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Discussion Starter #1
I understand that recasting is an issue that seems cut and dry for the most part so I won't get into it at all...

Perhaps my question has been discussed and thought of fairly thoroughly and being a newbie to the boards I haven't come across it...

Opinions wanted, not advocacy of course...

Aren't accuratizing kits also unethical? Are they even legal?

It seems that the main point is that when someone has created a kit legally, the main thing about going through that process is not so much how many dies are required or how much work is involved(people are paid to do that or else they do it with the idea of some future reward -monetary, bragging rights or whatever).

The main issue to me is that they manufacturer of the legal kit has paid for the rights to produce it to the owner of the intellectual property...

That being said, is it unethical to buy or sell accuratizing kits without doing the same?

Are accuratizing kits legal, or do they fall under some "fair use" loophole etc?

The letter of the law aside(although I'd be interested in knowing what it is) all of these things seem to be issues of degree...

Anybody else have any thoughts about accuratizing kits?

I personally think that they are often tremendously helpful, but don't feel I have a full grasp of all of the issue's implications...
 

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I think the main reason why accurizing kits have never been legally challenged is that you have to purchase the licensed kit in order to make use of the accurizing parts, as they would be of little use without it. If the existence of the accurizing kits results in the increased sale of licensed model kits, what licensor would want to challenge that?
 

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Think of it like a auto part. There are many companies that produce parts to go with automobiles. They are produced independently of the original and compliment the original product, rather than take the place of the original product.

The real ethical issue comes when you label something using a name brand, trademark, or otherwise protected property.

Polar Lights encourages aftermarket parts as it helps them sell more product.

Conversely, I once tried to obtain a license to produce an aftermarket part using a certain likeness of an actor. I figured it would be good marketing to be able to call it "officially licensed by XXX". The image I was interested in could be considered public domain, so it really was not needed. I was was ultimately ignored and at least one other company has produced a similar, unsanctioned product. It hasnt hurt their sales, nor have they been C&D'd.

Steve
 

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That's silly. What about decals? You could use the same argument for decals. Hasegawa comes out with a P-38 with a nice decals sheet that someone slaved over and within a month Aeromaster has five decal sheets on the market with alternate markings. Aftermarket decals have been available for models for decades.

I have no ethical problems at all. I doubt Verlinden, Cutting Edge, Eduard, True Details, CMK, Aeromaster, Eagel Strike, Superscale and the dozen other aftermarket companies making resin and photoetch detail sets and decals for specific airplane models think twice about it. They're accessories.
 

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Well said all. I look at from a consumer and manufacturer's standpoint. Subjects that I'm not familiar with...for instance "Star Trek" kits, I wouldn't really notice any inaccuracies on a given kit, so I'd just build it & not worry about it. But there are subjects and kits that I'm very familiar with, and while I appreciate someone taking the time to license, design, manufacture and market them, I sometimes look at the model and think, "Okay, I understand they had to do it this way because of the limitations of the mold (or cost, etc.). It sure would be great it there were someway to make it look like I saw it in the show or movie." Enter the aftermarket accessory manufacturer. Becuse they are using mediums (RTV or urethane molds and resin) that the "Big Guys" don't, they can produce accurizing parts that couldn't be incorporated into the original model. Since they are not producing an entire kit, they can sell their parts at affordable (if sometimes pricey due to the limited life of the molds) rates. They are intended to improve the original kit in someway, but are of little or no use to anyone who didn't buy the model they were intended for.

One example I can think of is the F-117 Stealth Fighter. When the first model of it came out back in 1988, it was based on a (blurry) photo that appeared in "Aviation Week & Space Technology." As more information on the aircraft became available, the inaccuracies of the kit became more apparent. I did aftermarket kits for the gear & the cockpit, which were welcomed by the folks who chose to purchase them. Eventually, other manufacturers did newer, very accurate tools of the plane, so I think the cottage industry supports and sometimes encourages the big companies to bigger and better things. In no way does it take anything away from the manufacturers of the models we want to accurize.

So BUY that kit...and whatever accurizing kit(s) you think will make it look better / more realistic...withOUT GUILT!!! :thumbsup:
 

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One of my buying decisions, when I consider a new project, is to look at what aftermarket kits are out there. I think it behooves the kit manufacturer to work WITH the aftermarket manufacturer's. The arguement isa totally different animal, from recasters.
 

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I agree...........

I agree with Trek Ace if the after market parts are going to boost the sales of the kit who in their right mind would complain about that.
 

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Not too mention the fact that sometimes you buy two or three of the same kit just because you were not satisfied with the first one you built and want to make improvements with the accurizing kits... or... to use as a kit bash (like "Yesterdays Enterpise").
 

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Discussion Starter #9
various said:
I think the main reason why accurizing kits have never been legally challenged is that you have to purchase the licensed kit in order to make use of the accurizing parts, as they would be of little use without it. If the existence of the accurizing kits results in the increased sale of licensed model kits, what licensor would want to challenge that?...

Steve CultTVman Iverson said:
...Think of it like a auto part. There are many companies that produce parts to go with automobiles. They are produced independently of the original and compliment the original product, rather than take the place of the original product...

woozle said:
One of my buying decisions, when I consider a new project, is to look at what aftermarket kits are out there. I think it behooves the kit manufacturer to work WITH the aftermarket manufacturer's. The arguement isa totally different animal, from recasters...
All of the above quotes make it clear to me that there is nothing wrong with accuratizing kits. They don't harm sales of the kits.

However, I can't agree that "often" -not always, but "often"- this is totally different with recasts. Recasts usually are done only of kits that are no longer made.

So refusing to buy them isn't going to hurt the original model manufacturer at all. They've sold all they are going to sell. The only people who see any kind of pain from this are the people who get to charge $100 or more for kits that originally costs $8-$20.

I also question just how much even these people suffer from the recasts, as I have bought AMT kits for $150 that when they were bought in the 60's cost less than $3. I still pay that much for the kits that have recasts available because recasts that I have seen don't compare to the quality of the original.

I've haven't seen many kits that there are positively, absolutely impossible to find, they may be expensive, but so are resin copies.

I'm sure this was different in the pre-internet days.

But I could understand if someone really wanted a particular kit and couldn't find anything else resorting to a recast.

If and when a model manufacturer decides to re-release a kit the demand for the recasts pretty much disappear.

They disappear for the best reason I can think of not to buy recasts - they, unlike accuratizing kits, are of poor quality compared to the original.

The_best_reason_not_to_buy_recasts_is_that_they_aren't_very_good_compared _to_the_originals.

So instead of spending 7 times more than the model originally costs, spend another week or so living on beans, dig a little deeper and spend that 10 times the original price.

It may be expensive buy you'll probable find in the long run that you would rather spend 30% or above more for an original kit to get what you're really happy with, then to spend less and get something that probably won't make you happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry about the mis-attributed "various" quote Trek Ace.

I was originally going to lump them together but then decided against it, unfortunately somehow I forgot to update the "copy" command before pasting everything into the post.
 

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Chuck_P.R. said:
I understand that recasting is an issue that seems cut and dry for the most part so I won't get into it at all...

Perhaps my question has been discussed and thought of fairly thoroughly and being a newbie to the boards I haven't come across it...

Opinions wanted, not advocacy of course...

Aren't accuratizing kits also unethical? Are they even legal?

It seems that the main point is that when someone has created a kit legally, the main thing about going through that process is not so much how many dies are required or how much work is involved(people are paid to do that or else they do it with the idea of some future reward -monetary, bragging rights or whatever).

The main issue to me is that they manufacturer of the legal kit has paid for the rights to produce it to the owner of the intellectual property...

That being said, is it unethical to buy or sell accuratizing kits without doing the same?

Are accuratizing kits legal, or do they fall under some "fair use" loophole etc?

The letter of the law aside(although I'd be interested in knowing what it is) all of these things seem to be issues of degree...

Anybody else have any thoughts about accuratizing kits?

I personally think that they are often tremendously helpful, but don't feel I have a full grasp of all of the issue's implications...
Hello!
This is a neat question I've often thought about but never verbalized. I think accuratizing kits are ethical for some of the same reasons listed in prior posted responses. Its one thing if someone were to intentionally put out a series of model parts sold as accuratizing kits over time that could be assembled to exactly match a licensed product (that's unfair), but its quite another for someone to market a few accurizing kit parts that could be used to replace/upgrade parts found to be incorrect or poor fitting in an original product. When I was a kid, I took model building seriously and tried to build the best model I could. If I did make a serious mistake and bought a second kit for spare parts, or wanted to have a second kit to collect or build in the future, it wasn't too bad because model kits were only a few bucks. Today, you might spend 3,4, or 5 times for the same kit. I like accurizing kits because it gives the builder an option to send a few more bucks and correct or refine an already expensive licensed kit if he/she so desires. And if they were to crack down on accurizing kits, then I would surely expect a better original kit to be available with less flaws/inaccuricies (and I know it would be more expensive).
Regards,
Jim
 

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I'm one of those who buys a model partly based on the availability of aftermarket, accurizing parts. That makes it practical for me to build a special kit, detailed to the outer limit of my skill -- not that that's so far.

But I find an ethical dilemma in buying aftermarket parts, as some providers have accused others of doing something very similar to recasting and I have seen evidence of that. If one supplier produces an accurized part, and another recasts it, say, in a translucent resin or a modified version built on some other guy's original part, that's downright thievery in my book.

I have had some Trek accurizing parts that were carefully crafted; some that were just castings of modified original kit parts; and some that were obviously building on another hobbyist's work, either by recasting hand-built accurizing parts or adding a little detail and then casting a "revised" part.

When I see the hand-crafted, original, thoughtfully engineered parts in other aspects of the hobby -- try Copper State Models' WWI planes, or Tom's Modelworks photoetched parts for ship models -- it's an incredible boon. But I refuse to buy from those building on the work -- or ripping off -- other garage kit-and-part makers. As far as I'm concerned, they're as low as a recaster; maybe lower for taking from individuals rather than real companies.
 

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But what if the original producer of a kit is simply taking a break from producing that kit for a while? It's still his intellectual property and he should have the right to produce it or not, shouldn't he? It's his sculpt, it's his right to decide how many castings of that sculpt are made and how much they cost.
Not just while he is selling them but forever. The only recasts I find acceptable are when the original producer has sold his rights to a piece to a new kit producer. I think it's also ok to recast old Aurora kits, since TOMY, who owns all of Aurora's intellectual properties, have abandoned the rights to the kits lawfully. Polar Lights has made some nice scratch reproducing them.
AT
 

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First thing I did when I bought, for instance, Trumpeter's 1/32 scale A-10, was find all the aftermarket accurizing kits and decals I could. And there are pah-lenty! I think I spent as much on them as on the model.

Gotta build that puppy some time :D.
 

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About the only thing I would add to this thread is that their is a big difference between recasters and authentication kits.

Authentication kits - are addo-ons to other kits to enhance them or adapt them to something they were otherwise intended to be. To Steve's point earlier this is no different then putting a spoiler on your car and painting it a differnt color.

ReCasters - are people that take a kit or authentication parts and duplicate them and resell them. Again to Steve's point their are strong feelings about this topic, So I will not go into detail on this but suffice it to say this. IMHO the dangers/ethic they represent is to both the consumer and creator of the recasted item. For the consumer they often are not aware that they are getting a recast - which is often of less quality of the original. The the creator they are robbed of proceeds they are entitiled. Taking this the final step some people recast for themselves and that is another matter.
 

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I don’t think there is an ethical dilemma with accurizing/aftermarket kit parts if you look at it as I do. I see myself as someone assembling a product, the model, usually for myself (not for sale). The purchased kit may suit my complete needs or it may just be basic and require a great deal of finishwork. If I feel it needs more, then I’ll address that if I have the skills and time. If not I’ll sub it out!!! (so to say)

Because the volume of upgrade parts a garage "manufacturer" might make are soooo very low, and his mfg capabilities are usually extremely modest, I truly consider him to be sub-contracter for my project. Sorta like me saying to Joe Castmaster, "I need a more accurate set of seats for my Spindrift cabin, can you make me up a set?" He says, "sure, but it’ll cost ya. How ‘bout I make up a bunch and I sell ‘em on the internet to defer the cost of the set you need?" Sounds great to me. All parties get their appropriate compensation ($$$), I get my parts.

I haven’t personally run into the unethical issues Mike mentioned, but they certainly sound like bad practice. However, my experience with re-casters has been that they are shamelessly willing to recast anything to cash in on the popularity of a kit and even undercut the price of a kit which is in current production and readily available. I've even seen claims of "our re-cast is better than theirs". What nads. Caveat Emptor.

John O.
 

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John P said:
First thing I did when I bought, for instance, Trumpeter's 1/32 scale A-10, was find all the aftermarket accurizing kits and decals I could. And there are pah-lenty! I think I spent as much on them as on the model.
Another dimension to the aftermarket accurizing parts question is whether it's ethical of manufacturing companies to continue producing models that are [email protected] and require an extensive amount of money on the part of the modeller to accurize. I can understand that a highly accurate model can't be attained for lack of information or some type of production constraint. An error here or there is, I think, excusable.

Flyingfrets' comments on the stealth bomber is an example of ethical behavior: eventually the manufacturing company was forced to re-issue its model once more information was attained.

ERTL's TOS E is an example of unethical behavior: I spent three times the amount for accurate parts than what the kit originally cost. Never mind that ERTL had decades to correct the kit (and access to the filming model) but they continued to issue the same inaccurate abomination (with few modifications that made incremental improvements).

After all is said and done, thank God for Polar Lights....

José
 

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El Gato said:
Another dimension to the aftermarket accurizing parts question is whether it's ethical of manufacturing companies to continue producing models that are [email protected] and require an extensive amount of money on the part of the modeller to accurize. I can understand that a highly accurate model can't be attained for lack of information or some type of production constraint. An error here or there is, I think, excusable.

Flyingfrets' comments on the stealth bomber is an example of ethical behavior: eventually the manufacturing company was forced to re-issue its model once more information was attained.

ERTL's TOS E is an example of unethical behavior: I spent three times the amount for accurate parts than what the kit originally cost. Never mind that ERTL had decades to correct the kit (and access to the filming model) but they continued to issue the same inaccurate abomination (with few modifications that made incremental improvements).

After all is said and done, thank God for Polar Lights....

José
IMHO It all comes down to the bean counters. Is the price of retooling and remanufacturing the TOS E worth the sales that it will generate? I guess their answer was no. Everything now-a-days comes down to the bottom line.

And to add my 2 cents I see nothing wrong with accurizing. You're buying "their" model, and adding detail to it for yourself. Now if you were to add to it then cast it as your own - thats a no-no in my book.
I see no acceptable reason for recasting. And it's not just models that are out of production are being recasted. On EZ Board just last week on board member alerted another that his sculpture was being recasted and sold on ebay for a quarter of the real price. I know CultTVMan doesn't want another recasting thread so I'll end it there.

Kev
 

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Well, hmmmmmnnn... Let's seeeeeee...

What possible angle on this topic hasn't yet been covered?

Oh, I know... How 'bout the ethics of recasting aftermarket parts ?



A guaranteed thread-closer reply if there ever was one.

:D
 

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And so it was.

I've reopened this thread as some very valid points have been made and could warrent further discussion.

Trek Ace made a very accurate post which got this thread locked down by it's former ctv moderator.

It makes you wonder why.
 
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