Home Forums General General Civilians, oh where art thou?

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  • #73906
    craig cartmell
    Participant

    It is about time that a company began producing packs of simple civilians across a range of genres.
    To find civilians at the moment requires a day hunting the interweb and finding them tucked into nooks and crannies, often dusty and forgotten by their creators.
    And, when you do you find them they tend to be village yokel, blacksmith, labouring peasant, armed peasant, woman with baby, innkeeper, bar wench and strumpet.
    Before you jump in quoting Reaper, Perry, Lead Adventure Miniatures etc., imagine trying to run a skirmish is a small town with only these…
    Now, I am a producer of skirmish rules and I like to put on detailed participation games. I can get buildings, terrain, boards, scatter terrain and, indeed, anything I need, but a decent range of local people.
    The funny thing is that if I wanted zombie civilians I can get them in almost infinte variety. Bob the former truck mechanic, Wendy the ravenous nurse, Aldric the dung gatherer and his enormous family, now rotting and trotting about. Live civilians? Refer to the list above.
    Perhaps I should get off my arse and sculpt them myself…?

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #73909
    Mike
    Keymaster

    28mm?

    #73911
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I suspect it is the cost.

    A pack of 10 infantry can realistically sell if it is made of 2 poses with 5 of each.
    Say £200.00 per 28mm sculpt.
    That is £400.00 of cost to recoup.

    A civilian pack of 2 poses would be less desirable, you could probably do well to have 5 poses with 2 of each in the pack.
    £1000.00 of costs to recoup.

    So the basic cost of a pack of civilians is quite a bit more.

    Then factor in that most armies will require several packs of the above infantry, a single customer could conceivably buy 5 packs of infantry.
    A customer buying civilians will be less common than one buying soldiers, and they are less likely to buy as many packs.

    My civilians sell less frequently than my infantry and in fewer numbers, and that is considering I was I think the first to bring out 6mm sci-fi civilians so at the time was the only real place to go to.

    I suspect the only way to make it financially viable would be to have super high end sculpts and market them at high profile games and charge more for a premium product, say £4.00 or more for a single 28mm civilian.
    Or cut sculpting costs by making them less attractive but cheaper.

     

    #73912
    Keith Barker
    Participant

    You didn’t say scale or period, but what about these…

    Land Girls

    From Bad Squiddo Games.

    http://badsquiddogames.com/

    //Keith

    #73913
    Keith Barker
    Participant

    Interesting maths in AB’s post, I’d never thought about it.
    5 packs each of 5 Home Front girls; thats a cost of £5000.
    At £2.40 per figure it will require sales of more than 2000 figures just to cover costs without starting to make a profit.
    Not an easy business model!

    #73914
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Is that £2.40 a figure assuming 50p profit per figure, £1.00 profit per figure or £2.40 profit per figure?

    #73915
    Keith Barker
    Participant

    I have never thought about the business side behind the hobby – so I don’t know.

    Bad Squiddo sell a pack of 5 for £12 – I have no idea how much is profit.

    I guess you mean it’s necessary to deduct the cost of metal, packaging etc???

    #73916
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Defo, take my 6mm sci-fi civilians.

    10 different figures in a pack.
    £30.00 per sculpt, so £300.00  and £60.00 for the mould.
    £360.00 outlay for the set up.

    10p profit per figure or £1.00 profit per pack. (rrp £2.00 per pack)
    So 360 packs to simply break even.

    Compare that with a pack of infantry
    £30.00 per sculpt, so £150.00 and £60.00 for the mould.
    £210.00 outlay for the set up.

    10p profit per figure or £1.00 profit per pack. (rrp £2.00 per pack)
    So 210 packs to simply break even.

    BUT I sell a lot more infantry than civvies.

    #73917
    craig cartmell
    Participant

    There again, there is 3D printing to consider (stop glaring at me Mr. Barracks)

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #73918
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    There again, there is 3D printing to consider (stop glaring at me Mr. Barracks)

    🙂

    For masters or production models?

    #73919
    craig cartmell
    Participant

     🙂 For masters or production models?

    For personal use mainly

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #73920
    Etranger
    Participant

    I have never thought about the business side behind the hobby – so I don’t know.

    Bad Squiddo sell a pack of 5 for £12 – I have no idea how much is profit.

    I guess you mean it’s necessary to deduct the cost of metal, packaging etc???

    I’d be surprised if Annie is making more than a couple of pounds profit per pack on those, if that.

    Some companies eg Eureka have done quite a few civilian figures across their ranges but they are not big sellers. More to be made on yet another range of French Imperial Guard in March Attack pose.

    #73922
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I like to add civilians for detail, too. But I’ve adapted to accept that I usually have to make do with small numbers of characterful ones.

    Fortunately, my approach to skirmish gaming is “the more terrain-intensive the board, the smaller the board”. Intensity of terrain allows for more fun stuff to happen over a smaller area, which (again, fortunately) seems to be a fairly common philosophy in modern skirmish rules design. By the way, I believe that’s part of the reason skirmish gaming is gaining ground in this hobby. It’s an elegant solution.

    I personally might take that philosophy to an extreme: If I’m to do a 28mm adventure-oriented skirmish game scenario set in the midst of a town or city, I’ll probably aim for only a 2′ x 2′ board (maybe 3′ x 3′, if I’m allowed to be inventive and not have to pack the buildings very close together) – keep in mind this is with accessible interiors for all buildings. I’ll make damn sure to pick a ruleset that doesn’t punish or expel me for not having the resources, time or living space to model and store an urban area large enough to be one of those attention-grabbers at shows and conventions.

    Modelling my town or city as very a small segment obviously allows me to get away with small numbers of incidental civilians on-table. I can also argue more easily that they fled the immediate vicinity of the action – it’s not an expansive vicinity to have to vacate.

    Conversely, the larger an area for a scenario I set up, the less terrain-intensive it will be, which obviously affects what kind of locality it is I’m representing on-table: countryside, open wilderness, some utilitarian area with a few structures between large open spaces, whatever. Thus, the smaller the likelihood for said area to be populated by civilians. This also often (though not always) goes hand-in-hand with the game itself being less adventure-oriented and possibly less of a skirmish game, which further abates the need for civilians. Again, elegant.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Rhoderic.
    #73944
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    It’s not that hard

    In spite of the economics, there are quite a few civilians for various eras, armed, unarmed and cowering, tucked away in different wargame miniature ranges. I don’t know anyone of sound mind who goes into business manufacturing wargame product to make his fortune. All the designers and manufacturers are as quirky, OCD and downright squirrelly as their customer base, if not more so. (Hi Mike!) They produce product that they like. If they wanted to profit, they’d sell addictive drugs.

    Then, you can apply a bit of creativity to the problem, which is more fun anyway. Cut the weapons off an ‘irregular’ figure wearing civilian costume and bend his arms a little – wa-la, you have a civilian running. Or scout the model railroad shops for O gauge or HO gauge figures, depending on your preferred scale. I buy boxes of 1/72 plastic figures and use them as children or teen-agers in my 28mm collection. And I always scout the toy aisles of the big box stores, whenever I shop for a broom or light bulbs, you never know what will turn up.

    Shirley the hunt is part of the fun?

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #73948
    irishserb
    Participant

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but alot of my gaming is centered more around adventure, than battle.  And even in cases, where war or battle is the main focus, I often want a lot of civilians, such as for my 20mm Vietnam games.  I need about as many civilians, as I do US troops.  And, if you offer me a pack of 10 figs with only 2 poses for my US troops, I’m buying from another manufacturer.  Maybe 10 figs with 5 poses, but not the other way around.  For all of my modern and cold War era games, Vietnam, near-future, sci-fi, post apoc, and especially colonial era games, I would like at least a platoon of civilians. In some cases, like colonial, civilians would out number my troops for any given army.

    The zombie thing that craig mentions is something that I often experience, if I could get the same figs, but not infected, I’d have hundreds.  And in some cases, I do what zippy suggests, but I find that a lot of armed civilians are such that it would take less time to sculpt the fig, than to cut away and reshape parts obliterated by the weapon.  The reason I’m buying the figs is to save the time it takes to sculpt one.

    I guess the manufacturer’s that have tried offering civilians know from their lack of profits, that civilians aren’t the answer to riches, but at least in my case, civilians are often as important as the troops.

     

     

    #73953
    John D Salt
    Participant

    One word: Plastics.

    My chosen scale is the original and best, 1/76th, in which it is easy to scarf up large numbers of economical soft plastic Airfix 1950s civilans, railway workers, USAF ground crew (lots of whom could pass for civilian), lineside workers from Dapol, old West pilgrims and settlers from Imex, and ancient civilians from a variety of manufacturers. But the nicest civilian figures available, in a colossal variety of lively poses, are those by Preiser, a bit pricier, and in hard plastic, but also available in a very great variety of scales to cater for practically all the railway modelling gauges I have ever heard of.

    Mr. Picky would also point out that “art” is second person singular, it’s either “civilian, where art thou?” or “civilians, where are you?”.

    All the best,

    John.

    #73956
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Mr. Picky would also point out that “art” is second person singular, it’s either “civilian, where art thou?” or “civilians, where are you?”.

    Surely “Civilianses, wherefore areth thee?”

    #73966
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Mr. Picky would also point out that “art” is second person singular, it’s either “civilian, where art thou?” or “civilians, where are you?”.

    Good job this aint a grammar forums then eh.

    #73970
    Noel
    Participant

    I also find civilians to be somewhat hard to come by and nearly necessary for many skirmish scenarios.

    Civilians can be different types – armed militia/rioters/criminals/etc., working stiffs, victims, or pedestrians.  Upper/lower/middle classes.  Lots of possibilities.

     

    Perhaps, as we see the trend toward smaller skirmish games continue, there will be more variety in our future.

    #73983
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Mr. Picky would also point out that “art” is second person singular, it’s either “civilian, where art thou?” or “civilians, where are you?”.

    Good job this aint a grammar forums then eh.

    Why yooz hatin on da bruv cos he is learnin em true fam?

    #74000
    Etranger
    Participant

    One word: Plastics.

    My chosen scale is the original and best, 1/76th, in which it is easy to scarf up large numbers of economical soft plastic Airfix 1950s civilans, railway workers, USAF ground crew (lots of whom could pass for civilian), lineside workers from Dapol, old West pilgrims and settlers from Imex, and ancient civilians from a variety of manufacturers. But the nicest civilian figures available, in a colossal variety of lively poses, are those by Preiser, a bit pricier, and in hard plastic, but also available in a very great variety of scales to cater for practically all the railway modelling gauges I have ever heard of.

    Mr. Picky would also point out that “art” is second person singular, it’s either “civilian, where art thou?” or “civilians, where are you?”.

    All the best,

    John.

    A pedant notes that Preiser are 1/87 John …  Lovely figures though & a vast range, including some WWII Germans.

     

    #74002
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    …Preiser, a bit pricier, and in hard plastic, but also available in a very great variety of scales to cater for practically all the railway modelling gauges I have ever heard of. .. All the best, John.

    A pedant notes that Preiser are 1/87 John … Lovely figures though & a vast range, including some WWII Germans.

    An even pickier person noted John’s comment (highlighted) and the following Preiser ad:

    “They manufacture in all major scales, including G Gauge (1:22.5 scale), O Gauge (1:43), HO Gauge (1:87), OO Gauge (1:76), N Gauge (1:160) and Z Gauge (1:220).”

    Evenin’ all.

     

    (Edit – very annoying! Highlighting disappears on posting! Wonder if underlining works?)

    No. Bold?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Guy Farrish.
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