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Starting A New Miniature Company - Help!

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by PropBlast, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. PropBlast Active Member

    For a while now I've really been wanting to set up my own miniature company focusing on French WW1 Aces. I have all these ideas floating around in my head but now need to start getting it into reality. I have a sculptor all lined up but the cost of each one of my planned busts is approx 600 Euro which is not something I could afford. Should I start a Kickstarter campaign to help gauge interest? Are the any established companys out there that I could work in conjunction with to make this happen? Any advise would be greatly recieved.
    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  2. kevininpdx Active Member

    The thing about Kickstarter is, due to the amount of people who have lost their asses backing failed projects, you really need to have at least the first sculpt/render ready to go. It shows you are willing to invest your own funds and share the risk. After that you would have more success getting people to back other models that are just in the concept stage.
    Babelfish and R Dominick like this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Hi there

    If I might say I agree with Kevin , not keen on Kickstarter especially as a new company with no reputation for releases

    Setting up and running a company is a horrendous at times with a lot financially at stake and from what Insee not a get rich thing ...many other costs to consider which I am sure your aware of

    You could approach others to see if they will help ...you've nothing to loose

    Good luck

    valiant, kevininpdx and Babelfish like this.
  4. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    Possible competition
    AC Models
    Aces of Iron Production
    Airfield Models
    Hawk Miniatures
    Model Cellar
    etc ....
  5. Banjer Well-Known Member

    As I see it, you are aiming at a very niche market. French WW1 aces won't sell in large numbers, perhaps consider a broader spectrum.

    I don't think many small producers are able to do it as a full time occupation, just a sideline. Is this your intention?

    valiant and kevininpdx like this.
  6. Babelfish A Fixture

    Always said that if I had a healthy six-figure (or more) lottery win, I'd start my own figure company commissioning and knocking out stuff that I'd love to see released. And if I were in Peter Jackson's loadsamoney league it'd be something along the lines of what he did with WWI aircraft (Wingnut Wings), but with Cold War jets.

    That's the stuff of fantasy though, something I'd do if I had a ton of spare cash burning a hole in my pocket. Back in the real world, launching a model company is a big financial risk if you're on a shoestring budget and can't afford to lose your investment and any security backing it up. Bill describes yours as a "niche" market. I'd go further than that and call it a "niche within a niche" given that our entire figure-painting hobby is a bit "niche" to start with.

    I don't mean to pour cold water on it, and if you just want to test it out with one or two pieces to see how it goes (you wouldn't be the first to do that), then good luck. Then if it didn't work out as planned, you might even be able to sell on the masters to another company to recoup some (or even all) of your outlay. I've seen that done as well.

    - Steve
  7. Hawk_Uk PlanetFigure Supporter


    There are some fine words here all ready but here are a few more.

    The cost of the sculpt, what you have mention is reasonable, but it is not the true cost of bringing a kit to market. Don't forget to add on packaging, labels, instructions as well. Plus there is the box art even if you do this yourself it will take time.

    On top of that how are you going to sell them: website (build and hosting costs), attending model shows (when they are on) answering customers questions and then posting the kits out.

    These are the less glamorous side of running a miniture business which everyone forgets about. Even as a hobby business you need plenty of time.

    But if you truely want to do then go for it.. sometime an itch needs scratching and I wish you all the best in what ever you decide to do.
    Blind Pew, valiant, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  8. Richie A Fixture

    Hi John,
    Some good pointers mate.
    It also depends if he is going to buy in castings or start producing.
    If he's buying in he needs to consider, the price per moulding, mould costs and postage. There might also be a an M.O.Q.

    If he wants to start producing, then there is equipment outlay, consumables for casting, cost of resin, comsumables for mould making, cost for rubber, the amount of wastage/rejects and disposal costs. Plus a big learning curve on mould making and casting. It's not cheap for the latter to set up you are talking four figures.
    valiant, Nap and Hawk_Uk like this.
  9. Hawk_Uk PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi Richies,

    I forgot all about the casting sides, glad you are paying attention :)
    Richie, valiant and Nap like this.
  10. Forté A Fixture

    Kickstarter has quite a few fees too.

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