Modeler Magic’s Art Form Business Relation Suggestions, and POLICIES & PROCEDURES

First, I wish to thank you all for participating in this art form… it is you that determine where it shall go, and I am grateful to you all.

Welcome to 2019 and even more years (and decades) of fine art to come.

In the decades having traversed this art form, I have learned many things I hope may be passed along. After all… I will not be here to run this place forever…. and another will inevitably then implement their own ideas within this great art form…. which is an art form that all of you continue to shape.

This is a rather long read… I invite you all to do so that you may know where I stand, and thus what Modeler Magic acts upon of most subjects in this art form. My apology for any negativity. It is sometimes necessary to state what is wrong to see what is right.

Suggestion, in our world today… often comes with the price of being labeled in accordance to those whom would hear or read those suggestions made. It all comes down to who the person is giving the suggestion, and who the person is receiving it. And, of course, what is being suggested. I state this because it is ones personal perception that creates the pathways we may take. No matter what, each of us has our own way of thinking, and our own path that we shall choose.

Of all things I have come to know that nobody if perfect. That is especially true in the art form we are in. We walk a very thin line of what is good for us personally versus what is actually legal. In the decades I have been involved with this art form, along with many of you, we have seen just about everything that may come from it, or be caused from within it. This is both in tragedy and triumph. Like many of you, I have been involved in both. Of this knowledge, I created Modeler Magic to concentrate on those triumphs we all have, while also concentrating behind the scenes on how to uplift those areas, and artists that may have fallen behind in it all,… those who are trapped in the unseen quicksand that consumes many.

Rather than outline what the title of this page is “Policies and Procedures”, I will simply state those beliefs Modeler Magic practices, allowing you all to know where we stand, and what we do about certain things that may arise that many are sometimes disturbed about.

Professionalism

First and foremost Modeler Magic expects Professionalism for any and all who participate within the art form. Does this mean we as an art form are 100% Professional? No…. and that shall never be true. Therefore all of us should be prepared to encounter those situations that may present themselves…. be them bad, or good.

Professionalism expected (in our opinion anyway) means everything of who we are, and what we shall further become. For Modeler Magic expectations, there are these:

  • Always come through with your own side of a deal made.
  • Remain nice throughout the entire process. (A Learned Trait)
  • Quality should always reign.
  • Be on time with what you agree to.
  • Communicate well throughout the entire transaction.
  • KNOW that YOU are fully responsible for your side of an agreement.
  • EVERYTHING goes in writing or type set. Emails work as legal binding contract.
  • Utilize known third party protection, such as PayPal, for any money transaction. It is absolute if used correctly, and also serves as Witness.

These are only some of what makes Professionalism part of a business, or a personal deal successful. I am sure I am missing something important, and because I am not perfect… I may add to this later.

…Stuck Between the Rock and the Hard Place…

Speaking of the quicksand I mentioned…. one may wonder what I speak of. We obviously are all involved in an amazing art form, with fantastic creative minds and talent behind it all. Much of what we concentrate on fills our hearts and minds with excitement, just as it did when I was a child….. do you remember that feeling? I think you do… which is why you are in this art form today being creative.

There are more ways today to make those things we admired so much back then…to be something we may actually have! Public excitement begins with an artist that stands up to create a kit of the subject we may want…. with legal license, or without legal license. Regardless of such license, if that kit is something people want, an out-pour of great response emerges as the plans are announced…. and excitement reigns. Now is when the possibility of error begins. The Kit Maker (Artist) suddenly finds great support to make what he just announced, albeit without the funding he would need to create it. Let’s face it… most Garage Kit Makers work financially behind from one month to the next… like most of us do.

Thus emerges the “Pre Order”, creating funds that are made available to create the kit. It is this offer that often entices people with far better pricing to get in on the ground floor of this specific kit. What is most interesting is that so many of us get in a frenzy over the potential kit, that we begin throwing money toward the kit maker in the hope that we might be first on their list, or get on the list at all. Heh heh… I smile in light frustration as I type this…. as the truth is that being ‘first’ often does not truly happen to that person that position is promised to. Quite honestly… I have learned one will be better off with the third or fourth pulls anyway. Back on point…. the kit maker then makes the kit patterns, yet then is left without funding for resin or rubber to actually make the kit from the patterns he just made. He survived on the ‘pre-order’ funds while making the patterns.

Keep in mind that this does not always happen, but in many cases… it is how sinking in the quicksand begins. What happens next are choices to further the project…in other words, more possible  ‘good intention’ errors that are commonly now made…

Kit sales thus begin (at a reduced rate) to now get the funds for the rubber and resin to actually make the kit. Now the Kit Maker is in debt with those “pre-order” kits he sold, and the current kits he is now taking money on.

This cycle down that Rabbit hole repeats itself over and over…. sinking that artist deeper and deeper. All of us initially throwing money toward the project to get what we wanted had forgotten that this was a one man operation, only thinking of our own order rather than the 100 orders this Kit Maker now has to fulfill after taking the money, and using some of that money to live on. The modern day INTERNET made those mass orders now easier to make and accept. In most cases, all of that money accepted for the kit isn’t considered to be already used when accepted, but instead considered by many as profit in the excitement of it. The truth of reality soon becomes clear however.

So who is to blame? The Kit Maker (who obviously did not think the plan through to it’s end), or those who throw money toward the ‘deal’ of a better bargain, all the while knowing there is only one guy making it all. (Fools like myself).

For Modeler Magic, it ultimately comes down to if money is taken for a product then that product must be delivered, or a refund given. Does this happen? Not often. Therefore we are left to act upon it, which is further explained below.

There are many like the Kit Maker described above today that Modeler Magic still shows kits available for. Some ask why do we do this? The Rabbit Hole only gets deeper, right? I suppose that is based on your own belief system, and if you may be one that is owed a kit. Basically the described Kit Maker has created a spiraling hole where he sells a kit today in order to produce a kit purchased months before… and sometimes even years before. Where does it end? The Kit Maker surely cannot cease making the model kits he has sold, and being that it has consumed his life, the money from current sales is needed for it all. Again… why does Modeler Magic show these Kit Makers? The answer is simply complicated.. if that makes any sense. I have set boundaries for this type of thing. If the Kit Maker has himself in that position…. and he continues to produce kits to deliver toward those years old orders…. I will continue to show his offerings. Sadly, however unless a Lottery is won, it is the only way anyone would get what they paid for years ago. This does mean, however, that someone down the line will eventually not receive their orders due to that Kit Maker no longer being able to function in age or disability. It is an issue that can only cease with those willing to now accept their loss. I don’t know of any willing to do that… do you? This type of thing is now a question of the Chicken or the Egg type of thing. Always taking from Peter to feed Paul.

Make no mistake… if I am asked, I will surely inform anyone of the situation before they order. That stated, I expect that Kit Maker to be responsible and to show that they are well behind, and still producing, before taking a new order. It is their professionally responsible act to let the purchaser know of how behind they are before selling anything to that person. The order then becomes the gamble of the person choosing to purchase it. Definitely NOT a perfect system. Since this is not a legalized business… there is nothing to fall back on for anyone doing business with that specific Kit Maker. Unless, of course… they have used, and stuck to the proper ways of using a service like PayPal. But this still eventually leaves loss somewhere. Everyone simply crosses their fingers that it shall not be they that lose.

For everyone’s safety and choice… I recommend PayPal

…On to the DECEIVER…and the Bully

Now comes the Client, Kit Maker or Artist that cares little about anything except themselves. This is a person who may have begun with good intention, but has seen how much in this art form is unprotected, and thus their own belief system is OK with taking advantage of it all. Again.. remember this began with good intention of releasing, or purchasing something cool. For the Client aspect.. it is one that is too controlling, and does not give the agreed upon time to make the item, causing the artist issues and blocking the creativity needed to make it. Then prematurely pulling funds from the deal. For the Artist side, I speak of the artist that may lie frequently of progress made, or one that simply disappears after taking many paid orders. This person simply does not feel they have done wrong.

There are several markers to look for people whom may not be entirely honest.

  • Being new to the art form (a person nobody has ever heard of) (Artist & Buyer Beware)
  • No true reference as to as to where they live. (Artist & Buyer Beware)
  • Not wanting to place any money ‘down’ for the project (Artist Beware)
  • They ONLY accept check or money order for payment. (Buyer Beware)
  • They ONLY offer Check for payment. (Artist Beware)
  • Accepts PayPal, but asks you use the “Friends & Family” option to save you the cost of fees. (Buyer Beware)
  • Big promises of initial delivery of product or payment, followed by lengthy non communication, and then the good old promise with the words of “Two Weeks” involved. (Artist & Buyer Beware)
  • Using Sickness or Death as excuse of lengthened time to deliver product or payment (you will find this often just has happened as you attempted to reach them.) (Artist & Buyer Beware)
  • Creating shipping labels, but without product to ship. (Buyer Beware)

There are many more…. which again I may add later as they come to me.

Again… For everyone’s safety and choice… I recommend PayPal

…Which brings me to those who RE-CAST and sell the works of others. Those recasting do not see the error in their ways because of the argument that all of the GK market is taking from owned images of those whom originally created it all. For me… I don’t accept that argument.

Let it be known that the RECAST is not acceptable here on Modeler Magic… or anywhere in our opinion. To do so only damages the art form. And truth be told… whenever a wrong-doing in this art form happens…. it actually effects us all. I appreciated Adam Savage’s video on that very subject last month.

While utilizing the images owned by others…. this art from does indeed create physical items from them… and sometimes even sells them. We separate into categories at this time…. the One-Off, or the mass produced Kit. The One-Off replica is legal (in most cases), while the Kit may be an issue if a company holds legal license over that topic, and intends to create that very item. Let’s keep this real. The License Holders took the proper legal direction to produce items for the consumer… who is us! I applaud them all for doing so. This is not without great cost to them, and promised sales in numbers that are usually extremely high. Many much higher than what the art form could support. It is a huge reason to respect the License Holder, and also one of the reasons that GK emerged…. to produce those items we have all wanted, yet in small quantity, while at the same time keeping an avoidance on toe stepping of those who took the time and money to become Licensed. This MUST be respected for the art form to move forward.

Most of what has emerged from the GK industry has never been created in licensed form, nor ever shall be. It is simply too small of an art form to truly be profitable on the scale the image owners would consider important. How do I know this? I have spoken to many of the Studio VP’s in charge of such things, while seeking some sort of lower level license for all GK makers to be able to sell legally. This met with no success. However, while some stated otherwise, most of those in charge have revealed to me that they do not care about those small numbered items, yet that they will indeed pursue legal action against anyone that their License Holders would call out as being in violation of what they will be making, or have made under that License. This is important to realize… and to be aware of and respect.

The above stated knowledge mostly mutes the argument that those who would RECAST usually would make. Of course I am sure there is an argument to that statement as well.

What about recasting something of a now defunct company’s former release? While still legally wrong, this has become one of the only re-cast scenarios that the art form seems to have accepted.

What of a kit you purchased, and may have been delivered one, but are actually owed three… yet the Kit Maker is not producing in a timely manner, or at all? This is another scenario that may come as being questionable, yet acceptable to some. The ONLY way I can view this acceptable is if the three still owed are the only made Re-casts in order to fulfill the initial paid order. I must admit I have seen that scenario turn bad however, with greed taking over as to good molds not going to waste. It is simply not advisable to even start this type of thinking.

Considering all of the above… Inevitably everyone faces what is “The Bully”… often done in the name of righteousness. Right or Wrong, there are always better ways of handling situations. In other words Honey attracts better than Vinegar, and remaining above the line in ones dealings with anyone else always provides just as much information. This has been a learned attribute of my own that I hope to pass on to all.

Enter the Protection… PAYPAL

This is a service I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Even utilizing some major name like it that has the same protection services would be good. This protects the seller as much as the purchaser. In protecting the seller it keeps them on track, and offers more proof of their timely delivery. In protecting the purchaser, it keeps track of the deal made, time taken, and offers money returned if the deal is not adhered to as originally agreed upon with the PayPal Transaction initially made.

For both the Seller and the Purchaser, caution is always wise.

As a purchaser in business with ANY seller… I would advise having the seller issue a PayPal invoice to you with the description of all you will be paying for, along with the deal of how much money it will be costing in total, AND how much time is needed for proper delivery to you. This becomes the protection contract that will protect both parties as long as they remain within that contract. NEVER do the “Friends and Family” option with any business you do with anyone, even if it is asked for, or even demanded for (this usually comes with some sort of story behind why they are asking for it, or that it would cost you less money to take that option). Always remember that going with the “Friends & Family” option will void any action you could take in recovery should it come to that. You must be willing to walk away from any deal that anyone would demand such a thing. Asking or suggesting the “Friends and Family” option sometimes indicates that persons true intention of possible misconduct. Also… should the time of delivery slip into being a long time, and past the original agreed upon date, make sure not to let that time go past what PayPal will allow for dispute. There will be people that promise that it will only be a few more weeks to deliver what has been paid for, or to pay something still owed. Should you allow this time to pass, on the Purchaser side, it will void any chance of you getting your money returned. You must stick to the agreed upon business. Doing this will protect both you, and the seller. Not doing so may cause you both grief.

In making a Long Statement made even LONGER….

I cannot comment on anything that anyone states of anyone in this art form. Most of the time it is biased for some reason, yet there is always some base in truth within it. Doing what I recommend will help save any real business relationship from crumbling.

Once again…. and most importantly is Professionalism. This word, and its meaning, umbrellas all of what has been stated above.

Professionalism, in all it’s meaning, is what Modeler Magic strives to help all artist’s become. We hope that everyone within this art form will also strive to overcome all those things stated above that tend to pull us all down. Sometimes this means giving chances to those who have faltered for any reason. That given chance needs to come with expectation however. That being to make better what they had faltered on, not allowing it to happen any further. I am certain there are some reading this right now who are thinking Modeler Magic shows too many artists with issues.. like I described above. Once again… do we show artists that have faltered, and some who continue their long climb back to redemption? Yes… we do. Only, however, if that artist shows us absolutely that they are trying their best to make things right. Anything less and they may fall from our pages like others have before them.

With all of that stated…. Everyone should know that Modeler Magic will always only concentrate on those positive things of this art form. It is why I have not made this statement before today. I suppose Adam Savage hit a subject that I agree upon, and it is long overdue to have discussed it in a way that does not come off as ‘bullying’ or ‘dog-piling’.

In no way is this intended to make anyone feel singled out. I know by now, some reading this are feeling so. If you are, know that I too have fallen into most of the above situations… and as such I am the same as anyone. However… with all of that stated, should you be feeling like you are currently in any of the situations described above…. you may want to re-choose your approach to what you are doing in the art form. There is always room to to turn around, and make everything excellent once again. I know that some will even miss this point, allowing anger to dictate what their reaction shall be. We are all free willed individuals after all. I do know that effort towards excellence (or even the lack of such efforts) in professionalism reveals all. It is your path to choose.

Please note that these are simply the opinions, and suggestions of myself, Kuhn Global, and Modelers Miniatures and Magic. Everyone will always have their own opinion, then acting upon them as they will. There will always be opposition to every position. As such, Modeler Magic will always operate how we see fit, realizing each incident may be different from the other, and we shall act accordingly in what we believe.  Inasmuch, we shall always strive to do our best, and to serve the art form that is absolutely amazing in all things. It is YOU who are all the artists that make these amazing things real, and in most cases, bring joy to the world who will view it. It is an art form that is world wide…. in every country, and celebrated in every belief system. As we strive to improve… we make a difference together.

Peace be unto you
Kurt Kuhn
Kuhn Global Incorporated
Modelers Miniatures & Magic