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Question on recasting?


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I'm new here and I do not even have my first armor. I've been doing alot of research and I appreciate all the info everyone has offered. <br>

I understand that recasting is very much frowned upon and I completely understand why. A remaster is basically stealing someone else's work and creativity. And usually the remaster is probably profiting monetarily. <br>

My question is this, let's say I bought a TK armor or something and created a mold from that armor, then made copies of that armor. If I just used those recasts for my own personal use and did not make them to profit in any way, would that be frowned upon??<br>

I'm just asking, I've no intention of doing it. I'm not even equipped to vacuum form anything. I'm just trying to understand. Thanks!

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I can't think of any other maker subject that hits the "panic button" faster than recasting.

 

Nearly any comment, positive or negative, sparks controversy, but I believe it's worth discussion for people trying to understand.

There are obvious and blatant cases where recasting is BAD.

There are also grey areas that aren't as clear.

 

If you want understand recasting better, listen to this podcast several times:

http://www.tested.com/art/makers/451612-still-untitled-adam-savage-project-recasting-11272012/ 

 

A great "grey area" example from the podcast:

I want to make a grenade belt prop from a certain movie and an artist sells screen accurate grenades for $100 each.

A complete belt requires 10 grenades.

You could buy 10 grenades for $1000.

OR you could buy 1 grenade and recast 9 to complete your belt, but would this be frowned upon?

By definition, it's obviously recasting.

But if you're only making a single prop for yourself, then what's the harm?

 

Don't be surprised if you get a bunch of negative responses to your question. It's a touchy subject.

Listen to the podcast.

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I appreciate your reply. I'm just trying to understand, not start any controversy. <br>

Like I said, I'm not planning to cast or recast anything. I'm just trying to get a better grasp on this whole thing. I get the grey area and I'm trying to figure out how far that grey area extends. <br>

Í sort of compare this to video taping or recording TV shows, movies or music. People do it all the time for their own uses, but when they do it for profit is when there is a problem. I'm sure most everyone has recorded some sort of media for their own uses. I would think this would fall into the same grey area. <br>

Comments?

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Great analogy.

Every case is different, which is why it's sometimes very difficult to pin down a black and white, yes or no answer.

In general, I would say recasting is OK for PERSONAL USE ONLY.

That's the basic jist of the podcast.

But then, you have to wonder, where do the boundaries of personal use start and stop?

If you recast something for your collection, but then use that item at a convention as part of a costume, is that public use or personal use?

You're not making a profit wearing your costume at a convention, but what if you run into the person who made the original prop?

What if a fan walks up and asks where you got the item or if you could make one for them?

Potentially, the beginning of a slippery slope...

You might think maybe you could make just one more for your new friend...

But they might share their new prop publicly, and before you know it, things spiral out of control, you're labeled a recaster and banned from forums.

I've witnessed it happening on this forum and a few others.

 

Use your BEST judgement.

If you're only trying to understand the issue, then good for you.

If you're fishing for approval to recast, then you're likely crossing a line.

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No I'm just trying to understand the issue. I don't have the equipment needed to do the work, nor the space to use it and probably more importantly I don't have the time or money that would require of me. <br>

I would much rather just buy a kit. It be much simpler for me.

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1- why would you make copies of something you already have?

 

2- why would you make more than one?

 

3-given that even making a back up for yourself is taking money out of the pocket of the person who's armour you copied, I'd call it recasting and sketchy.

 

Personally I want five more pairs of ata shoulder bells to paint in fundraising colours / branding for the special events I always attend. But I'd never copy them. One of these days I'll get around to asking him to sell me give more set.

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OR you could buy 1 grenade and recast 9 to complete your belt, but would this be frowned upon?

By definition, it's obviously recasting.

But if you're only making a single prop for yourself, then what's the harm?

 

I don't see it that way. 

Hfx are making E-11 blasters with the same scope and sterling for cast. Is that recasting, and bad - since they are selling this with a profit?

They got the real parts, and are making these things for others to enjoy.

Edited by Ryth_
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Good point.  In my opinion, your example is a different scenario.

 

In my example, an artist created a grenade sculpture.

In your example, the scope and counter are known objects.

Is there a difference, even if it's only very slight?

I suppose it's possible Mr. Hengstler could consider his counters as sculptures?

 

I think counters, scopes and gun parts that are molded don't count as recasting.

Otherwise, Doopy-Doo and a lot of others could be considered recasters.

 

I read an argument several months ago claiming any stormtrooper armor derived from original armor is recast.

This comment occurred in the middle of a heated discussion between two members, and whether I like it or not, the statement does have some merit.

So why do people who hate recasting accept armor with lineage that traces back to the suit found in the dumpster?

 

The problem with recasting discussions is the infinite number of scenarios you could dream up usually results in differences of opinion (and why these threads usually end up locked).

I'm just trying to offer advice and answers for someone who asked.

The podcast link I provided is probably the most level headed discussion I've ever heard about recasting.

I've listened to it several times because I believe it contains valuable information and ideas.

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I did listen to the podcast and thank you for posting it. It was very informative. <br>

I agree with Mr Savage in that I think it's a case by case basis. <br>

I build and repair guns in my spare time. I do this for myself only and no one else. <br>

I sometimes make my own parts. If I have a failed part in one of my guns and make a replacement, I am copying someone else's design. Like I said it is for me and my uses only. I don't do it for anyone else, nor do I profit in any way. I do not do it for friends or family. Myself alone.<br>

I would think this is comparable to recasting for your own uses. Much like the recording of media as I mentioned above. <br>

Why would I want more than one of something I already have was the question posed above. I never said I wanted more than one. I was just trying to understand this and get options from others. <br>

But I don't think asking why I would want more than one of anything a good question.<br>

I have some guns that I own more than one of. Why do I want more than one? Because I just do. Seems a simple answer, but that is the reason why I have more than one. I'm a collector. Collectors sometimes have more than one of something they enjoy collecting. <br>

I would ask that we keep this civil and share opinions and ideas. We may not agree, but we should remain civil. This is a learning experience for me and hopefully others will learn as well. <br>

I do appreciate the comments thus far and value everyone's opinions. Thank you!

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TL:DR - Without getting into the moral issues, let's just talk about what people know. Dollars.

 

I've worked on enough props and costumes to know what's involved and I've done my fair share of vacuforming (from old school on-the-oven, to heaters to more production savvy setups), so I know fair and well what things cost.

It's going to cost you more to recast something than it would be to just buy another set of armour. A lot more. And that's not counting any of your time invested.
 

Read on if you want to know more.

 

=========

 

Long version:

A lot of people think vacuforming is like an Easy-Bake Oven. You plug this thing in and it just works. Couldn't be further from the truth.

 

If you're spending thousands to tens of thousands to get a professional vacuform machine, that might be the case. But there goes your "tens of thousands of dollars" when you could have bought a ton of armor.

 

Let's talk molds (or bucks as they are called) first. Say you're recasting, how are you going to do it? What materials do you need? Casting materials, mold making materials, mold releases, wood supports, hardware, etc. It's not rocket science or sorcery, go look up materials from Smooth on or other supply shops. Find out how much mold material you need to recast and do the math. The volume is incredibly deceptive in terms of how much you think you will use.

 

Even with the cheapest materials, multiply that times every piece of armour and do the math. You're looking at many, many dollars before you've even pulled a piece of plastic.

Let's pretend for a second that you have a setup at home using your oven, a plastic clamping frame and a couple shop vacs. I did this years ago for other costumes I've made, and it's a sketchy process. It really only works well for styrene / HIPS and even then, you're limited by oven size and vacuum. Many ovens are not big enough to properly accommodate molds that are TK part sized.

So assuming your setup works, you're going to try ABS because it's nice and shiny and you want a decent gauge of plastic. Try that in your setup. It's not going to work consistently because ABS is tougher to vac form in a decent thickness than HIPS. Consistent heat all over the plastic and strong vacuum are key. ABS also costs much more than HIPS too. 

Since we're talking about plastic, try finding smooth both sides ABS in the right thickness without a minimum order from a plastics supplier. Get a quote on that and multiply that times every piece of TK armor. There's your plastic cost for one suit. Maybe...

So now you're either vac forming in HIPS or ABS, but you have to use a thinner gauge because you don't have consistent heat and a good vacuum source. Let's just say you're getting it to work somewhat inconsistently. Now you're using 40% more plastic than a full kit needs because you have failed pulls etc. So now your cost of plastic is $XXXXX

Don't forget the cost of electricity, other tools and supplies you may need etc. and simply do the math. You'll soon realize you could have bought multiple armor kits with just the costs, not counting your own personal time.

 

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Even for a small resin object like the grenade Adam Savage was talking about, if you're only going to make 1 for your "spare", it doesn't make financial sense. Just the silicone and resin you need will set you back that $100 a "legit" 2nd grenade would cost. And then you'd have resin and silicone left overs that you don't need. And it will quickly go bad and become useless.

 

So you'd have to make more than 1 spare. And what are you going to do with all the spares you made just to use up all that leftover resin? Surely you don't need 10 spares? Sell them? Boom, you've just become the bad kind of recaster. You could give them away to your friends who might be doing the same costume. It makes sense, right? But then the guy you've recast looses out on potential customers, and that's almost as  bad as selling them yourself.

 

So there's a very, very narrow corridor of scenarios where you can justify recasting, and not either go immoral or put up with a great loss of money and/or time + effort instead of just supporting the artists themselves and keep living a cosy life yourself.

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Let me pose another question that fits this discussion if I may. <br>

I'm assuming that when you recast, you make a mold somehow from the original piece. I would assume if you put the original in a vacuum machine and tried to cast from that, that you would destroy the original. Is this correct? <br>

Assuming I am correct and you have to make a mold from the original to use and you did that, your recasting. <br>

Let's say somebody had the equipment to do a 3D scan of the original and them using a 3D printer, printed off a copy of the original to use as a mold. Then used that 3D printed mold to cast, wouldn't that be recasting as well?

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If you don't have permission to make copies of the item you're copying, you're recasting whichever way you do it.

 

RS who made moulds from the original stormtrooper armour they own, that was made for the movie and used in it are also recasting. But it's generally, and widely accepted that if you own an original prop you can make copies of it. Although there is certainly some debate on this issue as well, especially for more recent movies that aren't 40 years old already.

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Let me pose another question that fits this discussion if I may. <br>

I'm assuming that when you recast, you make a mold somehow from the original piece. I would assume if you put the original in a vacuum machine and tried to cast from that, that you would destroy the original. Is this correct? <br>

Assuming I am correct and you have to make a mold from the original to use and you did that, your recasting. <br>

Let's say somebody had the equipment to do a 3D scan of the original and them using a 3D printer, printed off a copy of the original to use as a mold. Then used that 3D printed mold to cast, wouldn't that be recasting as well?

 

You can't vacuform over an existing piece, you lose a lot of detail forming on top. You need to make a mold from the inside of the original.

 

3D scanning does not give you a "ready to go" result. Scanning gives you a point cloud in 3D which looks like a fuzzy ball of dots in 3D space. This is not good for a one-to-one print. It would need to be remodelled in 3D. 

 

When you 3D print, you only print a shell, you don't print a solid filled object as that would take forever and cost a lot in material.  PLA is not strong enough to form over, the heat will damage it. You could try and print in ABS. So now you need to make a more solid version of your print, either by making a negative mold or some other solution. So 3D printing is only an intermediary step. This is even more work and time and resources.

 

"Digital recasting" is not condoned in some circles because you're still standing on the shoulders and taking the preliminary work of someone else.

Edited by pandatrooper
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  • 4 weeks later...

After being here and some other related forums, I have a better understanding of this whole recast discussion. <br>

Let me share my personal incident. <br>

I recently bought a AM 2.0 kit. I haven't unpacked everything, as I'm only pulling out and unwrapping parts as I work on my build. But as I look at the parts and learn more of what it takes to create this work of art, I'm left very impressed with the work and skill involved in creating this piece of art.<br>

A person I know, found out I got this kit. This person asked me if he could copy the parts before I assembled it, so he could make his own kit. <br>

I unfortunately had to tell him, "absolutely hell no". He was puzzled at my response, so I explained it to him or at least tried to explain. Not really sure if I got through to him. I have alot of respect for the person or persons who created this armor. If I allowed someone to copy my armor, I think I would not only be helping in a theft, but I would be totally disrespecting the artist or artists. I'm not going to have a part in that. <br>

I do want to thank everyone here who helped educate me. Thanks everyone!!

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"A person I know, found out I got this kit. This person asked me if he could copy the parts before I assembled it, so he could make his own kit. <br>
I unfortunately had to tell him, "absolutely hell no". He was puzzled at my response, so I explained it to him or at least tried to explain. Not really sure if I got through to him. I have alot of respect for the person or persons who created this armor. If I allowed someone to copy my armor, I think I would not only be helping in a theft, but I would be totally disrespecting the artist or artists. I'm not going to have a part in that."

 

Well said, Ron, and well done.  Even though you haven't completed your armor yet, and you are already on the right track to becoming a terrific member of the 501st family, and the kind of Trooper we look forward to having in the ranks!!

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"A person I know, found out I got this kit. This person asked me if he could copy the parts before I assembled it, so he could make his own kit. <br>

I unfortunately had to tell him, "absolutely hell no". He was puzzled at my response, so I explained it to him or at least tried to explain. Not really sure if I got through to him. I have alot of respect for the person or persons who created this armor. If I allowed someone to copy my armor, I think I would not only be helping in a theft, but I would be totally disrespecting the artist or artists. I'm not going to have a part in that."

 

Well said, Ron, and well done. Even though you haven't completed your armor yet, and you are already on the right track to becoming a terrific member of the 501st family, and the kind of Trooper we look forward to having in the ranks!!

Thank you and I very much look forward to joining the ranks!
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