View Full Version : SD's PfP, A hobby funding itself! (hopefully)

Spectral Dragon
23-10-2011, 04:24 PM
I am not going to make lofty goals at the moment, as I am new to selling painted miniatures. Many of you know that I am also not the best painter out there. I am, however, going to be going about this differently than most.

My goal is to get better at painting over time. Lately I have improved leaps and bounds, but I am nowhere near good enough to be earning double retail auctions. Once I have figured out my new method of metallic painting that may change, but that could be a ways away.

My strategy is to buy low and sell close to retail. Over the past year I have been very lucky with my hoard indeed, as I have lucky friends who share in their luck with myself. I have quite a collection and am willing to part with it to make this hobby fund itself. I will start with what I have.

I started with 20 bucks. I bought 4 vallejo model air metallics in order to improve upon said metallic experiment, as well as to use tried and true methods. I didn't completely spend the 20 dollars, but for the sake of this challenge I will say that I will, because one of my figures I bought recently, and the leftover of the 20 is right around what I paid for that mini. The mini in question is Reapers Night Spectre BTW.

So, the mini's I will start with are: an AoW Dwarf Lord (the one with the cigar), the white dwarf model from several years back (the one that was meant for the table top) and my soul grinder. On my days off I will be diligently working on these and put them up on ebay.

So, personal rules:

When calculating profit, include all overhead possible.
Models that I currently have and am getting rid of I will calculate at the price I bought them at, not current retail price.
Start with all current models and paints. Any additional bought from this point forward goes towards overhead.
The goal of this challenge is to turn my hobby into something that pays for itself. I am looking forward to some new necron models, and eventually I need an airbrush and all supplies associated with one. If my overhead is more than my profit then I need to consider working harder or consider this either a failure or partial success. If my profit is almost equal to or more, it is a complete success!
A future, lofty goal, would be to use this to help with my Future business, Fullmetal Dragon.

Expect an update as soon as I get one of the 3 aforementioned models done.

23-10-2011, 06:50 PM
As I mentioned in a previous post about selling on ebay, I try to always get double what I paid for the figure. I look at it as paying for my hobby, not paying for my work. I have sold several figures on ebay and almost always get at least double what I paid for the kit. To me, I get to paint more figures and my ebay sales pay for my hobby. Since I started selling on ebay all the money I have speant on figures and paints have come from my sales. I would suggest that you be resonable with your pricing structure cause I have seen people put painted figures on ebay that were some of the worst paint jobs I have seen and they are asking hundreds of dollars and they never sell. The first space librarian I painted cost me 19 dollars and I listed it as buy it now for 38.50 and it sold in 2 hours. I dont look at profit, just recouping what I spent plus money for my next kit.
Metallics done well can be difficult and I struggle with them myself but I have gotten a lot better at them mainly with practice and experimentation.I think most figure painters would love to turn their hobby into a well paid profession but very few ever do. I am happy that I can fund my hobby through ebay and hope you will find some success in your endeavour

23-10-2011, 07:01 PM
Yep there's wisdom there in what jcichon tells yeah. Low expectations leaves you with nowwhere to go but up
I got some advice when I first started posting on eBay that since I wasn't that concerned about the final sale value and just wanted to get soe expereince and some customers out there to start my auctions at 99 cents. I think this was good advice as I had zero feedback and it helped ensure my first several auctions sold. I took a bath on a few of them but not most.

Now I try to start them off around $20 or a little bit higher. They usually sell, but for sure not for big bucks. I do make enough to pay for my hobby so I know what you're after is super doable. Good luck, and enjoy the experience!

23-10-2011, 08:37 PM
The pathfinder dragon from reaper is a good sale, bought for 20 sold for 80.

23-10-2011, 09:23 PM
nice one

Spectral Dragon
24-10-2011, 04:18 PM
jcichon: as I said I am going to start at retail for most of these, as I think it's fair. Even if people don't care for the paint job (although, honestly, I am not a bad painter by any means, just nowhere near the best either) they can still get the figure they wanted and repaint it themselves. if people happen to like the paintjob then it will sell for a bit higher.

Mind, as I typed the above I am specifically thinking about my soul grinder and large, expensive models. I may just take your advice Scott and sell some smaller mini's for a buck. Should get me started.

A list of Mini's I am going to work on at some point for selling:

Soul Grinder
White Dwarf
AoW Dwarf Lord
Squad of Khorne Berzerkers on round bases with a round base movement tray to convert to fantasy.
Squad of Flamers of Tzentch
Njal Stormcaller in runic terminator armor.
Skaven screaming bell. Debating selling the plague furnace I have as It's not built quite how I want it to be. Heck, I could use the money to just buy a new one anyway why not!
Old metal Daemonettes of Slanesh (these have been hot items on ebay for a while now!)
New plastic daemonettes of Slanesh (this is why I can see the old metal ones being so hot an item)
Juggernauts of Khorne
Thinking about converting the bits and pieces I have for a dreadnaught into a custom Khorne dread
Many, many others (I need to make room for new stuff anyway!)

Spectral Dragon
26-11-2011, 01:51 AM

Finally able to take some WIP shots of this bad boy. He is looking fairly good thus far.

26-11-2011, 02:35 AM
love the flesh, you could do with some sort of black lining around the brass metals (makes it stand out fron the red under it). Have you tried a black wash gives a good poor mans black lining

Spectral Dragon
26-11-2011, 02:48 AM
love the flesh, you could do with some sort of black lining around the brass metals (makes it stand out fron the red under it). Have you tried a black wash gives a good poor mans black lining

I think I am going to redo that part and go with a blend from black around the edges where the brass is to a bright red in the middle. Should give a great contrast. I am also going to redo that brass with model air colors as I have found a wonderful brass recipe of my own. Correctly shaded and highlighted metal makes a gaming model stand out!