Miniature Painting Commission prices
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Thread: Miniature Painting Commission prices

  1. #1

    Default Miniature Painting Commission prices

    Hi folks, I'm after a bit of advice as to how much I can expect to pay to get a whole army painted up to battlefield standard (I'm not talking about display case here, just good enough to grace a battlefield and to look ok from the other side of the table).

    I'm on the verge of completing my Nautican army list (see the foot of my signature if you don't know what i'm talking about) and I have decided it's time to get the army together - realisitically i don't think I will ever get the time or inclination to paint all of the miniatures myself.

    There will be about:-

    70 Trident Guard (Komodons about the same size as WFB lizardman and are metal)
    40 Coral Hunters (WFB plastic skink models)
    20 Crestriders (WFB metal skink models)
    30 Sandgangers (WFB plastic crypt ghouls)
    5 Stingrays (Tzeentch screamers)

    and the below are all about Ogre size and metal
    6 Lobstrosities
    5 Octobipods
    4 Weresharks
    1 Hammerhead Wereshark
    1 Reefer
    2 Giant Crabs

    I'm going to try to tackle the remainder and the Lords, Heroes, Mermaids and Sirens myself.

    So, to summarise, it's about 160 standard rank and file sized models (about 50/50 metal/plastic) and about 20 Ogre sized metal minis.

    I'm going to contact some people directly but I'm looking for a rough number, eg. £400 GBP.

    Has anybody got any experience getting stuff painted on commission ?

    Thanks for your help,
    Sigmar

  2. #2

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    no real experience, but on the Golem-Painting-Studios site I found these prices, that seem normal for me:
    Standard Army Painting normally revolves around basecoats, a wash and a highlight or two depending on the model.
    Standard Infantry Model : £3.50 - £6
    Monstrous Infantry Models : £8 - £12

    so based on your list: £720 - £1200, depending on some models possibly a bit more.

    You may find someone in eastern-europe/asia who may paint for less, but finding them is hard. I know one or two, who does the infantry for example for £1, but as a student it may take a year or more to have everything.
    And another on a local forum, who offered prices like £1.5-2/figure, but he never have finished an army yet (not even his own), so I wouldn't really count on it.

    a 3rd possibility is to try getting a student to do it for an offered money, that's less, than the calculated price above, but more than someone who hasn't worked yet could think about. (and they'll find out while painting them just how many is 160 figures).

    however I look that cca. £720-1200 could be the best offer you'll get.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info MAX.

    £700+ is way more than I'd like to spend - ouch ! I've already had to buy the minis, some of which, like the Trident Guard are quite pricey (although not as expensive as GW which is where I usually get my minis).

    Hmmm.... i like your idea of getting a student to do it. I might put it up for tender.

    I wonder if there's a way of doing something like this on eBay or a similar site from a buyers point of view rather than a seller ?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigmar View Post
    £700+ is way more than I'd like to spend - ouch
    Just to put a little perspective on this. If a painter wants to earn anything like the most basic wage - say £20 p/h (which works out at very, very little for someone that's self employed) £700 would mean a grand total of £3.89 per mini, the equivalent of 11 minutes of their time on each figure and if that includes assembly as well.... Take a plumber for example. How much does it cost to get them just to turn up at your house and take a look. Fair enough some of them are cowboys but I'll bet 90% of them are perfectly decent people trying to make a living by trading a skill that most people don't have.

    Any commission painter that takes on army sized projects, at a gaming level, and is worth their salt, will be really fast and have loads of tricks for speed painting to a good standard but anything less than £700 and it'd cost them more than they'd earn.

  5. #5

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    To be honest £700 is quite cheap for that amount of models...

    I think my painting prices here: http://onfirepainting.blogspot.com/p...ng-prices.html reflect what a lot of people will charge to paint on commission.

    Tom

  6. #6

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    Hi Beno, £20 per hour is not the "most basic wage"

    If you are self employed, work the average 41 hours per week for the average 46 weeks a year (for UK workers) you would earn...

    £37,720

    which I would consider a very good salary for a miniature painter.

    I think about half of that amount around £10 per hour is more reasonable.

    I don't know how much the GW Eavy Metal crew earn but I suspect it is less than £37k.

  7. #7

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    I try to charge £10 and hour but quite often I end up only getting £5 as I am too optimistic as to how long the project will take haha!

  8. #8

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    Hi Wickedcarrot, I guess it depends what standard I have them painted to. If I used the basic gaming standard in your blog price list then they would cost just over £600.

  9. #9

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    I do rank and file troops for $5....space marine size. nothing too amazing, just a little above table top. if you want them assembled too then i charge an extra $35 for say a group of 15 space marines. the bigger the model the more i charge. and if you want a display army then it gets a LOT more expensive. it really depends on what i am doing and the level of detail on each mini. everything is subjective. but i painted a 500 point dark eldar force with two vehicles for around $750 at display quality.
    Brushlicking is the miniature painting equivalent of a rock'n'roll life-style!

    Here is my ranking:

  10. #10

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    Sigmar, you're assuming that £37k is all straight into the bank. There are overheads with any business and self employed is just the same. A studio costs money to run regardless whether its from home or a specialist rented space. Utilities are pricey for both. Paint, primers, varnish, glue, modeling putties/clays/fillers, scenic materials, tools, decent brushes and cleaners; that lot'll set you back by £50-100 on a full scale army project before you've even put the brush to the metal! Then comes Mr. Taxman with his National Insurance too - suddenly that £700 is looking like £500-550 - hence £3.50 or so per mini. If it takes, say 30mins per model from opening the packet to walking out of the post office with a tracking number in hand then you're "in the bank" hourly wage is down to £6.25... roughly minimum wage.

  11. #11

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    ooh, meant to add quickly that the GW team probably don't get 37k per annum. But they don't pay for the space, the materials, utilites etc. We do by buying the minis!

  12. #12

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    I thought we should add something, as we've been banding as an example and we obviously have alot of experience in this field.

    At £700. After tax and overheads and what not, you basically have to paint that army in 2 weeks, 40 hours a week - this will earn you around £6.25 an hour - minimum wage is (i believe) £6.08

    We do this job, on the whole, not for the money - but because we'd rather be sat around painting toy soldiers rather than doing any other job.

    There are other options - yes you can go abroad, and things may be slightly cheaper - easten europe/asia. However generally (with some exceptions) the quality is lower, plus your sending your models a long way an back - postage costs are higher/risk of model damage is higher.

    You can pay students - some are very good, some arn't. The difference with hiring a professional studio is; we work full time, so get it done quicker (often alot quicker dependent on time of year) and we have a reputation to uphold so we will get the models painted on time and to a good standard, and (if the company is a good one) will sort out any problems you have along the way.

    Your welcome to email us for a proper quote, or listing what you want in the trading type areas of various forums may get you some offers

  13. #13

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    Hello Sigmar

    I was just wondering if you have found someone to paint your army for you?

    I have recently been painting people's armies/indivual models on commisson and have recieved good feedback via eBay. I have only ever painting Warhammer 40k miniatures on Commisson to a high table top standard. I would be happy to give yours a tackle though as i have an airbrush and can quickly paint them (30 miniutes a model maximum). As i currently work in full time employment i don't have unlimited painting time and will only have around 6 - 12 hours painting a week so we would be talking 3 months ish to get this all painted for you. I would charge £450 via bank transfer or £470 via PayPal or £550 via eBay (PayPal and eBay are more exspensive due to the fact they take a commisson on what sales). Give me a bell at KJRowsell@hotmail.co.uk regarding questions. If you have already found a painter then if you can give me a quick message via my email it would be appreciated as i can then book other people in for commissons.

    Regards, WPMiniatures

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigmar View Post
    70 Trident Guard (Komodons about the same size as WFB lizardman and are metal)
    40 Coral Hunters (WFB plastic skink models)
    20 Crestriders (WFB metal skink models)
    30 Sandgangers (WFB plastic crypt ghouls)
    5 Stingrays (Tzeentch screamers)

    and the below are all about Ogre size and metal
    6 Lobstrosities
    5 Octobipods
    4 Weresharks
    1 Hammerhead Wereshark
    1 Reefer
    2 Giant Crabs

    Thanks for your help,
    Sigmar

    It's off-topic but the WH armies nauticans people should have a look at "Sea of Blood", the sea monster expansion of the GW man o' war game (nineties.) There's monsters such as : sea elemental, sea dragon, kraken, promethean (collossal crab), leviathan, Triton (mage) etc.

  15. #15

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    So this is how I would price for customers and mind you that would be for a basic job no major thrills or conversions or freehand just a basic paint to a nice standard.
    70 Trident Guard (Komodons about the same size as WFB lizardman and are metal) $10-$12 each so around $700ish
    40 Coral Hunters (WFB plastic skink models) $8 each so $320
    20 Crestriders (WFB metal skink models) $160
    30 Sandgangers (WFB plastic crypt ghouls) These are bigger so $15 each $450
    5 Stingrays (Tzeentch screamers) $75

    and the below are all about Ogre size and metal
    6 Lobstrosities $30 each so $180
    5 Octobipods $150
    4 Weresharks $120
    1 Hammerhead Wereshark $30
    1 Reefer $30
    2 Giant Crabs $60

    So USD would be $2275 now this would take close to 80ish hours and breaking that down if I could make more flipping burgers I would. At current conversion rates you would spend somewhere to the tune of 1300 sterling pounds with shipping. Even to discount that down to say 1100 is a huger break down, and you want to pay 400 pounds which would only be $660 USD. Now if I were to do that as an hourly thats $8.25 USD. Here in Mass the minimum wage is $8.50 and rising. Put it into perspective you are hiring somone for their skill but you can't expect slave labor which a lot of people seem to think. You often spend more time then the alloted 80 hours and on average something your magnatude would run close to 100 hours as that's a lot of models.
    Visit my Hobby webstore at http://battleroadhobbies.com/ . Also I am available for commission just shoot me a pm.

  16. #16

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    Eavy metal guys are on about 25k if I remember right. Not bad for doing what you love. I imagine there's probably bonuses for doing events and private commissions or ebay projects.

  17. #17

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    beno1440 - £20 an hour is honestly a ludicrous amount for a freelance painter to aim at. It's also not very little for someone who is self employed. It's rather a lot! I can paint really fast and to a good standard and I've only ever come close to making that sort of hourly rate on the odd few lucky eBay models that I've put up and have had a bidding war develop on.

    I never expect that kind of money on commissions. Anyone looking for £20 an hour as a freelance painter and quoting for jobs accordingly just isn't going to get work. It's too competitive for that.

    Having said that, this army looks like the stuff my nightmares are made of. Soooo much rank and file! So I probably would quote at that sort of level and know that if it didn't put the customer off I'd end up doing a hellish job but getting a massive amount of cash for it. But armies are my Kryptonite, I just fail at them. So, I won't even PM you that ludicrous quote.

    I think £25k is pretty optimistic for 'Eavy Metal too but I may be wrong. It was certainly much lower than that when I worked at GW a while back. Also, GW don't pay for attending events (it's just kind of expected that you go to them every so often) and are fairly tight on what their painters can do out of work time.

    Follow Infamy Miniatures on facebook and twitter

  18. #18

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    Damn, missed that this had been threadomanced!

    Follow Infamy Miniatures on facebook and twitter

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by lono View Post
    Damn, missed that this had been threadomanced!
    Muhahaha! You are now <infected>! Find the <Lost Orb of Phantasmagora> in order to cleanse yourself!
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigmar View Post
    Hi Beno, £20 per hour is not the "most basic wage"

    If you are self employed, work the average 41 hours per week for the average 46 weeks a year (for UK workers) you would earn...

    £37,720

    which I would consider a very good salary for a miniature painter.

    I think about half of that amount around £10 per hour is more reasonable.

    I don't know how much the GW Eavy Metal crew earn but I suspect it is less than £37k.
    I am from the US, but this statement kind of rings false to me... As someone with a service to offer - a skilled service, no less - the services are worth more than you are giving credit for.

    Unskilled labor gets minimum wage, or slightly above it... skilled labor gets more... Hell a house painter (and I have known some of the schlubs that paint houses... 0 skill) gets $40 to $50 an hour (33 - 42 pounds)

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