Ethics question - Scanning kits

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by Wily, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Wily

    Wily Member

    I buy cardmodels.

    But given technology and my ability with Photoshop, I am often able to color a design more to my satisfaction than the coloring on the purchased model.

    So, I scan them and recolor the artwork.

    This has probably been brought up before - right now, I am too lazy to sift through threads...

    Anyway, what is the consensus on the "ethics" of coloring kits for private use?
  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    as long as you do not distribute the recolored files you are good.

    and there is something about destroying the files or the preprinted kit after building

    but I will let those who know more about it speak about it

  3. 46rob

    46rob Member

    Fiddlers Green encourages it. Send them back a recolored model and it's usually worth a few months of MK's or a cd. that's why a black and white is included with most models.
  4. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    Let's phrase this a bit differently. What are the ethics of painting a plastic model differently than the kit instructions direct? What are the ethics of making a mold of a part from a plastic kit, making a wax casting from the mold, then reworking that wax casting to add detail or accuracy, make another, more permanent mold from that, reproducing God-knows-how-many resin parts, and then selling them as aftermarket parts? What are the ethics of making your own decals and applying them to a plastic kit? What are the ethics of combining parts (with or without modification) from several plastic kits to create a model that none of the kit designers ever envisioned? I've been reading plastic model magazines, balsa-wood model magazines, etc., for well over 50 years and, short of outright piracy, have never seen any concern expressed about the legality of such practices, much less the ethics. Bottom line....whatever you do with a model kit for personal use only is every bit as ethical as using a set of copyrighted mechanical drawings to base a paper model design on without prior permission of the copyright holder, producing a model kit of an actual copyrighted or patent-protected device, object, name, etc. without prior permission of the copyright or patent holder, and then selling such a kit as "my own, copyrighted intellectual property".......and a damn sight more legal, to boot.
  5. hpept

    hpept Member

    I totally agree with Darwin. Ethics is something so important that even using this word applied to card modelling seems too much to me. Abortion, euthanasia, contracception, famine, war are things which involve ethics. I hope our hobby is a much more "light" subject that we can deal without feeling guilty if we copy or reproduce something, as long and we don't take economical advantage on the back of other people. Be happy.
  6. As a designer of papermodels, I would like to say this.

    Apart from the simple fact, that it's simply impossible to control what happens to my models after they are being downloaded, I regard it as a compliment that others put effort in my designs to improve them further. But it is also a bit of a mixed feeling. I have put a lot of creative work in my models, and thus seeing that altered by someone to better suit their taste, could make me a tad sad. But as long as someone doesn't steal the design altogether and publish it as their own, I don't mind.

    But remember that you're playing with someone's creative baby. When showing the altered work in public, at least give the designer the credit he or she deserves. It's just a matter of politeness, really. The world could use a lot more of that, nowadays.

  7. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member


    Hi all,

    I´d have to agree with Sheila on that one - credit where credit is due.
    I frequently scan (and enlarge) card models that I buy and I sometimes do quite extensive touching up and some colour alterations on those models.
    As long as I print and build a copy for myself, I feel good about it.

    However, I wouldn´t dream of showing a model like this at let´s say an international exhibition of card models, without giving credit to the designer of the original model and stating what alterations I have made.
    Mass-printing and distribution (for profit) of an 'enhanced' version, without the consent of the designer, however, is of course nothing less than theft.

    It´s a different thing altogether with the card models at Fiddlers Green, where modellers are encouraged to improve on or invent new colour schemes and, furthermore, are being thanked and rewarded for doing it.

  8. Wily

    Wily Member

    Thank you for your comments.

    Though there are certainly more important and urgent issues in the world, this small one was important enough for me to ask.

    Best regards - :)
  9. lrjanzen

    lrjanzen Member

    I think everyone is seeing the implications of the digital age. If it can be digitized it will be and after that control of the material becomes very problematic. The examples of the recording industry, game creators ect show how difficult this problem can be. I am still waiting for someone to propose a business model for a digitizable industry that will work.

    I have spent a lot of time in the digital world of Auran Trainz and issues like this are discussed quite a bit. The big issue is what is called re skinning. Someone creates a frame of a locomotive (the really hard, creative work) and applies a certain paint scheme to it. Someone downloads the file and puts a different one on it. No one has an issue with this if it is for yourself. The question is can you upload it with the new scheme to the download area. You get no money for this, but support the group. Some feel that as long as their efforts are acknowledge they have no problem others want the work pulled. In the art world the usual practice is to add "After...") in the tiles. If I repaint a Van Gogh but change the color I would title it "My Stary Night After Van Gogh"

    Here we have the problem of companies trying to make a profit on the efforts. Slightly different issue. It will be interesting to see how well they will do when their work can be digitized and posted. Just try doing a KAD network search on "card model" and you will find over 300 returns. I do not think anyone who has bought a kit and scans it to alter color, put on different paper or have a backup for tough parts should have any guilt. I agree with Bengt if you do that the original designer should get credit for the time an effort they put in. I would say if you "kit bash" a model, just give a list of credits.

    After market addins are a little tricky. Some of the techniques Darwin mentions wold be questionable for me if I was looking at selling them. I wold have no problem for my own use thought. If I create a canopy form scratch for someone else's model then I see no problem.

    Like most ethical issues it is up to each of us to draw the line for ourselves. If you want to continue to have quality models to be created and produced then you have to support those companies or artists (designers are artists) who make it all possible. I am new here, but I would guess that the companies that print the models we build are not in a position to make a major anti-copyright assault aka RIAA. It is use the users interest to keep the models flowing.

    Just a few brain droppings...
  10. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Ethics; Re-colouring and 'Add-ons'


    Interesting droppings, indeed . . .

    The "after" addition to an original design is a good idea, in my opinion - it gives proper credit to the work done by the original designer and also defines the added work by someone else.

    It is of course also a lot easier to embrace creative new colour schemes or add-ons, which improve the original work rather than making it less attractive. Here´s a very good example of this, from the "New Fokker E-III" thread:
    Dutch card model designer Richard Shulten has made significant improvements on the cowling of the models from and also shares his new wonderful 9-cyl rotary engine models, to greatly enhance the end result:

    So, credit goes to both designers.
    The same would apply if you would enhance the look of the cowling with metal duct tape or change the overall colour, pattern or designation lettering - it´s not the original model anymore (made from the parts on the original sheets) but an enhanced 'mix' of parts or work by different talents, all for the better of the desired end result.

    There´s an old saying: "there is nothing new under the sun" -but isn´t it just this that we´re trying so hard to explore - the endless possibilities of adjusting, adding, reshaping, recolouring and refining, adding our own mark to the piece of art that we create with our minds and hands?

    Creativity knows no restrictions,

    Best regards,
  11. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Yeah I liked the droppings too!

    Everyone must realized that with every technological advancement these questions have always flared up. Usually it comes down to who is bigger and has the money to fight or back up(sometimes with BS Facts!) their claims or ownerships and therefor rights to market a product.

    Art is one thing that doesn't fall under the legalistic/capitalistic ownership problems.......... if you make a copy of a Van Gogh and sell it not as a copy but original you will go to jail.

    Making a model and selling it is not the same as art, otherwise whoever made if first regardless of the scale (1 to 1 came first) owns it and everything else after that is a copy and therefor should not be sold.

    The thread on the bill before the US on paying royalties to aircraft or military manufacture for the rights to make a model of "their" product is an example of this.

    Even though we have artist (and very good ones I might add) in our hobby, it is not ART and therefor is not protected. Anyone can (and because pirate sites exist) and does put out copyrighted/not owned by them material and get away with it. Unless someone fights it or the owners pony up the money to a lawyer and sues the person...... it goes on.

    It is up to us as users of the hobby to help police it. But with that being said, we really do not have authority to actually stop people who do this. The problems with ebay and people selling mis-represented products there is a very good example.

    So Darwin does have a point, making a re-color or addition to a model is and should not be a problem punished by black-balling............and Sheila & Bengt do too, we should recognize the original owner/publisher of the product whenever a change is made. AND that new product should not be allowed to be sold unless the original owner give their permission. So just re-coloring a card model doesn't give you the right to publish it or sell it unless permission has been granted.

    Making add-on parts like canopies, or additional sheets are a completely different story and a person should not have to obtain permission to distribute, either free or with a cost, from the original owner.

    We must make sure that this hobby stays fun, but also we have a responsibility to help designers protect their work if possible.

    Or else we will NOT have designers..................

    My opinion.

  12. lrjanzen

    lrjanzen Member

    From an art point of view a museum can control reproduction of a work it owns unless it falls under "fair use".

    In an ideal wired world we could download a model over the internet. As a hobbyist makes changes they could be submitted to the artist/publisher who could then update the available files. You might even get a "subscription" to a model so you could download improvements as they are made available. Just a thought

    Other wise I agree we must not get too wrapped up in all the nasty legal issues. It can become paralyzing especially here in the USA.:( If you have to be a legal expert to enjoy your hobby...

Share This Page