Blue Table Painting starts their “Turbo Army” Kickstarter project

By Polar_Bear
In Crowdfunding
Oct 22nd, 2012
136 Comments
612 Views

Blue Table Painting has started a Kickstarter campaign in order to get you high-quality painted armies quickly.

From the campaign:

Blue Table Painting is a full service painting studio. We assemble, convert, and paint custom armies for tabletop games including: Warhammer, Warmachine, Infinity, Heavy Gear, Malifaux, and more.

About "" Has 25414 Posts

I was born at a very young age. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
  • blkdymnd

    Ok forgive me if I’m missing the point here, but how does this get on Kickstarter? This isn’t really a tangible product. It’s an established company that basically just wants the means to paint and sell armies faster, which I’m sure all painting companies would love to have that means. Maybe I’m missing something.

  • Nightbee

    Has Blue Table improved significantly in the last several years? I’ve used them in the past when I needed something done quickly and cheaply, but none of it came out very well. One step up from dipping, really.

    Maybe they’ve improved, though. Customer service was more professional than with most independent painters, so I would be glad to hear that was the case.

  • uncle bad touch

    All they want is to get people to buy stock for an already existing product line. This is not what kickstarter is for. Also offering discount store credit as a reward is a clear violation of kickstarters own guidelines.

  • Valander

    I agree this just seems to be an attempt to cash in on the Kickstarter hotness. I don’t see how this is offering anything new or unique above their normal service.

    • thetang22

      Kickstarter is all the rage right now, and they are wanting a piece of the pie. They don’t even sell a “product” – they sell a “service”. This is nothing more than a money-grab and marketing tactic to gain more attention for the service they already offer.

  • SeriouslyConfused

    This is a truly brilliant idea! I’m surprised Gately didn’t think of this sooner, his ability to sell snake oil never ceases to amaze me, if he can just convince his wife to have a few more kids, he can start his own cult…

    • Kevin

      He is delusional!

  • RighteouslyIndignant

    $40,000? Seriously?
    This is a insult to all that Kickstarter represents.
    Shameless greed and misdirection do not make a good business model.

  • Disgruntled_Ex

    Shame, shame, I know his game.

  • crushar

    Yea I think that Blue Table is totally using Kickstarter for something other than it was intended for. Not really surprised, it still is a decent business plan.

  • Mananarepublic

    Really nothing to add here, agree with all the comments above. This is not what kickstarter is for, this is not something new from them. I don’t have anything against the service, quite the contrary I think mr gately is doing a good thing for the industry. But this is wrong..

    /M

  • Paymaster Games

    Has anyone reported them do you know?

  • Kevin

    Isn’t it enough he charges exorbitant prices for glazed models and for themed rooms at his Valhalla conventions!?

  • blkdymnd

    I’ve reported him and I know a few others that have as well. It’s taking advantage of Kickstarter to market an existing business. I guess I should be disappointed in Kickstarter for allowing it in the first place.

  • sortie_123

    Hey, did you guys even bother to look through all the content they released on ?YouTube? There is no difference between what they are doing and probably 3/4 of what Kickstarter is being used for. Isn’t it funny your criticizing Kickstarter for what they believe should be allowed on their own platform? BTP is creating a new way of doing things that takes an insane amount of capital to start, so that you all can get cheaper painted armies. They have a clear defined goal of having 200 new products, something that only they can create, ready to go with the goal they have set. If you don’t like the painting service that’s one thing, everyone has preferences. But seriously? Against what Kickstarter stands for? I think you might be a little confused.

    How is it different from someone who uses Kickstarter to make a CD that they are then going to sell, in order to make more CD’s in order to make profit. How is it different from someone who uses Kickstarter money in order to buy plastic, that someone else produces, that they then print their logo on and make dice to sell? They want to buy a product that is produced by a manufacturer, and improve on it, and sell it as their own. I find it so repulsive when people complain about the pricing of a company that not a single person in the world is forcing them to use. Complaining about Valhalla pricing… I don’t know. People seem to be going still there must be something to it.

    I’m just saying, if Blue Table is the bad guy, then why are they one of the very, very few painting companies thriving in the ENTIRE world today? If they painted something poorly a year ago, which of course could have happened, maybe they’ve improved. I’m just saying, this thread is really lopsided. It’s just weird that over 70 something people have invested in something in just a few days, but all of them got duped. On their Kickstarter movie, in their YouTube channel, someone commented on their own channel that they should be flagged for spamming the channel with Kickstarter plans because they were answering questions. IN Their own channel! There has to be more than just a handful of sane people who notice how idiotic that sounds.

    If Kickstarter approved their plan, maybe its because they took the time to look through it and saw what it was trying to create. It really is something new and it has the potential to change a lot of things in this industry, including how much people have to pay to get things painted. It’s hilarious that people here are trolling BTP for their pricing at the same time that they are trying to create a cheaper way to get people painted stuff. If everyone in the world looks evil, maybe it’s not the world. I for one, as a person with a crap load of unpainted minis in my basement, am happy they are figuring this out before I either spent 10,000 hours painting them, or paid them their old rates to do it.

    • bluetablepaintingshawn

      Thank you very much. Shawn here. I just wanted to chime in with a few topics.

      It’s harder than it looks. I’m now running a business with eighteen people. I’ve never done it before. I’ve found that the road has a lot of pot-holes in it. I’ve made my mistakes and honestly tried to correct them as I’ve gone along. State and Federal laws are labyrinthine and scary. Even a city official can shut down a business. An entrepreneur takes on a lot of personal risk. I do my best to navigate it.

      As for taxes, it’s a complete maze. It takes a full-time college-educated professional at $50-100 per hour just to explain it to me and keep all the paperwork straight. And even then it’s possible to not get it right. My wife spent fifty hours this year just categorizing expenses. It’s beyond belief.

      We signed a lease for the BTP house because some of our employees were unhappy with their then-current lodging and were having a hard time coordinating themselves and coming up with first/last/deposit. We wrote a check for $2900 to get them into a new and better place. We furnished the house the best we could. I even stocked the fridge out of my own paycheck. We provide a way for people to get lodging immediately and cheaply without the barrier of a last-month deposit. Most months we collect less in rent than the lease.

      In the future for trial-run people we will probably just ask them to get a motel.

      One of my dreams is that the people who work at BTP will be able to own their own homes. Actually a paid off home. Right now I don’t see how it can happen. But who knows what the future will bring! The miniatures painting industry has a lot of competition. I want the people who work for me to be successful. What’s the point if I’m the only one who’s doing well?

      Right now BTP is in an awkward adolescence. We’re paying out money to lay a foundation for something greater. Growing pains all around.

      A lot of my ex-employees run their own painting services. These are usually the ones who crop up to vociferously criticize my company (and me personally). I’m OK with this. I wish them the best and hope their companies do well. I would encourage you, the reader, to check out their services. Maybe they are better than mine!

      I wonder what would make the critics happy? If they drove by a homeless shelter and saw me, my wife and four kids in there? I don’t understand this sentiment. Hoping that someone fails.

      I love the free market. Everything comes out in the wash and I’m ready to have my company put through the wringer. The internet is the great equalizer and tends to acid wash the impurities out. I’m ready to accept this. The Kickstarter is an example of that. An entrepreneur puts an idea up for public scrutiny and if it’s found worthy it gets money. If not, it gets nothing. Beautiful. It gets at the truth. I am eager to see if my idea is found worthy.

      I have a vision and I’m willing to work hard to achieve it. I have been persistent if nothing else. I would encourage all who read this to keep your chin up. Don’t let the critics get you down. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt:

      “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

      My love and happiness goes out to all. –Shawn Gately

      • There was no refrigerator in the house when i was there, just an empty space in the kitchen where it should have been.

      • lhoward89

        I’m not a big war40k tablegamer, but I am getting into the scene. Blue Table Painting has created a conduit for me to explore, and appreciate the wargaming scene as a whole. At first I didn’t know if I would have the time or the patience to PURSUE a combat career on such a expensive hobby. So my first purchase of imperial guard units came as a shock to me because I threw myself into this alien world of marketing and game play.

        I guess the only sort of wargaming that MAYBE resembles these sorts of games is Risk, but I understand if you don’t get the comparison. So I spent hundreds of dollars on minis, painting supplies, and food. Without any knowledge of what I was doing, I applied raw skill, and came out with some decent painted models. At the time of all this (early 2011) I had a drug addiction and due to the substance abuse, impatience, and lacking the necessary funds to complete my project; I gave up. Time went by, and I kicked the habit. I started watching blue table painting videos again, and found my inspiration once more, but stilled lacked the patience.

        I’m by all means a n00b when it comes to tabletop 40k, but when I mustered up the courage to call BTP the dudes actually talked GAME with me, and not prices. I have a better understanding of what I’m coming into, and despite the cost (I’m having half of my army shipped, assembled, and painted by BTP for about 900 dollars.) I’ve been assured that my army is going to be painted to standard, if not, well… I want my stinkin’ money back.

        BUT I HIGHLY DOUBT A REFUND WILL BE NECESSARY because if their manners, and technical input resemble anything figurtivily close their painting. I’m sure I’m in good hands.

        Thank you Blue Table Painting.

        p.s. I should be getting pictures of the end result soon, right?

  • bluetablepainting

    Hey all this is Robert from BTP. For the sake of transparency, the post before this one was my wife. I’ll be honest I was a little disheartened when I read this thread. She, as a woman with her own opinions, decided to chime in while I was considering what to write. We were just emailed about this thread, didn’t even know it existed yet. I can tell you now, that I am glad to see it does. I can see there is some confusion on why we’re doing this. I am completely in the open, there is no need to assume or jump to conclusions about what were doing. I am completely willing to answer any questions here in this forum, by email, or in any other venue.

    For anyone interested my email is [email protected]. I really think what we’re doing is helpful to every single gamer in the entire industry, regardless of whether or not they use painting services. If you have questions as to why that’s the case or whatever. There is no cause to be disgruntled behind our backs, I am here so you can say it directly to someone in the staff. I will tell you though, if ALL we wanted was money, I ASSURE you we wouldn’t be doing THIS Kickstarter. There are other ones we could have chosen that would have been Far more lucrative, and gotten us far less lash-back. We chose this for a reason, and it’s a reason we believe is important.

    I guess I’m just doing a sort of generic response, casting the net as it were, to see what questions arise. Hope there are some good constructive comments.

  • 4tonmantis

    So.. I’ve obviously been vocal about other companies staying in kickstarter well past reaching their goals. This to me is an example of what goes wrong when companies see this as an opportunity to milk a system or craze.
    Look at the prizes.. most of them you have to mail them your prize.. then pay shipping on it.
    Also.. let me get this straight.. we’re sending Blue Table money.. so they can buy miniatures.. that they will paint and sell to other people?
    At the moment, 70 people have pledged almost $18,000 to this.
    The ONLY.. and I mean only here.. the only way this would be worth it.. is if people were receiving a value of at least half of what they’re sending in. Look at the $150 reward level.. they paint a dragon you get from somewhere else? Really?

    Blue Table (we know you’re reading this now); Don’t be surprised if people don’t have questions.. I’m pretty sure we get the picture.

    • Kevin

      And who in there right mind wants anything painted by them anyway? Most of what they paint looks like it was done with Crayola watercolors and is ridiculously overpriced.
      A turd can look like a Snickers from 3 feet away, but it’s still a turd.

  • brainleaf

    Just a few points id like to make starting with your wifes claim that my post “someone commented on their own channel that they should be flagged for spamming the channel with Kickstarter plans because they were answering questions. IN Their own channel! There has to be more than just a handful of sane people who notice how idiotic that sounds.” when in fact what i really said was “im only shocked this wasnt done months ago .anything to get the cash from your pocket and into his seems to be the motto these days .ppl should thunb? this video down and flag it as spam its e-begging .”

    also if you want to build a stockpile of armies do it with your own trade in stock .do not expect the general public to buy your stock for you .to use one of Shawn’s own analogies from one of his many 10min plus rants on why ppl should ignore the real world need of themselves and other to purchase a btp army .say a guy sell auto tires but he wants to sell more tires in fact hed really like to sell 100s of them .so the guy lets call him Joe goes on kickstarter looking for ppl to give him the money to buy 100s of new tires so he can sell them to other ppl .BTP is doing just this there is nothing new beyond the extreme bare faced cheek of it all and like i said in the comment your wife so kindly miss quoted ,im only shocked its taken this long for BTP to abuse kickstarter.

    BTP are that lame they even got ppl to “donate” money towards household paint and blinds for the building the company is based in .and considering expenses like that can be wrote of v tax and the money they get is a “donation” then its win win all round for BTP .Shawn also condemns other painting services at the drop of a hat and makes some wild claims about his own company .i have nothing against the ppl who work for BTP lets face it the majority are on minimum wage just like the workers at worthy painting .but BTP really has become that annoying guy who keeps trying to bum money of you in the street.

    • brainleaf

      By the way sorry for all the mistakes iv just woke up .

    • RighteouslyIndignant

      “BTP are that lame they even got ppl to “donate” money towards household paint and blinds for the building the company is based in”

      Seriously?

      • brainleaf

        Oh yes man ,and the worst part is ejits on youtube lap this stuff up then insult you for trying to talk sense .check their site they may still be running that long after the fact .it was about 18ish months ago when they moved into the new building .or check back thru their video`s if you really want to know .

  • janus

    Haters gonna hate.

    This BTP bash is really annoying. I followed it for some days now and really have a hard time understanding how you guys dare to force your judgment onto BTPs Kickstarter over Kickstarters evalutaion of the project itself, which they seem to be okay with, even though some of you tried to crossfire it.

    I advice you to check out all the different and sometimes weired projects on Kickstarter and it shouldn t take too long for you to understand BTPs Kickstarter fits isnt that exotic.

    I am happy to see the Kickstarter is super successfull and made almost half of its way in just a few days.

    Shame on you denouncers !

    • Nightbee

      So which member of Robert’s family are you?

    • Riquende

      Obvious BTP staff/family member is obvious.

    • janus

      : ) I was expecting this kind of reaction.I am neither staff nor familiy, nor client of BTP. Actually I live in germany and am comission painter myself. This is why here and there I check BTPs web stuff (which isnt that great)

      I just dont like trolls.

      The critique and bashing seems way too personal and aimed against Gately himself, which is not cool and not fair.

      • 4tonmantis

        I have nothing personal against BT or Gately. I have an issue with everyone abusing crowd-funding.
        I also don’t like people labeling me as a troll simply because I have an opinion about something. What makes you any better for saying something negative about those who dislike what they’re seeing?

  • Anyone who has ever worked for the megalomaniac for more than a few months knows that the number one priority is Shawn Gately.

    • Kevin

      lol. No wonder. There seems to be a lot of turnover at that company.

  • bluetablepainting

    I am not aware of who Janus is. You can assume I would tell you, since I was completely open before. I am just not a veiled or shadowy person.

    I am long winded, because I care about the topic. You certainly don’t have to read the whole post. I hope you guys care enough about the topic to bother reading through it. I am willing to talk it through. I am going to give this an honest, adult, effort. I am hoping to carry on a decent conversation here. Believe me when I tell you how open I am as a person to criticism. We are truly one of the few companies, Especially in wargaming, that will listen to your opinions, and do our best to integrate what we can. There aren’t to many companies that would bother posting here. Especially with the effort that I will.

    I’ll start with Riquende. My comments to any individual will cross over to others. Many of these topics cross in my mind.

    @Riquende: I am glad you asked that question. To be honest, it’s one of the truly intelligent questions that can be asked on this topic. A question that looks for information, instead of just saying, quite ignorantly I might add, that something is stupid. “If Blue Table Painting says this is going to be useful to the system, to me personally, can you tell us how?” Yes, I can. I tried to explain this on the movies, but I am not the most eloquent man. I will give it another shot here.

    I spend a lot of time chatting with the owners of most of the bigger miniature gaming companies, and have spent a lot of time with some of the smaller ones. Whether people are privy to it or not, there is a big problem in the miniatures market at the moment. It’s one of the problems that is making games/miniatures cost more and more, and the problem has roots in instant gratification. I don’t think there is a single person who can deny that the new generations are becoming more and more used to instant gratification. Who hasn’t gotten frustrated when their cell phone took 30 seconds longer to load a page than expected, or the computer takes a full minute to boot up instead of 45 seconds. Maybe those examples just don’t apply to you, but the fact of the matter is that they are applying to more and more people. The generation of people who had no problem sitting down for 4 hours is growing old and phasing out.

    The people that are now entering the industry, the members of this newer generation have two pretty common characteristics. First, they are more often than not impatient. Second, many of the ones that are patient, have demanding and involved lives that just don’t have much room for painting. In an age where life moves fast, people don’t often have 30-100 hours to sit and paint an army that will look as good on the table top as it did in their minds.

    The problem that arises from this is that people who LOVE these games, many, many people, buy the starter boxes and booster packs and everything they think looks cool, and then it sits on their shelf, in “queue”. It sits in their room, it sits in the basement. They want to paint it, they’d absolutely love to paint it, but they never paint it. Sure that’s a problem for only the indicidual in your mind, but if you zoom out a little, and think a little bigger, you see a larger problem. When people buy a box, or ten boxes, for something they love and it sits around in their house, how likely are they to go buy another box. Even if they love the game? It isn’t likely. Then how will the sales go for the game companies that make the games we all like to play? They go down. This is very directly related, among other reasons, to why prices are going up so steadily for miniatures. I can be even more clear on this point, and perhaps give some statistics for anyone who might be interested. However, that prices are rising, I think is generally understood. Look at what a miniature cost 10 years ago when the hobbiest was a thriving part of the community, and you’ll see a difference. A difference that is larger than just inflation. I look at all the statistics, and I see a pattern.

    How is this going to help you? Because, there are so many people, and this is the truth, that want our Turbo Armies. We have gotten SO many emails over the last few weeks, months, and years about this topic. People don’t care to paint, and the people who do care, but don’t have time. They still want to play, they can make time for a 45-90 minute game, but the idea of painting is daunting. I grant you that some people love to paint, and good for them! We also love to paint. As we sell Turbo armies, and as other painting companies (who already have expressed to us their interest in copying this if it is successful) we’ll ensure consistent business, at least we hope, for the miniature companies. Truth be told maybe we can’t make a big enough splash, I don’t really know. But we are trying. Someone has to do something before a box of space marines costs two hundred bucks. This is our best idea so far. I really hope even better ideas come along and are acted upon. It’s an idea that many of the largest miniature companies in the world are excited about, and are backing us on.

    I hope that sheds some light? If not I will try again. I know what we’re doing is out of an effort to make things better and that many of the most informed people in our industry can see, at least the theory, of what we’re aiming at.

    @4TonMantis – Little surprised by your comment. As far as I can recall we have only three pledge levels that are only assembling and painting. Ironically two of those were created by request. I am glad that I didn’t make the assembly only pledge that was asked for the other day, that might have looked even worse? I have made it quite clear on the Kickstarter page that I am willing to create custom pledges for people because there are so many people with so many unique toys. Of over 30 pledges we offer, only 3 invite people to send us their own stuff they already have for us to paint. Am I to understand that you think it would be better for us to not paint the stuff people already have, but instead require them to buy new miniatures? Also, are you really getting after us for charging shipping? Really?

    Also my friend, you receive far more than half the value. Almost every pledge level gives you more than half of the pledge level is actual product. The margins on some of the pledges are so stupidly small that I have trouble explaining why they’re on there, other than to say that someone asked for it. We are not charging more than we have always charged, less in fact, we are simply stating to everyone what our margins will be specifically aimed at. So people can know what they are buying is going to go towards. Not for everyone? Certainly. For some people? Certainly.

    @Brainleaf – Not sure how to respond to your comment. Our painters aren’t on, nor near minimum wage. We have had troubles in the past and our fans have helped us out. That house paint thing was really awesome. We’ve had tons of fans come out to the studio and see what they helped to bring to reality. I sort of think of that as a tribute, not a condemnation. Maybe that makes me weird I guess? That we’ve been so good to people that they come to our aid?. You realize that we aren’t charging more, but in fact less, than what we actually charge for all the stuff on our Kickstarter? We are giving pretty good discounts on some of it in fact. I don’t see this as our hands out, begging. I’d appreciate it if you could help me understand that point more though, if there is more to it. Did you realize that we are actually giving product for everything we’re doing, and that it is a bit cheaper than our normal pricing? It seems like a good deal, I think a lot of the people who are familiar with us have seen that as they looked through the pricing. No problem with the typos by the way, I understood it all. Thanks for saying that though, makes it seem like you’re actually trying to converse. Thanks again.

    As to our pricing. In a general comment. We get tons of requests for Batreps. Dozens and Dozens a week. For studio spotlights, for closer looks, game reviews, for all the things you see on our YT channel. We do that, and don’t get paid for it. We go to conventions that our fans “demand” (lovingly of course!) we go to. We do all sorts of things. Truth of the matter is that we have some of the best jobs in the world, in my opinion, but we also have to eat. We have to pay the painters (once again, not minimum wage), our digital and trade departments, our shipping department, and the other higher administration (which probably makes less than minimum wage, including me). All of this has to come from the product we produce. Our prices are lower than others, and higher than some. People choose our studio because they know every day our painting is getting better, they know that we don’t take more than a year to complete your project, and we don’t disappear into the nether with your money. That is just worth it to some people.

    Lastly, I know we aren’t perfect. Part of that is because there isn’t a single other company in the world that is doing what we are doing. No other painting company has been anywhere near as big as us until this past year. As far as I know, that is fact. It is important for people to realize that we are really giving it an effort. Some days we over charge things because we get hungry and worry. Sometimes we under charge because there is no precedence. We truly are clearing unsettled land here, and trying to do our best. I am always willing to hear any insights that people get as they see what we are creating. Please help with your thoughts. Just believe me when I tell you, this is difficult. Quite so. The easier you can take it on us… it’s just appreciated. I’ll do my best to help the company get better, maybe you can help. Wouldn’t that by a different dynamic!

    Anyways, round 2! Have at it. I only re-read this once, I hope it makes some sense.

    (One last thought. I realize many of you love to paint. You have to understand that we wouldn’t exist, the entire painting service industry wouldn’t exist, if people weren’t unable, or unwilling to paint their stuff. Even if you are the guy who paints and you are the exception to the rule, believe me when I tell you that you’re a dying breed. Teach your kids to paint! I’d rather go out of business because everyone paints their own stuff, not because no one can afford to play. Just a thought.)

    • janus

      I understand you responding to this crap but I think you should not react to this pointless trolling. Your time is wasted and you dont need to justifiy ourself at BTP.

      You are feeding trolls, that might be 13 or 14 years old.

      Rather concentrate in pushing your KS and stuff and dont allow trolls too leech your time and energy.

      • Riquende

        Janus, perhaps you should learn the difference between ‘people with legitimate queries about what the point of this KS is’ and ‘trolls’. Not everyone on the internet who disagrees with stuff you like is a troll, if anyone comes across sounding 13 or 14 it’s you.

        • janus

          Well, just try to imagine I did not aim at those with “legitimate” queries, but at those who just made trolly comments and personal attacks.

          Further at no point did I say I like any of the stuff BTP is doing (honestly most of it is pretty ragged), but I confess I admire that they at least ARE doing something.

          KS company for sure is smart enough to define where the point of KS is.

          And yes, sometimes I sound like 13 or 14, but thats my singing voice.

      • 4tonmantis

        I’m 32 and have the right to voice my opinion. If you don’t like it, you have every right to say so, but don’t expect me to not voice my opinion simply because you disagree with it.

        • janus

          I never told anyone to shut up or hold back opinions. Just as most of you, I stated what I disagree with. Me disagreeing and critizing doenst automaically implicate I want to surpress any opinions.

    • Riquende

      Sorry, this doesn’t fly for me (I’m only responding to the response to my questions).

      Let’s play multlple choice. Is gaming ‘failing’ because:

      a) The world economy is floundering and people are finding fewer funds for ‘luxuries’ like toy soldiers?
      b) Related to that, people cannot afford to keep up with GW price hikes and haven’t been educated enough to know there’s a a non-GW market out there?
      c) Computer and video games draw a larger and larger share of the same demographic’s spending money away from the hobby?
      d) Teenagers have large stocks of unopened boxes sitting in there basement?

      I just don’t see how d) is a factor at all (I don’t think it even stops people buying more). I see you claiming that it’s leading to b), but it’s entirely conjecture on your part. I don’t see anything in your response that justifies why other people should directly fund your business.

      But never mind me, I’m not interested in commission painting so I was never going to be pledging anyway. I’d not even heard of Blue Table before I saw this article, and was only moved to comment by the ‘this will affect every single gamer’ comment above.

      • 4tonmantis

        I agree with your point (presuming you were making a commentary about the economy).. 4 years ago I was making enough that I could buy a new army each month with no problems. For the last 3 years I’ve had enough to pay bills and eat. Perhaps I need to start a kickstarter to line my pockets.. er.. I mean.. fund my work.

  • JamieisOOP

    Okay, a few things really need to be said on this.
    My name is Jamie, I am not an employee of BTP, nor I am a member of Robert’s family. I’m based in the UK. Heck you guys can even go find me on facebook if you believe there is some sort of BTP conspiracy on this thread.

    BTP do alot of stuff other commission painting companies simply don’t do. There is some great competitors out there for them such as the already mentioned worthy painting…. Do these companies literally put hours and hours into create reviews, battle rep, army break downs for us to view for FREE on their youtube?

    Kickstarter is a tool to both create and expand businesses. BTP are using kick starter correctly to substantially grow their company, in order to continue providing the high levels of service that they do. Very few businesses I know of have such a high level of customer service, or as high level as dedication as this guys. Regardless of what you think of their painting, which is imho is great and improving all the time. No one can deny that BTP are the biggest commission painters out there, when you phone them or email them you KNOW you are going to get a reply in a reasonable amount of time, or immediately on the phone. You KNOW you will be speaking to some one on the end of the phone who is knowledgeable about the hobby, who understands what you are saying, Even their receptionists, secretaries, and postage staff take the time to learn about the hobby. Who else offers that?

    What BTP are aiming to do with this kickstarter doesn’t exist anywhere already, imagine opening a GW battleforce and getting the models on the box assembled and painted like that? The thought of it sounds great to me. And it’s not without risk, an investment in the minis, and man hours will be great, and it might not prove popular. Therefore their use of kickstarter is imho both legit, and also sensitive to their workers who will appreciate the security when undertaking a new investment like this.

    You guys need to quit the BTP bashing, and enjoy what they put out. If you don’t agree with them using kick starter, don’t sponsor them. It’s pretty simple really? If you don’t like their vids, don’t watch them.

    I tip my hat off to Robert for being honest, and speaking to you guys. And I tip my hat off to Shawn and all the team.

    Jamie Rafiki Tranter

  • patient_957

    Directly from the man himself. “Some days we over charge things because we get hungry and worry.”

    • RighteouslyIndignant

      Aren’t there starving children in 3rd world countries who eat on $.10 a day?

  • brainleaf

    they will get their money never fear .youtube has got used to ego`s and e begging a long time ago .there’s an easy plus to all proper gamers .just ignore this crap and let the ship sink under its own mass of … even the die hards will twig their being shafted at some stage .i was just pissed that i was miss quoted and i dare say nobody would have knew what a slamming this was getting on here if i hadn’t mentioned it on their youtube page .just remember you can only take the piss for so long .

  • You guys are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I drove over 1,000 miles each way and spent over $1,000.00 for a trial period at BTP. I was there for a week and never even got to talk to Shawn other than in passing. I cannot say more for fear of violating one of the numerous non-disclosure forms I was instructed to sign (they did manage to find time for that).

    I should’ve listened to my wife. I’ll leave it at that.

    P.S. Rob, don’t use caps when communicating electronically. Using caps is indicative of raising ones’ voice, and that is never sexy.

    • Veritas

      I’ve been staying out of this, but this sounds shifty. You mean you paid your own way to work there as a test run of your skills? If BTP runs this for multiple painters they’re getting loads of free work. I wonder if they even have any intent to hire these people or just get free labor. I mean, if he didn’t talk to the people in charge there wasn’t even an interview, right?

  • I was paid $8.00 an hour. I was there 8 AM to 7-8 PM Mon-Thu and 8-noon Fri but claimed only 40 hours because overtime was not authorized. I was told at 1130 AM on Friday by Josh that I was not authorized overtime and that “they” wanted to talk to me later. I took the hint and packed my stuff and left. I drove straight through back to Texas 22 hours, calling my wife on the way to tell her I was heading home and that she had been right (ugh).

    My cost for the entire trip to/from plus lodging was over $1,000.

    I was initially interviewed by Shawn via Skype. Art Director Josh sat in. Shawn asked the questions and after each question, he would mute the mic and lean over to Josh and interpret to him the meaning of my response. Several times he missed the mute and I should have known then to forget it, but I was sucked in by what I took to be an opportunity I might one day regret not going for.

    In one instance during the interview, in response to question Shawn asked about my willingness to work for what they were paying, I told him that I get a disability retirement check from the military that gives me a bit of a cushion. He asked me to wait and talked to Josh – without muting – about how careful you have to be hiring disabled people and all the ADA rules. So in my opinion he might have just offered me the trial to be safe but never had any intention of keeping me on. Too bad for him, though, he would have received a $14,800 tax break for hiring a disabled vet.

    At the end of the Skype interview – about 35 minutes – they invited me out for a trial.

    They sublet a 4 bedroom house and rent out the rooms (part of Hollingsgate or whatever they call their joint real estate venture that also runs Valhalla). I was told by Shawn it was $15.00/night when interviewed but it turned out Sarah charged me $25.00 (better than $65 for a hotel, but still not what they had told me).

    My accomodation was a small room with no furniture other than a single-wide bed with a sleeping bag on top of the mattress. I signed a 3 or 4 page rental agreement for 6 nights. I left Friday so did not use 2 nights I paid in advance for. Of course they kept the money. I returned the key to the house but never got my $10.00 key deposit back either.

    I was referred to as “newbie” by a several people. Few introduced themselves, though I must admit I really like Mrs. Gately, whose sunglasses I repaired. She was very nice. So was Jon.

    I was never invited out to lunch or over to anyone’s house or out gaming. Never met with Shawn and he skipped right past me during his famous Studio Updates. The only time we spoke was in passing. A few of the others were just downright rude.

    Though Josh called me “Padawan” once or twice, I was never taught anything. Oh, he did once ask me why I was using my own brushes and straight away brought me over a fistful of hobby brushes more suited to painting a mural than a miniature. I did not use them . . . I couldn’t.

    I’ve been painting miniatures since 1987, but was willing to learn some new stuff but got nothing. I think that I painted as good or better than anyone there from what I saw – and as fast – but did not really get a good feel for the talent level because of the assembly-line-hurry-up-nature of the place.

    I received an art scholarship when I was 10 years old. I have B.S. degrees in history and art. I am a hard worker. I’ve done work for the Smithsonian and for numerous museums and private individuals, but looked forward to learning what they had to teach me. I have 25 years miniatures painting experience. I worked for President Bush for 2-1/2 years taking care of all of his art and memorabilia. I was a museum curator for 5 years. But apparently I fell short.

    Those are the facts and an opinion or two. Can’t say much more than that. I do know that BTP has a huge painter turnover issue and must need painters bad. Check out the recent group photo on the BTP blog. Only 4 or 5 out of the 16 people in the picture are full-time painters.

    • brainleaf

      Shocking but kinda expected at the same time .was doing a bit of math on how many hrs you’d need to work if you were paying for that room on a weekly basis .at $8 per hr it would take you 23.125hrs to pay for a tiny empty room thats one step up from sleeping on the floor including the $10 key charge you never got back .and 21.875hrs without the key charge .that's pretty much half your working week .and that's if the $368 youd make in a average 46hr week is after tax .clearly if your being taxed on the $368 you`d need to work more hrs .

    • janus

      Thank you for your insightful comment.

      Wish you all the best.

  • Disgruntled_Ex

    TrojanArtPainting, I can sympathize. I relocated to work for BTP, lasted about 18 months. The studio imploded (apparently it’s a cyclical thing!) when we were advised to misrepresent our work status to the IRS and refused. That and honest criticism got us all fired.

  • malord

    I dunno this thread got interesting when the drama appeared! But they do say on youtube that if you want a trail and don’t live close to BTP you have to pay your way. Which is far enough.

    Trojan art sounds too good to be true with all that experience and quality why would you be lowering yourself to BTP?

    Something smells fishy. People bashing BTP could be competition or just people with too much time on their hands. So they have a kickstarter? Who cares.

    • malord,

      I did not mean to insinuate that paying my own expenses was unfair or that I was misled about paying my own way. I never said that. My point was that after I traveled all that way – and in the process spent a lot of money – the boss did not even acknowledge my presence or take the time to chat with me. My point was that BTP was not at all what I expected.

      I did not criticize their product or their business or their Kickstarter idea. I stuck to how the individual people treated me personally. Sometimes you just have to get involved and speak up. Heck, Shawn preaches that all the time. Have you ever watched Gatelymusings?

      At the time I tried out at BTP, I did not think that I was “lowering myself,” nor by telling of my experience was I attempting to raise myself. I was just simply telling of my experience.

      I viewed working at BTP as an opportunity to have a fun and interesting job. I actually passed up a job offer from the Naval Museum at Great Lakes to go to BTP. My phone interview with them was at 10 AM on the same day as my Skype interview with Shawn at noon. That was a bit stressful. I still have the offer letter from the Department of the Navy stuck up on my cork board. Believe me, before August 20th, I would have been on your side of this conversation.

      And I’m not too good to be true, either. I’ve just been modeling and painting for a long time.

      Google “Southern View Magazine Pride of the Fleet” and click on the top result which is “(PDF) historic – the new Southern View E-zine.” The PDF will download. Scroll down to page 13. Bottom right is my name, Dan Richardson. I am mentioned in the article as one of the modelers that worked with the Smithsonian to build the models for the exhibit, which are now on display in the Senate Chamber at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, Mississippi.

      Call Lamar Roberts, Director of the Old Depot Museum in Vicksburg, MS, at (601) 636-6500 and ask him if I was Curator at the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum. Ask him how many models I built and how many figures I sculpted for the museum.

      Call Emily Robison, Deputy Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, at (972)353-0500, and ask her if I worked there and took car of President Bush’s stuff.

      Call James Morris at PROCON, Inc., at (601) 825-4533, and ask him if I was the Item Curator of the Motor Vessel Mississippi Project for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

      Call Cheryl Taylor, Executive Director of the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, at (662) 455-7556, and ask her who built the Fort Pemeberton Diorama that is part of their permanent display.

      That will give you a good start on fact checking my story. More references are available upon request.

      Finally, I do not see BTP as competition and I do not think I bashed anyone or that I was unfair. I even mentioned who was nice and did not mention the names of the people who were really rude. I just told the truth about my experience at BTP.

      But being semi-retired, you were spot on about one thing. I do have too much time on my hands.

      Dan

  • bookshelfclimber

    Well BTP has got a strange policy for sure. You just have to look at how deliberately they delete and block comments/users on their Youtube channel.

    I found this topic via their Youtube where someone commented about this, so I think it is just a matter of time until they block the comments or remove the vid.

    I think it is pretty clear that they only want to use the kickstarter to grab money and create additional revenue via that. They are not going to create anything other than what they normally do. Probably they saw the success of other businesses (who actually are funding real projects to create something new) and they decided that yea, we can bank in some more cash on KS.
    I personally don’t see that how their turbo army or whatever will effect me as a gamer or a person in Europe, whatever.

    My opinion is that something stinks with BTP and sooner or later Candy man Gately will manage to sink his own ship.

  • bookshelfclimber

    They just removed the comments about this issue on youtube. 😀 I am happy that Shawn Gately doesn’t rule the world, would be a shit place to live in.

    • brainleaf

      My comments were taken down and iv been blocked from making any more .

  • bluetablepaintingshawn

    I try and keep things positive on my Youtube channel. I tend it carefully like a garden. If it seems to me that someone wants to just start up a firestorm I make that go away. The typical youtube name-calling and negativity is unwelcome. I pull those comments like weeds. If someone wants to be helpful with some criticism then contact me directly. I am always ready to learn something new and improve my business.

    • brainleaf

      I was telling ppl to come here and look at this thread .they are entitled to read some of the things being said here before handing over their hard earn cash .o maybe you`d prefer they only seen your side of things ? this springs to mind “TrojanArtPainting, I can sympathize. I relocated to work for BTP, lasted about 18 months. The studio imploded (apparently it’s a cyclical thing!) when we were advised to misrepresent our work status to the IRS and refused. That and honest criticism got us all fired. “. surely that is illegal isn’t it ?

    • BTP Rob wrote above about “transparency” and about being “completely in the open.”

      Shawn wrote that he is “completely open . . . not a veiled or shadowy person,” and “how open I am as a person to criticism” but then pulls negative comments from his YouTube channel “like weeds.”

      He uses words and phrases like “adult” and “honest” and “decent” when describing himself to insinute that others are not.

      Who really needs to do that?

      Like I mentioned earlier, during my Skype interview, Shawn disected everything I said for the real meaning and interpreted to Josh why I said what I said over an open mic.

      Who does that?

      I could go on, but I do not think that you guys are ignorant or childish. I think that you got it and that you get it.

  • Disgruntled_Ex

    My personal experience working for BTP does afford me the opportunity for commentary on its owner’s character and business as a whole. I would advise any and all – do not trust this man, Do not trust this company. In my time there, I directly witnessed intentional dishonestly, misdirection and an overall onerous work environment. Specifics are not exactly germane to the validity of BTP’s Kickstarter project, but can certainly be expanded upon if necessary.

    • malord

      You should expand. It’s important for people who maybe thinking of ordering to understand more. I for one was thinking of getting some stuff done but was always concerned living over seas if it was lost or damaged what would happen. Eventually decided against it and painted my own stuff, but people should know if a bushiness is being dodgy when making a choice.

      Trojan no more references will be needed. I was just highly suspect because at least on the yoyoutube general it’s always positive and looks like everyone’s having fun. I apologize if I offended you in any way.

  • Soulfinger

    Low wages, poor living conditions, shoddy paint jobs . . . at the very least, you have to admire BTP for keeping these jobs in the United States. Other companies do the same thing with their pre-painted figures but with workers overseas in China getting even lower wages, poorer living conditions, etc. The reality is that Mr. Gately would generate more profit and have far fewer tax concerns if he outsourced his entire operation to China. In many cases, the factories that produce the minis would be conveniently next door to the paint studio. He would even generate less criticism, since I don’t think I have ever seen anyone complain about how pre-painted figs are taking away American minimum wage jobs or the sub par labor conditions for those people overseas who manufactured three-quarters of the gaming crap on our shelves working 12 hours a day for $1.36/hour. Where is the righteous indignation over that, over products from Hasbro or WizKids?

    The disillusionment comes from people equating these positions to whatever painting minis for money “should be,” whereas the real world equivalent is fry cook at McDonalds. The fact is, most small businesses with a handful of employees struggle to survive, the owners work hard and make next to nothing, and many of them do something shady on occasion to get by, because when politicians talk about helping “small business” they mean companies with 1k employees, generating 2 million in annual revenue — those are the small businesses getting incentives, tax breaks, and what-not.

    Trojan Art Painting, you sound like a cool and interesting guy. Seriously, your work history is awesome. But what do you expect traveling 22 hours for an $8/hour job? You were clearly the wrong candidate, because the right candidate shows up for work after his/her high school classes get out to earn a little pocket money for scented bodywash or whatever the kids are into these days. Reaper is in Texas. I assume that they do some hiring from time to time, are likely better to work for, and are possibly a tad closer to home for you.

    Mr. Gately, this may not be feasible, but if you ever have vacant rooms in that 4 bedroom house, inform your local hospital that they are available to parents from out of town with a child in extended care. Whether it is $15 or $25 a night, you would be doing a genuinely good deed (even if there is a Ronald McDonald House in your area, there is usually a waiting list), could probably work a charitable deduction out of it, and it would garner some good local publicity for getting some local high schoolers out there working for you. An artistic teenager can pick these skills up in no time and minimum wage is perfectly acceptable at that age, since it is a great alternative to Taco Bell. You’d be so much better off training local kids than recruiting gamers from miles away.

    • bluetablepaintingshawn

      We created the BTP house (and by the way it’s a decent house in a good neighborhood) as a favor to people who work here. There’s no other reason to have it. If someone who works here finds it unappealing they are welcome to rent anywhere they want. At least you are being positive so thank you for that. BTP is lucky to be in business, I literally thank god for every client that comes back. It’s not uncommon to find me up at 11pm or 5am answering emails. We pay $11 per hour, which I think is pretty good for regular work painting miniatures. –Shawn

      • Soulfinger

        Just going by the posts here, you really would be better off training teens from the ground up for minimum wage than paying $11 to gamers with mad skillz. The former would truly appreciate that sort of job, the latter appears to resent it. Start them off painting skeletons, which you literally can’t screw up, and they work up to bigger and better stuff. I just brought the renting out vacant rooms thing as a conscientious alternative if the intended boarders are unkind about the living conditions.

    • Good call, I live just across the lake from Reaper. I go there alot. That’s a great bunch of guys. ReaperCon is awesome.

      It is also comforting to be reminded that we are still better than . . . China.

      Just kidding, man. Good post.

      • Soulfinger

        After the Kickstarter, I am willing to bet they will be hiring soon, especially once they move their manufacturing end over here from China, which I believe the Kickstart made possible.

  • BTPemployee

    I’m a BTP employee and will remain nameless for obvious reasons. Most of the critical observations in this thread are indeed accurate.

    The Kickstarter is indeed a money grab, and a desperate one at that. BTP is a slowly failing business that is going further into debt by the day. Much of the debt is in the form of credit owed to its customers. Many weeks they don’t even have the money to order the models and supplies needed for current orders, even though 50% down payments were made. Those down payments are often spent on previous orders and payroll. I hope for the sake of the Kickstarter supporters that it fails because much of the money will be spent before Kickstarter obligations are met.

    I can verify most of what Trojan has said of his experience at BTP. I’m sorry you wasted your time and money, I wish I could warn others before they do the same. But you did get a glimpse of the real BTP. I don’t know why you wern’t hired, but you should be gratefull that you weren’t. I really feel sorry for the guys that relocate out here and get stuck. The ones that rent from BTP are really in a tight spot.

    I actually feel a bit sorry for Shawn as well. I don’t know that he is outright dishonest. He has grand dreams of Shawnland, and lives there to much to actually manage a successful business.

    • janus

      In case u really are who u say u are, why are u working there under such conditions ?

      • BTPemployee

        I have stayed because I wanted to believe in Shawn’s dream as well, and until recently I still had some hope. I will be leaving shortly, as well many others here are looking for other work.

        Don’t get me wrong, it used to be a fun place to work and is still better than many I’m sure. It’s just not worth relocating for, nor is it the wonderland Shawn thinks it is.

    • bluetablepaintingshawn

      I’m completely saddened that someone working here would feel inclined to air the dirty laundry. However this is not completely accurate. The last few months we have fallen behind in our ordering. I took over the Inquiries/Ordering department ten days ago and found that orders were not being made, and no workarounds in process. We were at the time about $8000 behind in our orders. Since then I’ve ordered about $5000 worth of product and got most orders on track. Almost all clients have been contacted. I came in for a twelve hour shift last Saturday to sort this out. I do have grand dreams, but I don’t live in Shawnland. I live at the studio.

      Currently, we have about three weeks of projects booked out.

      BTP has no credit card debt and our complete debt-load is less than ten percent of our annual revenue. Many small business struggle through rough patches, cash flow problems, accounts receivable not paid. You name it. I’ve fought through it for nine years. And I make sure that payroll is met.

      BTP has over 6000 projects completed. That’s the equivalent of over a thousand armies. To say that we won’t be able to handle the 20-40 armies required by our kickstarter is pure rubbish. The math doesn’t add up.

      • bluetablepaintingshawn

        PS- all projects will be on track within a week or two, in time for them to actually receive attention.

      • swiftjack

        I do not think he was talking about credit card debt. I think he meant the deals you do where people trade in their old models and the other deals that give people a dollar amount of credit with BTP.

        • bluetablepaintingshawn

          I was referring to the lump sum of BTP’s obligations. We are solvent.

          • BTPemployee

            You should look up the definition of “solvent”.

      • BTPemployee

        Are you actually claiming that you didn’t know BTP was behind on orders because it was broke and blaming it on Inquiries/Ordering?

        • swiftjack

          I don’t know how familiar you are with Shawn’s other websites but I had a read of his blog but he writes on it:

          “I’m taking over the Inquiries and Ordering dept. There is a lot of cleanup. It’s rife with mistakes and oversights. Bungles. Nothing to do but plow forward.”

          So yes he is saying BTP is solvent and Inquiries/Ordering did not do their job.

  • swiftjack

    If people are saying BTP is garbage, low wages, high turn over etc how come I see a couple of people in videos who no longer work there? Like that Renn guy. If Shawn was a monster and his business terrible wouldn’t folks who left just run away as far as they could? Instead of coming back and playing batreps and being in videos.

    I would expect high turn over from BTP as it has low wages and no upward mobility.

    • brainleaf

      Because when you don’t work there five days a week and your only asked to play a game its not really the same thing .plus he could just be in to pick up some stuff from trade stock and decided to play a game while he`s there.

      • swiftjack

        Do you have some inside knowledge brainleaf? or did you order from BTP and get shoddy work?

  • gazeebo

    They have removed 1 or 2 of their videos in which many people were asking genuine questions about the situation being described here on this page.
    I can totally understand BTP’s view on this, trying to prevent any kind of damage to their company. However I also believe it may be better to come out with a video/message to the public trying to explain the situation and prove that these allegations are false… if they can at least.

    • swiftjack

      They often delete videos or comments like that on the youtube channel, makes sense for a lot of people the youtube will be the first thing that they see. I wouldn’t count on a video explaining anything. But sounds like in the latest video he did talk about not letting the naysayers get you down etc. Reference to this thread perhaps?

      • brainleaf

        notice he said nothing about whats going on here .oh no gately is capt positive and anybody who points out the cracks is a naysayer .well sometimes you need naysayers esp when somebody is trying to blag $40,000 off ppl who he doesn’t want seeing any of this.he`s been playing on youtubes good will for far to long and if his company is in bothered then its not up to us to bail him out .

        • swiftjack

          lol your comments have already been deleted.

          • brainleaf

            Yes but hopefully ppl have seen some of them in the few hrs before they were deleted .i fully expected them to be deleted that’s why i posted early this morning .

  • swiftjack

    I can imagine Shawn dissecting that post from the “BTPemployee” trying to figure out who it is his face red and puffy with anger. Later Walking through the halls of his business looking over his shoulder. Was it Mason? Was it Thomas? Could it be Sharron what a betrayal. Who can and can’t be trusted? Who is it. Paranoia slowly setting in growing greater day by day.

  • bookshelfclimber

    I think the people who watch his youtube channel, especially if they pitch in to his kickstarter or use his services have the right to know the true face of his company and what do they support with their money.

    He has been censoring comments and critics for far too long. Many times it was only honest criticism not trolling or hostility and he still removed them what I feel very dishonest. Yet he preaches about morals, reliability and honesty time to time. Shawn Gately calls everyone on names, like troll, naysayer etc. who dares to express views opposite or negative to his. However, don´t be surprised that he removes comments, as you can read above he even fired his employees after receiving bad criticism. Probably, the BTPemployee who wrote in this topic is fired by now and is being `flayed alive´ using Shawns own words.

    BTP should run a proper website with webstore and should make their customers be able to give feedback openly under the product they purchased, like you can do it on ebay. So future customers can have a good idea of what can they expect for their money.

    I don’t think some people even realized that BTP kickstarter = you give them money, so they can buy plastic, what they can paint and then later they can sell. What do you get for that? And to who is that beneficial except of BTP?

    If there is enough pressure on him, I am quite sure Shawn will come up with some explanation in the form of an at least 30 min disorganized ramble of dodging, fishing and blaming the `Ordering Department´. Or hoping top gain some sympathy he will just sing the I will survive of Gloria Gaynor with the crew of the whole studio.

  • janus

    Hey Hey Bluetable wants your Bens !

    One really annoying perk in his Kickstarter is “Life Mentoring with shawn and Sarah” 2 absolute regular and unimpressive people who will chat with you for only thousends of Dollars !

    • keltheos

      Wow, not cool, Janus.

      • brainleaf

        but true

        • BTPemployee

          Hey guys, Sarah is a good person, you should leave her out of this.

          • janus

            No harm meant ! I really like her.

            Still its like selling golden coins… made of chocolate, still tatsy but not worth the price.

    • Nightbee

      A lot of that stuff seems pretty cultish. “Includes time spent with BTP leadership.”

      • janus

        Thats what I mean.

        Its like selling “original BTP studio air”.

      • brainleaf

        This makes it seem like Trojan got a deal lol

        “Pledge $2,800 or more

        THE BTP LIFE 1 week here, full painting classes + tutoring. Great for people who are starting painting or service based companies or just want to learn how to paint well. Time spent with leadership (Airfare not included)”

  • bowloflostcells

    Hey guys, we have been discussing BTP for the last month on this Dakka Dakka thread. The news about this Kickstarter and this TTGnews thread just hit dakka dakka and we are all extremely concerned, particularly regarding criminal allegations of tax fraud. We will be pushing for these allegations to be investigated thoroughly.

    http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/60/477183.page

  • bluetablepainting

    Well, lots happened while I was away for my weekend!

    I have been trying to find actual problems that people have been raising. I’ll make an effort, as always, to address the issues. If I miss one, please go ahead and give me a shout and I’ll try to clarify it as well.

    I think the first thing to mention, is that the company has been in business for 9 years. We have completed over 6000 projects. Regardless of who you are, you must concede that that is a good amount of time in the small business world. Hate us or love us, we’ve been here for a while. That shows several things. First, it shows that Shawn knows how to keep a business above water. You cannot keep a business with a dozen or more employees above water for 9 years by simply asking for hand-outs alone. Maybe a year? Maybe two, but not 9, at least according to my understanding. Maybe some exceptions exist, but for sure not many.

    As for old employees. Well I hope it is sufficient to say the company is moving upwards. Wherever it has been, and whatever has been done, we are moving upwards. If there have been mistakes, I hope we can grow bigger than them, and become more and better. By the way, I do in fact know what solvent means, and the company is solvent. This company in the very near future will have absolutely zero debt across the board. Can you point out too many other companies in general, but especially small businesses that have zero debt? We have tens, if not more, thousands of dollars worth of material and assets, and much, much less than that in debt. I’m not sure what else to say about the past than that.

    The Kickstarter. Most of the pledges on this Kickstarter were designed with and even by clients and customers who we talked with before we ever started the platform. There are people who pay many, many thousands of dollars for business mentoring from people who have very little to show. Here, along with painting classes, or whatever else (that have their own value all-together) they are getting business mentoring from people who have been successfully running a business that has grown significantly year after year, in a completely volatile, absolutely new, and often very rude industry. The fact that that has been accomplished… that has value to some people. Maybe not to everyone, which is why we made other pledge levels. I can point to the Reaper pledge level of 2000$ for a baseline. Going to Reaper as a guest, and spending time there with their staff. This one seemed pretty simple to me.

    Returning employees. Well, some leave frustrated, some leave on good terms. To be honest it depends on how the termination happened. If someone agreed to a work environment where they would produce X and in fact produced Y, where Y is significantly less, then they are let go. I am not sure what kind of business model doesn’t contain something similar to that. Disgruntled ex’s? Yeah, who doesn’t have some of those. But there are a lot of old employees who come around pretty often. Renn does batreps with Shawn, Cameron helped with our training pod and with some terrain very recently, there are a lot of old “stars” that still come around, because they like most of what we’re doing. They are just doing their own thing now too.

    The wage I guess would be next? 11$ an hour is more than a lot of places, especially for entry level. The wage isn’t a secret, and no one is duped into driving out here. Try being a solo artist and making more than 11$ an hour. You add in administration time, advertising, etc. etc, you wont even be close. We just answer all the emails, we answer all the clients who want something changed or re-arranged, we answer the calls, and do the advertising. The painters have the luxury of just painting X amount. There are certainly worse jobs my friends. If someone drives out here to interview and it doesn’t work out, that’s just the way it worked out. We don’t have hard feelings, and I think that for the most part, neither do they. We do try to get the best artists, but we also try to find people who fit in with what we’re trying to make. It isn’t always about hiring the best artists, but also about picking people that we think will be happy here. Sometimes it’s just about watching them and seeing how well they click in the environment and with the people. Some people do, some people don’t. Not because they are mean people, or stupid, or even bad painters. Some are quite good, in fact. It might simply be that some just don’t fit, and you know what, that isn’t a bad thing! It’s just a matter of trying to find the right fit, for both sides.

    In general. We made a lot of changes over the last year. Some very, very big, and some small. Between all the changes we had hiccups and mistakes. Mixed in with the mistakes and hiccups we had moments of brilliance and good looking work. Check out our facebook page, there is a lot of art I have uploaded for people to see that looks just great. I don’t think it’s shoddy in the slightest, and neither do the professional companies that work with us, and nearly all our clients. As always, in a free market, you can go anywhere you want. It’s wonderful.

    A thought on the KS: we are offering services and product for pay, the only difference is that we’re letting people in on what the intended purpose of the money is, and our business plan instead of not (like just about every other company). That is almost the greatest difference between this Kickstarter and normal, every day work. We have decided to set up a separate fund, to fund a specific project, and have told everyone about it, and invited them to get the same product as always, for cheaper than ever, to help with that fund. We did this because we got really excited about the project. That fund is going specifically to one place, and one project. I’m really quite less frustrated by this whole thing, because of the great amount of positive feedback we’ve received on the Kickstarter itself as well as through other channels.

    Lastly, I am a little dubious about the “current” employee, who believes the conditions here are so terrible. How can you have both dignity and work for a company you believe to be terrible. I’d just say get a different job. If BTP is sinking, which it most certainly is not, jump off ship and stop bogging us down with dead weight. What do you think the problem is? We want people who believe what we believe in, if we’re lunatics who believe they are making the world a better place, and you don’t buy it, then find another job that lines up with your own goals and the desires of your life. It simply doesn’t make sense. I can’t believe that someone who actually works in a company, would go on a forum and perpetuate it’s demise. It seems pretty self-destructive. Why not come upstairs and talk to me. I am here, I am talking to people here in the same forum as you, I am obviously trying to solve something. Come talk to me, then come back to this forum and tell everyone what happened and how it went. I am sure they would love to hear it! Doesn’t that make sense? But if it’s a job you don’t even want, why not try to make it better instead of sitting in shadows and being passive-aggressive. In fact, if you come talk to me, I will make sure that the problems you see are addressed. How about that?

    I want to thank everyone for the comments, if I missed something, please mention it and I will try my best to answer further problems. It is always easy to tell who is trying to get to the bottom of the issue, and who is trolling. If you answer my comments and thoughts as a whole, as I am trying to do for you, then we can get somewhere. If you pull something out of context and blast it everywhere, well that shows something too, right? I truly am really hoping this can become a full conversation, and not just a few people talking, in the midst of a loud and angry mob. I am told by some that it’s futile, but I want to believe otherwise.

    All the best.

    • brainleaf

      Away for the weekend ? “bluetablepaintingshawn wrote:
      October 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm “

    • bookshelfclimber

      Rob you look like a smart guy. Do you really think that an employee who has problems with your company will dare to say anything? You know that too that he would just get fired immediately. And as he said he is planning to leave soon with several other people.

  • Etheru

    “bluetablepainting wrote:
    October 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Hey all this is Robert from BTP.”

    “bluetablepaintingshawn wrote:
    October 29, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Thank you very much. Shawn here.”

    So it’s perfectly valid for Robert to be away for the weekend and for Shawn to reply 29th October. 🙂 Though I understand the confusion, I read it wrong to begin with also.

    • brainleaf

      when i first seen that i was thinking eh? so i looked and it was the same account name sorry my bad .

  • gazeebo

    Shawn, you sound like Mitt Romney. Everything you say, and the way you say it, breathes Mitt Romney. Perhaps you should think about doing politics.

    On a more serious note,
    People said that when expressing their concerns and outing critics, they got fired. Do you really believe, that in the current job market people will complain to you after seeing what happened to previous employees? You must be out of your mind.. sorry for saying so, but it’s just mind blowing.

    You talk about people being dedicated to answering emails and calls, yet there are many more people complaining that it’s taking ages for them to be contacted.
    It’s not a shame that you can’t keep up with certain things, but at least man up and admit that you’re getting in over your head.

    Lastly, nobody said they didn’t enjoy the job. They love the job, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it. They said they tried to believe in your vision. Yet the circumstances did not permit them to do so enough to keep/stay on the job.

    Also, you have yet to answer the questions raised about tax fraud. You are not even trying to debunk it. Is it simply not true or is something else going on here?
    You have also not gone into depth about the disabled veteran who was disabled which you made some nasty remarks about due to ADA regulations. Surely you must remember this person.

    • bookshelfclimber

      I really hope they will react on the criminal allegations cos this far they were dodging those issues.

  • gazeebo

    Hehe, the disabled veteran who was disabled. Yes, slight error there but I’m sure you get the point 🙂

  • bluetablepainting

    Robert here again.

    The tax thing is a very old matter. It was a problem of how employees were described to the IRS. We described them as independent contractors because they were paid on commission (which is correct by law), yet they went ahead and filed as employees because they felt that independent contractors shouldn’t be allowed to be given specific instructions regarding their work. I was a Realtor for a long time, and every Realtor is an independent contractor. I am pretty familiar with the law, and I know for a fact that IC’s can be given extremely specific instructions. It was really just a bunch of people who got mad about having to complete jobs in a timely fashion. It is the sad nature of most people, that when there is no deadline and on one watching, that they drag their feet. They felt it was against the law for us to set deadlines for work. So they caused some problems. There are a few more details, but most of those are on a personal level with the specific people (and I don’t typically air dirty laundry as they say), so I’ll leave those out, unless they wish to disclose them, at which point I can go into detail. But that is for sure, the long and short of it. No tax fraud problems, we are fine, still here, still going.

    We do however, get people coming on forums and making messes every once in a while because they feel like they didn’t get everything they were “entitled” too. That’s the way it goes I suppose.

    I am not sure about the disabled thing to be honest. I know we have had people who have been injured in the past, that still work here, but were unable to fulfill their job to maximum capacity during that injury. Yet here they are still. I wasn’t there for the conversation, and there is a pretty large possibility that Shawn wouldn’t remember since he deals with about a billion people a day. I do know that Shawn isn’t malicious, for whatever that’s worth.

    See you all tomorrow.

  • brainleaf

    what happened to “We pay $11 per hour, which I think is pretty good for regular work painting miniatures. –Shawn”

    • brainleaf

      I`l admit i know very little about US tax laws off the top of my head .but is there any advantage to be had by describing a worker as a contractor as apposed to an employee ?

      • brainleaf
        • gazeebo

          That is indeed an interesting read. Going by the information on this page and the claims of these ex-employees it appears BTP could have some serious legal issues here.
          Perhaps the people over at DakkaDakka should have a read of this as well, as it seems they are watching this thread closely and mostly due to the legal ramifications some of these claims could pose to BTP.

          • brainleaf

            like i say i don’t have any fancy degree`s and i don’t know all the facts .but like i say it makes interesting reading lol plus i have the flu and hence nothing better to do than drink hot tae and look up nonsense like this .but hey if i ever move to the US and start a small business im sure it will come in useful btw how are you set for horticulturalists over there any work going 😉

          • bluetablepaintingshawn

            Well, you gave me a lot of grief for just being sick and bored! Bless you Brainleaf. You stirred up some press for us!

          • brainleaf

            an ex employee brings up issues involving the IRS not me .some time later you mentioned you paid your staff $11 hr .then Rob says workers were down as contractors not employees .so i naturally ask why would somebody want his workers down as contractors not employees .me not so good with US tax law type thingy .and it turns out there’s actually a lot of reasons .but don’t blame me when somebody brings up the IRS ,you get two conflicting descriptions of the workers status ,the very issue your ex employee brings up in a post and i take the time to look up the tax laws .or do you not think that’s a natural progression given whats been said by OTHER people .

          • bluetablepainting

            To be honest, all this happened LONG before my time. (This is Robert). I’m sure you guys can imagine how things get out of proportion as years pass on. Even for me, this is hear-say. It is years and years old, and is over. It was just a misunderstanding between a couple people. However, It’s cool that you guys did reading on it, and no problem Gazeebo, I am making an effort to be as clear as I can, you know? One way of looking at it is hiring a plumber, and hoping he’ll actually show up at your house when he says! Everyone knows how hard it is to do that. Hiring a plumber is like hiring an independent contractor. But you’re right Gazeebo, the focus here is about the Kickstarter.

            Look I understand that the Kickstarter isn’t clear to everyone. I really am trying here though. We are just trying to do what we think is right for our clients and our business. You can report it if you feel that is the right thing to do (I honestly don’t resent you for it), or you can ignore it if that is the right thing to do. In all fairness, just do what you feel is right, and we’ll do the same. And life will just march on.

            I really do feel like some of you guys have tried to look into this earnestly, you looking up laws and whatnot is great Brainleaf. To be honest, even as a IC for years, there are a few things I just read in there that even I didn’t know. Man, there is so much to learn.

            I just want to tell you all, and this is important, that this is Robert, not Shawn. I am doing my best to keep up on everything, and learn all the information there is know, and to make it clear as crystal for everyone. Just understand I am only one guy. Thanks to all of you who are helping this be constructive.

  • Shawn,

    I have watched all your videos and listened to your advice on many topics. I certainly did not always agree, especially with your politics, but I did pay attention. Now it is time for you to pay attention to me for a moment. OK? Good. Read on.

    There is an endless supply of college drop-outs and unemployed people who can be trained to paint and made to ‘fit in’ until they find something better. But as long as you do so, and in the process shun true artists for collateral reasons, I think you are making a big mistake. You can start with clay and make a nice pot or you can start with crap and no matter how you shape it, your final product is still crap.

    Napoleon, one of the greatest manipulators in history, said “If I want a man, I am prepared to kiss his arse.” I think we can all agree that Napoleon had a pretty successful career, rising from a FSL (French as a Second Language) nobody to rule an empire that took all of Europe to defeat.

    My point? Artists are free thinkers and usually slightly whacked, as the brain has to take from somewhere (else in the brain) to drive the inner spark that motivates them. Artists cannot be created or trained up. They must be found.

    Artists will not conform. They will most likey be obnoxious. They might have Asberger’s. Who knows? What I do know is they will not ‘fit in.’ An artist might appear sullen or to be moping around when in fact what you have is a person so locked in on a thought or idea that they are oblivious.

    Put a brush or chisel or sculpting tool in a true artist’s hand and he (or she) will be lost to the world for hours inside their own little universe of color and creativity. Sure they are a bit different and diffucult, but if you ever work with a true artist, it can be quite a thrill and worth putting up with – ‘kissing arse’ – to keep.

    So if you want artists who will stick around instead of ‘painters’ who never even get all the way unpacked before they leave, try kissing a little ass, man.

    You might find that you like it.

    Sincerely,
    Dan the Shunned

  • gazeebo

    Thank you for explaining the tax thing. Hopefully people can see it from both points of view now and form a better opinion based on that.

    You are right that negatively opinionated people are much quicker to air their dirty laundry then people who have left on good terms, but I think it’s important for a business to be quick to debunk false claims to prevent any kind of damage.

    Many people here, including myself, don’t know everything about what’s been going on however you must admit as well, not everybody will complain just because they can. And portraying them as such doesn’t do much good either.
    I hope BTP will learn from their apparent mistakes and prevents these kind of things in the future.

    However to me that still leaves 1 issue, the KS money grab. I’ve reported the KS page because in my opinion it goes against everything KS stands for and I suggest everybody who feels the same way should do the same thing.
    BTP obviously believes they are doing the right thing here and are not breaking any of the KS rules and also don’t see anything wrong with this apparent money grab.
    Just think about it with some common sense.
    Why would you donate money to a company (for a quite meagre reward) so that they can stock up on pre-painted armies which they then sell to other people.

    If BTP had been in such good economic standing as they claim to be, perhaps it would’ve been better if they had simply taken out a bank loan like every other company out there does. But yea… BTP believes what BTP believes and if you think otherwise, your comments will get removed or you get fired 🙂 Luckily this is not their YouTube channel.

    • swiftjack

      gazeebo,

      I am just curious as to kickstarter in general. Never used it never plan to. But who owns kickstarter? Is it a community type deal or is there a couple of guys and girls just running the whole show? If it’s been reported but the “owners” of kickstarter view it as legitimate than no one can really complain about it being against what kickstarter stands for,

  • bluetablepaintingshawn

    The tax thing is from 2006-2007. It’s really, really old news. When someone files a complaint with the IRS they assume guilt. Instead of fighting it I just conceded and paid the interest and penalties. Basically those that filed the complaint got what they wanted. Legally, the matter is settled. “Compliance” I think they called it. I even made a few friends at the IRS. This was early 2008. You would not believe what a personally painful matter this is. I was a small business owner trying to get by the best I could. I was barely making my own bills. When the whopping bill came due (they want it all paid immediately and up front) my family was devastated. It was about half what we made in a year. If I had done something wrong boy I sure did pay for it. We were forced onto church welfare. Frankly, from that time I don’t remember it ever being sunny outside, only darkness. I’m sure that sounds a little emo, but believe me it was a wretched time.

    I don’t hold any grudges. I wish all the parties involved well. I have moved on with my life the best I can. I think I’ve done well.

    I am fastidious with tax law and keep good accountants on board. Right now we have a book-keeper who is in several times a week.

    Rob does have one detail incorrect: I didn’t fire my then-workers. Most of them started up their own painting company and went out on their own. Again, I wished them well then and still do so. I have gone forward with a heart free of ill-will.

    There were good things that came from the incident. It got me active in politics, which has been quite an amazing experience. I made some new friends during that time, who came to my aid. It humbled me as I had to accept the help of the community. Again, made new friends there. People were so kind. This was also the time that Sarah came along. Like a raven-haired angel she spoon-fed me kind words and brought me back from the brink of despair. She gave me the courage to rebuild.

    So, now this whole thing gets to be dragged out again. It’s painful, yes. But I don’t mind. I’ll just do what I always have– move forward with a cheerful attitude and try to look for the positive. Feel free, all, to try and rip me to shreds. It won’t be the first time and each time I come out stronger, wiser and a better man for it.

    I will be talking more about the Kickstarter at length on my own youtube channel (which, yes, I keep well-weeded out for negativity) in upcoming vids. Don’t like our kickstarter? Then oh please don’t donate, and please do keep other people from donating. In a free market only the worthiest ideas should be bestowed on with private capital. I think my idea has great merit.

    • bookshelfclimber

      No one wants to rip you to shreds and I doubt that any of the people here criticize you for the sake of some personal vendetta. We are not here because we are sick and bored, nor cos we want to see your business to go down and your family on the streets. And good try to create sympathy there, but sorry Shawn your theatricality and deception doesn’t work on the initiated, keep it for your YouTube speech, it will have more success there.

      What I see is that people are here because you are doing something what hurts their sense of fairness. I am quite sure many of us were and probably still are your fans, people who were inspired by you in the past. However, with your strange policies(blocking, banning, money grabbing) and questionable behavior you managed to distort your own positive image and turned Gately in Wonderland into something like Gately Madness Returns.
      The guys at Wyrd minis should really make a model out of you and put it into their Neverborn line. In game your abilities would be:
      1. Sensitive to money. For 1000 USD Gately behaves nicely and doesn’t hurt anyone for a turn.
      2. Shockwave of happiness. Gately starts every game acting in front of the camera, he is harmless while doing that. In every turn there is 33% more chance that he finished his studio update and turns off his camera. Once it happens hells break loose. He teleports everyone into his realm: the studio. The place causes terror. Pass a willpower/moral check every turn you spend there. If you fail Gately keeps you in his realm until you go crazy then he flays you with a paintbrush and hangs your body on a meat hook in the basement.
      3. Pitch you to death. Gately tries to sell you something refurbished from trade stock. Pass a moral/ willpower check. If you fail you lose all your gold, soulstones, your wife and girlfriend and everything from your inventory. This ability doesn’t effect you if you are a rich engineer, businessman, real estate shark, corporate lawyer or anyone who earns more than 5k gross monthly.

      My advice to you is practice modesty man, and let people talk free.

      Good luck.

  • Your resilience is overshadowed only by your manipulativeness. But you, dog, ain’t hunting here no more.

    I have zero empathy for you and your problems because I experienced the real Shawn first hand. So you can stop.

    To me you are no longer Shawn Gately.

    After what you did to me, your new name around these parts is Shawn Sandusky.

    Because you Sanduskied me.

    Now that was pain.

    • modelmanjohn

      TAP, you had me somewhat on your side, because I actually did check those references that you listed, but you are WAY over the line with that comment about Sandusky.

      You just accused someone of something equal pedophilia, and that, sir, is way way way over the line. So far over the line, you crossed it and kept walking to the next state.

      Even if BTP did every single bad thing everyone said here, even if they are guilty of every IRS law on the books, even if BTP is a buiness scoundrel, even if he did treat you badly, ignored you, led you on for nothing, and cost you $1000, it is in no way shape or form equivalent to what happened at PSU. No way. No freakin way.

      We’re talking about the innocence of children stolen from them. For their lifetimes.

      I expect more from a veteran such as yourself.

      • Wow. Guess that’ll be the last time I use the Urban Dictionary as a reference.

        • On the otherhand, modelmanjohn, being a veteran such as myself gives me exactly the right to say what I want. I earned that right by fighting and bleeding and suffering and giving up a normal life for almost 20 years.

          So go fuck yourself.

          • c.ryan

            TrojanArtPainting,
            I am not 100% certain what branch of service you where in, I am assuming Navy, based on your posts above. But as a fellow veteran of the Army, I am sure that your service as mine did, instilled some core values in you. I think that makes you a better person than to compare your experiences with BTP to what happened at PSU with Jerry Sandusky and the foul acts he committed.
            I sit here truely believing that you are a better person than that, and that you have gained the ability through your service to let bumps in the road, like your personal experience with BTP, to roll of your shoulders and be able to move on.
            I kindly ask that you refrain from comments like that becasue you represent more than just yourself as a veteran, you represent your fellow service members, active/veteran alike. I would like to think that you hold yourself to a higher standard than that. Thankyou for your time and consideration
            Colin Ryan

    • bookshelfclimber

      Rofl at Jerry Sandusky! Nice one there man! That guy is some real creepy freakshow.

      • All I was trying to do was inject a bit of humor, albeit rather dark humor.

        For morality policeman modelmanjohnthe to bow up interject his angle on how veterans should behave kinda freaked me out for a second.

        I mean, what exactly does he mean by “I expect more from a veteran such as yourself?” Maybe he should go out and watch the Patriot Guard ride by during a KIA Arrival and see how many politically correct fellas he can count.

        But I’m OK now and apologize to everyone except modelmanjohn.

        He can still go fuck himself.

  • Inyamo

    It has been my experience with BTP that they are great with feedback and are quick to return emails. I have purchased from them and will do so in the future. The level of customer service I received was excellent. I look forward to contributing to their Kickstarter project.

  • LegoRick

    Obviously I cannot comment on BTP’s inner workings (not being an employee or someone who has yet even stepped foot into their studio), but as a repeat customer, I CAN describe my dealings with them. I’ve used Blue Table Painting for a couple of projects. Both of them turned out better than I had hoped, and certainly better than pictures gave them justice for. You honestly can’t judge quality through pictures. I have also used other professional painting services, both large and small. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed my customer experience with BTP more than the others. My most recent project through BTP was a large Warhammer Empire army. I was excited every time I saw bits of it in Studio Updates. When it arrived on my doorstep, I immediately set it up and took a video review.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsMAlCM7dUo&list=UURKWhGIWkBuESvGafW58KvA&index=1&feature=plcp

    Please, I encourage you to watch and tell me that this isn’t quality work. I can’t share this video enough, I am so proud to own such a wonderful project. I can’t say the same things about the projects I’ve had completed by other companies. Despite the hate I’ve read here, I still plan on using BTP for my next project.

  • evancich

    So, how many of you have actually done business with BTP?

    I have and what is better, is I have proof, look thru their pictures and if you see a project that starts with NE, that is mine. I’ve had them do maybe 50 projects and the are simply the best painting service.

    I know because I’ve used many of the painting services.

    My experience with Shawn is this: I send them 50% of the cost and some models and I quickly get pictures back and complete the payment and you get awesomely painted models.

    BTP is the easiest painting service to deal with.

    Don’t take some random commenter’s opinion, take it from somebody that does business with them, they are the best service around.

    • LegoRick

      Seriously, this is true. I posted right before you with my own proof, a video review of my most recent project. I have the whole thing currently set up in a display case. They do quality work, at a great price, and I’ve tried other companies to compare. BTP is my choice of painting service.

  • Solaaris

    Just to be clear, this is what I posted on the BTP facebook page after a request for opinions on it all.

    Well I have just spent a while
    reading through that thread and well
    Im shocked and saddend. Firstly if
    what ‘TrojanArtPainting’ is true,
    thats real poor form Shawn, especially
    with the mute fail. Do you understand
    how wrong that was? There are some
    obvious trolls in there, but this dude
    seemed the real deal. What gives you
    the right to treat people like that,
    espeically when you advocate fairness
    and such on your youtube channel (not
    the BTP one)? Thats upset me quite
    frankly, however I will continue with
    my honest thoughts.

    While I will never personally use BTP
    – I enjoy painting my mini’s far more so than playing, I do see theres a
    market for a painting service such as
    yourselves which is fine. However I
    don’t agree with this whole
    Kickstarter thing. It really does
    stink of just wanting more money so
    you can carry on doing what you
    already to do. Some suggest its to get
    out of debt or whatever, but I wont
    comment on that either way as I don’t
    know your finances. I think alot of
    the hate has come from this
    Kickstarter idea, and with that
    employees (both ex and current it
    seems) Have jumped on you while they
    can. I dunno Shawn I really don’t want
    my opinion of BTD for falter, but at
    the same time some of those replies in
    that forum seem genuine and heartfelt
    – the trolling posts are much more obvious.

    I wont lie, sometimes I feel on your
    studio updates and such you come over
    as very arrogent and rude towards your
    employees. I mean you demand personal
    news, and well sometimes the look on
    peoples faces if that of ‘sod off my
    life is personal’ which it should be
    unless someone wants to share
    something of cause. The Kickstater
    reward where you and Sarah offer life
    mentoring – Don’t you think that is
    obnoxius and arrogent. What makes you
    think people need life mentoring from
    you? Do you have any social or
    psychology training to be able to give
    life mentoring? See the stuff you say
    I think most the time is ment for good
    intentions, but it really doesn’t come
    out that way at all.

    Reguardless of ‘TrojanArtPainting’
    concerns and ‘BTPemployee’ statements,
    I think this all stems from the
    Kickstarter and how it really does
    look like you are begging for money to
    fund something you already do. I know
    theres the speed army thing behind it,
    but thats simply not a good enough
    reason, when a while back you were
    doing big blocks of troops – Zombies
    if I remember right as an army starter
    – and that was done without kickstarters.

    Kill the Kickstarter idea and I think
    people will respect you for admitting
    this grand idea wasn’t as good as you
    first thought. There is no shame in
    admitting your wrong or had a bad
    idea. I feel the whole thing could
    break BTP, especially with various
    revelations from ex employees and poor
    conditions and such.

    I will still continue to enjoy BTP and
    your vids on Youtube Shawn, but I cant
    help that this whole kickstarter and
    the treatment of people has left a
    rarther bitter taste in my mouth.

    If you wish to decuss anything I have
    mentioned, feel free to inbox me as I
    think public mud slinging doesn’t
    always get anywhere.

  • fede134

    Hello friends!

    I am a current employee at BTP. I would like to comment on some of the claims made by other posters, especially “BTPemployee”

    First of all, I live in the BTP house and i can’t understand how you would feel bad for someone paying less than 400$ a month with utilities included to live. I moved here from Connecticut to work for BTP and it has been the best decision of my life. In Connecticut I would have been lucky to get a place for 600$ a month, which would not have included utilities. I have to be paying rent to someone, so why not the people I work for?

    @ trojan When I was on my trial everyone was extremely nice to me. Oh and by the way, the fridge in the BTP house is in the garage…perhaps asking someone would have helped…

    The bottom line here is that kickstarter is used for whatever kickstarter thinks is worthy. If you don’t think a project is worthy of crowd funding, then don’t support it! But hey, its an interested crowd that funds a kickstarter campaign, the uninterested crowd doesn’t. If you are in the uninterested crowd, that’s fine, there is nothing that says you have to give BTP money. Nothing at all. No where. Ever.

    The true face of this company that I have seen from the inside is a really good one. Are they perfect? absolutely not. But they are WAY better than where I came from and the best thing I could ask for.

    So what are you supporting when you send us your money? you are supporting people living their dreams, like myself and most of the other employees who have become good friends of mine. So thank you! we appreciate it!

    So to those who love to hate us, that’s fine, you can go about your business and try to preach to the masses that we are not a good cause or that we are evil or just want money, but any press is good press…and you know what this thread is doing? increasing the visits to our pages, increasing the projects coming in to us, and increasing the money in our coffers….which sounds like the exact opposite of your intentions.

    Good day friends!

    John

    • fede134

      And a note on Shawn- He is over the top. that is how he is. I can understand how that may come off as arrogant or “disrespectful to employees” in the videos, but that is just how he comes off in the youtube videos to be honest. Having spent some time in his presence, I can attest to how good-natured and nice a man he is. He thanks us for our good work almost every day. I can’t imagine a more respectful person.

  • jcwhit4

    The fact that BTP has been in business for almost nine years speaks louder than any compliment, critique, fanboy, critic, troll, current employee, former employee, and any would be employee’s remarks. Every company has its bumps and no one is perfect. The simple fact of the matter is that if a company is bad then it will fail. The consumers are the true judge of what BTP does, and as long BTP is still in business then they must be doing something right.

    It is impossible to please everyone whether it be costumers or employees. If an employee is unhappy, quit your job…if a consumer does not like what they see on their completed projects gallery…then put your money elsewhere.

    Again, do not trust Mr. Gately…do not trust former, current, would be employees, or fanboys etc because we will never know the full story…but I do say, trust the consumer…and the consumer says (thus far) that BTP is a worthy endeavor.

    If KS thinks that the BTP KS is bogus…then why did they approve it? And if it somehow slipped through the cracks…then simply report the project to KS. That should resolve that matter..no?

    Just my two cents.

  • thephoenixthree

    I’d like to start by saying that I am a fan of BTP’s battle reports, and those reports are what got me interested in the company as a whole. I also think that the work I’ve seen of theirs looks good and seems a decent value for what they charge. I do not agree with the posters in this thread who call them out on pricing or say that their paint service is shoddy. With that being said, I’d like to be able to criticize the Kickstarter without being labelled as a BTP hater or troll.

    Many of the gamers I have talked to about this issue feel the same way that I do on this subject. We are having trouble coming to terms with why we (the gaming community) are being asked to finance what amounts to a capital acquisition for BTP. I’ve watched the videos related to the kickstarter and that is basically what this amounts to. BTP wants to buy $40,000 worth of miniatures to stock up 200 or so prepainted armies to sell from their store, and they are asking the potential customers of said armies to foot the bill.

    It is a great deal for BTP, who will basically be paid for the cost of the figures twice. First from the kickstarter, and then again upon the sale of the army. The only way that this makes any sense is if these turbo-armies were to be sold at an insane discount to cover the fact that the miniatures were already bought and paid for by the kickstarter.

    If BTP is indeed financially solvent and is expanding/moving up, then why are it’s customers being asked to provide them with capital? It may be one man’s dream to sell on-demand painted armies, but is there really that much of a demand for them, so much so that people are willing to pay for the cost of the figures twice?

    • fede134

      An existing band, Thousand Foot Krutch, made a kickstarter to fund their new independant album “the end is where we begin”

      I would imagine Rockstars with 4+ albums before this one would have enough capital to produce a CD without a record label, right? well their kickstarted succeeded, so they got money to make a new CD, then sold it for profit.

      how is this any different from BTP?

      They use crowd funding to produce a product, then sell it for profit and to continue production of product, then those sales fuel more production…

      Everything on kickstarter does EXACTLY this. They get money from the public to create or provide something that in turn creates a profit for them.