I often get asked, can you make me a prop replica from a TV show, movie or video game. The answer is yes.
I offer custom commissioned work on all the above. Here are some things to do to prepare for a quote on such a job.
1. Gather as many photos or drawings as possible of the item you wish to be made.
2. Supply as detailed a description as possible, including measurements and mechanical movement.
3. Make sure if there are specific hardware parts such as specialty brass hinges or clasps that the hardware is available. I prefer not to spend hours searching for specific hardware.
4. Decide what materials you want the item made from. Specify if some parts are to be plastic or wood or metal.
Now we get to the all important pricing. It will entirely depend on my assessment on varying things. If the item is going to be constructed on the computer in CAD for CNC machining or rapid prototyping, there is generally an hourly rate for computer time. That rate will be discussed with you. There is also actual labor billed time and materials.
Sometimes people come to me and ask me to build something, and they have a great idea, and there is potential to make a limited number of these items for other collectors. In this case I can price the entire job on a cost averaging scale. Simply put, if I feel that enough people will also be interested, and I can recover my fees by spreading them out to multiple people, there by offering everyone a lower price.
If you decide that this item you are commissioning me to make for you is going to be for you and only you, and you want me to "break the mold" after yours is delivered to you, then of course you will absorb the entire expense of the commissioned work. So if I see potential for spreading the cost out, I will present that as an option to you.
Time is always a big factor. It can be estimated when we discuss the project, but there is no telling how long something can take to make. I will make every attempt to give a firm completion date.
Payment is determined before the project starts, and typically when we discuss the time, labor and materials we will be able to determine the final cost. Payment is always due upfront in full. Form of payment on commissioned work is personal check or cashiers check. Online payments or credit cards are not accepted for commissions.