Tabletop Tyrant Cases

So, some time ago we talked about how we’re working on a variety of incentive items to add to large army projects, the centerpiece of which being our offering model cases to our clients.

We’re essentially looking to offer a set of cases and other benefits that will scale with the size of the commission project in question. We’ve begun offering a discount structure of £10 off our rates for every £250 of labour in a project, which is all well and good, but with trade prices making items more affordable, we’d like to provide as good a deal as possible to our customers. As with our model suppliers, we have a history of always passing the discounts we receive to our customers. We’re going to continue that with these free incentives.

The first supplier we located gave us access to products from KR Multicase. However, before long we realised the distributor did not allow us to scale the size of the case against project size without using the metal cases they offer, which while attractive, are extremely expensive, and as a result, we would only then be able to offer cases with the largest of commissions. That to us, is a bit limiting. We also don’t want to mix the card and metal cases they offer. Perhaps it’s our OCD?

Enter Tabletop Tyrant (https://www.tabletoptyrant.co.uk/)

 

  • TT ‘Skirmisher’ Case – RRP £19.99

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  • TT ‘Kingmaker’ Case – RRP £33.99kingmaker-standard-on-display-sw-template
  • TT ‘Tyrant’ Case – RRP £49.99tyrant-standard-on-display-sw
  • TT ‘Dreadnought’ Case – RRP – £74.99dreadnought-standard-loadout

These fine fellows provide a truly excellent set of products, at more affordable prices than their competitors. In addition, they offer a beautiful continuous line of products that scale with cost. We’ve examined their products in person, and here is our review;

Their cases are of excellent construction, water resistant, lined with a plastic armour on all sides and can be stacked without trouble while retaining the functionality of a shoulder bag. They also opted for metal buckles rather than plastic so you don’t need to worry about the strap breaking free with a heavy load. One of the best features however is the way they can open from the side, allowing you to get to the layers at the bottom much more quickly than with a top loading case. If you’re setting up quickly at a tournment, this design will be a godsend.

In addition, the foam they offer has plenty of choice and also generally possesses an under layer for further reinforcement, visible in the above photographs.

In short, we’re very impressed, and the four cases above (Skirmisher, Kingmaker, Tyrant and Dreadnought if you’re checking their site) are the ones we’re currently planning to make available for commissions with £250, £500, £750 and £1000 of labour respectively. If you aren’t looking for a case you’ll still be able to select a cash discount instead, but we think these are going to be really tempting!

We’ll also be setting up a webstore where you can purchase more cases and foam layers to match any additional needs you have beyond the free cases we give you.

So, exciting times!

 

 

 

 

Sam’s Projects – High Elves Army

Hello to all and to all hello,

Here are the High Elves (Aelves?) I’ve been working on, to add to the Spire of Dawn elves I completed last year. This was a large commission of level 1 and level 2 work totalling nearly 200 minis.

I quite enjoyed the chance to paint the phoenixes as they’re something I’ve wanted to paint since they were released but have never had the opportunity to so it allowed me to have a little fun with colour tones.

I think of all the armies of the old world of Warhammer Fantasy, High Elves always looked the best ranked up and arrayed for battle, the blue and the white, with colourful banners standing tall, always caught my eye whenever they were on the table and these guys definitely looked the part on my desk.

Here are a selection of units, there are others but they’re in a state of disassembly for transport and don’t make for good pictures :)

For the Phoenix King!

– Sam

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Peter’s Projects – Bolt Action Germans & Americans

Hello there!

My name is Peter and the latest artist to come on board with Raven’s Nest in April.

A little about me first (as I am the new guy here) I’ve been painting and collecting miniatures since I was 12 (1989) so that makes me quite old.

I started working for Games Workshop in 1997 for 3 years and have been involved in the miniatures industry ever since. I organise the UK Warmachine and Hordes Nationals and have been involved in Privateer Press in some form for the past 12 years. I have also owned a Game Shop and am still involved as a Community Leader for a local store.

I joined Raven’s Nest in April after deciding I wanted to paint more figures than I had time to (one of the reasons I opened a store!) and have been welcomed on board and been painting lots!

I tend to specialise in small skirmish games like Necromunda and of course Privateer Press, but have painted lots in the past few years!

I mostly play Necromunda (Escher), Warmachine (Retribution, Trolls, Cryx and Legion) 40K (DeathWatch) and Age of Sigmar (Tzeentch), as well as plenty of board games. I have also been known to play Magic.

So enough about me (you have come here to look at models!) here is the first submission from myself. Some Bolt Action German PanzerGrendiers (with Transport) and some US Infantry circa D-Day invasion.

Of course painting Historical miniatures needs lots of research so I may have watch Band of Brothers a few times! Resources like this are really useful when it comes to colour matching and general reviews of how things like Camo looks and the wear that occurs.

I must say I enjoyed painting them, a good break from painting Space Marines and WarJacks, plus I love doing Camo!

Germans 1 Germans 2 Germans 3 Germans 4 Germans 5 Germans 6 Germans 7 US 2 US 3 US

Matt’s Projects – Runner Alien

Hey all, Matt here.

Just wrapped up on one of our display pieces for a fellow named Ian hailing all the way from Paris.

Yep, this charming little beastie is the Runner (Dog Alien) from Alien 3!

Absolutely gorgeous model despite its age, it was a rather easy build although one or two edges and seams took a fair bit of filing to get relatively in alignment, but that’s not uncommon for older plastic casts.

 

He’s painted in a mixture of Vallejo Game Color paints, predominantly a large mixture of Khaki, Charred Brown, and a half dozen other browns drybrushed on lightly in layers to build up a simple base. Various greens and olive colours and a little more dark brown was applied in strokes over lots of the various curves and vents to dapple the surface somewhat and give us some variation. After that a great deal of wash layers helped to blend everything together.

The head was a little more tricky. Xeno here is composed of a standard plastic head with a clear plastic shell that fits over his cranium. I minimised the seam as much as I could and worked on giving a nice transition from black to the orange, brown and cream colours, actually dappled the surface before airbrushing it back to smooth tones given the nice contrast that makes with the comparatively rather noisy body. Finally, lots… and lots… of gloss varnish. A xeno has to look slick and sexy while he’s killing convicts right?

Thanks Ian, absolute pleasure to do.

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New Studio Pricing Chart

So, as discussed in recent posts, we’ve rebalanced how our painting and basing services are going to work, and as a team we’ve been discussing where we see the costs of these new services settling. We have a table prepared with a draft of these costs for you to view today.

The table below will become live on June 1st, after the website has been through a large rework. Some tweaks are planned, but the prices below are largely what we expect to work with.

Given that our plans have grown to include a number of items like model cases, scenery and others that will be offered as incentives for large orders and sold also through a webstore, the website is going to be worked on through June, and should be expected come the start of July. The pricing changes are going live for all new quotes going forward now.

A few noticeable points.

  • We’ve lowered our projected cost of the Horde rate from £4-5 to a flat £4 per figure. We really want to ensure you have a cost effective method of getting your dozens of minions painted without breaking the bank.
  • Similarly, we’ve kept the cost of our Gaming base standard low to ensure large armies and those working to a budget have affordable options available.
  • Display prices match our old level 3 prices almost exactly.
  • Assembly is the main area that has gone up. We always worked far below minimum wage on assembly, with an average space marine tactical squad usually involving a couple of hours at least of careful part prep, mould line removal, barrel drilling and dynamic posing for just £10. After six years, it’s finally had to change. We’ve done our best to keep it at a level that our customers should find reasonable however, allowing us to cope with inflation and remain competitive.

So please, have a read and plan your projects!

If you have any feedback you’d like to send our way, feel free to leave a comment or mail us at ravensnestpainting@gmail.com


 

 

Pricing Chart Mockup

Our Basing Changes – Coming June 1st

So a little over a week ago I discussed how changes were coming to our painting levels, and how this might affect the prices we charge and services we offer. Another of those posts is needed to cover changes to our Basing services.

– Basing is going to switch from the traditional Level 1 and 2, instead to Gaming, Advanced and Precast.

 

Gaming Bases

These are the bases we are most commonly asked to make. A simple rocky barrens base with small pebbles, rocks and a little grass. This is the standard for those who want to get right into gaming with something simple and affordable.

These will be our cheapest offering, at £1 per figure for 25-32mm infantry, and scaling up for larger miniatures.

 

Gaming 4Gaming 5

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Advanced Bases

This is going to be where we offer something more complex and custom made. Advanced bases will incorporate various extra materials such as cork, slate, water effects and modelling putties, to make something a little more appealing. Effects like snow, lava or rivers of blood are very possible.

By comparison with Gaming bases, for basic infantry these will be £2 per mini, and scale with size.

Advanced 10Advanced 5

Advanced 2 Advanced 3 Advanced 7

Precast Bases

Rather self explanitory, this category will be for third party manufactured resin bases or for those miniatures that come with complex ornamental bases, such as Forge World’s Horus Heresy primarch miniatures. We will be recommending a range of bases by Micro Art Studios among others. When the website is revamped we will have a section displaying a variety of examples from their ranges.

Pricing will be set at £3 a mini for basic infantry, but will scale with complexity. These bases are rather like painting a second miniature all by themselves.

Precast 7 Precast 6 Precast 8 Precast 9

Very shortly I’ll publish a post with a pricing chart for our rebalanced service costs that will include all the above.

See you all soon,

Matt

 

 

Our Painting Levels Are Changing – Coming June 1st

Hey all, Matt here at RNP.

In my last post, I talked over how we’re planning some changes to the way we do business, both through our services and the way we offer them. It’s time for some details. Sam, Peter, Darron and myself have had some long discussions and we’ve hammered out a few for you to peruse. Today, I’m going to begin with a discussion of how our painting services will change.

Now, to begin, a disclaimer: A great deal of this is subject to tweaking and change. Feedback is very welcome. Mail us at ravensnestpainting@hotmail.co.uk if you want to give us some thoughts.

 

Painting Level Changes

– Levels 1, 2 and 3 are going to be replaced with a new system, namely ‘Horde’, ‘High Tabletop’ and ‘Display’

 

‘Horde’ will only apply to the basic infantry category.

It’s designed to fulfill the role Level 1 was intended for, which is to provide a simple affordable paintjob for units that are about viewing the horde, not the individual. Too often we’ve been asked to quote level 1 for detailed elite or character units. The choice has repeatedly been to either put more time in that we’re paid to under level 1 to get them looking reasonable, or to allow the miniature to feel unfinished. We don’t consider either satisfactory, and it’s high time for a change.

Horde will provide the well known industry standard of a neat several colour basecoat, and simple recessing via washes. Highlighting will be simple drybrushing and a few more direct highlights over the most prominent surfaces to complete. This will make a perfect appearance for legions of skeletons, zombies, warhammer 40k tyranid gaunts or imperial guardsment, and bolt action infantry to name but a few examples.

At present, we’re aiming for Horde to have a price point range of £4-5 per miniature based on complexity.

 

‘High Tabletop’ is our old Level 2, and will be our primary standard of work (as level 2 always has been).

As you’ve come to expect from level 2, this will involve a full neat basecoat, including all detail items (eg. pouches, sidearms, backpacks) in appropriate colours, and individual targetted washes for all areas, followed by careful edge highlighting, and finished off with decal application where appropriate. Detail work will include items like eyes, insignia, small lights and the like.

Pricing will be very similar to current level 2 standards. RNP has always worked to provide high quality painting at affordable prices and that will continue, inflation be damned.

 

‘Display’ is our old Level 3.

Everything from High Tabletop, but also careful airbrush highlights and effects such as glows, wet blended brushwork creating colour gradients, and every possible detail given attention to ensure the model gives a pleasing appearance when viewed closely. Finally, weathering items can be included under this standard to add a little rust, grime, soot and the like.

 

Pricing will remain almost unchanged from the old level 3 standards.

 

Over the next week, I’ll be creating a pricing chart to display how we see our rebalanced services, so expect another blog entry shortly to give you a view of that, followed by more detailing various of the new changes we’re planning, from alterations to our basing services to us working on creating deals for larger projects to include freebies and special items!

As mentioned above, if you have any comments, please let us know at ravensnestpainting@hotmail.co.uk

Watch this space!

Matt

 

 

 

 

It’s Time To Paint Models And Chew Bubblegum…

It’s been quite some time since the last blog post. Well over a year in fact. It’s high time I gave a bit of an update for you all.

The short version; RNP had an extremely busy 2017 due to various reasons, stumbled a little while getting to grips with it, but now we’re in great shape having made a number of changes and are expecting to grow again during 2018.

The long version however, will take a little while to explain.

Essentially, around the end of 2016 RNP was facing some considerable growth. We had had a surge of new work come in, and we had enlarged our team to five; quite a change from when it started as myself (Matt) working from a home studio. We had swelled to no less than 35 clients on the books as we turned into October 2016, an ambitious but we believed manageable workload.

Then October/November 2016 happened. Put simply, all of our team were incapacitated for varying lengths of time connected with health, moving home or in one case a team member trying a new job before returning to us. Before we knew it, we were facing a two to three month backlog, having never delivered a commission more than a week or two beyond the estimates we give in our first few years.

2017 became the year we spent constantly fighting deadines, late hours or even overnight sessions to meet our obligations. It was a tough year to say the least, mistakes were made and learned from, and as a side effect certain things like this blog fell by the wayside in favour of our simpler facebook uploads. Hence, the silence here.

However…

As we’ve entered 2018, our hard work has paid off. We’re back on schedule and in good shape as a team of four painters, likely to increase later this year. In fact, a few changes have occured and many more are on the way:

  • I’ve ended our listings on ebay that advertised our work across the entire Warhammer 40,000 catalogue.

To put it simply, Ebay did absolutely no good to our scheduling of projects. Too often we responded to purchases to find ebay buyers hadn’t read the description concerning the project queue, and even expected us in some cases to have models in their exact colour scheme ready to ship immediately. No, I’m not kidding, that actually happened. Ebay’s rather obsessive preference toward buyers rather than sellers also meant we had occasions where clients ordered, stated they were happy with the timeframes we gave, then insisted on getting refunds after we had sourced the kits and began the work. Altogether, far more trouble than it was worth. Now we focus on work acquired purely through the website.

  • Our primary supplier has changed and is allowing us to offer up to 25% off model kits when our clients wish to have us source kits.

We don’t profit at all off the cheaper prices of our kits. All these savings will be passed directly onto our clients.

  • We’re planning a rebalance of our painting levels and pricing.

Put simply, the number system seems less helpful than descriptive titles. We’ve often had requests for level 1 on detailed miniatures that it really can’t do justice to. You can expect a system that’s more based around the following;

  1. Horde Unit Standard
  2. High Tabletop Standard
  3. Display Standard
  4. Competition Standard

Horde, will basically be for horde units alone, allowing clients the option of requesting a simpler standard for their tyranid gaunts or imperial guardsmen, with less confusion (we hope). The others should be self explanatory. Our pricing will also adapt a bit as it hasn’t been updated generally for a few years, however rest assured our work will be the same good value for money you’ve seen in years past. We will also still maintain a price chart to give a general guide to what you can expect in your quotes.

  • We’re also planning a revamp of the website.

The style will likely remain similar, but we need to better display a variety of our services and some of the promotions and partnerships we’re going to be working on developing this year. Our photography is also likely to see a few updates and improvements.

So, the forge is lit, the brushes are glinting in the lamplight and we’re ready for some painting! There’s a lot coming this year, including a few more ideas that are still dancing around the drawing board that you’ll likely see pop up too. To our clients, thankyou for your continued loyalty and patronage, and we look forward to continuing to providing you all with beautifully painted models.

I hope this helps bring us all back up to speed, and you can all expect us to be posting here far more regularly!

– Matt