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The price is way to high!
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TOPIC: The price is way to high!
#52069
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
I love Hirst Arts molds, but in the end it just isn't for me. I own a handful, and I'd get more, but here's why I don't think of them as competition for DF.

1) Time and effort. Even if all other things were equal -- and I'm not sure they are -- the fact remains that I don't have time to cast all the pieces I'd need. It is extraordinarily time consuming. It's true, you can save time in several ways -- buy multiple copies of the same mold, for example, so you can cast more in the same time. Or make your own mold by creating some of the pieces you need most often so you can "shortcut" later. But both of those mean more expense, and if the starting point is "HA is cheaper than DF," that stops being true. If your goal is to keep costs down, HA is helpful, but as a result it will be MUCH more time consuming.

2) Durability. What really killed HA for me was when I moved. I packed things as securely as I could, but in the end, EVERY SINGLE STRUCTURE I'd built from HA ended up broken. Some were worse than others, but it was demoralizing. I knew I'd be moving again, and I just felt like "these things aren't long-term." I ended up tossing most of what I'd made. The stuff was just too freaking fragile. I was using Hydrocal or Hydrostone when I cast, and I could have used dental plaster or something even more durable if I'd wanted. But -- again, that's more expensive. And you'd be surprised how much you go through this stuff when you're making even a modest-sized structure. And in the end, nothing's as durable as resin.

3) Storage. What I like about DF is that it is modular. I can make a million things out of the same set that takes up the same amount of room. I have a few GW scenery pieces, like Witchfane Tor and the manor house and chapel, and they're gorgeous. I really want the astromancer tower too. But ultimately, they're always gonna be the same and they take up room. Once I have Witchfane Tor, I have it. If I want something else, like the astromancer thing, I have to buy that, too. Eventually I will run out of room. With DF, I can allot a certain amount of storage space to just "The KS Castle sets" for example, and then I can use those to make WHATEVER I WANT and break it down into something else WHENEVER I WANT TO. I'm not committed to the same structure and if I want something else I have to find room for it. With fixed-structure purchases, you can only store a certain amount and then you have to decide what you want to get rid of if you want something new. With DF, you can always make something new.

Now, to be fair, HA can be used to make modular terrain, and that's a common use for it. But for me what makes it really distinctive and cool is what it can do that I can't already do with DF. It's both its strength and its weakness. If I go to a ton of trouble and time to cast a million pieces and then assemble and paint them only to have somethign that's basically like what I already have in DF, only more fragile -- wow, that doesn't seem worth it. But if I do all that to make something I COULDN'T have done with DF, that makes sense to me. A full building, a massive cathedral, a tower, anything like that. Awesome. BUT -- you still have the durability problem AND you have the problem of once you've made five or six, you start to run out of room. And meanwhile it DID cost you a lot if you wanted to save time and make it durable.

So in the end -- yeah I wasn't converted. I like HA and I use them for some things. But it has never really struck me as "This is like DF, but cheaper." It's such a wildly different animal, with different strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately, I get a lot more mileage out of DF.

I will say, to be fair, that if I had a ton more storage space, and I knew I was never going to move again -- well, there is something really fun and satisfying about building things. I enjoy that part of the hobby, just like I enjoy painting. I really liked designing and building elaborate HA structures. I made a whole Osgiliath set around 2003 when ROTK came out. It was a blast. But it's such a different thing from DF. It doesn't target the same market, it's not a similar product, it just isn't the same.
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#52098
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
I just hope this dude knows what he is getting himself into...his stuff must be really, really light in weight and incredibly compact in size for him to promise $20 overseas shipping to anywhere?.....there must be some magic involved...
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#52103
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
torrington wrote:
...just for one floor tile works out in UK pounds at £7.70! and this is without P+P on top.
What am I missing that you think a single tile is seven pounds each without postage?


As for Hirst Arts, I respect and admire the creative spirit the stuff brings out in some people, but I think Law covered the points real well. The hidden costs of Hirst Arts make it not cheap nor easy to use.

Just my opinion.
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#52110
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
I agree with you, Stefan. I have no idea how he can deliver international shipping for $20.
Perhaps he's a better magician than Zantar? ;-)
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#52124
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Aha. Here's the quote from IW about international shipping:

"My intent in setting the shipping to something reasonable was to allow people from outside the US to be able to get in on this campaign without it costing an arm and a leg in shipping. I've looked at ordering from companies in Europe or Australia and found that the shipping costs were more than the price of the items I was wanting. That annoyed me as much as I'm sure it annoys people outside the US trying to order something. I do my best to keep shipping costs down even in my existing web site. It doesn't hurt that resin is really not that heavy when compared to other materials."

"They are correct in that $20 will not cover all shipping costs especially for the larger sets. However, the purpose of this campaign is to raise funds for spin casting equipment. I'll be doing all the production myself (as I currently do now with all our products) so I can use the labor costs I don't have to pay to cover the extra shipping and just pay for the resin and other casting supplies. I'm willing to do the labor for free for this Kickstarter so that I can expand my business and offer new and exciting products. This is a family business in every sense of the term. We are willing to make some sacrifices in order to take the business to the next level. So basically, I'm willing to make sacrifices to get the equipment we need."

And his partner Jack's comment:

"the $20 international shipping is not priority USPS mail and is the quintessential "slow boat" of shipping services. people across the atlantic can probably expect a 30+ day wait from the day of shipment as it is barged across the ocean instead of flown. american customers can probably expect a 15 - 20 day shipment as it is trucked across the country. while there is a flat shipping fee of $20 for international orders, not every order will consume that $20 fee. chances are that the grand total of international shipping fees will balance itself out. if not, it will be coming out of Itar's pocket, not yours and not mine. americans are getting free shipping on our items which is a courtesy out of Itar's pocket, not a customer's right."

And IW charges up to $30 on the retail website:
itarsworkshop.com/catalog/shipping.php

OTOH, If you search "international shipping slow boat" you get this info:
forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/International-Trading/Why-Is-There/5200133841

Anyway, IW's 7K goal is to fund a resin spin caster, certainly something different than DF's 50K goal of making plastic molds. The risk is that this is a one-man operation. After the Alien Assimilation KS, I can say that, yes, there are risks for these sort of things! DF and IW may have similar products, but that's where the similarity ends.

BTW, While waiting for your DF tiles to arrive, search and read on resin and metal spin casting, and watch videos on plastic injection molding of miniatures! Very interesting stuff!


EDIT: I should mention that, if we really are comparing KS, we should compare the businesses and project risks for the KS, more than the product offered as the reward. I'm seeing DF closer to Reaper than IW, as the two are larger players in the hobby miniatures business, both KS are seeking funds for plastic mold injection, both KS raised nearly 2M dollars, both use manufacturers in China (remember how the Chinese holiday affects schedules), etc.. Meanwhile, I'm seeing IW closer to the smaller one-man boutique miniatures KS, particularly those casting in resin. (I'm not clear if resin, or the specific resin IW uses is recyclable. What I've read is that miscasts and not being able to reuse the miscast material has caused serious problems in these miniatures KS.)
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#52138
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
What am I missing that you think a single tile is seven pounds each without postage?

HI
Have a look, just for a 4" by 4" cavern floor pieces cost £10.00!SO to make even a reasonable cavern floor plan would cost well over a £100.00 and this do's not cover the cost of the walls to go with it.
So now they have 1.9 million dollars in pledges, I do hope the price comes down a lot on the unpainted pieces for the European market.
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#52139
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Reading Itar's response I'm pretty concerned - for him as well as for his customers.

I've been in this position before. A long while ago I was doing some individual casts and selling them on e-Bay. My Ice Cavern (fully transparent) was years ahead of Stefan.

Then two bits happened:
Stefan announced he would also make an Ice Cavern - my own listing suddenly reached a lot less as I had assumed.
I accidentally mixed up European and International shipping in the check-out (I still had the correct values in the description).

So I had the option - losing $50 on shipping and having done all my work for free - or asking for the shortfall to the customer. I did the latter - and it was paid immediately.

But after that day I stopped offering any more - I still have a few ice pieces cast 5 or 6 years ago that I never listed. The whole incidence took the fun out of it.

I hope the best for ITAR - but I personally would be very, very concerned. Especially on shipping there are many customers whom I lose. Just had one this week - wanting some DF back to the US as he didn't wanted to wait for the DF restock - and turning back when he heard the shipping quote.

It's would be bad business to ship it to him for less (and lose money) just to keep him happy.
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#52140
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Torrington

I do have a large selection of unpainted cavern floors. These are not DF - they are cast using my own mold that I created from Hirst Arts (for my Ice Cavern).
Make me an offer (best contact me via the European DF site - contact me) and these I can sell a lot cheaper. I had them on e-Bay a while ago and there seemed no interest.
I can dug deeper and will even have some Cavern walls cast in black.

The current listing is for customers who add on to their Cavern Sets. The cost indeed is high - actually - higher then then the Cavern set on it's own. This is mainly to help out customers who only need a few extra floors.

And yes - this shows why there just won't be a market for select individual pieces.
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#52142
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Torrington, try breaking the piece down (metaphorically) and see if the price seems a bit more reasonable.

A 4"x4" Cavern Floor is equivalent to four 2"x2" floor pieces from any other DF line, at £2.50 each. Which would not be a bad price for a pre-painted miniature.

Breaking it down further, a 4"x4" floor piece is equivalent to sixteen square 25mm miniature bases at £0.63 each. Sculpted, pre-painted miniature bases at that.

Yes, the resin pieces and sets are pricey. That's why DF is creating an entire new line, in a new material, using new molds and a new manufacturing process, to offer their products at a more affordable price. I'm sure they will get to Cavern pieces in due time, but until then we are going to have to be patient.
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#52144
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
I would like to add that the price quoted was for an individual cavern piece, which is the most expensive way to acquire pieces. You must consider the packaging, labor, storage, etc. If you were to compare an entire set, break it down by piece and then apply JackAttack's math, include teh pre-painting and I think you will find that it is very reasonable per CC of Resin. I have a friend who does the HA thing. He uses them for quick dungeons, etc. Over the last 10 years of collecting molds, perfecting teh process he has a good system now and does a good job at keeping cost down. In the same 10 years I collected over 100 sets of DF (Close to 200 sets now total counting all 17 years and KS) and my cost is similar to his with no labor and time consumed. True for a new dungeon theme he is able to "save" 40-50 dollars in upfront cost but will spend at least 4-5 hours preparing molds, casting, and painting. my time playing my hobby vs 4-5 hours to save 50 dollars after assembling equipment etc does not seem close to being worth it. He is basically paying himself $10 an hour to cast, paint, etc. I would rather spend the time preparing the game and enjoying time with the hobby. Unless of course that is your hobby casting.

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We Search our whole life never finding what we were searching for...
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#52179
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
I did a little bit of research and a few calculations for Itar.

a) positive compared to DF - his items are only 1 1/4 inch high. So they (at least some) fit into a small Flat Rate Box for $23.95 international

b) But that's where it ends. His basic set is 171 square inch (not counting flat floors, doors or stretch goals). The small box is 46 square inch. He more or less has to stack them 4 layers high. But he only has 3/8th of an inch left to stack in height.

If he goes to a medium sized box:

Pledge = $45 plus $20 for shipping = $65
Cost for medium sized flat rate box = $59.95

That leaves $5.05 to pay for HA license, Kickstarter, material

The problem is - if I go there, then I'm likely to get flamed. Others have tried. It is sad.

At least he should make money on the accessories. 125 customers have opted for these vs. 85 for the sets. And off course no idea how many are international.
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#52208
Re:The price is way to high! 11 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
I hope he is not shipping that stuff in a flat rate box...it will arrive in pieces because it is not made of dwarvenite...we can ship our Game Tiles in those type of boxes because they are indestructable...when we ship all our Resin pieces we use much better protective packing... custom styrofoam for that reason...so I really hope that is not the case...
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