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Darkcloak

How much would you pay for paint?

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So I've gotten a few requests to paint friends X-Wing ships and have since decided to take commissions.  I know I'm no Polish Studio Artist, but I do pretty alright.  Anyways, the question is this, what is a fair price for a commission paint job?  And how does this sound for a business plan?

 

Here is what I was thinking.  Flat rates.  $10 for Small Ships, $20 for Large, and Huge Ships are by piece.  All work is guaranteed to satisfy, the job isn't done until the customer is happy.  Touch Ups and Repairs on Existing Work is free.  If by some chance your Ship is damaged beyond reasonable repair by me, I will replace the ship with a new one.  No refunds, No exchanges. 

 

Let's say you saw that on a poster, would you be interested if the paint jobs caught your eye? 

 

I just painted a B-Wing up to look like Piplup, and now I have two Decimators to paint for an army guy.  I told him they would look good with maybe his regimental numbers on them and he was all over that.  I also have a HWK to paint for the B-WIng guy.  This time I'm thinkin' Starly...

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Simple answer: cost of materials + (number of hours it takes x your hourly rate)

Now, because you enjoy doing this and you're new to it, your hourly rate might be low. But it's not unreasonable to charge at least minimim wage for your time.

For example, if it takes 2 hours to paint a small ship, then charging $10 means you're only paying yourself $5 an hour. You wouldn't accept that rate of pay for a real job, would you?

If you undervalue your own time, you will find it hard to increase prices later if this becomes a more serious thing. You're also just doing yourself a personal disservice by not valuing your own time enough.

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I've worked with a bunch of artists and rates do tend to vary a fair amount. On one end there's a guy who charges $50 an hour for his time - although he is very good so the work is top notch and he ends up usually only taking 1-2 hours per ship. On the other end of the spectrum is an artist who charges flat fees based on the description of the work - came out to $23 per small base ship. I've had some cheaper commissions than this but I tend to stick to guys whose work I really like and so it ends up being a bit more costly. 

 

The fees you proposed are very modest indeed although that of course depends on your time investment and the final product! Suffice to say I'd be interested depending on what your results are like haha

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I have a friend who has done this sort of thing and a typical rate was triple the model cost.

 

That sounds like making a living off it rather than covering labour and materials.

 

 

One way you could do it though is have the custom repaint as a tournament prize.

Edited by Blue Five

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Hmmm...  See I had the guys say the same thing, don't undervalue it, but...  I don't want to have a big head either.  I'm modest about it I think.  Maybe a Small could cost $12 and then that'd be $24 for the Large.

 

I think that sounds about right.  I mean, nobody getting a freehand pin-up girl for that price and I'll tell people that, but I do want to provide a quality service at a price that at least keeps me in X-Wing.  Heck, a few Large commissions and I've got me a free Raider!

 

I wish I had a camera to take some photos for y'all.  Thanks for the replies and the advice though.  I do appreciate it.

 

edit:  Hawlucha, the HWK will be painted like Hawlucha...

Edited by Darkcloak

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I paint my own stuff, but assuming I didn't... I would probably pay 20 - 25 dollars for a small ship and 35-40 for a large ship, provided the person doing it was giving me quality work.  I'd want to see some examples before signing up.   

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Hmmm...  See I had the guys say the same thing, don't undervalue it, but...  I don't want to have a big head either.  I'm modest about it I think.  Maybe a Small could cost $12 and then that'd be $24 for the Large.

 

I think that sounds about right.  I mean, nobody getting a freehand pin-up girl for that price and I'll tell people that, but I do want to provide a quality service at a price that at least keeps me in X-Wing.  Heck, a few Large commissions and I've got me a free Raider!

 

I wish I had a camera to take some photos for y'all.  Thanks for the replies and the advice though.  I do appreciate it.

you don't have a phone?

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Hmmm...  See I had the guys say the same thing, don't undervalue it, but...  I don't want to have a big head either.  I'm modest about it I think.  Maybe a Small could cost $12 and then that'd be $24 for the Large.

 

I think that sounds about right.  I mean, nobody getting a freehand pin-up girl for that price and I'll tell people that, but I do want to provide a quality service at a price that at least keeps me in X-Wing.  Heck, a few Large commissions and I've got me a free Raider!

 

I wish I had a camera to take some photos for y'all.  Thanks for the replies and the advice though.  I do appreciate it.

you don't have a phone?

 

Nah, I been without for a about a month now.  Damned thing shattered on me and I was so disgusted I just haven't bothered to replace it.  That and I'm broke!  Lol

 

Should also factor in what they want done. Painting a TIE Fighter Royal Guard red is a fair bit easier than turning that same TIE Fighter into Sabine's Masterpiece.

 

This was why I want to do a flat rate, at least I have a base line then. 

 

Urgh, I'm really not sure what to price stuff at!  I don't want to screw myself now after reading what everyone would pay, but at the same time a big part of me is screaming "Nooooooooo" and jumping down a garbage chute...

 

Maye I should let my wife come up with the policy...

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Also, Crabbok...

 

You rock, Crabbok rocks.  Pokemon rocks.  Hell Yeah for Pokemon inspired X-Wing repaints!

 

It's surprising how awesome these ships look when you draw your inspiration from anime cartoons.  There is a pic on FB of a Piplup B-Wing I just did for the store owner sitting beside his Piplup ballcap... it's pretty dope...

 

[post='https://www.facebook.com/thetwoheadedgiantstore/post]

 

Derped that link so hard.  Took me a few tries...  It's a link to the FLGS wherein that Piplup B-Wing resides.

 

Goddamn it.  Nevermind... there is no link.

Edited by Darkcloak

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Simple answer: cost of materials + (number of hours it takes x your hourly rate)

Now, because you enjoy doing this and you're new to it, your hourly rate might be low. But it's not unreasonable to charge at least minimim wage for your time.

For example, if it takes 2 hours to paint a small ship, then charging $10 means you're only paying yourself $5 an hour. You wouldn't accept that rate of pay for a real job, would you?

If you undervalue your own time, you will find it hard to increase prices later if this becomes a more serious thing. You're also just doing yourself a personal disservice by not valuing your own time enough.

I want to like this, but I'm out of likes. And this post? This post deserves 1,000,000 likes. This is everything I have to say on the subject.

If you want to like EdgeOfDream's post twice, like his, and then like this one. :D

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$10 per small ship seems very cheap. As others said before: find out how long you need on average, and time that per your (atleast minimal) hourly wage. Dont forget the paint costs etc are coming out of your pocket aswell. If you want to do freebies or discounts for friends thats fine ofcourse. But you want the baseline to be something you are comfortable with when you do it for complete strangers.

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Having shattered my phone this week. I get your frustration (thankfully it's a work phone and they replaced it) and love your honesty. Have them supply the ship and you charge $20 per small ship. I'd happily pay for that.

You working on my Poe yet? ;)

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honestly you shouldnt undersell your artwork.  

 

Most good paintjobs ive seen run near around triple the model's cost.  

 

And you should NEVER do artwork to the utmost satisfaction of the customer.  They're tell you to do unrealistic or impossible things.  

Half of artwork is also having the audience come to accept what it is, and what the artist is attempting to portray.  

 

If you're unsure of your own quality, id minimum charge $20 per small ship, $40 per large ship.  

Realistically, my moderately mediocre paint jobs (i get some compliments on the ideas, but not the execution, i dont have the fineese), take me near 4 hours per small or large ship.   And I'd want to charge near $15 per hour.  

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I've been doing commission work almost one and a half year by now so I have some words of wisdom to share.

 

Putting a price tag on your work:

 

This is extremely difficult, but ultimately comes down to what the commissioner is willing to pay. In the beginning I would recommend putting the price fairly low. For my very first commission, a Kath Scarlet Firespray, I think I earned about 20$. Better to start way low and work your way up. If you are well known and highly respected for your painting skills, you will be able to charge more.

 

Spreading the word:

 

If you want to have any chance of people contacting you for commissions, you need to show off your work in a multitude of places. For instance, I have a simple blog where I post all my works, and I also upload my stuff to places like Cool Mini or Not.

 

Pictures:

 

Now this one is kinda obvious, you need to take a lot of pictures of the models you paint. However, you should really invest in some photo equipment and a proper camera if you are serious about doing commission work. Whatever you do, NEVER use a phone to take the pictures you need.

 

Make a name for yourself:

 

This one is a bit harder, but if possible, try to find a niche. It could be something as simple as embracing a certain style of painting. For instance, I'm building up a decent reputation for nice looking Star Wars repaints, but what I'm probably best known and most respected for are my scratch builds. At least that's the impression I've gotten.

 

I hope these words of wisdom will help you.

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In another game system (BattleTech) I sell my work for 45.00 a miniature (with customer supplying miniature.)  It's based in part on time spent, the reputation of the website I paint with (which is officially part of the company,) and the reputation I've built up over the years.  Having repainted a few X-Wing figures of my own, I would easy charge that for small based ships based on the details of the model, similar size to BattleTech miniatures, and how I paint.  I honestly wouldn't think twice! :)

Edited by Savage Coyote

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Assuming a quality job $15 for small and $30 for large.  $45 for epic ship.

 

Like others have said in this thread you have to charge for your time and based on these suggested rates I hope the epic ship only takes 2-3 hours.  In my experience painting ships can take 6-8 hours so to me these seem ludicrously low.  Again, if you want to charge people $10 for a commission make sure it only takes an hour or so, otherwise you'll start to feel cheated and quit doing them after the first few regardless of how much you enjoy it.

 

Another thing to consider is letting them know that it might take some time because if you're doing them for friends you might not manage your time to accommodate commissioned art work.  If they try and rush you on something you're doing as a favor or very cheaply you'll get the same un-motivational feeling as above.  

 

Just some tips based on my personal experiences with starting mtg altering.

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What should an artist charge?  This is an age old question that is nearly impossible to answer although I guess "whatever the market will bear" may be most appropriate.  Why is a Picasso worth so much more than another painting the same age?  I know I've been asked why I don't try doing professional photography and one of my reasons is simply that I've got no idea what I should charge.

 

If you can figure out what your costs are, and that includes part of the cost for durable things like brushes, that should be your absolute floor price where you should add something for your time.  Often basic costs like paint and stuff will be worked into an hourly rate but that may not always be a great idea.  If you have a good baseline of what it will take you should charge based on that but then may consider additional costs for more detailed work or when someone wants something you currently can't do.

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