[Archive] Making casts of GW minis?

Groznit Goregut:

Hi All,

I know that people have made casts out of various GW minis before. What I mean is that they make a mold of a chaos dwarf mini. They then pour in some sort of substance to make a brand new duplicate mini. The molds are good for a dozen casts or so and then you need to make new ones. My question, is, though, has anyone thought about this for Chaos Dwarfs?

I know that someone is going to immediately think that this is illegal. I know you can’t turn around and sell one of these minis at all or it is illegal. Some people had been making molds of rare GW minis, painting them up, and selling them on ebay. This is totally illegal. I am under the impression, though, that if you don’t sell any of your minis (ever) then you can do this. It’s the idea that you bought something and it’s yours and you can do whatever you want with it…like make copies…but you can’t sell them.

So, when I think of all the rare Chaos Dwarf minis, it makes me want to try this. Has anyone done this before? Is there some legal loop hole that I am not thinking about? If someone has done it before, do they have any advice? I figure I could just buy a couple of GW chaos dwarf minis and then make an entire army out of them. Sure, I would have to do conversion work to add variety, but it seems substantially cheaper to do all this then to buy a full army of originals.

Thane Godri GoblinSlayer:

I see no problem, as long as you keep quiet about it and tell no one I don’t see GW kickin ass and taken names.

Grimstonefire:

As long as you don’t start a thread showing how you did this here on CDO, and you don’t offer to sell the models or the moulds.

In principle that would be a cheaper way to do it than to buy all OOP models.

Check out the forum rules on this.

Groznit Goregut:

Excellent link, Grimstonefire!

I believe everything that I intended was listed as OK in your thread. I don’t plan on selling any of my molds and wouldn’t dare break IP laws.

Now…I just have to figure out how to make molds of minis…

Joshmohr:

Honestly, I’d do this if i had the time… Even tho ive done it ONCE with Cangle Wax, and Copper…

Grimstonefire:

We do have a few threads on here about how to make moulds and cast generally, if you do a search you should be able to find some good ideas.

Sjoerdo:

Hi All,

I know that people have made casts out of various GW minis before.  What I mean is that they make a mold of a chaos dwarf mini.  They then pour in some sort of substance to make a brand new duplicate mini.  The molds are good for a dozen casts or so and then you need to make new ones.  My question, is, though, has anyone thought about this for Chaos Dwarfs?

I know that someone is going to immediately think that this is illegal.  I know you can't turn around and sell one of these minis at all or it is illegal.  Some people had been making molds of rare GW minis, painting them up, and selling them on ebay.  This is totally illegal.  I am under the impression, though, that if you don't sell any of your minis (ever) then you can do this.  It's the idea that you bought something and it's yours and you can do whatever you want with it....like make copies...but you can't sell them.  

So, when I think of all the rare Chaos Dwarf minis, it makes me want to try this.  Has anyone done this before?  Is there some legal loop hole that I am not thinking about?  If someone has done it before, do they have any advice?  I figure I could just buy a couple of GW chaos dwarf minis and then make an entire army out of them.  Sure, I would have to do conversion work to add variety, but it seems substantially cheaper to do all this then to buy a full army of originals.

Groznit Goregut
I think it's not done to copy miniatures, even if it is for personal use. Apart from al the IP-rights and legal blablabla, I just think it's morally wrong. Besides I know from experience that things like that always find their way to ebay�?�

A lot of people work hard on creating small miniatures which asks for a lot of talent, skill, determination and creativity. Then these little 'statues' are sold for very small amounts of money. And still people would want to 'steal' from them by copying their hard work. I would really be sick if someone would ever copy my miniatures...

It's a shame that a lot of beautiful miniatures from GW are no longer available, but GW is the only one that has the right whether to decide to put them back in production. I for one love the fact that some miniatures are very rare and illusive, it adds to magic of our hobby!

So whether a miniature is OOP or very rare or even made by the big Evil Empire (GW), it still is blatant thievery. If you can�?Tt buy it than you cant have it.

I really loved the old 3rd edition marauder chaos dwarfs sorceror. He was very hard to come by and very expensive. This was the reason for me to start sculpting my own chaos dwarf sorcerer and eventually many more!

If I had resorted to copying there would have been no twisted tales chaos dwarfs.

Groznit Goregut:

I understand your position, Sjoerdo. If these minis were still being made, I wouldn’t have a problem. The fact that they are not being created and that I am sure that some of these minis every year are being lost by one method or another drives me nuts. Few can afford to purchase the rare official minis to have a full army. I do not believe that it is stealing to use self-made copies of minis I own. It’s not like I am selling them or doing more than playing a few games with my small group of friends.

Personally, I would be mortified if they made it to ebay or into general circulation. The only way that would happen is if I suddenly died and my wife gave them to someone who didn’t know. I doubt that would happen as she would give them to a friend to deal with and my good friends wouldn’t let them enter circulation.

I’m sure that someone could make the argument that the minis shouldn’t even be modified or converted or it breaks IP. Why, you can’t cut up your own plastic minis that you bought as it destroys the IP image as you are using a new and unapproved image based on one they created. What if you sell that converted mini? That’s breaking IP!

I’m not trying to start a fight and I don’t want to create an issue here. I reviewed the rules for posting on the subject and believe that my post is in compliance.

Sjoerdo:

I understand your position, Sjoerdo.  If these minis were still being made, I wouldn't have a problem.  The fact that they are not being created and that I am sure that some of these minis every year are being lost by one method or another drives me nuts.  Few can afford to purchase the rare official minis to have a full army.  I do not believe that it is stealing to use self-made copies of minis I own.  It's not like I am selling them or doing more than playing a few games with my small group of friends.  

Personally, I would be mortified if they made it to ebay or into general circulation.  The only way that would happen is if I suddenly died and my wife gave them to someone who didn't know.  I doubt that would happen as she would give them to a friend to deal with and my good friends wouldn't let them enter circulation.  

I'm sure that someone could make the argument that the minis shouldn't even be modified or converted or it breaks IP.  Why, you can't cut up your own plastic minis that you bought as it destroys the IP image as you are using a new and unapproved image based on one they created.  What if you sell that converted mini?  That's breaking IP!  

I'm not trying to start a fight and I don't want to create an issue here.  I reviewed the rules for posting on the subject and believe that my post is in compliance.

Groznit Goregut
I started writing a huge reply full of argument and motivations to why not to steal. But I figured it can be said in much fewer words;

If you think it's okey to copy miniatures just because they aren't made anymore, you are just as much a thief as when you copy miniatures that are still made.

Want the old stuff? Go buy it on ebay, they costs as much as new warhammer models so don't complain about the price!

Cant afford them? Be creative sculpt them, convert them, buy the BFSP set! Millions of options!

Want the rare exclusive stuff? Save money, find a better job, wait for that one opportunity on ebay! But don't steal them. It's the same as counterfeiting a painting.

If you want to copy a single part to pimp your BFSP dwarfs, say an helmet, go right ahead! Need a single shoulderpad ten times, be my guest! But copy complete models, thats just plain wrong...

Groznit Goregut:

If the prices are the same on ebay as brand new minis were, then you wouldn’t find threads in these forums called “how not to get cheated by ebay prices”.

It’s also legal to make a copy of a painting that you don’t own. You just can’t sell it. The museums will even let you look at the original as you paint your copy…as long as it isn’t on the same sized canvas.

You can legally copy a music cd or a dvd that you own for backup purposes, too.

Sjoerdo:

If the prices are the same on ebay as brand new minis were, then you wouldn't find threads in these forums called "how not to get cheated by ebay prices".  

It's also legal to make a copy of a painting that you don't own.  You just can't sell it.  The museums will even let you look at the original as you paint your copy....as long as it isn't on the same sized canvas.  

You can legally copy a music cd or a dvd that you own for backup purposes, too.

Groznit Goregut
3rd edition chaos dwarfs easily go for less then 3 pounds each on ebay, same for 5th edition metal ones, expensive yes, but more expensive then new? No! a new GW blister with three metal dwarfs will cost you easily 3 pounds each, probably more.

New metal GW character you say, then you'll be paying at least 9 pounds for 1 miniature!

Talk all you want, copying miniatures you haven't made yourself makes you a thief in my book.

I wont report you, I wont sue you, I wont even hate you for it, but my opinion on you will be a bad one.

Painting was an bad example, because if you repaint a painting with your own hands and sell it saying it is a copy, I would encourage it! I would still be a great achievement that you were aible to make such a painting!

Groznit Goregut:

How do you feel about casting bitz?  



These were made with a resin mold of CD heads.  Would these be considered stealing?

For me, it’s all about the cheapest gaming possible.  I have a good salary, but I have a family that I support and I only like to budget a percentage to my my hobbies.  I can always convert, but it won’t look as good as the original GW ones.  If I make a bunch of casts of chaos dwarf heads and hats, I can convert all the rest of all the minis that I need.  I could make blunderbuss out of thunderers.  I could pop the heads on regular clan warriors.  I could even put the heads on regular dwarf torsos and stick those on a horse body for a bull centaur!  It’s probably the most affordable way to do it as each different casting would cost a lot.  

Would that be enough conversion to satisfy you?

Lord Archaon:

How do you feel about casting bitz?
@Groznit Goregut:

Quote from Sjoerdo
If you want to copy a single part to pimp your BFSP dwarfs, say an helmet, go right ahead! Need a single shoulderpad ten times, be my guest! But copy complete models, thats just plain wrong...
Here is the answer for your question ;)

Ishkur Cinderhat:

These were made with a resin mold of CD heads.

Groznit Goregut
Not quite. These were made by pouring resin into a silicone mold that I had taken off my own conversions. It might sound like a technicality, but essentially makes all the difference. ;)

Groznit Goregut:

So, the question is “how big a bit is acceptable to cast?”

It seems a shield is OK or a weapon. Is a head?

GRNDL:

Its a very grey area. I routinely buy multiple copies of minis, just in case I need a backup bit or want to use them in multiple models, but in some rare cases have made casts of entire models in resin, simply because they needed to be in resin. The one example that comes to mind was an experiment in making a levitating Slann. The metal model is way too heavy for the project, so I created a copy for that reason. Not for profit, not to spite the Evil Corp.

Personally, I think the casting process and materials are far more expensive and work intensive than buying another model and usually not worth it, so I only do it when I feel I need to: replicating my own conversion work rather than redoing it over and over, duplicating parts on a timely basis (I’ve waited over 3 months for a Forgeworld bits order, but got them today) or making copies of hard to get bitz, either because I want to experiment with them (you can only cut a model/mess it up so many times).

I doubt I’d ever bother to do an whole unit, let alone an army, of casted copyrighted/IP-Protected models, though. Its just not worth it.

That being said, GW’s business scheme doesn’t allow much room for the hobbyist anymore. Ordering bitz used to be a commonplace and user friendly process - now its almost impossible. In order to buy large amounts of duplicates of say, Heresy era space marine helms, I have to spend $40 to get two copies (Black Templar Chapter Upgrade), or use a “just as grey” business like an online bitz store to get them cheaply.

Its one thing to “protect the artist”, but I don’t think it should be at the cost of consumer’s rights or trust, either.

I don’t think my opinion applies to much of the private mini industry and I do all I can to support the smaller companies like Freebooter and Hasslefree - I have no reason to cheat them out of a sale or resort to piracy.

Groznit Goregut:

Personally, I think the casting process and materials are far more expensive and work intensive than buying another model and usually not worth it

GRNDL
This is what I am finding out. It's just not economical to make copies of specific units.

With that said, though, I think a whole head and beard (or a few of them) would allow me to convert up an entire army for what I would need...if copying a whole head/beard is considered an acceptable bit.

Grimstonefire:

The basic point here I think is you were asking whether it was a common thing to do ~ whether it was acceptable or not.

People may agree or not, but if CDO provides you with the links on how to cast minatures generally, the rest is up to you as we will only ever know what you tell us…

As I said in the casting sticky, sometimes it’s better to just do things and let people make their own assumptions.  Someone could present pics of a 100% recasted army, how many people here could tell otherwise if the owner never says anything?  We haven’t had the situation yet where someone would admit to having a completely recast army, but as long as they didn’t show how they did it and they never sold it or the moulds using the forum, there would be no reason they couldn’t show us pics of it.

It’s why I did the sticky, to try and clarify our position as a forum on this issue as the Chaos Dwarfs are probably the only army in warhammer where people routinely do casting of things.

As a forum we cannot officially condone recasting of models people don’t own the copyrights/ IP for, we cannot advise people how to do it for profit, and we cannot allow people to profit from sale of stocks/ moulds if it is done through the forum.  We can show people how you go about casting in general, and give inspiration on how to sculpt your own models.

So the staff of CDO have no opinion really on the practice of recasting, only what is shown or advertised or sold on this forum.

Onii One Orc:

I think heads would be ok… haven’t done more than skim through the rest of this thread, but I do feel it’s wrong to make casts of whole miniatures, unless you are the sculptor and making them for yourself.

Heads and small bits I’d have no problems with, that would come under the realm of conversion, to an extent.

As for the comment about being ripped off by Ebay - have you ever considered that if it weren’t for EBay, you wouldn’t be able to find the older CD minis without a lot more trouble and a lot more money spent? It seems a bargain to me that you can grab up older CD’s on Ebay at fairly reasonable prices.

Willmark:

I think it’s time for this discussion to end. There are many points to this but one things is clear CDO cannot allow the discussion of how to duplicate Games Workshop minis.

Sjoerdo and Ishkur bring up some excellent points. In Ishkur’s case, the casts he made were of his own minis that he sculpted. That’s not a technicality, it’s his own work he can do what he wants to with it.

Also for the community as a whole the excuse that “they are too expensive” is never a justifable one.

Talk of how to cast your own minis you make is fine, how to duplicate someone else IP and thereby depriving them of revenue is not.