I offer today a two part preamble. First, we will see the resurgence of modelling related posts in the near future. I am away for two weeks of training for work and somehow doubt the hotel staff would be too impressed with my converting their room into a make-shift hobby area.
Second, I recognize the legal challenges of this subject. To be quite blunt, it is illegal and just as downloading music, video games and films, it degrades the artistic and intellectual value of what is taken. It also takes money out of the pockets of those that supply us with what we crave; biting the hand that feeds so to speak. I know there are people who knowingly purchase recasts and those who are indifferent as to whether it is valid or not if the quality is present. To you I offer no judgement. Do as you wish with the contents of your wallet.
With that stated and out of the way I wanted to delve deeper into a periphery industry that surrounds all areas of Games Workshop but is particularly prevalent when it comes to Forge World products. Forge World to me represents the very best creativity, quality and fluff present under any of Games Workshop’s product lines. At the same time that I am an adamant supporter of the product, that is almost countered by the lack of access. Periodic orders I offer them are typically late (in some cases by years!) and I have had some dubious customer service (and some fantastic customer service). In spite of that, what I have received and what I plan to buy in the future is in the good faith that their quality compensates for the lack of convenience.
I would never knowingly purchase recasts of any Forge World, Games Workshop or similar product. As such I am very reserved about purchasing anything off of eBay labelled as Forge World. There are certainly obvious recasts wherein the price is too good to be true, or the quantity being sold is enough to cover a distribution network, but there are many more that are simply too difficult to be certain. A sealed clam-shell is reasonably safe, but in most non sealed cases there is no way to be absolutely sure that it is a 100% valid and genuine product that someone simply does not need or want.
Recently while exploring eBay for deals I came across a unique scenario I had not previously thought of and it certainly tugged on the tiny black heart strings of sentimentality and thoughts of “I should have bought that when I had the chance”.
From what I understand of the manufacturing process, the resin molds created by Forge World are not typically remade. Meaning that once a mold breaks and the remaining product is sold, it is simply gone, never again to return on their site. There is not normally any advance notice. One day it is there. The next it is gone.
The discoveries on eBay, that were clearly recasts based upon the fact that Forge World had not produced them in years, the seller’s geographic location, the quantity available and the reasonable price, led me to the logical conclusion that the items must be recasts.
That is what led to the question I have been wrestling with. My two-part preamble still standing, what happens when the item in question is fully discontinued with no intention of ever coming back? Does the black lose a shade of black? Does it become grey?
Certainly the items in question from a copyright and intellectual property standpoint belong to Games Workshop. In fact they are in Imperial Armour books that have not been invalidated or replaced during the seventh edition. It is also likely that they exist on other areas of the GW canon; Black Library and FFG Roleplaying Games. Yet no model is available anymore and has not been for several years.
I know I have the answer with regards to legality, but for the collector/painter/hobby enthusiast inside me who values the concept, art and final product it becomes more murky.