Counterfeit or fake miniatures, how do we recognise them?
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Thread: Counterfeit or fake miniatures, how do we recognise them?

  1. #1

    Talking Counterfeit or fake miniatures, how do we recognise them?

    Hi guys,

    I was doing some research on the internet and particularly on ebay and I had some thoughts.

    Over the years, I bought some painted miniatures on ebay from sellers around the globe.

    Looking back at some models, there was something strange about them. The first thing that crossed my mind was their weight, but a couple of other missing details also emerged.

    As a new user of this forum, and considering the fact that this website is populated by famous artists and collectors, my question is how to recognise recast/fake/counterfeit miniatures?

    Thank you very much.



    To give you an example, here is what seems to be a dubious case:

  2. #2


    multiple copies of OOP or limited edition models is a dead giveaway, as is double mould-lines (which is, granted, not much use to you until it's in your hand). The one you linked to looks like an average paint job on a currently in production model, so its rather hard to say. He appears to be standing on a resin base, but that's all I can tell from the pic. I'm not that familiar with the mini, tho, so I dunno
    "Facts are the impregnable bulwark that stands between us and the insidious evil of bullsh*t." - Pikey, over on Nagoyahammer

  3. #3


    This has been noted many times before, but double mold lines can also be the result of the master cast not being fully cleaned up before being used to make the production molds. Not common, except from some garage sized manufacturers. See this on a Warhammer figure? Might very well be a recast.

  4. #4


    Here is what I am talking about.

    Take a look at the following details of this Aenur model I purchased one year ago.

    Note that the base is custom made of resin and you cannot tell where the base finishes and where the miniature starts. The miniature is made of metal, thoug feel a bit lighter.

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  5. #5


    TBH I think it's a bit hard to tell just from a photo unless there are obvious flaws like the double mold lines. As MIJ states multiples of ltd ed or oop could be viewed with suspicion but it may just be that someone has gambled on buying a lot with the hope that it sells for more. With the example you give the figure looks about right, the low price and multiple copies could be down to the fact that it is painted in Hong Kong and probably done with cheap labour. As MIJ ha stated in another thread this type of auction may well be viewed with more suspicion now that GW have made it really expensive for anyone out that way to get hold of their products.
    What you leave behind is not what is written on your tombstone but what is written in the heart of others.

  6. #6


    Please look at the face in particular, why does it look smashed?

  7. #7


    The flat face could simply be a bad cast, I've had plenty of genuine minis with smooshed faces or other serious problems. It's really hard to tell with the paint on it. The feet could have simply been pinned and then epoxy applied to make sure it's going to stay. Did you purchase it painted or did you paint it yourself? Another way to tell is that a mini that normally comes in various parts and needs assembly is suddenly one single cast or otherwise does not need assembly.

  8. #8


    It was painted and the seller was a well-known one from South America (even on this website as there is his gallery and it was already debated on whether his miniatures were recast or not). What do you reckon?

  9. #9


    I think I already know what you feel in your gut. You have the model and know it is too light, is miscast and is coming from a place where there is probably no penalty for recasting.

    In my view, if you could buy a $15-$20 GW figure and make a mold, then cast as many 50 cent copies as you want using cheap metal, then sell a few painted versions for $20-$30 each, it makes perfect sense for someone who has no morals and likes money. I suspect there are some of those folks out there on ebay, and your gut has probably identified them.

    If you want to be sure, get the metal content tested from some part of the model (probably any caster would know how to do this) and ask GW if that is their metal mix.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by WaterGate View Post
    It was painted and the seller was a well-known one from South America (even on this website as there is his gallery and it was already debated on whether his miniatures were recast or not). What do you reckon?
    Well known? For what? Pro-painted hacks on eBay?

    Okay, that was a bit harsh.

    Honestly, if I'd received that mini as cast, it would be a return. I doubt it would get higher than a 4 if put up in a gallery.
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
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    To judge how far to follow my advice, consider this: ---<>--- Slappin' paint on minis since 2006

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by PegaZus View Post
    I doubt it would get higher than a 4 if put up in a gallery.
    Well, you might have understood which user I am talking about. Strangely, this guy gets an average of 7.8 marks on his models.

    Dblood, you are definitely right, it does feel lighter and it does not feel completely right. The reason for my purchase was that Aenur is OOP and on the picture it was well painted. Besides, I paid it ver small, around 15$, so that made my choice.

    Has any of you encountered the same problem?


  12. #12

  13. #13


    I don't take risks so I don't encounter such problems. In the future, don't buy from unreliable sellers, don't buy anything that doesn't have very good, detailed, close up, clear pictures, don't buy anything without some form of guarantee from a seller that will uphold it. Check reviews, be diligent, investigate, if it seems too good to be true, don't be cheap, be smart and safe. There are so many forums and reviews and just general information out here on the internet, you don't need to give your money to untrustworthy sources.

    No matter what you do, you can still get taken, but hell, don't make it easy for the scammers. And deal with things quickly, don't wait long before you inform Paypal or your credit card company of any discrepancies. It's money, your hard earned money, don't feel bad about doing what you got to do.

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