This is a line-of-though posting, so excuse me if it seems like rambling. Customizing is a great art. To be able to see a vision of something in your head, and create a physical representation of that vision...well, it's one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. As with any art or skill, there are some out there who are better than others, and there are some that are so good that they try to make some money or earn a living as a result. That's perfectly fine. But you need to remember that regardless of how talented one is, there is NOTHING to protect you from being scammed by somebody. Some will tell you that it may take "X" amount of time to complete a custom, and more often than not, this is a legitimate estimation (due to the complexity of the work, how busy the commissioner is, or a combination of both). However you need to keep in mind that (1) the commissioners ask for the payment to be made up front 95% of the time (which is reasonable, due to cost of materials, making sure they're paid for their time, etc) and (2) you only have so long from the time of payment to do a paypal claim if something goes wrong with the transaction, and most of the time the estimated work time is just past that expiration date. This isn't to say that all commissioners are evil scoundrels out to steal your money, they're not. Most of them are very honorable and will give you the best work they are capable of making. However don't be misled into thinking just because someone produces work that is seen as some of the best around, that their customer service skills are as reputable. They will try to be friendly with you, apologize for delays, give you WIP pics that lead you to believe that they are actually working on your project (when it very well may be something else entirely). But at the end of the day, if it is their intention to NOT complete the project and still keep your money, you aren't really left with many options (outside of getting an attorney, and you could end up spending 3-5x as much on that option). Anybody...ANYBODY is capable of this, regardless of how nice they come off as being (just look at Chris Morada, for example). However, there is a solution. Learn the craft yourself, practice it each and every opportunity you can, study the work of others and see the little tips & tricks that they use, learn about how to prep your figure and what kinds of paint work for what kinds of materials, etc. Nobody is going to be perfect right away, I don't care who it is. But the more you work at it, the better you will become. I don't care how many great customs you own that have been commissioned (or bought from Ebay, etc) from other people, there is NO GREATER FEELING IN THE WORLD than doing a project on your own and having all of your practice coming to fruition. I can speak from personal experience with my Fort Max project. I don't have the years of experience or the lengthy portfolio of past great work that others do, but I put enough practice hours in (filled with many trial-and-error projects) and ended up with a project that 100% resembles the vision I had beforehand and I can proudly display it next to the other "commissioned" work that I own. So, in essence, there's nothing wrong with commissioning other people to do customs. Just keep in mind that some of them WILL rip you off. If you commission work from others because you're just too busy or something, then fine but PLEASE don't let it keep you from working on the craft first-hand, even if it's just a little time here and there. You are really missing out on a great opportunity for yourself.