March 31, 2001IT'S ALL IN THE WORD!
Most folks in this hobby believe that, "Recasting another person's kit that are currently in production and selling said copies for less than the original is BAD!"
But when they put that thought to speech, it tumbles outta their mouths as, "Recasts are BAD!"
They attempt, usually very valiantly (and very LOUDLY), to put all the worlds evil in the Modeling Hobby onto this one little word, RECAST.
This results in some quandry when later on in the discussion the conversation wanders to another kit which happens to also be recast, but the original has been out of production for so many years that they find they can't bring themselves to utter the dreaded 'Bad Word'.
So what do they do...they revert to making up other words that mean the same thing as 'recast', but won't sound nasty or dirty or bad. Words like, 're-engineered, or 'reproduced'.
Polar Lights' reproduce Aurora's La Guillotine, or Python Press re-engineered the Aurora 'Wonder Woman'.
Everyone knows both kits were recast! That the original Aurora molds over the years have been lost, and to get the kits back on the market one had to acquire an original stryene version and make new molds up inorder to produce more castings.
But saying that Polar Lights recast, is akin to calling the color Black, Negro!
Appears the average Joe Modeler is just too stupid and ignorant to know the difference between a 'Good' recast and a 'Bad' recast. So we'll use words that won't frazzle his brain cells to much by using safe alternative labels. And joy will ring out in every Hobby Shoppe, and the birds will chirp and the bees will continue to buzz and life will all be Disney.
I attended a dinner party the other night with my co-workers and their spouses, and found myself sitting next to the husband of my senior administrator.
To make polite conversation, as we downed our third rum & coke, I asked what line of work he was in. He replied that he was a professor teaching 'Ethical Law'.
I was hooked...instantly!!
"Pray tell, kind sir, how does one go about teaching Ethics?", I asked.
Over the next thirty minutes he told me it wasn't so much 'teaching' right from wrong, as it was giving endless examples of ethical situations and asking each person what road they'd go down.
He remarked at one point, that after teaching this course over the last three years, if the message the kids were walking away with in the end wasn't, "Don't Get Caught!" (Granted, by this time we both had far too many rum & cokes!!)
But in my slightly drunken state, I couldn't get the Recast Debate out of my mind. For isn't it one of 'ethics' that determines whether any particular Recast is Good or Bad?
And the danger of granting the kinder words like 'reproducer' to one and 'recaster' to another is that we don't know whose doing the granting! Or even whose using the terms to describe what they do.
If a person is making a recast of an in-production kit and undersells the original producer, and puts it up on eBay as a 'reproduction', is it now okay?
Of course not!! The turd is still taking someone else's hard work, copying the casting to make new molds and producing new kits without having to worry about sculptor fees, licensing fees, box art, etc...etc...etc!
So the next time you want to praise or denounce a certain kit, it's okay to use the word 'Recast'. Just prefix the word with the message you want to get across...here, let me help you with some examples! (Feel free to use as the situation calls for!)
In this way you just might save us all from having to go through another endless spat of emails on our favorite Modeling List!!