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The Perfect Ten

Your significant other may need to be shielded from what follows! Not because of the brilliance of Bartek’s artwork but due to the subject of finances. My daughter’s Marxist Leninist boyfriend was scoffing at the “one percent”, those evil patriarchs who control the world’s economic and political levers of power. I mentioned that it wasn’t always the same “one percent”, the membership of that group changes over time. I retorted that the CEOs on such stella salaries were on those salaries for society to gain our maximum advantage from these gifted individuals. I told him to start with his own life before turning attention to running the world economy single handedly from his “untidy” bedroom. But, then I glanced at eBay, could it be true? Wargames figures at nearly fifty pounds each, with a day to go?

Form an orderly queue, yours for seventy five and fifty ponds respectively. Should we join Comrade Corbin in demanding that we cap prices? I do remember another “scandal” when the cost of one of these miniatures hit eighty pounds a few years ago. Now that was for a 28mm highlander so could tartan be worth that much? Two young gamers at the club last week thought I was joking when I told them that tartan transfers were available, somewhat akin to tins of elbow-grease perhaps. Is the superlative work of Irchestian due for the table at all?  In response to my young Trotskyist, I calmed down and told him that supply and demand may not be perfect but it kept him in mobile phones and Apple laptops. It’s a strange system sometimes but what a sensation that, despite all humanities faults, we can trade and communicate all over the world in an instant. Perhaps the question is , why aren’t my skills rated so highly by the market? I’m quite sure that Irchestian didn’t come by this ability by chance or inheritance?

The equally talented Steve Dyer painted the proud Royalist above. I can’t see me ever equalling this standard. I have tried to copy it but to no avail. Richard Abbot’s work also graces my shelves. His website is fantastic in detailing the paints used but again, knowing what colours he uses, doesn’t give me the same results. I’m sure my finances wouldn’t run to a wargames army of such beauties. It is quite difficult to explain to those outside our hobby just how these miniatures are worth” their money. My wife keeps telling me to get my collection “valued” but she also has a friend who is a divorce lawyer so I won’t. The value of the perfect figure to me is one thing but you also have to be realistic. What can you pay? Let alone, should you pay it?

Not all my investments have worked out of course. With Flames of War in the doldrums, I imagine the work of Richard Clarke and Tamiya is now sadly much less in value. The only thing that hurts more than remembering what I paid for the above, is remembering how much I have wasted on gym memberships. I would never sell the ranks of tanks and vehicles that Paul Cummins has done for me because they remind me of such great games and tournaments. I will get round one day to posting pictures in my galleries of these beauties. Suffice to say even this single sdkfz 250 holds memories of an epic Flames clash against a certain Mr. Shrivs.

My most valued pieces are by Steve Dean, a Soviet battalion command group that I would not part with.Recently Steve was burgled and so if you are offered any of his work let him know on Facebook or his website. Just to see how Steve has done the details on these miniatures is a lesson.

 Now, I have been trying to economise recently, as you may know. I have been good then today, Mr Colin Cavanagh reminded me that I needed accommodation for a November tourney and the very talent Mr Chevalier de la Terre started tempting me with more glorious pieces.

When I paint for people I value my work at about a pound a 15mm miniature. I often pay two pounds a miniature for the work of others. I even remember paying Lurkio and Darren Matthews such a price for their work, one of life’s if-only moments. In reality though I can’t really justify spending more than ten pounds on a 28mm miniature. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on remittances. We had better keep the subject of wargames budgets under wraps for now. Perhaps being time- poor is the root of our problem? Until my elevation to the one percent, the ten pound cap will have to remain.


Whilst my workplace was evacuated ahead of the recent snow, Ryan at the local store, travelled twenty five miles to work and slept in a hostel to be in work over the snow days. If there is any justice in the world, such dedication will be rewarded , just like those skilled painters who we should emulate and not resent paying for their skill. Sadly however, I declined to go out into the cold and rather continued perfecting my style……



  1. Louen

    Oh my, yeah, we all spend too much on miniatures I think. I need to declutter and sell my Fantasy armies that I haven’t touched in years.

    I love the part about your wife wanting you to value your collection but you won’t because her friend is a divorce lawyer (the worst kind after the injury lawyers!) and I have to agree, DON’T do it! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wise words my friend! Injury lawyers and advice from “friends” are both suspect! My greatest fear is that my wife would know that 28mm figures are over a pound each! I must spend ten pounds each Friday, on the way home, on brushes , paints and those must have grass tufts!
      I sold all my Fantasy stuff to a guy in Sweden a few months ago. Really miss them now☺️ it is funny how sentimental one becomes. Perhaps that can be our next post!?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike, first, please keep educating your young Commie, As a Cold War veteran, I know that Communism has taken more innocent lives than any other ideology. It’s so disgusting to see young folks attracted to this evil. On the other side, I am not sure what to charge in US$. I have never sold or paid for painting, that seems to me to be part and parcel of the hobby. I guess if I could not, maybe I would buy, but I would truly be broke.

    Stay away from the divorce lawyer! Best, Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers Mark, sound advice on all fronts!
      Disguised malevolence with declared good intentions, from lawyers and the young, must be fought!
      I honestly didn’t think that buying other people’s work was kosher, until I started buying…………..
      All the very best

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Are we talking ten pound for a based and painted miniature or raw lead? If the former this is not sustainable at all if you don’t just paint the odd miniature for a friend. As far as painting services go the hourly rate would be so low, it would not be worth starting.

    I can’t afford top notch artists, but appreciate the principles behind their pricing. What I want to get more into is workshops and paint classes. The investment goes much further with these and I can work on my own skills.

    It is similar with unpainted miniature pricing. To low a rate and you subsidise other peoples hobby. If you run it as a business you have to charge accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess people get hung up on what their figures are “worth”. A trader pal of mine was saying how upset a lot of people are that he will only give them low prices for top quality flames of war armies. The ten pounds maximum is my attempt at being rational – most of my minis form units and that means a 6 cm square might actually total sixty pounds – that for me would be beyond. Twenty five pounds for a single Napoleon by Steve Dyer? I would and have paid that😉
      Thanks for your comments


      • In that case selling private to private is a better choice. If the army is not commissioned and one approaches a trader who may not immediately have a customer at hand I can see that they will offer a fairly low price per mini.

        I decided to only sell miniatures if I get a decent price for them, if not I just keep them in storage, as I might rather enjoy them than selling them for a very low price.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was the policy of another great guru, Keith McGlynn, “buy in a recession and sell in a boom!”
        I think I would get too attached to the minis to be a good trader. The option I have come across is Paul Cummins method- paint two loads of the same models and retain one for yourself. A different method than someone trying to make a living from painting.
        Very much impressed by your stylish blog btw. The photography is especially note worthy!


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