Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Experiment in sales

On a forum for Maine war gamers, there was a question posed that asked if you can make money selling painted miniatures on E-bay or similar auction sites.  I maintained that one could make money but probably not with a large profit.  Of course, this also brings to mind if one can make money painting on commission and, if so, how much per hour?

I never really timed myself during a project to see how much I actually do make per figure.  So I decided to make a project of doing so.  I will take a project, from beginning to end and log it here.  This is a personal project and does not belong to anyone but me.

For this experiment I've chosen to paint up a DBA army.  A 15mm Carthaginian army made by Essex miniatures, specifically.  DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatus) is an ancient/medieval rule set for fighting out battles on a small scale.  Armies are limited to 12 elements (or units) with very small figures required. This army is an army pack that Essex offers and is something I picked up years ago.

There are 57 figures in this pack.  That includes horses and elephants (always charge separately for them).  To purchase it, new, from Essex would cost you $37.23.  Add to that $10.98 shipping to the US and I have already put $48.21 into just figures.  If I was to paint this army on commission I would charge $171.00 to paint.  Add in a bit for bases and I am hoping, at the end of this project, to make $230.00.  How much per hour this will translate to will remain to be seen.  I would like my time to come out to about $15.00 per hour but we will see.  Without further ado, lets begin.....

I cleaned and organized all the figures.  Essex miniatures are getting a bit long in the tooth, so to speak so there was a bit more flash and seam lines than one would see from new moulds.  But, they use a softer alloy in their castings so cleanup isn't too bad.  There was some assembly that needed to be done with the elephants and with a few shields that needed to be glued on.  Additionally, I glued all riders to horses.  Normally I save this after painting is done but the amount of time spent is still the same.  Also, I didn't have to but I filled in the seams on the elephant's backs.  I felt it would help in photographs later on.

Here is my running totals on time and money spent....

Time spent up till now : 2 hours, 30 minutes
Money spent      $48.26   (I figured about 0.5 cents in glue and filler.  Hidden costs one must worry          about)

Next time...primer and paint!
It's been a long time since I've been active on this blog.  But I will attempt to revive it.  While I will still put posts on commissions that I am working on I will also start including posts regarding my limited gaming.  I say limited because I really don't game all that much although I am starting to find the time more and more, lately.  The next big gaming event for me will be Huzzah held in Portland, Maine.  WWW. if anyone is interested.  I will be running a Jousting tournament and co-running an Impetus tournament.  Additionally I will be helping out some friends with their games.

Hopefully, if you're available May 16th through the 18th and in the Portland area you'll stop in and take a look.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Time to do another update.  This time around I have more pictures of various 25/28mm figures.  Fantasy figures are fun to paint as you really don't have many limitations on colors or painting styles.  But at the same time, certain colors are expected on certain types of creatures so I try not to go too far out of bounds, so to speak.  Regardless, here we go....

Things are really starting to move here in the studio.  Which is good because there has been quite a painting slump.  As a result I am quite behind on work but I am starting to catch up.  I will try to update more frequently with pictures as I get more miniatures painting.  Until next time...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Here we are, at the beginning of September already.  This year is flying past very quickly.  Here are an assortment of fantasy figures that I've completed recently.  There are still many more figures to go with the commission but I thought I would post a few "in production" figures.  The figures are from various manufacturers.  I especially like the Sea Serpent.  Nicely done and paints up well.  


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ottoman Cavalary

It's been a busy summer and while I've accomplished quite a bit, I haven't taken the time to post any pictures.  Let me see if I can change that.  

These are some 25mm Ottoman cavalry figures that I just completed.  The figures are made by Essex.  I replaced the spears with some that I made out of brass.  The nice thing about these figures was there was quite a bit of room and open space to paint some designs. 

There were a few things I didn't care for with these figures.  The metal used in these figures was soft and deformed quite easily.  It may have just been a case of the figures being an older cast that used more lead in the alloy.  The second thing was that the riders were too small to mount on the horses.  I had to get in a spread the legs of the riders apart .  As it was, I forgot to check the fit before painting so  I had to nervously bend metal after the paint was complete.  Not fun but it taught me a lesson.  Always learn.  

Enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sgt. Majors Miniatures

For this update I have some selected Sgt. Majors Miniatures.  All are 25/28mm in size except the US Marines on the bottom.  They are 20mm figures.  Owner Andy Turlington is a great person to deal with. 
I encourage everyone to visit the Sgt. Majors website at   They have a nice selection 
of miniatures with ranges including 28mm ancient classical, 28mm sci-fi, 28mm pulp and 20mm World War Two figures.  They also import figures for the Indian Mutiny and they are a US distributor of the Plastic Soldier Company line.

 Enjoy and stay tuned for the next update.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Still Alive, still well....

It has been a LONG time since I've put anything here.  I apologize.  I took a promotion at my "day" job and that has eaten away at my time considerably.  I try to spend my free time painting instead of being on the computer.    For this update I am posting some random pictures.  Next time I will focus on more specific projects.  
Above you will see some 28mm WW2 Japanese.  These are from Brigade games line of Pacific troops.  Very nice figures.
 Above is a 1/2400 Panzerschiffe ship.  It is the Soviet light cruiser Krasni Kravaz.  I probably misspelled that name.  Panzerschiffe ships are cast in polyester resin, I believe, and are not as detailed as say GHQ.  This is my attempt to add some details so that, hopefully, they will look more at home next to GHQ offerings.  Below is GHQ's Dutch light cruiser DeRuyter.

 Above and below are some fantasy figures that I've done.  I do not know the manufacturer of these.  But if somebody wants to know I can ask the client to whom these belong.  A Frost Giant on top and a Hydra below.
 Finally, I have some plastic Battlemechs from the game Battletech.  I've been told there aren't many commission painters who paint these.  That's a shame as "mechs" are quite fun to paint.  I am working on a large commission of "mechs" and will post pictures in a later update.
Well, that's it for now.  I will post more regularly now that I am finding more time to work.  Stay safe and be well.  Until next time....