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