Saturday, 21 March 2015

From Miles - The Challenge Stats, the real reason we paint...

Mr Campbell:

With the close of AHPCV, it’s become time, once again, for me to don my “mathamagician” cap and employ the secret equations to divine the true meaning of this year's Challenge.


Early this morning I began my incantations invoking the powers of the light in the form of addition and subtraction and the powers of the dark in the form of multiplication and division to see what the Gods make of our efforts.  It was grueling work, requiring full minutes of typing out data, fractions of seconds in calculations and pure rote memorization.  Thankfully, I’m careless enough not to bother to recheck results for accuracy so saved a bit of time.
The Basic Facts
AHPCV
Last Year
Total Points
64,905
59,935
Registered Participants
72
61
Submitting Participants
66
59
Points per submitting participant
983
1,105

Wow - a total of 65K in points scored is very impressive and a full 8% over last year, which in these days of near 0% interest rates represents a damn decent return.  But wait, there’s more - last year's top 2 finishers Andrew and Kevin contributed 7,366 of 2014 total points and they, sadly, put family before paint and elected not to participate.  I we adjust the 2014 total to remove their contribution, the effective growth rate actually approaches a blazing 23%  Hubada-hubuda-hubuda, thats not bad.

The actual distribution of points per rank segment was remarkably similar across the two years.

Share of Total Points
AHPCV
Last Year
Top 5
26%
25%
Top 10
42%
41%
Top 20
63%
62%
Entire Group
100%
100%
  
The real story is how a majority of the top 20 finishers this year, who participated last year (12 of ‘em) picked up their game to increase productivity an average of 705 points per person.  the top 5 “Most Improved” participants this year are:
Most Improved
Point Increase Over Last Year
Millsy
1,256
DaveD
1,162
Some Jackass who likes officer furniture gaming
1,125
GillesW
978
AaronH
925
 
Congratulations to Millsy, my “Arch Spreadsheet Nemisis” for winning the potentially coveted and just made up right now award for "Greatest Improvement in Miniature Productivity” award.  Yes the GIMP award is one of the highest accolades in our hobby and an appropriate momento of this achievement will be winging it’s way to you shortly (once I figure out what it is).  OK everyone lets congratulate Millsy for his great performance with a hearty chant of “Millsy’s a GIMP, Millsy’s a GIMP, Millsy’s a GIMP””  Any similarity to a character in 'Pulp Fiction' is purely intentional.

Unfortunately, it is my somber duty to report that a certain Mr Campbell who was in the top 20 last year has failed to make the cut this year, finishing in 21st place.  I think we should all reflect upon that outcome for a few moments…

Ok - enough chit-chat and onto to the main event.  This years total production of 64,905 points is the equivalent of 12,981 28mm infantry figures - that’s a lot, but what’s the 'so-what' of all that.  In order to understand the impact we need to review the unit economics of a 28mm miniature figure:

Paint Production Cost per Figure:

Miniature Cost: $2.00 (down from last year’s $2.50 to reflect the increased penetration of hard plastic miniatures in the hobby)


Paint / Basing: $0.75 (up $0.20 from last year to reflect the cost in increase environmental scrutiny and the general market movements to “free-range” / natural products which typically have a 20% price mark up because consumers are, in general, gullible)


Painter Time: $8.00 (up $0.50 from last years $7.50 because, frankly, we all need a raise)


Cost per fig: $10.75

Basic Economic Impact: $139,546!!!!!!!

 

But wait, there’s more, mathamagicians like me love to over complicate - it’s just what we do.  The $139K of value understates the real impact due to demand elasticity (think trickle down economics that actually work).  I know that for every miniature I paint, I but 3 more to take it’s place - and that demand elasticity figure of “3:1” scales relative to the size of the lead pile - the smaller the pile the higher the elasticty figure.  I’ve pretty much exhausted my lead pile so I’m generalizing the same for the rest of you (sometimes it’s just easier to assume than to know) so after exhaustive research and coin flipping, I’m bumping the demand elasticity figure up to 3.583x

The true resulting impact of this year’s challenge is a cool $500,000.00 - a veritable economic juggernaut in the miniature hobby world.  What started out a s a simple contest to paint Napoleonic figures five years ago has now ballooned into a miniature hobbies internet titan of commerce - it’s another Amazon, just in 28mm scale.

Lastly, some assurances - the above has a lot of confusing and complicated mathalogical divinations which may be hard to understand for the layman or Professor of Statistics from a Canadian Institute of higher learning.  Some of you may even go so far as to doubt some of my conclusions.  Let me put those unjustified concerns to rest, once and for all - you can trust me - I’m a financial services executive.

You know, it’s strange, just as I’m about to hit send on this email to Curt, I’ve been overcome with a dread I haven’t felt since 5th grade when I reminded my math teacher she hadn’t assigned the class our homework just before the bell for recess was about to ring. 

Hmmmm…

64 comments:

  1. Miles - thanks for this significant statistical post. I'd completely forgotten having finished ahead of Millsy last year (I'm not sure how that happened).

    We were missing one other titan of last year (Fran) and there must have been a run on sandbags somewhere as Ray's output was distinctly diminished.

    I wonder if anybody makes a suitable 28mm as a prize for the GIMP award winner? ;)

    "Millsy's a GIMP! Millsy's a GIMP! Millsy's a GIMP!" *lol*

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    1. Sticks and stones may break my bones young lady, but the lash stings like a b@stard, Laugh all you like. It doesn't alter the fact my achievement is all the more impressive when you consider I completed all my work clad from head to foot in skin-tight vinyl.

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    2. Image. Seared. In. Mind.

      Aaahrhaa!!

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    3. I would have expected nothing less from you Mr Millsy - vinyl it's just so versatile these days.

      You are not only this years GIMP, you are a fashion forward GIMP. I doff my hat to you, sir!

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    4. If only I could reach the zipper at the back I'd return the compliment.

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    5. Dave! The mind bleach, in the name of God, PASS THE MIND BLEACH!!

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    6. Oh .. Boy this needs full strength Mind Bleach..,

      Millsys a GIMP

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    7. Dave - I hope you've got a good stock of that bleach. Trade is going to be busy! ;)

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    8. I kind of like the image..............

      Ian

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    9. Ian - you are a sick, sick puppy! ;)

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  2. Great stuff. I just used the top 5 to explain to the girlfriend that I really don't spend that much on the hobby, when you think about it ;-)

    It also makes you realize the miniature hobby is probably bigger than we often make it to be.

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    1. I'm always happy to be used as an excuse by others as to why their relationship is in better tick than their significant other believes. It makes it all worthwhile...

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  3. Miles, you are to be congratulated on your statistical chicanery once again. That we have no way validate your credentials, your methodology or your conclusions is of no consequence whatsoever. You use acronyms and multiple punctuation with abandon and that's enough for me!!!

    Your own lead pile may be severely diminished, as I believe is that of Mr Docherty, but I can report my output this year represents a mere 0.0374823648% of my total unpainted collection. My side challenge prize from Dave further decreased that return by 0.00000001% which highlights the fact that the only thing good work gets you is more work.

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    1. Wait....we were supposed to diminish or mountains of neglect!?
      I just rebuilt mine a touch, I thought they were magical talismans staving off global apocalyptic doom?!
      Just in case I'm going to get another 50 lbs of 15mm SciFi to plug a few gaps in the mountain of neglect. ;)

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    2. Jeez.. A mere 0.00000001%.. Was that all it was. I think you need to recount

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    3. Well, I for one have just placed an order for more lead to return my mountain to Everestine proportions and will be ordering more shortly. Mostly for collection at Salute. I'll probably need to hire a team of Sherpas to porter it all back to base camp :)

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  4. That entire post was pure gold, thanks!!:)

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    1. Was that non metallic gold, or I suppose it could've bright gold, or maybe even burnished gold..

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  5. Maths......errrrr........Ug paint toys, Ug count toys painted- 1,2, some. Ug have some left.
    Ug happy!

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  6. Maths......errrrr........Ug paint toys, Ug count toys painted- 1,2, some. Ug have some left.
    Ug happy!

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  7. Fascinating stuff no doubt... and I now have a terrifying image of Millsy in my head!
    My only negatovely impacting thought on this, unless I missed something in the above, is thats theres a lot of points there from bonus rounds which do not equate directly to models painted at the prescribed rate...
    Nearly a third of my total score was bonus points...
    But if we're comparing apples with apples then its all good I guess :)
    Right there s bunch of Turks staring at me and a deadline approaches... I'm offski... :)

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    1. You, you and your negative waves. I can assure you,sir, at least one of the following explanations are true.
      (1) A very level mathematical equation was derived that proved points is points
      (2) I am too lazy to back out bonus points
      So you see, you concerns have been taken into account.

      Now get back to painting for Mr Jackson - I've heard he's threatening to make a fourth Hobbit movie if any painter is late. I think the working title is "The Hobbits Take Manhattan"

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  8. Well it seems a shame to not join in "Millsys a GiMP.. Millsys a GIMP" .. That's better..

    I tell you my wallet is feeling real pain... Having restocked twice thought the challenge.. It's just been hit again.. And a trip planned to Salute.. My bank manager will want words..

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    1. I dare you to start that conversation with "Millsys a GiMP.. Millsys a GIMP" and see what that gets you...

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    2. It will make a change from the flying helmet and the wet celery , that's for sure M

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    3. ...a polite enquiry from the bank manager as to whether you have a master/mistress maybe? ;)

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    4. As a finance service guy, I have it on good authority that chanting "Millsy's a Gimp" will only result in your credit rating increasing as doing so demonstrates very good judgment.

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    5. Ohhh, SWEET!!
      Millsy's a GIMP, Millsy's a GIMP, Millsy's a GIMP..... ;)

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  9. Miles
    Hmmm "professor of statistics from a canadian institute of higher learning"...who foul that reference.

    Well as someone who is professionally qualified to fudge numbers, I'd say you've done a bang up job. You could be so expert on Fox News. Now I just need to get that I age of Millsy out of my head.
    Cheers, PD

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    1. Ok who would that refer to. Autocorrect on IPad and fumble fingered actuary typing too quickly.

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    2. ssshhhh - it's ok, I didn't include a reference that your grumpy 'cause where your from people washed your shorts in seawater - nobody will know I was referring to you - it's our secret....

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    3. You wish you were man enough to wash your shorts in sea water.

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    4. "Now I just need to get that I age of Millsy out of my head."
      You sound like my wife.

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  10. As a simple empirical scientist that all sounds good to me. There are impoverished multinational metal mining companies and transglobal postal services that must be kept in business so that we can all get the pension we deserve.

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  11. Very interesting stats and a hearty well done to everyone. Now get planning for next year so we can beat this year's totals ;)

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  12. Impressive stats and I'll use this to help explain to my wife the next time there is a large parcel delivered to the house :) I am merely contributing to world economics!

    Cheers, Ross

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  13. I have never bothered much with statistics, but these are impressive indeed! Very good of you to take the time and effort to put this post together and let us know the numerical state of affairs.

    Thanks heaps!

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  14. Well if nothing else he got the part about us needing a raise right! This was fun to read I as a newcomer am curious what percentage of the points total came from New painters?

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  15. Congratulations to all the participants! There was so much I wanted to finish this time around, but Life had other plans. Perhaps things will be better by the next Challenge...

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  16. Love the math, but I have the same comments as last year.

    1) The estimate of a figure is WAY to low. Sure, you can get some plastics that cheap, but most are not. Just looking at my stuff, the terminators are $20 each, the character models for each theme week were between $20 and $60 each, heck even the metal WW1 figures were $5+ each. I would suggest an average 28mm non-gw figure is minimum $5 each. Factor in that a few of us did some forgeworld infantry and that goes up to over $15 a fig!

    2) I think you are cutting all our time short. Minimum wage is $11 and hour, and I doubt anyone in this hobby makes anywhere close to that, I would be surprised id anyone is less than at least 3x that and could afford our addiction. Factor in that a 28mm figure with even a crappy paint job takes at least an hour to paint, 20 min to clean, and 10 min to base, and even at minimum wage you are looking $16.50 per fig, and as a realistic minimum all of our time is worth 3-6x that much! Character figs would be much more, I know I spent at least 8+ hours on each of a few figures (satan, tinkerbell, ariel).

    All that said, I love the math, I'm a computer geek and love numbers. I just think your estimated impact is low by at least a factor of 5-10!

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    1. Well for my day job lets just say I may more than $11 per hour but less than $33 per hour Like I said I need a raise :)

      I think you price per figures is a bit high at least I never pay anything near $5. per 28mm

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    2. Don't ever play GW or get any resin figs then, they get way up there. The Satan and the Lylith surfer fig I did were each $40 and the forge world Tau suit was about $50. Heck, even the Batman I gave to curt was over $20!

      It is one of the reasons I like historical figs and 15mm now, WAY cheaper!!!

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    3. You may have noted most of what I painted is historical in in the approximate 15mm scale. I bargain hunt it does mean I walk away from a fair number of figures I really like but just can't afford. I have never been a GW fan, that helps.

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  17. In all the wargames companies at least 1 has to make a 28mm Millsy GIMP figure. for the life of me I can't think of one but the figure would be worth getting for the next challenge and a "Millsy's a Gimp" themed bonus round!

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    1. Not sure what I'd do. Curt has an issue with 1:1 scale stuff so I can hardly "submit" myself...

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  18. Sounds a bit complicated to me, all I know is, I painted less than last year and the year before and funnily enough the year before that!!! I'm going downhill fast!!!
    It'll be a top 50 place for me next year :0(

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  19. I was just glad my challenge wasn't interrupted by a Hernia operation like last year. That SUCKED big time!

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  20. I was just glad my challenge wasn't interrupted by a Hernia operation like last year. That SUCKED big time!

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  21. An excellent analysis. Especially your calculation of the economic impact is very interesting. In my humble experience the 3:1 ratio is rather understated. ;-)

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    1. Don't forget that will average out though. I havn't bought any more figures to fill in the hole in the plastic mountain... yet ;)

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  22. Millsy's a GIMP... it just needed saying again..

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    1. Oh what have I done.....

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    2. I think you knew perfectly well what you were doing. Don't worry, these thing always even out in the end.

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    3. That's what I'm afraid off!

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  23. Truly some epic work there and excellently calculated. I actually now feel virtuous about re-stocking the lead & plastic pile!

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  24. Great stats and facts Miles. Who won the spreadsheet-off?

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    1. We tied at 3204 points apiece - looks like it was rolled over until next year

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