Tempest in a Teapot?

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Centurion13
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Tempest in a Teapot?

Post by Centurion13 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:32 pm

About six months ago, I got together with the local Fanpro Commando and we decided to run an event at a local big gaming convention over near Seattle.

At first, the plans were grandiose, and I cautioned him to tone things down a bit. A well-executed small plan was better than blah blah blah. You get the idea.

I offered to make some cool prizes. Since a BattleTech snowglobe had recently autioned on Ebay for over $600, I figured that would make a cool prize, and proposed the idea. He agreed. I ordered $80 in globes, and started on the minis.

Further down the road, he presented me with several miniatures to paint in specific schemes, and gave me a couple of months to do them. My payment? The Commando would cover the cost of attending the convention for my son and myself, when we went to help run his event. That was all.

The mini count rose as time passed, until I was staring at about 65 units. Many needed reassembly with pins and epoxy. Others needed bases, or reposing. Still others needed stripping. I hemmed and hawed - some of you know how it is when you have such a large project in front of you, and the rest of life beckons.

Suffice it to say that, as as the days passed, my Commando friend's ideas grew smaller and smaller, and the time we would spend at the convention grew shorter and shorter. All the while, the actual day to day organization remained fuzzy. All I knew was that we were going to wear collared shirts, with appropriate CBT patches. I got to contacting various CBT-related businesses for art, so we could add to the patches with embroidery.

Well, I invited him over to my house at least twice, so that he and I could nail down some specifics, but he never seemed to have all the info he needed to make decisions on hand. So more time passed. The fourth member of our team was dropped - I wasn't sure why, something about how he'd wanted the freedom to come and go as he pleased. Then I was informed that the patches we'd been talking about, weren't going to arrive in time to be sewn to the shirts we'd already bought.

It was in this mood that I began to prep the minis for the tournament. I had modified, assembled, mounted and primed all of them, and had five camo scheme paint jobs done, when I got a call from the fourth member, a fellow a couple of years older than me.

Seems he wasn't sure at all what was going on. When I informed him that he was an 'unofficial' assistant, he got miffed. No one had told him what was going on with anything. So, half-jokingly, I invited him over to the house to shoot the breeze and help me whip 60 miniatures into shape. To my suprise, he accepted. When I came home on Friday evening, he was waiting there for me.

Looking back, I wish I had known what we were getting into. Ten Davion Guard in the traditional red, white and blue. Ten or so more in camo scheme. The rest were Word of Blake. The vehicles were to be in camo of some kind, and there were about eight on each side. All the BattleMechs required flocking, stones or some other decoration of the plain hex base. I'd lost internet connection a few days before, so we couldn't look at schemes at CamoSpec Online - we had to come up with something on our own. We started painting on Friday at about 8:00pm. Finally broke for a smoke, chat and then to bed about 0100. Got up at 0830, ate, ran some errands, got to work at 1100. Worked until dinner at 1900, then back to work until midnight. Sunday morning, 0830 until 1230, then 1300 to 1800.

When I closed my eyes at night, I dreamed of drybrushing. My partner began unconsciously making drybrushing motions with a straw he was holding for his soda, on one of our lunch runs. I love to smoke cigars, but I never took a break for them - or anything - until after midnight, when my painting partner went to bed. It was very intense, but he finally went home to his family on Sunday night, leaving me with some decals and metal trim to do on about twenty minis.

As he was waiting for the ferry going north, he got a call from the Commando. My painting partner called me shortly thereafter to inform me (from the middle of a three-hour long wait in the ferry line) that our friend the Commando had cancelled our entire convention appearance.

It seemed he just couldn't get the time off from work.

The fellow who was supposed to relieve him for the weekend, backed out unexpectedly. And the Commando didn't want to forgo the hours, as he had to make the rent. So that was that.

I was steamed. My son was bitterly disappointed. The miniatures were all done. And we still had the shirts to pay for. We were out a lot of time and money, and we wouldn't even get to go to the convention. It seems that, rather than pay $30 a head back when we first proposed this idea, our Commando friend had waited to pay at the door. Which now ran $60 per person. There were no exceptions, not even for folks running the games.

So now the point of this whole thing - what to do with the minis? I have had several suggestions:

1) Turn them back over to the Commando on receipt of two admissions to the Convention - which is over. That's about $120. Of course, the camraderie, the fun of being at a convention, the exposure to all that other stuff, visiting the East side for three days, the sheer adventure of it all - that we get screwed out of.

2) Hold them until the man pays me for the work I did. I thought of charging $7 each, but have had professional friends tell me they would charge $10 minimum. Even at $5 each, the total comes to over $300. And I don't think the Commando can afford that.

3) Dunk them all in a bucket of acetone, let sit for a few hours, then put the metal bits into plastic envelopes with names on them, then into a box and let the Commando sort them out.

Check out the picture for a sample of what I accomplished. Oh, and the carrying case? That's my own construction, from a visit to Goodwill and some foam. It's two layered. I was going to throw that all in for free. Can you imagine?

Oh, and before I forget, I had to use HMP to generate a unique PDF file for every single miniature, then drop the whole thing on a CD.

All for nothing.

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Cent13
Last edited by Centurion13 on Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Doctor Love
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Post by Doctor Love » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:48 pm

My suggestion. See if he comes or calls about them. If not, keep them or sell them for yourself.
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Post by Gideon » Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:00 pm

Steven, that's outrageous.

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Post by Blackheart » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:09 pm

After all that work and nothing to show for it, I'd sell them and keep the money for myself.
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Post by EX_YN1 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:40 pm

put them up for sale - i'm sure people will pick them up. That really sucks, man.... boo on that commando. :(
<br><b>"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished<br> unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." <br>-Voltaire</b><br>

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Post by Doctor Love » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:51 pm

Just a thought, but perhaps raise this issue with the head commandos? I dont know what his past performance is, but what just happened doesnt seem to be fitting to a commando. (Yes I know RL can be a *****, but from the way it was described it smacks of poor planning).
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Post by Blackhawk01 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:14 pm

I agree that the Commando powers that be need to be made aware of this performance and you should probably put the minis up on ebay to recover you expenses.
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Post by Lawgiver » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:21 pm

-Report the behavior.
-Find the commando's home address, possibly even attainable from Commandohq.com. Mail a certified letter, return receipt requested stating your request/intentions. In the letter, outline the original contract, request payment in the amount of your expenses at the con that he was supposed to cover. If payment is not received in 90 days begin selling the minis in lots until your expenses are recouped. Attempt to return the minis at least 3 times, including a certified letter. If they are not claimed 90 days after that you are legally free to keep them as abandoned merchandise.
-Do not paint more minis than reasonable in the future and say "no" much sooner.
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Centurion13
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Post by Centurion13 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:45 pm

Lawgiver wrote:-Report the behavior.
My partner has that covered, but I'll check on it.
Lawgiver wrote:-Do not paint more minis than reasonable in the future and say "no" much sooner.
Yeah, well. What are ya gonna do? I met him back in 1999, 2000, and so far he's been a stalwart friend and gaming buddy. My son loves it when he is around, and that is saying something. This guy has never jerked me around before, so shame on him, eh? But he just seems to be in over his head. And he had to choose between the live-in girlfriend and kid, and us. Not much of a contest.

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Post by ImperiumKnight » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:22 am

I'd definetly say some sort of reimbursement is in order and if he really is a good guy he'll reimburse you in some way for your work either in cash or letting you keep part of the minitures or something (btw those minitures are great looing and I love some of the reposes you did). Lawgiver's advise all sounds good to me although I hope you getting some reimbursement won't be too difficult.

Centurion13
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Post by Centurion13 » Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:25 am

Well, it looks like he's been talked to already. Not sure how the Powers That Be found out who he was (I certainly gave no names or places). But as I pointed out to him, it's possible to find out if you really wanted to know. I didn't think anyone would, to be honest.

He's promised to reimburse me for the entrance fee, plus something for the case and something for the shirt. I was ready and willing to do that and call it a good deal once. That is, back when the case, the shirt and the entrance fees were accompanied by camraderie, bad jokes, a shared smoke outside the hotel, yakking about old times, gaming at a crowded table and sharing junk food. But of course, none of that additional stuff the credit card people label as 'priceless' is going to happen. So no fond memories for us to share, no stories for my son to tell to his kids when he's a father, and a regular monthly game spoiled into the bargain.

It just makes me want to charge the going rate and call it even. I think $5 each should cover it. My work is sometimes inspired, and the bases done by my partner are very creative, but we did it all in a hurry.

Glad you liked the repose I did on the Toyama. That thing looks so darned boring in the original pose....

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Re: Tempest in a Teapot?

Post by Centurion13 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:34 pm

Postscript: eight years after.

The commando finally decided to get rid of all his miniatures.

I just got a tax return of around $6000, so I offered to buy all those miniatures back.

I now own the case and about 70% of the minis I painted. I still play Battletech, but my son, who was 11 at the time, drifted away and is now 19 and in college.

But he still flies a mean Nightsky.

Just thought someone might want to know.

Regards,

Cent13
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