Updated 9/20/18: I just spoke with the US representative for Scale 75 on the phone. We had a good conversation about this with some answers to our questions. Coming soon, we hope, will be a statement from Scale 75 explaining what happened in the past and what changes they have done to fix things.
On 9/18/18, a sculptor named Raul Garcia Latorre, had an anti piracy rant on his Facebook that morphed into an anti piracy campaign after seeing one of his models being sold on a recasters site, having sold three times the number of models that he had sold (original article here). This is great because it brings attention to something that has become a massive problem in this industry. As of the writing of this article, it has garnered over 1050 likes, 200 comments, and 479 shares. Eleven hours later, Scale 75 posted their own opinion on the piracy of miniatures. (original post here). Normally I could have looked over this, they are just wanting to throw their support behind an idea which is great because this is a great topic to bring up, to put a human face to the victim.
In light of this new “miniature piracy” campaign, I want to bring something else to the forefront of the miniature community. Yes I understand that miniature piracy is a huge concern. I have many personal friends that are sculptors and small one man or family owned companies. I myself know some of the pain that comes to artists when we are asked to make something and don’t get paid enough for our work. But for a company to write a statement about “miniature piracy” and yet commit “concept art piracy”? I feel like this should be brought up to the forefront as a bigger company that is starting to get more noise connected with it.
Back in May 2017, Scale 75 launched their Naughty Gears Kickstarter. I had originally thought that some of the models were amazing and I wanted to back it (though their write ups were horrendous). Some big controversy came up that Scale 75 had allegedly stolen some great concept artwork and created minis out of them without due credit. While I understand that a lot of art is “getting inspired” by others, outright copying without permission from the original artist should constitutes as stealing, is that not correct? Is this not still a form of art piracy?
When they are confronted with the evidence, they hide behind the veil of “oh we changed the gun a bit and the angle of the head”. I do not condone the attitude of “oh we will profit from this while we can and then get rid of it when we can’t” (See models above that are no longer available on their website because they where asked to remove them). I am also am not pleased with the “let’s sweep it under the rug, let’s move on” attitude.
This makes me angry as much as miniature piracy. THEREFORE I want a clear answer from Scale 75 about this before they, once again, get credited for something that they are, in my opinion, hypocrites of. This is not acceptable! If you use a persons artwork as inspiration, the least a company, any company can do is reach out to them, credit them. This is a time where we should all be working together as a community not against each there. I hope more companies see this and take it to heart to be more upfront about and give credit to artists they are working with.
I leave it now to Scale 75 to give us all a sincere answer of why they did what they did and as a company how they are going to move forward.
A special thanks to all of those who reached out to us and provided up further evidence that we did not have in the first place. Your help and support means a lot to us. Special thanks to Kyle for the image bashups!