Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

3D printing, piracy, and Games Workshop

Midwinter Minis posted an interesting and provocative video a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t respond right away, because I wanted to take my time and think about it. I know, right? On the internet?

Here’s the video, if you didn’t see it.

On reflection I have to say it’s a good idea, but not as simple as that. The kind of thing I would support is the back catalogue of old, long out of procduction models being made available as 3D print files, and then as models sold under some kind to licence to non

If Games Workshop were to open their back catalogue to home 3D printers, they could use a license or fee per model structure. However there would need to be a considerable amount of work done to get 3D scans of the classic models, part by part, and get those ready for printing. It’s not realistic to expect Games Workshop to put the required resources into this step.

I guess it could be done in a quasi walled garden, where printers sign up some kind of deal with GW, get access to files and are expected to create more/improve what is there. Then they get to print them out for nostalgia freaks like me.

At first I wasn’t sure I would be a potential customer for this. Then I remembered this classic scorpion model, and how much would I like to use this to test out a synthwave colour scheme? A lot.

I have the four classic citadel catalogues, and in recent years I have learned not to leaf through them, because the price most models go for now is typically high, representative of their relative scarcity these days.

As Guy suggested, the idea would work best for the thoroughly out of production models, whether metal or plastic. In either case work has to be done to get these into a format ready for home 3D printers. Would it be productive for GW to do this themselves and sell classic .stl files? Honestly I don’t think so, but I could well be wrong.

I would pick up a few of these classic models if they became available for reasonable prices though.

25 comments on “3D printing, piracy, and Games Workshop

  1. Bookstooge
    March 20, 2021

    This reminds me of the days when ebooks were taking off and before publishers began selling everything in ebooks. As part of the star wars fandom back then I was part of a group that would scan and then proof edit star wars books into ebooks and then release them into the wild. By the time Lucas books got around to releasing “official” ebook releases (years later), most fans already had high quality copies.

    It takes a lot of work to get the initial work done. But then you have them for decades. I hope GW can look at the long term before dedicated fans pre-empt them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      March 20, 2021

      Yes, I think the up front work for them would be worth it, they could even get people to vote on the next models to be turned into 3D print files, build up some interest that way.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bookstooge
        March 20, 2021

        As long as people know/knew that they were in earnest about working on their back catalog I think piracy would be a much smaller issue. But if GW won’t provide, “somebody” will….

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Steve
    March 20, 2021

    I saw Guy’s video and it was very interesting, particularly since I had only become aware of the likes of recasters in the last year or so. I also watch a lot of Tabletop Minions on YouTube, and Adam has frequently brought up the point that GW are sitting on a lot of IPs and mini designs that they just aren’t doing anything with. I think it would be a great idea for them to make some of the OOP models’ files available for printing (for a fee, as you said).

    The thing is, as I believe Guy said in his video, is that there is a market for these recasters because the only alternative is being ripped off on eBay, even it’s an old model that’s been “pro painted” with a sponge, or an OOP metal mini that’s missing an arm 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      March 20, 2021

      Agreed. I think that just as with digital music, people will buy the legitimate version as soon as there is one.

      Like

    • Bookstooge
      March 20, 2021

      Off topic, but Steve, how did you like my comment? I can never see a “like” button on the comments here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steve
        March 20, 2021

        There’s a star icon to the right of the reply option, are you using the WordPress app?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bookstooge
        March 20, 2021

        No, I’m visiting the site itself using chrome. No star for me.
        Thanks for letting me know about the app. Probably the first time the app has been better than the web 😀

        Liked by 3 people

      • Steve
        March 20, 2021

        No worries, I’m equally as surprised! 😄

        Liked by 2 people

      • Azazel
        March 21, 2021

        Yeah, there’s no like button on the web version. Not sure if Dave can add that or if it’s a locked-in paart of the theme he’s running.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Bookstooge
        March 21, 2021

        Since it’s on the app, I’m guessing it’s a theme limitation?

        Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        March 21, 2021

        Turns out it was a ‘me’ limitation all along! Thanks to Azazel’s help I’ve now enabled comment likes (after only 8 years!)

        Liked by 3 people

      • Bookstooge
        March 21, 2021

        I Approve This Message!

        Liked by 1 person

      • davekay
        March 21, 2021

        Sadly it’s part of the theme that I can’t change, along with no search box on the front page. I like everything about this theme except for those two things

        Liked by 1 person

      • Azazel
        March 21, 2021

        Certainly a Theme default for sure. Just had a look:

        You can activate the Likes button by following these steps:
        Go to Jetpack → Settings in your Dashboard, then click to the “Sharing” tab.
        Scroll to the Like buttons section near the bottom of the page.
        Click the button next to “Add like buttons to your posts and pages” to toggle it on. The button will turn blue.

        Liked by 3 people

      • davekay
        March 21, 2021

        I don’t have any of those options under Jetpack. Just ‘Activity Log’ ‘Backup’ and ‘Search’, all of which provide no options other than to pay for Jetpack.

        Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        March 21, 2021

        Found it! Thanks for the help!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. One Chilled Gamer
    March 20, 2021

    This is really interesting and have to admit I hadn’t actually thought about this before. GW has been so successful recently, but this could be a danger for them if they don’t play it right as 3D printers become more and more accessible. I like the analogy from the commentor above about eBooks. Miniature companies must avoid a similar mistake but it’s hard to see how this cannot impact their bottom line. Either they need have a fee tie up for the design schematics or reduce the cost of their models to make this bootleg build approach less attractive. Time will tell!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: 3D printing, piracy, and Games Workshop — Scent of a Gamer | Ups Downs Family History

  5. Azazel
    March 21, 2021

    I watched that video, but I can’t see GW doing any of the things suggested. Scanning in old models, licencing old models… nope….
    Why?
    Same reason that they didn’t allow FFG to make models for any of their licenced games set in the Warhammer worlds – they see anything like that as direct competition to their current range, and let’s be honest – they’re smart enough to know that any official 3d model files of their stuff would be cracked (if needed) and pirated and hoarded bloody quickly.
    And let’s be honest, even people like me who buy a LOT of kits, books and magazines would collect them. Which reminds me…

    Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      March 21, 2021

      It would be nice if they did (and smart if they did, IMO) but I’m not sure they see it as a priority at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Azazel
        March 21, 2021

        I think they’d see it as licencing someone else to compete with themselves using their own IP. Simply put, if you can buy a newly produced, licenced Jes Goodiwn sculpt Chaos Champion from Dave’s Models then you’re probably not buying their latest Chaos Chosen kit from GW, and they make only a fraction of the same profit from the former…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. doom_of_the_people
    March 21, 2021

    It is interesting, I could see them doing upgrade kits or some sort of bits for in production kits. It could also be a way to keep older properties like Epic, Man O War and Inquisitor supported without too much work. I can’t see them doing old models for something they have updated though, would love some of the old WHFB again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      March 21, 2021

      Actually I saw some 10mm 3D printed warmaster style empire models earlier today on a reddit post. Honestly they looked better than the original metals

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Scent of a Gamer – Featured Blogger of the Week April 23, 2021 | Ups Downs Family History

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2021 by in 3d printing, Industry and tagged , , , .
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