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How much to sculpt a 54mm figure ala King and Country?

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by modartis, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. modartis New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Hi,

    Roughly how much does it cost to pay for a 54mm green at the standard of King and Country? I'm thinking of Napoleonic and 7YW figures.

    Cheers

    Neil
  2. Einion Well-Known Member

    I don't think there's one price here, it'll depend on the individual doing the work and their standard (or some combination).

    I'd say this is the kind of thing that individual sculptors wouldn't want to comment on in public for a couple of reasons so you may get a few PMs rather than replies in the thread.

    Einion
  3. modartis New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Thats a shame. I just wanted an idea of the price. I don't want to waste sculptors time when I don't have a definite plan to go ahead.
  4. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I'm a K&C collector. They have some lovely figures. You might consider buying a figure and repainting or converting it.
  5. modartis New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    That won't work for me. I want to compete with them.
  6. Einion Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with K&C, compete how Neil?

    Einion
  7. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Im not sure what King and Country is, but for a 54mm foot figure master you should expect to pay roughly $500-$800.
  8. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
  9. modartis New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Agreed, K&C are good and that is why I mention them. I think I can do better in the painting department but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. I'm getting estimates from $500 upwards for 54mm greens. So I think I'm in the ball park.

    By compete I mean that I want to produce, paint and sell my own line of minis in 54mm. Which isn't going to be easy!
  10. blaster A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    K&C Sculptors

    Hi Neil,

    I understand that K&C employ Chinese sculptors and painters who may be paid far less than the sum bandied here.
    If you look back at earlier K&C production, you can see great variations in sculpting style between different sets. The scale was closer to 54mm. K*C are now closer to 60mm.

    Rgds Victor
  11. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    As I said above, I'm a K&C collector and I have been collecting aned painting toy soldiers all my life. There was an article in Toy Soldier and Model Figure Magazine on K&C a while back. Victor is right that the company is in China and uses local talent to paint and sculpt. Another company doing a similar thing in China is John Jenkins Designs (www.johnjenkinsdesigns.com) with some drop-dead-gorgeous 54mm FIW figures. You may want to research all the toy soldier mags (TS Collector, etc.) for more information on how these companies operate.

    I think the "barriers to entry" in this business are rather steep, and cheaper Chinese labor may make it hard to match their pricing unless you do your manufacturing in Hong Kong. Pricing is very important to collectors who buy these figures in groups for large displays. I would also suggest you test out your ideas and a demo figure on the toy soldier collector community and toy soldier dealers (Sierra Toy Soldier and Michigan Toy Soldier being two examples - Michigan also produce their own line of figures - Old Northwest Trading Post) to see if there is a market for your idea and if you can match the pricing. Go to a few big shows in Europe and the States and get some input from collectors on what improvements they wourl like to see and what periods to concentrate on. (I believe K&C started their busness with figures in "new" periods that did not have a lot of competition from other manufacturers.)

    I do not mean to be discouraging here, but its a tough business. You have to do your homework. I wish you the best of luck in starting your business because you may have the next "better idea."
  12. blaster A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    K & C start up periods

    Hi PJ,

    Actually I visited K&C Andy Neilson when he was starting up in HK on Hong Kong Island in the 80's. K&C had a rather spacious ground floor shop (by Hong Kong standards). They had Napoleonics (very similar to Historex), French Foreign Legion bands, Royal Marine Bands, Sudan wars. The style was of two kinds: slender (similar to Chota Sahib) and broad types (compatible to Trophy Miniatures). They also had a lot of WWII figures (very similar to Airfix). K&C have now moved over to Kowloon.
    At that period, I also visited Frontline Figures in HK, with Austro-Hungarian period figures and WWI figures. Their style was similar to Bastion Toy soldiers.
    For the other planeteers looking in, these are toy soldier styles strongly associated with each company's output.

    Rgds,
    Victor
  13. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Hi Victor,

    Looks like you're doing the homework and thinking this through. That's great. I wish you the best of luck because, as I said above, you may have the next "great idea." As a collector, I can't wait to see how things work out for you.

    PJ
  14. Baguette New Member

    Country:
    Malta
    Hi Neil
    I too have tried my way to produce a line of toy soldiers and I can tell you it takes persistance to keep going . The greatest problem is competitive pricing with rising costs in raw materials fuel and labour rates.Then the ranges need to be innovative and attactive to make a hit in a flooded market.
    You need a lot of energy to keep the ball rolling designing new figures marketing website attending shows production.
    In my case its a side line so I do not depend on it but it gives me a lot of satisfaction.I do my own sculpting and the rest of the production.I am from Malta so obviously my range is all about Knights of Malta and Maltese regiments.Researching new obscure uniforms for the next figure is a never ending treasure hunt. I thinks that such projects are driven by passion and love for the hobby and are not easy money making machines.
    Good luck
    David
    BTW this is my site www.degreeminiatures.com
  15. blaster A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    The next big idea?

    Hello PJ and David,

    I note in David's excellent Malta figurines that niche is a very interesting concept.
    However, the money is in the current idea which in itself is big - German figures. The most wildly popular coys are all from Asia producing WWII German figures in all scales - K&C, Tamiya, Dragon, Trumpeter, Young Miniatures Seil, etc. Almost everyone else has succumbed to this trend. It pervades both the toy and model soldier aspects of the hobby. This idea dominates (and will continue to dominate) by sheer volume of sales.

    Rgds Victor

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