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How much do you think your skills are worth per hour?


scorpio616
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If you're doing the work as an occasional side, price so that you're happy when you turn over the figure for cash. And never (ever) take commissions from jerks. They can't possibly pay enough to make their business worth what they pay.

 

Absolutely beware of the jerks who will nag you to death on repaints of one detail over and over, the lawyers who want you to paint their entire evil company box army for no more than the cost of the box cuz someone told them that's all they should ever pay - and they want it painted perfectly, not table top, and beware of someone who won't pay half up front.

 

So really, to get the price you want to charge, consider the level of painting requested (Table Top, Good enough for eBay, Competition), and why you want the commission. If you are paying bills, charge higher, but f it's just something fun to do to get some cash in hand, charge less. If you quote a price and they flinch, ask what they consider fair, then see if you are willing to do that particular figure for that price - learn the art of the deal. If they seriously low ball you, learn the contact info for an alternate painter for them. Thus I have a few folks that get lots of referrals from me.

 

I don;t know what the rules are on here about pricing and posting on the forums, so suffice it to say you need to find your niche and stick with it. I only do Competition Level, except for close friends and then only if I have the time.

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LOL, I can;t charge by the hour, I have a base price for a certain level. I am pretty sure that it works out to something like 3 bucks an hour...sigh.

 

Now if you want me to paint your army, the price will be $163,479.56 total. That does not include the models. Conversions and freehand are extra. ...What? No takers? Thank goodness...

Sweet. Must remember to print and save this just in case I won the lottery :lol:

 

*Prices subject to how much you win in the lottery - er subject to change without notice.

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repairing computers? I charge a non refundable $100 site fee and $100 for the first hour and each hour after and I will refund some of this depending on what the issue is, close friends and family can just buy me lunch at sonic.
A nurse told me that was totally outrageous and I'm insane for asking that much, I looked at her and said Would you be willing to work for free as soon as you got off work?.... she stopped complaining after that.

 

Painting, I was actually talking to one of the guys at the local game store last week after he stuck a $80 Gw model in boiling water to clean the paint off and ended up with a shrunken ball of plastic, I quoted him about $2 for a small mini or 10 for a large one provided he supply's the paint, he said no thanks but he's got my number if he needs paint stripped off any more gw models...

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I don't have much to add. There's a lot of excellent responses already here. The painter-for-hire market is an interesting one. Literally anyone can offer their services, so the market is flooded with one man "studios" and people with clever names. Word of mouth is pretty much everything, so unless you're an exceptional talent it's hard to get the good jobs. Even assuming you're charging market rate, a lot of the people looking to get something painted have little to no idea of the time or cost involved. Sticker shock is quite common.

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<Obvious joke about skills not related to painting, and higher worth>

How are pre-painted figs painted? Mass breeding of buglips (buglipsi?) ? :)

If I'd ever do a commision, I would put the money in the "money thats okay for hobby use" category.

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The plural of Buglips is Buglipses. Though if that word ever needed to be used then the end is nigh anyway, because each universe can only hold one.

 

On topic, because I'm feeling crazy like that today, I don't charge for commissions. Instead, I'm very selective about what I will paint on request. So character miniatures for the game I'm playing in, those are free. If they select a Reaper mini, even the mini itself is free.

 

I will also consider painting non-game miniatures if they're meant as a special gift to somebody who otherwise does not game. So if somebody wants an angel painted for their sweet gramma, or some crazy steampunk girl because it's their girlfriend's birthday and she's nuts for the genre, then I'll consider it. Again, for free, so long as the requirements of the piece don't require me to spend bundles of cash on materials or won't require all of my time.

 

Of course this is also contingent on low demand. Under the above system I paint an additional 5-6 minis per year for other people. If this suddenly bloomed into ten times that amount, then I'd make them pay.

 

Oh yes, I'd make all of them pay . . .

 

 

mwa ha ha ha ha

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Be aware that if you're going into the mass painting market, you'll have to compete with people like Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka. They do a respectable job at a very low price, largely because they're not paying first-world wages*. You don't necessarily need to compete on price, but they're a part of the competition.

 

As far as prepaints: I don't know what Reaper does, but WotC's contractor used to use masks and spray paint (I think using robots) for most of the color and then add details (or "details") with cheap Chinese labor.

 

*FWIW, I don't have a problem with that. It's a way for people in third-world cultures to improve their standards of living to where they can buy cool toys, too. See also Japan, Korea.

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The plural of Buglips is Buglipses. Though if that word ever needed to be used then the end is nigh anyway, because each universe can only hold one.

 

On topic, because I'm feeling crazy like that today, I don't charge for commissions. Instead, I'm very selective about what I will paint on request. So character miniatures for the game I'm playing in, those are free. If they select a Reaper mini, even the mini itself is free.

 

I will also consider painting non-game miniatures if they're meant as a special gift to somebody who otherwise does not game. So if somebody wants an angel painted for their sweet gramma, or some crazy steampunk girl because it's their girlfriend's birthday and she's nuts for the genre, then I'll consider it. Again, for free, so long as the requirements of the piece don't require me to spend bundles of cash on materials or won't require all of my time.

 

Of course this is also contingent on low demand. Under the above system I paint an additional 5-6 minis per year for other people. If this suddenly bloomed into ten times that amount, then I'd make them pay.

 

Oh yes, I'd make all of them pay . . .

 

 

mwa ha ha ha ha

I'm sure just going to their house and taking off your shoes would be payment enough on their part.

 

Me? I paint minis for me and my family. My rates run in chocolate, lindor truffle balls preferably. Or some other delicious truffle chocolate. Oh, and if it's a lot of minis, you have to buy the paint.

 

If you want to keep the mini, you have to buy it, otherwise its mine, and you can only use it to game.

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Per hour? More than people want to pay, I'm sure. I usually quote a price per figure, because I have no idea how long it will take, but I know the quantity of work involved. I get very few takers. For good friends that don't paint I have done a couple jobs at no charge.

 

The last guy who wanted his Evil army stripped and painted was ok with the price at first but then he came back a week later and said he had a friend who was willing to do the stripping for free. My thought was "sucker!".

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So its an interesting topic because the higher end army painters do, essentially, work on an hourly wage. Now these guys are also people that make a living at painting armies so they have a vested interest in doing great work as quickly as possible. They typically make a quote based on a number of different factors. That, in turn, determines just how quickly they need to get that army painted in order to hit their defined dollar per hour wage. Here is one example of a high end army painter and he is not cheap by any means but he has enough new and repeat clients to make a living at this: http://www.gmmstudios.com/

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I charge what I can get. For commission work consider volume of mini's you'll be painting, are you supplying paint, need new brushes, assembly required, you supplying minis vs buyer, etc. Lots of different costs in there, your time being only one. Also, consider the mini's you'll be painting. A reaper Orc is far different from a Confrontation Orc for example in size and complexity. I sold most of the mini's I've painted on ebay until one of my buyers asked if I did commission work. So I've done commission work for one person, rest of my stuff goes to ebay. I don't play any games with the mini's I paint...I just like to paint them. So any money I make goes back into the hobby or towards a new hobby.

 

-Z

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repairing computers? I charge a non refundable $100 site fee and $100 for the first hour and each hour after and I will refund some of this depending on what the issue is, close friends and family can just buy me lunch at sonic.

A nurse told me that was totally outrageous and I'm insane for asking that much, I looked at her and said Would you be willing to work for free as soon as you got off work?.... she stopped complaining after that.

 

Painting, I was actually talking to one of the guys at the local game store last week after he stuck a $80 Gw model in boiling water to clean the paint off and ended up with a shrunken ball of plastic, I quoted him about $2 for a small mini or 10 for a large one provided he supply's the paint, he said no thanks but he's got my number if he needs paint stripped off any more gw models...

I find it astonishing that someone willing to pay $80 for a mass-produced from-a-mold figure is not willing to pay $10 to have it painted by hand in person.

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You may not be able to charge strictly by the hour, but you at least have to be able to charge enough to make a living if you're a professional.

 

If you're not a professional, then it's a matter of what's "worth it to you". Not only what you feel the effort expended is worth, but also how much of your own hobby time you're willing to give over to painting.

 

I am not a great painter, but with the dip I can do a quick tabletop standard that many wargamers would be happy with. Several times I've considered painting for $, but even with dipping I could never see a way to paint on comission where the amount earned would outweigh the personal hobby time I would be giving up.

 

Within our gaming club however, there are a number of folks who will trade painting of miniatures for assembly of miniatures or building of terrain.

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The plural of Buglips is Buglipses. Though if that word ever needed to be used then the end is nigh anyway, because each universe can only hold one.

 

On topic, because I'm feeling crazy like that today, I don't charge for commissions. Instead, I'm very selective about what I will paint on request. So character miniatures for the game I'm playing in, those are free. If they select a Reaper mini, even the mini itself is free.

 

I will also consider painting non-game miniatures if they're meant as a special gift to somebody who otherwise does not game. So if somebody wants an angel painted for their sweet gramma, or some crazy steampunk girl because it's their girlfriend's birthday and she's nuts for the genre, then I'll consider it. Again, for free, so long as the requirements of the piece don't require me to spend bundles of cash on materials or won't require all of my time.

 

Of course this is also contingent on low demand. Under the above system I paint an additional 5-6 minis per year for other people. If this suddenly bloomed into ten times that amount, then I'd make them pay.

 

Oh yes, I'd make all of them pay . . .

 

 

mwa ha ha ha ha

I painted a set of mini's for my players in the S&S game because I'm the lucky sob that has a disposable income when my friends are still working at bestbuy or in collage so I don't begrudge them the small things like not having the spare money to buy supply's for a table top game. for anyone else I would charge Not much but something as I really enjoy painting and well someone paying me to paint miniatures? Weeeeeeee.

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