The other day I was contacted by a prospective client about my assembly fees for HO scale resin kits.
The current assembly fee is $120.00 a car, trucks and couplers included. Weathering and semi-scale wheelsets extra.
The potential client seemed a little taken aback that I charge the same fee for a boxcar, as I do for "simple flat car" or "simple gondola".
Well I do.
And I charge the same fee for stock cars and multi-colour reefers.
While a simpler assembly than a boxcar, the finish on the interior sides and the floor easily took as much time as adding all the details to a house car.
I have found that overall it averages itself out. Some kits take longer than others. Ladders can be faster than individual grabs, but not always. Open top cars and flats generally require more time painting to get realistic finishes.
And there are the kits that aren't as well created as the superior kits. A bad kit can suck up the hours like there's no tomorrow. But that's my cross to bear. There are only a couple of kits on the market that I refuse to look at. And chances are you don't have one of them anyway. So that's all we'll say about that.
And frankly, I don't have the time to sit down and figure individual rates for every class of car and every kit manufacturer.
So one fee for most assembly jobs.