Author Topic: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN  (Read 25819 times)

Offline libertee

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AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« on: January 09, 2011, 09:33:09 PM »
This topic is also posted in 'Eye Candy' (http://forum-of-doom.com/index.php?topic=14199.new#new) but i thought it could do with going
here as well as an example of production costs of a Limited Run figure.  I know sometimes when we announce the prices for something that you
**gasp** or think "sheesh they must be making some serious cash on that one" ...it would be a very natural reaction.

However we dont make a lot of money on these runs.  We do them because we want to push the boundaries on what is in the marketplace,
we do it to hold our beliefs and philosophies true about what can be achieved if we think 'outside the box', we do it because that is what
HF does....something different to everyone else.  Some of you who may be new to HF would think "well whats the point if you arent making any money".
The point is that if you don't do these things then the hobby will stagnate, it wont grow and progress.  Kev will get bored just thinking of how
to make something to be cast in metal instead of getting excited about a new type of resin or a new production process.  
If we do something new maybe we will inspire others to try thing new as well and life will get a bit more fun!

So next time you see a fantastic new figure from any manufacturer, remember some of the costs involved as shown here and hopefully this information
will help you understand their pricing structure.  Obviously some of the costs will vary according to each manufacturer and the standard of the casting
they use or even if they do it in-house ... these are prices from the top end casters who take pride in their work and who do justice to the sculpts Kev produces.
If you want something that looks and feels cheaper and is a nightmare to put together with millions of airbubbles to fill then i am sure Mark can point you
in the direction of some of the dodgier resin casters in the industry!


BTW, in case you hadnt noticed.....making toy soldiers isnt a licence to print money even if you are married to the sculptor and are busy
breeding your own team of packers!


*************************************************************************************************
THE EXAMPLE
*************************************************************************************************



Kev has changed the gun to make it more in keeping with his inspiration.  This gun will later be available on a weapon sprue
but i wouldnt hold your breath as to exactly when as there is a loooong list ahead of it in the casting queue!

There have been a number of discussions about getting this figure cast in clear resin.  
We have looked into this in detail….we like to keep you all happy and want you to know that we do take your suggestions seriously.  
The idea is to cast in a clear resin so that the painter can make her 'invisible', 'partially visible', 'visible' and anywhere inbetween.  
This is a one piece casting, no assembly required!


There are limitations to this kind of resin casting though.  

1:  The first is that the clear resin itself is very damaging to the silicon mould so whereas a standard HF blue resin casting
of this kind of size/level of detailing we could maybe get 45 - 50 castings before the mould starts showing signs of wear/damage
nd the quality drops...a clear resin piece we are looking realistically at 35 - 40 castings per mould.
2:  The resin itself is a variable entity.  It is a specialist material that can have slight variances in transparency from batch
to batch, this means we may get 15 crystal clear castings and then 10 or so not so clear, then another 10 or so slightly less clear
from each mould.  

What the two variances above mean for us and for you is that we cant guarantee how many of each transparency we will get per
mould until we physically get the castings in our hands.

Our plan is to use 3 moulds for the limited run.  We will use 1 mould until it is unusable and then grade the total castings from this
mould and sell them in 2 price brackets depending on the clarity.  As the stock from this first mould is nearly sold out we will commission
the second mould, and so on until all 3 moulds are finished.  That will then be the end of the run in clear resin.  
This means we will have for sale over a period of time between 90 and 120 castings.

********************

Now for the nitty gritty.

It has been a long time since i have shared any costings with you all so this is as good an example as any to let you know how the
cost of raw materials has affected costings/profits over the last few years.  I have broken down for you the costs we incur getting a
figure of this kind of specification from starting point to in your grubby little hands to admire and cherish!  I have colour-coded the two
quantity variables to (hopefully) make it easier to follow.

Grey Matter Figures have quoted us the following.  Just to clarify, we have no issues with their costs.  You basically get what you pay
for and their casting is top notch...clean, virtually zero mould lines, lovely to handle....they do Kevs work justice.  
We don't often get a chance to use Fenris for figures but i should imagine his charges would be similar as his quality is on par with Grey Matter.


MOULDING:
Each Mould is going to cost £50 plus vat ...so with VAT at 20% this means each mould will cost £60.
If we break this down to the amount of castings per mould we get a cost of between £1.71 per figure (with 35 in mould) and £1.50 per figure (with 40 in each mould).  
THIS IS NOT THE TOTAL COST, JUST THE COST OF THE MOULD PER FIGURE

CASTING:
They estimate £5 plus VAT per casting ...that works out £6 per figure cast.

TOTAL COST per figure to get cast = £7.50 - £7.71

PACKAGING:
This will work out per figure for blistering/insert card to approximately 40p per figure.

POSTAL PACKAGING:
As this figure will need to be packed in a box with a depth of greater than 25mm, it will add an extra £1.50 to the packaging
costs of sending a normal figure through a PIP box.

This brings a total cost of producing the figure to the point of sale to between £9.40 and £9.61


SALES COSTS


Web sales costs/commissions for processing the payments average at between 8 - 10% depending on the provider.  
We usually estimate 10% to make it easier.
Now KJ suggests a selling price of £20 per figure which would mean our selling costs amount to £2 per figure.
The taxman will take 20% of the selling price which amounts to £4.00


So to total it up.

1:  Point of sale costs between £9.40 and £9.61
2:  Add on payment costs takes us to between £11.40 and £11.61 per figure
3:  Add on VAT and this takes us to between £15.40 and £15.61 per figure.

So with a RRP of £20 per figure we get profit of between £4.60 and £4.39 per figure.

However this isnt net profit, this is gross profit.  We havent yet had to pay Kev for his work.  He averages for a freelance
piece between £250 and £350 for something this size.  So lets take the middle ground and say we pay him £300 for it.
£300 divided by 120 castings gives a payment to Kev of £2.50 per casting.

Add this onto the above and you get a total production cost per figure of between £17.90 and £18.11, giving us net profits of between £2.10 and £1.89 per casting.



If we sell all 120 castings at £20 each then we make a profit of between £252 and £226.80 for the whole run.
That is assuming there are no breakages during transit and that all of the parcels arrive where they are supposed to be.
If it is a month like November/December during the snow or the Icelandic volcano earlier in the year where we have re-shipped 25% of parcels at our expense
that were missing or delayed then for each order of this figure that we have to reship we look at losing the figure cost (of between £17.90 and £18.11)
plus shipping charges of between £3.00 (UK recorded ) to £6.00 (EU) to £7.00 (Non-EU).  
If we have to reship even 10% of figures (12 figures) then we are in trouble.

For example to illustrate this point if we reship 12 figures ( 4 from each postal groups) we lose between
£17.90 x 12 plus £64 (postal charges ) = £278.80 and £217.32 + £64 = £281.32.  This means we make no profit at all and instead incur a loss of between £54.52 and £26.80.


If we think positively and assume that we will get no breakages and will not have to re-ship any castings then the profit from
this run then goes into the general pot to pay Marks wages, Rent and utilities for the workshop (heating, phone , internet, tea/coffee etc),
Rent for the storage unit, general running expenses like paper/toner/consumables, upgrading equipment, insurances, packaging, petrol ...
everything bascially we pay out from sweets to sending out free figures as prizes for competitions.



*************



Does this open anyones eyes or are these kind of figures you expected to see?
Bear in mind that the initial outlay for this figure is higher than usual because of the resin type, however the other expenses are the same.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 09:44:08 PM by libertee »
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Gangrel

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 09:41:00 PM »
That's scary.

I don't think there's any costs there that I hadn't thought about; it's just an eye-opener to see them all laid out logically, especially with the numbers. This isn't a figure that I'd be buying solely down to not knowing the source material, but if there was a figure that WAS in my line, then I hope I'd still buy into it and continue to support you guys.

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Offline Bishop Odo

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 09:51:43 PM »
I love the business talk, no one else does it, and it’s very informative. I appreciate it Sally, please keep it up and keep HF and Kev in business. 

Offline Gothy Beans

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 11:21:00 PM »
I knew of these sorts of costs, having researched them, but I for some reason assumed companies producing more of something would have a substantially lower cost (the more of any one thing they produced), than this.
Curse those magic money-fairies for not actually working like that. :erm:
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Offline fog99uk

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 12:08:30 AM »
Running a models department I have a rough idea of the costs involved and how small the returns can be. I am surprised you don't put higher prices on your resin figures. I regularly see 54mm resin figures with your level of detail selling for £80-120.

At least you don't make plastics, so much more expensive.

Offline Klute

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2011, 12:20:35 AM »
Honestly why bother with such a low margin. I understand the ethos of pampering to the fans and while it doesnt make good business sense in the short term it most likely helps in the long run. Its the way you have always run your business in my eyes and its what really sets you apart from other companies ( the cool toys help too of course ). However there must come a point where you should say "look guys we would love to do some gold plated but its just too much for us to absorb".

How about a shorter clear resin run of maybe one mould and adjust the price up accordingly....say £30. If demand asks for it then commission another mould for the clear casts. Then do your usual limited normal resin run at the usual price for your limited resins. Then of course the metals followed by the weapon sprue. BTW I have to add thats one of the best weapons Kev's done to date.

It's nice to know our feelings are cared for here but I'm sure 99% of your customers realize it is a business your running.

Offline Hasslefriesian

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2011, 08:14:36 AM »
I've just been downstairs to see the Grey Matter guys and have been told that actually we'll be lucky to get 25 out of a mould :eh:
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Offline geronimo

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2011, 09:25:20 AM »
I've just been downstairs to see the Grey Matter guys and have been told that actually we'll be lucky to get 25 out of a mould :eh:

Sounds about right. Clear resins are horrible for longevity  8:::
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Offline AKULA

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 05:16:50 PM »
The best laid explanation i've seen - thanks for this.

 :D

Offline Tasker

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 06:45:13 PM »
Blimey, I new resin was expensive but ... Bloody Hell!  :blink: :crazy:

As much as I really want a couple of clear Tomokos, I don't want them if you're not going screw yourself over because it isn't worth it.
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Offline libertee

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 08:31:41 PM »
Blimey, I new resin was expensive but ... Bloody Hell!  :blink: :crazy:

As much as I really want a couple of clear Tomokos, I don't want them if you're not going screw yourself over because it isn't worth it.

dont worry we wont...we will just have to rethink the pricing and cast one mould at a time!

If you really want to see scary i shall show you the books for the last year!...lol!
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Bungle

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 08:38:15 PM »

If you really want to see scary i shall show you the books for the last year!...lol!

No thanks.....its something I hope never to be in a position to see.
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Offline libertee

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 08:40:05 PM »

If you really want to see scary i shall show you the books for the last year!...lol!

No thanks.....its something I hope never to be in a position to see.

go on....u know u wanna really!...lol! ...everyone likes having a good cry occassionally!
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline agentmolar

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 08:54:51 PM »
I would err on the don't bother side of things. Its going to be priced too high except for fanatics. I can't see them covering your costs with sales.
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Offline Nosferatu

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2011, 01:09:01 AM »
It's really not worth it unless you guys are going to make a bit of money on this. I think you should a. not bother or b. charge more for a very small run ...and if you do this it might be worth taking pre-orders to check how much real interest there is in a transparent version at a realistic price (maybe more like £25).

I like the mini a lot but, as I said elsewhere, have no real interest in a clear resin copy. I want to paint it, after all.

BTW, I like the new gun a lot more than the old one...
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Offline tremorspin

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Re: AN EXAMPLE OF RESIN CASTING COSTS FOR A LIMITED RUN
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2011, 08:16:29 AM »
you could try the 'ransom' approach for projects like this using something like:

http://www.kickstarter.com/

Not sure how much faff it is to set up and such but from your perspective it means only putting the money in when you know you will get a bare minimum amount back.