Reverse Engineering

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by GyverX, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. GyverX

    GyverX Member

    I had a thought and wanted to get a consensus of the idea.

    Most free models are in two forms. Adobe PDF and Jpg format images. Why couldn’t these models be Reverse Engineered? I’m not talking about changing something here or something there. I’m talking about printing out the original model and drawing it by hand to get an idea of what you are doing and then adding and improving to it. Even making a scale on the image to better facilitate a scale when built. Then making a digital image of it. The thought came to me in two phases. One, the model I had in thought was not the best idea and could have been approved on and added to greatly. Some of the things thought of to add or modify was things like. Head lights, Window imagery, Grills, and anything else that a capable person can think of and implement. The second is scale, The idea came across me by thinking about how fiddler Greens models are made on the image to represent a specific scale and made to be reduced and enlarged to fit a scale such as N, HO, and what not.

    Ok, I know this is a touchy subject, but lets say you did this. You redrew the who model and made significant upgrades and changes. If you were to print both the original and new models there were a few similarities. Now keep in mind that just about everything was changed about the model but the basic principle of the idea came from an original created by some one else.

    Releasing the model:
    So now comes the morality of it all. Do you keep it for your self and share only with your closest friends. or do you officially release it? Keep in mind what you have done to the model!.

    You may ask as I did to myself, how far did you change it? Well, How much change of a model would you consider enough to be released as a new design or new model?

    I know that this is a touchy subject, and borders on the “Piracy†thought of things. I would really like to get an idea of the thoughts of others on this. If I didn’t care about what other people thought of this than I wouldn’t of cared to even write this post.

    Please post your thoughts and opinions.
  2. Ron

    Ron Member


    You're's touchy :)

    For yourself, there would be no problem. If your friends downloaded it from the same source you did, I'm sure there wouldn't be any problems sharing the changes either. Marketing it or releasing the full kit will pose problems without the designer's consent. Ask permission. I'm sure most designers that release their models for free would be easy going about giving out the modded parts if not the whole thing as long as the appropriate credit and links are given. I'm really not one to say as I don't design but I've found that most people respond positively when approached first. Marek's Pfalz is a perfect example. DeWayne markets Marek's kits unlocked so that you can modify to your heart's content.
    Marek's Pfalz was as detailed as can be so nothing was needed in new parts or improvements but the change in the paint job was released as an overlay. You can do what is needed to the original to remove the existing paint job and slide the one I did directly over the opened file.
    It's hard to explain but you know what I mean. This way, no-one's rights were infringed upon, Marek and DeWayne like the job and all was happy.

    Dewayne, feel free to add to this one if you want :)

    Sorry for the ramble.


    ARMORMAN Guest

    As I am in the middle of this right now, it depends on what the original publisher says. My first paper models that I drew (or redrew, in this case) were for Fiddler's Green (P-47, Grass Hopper, Bird Dog - just released) and that was a request from Chip, so they're his.

    The current one I am working on is Ninjatoes' Defiant. I completely redrew the model and have just finished making some modifications to the original design to make it fit better and make it more accurate to the studio model.
    I am now making the assembly directions (AD) to go with the model (do I sound like a former Technical Illustrator?). I have been in contact with Ninjatoes throughout the process and he is 100% behind this project.

    So, I would secure the "Okey dokey" from whoever you're borrowing from (unless the change is so extreme as to make it unrecognizable) before you do a general release (I would like to see what you did, though).

    Just my five cents (two cents adjusted for inflation).
  4. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    If you are going to do so much additional work, why not go the whole hog and design your own model from scratch? This way, no-one elses copyright is going to be infringed and you are free to distribute it how you please. I usually find the vast bulk of the effort goes into the painting and instruction sheets of such a model, the actual model structure itself is the easy bit.

    Tim P
  5. In a related topic. You want to scale up a model from one scale to the next. Lets say one of Roman's ships or planes from Digital Navy. They are in a read only pdf file and are 1/250th. Sure you can cut and paste into anthor application but then the ugly bitmap to vector question raises its ugly head. Maybe I'm having a period of brain fade but I just can't seem to accomplish it lately. And I just printed up Lief's sacling article :? :? :? :? :? :? :? :?
  6. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    If the scale increase is not too much (250th to 200th, say) just get the images printed out on bigger paper. I did this with PaperLabs Subchaser, and it worked fine. Problem was, of course, finding a printer to handle big paper, but I used our office colour laser. That was when I discovered the limitations of laser print-out; ugh....

    Great excuse to buy a large format inkjet though! Pity I have yet to convince my wife that we need an A3+ Epson, but I am working on it.

    Tim P

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