kits had a footprint that was bearable to put them face out on the wall... now the new one is bigger - again. At this point we almost have to start choosing what lines we may drop in order to fit in the paint kits.


...and never mind that the currrennt rack system for the MSP is horribly space inefficent as well.


I hope to carry all the Reaper products but it looks like the space hungry packaging of all the different items in the line (except for brushes and extra bottles) is going to have us make choices. Hard choices. :down:


Don't get me wrong - :wub: we love the figs, we love the paint, :wub: it's just the packaging that's making it hard. Please - keep up the good work, just try to find packaging and display systems that use _less_ space to show everything - not more space.


Thanks for listening !

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Here is my noob 2 cents:


As a beginner in the vast world of painting miniatures, I came here for advice about paints, brushes and various techniques, all of which I have found. Buglips has been very helpful, and I am one of the people he "harassed" about the LTP kits. I have read some of the various posts about paint preferences and have decided to slowly get into the MSP line. I have a small hobby budget, and I really like the value of the LTP kits.


BUT, I have to agree with the others in stating that the idea of getting a strip of pots is a major turn off of getting those sets. Even if it is the same MSP in a pot, trying to store 3-4 strips of pots along with my MSP bottles will be a hassle. I have to agree with Buglips that if the price raise isnt too bad ($5-10) then PLEASE keep the MSP bottles in the kits!


Maybe a petition would help?


/signed Bloodthorn

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I've seen the LTP IV kits at Splat's store. The strip of paint pots reminded me of the old paint-by-numbers kits I did in primary school -- and that was a major turn-off. I hate paint pots...I tip them over and there goes the paint. Worse, the combination of paint pots plus blister pack resulted in an overall appearance of "cheap" (and not as in "inexpensive").


Have you considered going with smaller bottles of paint rather than the fliptop pots? I know there are 1/4 oz LDPE boston rounds with dropper caps....

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I should add to this discussion now that I've had a chance to play with kit #4.


I understand now why the pots went into kit #4. They're not kidding when they say "skintones" because that's it (well, and lining). The kit instructs how to use the tan skin triad and liner paints. Since there is no instruction on how to finish the minis, the strip of assorted colors goes in so the user can do what they wish.


I actually found some use for the pot paints after discovering that paint kit #3 had been packaged with an inappropriate color (I got Antique Rose instead of Blackened Brown). Anne nicely offered to send a replacement, but I was able to use the pots to mix up my own and put this into an empty MSP bottle.


Of course this usefulness was more of the fortunate coincidence kind than anything else. Since then I've been on the fence about the pots. They are MSP paints and good quality, and there's even a couple of colors I don't have. But I have to be honest that even in this circumstance I'm tempted to just toss 'em.


For paint kit 4 I can see why the pots went in. All the instruction uses the bottles, and the pot string is just enough colors to finish the minis however the user sees fit. That makes sense. I would still like to see bottles instead, but at least it works to logic.


But re-doing the first three kits this way will not, in my opinion, be even nearly as successful because the instruction is less suited (lots of mixing, etc.). Now, granted, these paint kits used to be old pro paint bottles so you had to mix from essentially large pots anyway... but if you're going to re-do the fundamental basics then why retrograde? Take advantage of the opportunity to use the better qualities of MSP's and sell the kits as an introduction to MSP's.


For example, if the pots are just as good as the dropper bottles then why did MSP's ever get dropper bottles in the first place? The answer, of course, is because dropper bottles are WAY better for mixing, paint use, preserving paint, etc. So why strip away (pun intended) an introduced improvement? How does this help sell the line if you take out one of its better features? It's not just selling the initial kit which is important, but also using this to encourage further future sales of other MSP's to the buyer.


Yes, saving money is nice and keeping prices down is also nice. But from what I'm seeing on this thread I'm not alone in my opinion of these changes. If this is representative of a larger opinion, then it could be a problem. It might be that the opinions expressed here are in the minority... but the way I see it what's good for Reaper is good for me. It means you'll keep making stuff I like to buy.


So if some potential customers are being turned off by this change and not buying in, even if it's not a huge number of them, is this change actually better for the bottom line than a price raise with better quality? Moreover, will this effect be exacerbated if the change goes through on ALL the paint kits? If a potential long term customer sees this and says to themselves it looks like garbage, how much money has Reaper truly lost? If a new person uses the pots and gets frustrated (they're small, easily tipped, and mine were a bear to open without splattering everywhere), how much money in future sales is lost because they give up?


All for the cost of dropper bottles.


It'd be nice if we could get some stats for a clearer picture. Maybe a vote by consumers as to what they want to see, or a request for feedback on the subject. Toss that into an issue of Casketworks and see what results. At least then whatever decision is reached Reaper can be sure it's definitely giving most people what they really want.


I'll also add this two cents: if the reason for going cheap on the paint kits really is a "nickels and dimes add up issue"... then why are people getting gratis strips of pots with orders and how much is that eating out of the bottom line? Free stuff is ok, but I'd rather get quality for money I spend than free crap I didn't ask for.

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