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"Mass production of shields: how?" Topic

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Lord Marcus11 Sep 2016 6:32 p.m. PST

Hi guys.

I have a shield that is now out of production. I wanted to solicit ideas on how best to cast it up multiple times, as I need several hundred of them.

Greylegion11 Sep 2016 6:50 p.m. PST

What are you thinking of molding them out of? Resin should be easy enough. Hobby Lobby is your friend here. They sell a part mold putty. You could make impressions of multiple shields. Mix your resin and fill the cavities. Easy.

Winston Smith11 Sep 2016 7:23 p.m. PST

Even if it's "now out of production" you DO NOT have the right to reproduce copyright material.
"But I want it! Waaaaagh!" Is not a good excuse.
And don't guve any nonsense about "private use". That's irrelevant.

Swampster12 Sep 2016 12:04 a.m. PST

15mm or larger?

I made some 15mm shields using resin

If you needed several hundred then this will be rather labour intensive though it would help if you made more masters to begin with so that each batch is of perhaps 8 or 12 shields.

I doubt the shields would be robust enough for 28mm.

Glengarry512 Sep 2016 2:42 a.m. PST

3D printing?

Dynaman878912 Sep 2016 4:54 a.m. PST

> And don't guve any nonsense about "private use". That's irrelevant.

Actually it is quite relevant, no idea if it applies however.

Lord Marcus12 Sep 2016 6:13 a.m. PST

Resin would be fine, I've just never done press casting before.

Winston, these would be for personal use only in my army.

GarrisonMiniatures12 Sep 2016 6:18 a.m. PST

Do0esn't matter. You don't have to right to copy them whether for personal use or not.

GarrisonMiniatures12 Sep 2016 6:25 a.m. PST

By the way, TMP from FAQ sheets:


What is recasting?
Recasting is the process of making copies of an existing miniature. Depending on your local laws, this may be illegal unless you have permission of the copyright holder. And even if it's legal, that doesn't make it right.
Can I discuss recasting here?
Can I sell recasts here?
But such-and-such company's miniatures cost too much!
That's no excuse.

Intellectual Property Rights (IP)

What are IP rights?
As it applies to our hobby, Intellectual Property (IP) usually refers to the ownership of an idea or design – such as the Star Wars universe, or the specific style of Games Workshop's Eldar.
Is it OK to violate someone's IP?
No. Generally speaking, a manufacturer needs a license to make figures or models based on someone else's creation, such as a movie or book.

A manufacturer is ' 2.
a person, group, or company that manufactures.' ie. makes something.

Lord Marcus12 Sep 2016 6:37 a.m. PST

Well my bad. I guess half of my skeletons won't have shields because a company decided that set wasn't making them Money.

I'll figure something out. I apologize for the thread.

Winston Smith12 Sep 2016 6:43 a.m. PST

And by the law, that is irrelevant, particularly the "hundreds" part.
What it boils down to us that you are depriving the copyright holder of the fruits of his art. Again, "out if production" is also totally irrelevant.
What it boils down to in your case is "I want it."

Design your own shield. Check out carpet tacks at your local craft or upholstery store.

It's illegal, but the possibility of getting caught or punished are minuscule.

Lord Marcus12 Sep 2016 7:03 a.m. PST

Carpet tacks wouldn't be the right shape, it's a form of tower shield.

If the copyright holder is not actively attempting to make money selling his product, is he not depriving himself of the fruits of his art?

Personal logo Steve Roper Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2016 7:12 a.m. PST

"If the copyright holder is not actively attempting to make money selling his product, is he not depriving himself of the fruits of his art?"

Yes, as is his or her right.

If you need hundreds the the advice to sculpt your own master is good. Shields, even tower ones, are dead easy.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2016 7:52 a.m. PST

Do a Google search for "28mm Shield": link to a single result. That is just one vendor's offerings. There will be many results for you to choose from.

I recently found a vendor's large-sized shield offering which I ordered for my 54mm Giant Skeletons to use (my armies are 25-28mm sized figures, so these are Giant Skeletons). I painted them, glued them to their off arm, and, Voila! I had some nice variations to my figures comprising a large unit of Undead. That single listing has more than a dozen different types, sizes, and shapes, of shield offerings to choose from. Enjoy hour shopping. Cheers!

Ceterman12 Sep 2016 9:04 a.m. PST

What Sgt. Slag says…

RFCasting12 Sep 2016 9:48 a.m. PST

Yep, sculpt your own. Even make one out of plasticard, even soft plastics can be moulded for spincasting thesedays. I'd happily make you a mould on the cheap – and Im sure plenty other people on here can do it very reasonably too – its not like shields are big or heavy, so if I did pay-by-weight for casts its only going to be a few quid, plus £20.00 GBP-30 for a mould.

Give it a shot, you might end up enjoying sculpting and be able to do some designs you wanted but couldnt find.

Lord Marcus12 Sep 2016 10:05 a.m. PST

I mean I can try. I have light motor skill issues I was born with. Painting is fine, never tried sculpting except for filling gaps

thorr66612 Sep 2016 10:44 a.m. PST

Personal use is fine

Sir Walter Rlyeh12 Sep 2016 11:06 a.m. PST

I was just thinking that most historical companies that sell medieval figures sell separate shield packs. Ditto weapons. I am always picking up these.

GarrisonMiniatures12 Sep 2016 11:08 a.m. PST

'Personal use is fine.'

Please read above. It isn't.

Mick in Switzerland12 Sep 2016 12:09 p.m. PST

@Garrison miniatures
Yes you are right from a moral point of view but in reality, nobody would take such a legal case forward – lawyers cost hundreds of dollars per hour. The provable loss and therefore the maximum compensation that could be claimed for 100 shields would be about US$30. Nobody in their right mind would consider such a case.

PrivateSnafu12 Sep 2016 12:13 p.m. PST

Here is a good article from the copyright office.

PDF link

I wonder if any of the manufacturers here believe there might be fair use? Clearly legally no, but just curious what thinking is out there. For example a piece breaks or is lost during assembly and someone casts a replacement.

I do nothing with casting.

I remember reading a blog post recently where someone recast a missing piece for a 40k model. Can't remember where that was, maybe WWPD. One of the regulars here took a Polish tank from Battlefront and reworked it into a variant no one made then cast a bunch for personal use.

What do people think about those actions?

PrivateSnafu12 Sep 2016 12:18 p.m. PST

What is allowed via Shapeways? Could he find one there, have it printed then make a mold of that? I don't feel like reading their terms and I'm sure someone would know here.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2016 12:48 p.m. PST

Toy soldier companies are small, weekend operations, typically. Every sale counts. If people violate their IP by casting copies of these small company's works, the small companies will soon close their doors, and their products will become part of history. Their margins are small, and the returns on their investments are also small.

Case in point: Mega Mini's Co. The proprietor, JD Lauck, had great products, at relatively low prices. He stopped making enough money for it to be worth his time and effort. He sold off all of his molds, along with the IP, and most of said products are no longer available. I am not saying that piracy drove him out of business -- I have no idea. I do know that he had many great products, which I now cannot purchase, and I wish I could, because I have the cash.

If I made my own molds of his OOP products, I would be violating IP laws, but I would also be violating the potential profits to be made by whoever purchased the molds, and the IP.

Is it a prosecutable offense? Likely not, in the real world. Could it hurt the hobby, overall? Yes, by potentially driving another company out of business.

I wrote, and produced, a set of introductory mini's rules. I marketed them myself. I sold roughly 100 copies, over 8 years. I took them off of the market. If someone started selling copies, would it hurt me? YES. I am considering selling them again, through, both as PDF copies, and as Print-On-Demand booklets. Pirates selling/sharing them on the Internet would deprive me of the chance to sell them again.

In the long run, it hurts us all. Please consider keeping it legal, as the future of our hobby may depend on it. Cheers!

GarrisonMiniatures12 Sep 2016 1:03 p.m. PST

Just because something can be done because no-one can afford to fight itis a very poor reason for doing it. 100 shields may not be much – but if most people in the hobby suddenly decide 'I can cast figures made by small manufacturers with impunity because they can't afford to stop me'..

If anything, for me it makes it worse. It's basically tantamount to stealing $30 USD from someone who can't afford to stop you… And yes, the richer companies would and do protect their property because they can afford it.

Re recasting a missing piece for a figure you own, that would amount to repairing it – though obviously depends on exact case. Reworking the Polish tank – definite no. They have bought the correct number of tanks and converted them individually.

Incidentally, copyright in the UK is automatic. Fair use is normally for a specific purpose, usually simething like research or education – once that limited use has been completed the object copied should be destroyed.

link for one example 'In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and "transformative" purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work.' link 'You are allowed to copy limited extracts of works when the use is non-commercial research or private study, but you must be genuinely studying (like you would if you were taking a college course). Such use is only permitted when it is ‘fair dealing' and copying the whole work would not generally be considered fair dealing.' etc

Winston Smith12 Sep 2016 2:36 p.m. PST

What is allowed via Shapeways? Could he find one there, have it printed then make a mold of that? I don't feel like reading their terms and I'm sure someone would know here.

Shapeways is bound every bit as much by IP and copyright as anybody else, if not more so. In fact I would bet that the level of scrutiny on this is very high with them.
They are not exactly Dow Corning selling cans of RTV Silicone (which is actually manufactured for a much different use.)
They are in essence a manufacturer. They would definitely not willingly and knowingly violate the law.

PrivateSnafu12 Sep 2016 7:40 p.m. PST

Darn it you made me look at the rules. You could upload a design that was from a creative commons and have that printed then make a mold. The design would need to be copyright free.

Maybe Dear Editor could create a new revenue stream so we could all get free PM and Marketplace rights.

Lord Marcus12 Sep 2016 9:21 p.m. PST

Nobody I have found has this shield shape.t his is why I want to cast these shoelds, to finish models I purchased second hand. :/

PrivateSnafu12 Sep 2016 10:13 p.m. PST


Check this TMP thread for links to Egyptian style shields

TMP link

Crocodile games looks promising. Good luck.

One of these perhaps.

Skeptic13 Sep 2016 9:32 p.m. PST

And for how many years might one have to wait for a manufacturer to possibly revive an already-discontinued line, assuming that they still have the moulds and/or masters?

TheDesertBox14 Sep 2016 4:45 a.m. PST

Mind you, I'm no lawyer, but I have had my fair share of business training in IP. There are a lot of misconceptions about what constitutes an IP infraction in the States (assumption based on the OP's profile).

The following are generally standards measured for fair use: commercial vs. noncommercial use, how transformative the work is (e.g. If you paint a model, it largely becomes your own IP for photos and whatnot), whether copying the work limits the commercial value to the IP owner, the portion being copied vs. the whole work, and public interest (facts cannot be copyrighted). Please google 17 U.S.C. Section 107 for the above standards.

Recasting may be immoral, but in this case it is NOT illegal. It is noncommercial, only a portion of the total work (the shield), does not limit the value to the IP holder, since it is OOP and for private use.

I'd say though, that based on the house rules at TMP, you should ask HOW to recast your shields elsewhere.

Winston Smith14 Sep 2016 10:45 a.m. PST

And for how many years might one have to wait for a manufacturer to possibly revive an already-discontinued line, assuming that they still have the moulds and/or masters?

Beyond "But I want it! Waaaaahhhh!", how is that possibly relevant?

TheDesertBox14 Sep 2016 12:46 p.m. PST

Actually Winston, as I discussed above, the fact that it is OOP and for personal use is highly relevant. Your own opinions about the morality/immorality of recasting aside, it means it is legal.

Skeptic14 Sep 2016 8:58 p.m. PST

@TheDesertBox: Not only that, but it would seem to my non-expert eye that it would affect the present value of the copyright owner's interest in the IP, assuming that they can still locate it, and that it hasn't already been binned in a workshop clean-out.

And, if they do actually have it (somewhere) but do not, as it would turn out, produce (or licence) any more for, say, a decade then there would be no income stream for them to lose over that decade!

Even supposing that they might exercise that option with, say, a 5% probability, that would be something like non-zero income stream / 20.

CeruLucifus15 Sep 2016 4:26 a.m. PST

Lord Marcus's link is to Games Workshop Tomb Kings Skeleton Warriors. There were thousands maybe millions of people that played Warhammer Fantasy and bought those sets.

I googled "Tomb Kings Shields" and the first hit was this site which resells Tomb Kings parts as separate bitz. I see a set of 40 shields sold for about $14. USD

Hoard of Bits: link

Lord Marcus15 Sep 2016 6:56 a.m. PST

Look at the stock level

CeruLucifus15 Sep 2016 9:21 a.m. PST

Ahh sorry my bad I missed that.

Personally I don't have any casting experience, so I would either order similar items from one of the other vendors linked above, or scratch build a few shields to see how hard it was. If the scratch builds were successful but time consuming, then I would revisit either ordering, or the feasibility of casting from the scratchbuilds.

The H Man09 Feb 2017 5:11 a.m. PST

As far as I looked into IP a few years back (doubt it has changed that much since). In Oz, you have to pay around $200 USD per form and around $200 USD per actual item (up to 4 per form) to have it covered by copyright. This is for 3d suff (figures, sculptures, so on) as 2d art and writing is automatically covered by copyright in Oz at the time of creation. I seriously doubt most 'garage' operations could afford such cover (about $250 USD per figure, I think it lasts 10 years?). Also, from memory if an item is already in production, no one can cover it, not even the creator. A further point (this is all from my memory from readin books I got from IP Australia, look them up) the covered item is as it is sold. So for a GW box of orcs it would be a card board box, thusly printed, that rattles. A single orc spear that originated as part of a sprue from the rattly box would not. It is simply the fear of going to court that makes it seem worse than it is. Recasting a shield, especially if your not selling it or giving it away could not hold up as I seriously doubt that GW have coverage for each item on every sprue. They possible do for the sprue itself, but really their cover would be for the rattly box, as this is the product they are actually selling.

Again, filtered through from memory. But I was surprised when I read the books. This is for Oz though, so it may be different in the UK or US and don't ask me how the law work across the water. I could only guess it uses the law for the country the recasting occurs in.

I feel recasting for profit or to give away is wrong, though, it seems, not illegal, depending where you live. Make your own things, there is less stigma and more praise.

Ramble over.

Ps all $ above should be in OZ! Sorry.

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