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I want to paint and assemble minis full time.


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Its also important to remember that most of the high end painters have a base rate and additional items are add-ons from there. As an example $500 was Marike's base rate. The more you wanted the more it was going to cost, so her classic sheer cloth would not appear on a mini for $500, adding her sheer effect is going to add to that base price, assembling was extra, conversions are extra, you could easily end up paying a grand for a piece from Marike. She doesn't advertise commission work anymore because she has a regular customer base for her work now. She also has a full-time job so her painting work is supplemental income not her regular income. 

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  This is probably the reason why I'd never pay for something to be painted--I could never afford any of you people. :lol:

 

 

I can undercut anybody, since I'd mostly take my payoff in bugs, old shoes, and moldy pizza crusts. 

 

See?  Just like kristof65 said:  bartering. 

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Its also important to remember that most of the high end painters have a base rate and additional items are add-ons from there. As an example $500 was Marike's base rate. The more you wanted the more it was going to cost, so her classic sheer cloth would not appear on a mini for $500, adding her sheer effect is going to add to that base price, assembling was extra, conversions are extra, you could easily end up paying a grand for a piece from Marike. She doesn't advertise commission work anymore because she has a regular customer base for her work now. She also has a full-time job so her painting work is supplemental income not her regular income. 

 

I know some of these pro painters will spend upwards of 80 hours of work on a single small figure and well over 100 hours of work on a diorama for those display quality award winning pieces. So I can easily see why if someone wants an award winning display piece level commissioned for them that they'd have to pay for that 80 hours of work it takes to be nearly perfect. Even at a minimal $10/hr that's $800. For people like this their time is worth MUCH more than $10/hr so I can definitely see them charging $1500-$2000 for that kind of piece. Pieces at that level are no longer table top stuff meant to be touched and played with, they are meant to be put on display and admired just like a Picasso. 

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Not to devalue folk art, but take a stroll through the local craft fair. I live in a pretty rural area and we have tons of craft fairs, you get a ton of really cheesy folk art stuff mixed in with a few really talented artists. I know most of the artists and make a point of talking to them every time I go, and discussing stuff like this. It's quite interesting.

 

The bottom line is the best artists tend to struggle, because it's priced a bit high for the crowd. Their booths get a few folks who can appreciate art and one of the more insanely talented guys does pretty good with prints. But the people selling cheesy yard signs with Sharpie-written folk humor? They clean up, at a lower (but still pretty high considering the effort, I used to help my mom with her folk art business cutting out wood shapes) price point.

 

That's what makes me nuts with minis. I could cut and mom could paint and stencil maybe a hundred or more folk art pieces that would sell from $5 to $50 in an hour. How many minis are you going to whip off in an hour? Even assuming we did the little easy $5 jobbies that's $500/hr if they all sold (not counting our booth cost, time spent selling, but you know what I mean...and we'd probably make more than 100 if it was the same easy pattern).

 

Anyway. I've never been comfortable with capitalism so this discussion has always fascinated me.

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I'm not comfortable with capitalism. What I am comfortable with is being able to pay or not pay, as I choose, and the seller to sell or not sell, as they choose. The weird crap that goes on in corner cases and at the very top does not interest me, in much the same way as I shrug and move along when there's a street preacher exercising their option to freely speak the truth as they perceive it. I know there is a great deal of argument, so I'm not going to actually support my feelings, just let you know what they are :)

 

So I wonder if you could get an airbrush, and assemble the Space Marine Plastics, for example, and sell them for $6-$8 a piece. Because Cash's anecdote has got me thinking. You'd need to get the models for about $3 a piece, paint them 10 at a time, giving about 2 hours to get those ten done.

 

Now, for example, if you could get a box or regular Marines, and then add aftermarket resin multiweapons and backbanners and so on, then paint. This would require Codex knowledge. Don't sell them as Sergeants or anything, just price them at about the cost of an individual or hero. So what you're doing is riding the GW markup.

 

HEY REDPIANO COME BACK! I MIGHT HAVE AN IDEA FOR YOU!

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I'm not comfortable with capitalism. What I am comfortable with is being able to pay or not pay, as I choose, and the seller to sell or not sell, as they choose. The weird crap that goes on in corner cases and at the very top does not interest me, in much the same way as I shrug and move along when there's a street preacher exercising their option to freely speak the truth as they perceive it. I know there is a great deal of argument, so I'm not going to actually support my feelings, just let you know what they are :)

 

So I wonder if you could get an airbrush, and assemble the Space Marine Plastics, for example, and sell them for $6-$8 a piece. Because Cash's anecdote has got me thinking. You'd need to get the models for about $3 a piece, paint them 10 at a time, giving about 2 hours to get those ten done.

 

Now, for example, if you could get a box or regular Marines, and then add aftermarket resin multiweapons and backbanners and so on, then paint. This would require Codex knowledge. Don't sell them as Sergeants or anything, just price them at about the cost of an individual or hero. So what you're doing is riding the GW markup.

 

HEY REDPIANO COME BACK! I MIGHT HAVE AN IDEA FOR YOU!

This might work if you could get the figures at a discount - trying to add your services to the retail cost of a box will likely price you right back out of the market.

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I'm not comfortable with capitalism. What I am comfortable with is being able to pay or not pay, as I choose, and the seller to sell or not sell, as they choose. The weird crap that goes on in corner cases and at the very top does not interest me, in much the same way as I shrug and move along when there's a street preacher exercising their option to freely speak the truth as they perceive it. I know there is a great deal of argument, so I'm not going to actually support my feelings, just let you know what they are :)

 

So I wonder if you could get an airbrush, and assemble the Space Marine Plastics, for example, and sell them for $6-$8 a piece. Because Cash's anecdote has got me thinking. You'd need to get the models for about $3 a piece, paint them 10 at a time, giving about 2 hours to get those ten done.

 

Now, for example, if you could get a box or regular Marines, and then add aftermarket resin multiweapons and backbanners and so on, then paint. This would require Codex knowledge. Don't sell them as Sergeants or anything, just price them at about the cost of an individual or hero. So what you're doing is riding the GW markup.

 

HEY REDPIANO COME BACK! I MIGHT HAVE AN IDEA FOR YOU!

You left out assembly and prep time which also would have to take up that two hours.

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I know of a guy who has a website where he posts build videos of model kits, you only have access to these videos if you pay a subscription fee, this also gets you access to his private forum. You can also see the subscriber method being successful for other venues, the website Giantbomb has a subscription fee for specific videos and they've said that this is immensely helpful to them. Twitch.tv users in some cases live off of twitch subscribers and donations.

 

So why not do this, why not have regular build and paint videos and gate these behind a subscription fee, then do a regular bi-weekly or weekly news type vlog where you discuss the weeks to come and what content you'll be uploading and have this be a free video that gets uploaded to youtube to get the word out and get people to subscribe to you. You could also do commissions on a more relaxed basis to supplement the subscriptions as well as sell T-shirts with your logo on them or things like that, which again all of this stuff works for youtube and twitch people, so why not make it work here? I could easily see this making the hell on earth everyone is talking about into a more manageable working business.

 

You could also do guest builds, pay other commission workers some extra cash to help support them to do a guest tutorial or paint video or whatever and then he/she could advertise that they'll be appearing on your website thus bringing in more business for you and for said guest person.

 

I mean, I've already experienced just about everything you guys have "warned" me about, I've had a miniature sell on ebay for 99 cents, which ended basically being a free painted mini for that person because I then paid 5$ for shipping like a buffoon. I've had people contact me expecting to pay less than 50% of what my asking price is. I already have chronic neck pain, I'm already dealing with a pain in the butt customer who won't come through with his part of the project, I've had shipping disasters that I had to make up for. I know this is a stuffty business if you try to get into it just for commission work alone, common sense tells me that.

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Well, yeah - but now if you do go forward we know that you know all the pitfalls.  Better to be armed with info (even redundant info) than to wander straight into the thorny brambles.  Most individual ventures of any sort will conspire to do their best to beat the living hell out of you - everything from running a business to being a musician.  Which is not to say it can't be done, just that anybody who wants to try should be very aware that doing it will be hard.  And likely scary, too. 

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I've had a miniature sell on ebay for 99 cents, which ended basically being a free painted mini for that person because I then paid 5$ for shipping like a buffoon.

Actually, you paid him $4.01 to take your mini. But you'll write that down as a loss when you calculate your business taxes, right?
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 Now that's just my opinion but I'd think that something like the ranger Corporea just did, if in a gallery, would easily be priced over $2,000 if not higher (espeically if she had the nice wood base she originally wanted).  This is probably the reason why I'd never pay for something to be painted--I could never afford any of you people. :lol:

Oh squee!  I can quit my day job! :lol:   I'm actually lucky as my day job pays for my hobby, which is not always the case.    And I can't sell my pretties!  I must have them all!  So I can hold them and love them and treasure them forever!  Yessss, my precious!  :wub:  (Yeah- this is why I could never be a real artist.  They have to sell their pretties.  They're so brave to let them fly away like that!)

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Yeah, I have no idea how people can sell them on. My one experience with an exchange was painful. I thought maybe when I had more painted minis around I'd be able to sell a few here and there, but which of them could I part with? I certainly wouldn't get enough money to make it worthwhile, anyway!

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Work like that I can understand letting go, models that have won major awards are another story. I know that Jen Haley has sold a number of her prize winning miniatures over the years and regrets doing that even though she made a lot of money on those sales.

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