Costing out Display Bases and Removable Fencing

Model Horse Removable Fencing
A fence for all seasons…

I’ve been slowly working my way through the items that are finished and need material costing before they can be listed to the Etsy store. Today’s victim– err, volunteer is the display bases and optional fencing!

I’ve gone over the steps of how to make the bases and how to make the fencing in earlier posts, so all I’m doing here is a rundown on what materials are used and how much they cost.

Once this is done I can finally get both the finished and custom order bases up and running! ๐Ÿ™‚

Base Costs

3x5 and 5x7 Wooden Plaques
3×5 and 5×7 Wooden Plaques

This is the cost for two sizes of wooden base in either grass or sand. There are multiple shapes that these bases come in, but the costs associated will only be slightly lower for shapes with a smaller footprint (the circle, heart, heavily scalloped edged rectangle, and square).

To make the bases; I sand, prime, paint, seal, and then add glue or sand (or both).

  • ArtMinds 3×5 Wooden Plaque $0.99
  • ArtMinds 5×7 Wooden Plaque $1.79
  • Liquitex Gesso ($14.49 for 8oz) small amount used, so $0.05 or $0.10.
  • Green/Tan and Black acrylic craft paint (small amount used) $0.05 or $0.10
  • Liquitex Matte Varnish (small amount used) $0.05 or $0.10
  • Elmer’s White Glue ($1.99 for 4oz) used about 0.5 oz so $0.10 or $0.25
  • Woodland Scenics Fine Turf grass ($4.49 for 21.6 cubic inches = 2,000 square inch coverage) $0.002 per inch, but I use much thicker coverage, so round up to $0.01 = $0.15 or $0.35
  • Decor Sand ($2.99 for 28oz) I use about 1 oz so $0.10 or $0.25
  • 220 grit sandpaper (3.97 for 396 square inches) not really worth including

I’m using the same pricing schema as the other products, so the base material cost is doubled, rounded to the nearest quarter, and then a dollar is added to cover all the Etsy and PayPal fees.

So for a 3×5 base with grass it would be: 0.99 (base) + 0.05 (primer) + 0.05 (paint) + 0.05 (varnish) + 0.10 (glue) +  0.15 (grass) = $1.39, double that 2.78, round to 2.75, add 1.00 for fees = $3.75

So for a 3×5 base with grass it would be: 0.99 (base) + 0.05 (primer) + 0.05 (paint) + 0.05 (varnish) + 0.10 (glue) +  0.10 (sand) = $1.34, double that 2.68, round to 2.75, add 1.00 for fees = $3.75

For a 5×7 base with sand it would be: 1.79 (base) + 0.10 (primer) + 0.10 (paint) + 0.10 (varnish) + 0.25 (glue) +  0.35 (grass) = $2.69, double that 5.38, round to 5.50, add 1.00 for fees = $6.50

For a 5×7 base with sand it would be: 1.79 (base) + 0.10 (primer) + 0.10 (paint) + 0.10 (varnish) + 0.25 (glue) +  0.25 (sand) = $2.59, double that 5.18, round to 5.25, add 1.00 for fees = $6.25

Fencing Costs

Semi-Finished Breyer Stablemate Scale Model Horse Fences
Semi-Finished Fences

There are a two basic types of fence: attached to the base and removable. On top of that there are multiple variations of post and board configuration so the materials and amount of wood used will vary somewhat.

I buy my wood from Hobbytown USA because they have a much better organized and predictable selection of craft woods. The Michael’s near me is complete chaos on both counts and I can pretty much bet on them not having what I need.

  • 1/4 x 24 inch basswood planks $0.49 = $0.0204 per inch
  • 3/16 x 3/16 x 24 inch square basswood dowel $0.49 = $0.0204 per inch

To make the fences; I cut the pieces to size, sand them, drill the holes and attach the wires (if needed), glue them together, prime, paint, and seal. I also have to drill the holes in the base and add the wax/clay, but I do that before I finish the base.

Basic Fencing Materials

  • Posts are 2 inches high and are made of 3/16 x 3/16 inch square basswood dowels. There should be two posts on the smaller bases and the medium ones will have three. The cost per inch is $0.02, so either $0.04 or $0.06.
  • Boards (or planks) are as long as the base (5 or 7 inches) and are made of 1/4 inch basswood planks. The number of boards is open to the buyer’s imagination, but will normally be three or four. The cost per inch is $0.02, so either $0.30 or $0.42.
  • Liquitex Gesso ($14.49 for 8oz) small amount used, so $0.02
  • White acrylic craft paint or Wood Stain Markers,  small amount used $0.05
  • Liquitex Matte Varnish (small amount used) $0.02
  • Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue (small amount used) $0.02

Additional Costs of Removable Fencing

None of the things above are used in any large amounts, so together they only add $0.05 to the total cost.

Thusly…

A removable fence with three rails for a 3×5 base would cost: 0.04 (2 posts) + 0.30 (3 5 inch rails) + 0.02 (primer) + 0.05 (paint) + 0.02 (varnish) + 0.02 (glue) + 0.05 (removable) = 0.50, double that 1.00, round to 1.00, add 1.00 for fees = $2.00

A fixed fence with four rails for a 5×7 base would cost: 0.06 (3 posts) + 0.56 (4 7 inch rails) + 0.02 (primer) + 0.05 (paint) + 0.02 (varnish) + 0.02 (glue) = 0.73, double that 1.46, round to 1.50, add 1.00 for fees = $2.50

Sidenote

Using Soap Stirrers as Fence Rails Boards
Using Soap Stirrers as Fence Rails Boards

I found these ArtMinds Soap Stirrers while I was nosing around in the store, but at $1.99 for 50 pieces that are each 5.75 inches long, they are roughly twice as expensive ($0.04 per inch) as the wood from Hobbytown ($0.02 per inch).

The unknown wood is also slightly thicker than the basswood strips and has a slightly different grain to it. I’m not sure if that’s just a red herring or if they are actually made from different woods. Either way, it’s bad for my purposes since I want to keep at the fences as identical as possible.

Size difference between Basswood and Soap Stirrers
Size difference between Basswood and Soap Stirrers

However, if you don’t have an easy supply of the basswood strips, these are a viable alternative! ๐Ÿ™‚

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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