Has your collection has grown so large you no longer know where to begin? Chip it away a little bit each month with The Collector.
The Collector is a membership based monthly commission subscription service.
Reserve a standing commission with our service each month. Payments are deducted automatically from your preferred account, including Paypal and major credit cards.
The Membership tiers are based on the ambitiousness of your collection. The highest tiers cost the least per hour, respectively, and are prioritized first each month.
Shipping and Handling are Free, no matter which level you select.
Membership also includes FREE PRODUCT CREDIT at every level. To ensure clients always have something for us to paint regardless of hectic schedules, clients receive product support credit to select models for painting. For example, you could select a Space Marines Repulsor or WWII Infantry from Warlord Games!
This credit can be saved up to allow for future releases, larger models or even boxed sets. Essentially you can hoard your product over time to build up entire armies!
*Membership may also include other “perks” over time, such as access to exclusive content, and more. †Subscription, Membership, and Rental renewals may be excluded.
Pack Rat Monthly Giveaways
Once we reach 30 collectors across any combination of levels, each month we will select one lucky collector to receive their choice of the following:
4 bonus hours at no extra cost! OR $5 per collector in bonus product support to add to their hoard!
(e.g., 30 collectors = $150 in bonus product)
Differences Between Commission Types
Differences between “The Collector” and Traditional Commissions
Commission Subscription Membership Differences
Based on your monthly spending budget
Based on size and complexity of project
Consistent every month
Based on your tier
First come, first served
Turnaround / Average Wait
Six to Eight weeks on average
Painted Live on Twitch
Generally painted off camera
Bonus Product or Hours
Chance to win after we hit and maintain 30 subscriptions
Models Are Mailed
Each month, when finished
When the entire project is due
Based on where you live and the size of the product
Per figured, based on fragility
How This Affects Client Discounts
Large Orders – Client that book larger orders of similar models benefit from “batching” whereby we paint the army in larger units to cut down on time. This results in faster workflow overall but no cost reduction.
Return Clients – As we learn client preferences over time, catering to their tastes gets faster which results in our producing faster models for them each time we work on the project.
Product Discounts – Your free product credit can be hoarded over time to allow for future releases, new releases, etc. It also includes game support like rulebooks, etc. This would replace our materials discount.
In general we try to pair the same painters with the same clients over time as they learn client preferences and the particulars of long term project. This also helps ensure consistency over the life of the project and the clients tenure as a Collector.
In practice, custom work like this is never as valuable on the resale market as it is to the client, so reselling models rarely results in a “break even” scenario.
As the old adage goes, something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You can always consider consigning the model through our service and we will attempt to get you the best possible price for it.
When in doubt, use this simple equation to determine value per model: Time spent on your model x $75 per hour = Value of model
It depends on the level of complexity of the model or project.
One client may wish a squad assembled and another client may wish the same squad magnetized with 20 different options. Even if two clients have the same color scheme, time can vary from artist to artist.
That being said, here are some typical times we have observed over the years:
Twitch videos are available for viewing for up to 30 days after the live stream. Just go here and look for your video over the past few weeks. If you can’t find it, just ask and we’ll send you a direct link (and timecode). If you aren’t a subscriber, let us know and we’ll gladly gift you a one month subscription so that you can watch your own videos.
It’s also worth noting that traditional commissions have always been on a “trust basis”. Clients are either satisfied with the work performed or they request changes, regardless of time. The “transparency” offered by Twitch is provided for clients as a courtesy. Plus it’s cool to watch your models go from plain to awesome!
In practice, part of the time on any project is reading over the project notes, gathering the paints, and putting away materials after the project concludes. They also take necessary breaks from time to time. We loosely refer to this as Indirect Labor, and while a little boring to watch it a fundamental portion of any project often overlooked.
Think of this like a chef gathering ingredients; it’s still part of the meal creation process.
If a project was not completed in the time provided, members can elect to either have us complete the model to their desired level of detail, or we can conclude the project the next month, when their project comes back into rotation. This choice can be predetermined by clients for all projects or just that project.
If the clients elects to have us finish the current project and it takes more time than your membership provided, we can bill the client the balance due at their “rate per hour” based on their Collector level.
Clients interested in producing larger projects over a short period (e.g., an army) can purchase extra hours at a predetermined rate based on their tier. For example, Completionists pay $55 per hour for extra work.
In some cases when the studio has extra time each month, we may offer any spare unused time in our schedule to Collectors at a discount each month, allowing clients to grow their collections rapidly. Think of them like Pick up Hours or a Flash Sale, with priority given to higher tier members first.
In some rare cases we may be willing to fast forward a month (essentially doing two months worth of work back to back) and then “skip” their next rotation(s) to balance their account, but that would be based on the number of Collectors we have at that time and the number of projects we have on our queue.
This would be on a case by case basis and subject to our availability.
We understand that life happens, and we’ll try to work with you to the best of our ability. We can certainly allow you some extra time to mail us models by us moving onto other client projects. However, if the models are not received in time to allow us adequate time to work on them by the end of the month, your slot for the month is lost.
To help avoid this we encourage clients to ship us a few months worth of models ahead of time. Likewise we can warn you when your locker is running low.
If a collector has other models in their locker we just move on to another model, that way we can always start on the next model in your collection. Clients are encouraged to send us models in advance to avoid ever missing a chance to work on your models on any given month.
When a project takes less time than the slot and there is nothing else in their locker to paint presently, we will put this extra time into extra detail on the project. For example, if a project is estimated for two slots (eight hours) and takes us seven hours, we will spend the last hour emphasizing other details on the models, thus giving the client full value for their time.
We can always spend more time on practically any model. For centerpiece models like characters, monsters, or vehicles, we can always add extra details on the model.
There are no major restrictions. While we fully expect requests from major vendors like Games Workshop, Privateer Press, and Warlord Games, we are also open to product from smaller vendors like Knight Models, Firelock Games, and Raging Heroes, among others. We have accounts with most major distributors. When in doubt just ask and we’ll let you know if we will have any problem acquiring the models you desire.
Just keep in mind that overseas shipping is deducted from product credit. So if we are shipping bits from say, Puppetswar (based in Poland), then the shipping will eat into your total product stipend each month.
For product from overseas vendors, please keep in mind we need to order this product four to eight weeks in advance to ensure adequate time for delivery in time for your monthly schedule.
In general WMG retains any spares from any project we work on. Partially this is a “community approach”, in that bits from your project go on to serve the next clients, as bits from their projects may have been used in your project.
If you miss a payment, your membership is suspended until the balance is paid.
Clients can cancel their membership at any time with no cancellation fees. Any partially painted models from your locker (see below) can be mailed to you “as-is” at no extra charge. Likewise locker models can be stored for up to six months allowing clients to recover and get their feet under them.
Should a client need to cancel their sub temporarily, we’ll make a note of where they left off and hold onto their credit for up to 30 days and presumably re-active their membership (at any available level) when they are ready.
Product credit is only good for active members. This is credit, and credit has no inherent value until exchanged for actual models to be painted. There is no “cashing out”. We won’t send you unassembled product.
Should a client need to cancel their sub temporarily, we’ll make a note of where they left off and hold onto their credit for up to 30 days or until they re-activate their membership (at any available level). Likewise locker models can be stored for up to six months allowing clients to recover and get their feet under them.
Sure! Clients not currently members can try out our service. They do so by purchasing these same slots of time but on a case by case basis.
There’s no cancellation fees and your subscription renews automatically each month. So if don’t like the service for any reason, or if your situation changes, you are only committed to a single month at a time. Keep in mind that product credit expires after 30 days (see above)
The biggest “perk” from being a Collector is watching your collection slowly grow over time, instead of sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Slow and steady really is the best way to build a collection.
Free shipping, handling, and product credit are certainly pluses. If you are a subscriber on our Twitch channel, you earn Ore (a show currency) just for watching. This Ore can be exchanged for merchandise, painted items, and more! Find out more details about this program here.
Once we hit our target goal of 30 Collectors renewing their membership each month, one lucky Collector will win our monthly PACK RAT giveaway (see above), scoring them extra product credit or bonus hours each month!
Membership may also include other ‘perks’ over time, such as access to exclusive content, digital content, giveaways and raffles, rental vouchers, and much more.
Working isn’t the same thing as thriving. Having been in the commission business for nearly 10 years, we’ve learned quite a bit and received invaluable feedback from thousands of clients.
Not unsurprisingly, as our business has grown, so too has the cost of our service. We have struggled over the years to explain our evolving pricing system to clients.
Commissions are incredibly time consuming, from interacting with clients, to billing, completion, photography, shipping, etc. Despite our best efforts this time is difficult to estimate.
Cost is challenging to accurately estimate, as we are often asked to “guesstimate” times to assemble and paint models that we have never worked with before. This is made more challenging by a relentless new stream of products on the market.
Someone is almost always penalized by these guesstimates; most often the studio for underestimating time, but sometimes clients when we overestimate how long the project took.
Commission clients are becoming increasingly under interested in quality, speed, or service; they are most interested in cheap service, which is the only thing we cannot provide (this does not apply to all clients, but certainly a sizable majority of clients)
Commission income is 100% depends on deliverables. Put simply, when our painters get sick, our income is affected.
We have reached a glass ceiling for pricing; our pricing system has become too expensive for most of our clients.
The more commissions we do, the less time we have for things like content, studio armies, events, and the like, which are honestly things we would like to devote more time too.
Not at all! We love the opportunities our clients afford us to work on their personal projects. We love connecting with gamers, and we love knowing the models we work on are seen all over the world.
That being said, with other new commission services promising a cheaper alternative with seemingly no track record, we are interested in being valued as a service for our areas of strength, summarized with Why Choose Us.
Emphasis on the Personal Approach – e.g., live painting in real time
Reliable and Vetted – with positive reviews pouring in on Facebook, Yelp, and Google
More focus on consistency of models produced over a longer period of time
Focus on Artistic Approach – we want to be rewarded for our expertise, not the volume of models we can produce
Emphasis on Speed – we can churn out armies VERY fast indeed
While that does mean a more premium service, we want to offer clients a reliable option to build their collections over time that also offers us a sustainable stream of revenue. Win-win.
Solo artists have an easier go of things, as they must only support one person at a time; though they are limited in resources and can only handle so much work at any one time.
The commission studio model can tackle larger projects over the same period but their needs are greater and thus, their need for sustainable income more consistent. In short, proper commission studios (with multiple artists) are rare for good reason; this is a difficult business to make work.
Here are just a few of our ongoing challenges:
Our rates must logically increase over time, which can be challenging to explain to even a dedicated client base.
More client income is now being spent on a relentless manufacturer release schedule, as well as more 3D Product and Kickstarter games than ever before.
An increase in DIY videos from Patreons, vendors, and other content creators.
Due to rising costs in the hobby, clients are more interested in painting themselves than they used to be (though they don’t seem to have much more time).
New technology (contrast paints, airbrushes) offer a seemingly lower entry for top level results.
The 99% get fewer tax breaks -; our clients have less disposable income than they did a few years ago.
New Kids on the Block – There is low to no entry requirements for new commission “studios” to enter the market. Most of these services are simply painters working from their homes with little to no overhead. These services are unreliable in terms of speed, consistency, and efficiency, but they have the benefit of being very cheap which for some clients is enough to take a risk.
Other Ways To Support WMG
There are lots of ways to support WMG, even if a membership isn’t the right fit for you.
Podbean – White Metal Games produces a bi-monthly podcast called War Council. You can listen, donate, or even become a sponsor on the show via Podbean!
Twitch – WMG is very active on Twitch,
producing live content every weekday! There are options to subscribe
at different levels or just give us some bits! Just by watching you
earn WMG Ore, which can be redeemed for prizes each month!
Tips Welcome – Any
proceeds go directly to improving our overall service, including better
equipment, more giveaways and more . . . .well, everything!
Video Subscription – Fans of WMG can support us by subscribing to one of the membership plans below. In addition to having access to exclusive video content, you will receive discounts on products and commissions, get to vote on what content we work on next, swag at sign up and with an annual care package, and much more!