How much does a scale model cost? This is the #1 question asked by all clients. Unfortunately there is no “set price” for a scale model. The way we work is this; we meet with the client until we are satisfied that we have a good idea of what it is they want. Then we sit down with our staff and talk about the project to determine the best way to create what the client wants. We discuss materials, processes, tools required, and finally how much time the job will take. With this information, we prepare a detailed quote for the client based on estimated time and materials cost. This fixed price quote assumes no changes to the scope after the job is started. Additional work due to changes in design are quoted separately.
On the subject of how much it costs… One thing we suggest to clients is that once you have an idea of what you want built, figure out how much you want to spend on the scale model. We will often ask clients what their budget for the project is. This question might seem strange and a little like the poker equivalent of “showing your hand” in the middle of the game but there is a good reason for it. When we quote a job it is based on time and materials estimated as accurately as possible. There is no magic to it, it’s all just numbers.
The reason why we ask about your project budget is this; Imagine you tell us you want a half scale model of a XYZ-123 with full interior detail and a working articulated motivator oscillator arm and you tell us you have a budget of $2,000.00. Now anyone familiar with the XYZ-123 knows that a half scale model of this fine fictional example of a machine simply cannot be built on that budget, but armed with the knowledge of how much you want to spend we might be able to suggest alternatives. How about a ¼ scale cutaway model showing the most important interior areas and not the less important areas? Maybe you can live without the articulated motivator oscillator arm? It is to our advantage to work within your budget rather than just say, “Sorry, it can’t be done for that price.”