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Subject: Cost to Paint Conan? rss

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David Pickelsimer
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Just out of curiosity, what do you think would be a reasonable price to paint the Kings Pledge? I have painted miniatures for a while (both miniature games and Board games), but I know I am a slow painter. I am by no means a professional as I usually paint for trade. But looking at the number of miniatures coming and the number of unique sculpts I am not sure what kind of range to figure. This is for a friend of mine which makes this a little more difficult for me to calculate. My best estimate is:

Base box - $100
Kickstarter Exclusives - $200
King's Pledge add on -$50

These numbers were based off of number of unique sculpts in each set. On one hand $350 is a lot of money. On the other hand I am afraid it is not enough for the amount of time. What do you guys think?
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Mike
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Sounds about right. But you'd want a very good tabletop level quality at least or the buyer would feel ripped off depending on their expectations. More money for better quality is the normal policy. I don't know if you factor in the extra time cost for that or what exactly. It's not like a little bit more paint costs that much, its really the time you spent putting it on.
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Steven
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I have seen painters that said they would charge at least $3 a miniature for something as simple as the new Mech and Minions game, which is about $300 for 100 miniatures that consist of 3 sculpts that are basically the same. $350 seems cheap for the number of standard and unique miniatures in the Kings pledge.

After looking it up, it seems most commission work goes for $6 to $8 a miniature for basic tabletop quality. That would be over 1k on the low end to do Conan. I know this is a friend, so tough decision to make on price, but do not make the mistake of devaluing your time. there is a line between giving a friendly discount and being taken advantage of (even if its unintentional). That said, if you want to charge your friend $350 even though your time/work would be worth much more, more power to you! Remember in commission work you are accounting for time, supplies, and wear and tear on things like brushes.

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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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Seem crazy low to me.
However if you skip the prep (mold flash trimming, soapy water wash) and go fo a super basic paintjob (like described here)... Your call.

There is a huge difference between painting a few minis for a friend and painting hundreds. Even if you value your time at basically $0/hour.
What I would do :
- make an assessement on how much time you'll take to paint a limited number of minis (for example, the base box only, or only the minis required to play the 1st scenario (27 minis IIRC)) : time you typically take to paint 1 mini x number of minis.
- multiply by the burger flipper hourly rate (or whatever figure you value your time)
If your friend is OK with that, paint the minis. Then you'll have more accurate info on your time per mini, and you can repeat
for the rest (SGs/expansions etc). If you are not tired of painting yet.
If he's not OK, you'll keep your friendship and sanity. And he can ask an asian painting service, or a kid at the local GW store.
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Rick S
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I agree that the estimate seems very low.

It would depend on the quality of the work and time spent on the project.

I don't offer commissions because in my opinion, paying for the time I spend to paint a model will make the cost higher than the value I think my finished work is worth.

I have been asked to paint games for friends/family but I always turn them down. Sometimes I have painted a model or two at no cost, mostly because I wanted to paint the model.
I'll probably paint Thog, and Thaug out of my friend's king pledge.
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Jon Darlington
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Your quote seems very low to me. But the most important thing is, how it feels to you.

You need to find a number that makes you satisfied. Remember, you'll be painting for hours and hours, over many days and many weeks. If you don't feel you're being paid fairly, you'll have all that time to sit there and resent it bitterly.

Remember too, you don't owe your friend some kind of big discount just because you are friends... any more than he "owes" you an extra 20% over the going rate because you are friends.

It might be a good idea to politely decline and suggest your friend look for commissions online. Once he has confronted the reality of what a job like this costs, you could then have a second conversation and work from that number... not up from zero for "just painting some miniatures".
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Freelance Police
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Have your friend do some of the work. At least have him remove mold lines. If he's painted before, have him color prime and wash the miniatures. I recommend zenithal priming, with the Army Painter color primers, and the AP Quickshade Ink Set, which includes a flesh wash.

If you don't already have a set of Conan miniatures to paint (even if you don't want it, you can sell or trade the painted set), have him buy a retail copy so you can paint your and his sets at the same time.

Factor in the costs of painting the miniatures, such as color primers, or even a new air brush if you don't have one.

Also, ask to see his trade list. Maybe he has a thousand bucks of Magic cards you've always wanted...!

Finally, see the TMP's Painting Services page for other opinions: http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/topics.mv?id=34
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Matt Price
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Those estimates all sound very low to me, even if you were at one of the studios in Sri Lanka or elsewhere in Asia!

For a reasonable, table-top quality paint job, you might be able to find someone to do it for approximately $5 / figure here in the US. Maybe $4. But probably more as others note above. Blue Table Painting is more expensive.

For a hero/leader/bigger figure, if you want it to stand out, expect that to be closer to $15-25, but certainly no less than $10. I've never found anything less than $15 here in the States - and I've tried.

For the whole package together, and for a friend, you might offer a discount (i.e., lower than I estimate per figure above). But as others note, don't undervalue your time, or you'll go crazy stewing over how you feel while you're slave-painting your friend's set.

So I would estimate:

Base set (74 figures, including 4 heroes, 4 bad-guy leaders and 5 larger monsters) taking a low estimate:
4 heroes: 4 x $10 = $40
4 leaders: 4 x $10 = 40
5 larger monsters: 5 x $10 = $50
61 minion type figures: 61 x $4 = $244
Total: $374

Extrapolate that over the full King's pledge, and it starts to become quite expensive! 74 figures is a lot of work, and would take even a fast painter two weeks of painting full time to complete working well below minimum wage (i.e., about $5/hour - you better love that job!!)

I sometimes paint games for friends, but I'm somewhat crazy that way... I really enjoy painting.
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David Pickelsimer
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Thanks guys for all the replies. I really do appreciate it. After reviewing the feedback and considering how long it would take, I did some more calculations. My new numbers were based around $3 for each unique sculpt, $2 for each figure that had multiples and $5 for each monster. I still think I would be working for minimum wage or lower, but I am a teacher so I am used to that. :D This is what I came up with:

Base game $150
Kickstarter Exclusives $225
King's Pledge $75

Total $450

Here is an example of my painting, realize these are horrible low quality minis compared to what Conan will be, since I am one of the many still waiting on my package! :)

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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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Still seems crazy low to me, but YMMV

Vaguely related question: what's the minimum legal US hourly rate?
 
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Rick S
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Roolz wrote:
Still seems crazy low to me, but YMMV

Vaguely related question: what's the minimum legal US hourly rate?


Short answer $7.25 an hour...
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Matt Price
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Definitely crazy low, but if you're a) painting for a friend and b) going to get to play his copy and c) you like painting...

Then that's not too shabby!
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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bigblock75 wrote:
Roolz wrote:
Still seems crazy low to me, but YMMV

Vaguely related question: what's the minimum legal US hourly rate?


Short answer $7.25 an hour...

Wow... I didn't think it was so low.
 
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Joseph Sharkey
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bigblock75 wrote:
Roolz wrote:
Still seems crazy low to me, but YMMV

Vaguely related question: what's the minimum legal US hourly rate?


Short answer $7.25 an hour...


Oh damn... I thought it had hit $9 by now. :/
 
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Dave Dierks
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Depends on which state you are in.
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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OK . Sorry for having derailing the thread.
 
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T C
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I agree that the number is still really low. Maybe for a good friend you cut them that sort of deal, or if you just really want to paint the miniatures for your own enjoyment it would be worth it. As a business decision I would estimate how long it will take to paint each model and at least get minimum wage with your bid. Don't just consider your time, but also the cost of your paints, wear and tear on your brushes, and other supplies. Maybe do the base set for them at what ever price you both decide on, and if you are both happy after that, then agree to do the rest?
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