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Box art

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Ron Tamburrini, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. stu A Fixture


    What would happen to the boxart painters if we didnt use them !!! ...they would continue to sell to collectors as they do now! Manufacturers often only buy the photographs
    Also should i ask the likes of alex and ernesto etc etc to paint them a to a lower standard to make sales even better !!!.....spoken I assume in jest:LOL:

    I generally believe boxart helps a great figure / bust but generally does nothing for the rest. The problem is knowing what is great and what is not !!!........as henry ford said half of my advertising works the other half doesn't the problem is I don't know which it is!

    Boxart would i believe be wasted inside the box............Often a picture from more than one angle inside the box can be very helpful

    Interesting thread.........Keith[/quote]

    No keith not in jest really..this is something i am considering..i listen to what people write here and when they say no point buying that as i will never get that good....it does make me wonder.

    Keith would you want to pay more for your kits to have nice pics inside the box from different views...printing good quality pics aint cheap !!!

    I usually find deleting kits that dont hit the mark early makes them more desirable.....eventually.


    DEL likes this.
  2. Helm A Fixture

    I'd stick with good box art Stu possibly doing as suggested and show the pre paint/primered versions on here and your site I am with Keith on the more than one pic but can also see where you're coming from re costs I guess only knowing it from a consumer end we kinda take that for granted that you manufacturers all drive Rollers and light cigars with your excess profits :sneaky: I guess you could get some of the less talented bods to also do pics for your site so folks like me can at least get a realistic view of what might be achieved

  3. Paul Kernan A Fixture


    For me, probably yes. Look at the excitement Carl and Moz have created on this site with their releases. I know I'm a lot poorer for it :rolleyes:

    Subject and quality of sculpting/casting are much more important and I believe high quality photography will highlight this. In fact I've ordered quite a number of busts from Mitches, Stormtrooper and Grenadier based on this. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy and appreciate the box art as it lets me know what is possible but it is not an imperative.


  4. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I didn't want to answer before Stu as he has had far longer in this field.
    This is interesting from a manufacturer. The costs of providing box art can take quite a chunk especially with a few figures to release , timing is also relevant as unless prepared to wait, the painter may have several other pieces to do for others.
    I personally feel that the box art is the last piece and if done to a lesser extent then doesn't do justice to a sculpt and the production.
    That said it is also a gamble as a figure may bomb and there then be added expense of the boxart.
    Most of the time a black and white is issued first for everyone to see, often combined with waiting for the painted piece to be finished.
    As said there are occasions when due to bad sales the plug is pulled on painted early.
    I would prefer every piece I release painted and where possible I include rear painted pictures inside, most are shown on PF anyway for download. Some who have bought under black and white also often request colour pictures later.
    If they really don't make much difference then it would make things easier but my gut feeling is that it inspires more than it puts off . Maybe a sticker should be added over the picture, remove with caution, that is a joke :)
    I think the fundamental question is to what degree does painted box art actually influence sales.
    Best wishes
  5. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    This is very much my personal view but boxart doesn't influence me at all. Painting styles do vary and I don't know that there's a universally acceptable style. I really do prefer the black and white photos of the castings as often posted on here by Carl Reid. This was often the way Poste Militaire advertised back in the 80's & 90's and it didn't do them any harm.
    I think I'd go further and say that if I felt that the boxart added considerably to the cost of the figure then I really would rather not have it although a painting reference/note would be useful.

  6. Bailey A Fixture

    There's only one case I can think of where good box art might put me off. If the artist did some difficult technique (amazing freehand design work or light effects for example) that was the primary reason I liked the figure but knew I couldn't replicate... then I wouldn't buy the figure. I have a feeling that happened with a few Rackham figures back in the day. Of course if I felt the figure would still look good without that special technique then I'd be interested.

    But in general, no, good box art doesn't dissuade me from buying a figure. And, now that I'm more confident in my abilities, I look at those same sort of cases as a challenge. Good box art is going to boosts sales, however plain black and white is far preferable to poor box art.

    On a side note, I feel like Games Workshop intentionally avoids amazing box art to make their models more accessible to casual painters. It's not that the box art is bad (though in some cases it is!), but it's just not nearly as good as a lot of the versions of their figures I've seen around the web. I can think of at least one figure I'd avoided until I saw what a really good painter could do with it. After that I had to have one.
  7. billyturnip A Fixture

    Boxart? Luxery :) . From a flatties point of view most of my collection has been purchased with nothing more to go on than a line drawing in a catalogue or on a website, admittedly the cost is generally much less than for a "round" but the names of engravers such as Mohr, Lecke, Frank etc. is usually enough.

    Jamie Stokes and Sturm Grenadier like this.
  8. IIICorps Active Member

    Nope. Emulating a professional never enters my mind.
  9. kagemusha A Fixture

    I had a conversation some time back, with Gra (CGS), and my personal answer was that , yes, I did sometimes find the box-art intimidating.
    As an average painter, I find the work of the 'masters' a joy to look at, but more so on here than on the box.
    As an example, the 'Helenic' busts from YS have a lot of lace detail that was 'painted' on by Danillo but, it wasn't until I saw an actual cast, that I realised this and was put off buying them because I personally could not achieve an exceptable result.
    When Moz and Carl post the previews in primed and haloed white, you really do get to see exactly what you can expect in terms of detail etc.
    This, to me at least, is worth far more in terms of how I perceive the possible purchase.
    Part of the fun is in the research we do before painting a piece. I for one, always look for an alternative colour scheme, to avoid feeling like I am copying another's work.
    In having the colour pictures available to download from their website as Gra has stated he already does, we then have the choice of using them or not.

  10. Ferris A Fixture

    Good point Gra30. Out of curiosity, when producing a figure, what percentage of initial cost is related to a top-class boxart paintjob? And could figures be more than 10% cheaper without such boxart, just plain grey pictures?

    And here's an idea: How about colouring a plain grey/white picture of the sculpt digitally? Jeff Shui does something like this, when he cuts and pastes camouflage patterns on the digital images. It's a bit basic, but my guess is a digital-savvy photoshopper can do a lot better in a few hours. Just look at the amazing old B/W pictures coloured to perfection that are sometimes posted.

  11. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi Adrian,
    I will be as honest as I can but without quoting numbers.
    This is also my personal circumstances from a company running 2 years .
    I do not put any extra price on a figure or bust due to boxart.
    When I first started I did not realise how much gets swallowed up in having a constant supply of boxes , bags , bubble wrap, resin , rubber etc
    That is not meant in ignorance but as I learnt and to be honest a new master was more important than a painted picture and I could not afford it, hence the B+W
    As time has gone and cgs has built I was then fortunate to be able to use some of the best painters and I try to give the piece as I wanted it when I was figure modelling.
    For me there is an element of pride and self indulgence when I get an idea, work with a sculptor, master arrives, I sprue and cast and then to see painted by some of the worlds best, some of my combined sculpt, moulding and boxart has wiped our all profits of that piece but I am very proud to own the piece and then share with the customer, I then hope the next piece does ok or the next etc.
    I am not alone as I know Stu works off the same sheet, we do actually love miniature figures and are not rogue manufacturers( I know not suggested)
    Sorry if I have wandered off track, my point that any we treat the box art as a given right that the customer deserves
    It can be pushed further or pulled back and you can decide what you prefer, I promise we do listen

    Best wishes
  12. Martin64 A Fixture

    I think that today`s box art is most time very inspirational (distinct style of certain artists and what they can achieve that you won`t) and sometimes can even give the feeling that you could do better. In both cases it will not have an influence on my decision to buy or not to buy.
    In general I like to see a black and white picture of the sculpt/master and/or take a real or virtual look at the contents of the kit before making a final decision about a purchase.
    At shows I admit that taking a look at well painted new releases on display in the cabinet of the producer had serious effects on my decisions as a customer and on my wallet:).
    Cheers, Martin
    housecarl likes this.
  13. BarrieHynd Well-Known Member

    I do prefer to see a figure when released to have good Boxart. But before that, the B&W pics put up on here by Carl & Moz and others before the release are fine as it shows off the detail that will be on the finished figure.
    I know i will never be anywhere near as good as the boxart painters but hey, i enjoy painting figures and will continue to do so.

    Karlosfandango and housecarl like this.
  14. Mark S Guest

    It's an absurd proposition to expect any producer or distributor of figures to present their product in a way other than with the best possible box art they can or at least the best box art they can afford,...simply good and intelligent business practice.

    I reckon that most buyers of figures although attracted to and appreciating the excellent box art painting, which we are incredibly lucky to see these days, will above all else consider the quality of the sculpting of the piece, the pose, the period, the cost, the scale before making a decision to buy.

    Anyone involved in this hobby who doesn't paint simply for the pure enjoyment experienced when they achieve something which is satisfying personally to themselves as opposed to trying to achieve the level of a professional with an audience in mind will never find enjoyment in this hobby for long.

    I'm sure professional painters who are forced to produce a quota of painted figures per week do things like breed Axolotlt's, collect wallpaper samples, cross dress and pull the wings off flies on their days off simply for their own enjoyment and peace of mind.
    Helm, housecarl and harrytheheid like this.
  15. stu A Fixture

    In my own experience ...boxart works . Yes it is an extra cost and in my own mind i work out will i get the extra sales over time.....invariably yes.

    Boxart is essential . We all have our own interests and periods we like...but we dont know everything ...so when you see a great figure or bust and its one of those you just got to have but you no didly newt about the period it gives you a reference point in terms of colour. This should then be backed up with painting references....its part of providing a kit to be made and painted by you. This way we dont all need librarys the size of a garage.

    Boxart is also to tempt..to thrill ..to make real what the sculptor has crafted....after all if b/w was all that was needed why do we all see in colour and strive for better colour appreciation.

    I started off a long time ago with b/w boxart they do a job and a good one but colour boxart is just better....not to fool anybody or put you off but to make you see something thats finished in all its glory.

    I work with very talented people and can truley say they are all gifted...they bring to life what the sculptor has envisaged....thats no mean feat. They are also superb photographers as you can paint something superbly but if you kill it with the photos its not going to show off the boxart to its best.

    This is my own practice...b/w to show what you get and start the process of demand ...the i gotta have that !!!!! To show you what you actually get...next boxart....it seals the deal its the icing on the cake !!!

    I hope i am getting it right !!!!

    Mark Dollery, DEL and Gra30 like this.
  16. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    I'm sure you are getting it right Stu, in my mind there are two choices,

    1) Good box art is not going to prevent anyone from buying a good figure apart from those examples with exquisite artistic detail on Flags etc which is not relief moulded. I would be quite happy to see a photo on the outside of the box and an inkjet printed colour sheet on the inside of the box with alternative views and maybe some reference information. This used to be more of a feature in kits in days gone.
    2) If it is a question of cost then B&W with good references inside is acceptable but wouldn't have the wow factor as you say.

    To be honest if it is a good sculpt then probably none of it matters, the problem is there is no knowing what will or will not be judged as a good sculpt.

    Regarding the withdrawing of figures..........None of us have unlimited purses and sometimes it is disappointing to see a figure taken off the market that we may want in the future but can't afford now or is not on the radar at the moment because our current interest is in another period. Withdrawal just creates collectability and escalates the price which is not contributing to the profits of the producer and just produces an inflated after market. How many figures have been withdrawn from market that may have just kept selling if only one or two at a time had been kept in stock? a good example of this is the PM kits sold by Bonapartes and Grahams DFG figures both probably being sold to a generation that wasn't around when they were first issued or maybe at a time of life when there were other financial priorities.

    I think it is important not to see slow sales as rejection of a piece, I remember looking at a stand at the last Euro with about 12 new releases on it all of which I liked, in the end I decided it was ridiculous and thought, yes I can afford it but there were other stands I also wanted to purchase from. In the end I made a conscious and economic decision to just buy the one I liked the most. Over time I'll probably pick up some of the others but if they disappear...who loses?

    Joe55, polyphemus and Helm like this.
  17. badger Well-Known Member

    I think the whole point of modelling is doing a model that your happy with.if it doesn't look like the boxart, so what.if you have done your best, sat back and admired it, and thought that's it, then that's all that matters. I cant draw anything on paper,bloody hopeless,but I can paint detail on a model,so if it wasn't for this I would never get involved in modelling which to me is an art form, and one I enjoy./badger
    BarrieHynd likes this.
  18. T50 A Fixture

    Great box arts have been working for me... but what do I know?!
    LVM and Martin64 like this.
  19. T-34/85 PlanetFigure Supporter

    As a consumer, I think that box art will tip the scales in favor of purchasing for me at least. I have bought figures just with the B/W photos and they had the, "must have" sculpting level and I did not need any further enticement for them. I like the box art as a guide, it helps with the research. I know I won't get to that level, but it's nice to dream.:) Speaking about box art, I have run into several photo developers who refuse to develop the photos posted on this site due to the appearance that they were taken professionally. I only want copies to help with the planning in the painting process, so I guess my question is, when the manufacturers post box art pictures here, are we allowed to use them as painting guides?
    Gra30 likes this.
  20. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I had never realised that people had issues with getting box art printed, very interesting and a compliment to the box art artists :)
    My take has always been to allow full use of any pictures I post. I think after paying for the box art I would prefer the customer to get maximum use so they are posted quite high resolution.
    I have in the past sent a new set of colour pictures to customers if I have released under a black and white first I also try to add the back on a seperate pictures especially if it is a technical uniform.
    That said my boxing is simple and the colour picture is a printed photograph and easier to include that more professionally printed packaging.
    It interesting to know what people prefer.
    Best wishes

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