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A Look lnto the Past....or May 2020, my First Commissions



It's March 2020, and I've just been told my hours were being scaled back from 24hrs p/w to 9hrs p/w, due to a certain global pandemic. I have a mortgage, bills, a family to feed, so I decided to take the plunge and start Commission Painting. I'd been considering it for a while, the biggest draw for me to commission painting is, that I would get to paint models and factions I would never buy for myself. I had recently discovered Fiverr (a website where people post their (mostly digital) skills, and people seeking those skills commission their work), which gave me significantly more reach than I'd have ever had on my own. 

I'm the first to admit, a competition painter I am not, BUT I can paint to a neat Table-top standard pretty quickly, so I decided that would be my niche, and offered 3 Tiers of Table-top standard. 


and then I waited, and waited, and waited.


Eventually I got my first commission, a Hero Forge Paladin (I'd show a pic, but it's not board appropriate), which was painted to my "Character" tier (about $50AU), which went really well. It turns out getting the first one is key on Fiverr. Once I had that completed commission and a Review and Rating, I began to receive more clicks and queries.


My next commission was for two Combat Patrol size forces, Adepta Sororitas, and Drukhari. This one was the whole 9 yards, build, magnetise, and paint, and with a time constraint. 30 days. I realised I had kinda jumped in little unprepared, and into the deep end. This commission made we work out a pricing structure for EVERY little thing. Mold-line removal, magnetising, adding higher tier features like eyes, to lower tier models, decals etc.


About 1/2 way through the first commission, the customer changed their list and dropped out some already purchased models, and added more Wyches. They offered for me to keep the abandoned models (3 Lhamians) for the inconvenience. I though that was more than generous, and painted one up (to my Character Tier) anyway and sent it along with the finished commission. It was at this point I decided I would try to include 1 free "HQ" model with each customers 1st Army sized commission (it's something I've kept up, and still do).


For the Sisters I had Cannoness Veridyan, 5 Celestians, 10 Battle Sisters, 5 Retributors, and 5 Seraphim,


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For the Drukhari I had a Succubus, 30 Wyches, and a Raider


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This first big commission really helped solidify in my mind that A) I COULD do this, and B) I enjoyed it. Which was good news as the customer was so pleased with the results they immediately commissioned an expansion to both of these forces, again with a 30day time restraint.


For the Sororitas we had Saint Celestine and bodyguard, a Dialogis, 5 Seraphim, and an Immolator


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For the Drukhari I had Drazharr and 5 Incubi, Lileth Hesperax, a Venom, and 2 Raiders,


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At this point, through Fiverr and the review / rating form the first Sisters / Drukhari commission, I had lined up a second customer, and this time I would be stepping into familiar territory. Space Marines. I would be painting Word Bearers and Space Wolves.


Personally, I collect Imperial, and haven't ever purchased for myself Chaos models, and prior to the commission hadn't ever painted a Chaos model either, but as I unwrapped all the models and sat them on my desk, the Daemon Prince just spoke to me, so the Word Bearers part became my priority, consisting of a Belakor the Dark Master, a Daemon Prince, Obsideous Mallex, 3 Obliterators, 10 Havoks, and a Rhino,


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The Wolves component consisted of 15 Blood Claws, and 2 Rhinos.  Clearly though, there is a Wolf Lord in the picture, this was my throw-in for this commission.


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So now it's September 2020, and I'm all done with the Word Bearers and Space Wolves, BUT I'm not, am I? By now you may have realised, there's no Belakor?


Well this model is how I learned that I could indeed psych myself out. You see, this was my first big, expensive, centre-piece model, and I was charging $200 to assemble and paint it.....and I let the idea of it become a roadblock in my head. I let it intimidate me, when in reality, the practice of painting it was no different to anything I'd already done, it was just bigger.

To my shame, I dragged this model out for another 3 months......the customer was very patient and understanding, but I felt like a piece of doo doo.

So eventually in January I finished Belakor, and despite the delay, both the customer and I were very happy with the fished result,


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So, I consider my first year of commission painting to largely be a success, with some opportunities for learning thrown in for good measure.  Next time we'll look at my 2022 Commissions, before heading into 2023 and my current work.


Thanks for looking,




Edited by Grotsmasha


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