I understand all the points listed in this thread . I have built on commission on and off for over forty years , making a living ? Nope . Extra money yes ! Thing is You might find yourself in the situation unexpectedly .
The Kidd/Arizona are a case in point . My client and friend had a Kidd . It was in poor shape and not finished and had some structural issues .Tha Arizona was simple . I will build yours as long as you duplicate the kit and aftermarket accessories for me due to fixed income .
His Arizona has been set aside at the ninety percent mark in favor of the Kidd . The Kidd being wood was a bear at first .Now she's shaping up nice .Then I get to stop due to cardiac issues . Not once , But twice ! My friend is the model of patience though .His Kidd will surpass any I,ve seen built , If it is the last ship I do I will give him my best . This is something I've decided . He deserves every ounce of skill I have because of his patience !
Same for the Arizona . Now as a break I have done four 1/87 tugs ( waterline) . And sold all four . They sold for $ 450.00 which included the cost of the kit ! All were built to my standard which is a fully detailed wheelhouse . In larger scales this is my trademark.
The last civilian ships were for Clean - Bay of Ventura California . If it was in the pictures I took of the wheel - house it was in there . Yep coffee cups , portable radios and wet blue jeans on a stair rail !
This last two ship project will probably be my last .Too much time has been involved and I am about six months behind where I like to be . It has been fun , frustrating and extremely satisfying when everything goes as planned .
If you want to do it , Have the desire and are mentally ready this is what you need to factor in .What is the subject ? Are there any special markings or equipment involved ? and Does the client want a kit based build ? If so , Is it available in the scale he wishes? Is it the model he wants ? and how much aftermarket or superdetailing does he want ?
In the case of aircraft I do a simple equation - Kit+ Paint + time + superdetailing parts or scratch work . Stand -No stand (extra Parts and work here ) . Finally and most important , as you said , Show your previous work to cement or derail the deal . Time must be agreed upon and try to keep on schedule . Any hourly work Must be factored in the price .
All done , you will have time as your master and guide to the coldhearted " Bottom Line . " In other words , If you feel " Fuzzy " about it - Don't commit . You won't regret backing away if you feel any Trepidation about it .
Good luck if you do it and remember , Model On ! Tanker Builder P.S. After reading the other replies I do have to add , I started by doing models of sites , scenes and machinery for a personal injury attorney . Then two of them . Yeah , very good money as it was figured in as "special research " by the attorney and I had to be known to the court .
Then computers could do it better . Ah Well !