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"Looking for Contact for Companion Miniatures" Topic


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959 hits since 19 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo The Badger Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 3:45 p.m. PST

Hello All,

I am trying to reach the current owner of Companion Miniatures. Does anyone know who the current or last owner is/was and have an email or current contact information?

Thank you

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 7:37 p.m. PST

Have you tried this phone number or address?

TMP link

Jim

Personal logo The Badger Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 8:53 p.m. PST

I sent a letter too. No answer.

Lowtardog20 Jun 2018 5:43 a.m. PST

I am sure I remember there being some issue over ownership of the sculpts as they were based on foundry ones if memory serves me right and a KS to launch them was halted as a result not too long ago

Lowtardog20 Jun 2018 6:05 a.m. PST

small thread on it here link

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jun 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

Foundry are hopping mad about them, with considerable justification by all accounts…

Marcus Brutus20 Jun 2018 10:05 a.m. PST

I imagine that Foundry is hopping mad because the Companions casts are often superior to their own. I`d love to see the Companion Late Republican line back in production. Beautiful figures.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jun 2018 10:39 a.m. PST

…if we decide not to bother about copyright infringement then most of the miniatures companies will go bust.

battle master20 Jun 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

I too am hoping for the Republican Romans to return so I can complete my army. if Foundry are so concerned why don't they now produce themselves. They already produce the Caesarean Romans, which I have plenty of so could extend it to the Republicans. As I recall, Companion started off by doing some variations of the Caesarean range before producing the Republicans. Love to see them back

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jun 2018 12:15 p.m. PST

I think the phrase would be "Companion first pirated the Foundry Caesarians before moving on to pirate them again as Republicans."

Marcus Brutus20 Jun 2018 6:59 p.m. PST

What is your source BRB for your assertion that there is piracy or some copyright infringement on Companion's part? I haven't heard anything on line as clear cut as you are suggesting.

wmyers20 Jun 2018 9:38 p.m. PST

This could give some background:

Sender
[Private]
Foundry Miniatures Ltd.
The Carriage Court, Stoke Hall, Church Lane, East Stoke
Newark, Nottinghamshire NG235QF
GB

Sent via online form

Recipient
Kickstarter, PBC
58 Kent Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
USA

Re: 28mm Army of Spartacus (Canceled)

Description of copyrighted material: Miniature figurines

Description of infringing material: INFRINGEMENT OF FOUNDRY MINIATURES LTD. COPYRIGHT I am writing to you because you have published a Kickstarter called "28mm Army of Spartacus". All the miniatures pictured in your Spartacus Kickstarter are an infringement of Foundry Miniatures Ltd. copyright. The Spartacus range in your Kickstarter has been created using Foundry Miniatures Ltd. models, dolls and component parts that breach our copyright. Many of them are complete existing Foundry figures with the heads swapped for heads from other existing Foundry models. You have even pirated the exact same separate weapons, shields and horses that we supply with these models. The models in your Spartacus Kickstarter have all been created using models and component parts that were sculpted by Mark Copplestone for Guernsey Foundry Ltd. and/or Foundry Miniatures Ltd. All of the models, including greens, dolls and component parts that were sculpted by Mark Copplestone for Guernsey Foundry Ltd. and Foundry Miniatures Ltd. are the exclusive copyright of Foundry Miniatures Ltd. All of the models sculpted by Mark Copplestone for Guernsey Foundry Ltd. and Foundry Miniatures Ltd. continue to be manufactured and sold by Foundry Miniatures Ltd. under our trading names of Wargames Foundry, Warmonger Miniatures, Casting Room Miniatures and Foundry Collectables. The only reason for greens, dolls or component parts to ever leave the Foundry premises is for use in official Foundry Miniatures Ltd. models by sculptors who work for Foundry from home. All the greens, dolls and component parts remain the property of Foundry Miniatures Ltd. They are not the property of the sculptor. The Spartacus range that appears in your Kickstarter was originally pirated by Douggie Cameron who claims he had been sold the Foundry Miniatures master castings, greens, dolls and component parts by an employee of Foundry Miniatures Ltd. Foundry Miniatures Ltd. has never sold, loaned or gifted any master castings, greens, dolls or component parts and has never sold, loaned or gifted any models with the rights to produce them. The Foundry Miniatures Ltd. master castings, greens, dolls and component parts used to create the Spartacus range advertised in your Kickstarter have been created using stolen goods that are Copyright Foundry Miniatures Ltd. The exact same Spartacus range was briefly pirated by Aventine Miniatures in 2012. Aventine Miniatures immediately removed the entire range from sale when we ordered samples from their website using our Foundry Miniatures Ltd. business address. We did not take legal action against Aventine Miniatures because they immediately removed this range from sale on their website and because we believed that they were an innocent third party who had been tricked into producing the range by Douggie Cameron. We require you to immediately delete the Spartacus Kickstarter, cease any other sales or advertising of these models and make a public apology on the internet forums that you have used to advertise your Kickstarter acknowledging that the models are Copyright Foundry Miniatures Ltd. We require you to send us all of the greens, master castings, dolls and component parts that were used to produce the Spartacus range. They are stolen goods. They are the property of Foundry Miniatures Ltd. We require you to either provide evidence of the destruction of any master moulds and production moulds of the Spartacus range or send them to us to destroy. The intended use of these moulds can only be to breach our copyright. We will hold you liable, in part or in full, for any further breach of our copyright by any third party using the materials currently in your possession. If this breach of our copyright is not resolved by 4pm BST on Friday 18th August 2017 we will instruct solicitors to take action against you. We will hold you liable for all our legal costs in relation to this matter. We reserve all our rights in this matter. Your faithfully Diane Ansell Managing Director Foundry Miniatures Ltd.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 2:19 a.m. PST

Thanks wmyers, very helpful!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 4:40 a.m. PST

A real eye opener to the challenges that our suppliers do face.

Marcus Brutus21 Jun 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

Interesting wmyers. I have no idea about the Army of Spartacus and the above letter is about that specific line of figures. I have Foundry and Companion Caesarian Roman castings and Companion figures are not pirated models to my eyes. They are original creations. I have no idea if the original greens were based on Foundry dollies etc. and so subject to certain copyright protections. Did Copplestone use Foundry dollies to sculpt figures for entities other than Foundry?

As an aside, a claim such as the above is an assertion not a fact. As far as I have heard Foundry has not taken action against the above entity even though most of the demands were not met.

Personally, I'd like to see the Companion figures produced by somebody

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 7:38 a.m. PST

The original Companion Caesarians were Foundry Caesarians with added cloaks and crests; heck, even I could do that, and I'm not a sculptor. Nothing original. The Spartacus minis were poorly reworked Foundry minis; the miniatures equivalent of cut'n'shut.

I like to think there is a little corner of Dante's inferno reserved for pirate re-casters. Hopefully an especially warm one!

Three Armies21 Jun 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

The current owner Glen Foden is a bomb disposal engineer and away a lot. As I understand he stopped trading some time ago and took the web site down. The moulds currently sit in storage at the Sgt's Mess workshop ( who does all my castings) Originally Glen purchased the company 'in good faith' where in fact copplestone had sold off parts of pieces he had built to quite a few people, and even to this day claims Foundry does not have rights to sell his stuff either. For my part I built quite a few figures for Companion all original Greens I would hasten to add, and very Foundry esque. A lot of which have never been released according to my knowledge. Not that this is any of my business I was paid for my work and walk away. this is before I went to work for Foundry itself. Personally today I would not believe a single word Foundry ever says or does. My advice Badger is whatever you want to contact Glen Foden for, dont bother if it is to buy figures but I believe he does want to sell the range. You could find him on facebook maybe.

Marcus Brutus21 Jun 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

The Foundry and Companion Caesarians that I BRB have don't conform to your description. The Companion figures are not simply reworked Foundry originals. As I say, they may come from Foundry dollies and such but to that I can't say.

Marcus Brutus21 Jun 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

Interesting information and point of view Three Armies.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

Hi Marcus; Foundry Centurion, left. Companion Centurion, right. The only difference is in the plume; not so much reworked as recast.

link

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 1:26 p.m. PST

Must just be me, but in any court of law, BigRedBat's figures do look very similar.

Must also say how much expert painting can transform a figure.

I find this whole discussion fascinating.

I do know many firms use a fairly common standard horse style, but they pay for the rights. I imagine that the chap who creates any figure then surely passes all rights over to the manufacturer, as part of the contractual arrangement.

What happens in the Far East may then be totally different of course.

Alas, I can imagine a manufacturer, struggling to get started, being crippled by such immoral practice. It is not in our interest to support such….and yet, clearly the "waters are muddied"

Fascinating. I hope we hear more.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

Must just be me, but in any court of law, BigRedBat's figures do look very similar.

Must also say how much expert painting can transform a figure.

I find this whole discussion fascinating.


I do know many firms use a fairly common standard horse style, but they pay for the rights. I imagine that the chap who creates any figure then surely passes all rights over to the manufacturer, as part of the contractual arrangement.


What happens in the Far East may then be totally different of course.

Alas, I can imagine a manufacturer, struggling to get started, being crippled by such immoral practice. It is not in our interest to support such….and yet, clearly the "waters are muddied"


Fascinating. I hope we hear more.

Marcus Brutus21 Jun 2018 3:24 p.m. PST

I haven't seen my Companion packs for a while. In the mass of figures I have lost track of them. I've got to dig around and find them. There is no doubt that the two figures BRB shows are the same figure. Do you any other comparison shots BRB? One figure is interesting but many copies would be decisive.

That Companion and Foundry have the same figure doesn't necessarily demonstrate that Companion pirated Foundry. Without knowing more about how the original Companion figures were supplied and questions around Copplestone's claim to ownership of the originals and how they were licensed and there are several possible permutations.

wmyers21 Jun 2018 10:14 p.m. PST

Lots to add. I will start with the last first.

Marcus Brutus: The two figures are different, subtly. Look at the crest on the helmet. The wrist on the right arm.

Yet, one would be clearly a copy (I have no idea which was made first).

In fact, another possibility is they were made at the same time and one was chosen and the other left. Then, the sculptor (one Mr. Copplestone, in this case), sells off the one that was not chosen (supposedly by Foundry, in this case).

If that is the case, then you end up with two figures almost identical. It would all depend upon the wording of the original contract with the sculptor – was it all work done being the property or was it only the selected works the property? Or some other arrangement?


Again @ Marcus Brutus – you are absolutely correct about the "assertion of fact"!

I was thinking about this after I posted late last night – a follow up explanation that just because Foundry CLAIMS they are their property does not automatically MAKE them their property.

Anyone can make claims and assertions. It is the role of the courts to make a finding based upon evidence (ideally).

Foundry can make all the claims and threats it wants but if, at the end of the day, nothing comes of it, it was not just a waste of time, it was a very real damage to anyone affected by the false assertions!

I guess the real question was did Foundry actually get their solicitor to serve papers on the date given? If not, that makes their claim very fishy (especially in light of the threats they made).

If they did serve, then what was the result of the court's findings? (or is still before the courts)

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 2:07 a.m. PST

I've not got time to chase around looking for comparison photos but the overwhelming number of Companion minis are Foundry minis with an added crest or cloak. Before I grasped that they didn't have the rights, a lot of Companion minis from all their ranges had passed through my hands. Their Romans- Foundry Romans with cloaks and huge plumes. Their Numidians- Foundry Numidians with shaggy cloaks. Spanish -slight variants on Foundry Spanish. Their Republicans- Foundry Caesarians. Shields- Foundry shields with extra green-stuff decoration.

"I was thinking about this after I posted late last night a follow up explanation that just because Foundry CLAIMS they are their property does not automatically MAKE them their property."

This is true- however it is worth noting that immediately Foundry challenged Companion, the latter withdrew the Kickstarter, so there would be no need to prosecute. One may draw one's own conclusions.

Why have Companion not recently sold their minis publicly? I would imagine this is because they are vulnerable to legal action- I should imagine that they can't produce any evidence to demonstrate that the miniatures are not pirated.

Marcus Brutus22 Jun 2018 6:18 a.m. PST

Why have Companion not recently sold their minis publicly? I would imagine this is because they are vulnerable to legal action- I should imagine that they can't produce any evidence to demonstrate that the miniatures are not pirated."

You could be correct BRB but it is also possible that the owner of Companion doesn't want the hassle for a part time business.

Piracy in the miniatures world to me is taking someone's figures and recasting as is. I am not convinced that piracy is the main issue here.

The only reason for greens, dolls or component parts to ever leave the Foundry premises is for use in official Foundry Miniatures Ltd. models by sculptors who work for Foundry from home. All the greens, dolls and component parts remain the property of Foundry Miniatures Ltd. They are not the property of the sculptor.

I found this section the most interesting part of the letter above shared by wmyers. My hunch is that this is where the real dispute lies. Not piracy per se but still potentially a claim for copyright infringement. From Foundry's perspective if Companion Miniatures withdraws production they have essentially gotten what they really want. There are lots of examples where the larger party wins not because they are right but because it isn't in the interests of the smaller party to contest.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

To me, the long-term absence of production by Companion (or whoever did the Kickstarter- that might not have been Companion) and Foundry's evident willingness to prosecute in the event of any production speaks volumes. It doesn't seem likely that we will see Companion again.

wmyers22 Jun 2018 10:54 a.m. PST

I believe a key element in the above statement by Foundry is:

"We require you to either provide evidence of the destruction of any master moulds and production moulds of the Spartacus range or send them to us to destroy."

If this did not happen, and from what Three Armies posted, it most certainly did not, and Foundry has not taken their threatened action it raises a great many questions.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 11:05 a.m. PST

Hmmm how successful was the Kickstarter? Did it exceed its goals? Was a single mini sold?

It's like Gulf War 1; do you halt, victorious, at the Iraqi border or carry on and risk getting bogged down in street fighting in Fallujah.

Marcus Brutus22 Jun 2018 12:50 p.m. PST

If Foundry wrote me such a letter I'd think long and hard whether it was worth the aggravation and money to defend a small, part time business. I don't see any indication of culpability or guilt by Companion in their shutting down the Kickstarter.

Also BRB, what do you make to Three Armies' comments?

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 1:53 p.m. PST

I saw the Spartacus minis; they were dodgy as a nine bob note.

Three Armies22 Jun 2018 4:42 p.m. PST

I built the Napoleonic stuff for him and some of the ancients. Spanish and celt cavalry I think, all from green and wire etc, I wouldn't even build that way now. So long ago I cant remember. And of course by todays standards they are aweful. As I recall at the time prior to my starting at Foundry Mr Copplestone and Foundry had fallen out, probably because he finally worked out that the Ansels were clinically mad. There was no such formal agreement which you would be forgiven for thinking this was basic! However if you upset a sculptor, then you ( Foundry) deserve everything that is coming to you. If you are looking for 'guilt' none exists dont bother. Yes the two sets of figures are the same because they are the same! And as for solicitors and legal claims you are all mad if you think sales of these figures in any one year would be enough to pay for more than an hour of a solicitors time. 'men of corn' like me are not worth it. I cant comment on the Spartacus stuff as that was nothing to do with me, and I was working for Foundry by then. My best advice, give neither of them your money and invest in new product like Perry Victrix and Three Armies, if you keep searching for old rubbish you are destroying the future of your own hobby, but then I would say that wouldn't I

wmyers22 Jun 2018 9:16 p.m. PST

@Three Armies: Yes, it is good to support new makers BUT when they do not make your period (possibly, in this case, Caesarean Romans) you start to look at what else is out there (or was out there).

wmyers22 Jun 2018 9:17 p.m. PST

I think a great deal of this issue could easily be cleared up by a statement by Mark Copplestone – did he, or did he not, sell the figures to Companion?

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 11:55 p.m. PST

Thanks Three armies- nice to have the bit of background! I never saw the Naps but I do recall that some of the Spanish were different.

Three Armies23 Jun 2018 8:19 a.m. PST

All the Romans you need are right here.https://www.victrixlimited.com/collections/roman-ancients If not look at Aventine etc.

Good luck getting Mark Copplestone to do anything.

And Copplestone sold the range to Dougie Cameron (he says) but TBH I had dealings with Mr Cameron and found him to be a total shark and a liar. So really I dont know who to believe. the one thing i can assure you is Glen Foden is a decent honest man, and has most likely been 'stung' Best advice is avoid the product like the plague.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jun 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

Thanks again- very illuminating!

wmyers23 Jun 2018 8:52 p.m. PST

Yes, thank you. It is very good to hear things from people who help put assertions and innuendo and speculation to rest.

It would be nice if people could help Glen Foden go through the stuff he has and help him determine which would be the figures to cast and sell that would not cause such consternation. I am the "Spartacus" figures were chosen because of the great interest in the period, the lack of competition, etc.

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