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Discussion Starter #1
Is it wrong to buy a recast of an unlicensed kit? Why do some feel it`s wrong to buy recasts but at the same time they think nothing is wrong with buying recasted replacement parts.9 out of 10 Predator or Alien kits are unlicensed.Why do collectors not think they are taking money out of someone elses pocket by buying these? I know I`m opening a can of worms here but I`m curious what other people think of this.You will see on sites like this a description"This site does not condone recasting" But there is never any mention of "We do not condone unlicensed kits". Why is that? It`s stealing just as much as recasting does.I bet most of us have at least 1 unlicensed kit in our collections.Pot meet kettle.I get the feeling this is going to be a long thread. lol
:freak:
 

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the problem is that its a dead horse, and stirs loads of people up needlessly. do a search on the topic and see what you find.
 

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Or, you could ask Scott McKillop from Monarch HIS take on recasting AND unlicensed kits since his upcoming Dracula kit is BOTH. He reverse engineered the molds from an Aurora original (which Revell still has the MAJORITY of the tooling for) and it is NOT* licensed by Universal (who own the character design); talk about killing two birds with one stone! He's not on the forums much, but I hear he has a "Facebook" page. :thumbsup:
This COULD be a fun thread! AND informative (I LOVE a WIN/WIN!) But most likely it will devolve quickly as Razorwyre suggests, so perhaps we should leave the feathers unshaken just this once.
Tom

* At least there has been no INDICATION of any licensing agreement. Perhaps when the kit is released in 20__ (fill in the blank) this will have changed.
 

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We hash this one out every few months over at Starship Modeler - you might wanna search out one of the old threads over there too, for fun.

Most peoples' take is that if some poor fella slaved over the masters for a resin kit, put his own heart, money and talent into it, then it's wrong for someone else to just slap some rubber on his kit, make some more, and sell it for his own profit.

The flip side of that argument is that if this poor kitmaker is making an unlicensed kit of someone else's intellectual property, he himself has no moral ground to stand on, so tough noogies if he gets ripped off.

The end result, though, is that this poor fella gets fed up of losing money to the cheap ripoffs, throws his hands up and quits the biz (see Geometric) (who, btw, always made licensed kits). So then we ALL lose, 'cause we won't be getting good resin kits any more, licensed or not.
 

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I'll add my two cents:

If it's something that's long since gone - i.e.: no longer in production by a company defunct, etc. - I really don't have issues with it...I mean, if it's a for a private collectors/builders, and the recaster is not ripping folks off, I have no problems with it.

...it's when you get someone make cheap knock offs of current stuff and making a bundle off of them that my nose gets out of joint.
 

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My take on this is that the GK industry evolved simply because no major model companies were making figure kits, licensed or not, but there were still guys like us that wanted to build and paint figure models... and so it began and some very talented artists and sculptors stepped up and created beautiful replications of our favorite Monsters, Villans, Super Heros etc... and they sold :thumbsup: Then the recaster stepped in, and stole someones original work (wheather a known or unknown subject) and made cheap knock-offs, and as with most copies of a copy the quality slipped ie: softer detail, more flash,air bubbles, etc. I've seen a lot of recasts and the vast majority of them are honestly a distant poor cousin when compared to the Original copy. So here in lies the dilema...the major Model companies didn't want to make figure kits, the demand was there, GK was born, and the make-a-buck-recaster followed....It took years but the owners of the licenses finally caught up to the fact that there was money to be made from 'us' and so the recent C&D blizzard...
...Now we are hobbiests, and we fill seams and do minor resculpting while working on our kits, and I've found that if I needed a part or two from an OOP (out of production) kit let's say, Wonder Womans left arm , and someone on these forums has a recast copy in a Pit of Parts, well I see nothing wrong in aquiring this part to help complete my kit, and I've actually recast a few Bones and Bats myself to customize a kit, but I did it for myself or a buddy who was trying to complete his kit and no other source could be found, but never for a profit.
Lately styrene has made a come back (YAY) and some cool companies like Moebius , Monarch and Polar Lights have produced some outstanding New and Old Favorite kits that are either Licensed like the Mummy or in the Public Domain, like Nosferatu...and I'm a very happy camper in lieu of this unexpected return to my childhood....So in my books Recasting entire kits, Licensed or not, is a ripoff of everyones talents an efforts where as After Market items are accessories and only enhance the licensed kit, no harm...no foul...:thumbsup:
Mcdee
 

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Hi Guys,
I know it is probably wrong and people will hate me for this :eek: but, I own a couple recast kits which I bought because the company had long gone out of business and I can't afford the extortionate prices that the kits are now fetching.

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We hash this one out every few months over at Starship Modeler - you might wanna search out one of the old threads over there too, for fun.

Most peoples' take is that if some poor fella slaved over the masters for a resin kit, put his own heart, money and talent into it, then it's wrong for someone else to just slap some rubber on his kit, make some more, and sell it for his own profit.

The flip side of that argument is that if this poor kitmaker is making an unlicensed kit of someone else's intellectual property, he himself has no moral ground to stand on, so tough noogies if he gets ripped off.

The end result, though, is that this poor fella gets fed up of losing money to the cheap ripoffs, throws his hands up and quits the biz (see Geometric) (who, btw, always made licensed kits). So then we ALL lose, 'cause we won't be getting good resin kits any more, licensed or not.
This my point exactly.You hear collectors groan about recasting but never hear anyone talk about unlicensed stuff.Same meat different animal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Or, you could ask Scott McKillop from Monarch HIS take on recasting AND unlicensed kits since his upcoming Dracula kit is BOTH. He reverse engineered the molds from an Aurora original (which Revell still has the MAJORITY of the tooling for) and it is NOT* licensed by Universal (who own the character design); talk about killing two birds with one stone! He's not on the forums much, but I hear he has a "Facebook" page. :thumbsup:
This COULD be a fun thread! AND informative (I LOVE a WIN/WIN!) But most likely it will devolve quickly as Razorwyre suggests, so perhaps we should leave the feathers unshaken just this once.
Tom

* At least there has been no INDICATION of any licensing agreement. Perhaps when the kit is released in 20__ (fill in the blank) this will have changed.
Where did you get this info? I run both his page & his group & he has never ever brought up any Dracula kit.He`s busy chasing the guys over seas that are tooling the Ghost & Sinbad Kits.He doesn`t have time to fart right now.
 

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This my point exactly.You hear collectors groan about recasting but never hear anyone talk about unlicensed stuff.Same meat different animal.
Two totally different animals there.
Yes, both are illegal. But they are by no means equal.
A recaster creates nothing. They just copy someone elses work. And usually quite poorly, and by using as cheap a materials as they possibly can.
Someone producing unlicensed kits my be using someones elses idea (character, ship, etc) but they are creating the piece. There is someone sculpting the master. Either as screen accurate as possible, or with their own artistic twist. But they are creating a unique piece of art.

Unlicensed kits hurt no one.
Most product runs are in the low 2 digit range. No where near enough to even put a dent in any mass market merchandise sales. And things like add-on kits, and mod-kits actually help sales of legitimate items, as people have to buy them in order to use the more accurate parts. Sometime buying multiples so they can have build-ups of multiple versions.
The only reason the big corps even bother sending notices to the garage kit guys is because they have to. If they don't protect their licenses, then they could loose them.

Recasts on the other hand do a lot of harm to the hobby.
First they undercut the original producers, so they cannot even recoupe the costs of bringing their original kit to market. Which eventually puts them out of business.
For the most part, recasts are poor copies of the originals. And the recasters don't care about quality. So you end up with things that don't have the detail, have casting problems like voids, bubbles, pealing, leaching, warping, and multiple seam lines.
All these problems cause modelers more trouble when building. Which turns off many new enthusiasts. They leave the hobby, which then cuts down on the available market for the legit producers.
 

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No matter what always buy Original kits Unlicensed or not and stay as far away from a recasts as possible.If i can do it so can the rest of you!
 

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When I got back into our hobby a few years ago, the first few resin and vinyl kits I bought were, unbeknownst to me, recasts. I soon learned of recasts and researched and discovered a major can of worms.

The least of the outrages was that recasts simply rip off the original artist -who very likely created his 'art' as a 'work for hire', was paid once and never saw another dime from the producer. Perhaps the rare artist gets a pittance of a percentage of sales but like our music industry, it is truly a pittance. Then there were the outrageous claims of recasters actually being criminal fronts, funding all sorts of evil doings. Both extremes are likely true to some degree and largely false in others. Blanket statements and admonishment does no one any good.

In my case, I knowingly continued buying some recast figures for a time as I was turning them into maquette prototypes for a feature film franchise I am developing. I cant' sculpt well enough to create figures and the recasts became a shortcut as the figures were easily hacked into my characters. I would not be re-re-casting these. These are samples to show media execs what 'could' be. The irony that if I did sell my movie/tv series, recasters would be making a wad off of my work, is not lost on me...

Why not buy the originals and mod those? Well, for something I was going to hack to pieces, the price not being worth it is the least consideration. Many have thrown the word 'art' around. Well, as a fine artist myself, we have inherent rights to our work even after it's sold. If you commission me to do an oil portrait or some such, you then modify (yourself or by someone else's hand), copy and distruibute, or even destroy it, I still have rights to legally come after you for damages to me. Whereas, if I as an artist do a work-for-hire piece, you own it outright and I waive all future rights. I would not deface a work of art that some of these kits are.

...

But the fact is 'collectors' are called collectors for a reason. They have the COA, they seek the legitimacy of the piece. A forgery is simply a forgery.

And just as there are folks who will always want a band's latest cd, there are semi-fans that just want to share in the music. a few dozen years ago, we used to build music shared tape collections. Those were recasts.

So too w/ models. A true collector will shun the recast, while a fan or even a casual observer who simply likes the design may simply want to get one w/o paying an exorbident fee for the privilege.

In my case, I was turning established anime figures into 'fictional' mockups. This can't be done with, say, an unlicensed studio scale resin tie fighter. If Lucas released an ss tie and another guy crafted his own and a third simply recasts Lucas', I would want to get Lucas', would settle for the other guy's and would hate to get the recast. My decision would come down to my desire for the model and the money I had, or would ever likely have, or be able to afford.

...

I think the idea that these unlicensed properties sell in the low 2 digits is lowballed. I think I can assure you that these GK'ers don't spend months of their lives slaving away for peanuts. They make a time/money calculation just like a company like moebius or polar lights. If they don't think they can make some kind of profit, however small, they don't do it. Further, many of these GK'ers have had some of their kits in production for years. Low hundreds is likely a more accurate number for many g. kits. Some like a DeBoer may indeed be dozens in the world, but others like the SS xwing? I bet there are hundreds of those around. And at ~$300 a pop, you do the math. A $600 star destroyer at, say, 50 sold... The numbers get HUGE!

As to recasts of oops, well, a recast is a recast and if you are against any, you should be against all, even if a small part. You can always find an original kit on ebay at some point. That comes down to the syncronicity of you looking when they are around. If you can't afford one at the time, well, that is that. You don't get one. Replacement recasts are handy, but again, a recast part is a recast part. And if it's truly a small part, one should be able to re-create it oneself.

As to unlicensed vs. recasts, the owner of the property is still being 'ripped off'. In this way, they are exactly the same.

Additionally, anyone who has ever gotten an mp3 from a friend or coworker, watched an avi of a film instead of the dvd, or gotten that copy of software you wanted/needed, or much less even downloaded same yourself, you are dealing with 'recasts'.

Finally, the notion that recasters are 'evil' is one of the more absurd statements that can be made.

Personally, I would prefer to save up for an original. I am in a position where I can do so and the gratification of saving intensifies the purchase/ownership satisfaction. However, I would never begrudge any for getting or owning recasts. Society doesn't need more bitter intolerance.

IMHO, of course.
 

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BizzaroBrian; I am actually too busy to fart right now myself, but I will take the time to post this image that appeared on HobbyTalk over a year ago. It is of test shots from the molds Monarch produced based on two Canadian issue Monster Scenes kits (the other was the Jekyll/Hyde). Box art for these has also appeared, but I do not have it saved on my desktop. Feel free to grab this and post it on your Facebook page or wherever you like, but if memory serves, after it was posted here, it went missing very quickly...I'm not a big fan of Monarch so I don't follow the goings on of the company too closely, but I'm sure there are folks here who can bring you up to speed. :)
Tom
 

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When I got back into our hobby a few years ago, the first few resin and vinyl kits I bought were, unbeknownst to me, recasts. I soon learned of recasts and researched and discovered a major can of worms.

The least of the outrages was that recasts simply rip off the original artist -who very likely created his 'art' as a 'work for hire', was paid once and never saw another dime from the producer. Perhaps the rare artist gets a pittance of a percentage of sales but like our music industry, it is truly a pittance. Then there were the outrageous claims of recasters actually being criminal fronts, funding all sorts of evil doings. Both extremes are likely true to some degree and largely false in others. Blanket statements and admonishment does no one any good.

In my case, I knowingly continued buying some recast figures for a time as I was turning them into maquette prototypes for a feature film franchise I am developing. I cant' sculpt well enough to create figures and the recasts became a shortcut as the figures were easily hacked into my characters. I would not be re-re-casting these. These are samples to show media execs what 'could' be. The irony that if I did sell my movie/tv series, recasters would be making a wad off of my work, is not lost on me...

Why not buy the originals and mod those? Well, for something I was going to hack to pieces, the price not being worth it is the least consideration. Many have thrown the word 'art' around. Well, as a fine artist myself, we have inherent rights to our work even after it's sold. If you commission me to do an oil portrait or some such, you then modify (yourself or by someone else's hand), copy and distruibute, or even destroy it, I still have rights to legally come after you for damages to me. Whereas, if I as an artist do a work-for-hire piece, you own it outright and I waive all future rights. I would not deface a work of art that some of these kits are.

...

But the fact is 'collectors' are called collectors for a reason. They have the COA, they seek the legitimacy of the piece. A forgery is simply a forgery.

And just as there are folks who will always want a band's latest cd, there are semi-fans that just want to share in the music. a few dozen years ago, we used to build music shared tape collections. Those were recasts.

So too w/ models. A true collector will shun the recast, while a fan or even a casual observer who simply likes the design may simply want to get one w/o paying an exorbident fee for the privilege.

In my case, I was turning established anime figures into 'fictional' mockups. This can't be done with, say, an unlicensed studio scale resin tie fighter. If Lucas released an ss tie and another guy crafted his own and a third simply recasts Lucas', I would want to get Lucas', would settle for the other guy's and would hate to get the recast. My decision would come down to my desire for the model and the money I had, or would ever likely have, or be able to afford.

...

I think the idea that these unlicensed properties sell in the low 2 digits is lowballed. I think I can assure you that these GK'ers don't spend months of their lives slaving away for peanuts. They make a time/money calculation just like a company like moebius or polar lights. If they don't think they can make some kind of profit, however small, they don't do it. Further, many of these GK'ers have had some of their kits in production for years. Low hundreds is likely a more accurate number for many g. kits. Some like a DeBoer may indeed be dozens in the world, but others like the SS xwing? I bet there are hundreds of those around. And at ~$300 a pop, you do the math. A $600 star destroyer at, say, 50 sold... The numbers get HUGE!

As to recasts of oops, well, a recast is a recast and if you are against any, you should be against all, even if a small part. You can always find an original kit on ebay at some point. That comes down to the syncronicity of you looking when they are around. If you can't afford one at the time, well, that is that. You don't get one. Replacement recasts are handy, but again, a recast part is a recast part. And if it's truly a small part, one should be able to re-create it oneself.

As to unlicensed vs. recasts, the owner of the property is still being 'ripped off'. In this way, they are exactly the same.

Additionally, anyone who has ever gotten an mp3 from a friend or coworker, watched an avi of a film instead of the dvd, or gotten that copy of software you wanted/needed, or much less even downloaded same yourself, you are dealing with 'recasts'.

Finally, the notion that recasters are 'evil' is one of the more absurd statements that can be made.

Personally, I would prefer to save up for an original. I am in a position where I can do so and the gratification of saving intensifies the purchase/ownership satisfaction. However, I would never begrudge any for getting or owning recasts. Society doesn't need more bitter intolerance.

IMHO, of course.
Hey ! Let's watch out here about throwing around this " GK " business ! I have personally never (to the best of my knowledge ) sold a recast model kit ( resin , styrene , vinyl , lead - what ever ) . And since everyone here LIKES and WANTS the originals - well boys and girls , I have plenty of em' up for sale on this website right now ! I would be GLAD to sell you some original model kits !

GK
 

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Hey ! Let's watch out here about throwing around this " GK " business ! I have personally never (to the best of my knowledge ) sold a recast model kit ( resin , styrene , vinyl , lead - what ever ) . And since everyone here likes and wants the originals - well boys and girls , I have plenty of em' up for sale on this website right now ! I would be GLAD to sell you some original model kits !

GK
??? Since you quote me, presumably you are challenging my words. And I have no idea what you are talking about. This isn't personal to you, whoever you are and whatever your product is. There are no accusations in my statement to say gk'ers are recasters or vice versa. The dsitinction previosuly made is that gk'ers craft their own, recasters cast the work of others.

GK'ers rule. I prefer gk models where possible and have supported them with thousands of dollars over the last couple years. 10 out of 10 of my dream kits are hand crafted resin garage kits. I actively seek out gk subjects as the big companies don't cater to this niche market. I do not promote recasters, though plainly admit to having used their product in the most extreme and rare of circumstance.

now let's get dispassionate and logical for a moment.

If a gk'er truly sells 'original' models then that gk'ers imagination generated the design for the models and is the copyright holder of those model designs. If however a gk'er sells a model kit of someone else's design, those models are not 'original' except insofar as the gk'er may have crafted the masters.

The fact is, unlicensed merch is unlicensed merch and in this specific regard, there is no diff between a recaster and a gk'er. Each profits from a property they do not own and pay no tribute to the true owner. This is why C&D's are targeted at gk'ers. And it is because gk'ers know they are in the wrong that they shut down operations or face legal hazard. If C&D's could be enforced in places such as asia, recasters would be out of business as well.

A gk'er w/ a license to sell copyrighted material is legit. A gk'er w/o a license, no matter how handcrafted the product, is not legit; copyright infringment has been committed and potentially trademark as well. The name of a gk subject and the design can be tweaked to skirt the law, but that is another matter.

The regrettable problem is that few, if any, copyright holders have any concern for limited market we modelers represent -and thus the gk business thrives. I don't mind this. Big Corps can suck an egg as far as I'm concerned. Entity's such as lucasfilm are far too wealthy already. But if LFL released an ss tie, there would be no garage kit available of such model.

The anger at recasters seems to be that they aren't making their own master, but simply copying someone else's work. And that, as far as I can tell, is the only thing that separates a gk'er from a recaster: personal craftsmanship.
 

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I think he means Garage Kits when referring to GK :)
I didn't make that connection and 'gkscalemodels' handle.

GK is the ubiquitous acronym for 'garage kits' and 'garage kit makers'.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
BizzaroBrian; I am actually too busy to fart right now myself, but I will take the time to post this image that appeared on HobbyTalk over a year ago. It is of test shots from the molds Monarch produced based on two Canadian issue Monster Scenes kits (the other was the Jekyll/Hyde). Box art for these has also appeared, but I do not have it saved on my desktop. Feel free to grab this and post it on your Facebook page or wherever you like, but if memory serves, after it was posted here, it went missing very quickly...I'm not a big fan of Monarch so I don't follow the goings on of the company too closely, but I'm sure there are folks here who can bring you up to speed. :)
Tom
I thought we were talking about the first & most famous of the kits.This is the one for club members only.The Canadian one you just mentioned.A license is being sought for that.So it`s no different then what Moebious is doing.Calling it a recast/unlicensed kit is unfair what the other gentleman was saying.:tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Two totally different animals there.
Yes, both are illegal. But they are by no means equal.
A recaster creates nothing. They just copy someone elses work. And usually quite poorly, and by using as cheap a materials as they possibly can.
Someone producing unlicensed kits my be using someones elses idea (character, ship, etc) but they are creating the piece. There is someone sculpting the master. Either as screen accurate as possible, or with their own artistic twist. But they are creating a unique piece of art.

Unlicensed kits hurt no one.
Most product runs are in the low 2 digit range. No where near enough to even put a dent in any mass market merchandise sales. And things like add-on kits, and mod-kits actually help sales of legitimate items, as people have to buy them in order to use the more accurate parts. Sometime buying multiples so they can have build-ups of multiple versions.
The only reason the big corps even bother sending notices to the garage kit guys is because they have to. If they don't protect their licenses, then they could loose them.

Recasts on the other hand do a lot of harm to the hobby.
First they undercut the original producers, so they cannot even recoupe the costs of bringing their original kit to market. Which eventually puts them out of business.
For the most part, recasts are poor copies of the originals. And the recasters don't care about quality. So you end up with things that don't have the detail, have casting problems like voids, bubbles, pealing, leaching, warping, and multiple seam lines.
All these problems cause modelers more trouble when building. Which turns off many new enthusiasts. They leave the hobby, which then cuts down on the available market for the legit producers.
Being a sculptor myself & an artist I can honestly say the artist is getting his money & what the client does with it later is their business.But if the artist is the guy producing the kit himself then he`s losing money.If not it`s actually a form of flattery.Just my spin though.We already have to bite the bullet when we are proud of a piece but the client wants changes.It`s something we all have to accept.
 
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