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Illegal pirated copies

Discussion in 'Figure News' started by ModelCellar, Apr 2, 2017.

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  1. Nap Moderator


    Well said Eric ...these SCUM are nothing but a plague on our hobby.

    Lets wish Paul all the luck sorting this out soon

    clrsgt, Nicolaos and Huw63 like this.
  2. kellerkind Well-Known Member

    Oh, what a "wonderfull" start into the new week. Back home again from a figure show last weekend, I must read this :-(
    I'm pissed off too, boys! But, what is to do? There is a market for recasted figures - sad but true! I'm baffled...
    The Kellerkind mechanic, shown on the pics, is not an original cast. I'm selling my figures in a cardbord box or plastic blisters, but never in such trash bags. And every time with an colored/ printed banderole.
    Thanks for the information and best regards,
    Huw63 likes this.
  3. theBaron A Fixture

    I'd talk to a lawyer, Paul, just to see what your options are.

    See you on the 29th!

    clrsgt, Chrisr and Huw63 like this.
  4. ModelCellar A Fixture

    Hello Everyone,

    Thanks for the tremendous support especially from the other figure manufacturers. Stu, Ian, etc.
    Yes, Stu it sucks the life out of you - a real punch in gut.

    Martin (Kellerkind) ...glad you read this. I tried to contact you =). I recognized your figure immediately. You might want to contact them too??

    I am still working on several things - the first being a case on PayPal to freeze his account for selling illegal pirated copies. In the meantime I have contacted all my legitimate vendors world wide, many other manufacturers, and many professional contacts such as sculptors, painters, etc. urging the dealers to stop carrying their detail sets for example, alerting other manufacturers - because who knows, they may be pirating your stuff too (like Kellerkind).
    ...and the artists - urging them to never do work for such dishonest thieves. Plus, I have posted on several forums, and others have posted on more forums on my behalf - actually, on behalf off all of us who enjoy this great hobby.

    Again, thanks for the tremendous support. I know we (manufacturers) are in competition with each other, but yet at the same time we are a part of a "fraternity" and need to look out for each other. I am grateful this was brought to my attention. Hopefully we can all benefit from exposing these thieves.

    I'll keep you posted on any developments

    clrsgt, Blind Pew, Chrisr and 4 others like this.
  5. Huw63 A Fixture

    I'm just an average modeller and I despise and detest this nonsense of recasting as it is harmful to the hobby and hurts many small businesses who have the courage to invest in creating new and original pieces.

    Going forward I'm seeing crowd funding as a means to at least mitigate the risks that manufacturers and ensure quality products are available.

    In this case I hope the police get them. Personally I think it would be great if they could be hung drawn and quartered.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. valiant A Fixture

    I fully understand why a manufacturer may consider crowd funding as a way of launching new product and only making the actual number of items ordered. However, purely playing Devil's Advocate, when an item is re sold when disposing of a Grey Army, or even a recaster actually purchasing an original, I cannot see how this would prevent an unscrupulous person from producing recasts, if that person was so minded. I think it is only by being vigilant at shows or when looking online, that we can identify and weed out these pirates..(y) Just my two pennyw'th
    clrsgt, OldTaff and Huw63 like this.
  7. Huw63 A Fixture

    I agree it doesn't prevent some thieving scumbag from recasting but it reduces the risk for manufacturers as they have expertise in arranging sculpting and casting and they can build some level of profit into the crowdfunding targets.

    You are also correct that vigilance and reporting these vermin when you see them.


  8. Ferris A Fixture

    The benefit of crowd sourcing for producers is that they greatly reduce their risk and can focus on creativity and bringing new things, rather than chasing recasters. You are quite right that recasters can legitimately acquire the product and recast it, but the big difference is that by then the original producer has already covered his initial cost and can, in principle, be his own recaster, offering the product at a reduced price (that does not anymore need to cover initial cost, only production cost, just like for the recaster). Or move on the next creation and don't bother about recasters scraping the bottom.

    Of course there are new challenges as well. One is to keep customers participating in the initial release, rather than wait for the cheaper 2nd production run, but there are ways to do that.

    Another is how to show the project to initial investors without it being produced yet. This requires effort in artwork or good drawings, but this investment will be smaller than having to make the whole figure, so this can be managed.

    This recasting is changing the business. It has to be countered in every conceivable way, but at the same time producers have to adapt as well to stay afloat.

    Actually, for all the negativity around this topic, going by the Figure News section I think it is safe to say that variety and quality of offerings has never been as high as today. So let's not moan too much about the hobby dying yet.... ;-)

  9. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter


    Heartily agree Brad. I have discussed this with Paul via a couple of PM's, and I think he has the evidence and witness to make a good case for breach of copyright under the Berne Convention on copyright. Let's hope he can nail the leech and send a message to other recasters who live off the hard work of others.

    Great to see the strong support given to Paul, and a big thanks to Tazz for exposing this fraudulent leech.

  10. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter


    Well done Eric, and a big thank you for doing so. You have done us all a great service.

  11. Tony Barton Active Member

    Sad to say that with large figures and busts this is lucrative and apparently widespread.
    I really hope out French friends can help here: is there some equivalent of the UK Trading Standards Office, who can certainly help in the UK?

    But it's also rife in other scales. I make small scale figures, and they are routinely pirated in China, both in resin and metal. What makes it somehow worse is that they are sold openly on Ebay , and however many times you complain, Ebay do nothing. They appear to have in place a cushioning system , where all complaints are gradually absorbed in soft pillows until they lose their velocity. It's seller's paradise, since that's where the Ebay fees come from, not the buyer.
    China may be a special case, since they apparently ( I'm no expert) have no Copyright law.But I have also been pirated in the UK and more recently in France, this time with large 1/6 scale resin accessories that I make. The man had the brass neck to deny it, openly, despite cast-iron evidence against him.
    So it's a tough thing to fight , since an actual law suit ( as I discovered years ago when trying to launch one) is far too expensive a proposition to contemplate.
    Public shaming is the first weapon, and perhaps civil authorities can help in some countries.... certainly, a 20mm figure maker in Spain has recently won a suit in a civil magistrates against former "colleagues" who had got him to make a range of figures, then walked off with it and produced it as they wished, ignoring his Rights.
    OldTaff, Chrisr and Huw63 like this.
  12. ellie A Fixture

    Hi Guys as to the crowd funding /kick start it was an idea that had been in our minds for a while but it took Adrian to kick it in to life if you like. The fact that the re casters are a scourge at the moment and that companies have been suffering it was time to try something new , we know this might be new to the military figure side of things.

    You guys are right it will not stop the re caster but it will make it better for the producer to know that a big ticket item will have the expense covered before we go to have the master made. we will be sticking to the 100 we will not be selling to trade as we could not give the trade discount that we always give. selling direct to the customer we have a data base of where the copies have gone and each one will have a unique number which will be at the side of the name of the person that has bought it.

    re selling at a later date people could check the number and contact us to see if it's genuine or not. I know it will not stop re casters if they are determined to copy it, but it will cut it down a little. this is just another weapon in the arsenal. well it's what we are doing so people that buy out new vignette are guaranteed the real deal, good quality casting new packaging a certificate with it's own number and the number etched into the base of the vignette. so that's as much protection as we can do, and the whole thing will be copyrighted as well. we can do no more with this one.

    After the response to this one we will do it again at a later date but again it will be on a big ticket item and limited. this we think will bring something different to the hobby and deter the re caster as the expense of producing something like this might not be worth the time and effort.

    that's just our thoughts on the problem and just one way we are trying to fight it.



    Mirofsoft, clrsgt, Blind Pew and 4 others like this.
  13. Red Five Well-Known Member

    I really hate this. I got out of the business years ago because of this sort of thing. My first kit I produced was cast up by a dealer with huge customer base and because it was a film related garage kit I could do nothing about it. I sold my 50 and got my money back but that was it for me.

    Mirofsoft and Huw63 like this.
  14. amcairns A Fixture

    I,ve had one of my kits pirated in Poland.There not much I can do from the other side of the planet.
    I empathise with you.These cheating buggers.
  15. ellie A Fixture

    We can't give up on fighting them but as I keep saying, it's the people that buy this stuff that help it carry on the way it does. they stop buying then it stops. Their is another way but it's cutting the thoughts of the manufacturer and that's drop the price of the kits. but in doing that it cuts out shipping to trade as you could not give the discount. it's drastic but it would give the re caster something to think about.

    But in doing this the investment in new kits would drop as it would take longer to get the money back to invest, and postage would have to be charged. ok we might sell more but in the end we would be working for very little return. that's the facts. re casters only have to lay out on cheep rubber and resin. no masters, art work, and boxes. the bulk of our expense is the master which sometimes could be well over a £1,000. people have to realise that to keep this hobby going they have to stop buying the rip off's and get behind the manufactures. in doing this it will hopefully save some of the companies who are struggling.

    If you the customer want to see more exciting and innovative works coming out then we all have to fight the re casters and get the public to think twice before they buy on e bay or at a show where some of these scumbags hang out.



    Mike - The Kiwi, Huw63 and mick3272 like this.
  16. mick3272 A Fixture

    I agree 100% Ian. The only way to stop this is to stop the people who purchase the recasts. They are just as bad as the recaster. Because without the customer there would be no custom for recasters.
  17. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    "I have met the enemy and it is us!"

    Sadly even as far away as it is humanly possible I have just seen recasts of ModelCellar, Tommy's War & Elan figures. So sad to see dross wash up on our shores.
    Even sadder to think fellow modellers buy these...
    Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    There are many more buyers than sculptors, manufacturers, marketers & distributors.
    Only buyers can stop an illegal trade.
    Otherwise the market speaks...

    I'm with Paul, Darren & Robert.
    Who else will make a stand & declare their position.
    Surely this should become our most viral thread, a virus to destroy a plague!

    P.S. I know not the providence of these examples,
    just that they do not appear to be originals
    - each appear cast in same way (resin, blocks, flash between legs)
    by same caster :-(
    Steve Ski, Huw63 and ellie like this.
  18. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Oh Yeah! ;-)

    For those that think this is a new problem,
    spurred on by lax eBay rules or something similar.

    Here's a thread I started 15years ago:
    They were here the same day someone wanted a bargain!

    Quote from MedRom thread - this outfit went out of business, I guess it didn't pay ;-)

    " 1086.1
    Even in the far flung corners of the globe it looks like we are still prey to PIRATES. A fellow kiwi and forum member alerted me last night to the potential for this sorry state of affairs. After some further investigation I've stumbled upon what may be a sinister twist. There appears to be a link between product attributed to "SOL Models" being offered by a New Zealand retailer and an online distributor "Pacific Collections". The latter's website not only listing figure kits of dubious origin, but also MedRom books at unbelievably good prices and odd titles, bearing an uncanny resemblance to well known author's work. This could be simply a result of a shoddy website or a deliberate effort to be vague about the product range. I am conscious of the ramifications if this proves to be a legitimate operation, however wanted to raise my grave concerns here to elicit your help in resolving this mystery. Already it looks like tracks are being covered :(
    ellie and Steve Ski like this.
  19. MrBMB A Fixture

    I would also argue the model magazines have a part to play. I have seen the CMK figures which are basically an Alpine Miniatures figure/s with a part changed advertised in model magazines.
    Maybe the model magazines should also ban companies that do this from advertising in their magazines or do they care more about the ad income then the hobby. I see CMK adverts all the time in mags.
    I bought the CMK figure/s before I knew they were ripoffs or not approve by T50
    Maybe people should contact these magazines and tell them they will boycott their mags if the support these types of ads

    If I ever build them I will be saying they are Alpine miniatures figures that have been converted giving no reference to CMK at all. I actually bought them to go with T50s figures as I actually thought T50 sculpted them for CMK which I later found out he did not
    T50 likes this.
  20. Alain11 Active Member

    Hello Paul,
    I posted your message on the French forum "Figurines Historiques" to ALERT the french people of your problem.
    I you support in your action.
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