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Any 'builders-for-hire' out there?

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  • Member since
    November, 2005
Any 'builders-for-hire' out there?
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 14, 2003 11:38 AM
Just wondering if there are any people that sell built models to clients/customers? If so, what is the general rates that you charge to do so?

I'm sure the rates can vary depending on the model, but there must be an 'average' (or even a high/low) amount that would cover a 1/48 WWII aircraft or a 1/24 auto?

Anyone make a living out of doing this??

M.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 14, 2003 12:28 PM
I have seen people selling built models on ebay. If they are well built they will sell them for a really good price. for instance I saw someone sell some nascar and he sold it for about $80. If people like the car enough, they will pay the money for it. Are you looking for someone to build you a model? Are you looking to have someone build you a model or do you want to sell them? If you want to sell, put one up on ebay, make sure they are good pictures, you can get back tripple what you paid for it.

-graig
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 14, 2003 12:38 PM
I've built up a number of models on a contract basis over the past 4-5 years. No, by no means am I making a living out of it nor do I know of anyone who is. What I've charged varies with the subject, but in general for 1/48th scale aircraft on a varnished/stained oak base, with a clear acrylic cover I charge $250.00. On the base I also include a brass plaque engraved with the subject matter, squadron info, who the model is for and my name and date. In the case of USAF and USN aircraft I have also attached the squadron patch on the base. The most I have charged was $750 for a three sub diorama - two L.A. class escorting the Ethen Allen - in 1/350th. It was for a guy who had served on the two L.A. attack boats and whose father was a plank owner on the Ethen Allen. Naturally, if the individual doesn't want a base or case I drop the price by about $100. I figured it out one time and I think I was making about five cents an hour.
Hope this helps.
Dick McC
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 14, 2003 3:53 PM
Thanks Dick and xcmbike. I'm not looking to have anything built, just curious what people do pay for built models. I'd think it would be pretty tough to make a living given the number of hours that go into these things...

M.
  • Member since
    January, 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Friday, February 14, 2003 8:32 PM
About 10 years ago I built 2 Shermans (O.O.B.) with slight weathering for a client....$250.00 each.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Saturday, February 15, 2003 1:27 AM
I build most of my models for income. Most of those are masters though and that's not what you're refering to, I take it. However, I do time to time work for customers ho want a completed model and my normal rate is 3 times the price of the kit (average price from normal retailers, or going price for collector's items that are not found in catalogues anymore). That is for an out of the box model. Dioramas, additional changes to personalise models push the price up.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, February 15, 2003 10:20 AM
dj,
What's a 'master'??

M.
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Saturday, February 15, 2003 11:17 AM
It's an original to create mold patterns, which eventually will give resin and/or metal kits. There's a few pics of some of my latest on my website. Most of them are plastic, milliput and superglue. Since the parts will be used in mold making, I do not have to worry about any painting, decaling or weathering. To give you an idea of prices, I sold the 1/72 Simca 5 staff car for about $200, while the 1/76 M41 fetched some $350.
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Lacombe, LA.
Posted by Big Jake on Saturday, February 15, 2003 5:36 PM
I've owned a small custom model building business for about 20 years, I also work full time as Supt. of a local Water works. I have never expected the "Shop" to pay the bills but it pays for vacations, old truck restorations, and the addition to the house. Kids college fund(s)

I've built everything from 1/50th. scale prototypes of new technology for the armed services to homicide scenes for the DA office. Some of my biggest $$ jobs are the antique ship restorations. Our shop has been featured in many news articles, and TV stories as well as an FSM cover. Met all sort of nice people along the way, as well as some rea A**holes.

Xr4tiSam, has worked with me on many a projects, he's a great model builder! Sam, do you remember the guy who though he was a re-incarnated WWII German soldier? with the figures and panzers tanks What a gasser.

And in 1986 the 170 yr. old antique English ship with the bowling ball damage?? That restoration sold for 10,200 to a collector from Hingham Mass.



 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 01, 2004 8:30 PM
How do you go about finding clients? Do you donate a model or two to a VFW or to a VA and include your contact info?

I love building WWII models, but I am running out of room! :-)
  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: USA, GA
Posted by erush on Friday, January 02, 2004 7:20 AM
I'm always for hire. I may be easy but I'm not cheap!! Wink [;)] Big Smile [:D]

I've never been commisioned by anyone to build a model but I've given a few as gifts and had a couple of the people try to pay me. (It wouldn't have been a gift if I'd taken it! Sad [:(] )

I've seen a few armor models with asking prices around $400 or so but that was a very good model. It's not something many people will make a living at that's for sure. I couldn't do it, I'm a slow builder and I'd starve between paychecks! Dead [xx(]

Eric
Hi, I'm Eric and I'm a Modelholic too. I think I have PE poisioning.     "Friendly fire...isn't"
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 03, 2004 8:45 AM
I had someone ask me to build a Greg Moore Indy car for them. They paid me $175.00 for it (I actually only made $100.00 on the deal, after paying for the hard to find kit and specialized decals)
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 03, 2004 12:56 PM
I know of a few local modelers who do some figure work and other models, that just enjoy it so they really dont charge anything other than maybe the kit and supplies....with maybe enough for them to pick up a kit for thier own enjoyment. I know one guy who hasnt bought a model or paints with his own wallet in 10 yrs.....of course Robert does Very Very Good Work.
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by mark956 on Saturday, January 03, 2004 8:26 PM
I have seen a number of modelers selling their stuff on E-bay. I have to say there were some really great looking models. Price range from $100.00 to $350.00 USD.
mark956
  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by animal on Saturday, January 03, 2004 9:50 PM
I build for commission. I build mostly soft skin vehicles of the Vietnam era. Most of the models are in 1/35 scale and are home cast resin and scratch built. I build from photos supplied by the customers. I sell these models for $300.00 to $425.00. Dependends on the vehicle ie. straight truck or tractor trailer rig etc. I have built kit models for some of my customers also. I usually get the price of the model and supplies to finish it and 25% for the labor. I don't build too many kits and I don't look for that type of commisions. I by no means make a living out of this but it does support my hobby.
Animal wants trucks!!! http://community.webshots.com/user/gtadw
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by mark956 on Sunday, January 04, 2004 9:54 AM
If you are really good at modeling, you could make a living off it.
mark956
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 04, 2004 11:41 AM
I build figure kits as a side job. My general price is $20 and hour (average) Ive done some armor commissions, but its so time consuming and people dont like that big price tag so I stick to just figures. I did build them as an income basis for a while, just after I was laid off at my last job. It took me a while to get another , so in the meantime I just built kits! It cetainly saved my but. Now, I just do some here and there, but I usually ahve at least one on my desk. The money I do make though just ends up going for my own addiction. Now I know why a crack dealer cant be a crack addict! lol
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Sunday, January 04, 2004 9:06 PM
A figure builder once told me he asks $1.00 a mm, but he said there are some guys out there that command and easily receive $2.00 a mm.

As for models, I used to work with a guy that built for a secondary income. He would make $250-$400 for 1/48 or 1/32 scale aircraft, $100-$300 for armor, and ship models, anything form $100 to $2000 (yeah, thats $2K).

Not that I would turn away work if offered, but I think I llike building as a hobby rather than as an income. Easiest way to suck the joy out of something is to have make a living at it.

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 04, 2004 9:27 PM
I have done a few figures on commission, usually charge supplies and a bit extra.
One think I do different though, the client supplies the Kit and I will set a fee after I have seen the Kit, but than I am doing mostly full resin figure kits.

My local LHS (like most shops here) got an annual competition(Cars, Bikes, Anime Figures, etc) and some of the stuff I have seen there make me shake my head.

Same with the corner where people can sell their finished Kits, some of them got visible seams, etc.
  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Monday, January 05, 2004 1:19 PM
Before ebay and the mass produced wood and metal models, you could set whatever you feel the buyer would pay. Nowdays, there is a market to gage by. I commission custom built ship models with some interior designers I have been working with for many years. An average 20" model in plastic may run $400.00 to $3000.00 with a 4 to 18 month lead time. A wooden ship, scale, to period but painted to match decor, may start at $800.00 on up with a 12 month starting lead time. Remember, I only deal with the lower class decorators, there are modelers, I think Big Jake is one of them, who deal with serious collectors who pay into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The best commissions that I like are the families and freinds who want a specific ship or plane built for their kin. These I normally charge a 1.5% multiplier over the cost of materials. To me, it's worth more to just build it.

I got my start in competitions where I was honored with state and regional Best of Show awards, and then through displays at hobbyshops, libraries, and schools. My IPMS club was commisioned to build a huge display for a museum so I got more exposure there. A local artist and scuptor suggested I display my ships in a local art show and it was their I met my designer freinds ( also sold my first wooden ship of the Bounty and paid off my car). All of my commissions are through word of mouth. I build for somebody who shows somebody who then wants one and so on and so on.

Heres a hint: Keep it a hobby and DO NOT make it a job! I did burn out and took almost a 10 year break. I'm now starting again but need to regain some lost skills.

Scott

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: A secret workshop somewhere in England
Posted by TANGO 1 on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 10:56 AM
I've only done two commissions and they were for friends , but one guy did see one of my models on a web gallery and e-mailed me asking if I would sell it. That was quite a nice surprize for me, the fact that someone thought the model was good enough to buy. I wrote back to him saying that the kit was'nt for sale and that there are people much better than me out there. In response, he told me that I was better that I thought I was!

A good friend of mine makes a living from building models, he has to build three museum quality kits per week to keep his head above water-he knows I envy him but he always tells me that when you start building to deadlines, it's not a hobby anymore.
Regards, Darren. C.A.G. FAA/USNFAW GB
  • Member since
    June, 2019
Posted by Gordon Turner on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:19 PM

Hi Jake how are things going, I need your help.I live in the Country Canada Province Ontario and City Brampton.I have built and painted at least 40 model kits Tanks mostly from the period World War 2.5 1/16 scale Tanks,5 1/25 scale and 1/35 scales 23 Tanks.Also built and painted Fighter Airplanes 1/32 scale 6 planes and 1/48 scale 2 planes. I did excellent workmanship on these model kits.I want to sell some of these Tanks and Airplanes but do not know any private Collectors .Could you possibly point me in the right direction.

Thank you very much 

Gordon Turner I am 58 years old.

  • Member since
    May, 2019
Posted by phasers.on.fun on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 6:19 AM

Gordon,

 

This thread is fifteen years old.

 

Gordon Turner

Hi Jake how are things going, I need your help.I live in the Country Canada Province Ontario and City Brampton.I have built and painted at least 40 model kits Tanks mostly from the period World War 2.5 1/16 scale Tanks,5 1/25 scale and 1/35 scales 23 Tanks.Also built and painted Fighter Airplanes 1/32 scale 6 planes and 1/48 scale 2 planes. I did excellent workmanship on these model kits.I want to sell some of these Tanks and Airplanes but do not know any private Collectors .Could you possibly point me in the right direction.

Thank you very much 

Gordon Turner I am 58 years old.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 2:32 PM

Gordon,

I don't think there is a market demand for completed models.

There are exceptions, i.e. a completed Tamiya Enzo Ferrari or 50 yr old Pocher Alpha Romeo but even then I don't think buyers are quite standing in line. Then there are commision builds but that's something different.

Sorry, not what you want to hear I reckon.

-Greg

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 4:52 PM

Give them to a Vet Hall. They love that kind of stuff.

OMG Darren the C.A.G. He ran the FAA GB for years.

  • Member since
    April, 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 6:42 PM

GMorrison, we don't have Vet Halls in Canada.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 6:56 PM

Are there no veterans organizations with associated meeting locations in Canada?

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 7:21 PM

ddp59

GMorrison, we don't have Vet Halls in Canada.

 

Royal Canadian Veterans 

veterans.ca

Google is your friend

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 7:59 PM

Well I found this group for Canadian vets...

 

http://anavets.ca/links/veteran-associations/

 

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January, 2012
  • From: Barrie, Ontario
Posted by Cdn Colin on Friday, June 28, 2019 2:17 PM

Royal Canadian Legion

https://legion.ca/

Branches all over the place.  Most of them have models in dispay cases.  There's a "Find a Branch" link at the top of the page.

The Lorne Scots have a company in the armoury at 12 Chapel street.  If your kits would be related, one of their messes could be interested (Mens', SR NCO's, Officers').

CFB Borden, up the road from you, was an air force base.  Their museum may be interested.

 

I build 1/48 scale WW2 fighters.

Have fun.

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