Food for thought

It has come to my attention that the field for making and building models for collectors is in the process of being watered down. That is to say those builders who already have income and love building models are doing our work basically for cost. They love doing it and are willing to do it without making any profit.
If you go to any trained and experienced professional, you can expect to pay for that training and experience. Moreover, if that professional has a reputation, history and/or celebrity you can expect to pay even more. This is normal and should be understood. I worked with Gene Roddenberry, Robert Wise, Richard Edlund and other prominent names for very big movies. You can see my name in the credits. This means that when I build your model, you are getting both a well-made model and part of history.
This is a free county and we still have free enterprise. This is all good and we respect and support the system. It doesn’t change the fact that the price for building a model has been watered down so far as it is no longer profitable for us, as professionals, to pursue it.
I will still build models for a fair price for my expertise. I am going to leave the hobby model building to the hobbyist. It is a great hobby. For those who just want the model built for the lowest price they can find, I wish you good luck.
We will be shifting our attention and focus more towards film and TV work, creature effects, makeup, props, filmmaking, photography, CGI and After Effects. For the Movie Industry, I am always available.
For the Serious Collector, who wants the very best, we are always here for you.

6 Responses to “Food for thought”

  1. July 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Steve is speaking the truth, I deal with the same problems on build up projects for clients all the time… We do this for a living… Please support our craft… Randy

  2. 2 Mike Starling
    July 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Good for you Steve and thank you so much for saying that. I used to build commission pieces. It got to the point that people wanted you to build basically for free. Back in the 70’s I had a General who wanted me to build him an Airfix 1/24 Spitfire. He wanted specific custom markings and other mods that reflected the birds that he worked around in the Eagle Squadron during his time in England. I quoted him what I felt was a very reasonable price, given the nature of the customization he wanted. He balked at the price and asked me why so much. I explained to him that unskilled labor made (at that time) $3.75 per hour. What he wanted me to do was more than unskilled labor, otherwise he would do it himself. People just don’t get it!

  3. 3 evil_genius_180
    July 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Yes, this is an unfortunate truth. The same thing is happening with digital models, Steve. Sometimes, somebody will agree to build a CGI model (or models) for somebody for a ridiculously low price, which seriously undercuts freelance artists. Then, that person or somebody else will expect to be able to pay those kinds of prices to have models built, and will balk at prices quoted by freelance artists. It’s an epidemic where people think, just because somebody who has some skill is willing to do either digital or physical models, probably to supplement their income in whatever other job they have, for these low prices, that said prices are the industry standard. But, they’re not. Unfortunately, this kills the business of freelance artists and model builders, because people can get stuff built more cheaply elsewhere, even if the quality is lower.

    Movie and TV effects are definitely where the better pay is, since people in those fields know the importance of quality over savings. After all, if you release a movie with cheap effects, everybody complains about how cheap and fake looking the effects are. 😉

  4. 4 Raul Quiles Jr
    July 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Steve I am sad to hear this, if I were in a better financial position I would love to own one of your models. Hopefully your TV project will get on the air, then you will have little time for small projects. As it is with the word getting out that your expertise is available to the many film and digital outlets, you will have work. Unfortunately for us many of these projects will not appear on SNG until after the films are out, we will just have to deal with it. Best of luck and keep building dreams, in the end it’s all we have. Raul

  5. 5 Raul Quiles Jr.
    July 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I too agree Steve, I use to do freelance graphic design but people expected high quality, plus fast turn around at bargain prices, it’s the main reason I would get a signed agreement for my price before I started any work. As with many things today, the internet has distorted people’s view of what a creative service costs and how long it takes to create a work of art. Best of luck Steve, your talent and drive is an inspiration to me and many that follow SNG.

  6. 6 Tim
    July 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Steve? Hi….I have in my possession… in my “hot little hands” a kit, MIB, the shrink-wrap still on of AMT/ERTL kit #1617 (This is the number on the BOTTOM of the kit box).

    The shrink-wrap IS not complete, there is a slight tear at one corner…..this is the AMT/ERTL “Plus Pack” of the 1/1400 Enterprise D. Did a bit of research, it is the AMT #8400 “Plus Pack”…..Again, I want to build, but I wonder if this is precious, or not? Meaning….is the intact kit more worthy, or is the finished model?

    I want to build it.

    Thanks for your opinion.

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July 2014

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