There are a ton of recast miniatures in circulation, and it seems that most people cannot tell the difference. There just isn’t a lot of information out there about how to tell the difference, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to post about a few things to look for if you suspect you may be dealing with recasts.
1. When purchasing new models on eBay, the models come from Russia or China. Although there certainly can be legitimate Forge World models currently located in these places that the current owner wants to liquidate, most of the time those will be used. These countries have different laws regarding intellectual property, copyright, and counterfeiting, so Forge Word/Games Workshop has been unable to shut these re-casters down.
2. The way the models attach to the sprue could be a clue. As an example, Forge World Chaos Dwarfs come on large triangle sprues.
Here is a recast that appears that the original Forge World model used to make the mould was cut from the large triangle on the bottom of the sprue. This made the mould have a rough bottom from the cuts. They put a gate on the middle of the original sprue, and then the recast model was cut there causing the white area in the middle.
3. Thin casts is another sign of a re-cast model. This can often be seen in flat areas, faces, arms, and legs.
Here you can see through the wings of the model, and the cast is actually so thin that there are holes beyond what there should be
Although not pictured, the face of the rider on that model had extra thin features. His nose was just a thin line of resin, and his cheeks were malformed.
Here is another example of a thin cast. The shoulders and necks are so thin they have holes in them. This model is actually supposed to have symbols on the inside of the shoulders, but the cast is too thin to preserve them.
Here is a warmachine that is too thin on the bottom.
4. Miscasts beyond the norm are another indicator that the model is a forgery. On this model there is a weird texture on the bottom. You may find weird textures like this on the bottom, inside, etc.
Here is a model missing some details, and other details are much softer than they should be.
This bit has areas where the resin filled what should have been open space. This type of miscast is common on recasts.
This bit has a similar issue.
5. Double mold lines are also a giveaway for counterfeit models. One mould line would be part of the mould from the original, and the other mould line would be from the casting process. They can be next to each other or perpendicular from each other or at other angles, but any particular part of the model should have one mould line running around it, not two.
6. Peculiar packaging is another sign.
Here is true Forge World packaging.
And here is the packaging of one particular set of “Forge World” recasts. Notice how there are ziploc bags inside the mostly unmarked manufacturer sealed bag and a stick on label with writing on it instead of the brand labeling.
Ultimately, the only way for sure to tell if a model is truly Forge World or a recast is for Forge World to test the model. These signs are clues that there may be a problem. Please remember that it is illegal to even possess counterfeit (recast) models. It is illegal to recast for financial gain, as well as for your own personal use. It is illegal to sell or trade them. This violates intellectual property and copyright law. If you suspect you have counterfeit models, you should contact Forge World/Games Workshop legal. They will probably request pictures and contact info for whoever sold or traded them to you. If you have unknowingly purchased counterfeit models on eBay or through PayPal, they may be able to help you with a case against the seller. They may also ask you to send them the models to be tested.