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!

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