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"New "What Is My Time Worth" blog post up x2" Topic

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BrianW27 Dec 2017 11:06 p.m. PST

Well, the last two posts for the "What Is My Time Worth" series are up on my blog. Post #6 covers the installation of running rigging. Post #7 covers the final wrap up of time expended, cost of buying a pre-painted version of the same ship, and of course, what my time is worth. HINT: More than I thought, but not a lot more.

Please check things out at: link


John Baxter28 Dec 2017 1:21 a.m. PST

An interesting process Brian, well done.

ModelJShip28 Dec 2017 2:25 a.m. PST

A good analysis. If you now add that I have to pay the Spanish state 21% VAT, you can get the idea. By the way, well made the ship!

BrianW28 Dec 2017 12:52 p.m. PST

Thanks. It took a bit longer than I wanted, but I did work on other stuff when not working on the frigate. So, I can't blame anything/anyone other than myself for dragging it out over five months. Darn real life for getting in the way, I guess….

21 % VAT? Ouch! A quick bout with the calculator tells me that would sink my hourly rate from $5.36 USD to $4.25 USD per hour, which is a LOT closer to where I thought I was going to wind up when done. I am curious as to how my time to build turns out compared to yours. Have you come up with some mass production techniques that I am missing? Either way it's clear that, like I said, no one is getting rich in the model shipbuilding business. Also, thank you for the compliment on the ship. Coming from you, I consider it high praise indeed.


ModelJShip29 Dec 2017 2:21 a.m. PST

If I get a good video camera, I make a video making a ship from start to finish. Now the problem is … where is the camera? :)

ordinarybass29 Dec 2017 12:01 p.m. PST

Interesting analysis. I agree that in many cases one's time is less valuable than they would think.

I've recently started building terrain for money, both on-spec and specific projects for friends. If I'm very careful about what materials buy and build in bulk I can make on-spec projects for a bit more than minimum wage after subtracting materials costs.

On specific contracts I may make more per-project but I seem to come out making less than hourly minimum wage even when the buyer purchases the supplies.

BrianW29 Dec 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Can't help you with that, I'm afraid. No one in my family will let me near a video camera. I suspect they're afraid my ugly mug will get out and break the Internet!


SgtPrylo04 Jan 2018 5:46 a.m. PST

The interesting part of your analysis Brian, is that you went strictly with 'hard numbers' as far as I can tell. That is, the direct cost per time unit based on a retail ship.

But as we all know, the hourly wage we often pay for services has very little to do 'hard numbers'. Take your friendly neighborhood car dealer service labor charge here in the US. I believe it starts at $60 USD an hour? And you pay a minimum hour no matter what?

I've had people ask me to build ships for them and I told them (in so many words) that they can't afford me. Not so much for the quality of my work (I'm no Julian, that's for sure) but simply because I don't want to do it. So in effect I've overvalued my own time to prevent myself from being tempted to work on other people's lead mountains.

After that, I try not to think about how much time I spend on this hobby ;)

BrianW04 Jan 2018 11:56 a.m. PST

That's a fair point, and indeed it's exactly what I did. I thought it was the easiest way to analyze the numbers, because I suspect that is the way most people look at things.

You're also right that there's more to do with payment than just the hard numbers. I had a similar experience to yours back when we were playing a lot of Battletech in the '90s. Several people asked me to paint 'mechs for them. I asked for guidance on what they wanted and was told, "whatever you want to do will be fine." After a couple of cases of "Well, that's nice, but…" I decided to price myself out of that market.

As for thinking about how much time I spend on the hobby, that was just for the blog posts. :-)

devsdoc05 Jan 2018 2:31 p.m. PST

I think the question to ask is what Julian doing?
Is it a service? Or a product?
Is he charging for his time or each ship. Or is it a little of both?
Also would you charge the same for your own ships? I love my own ships. But have moved on from 1-1200 to 1-2400 scale so miss the best bit of modeling them, the rigging.
I can hide my poor painting with the rigging. If I need a rigging fix. A friend lets me do the odd ship for him. He gives me 2 – 3 1-2400 scale ships for rigging one of his 1-1200 scale ships. We had to fight over this! I was just happy to rig for him, he wished to pay a lot more.
Business and hobby are two different things.
For me the painting and rigging is a part of the hobby. Thank God for people like Julian for folks that do not find this a part of there hobby.
Be safe

BrianW05 Jan 2018 3:05 p.m. PST

Well, that's a good set of questions. I would hope that the answer for him is "a little of both." Julian did tell me upthread that he has to pay 21% VAT on his sales. Figuring that in puts me at $4.75 USD per hour, which is a bit closer to where I thought I was going to wind up all along.

Would I charge the same for my own ships, if I did it for money? No, I'd charge a LOT more than that. Like SgtPrylo said above, I would probably deliberately price myself out of the market. Also, to be honest, I think it would be very hard for me to build one all the way up and then let it go to someone else. I can't explain it further than that without sounding a little strange (OK, a lot strange) so will just leave it there.
PS: Good to see you out and about again!

devsdoc07 Jan 2018 12:57 p.m. PST

As I paint my own ships I have not looked at the prices of painted ships. I have seen them go for around £50.00 GBP plus fully rigged.
Carol Langton painted and rigged all of Langton's ship to start with. She told me that she does not want to see a another model ship to do in her life!
I'm O.K. but not painting!!! Why I can not say! Got a game tomorrow. Looking forward to it. May get me started painting.
!8th start my 2nd round of chemo. Thanks for being around Brian.
Be safe

BrianW07 Jan 2018 8:44 p.m. PST

The only reason I looked at painted ships is because I have wondered for years what my time is worth. Not towards any end other than just intellectual curiosity, mind you.

When I worked a high-stress job, I would come home in the mornings and work on my ships to unwind and forget the night. If I did it for any reason other than love, I suspect I would share Mrs. Langton's feelings VERY quickly! Also, let me tell you again how jealous I am that you've gotten to meet them. Honestly though, I think I put too much of myself into my ships to ever even consider selling one. I don't know if I could separate myself from one enough to just consider it a product. You're right though; bless Julian for those people who don't like doing that kind of work!

Glad you're around too, Rory. Will keep you and your wife in our thoughts over here in Cowboyland.

devsdoc08 Jan 2018 3:13 a.m. PST

I did not get to see Mr & Mrs Langton Only talked over the phone. To order ships, ask about harbour parts and talk about my guide to painting and rigging there ships.
Alas I do not order from them now,as doing (Or should be) Tumbling Dice 1-2400 scale ships. But I do miss the phone calls with them.
I to could not sell my ships. They are a part of me.
Be safe

BrianW08 Jan 2018 1:19 p.m. PST

Oh, OK. I've emailed them, and she seems like a real salt of the earth lady based on that. Very courteous for what I'm sure were some boneheaded questions.

Absolutely on the ships. I recently found out how much a part of me they are. My wife informed me that if I go first, then all the other minis are being sold off but she is keeping the ships.

devsdoc08 Jan 2018 5:06 p.m. PST

Funny Brian,
Jane and I have also been thinking over this question. I think she wishes to keep some of the ships. The rest I think are going to a good home. I would not like them to be sold.
Be safe

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