Green Stuff World (GSW), maker of paint, modelling supplies, and high-end modelling tools, got in hot water this week after using a professional mini painter’s brushwork to advertise a product without getting his consent. Painter Patrik Hallberg called out the company on his Instagram on December 20. The dispute has since had a speedy resolution.
In his Instagram post, Hallberg accuses Green Stuff World of “stealing and [photo] manipulating community paintjobs”. Hallberg says he saw a photograph he had taken, of a bust he had painted, appear as a product image on the GSW website on Friday, December 16. Hallberg recently painted the resin bust ‘The Pilot’ by Mindworks Games. He had shared photographs to his Instagram and Puttyandpaint accounts, as well as the Miniature Monthly painting competition. His screen captures of the images are below.
Halberg says he contacted GSW the same day, and was assured the photograph would be removed. However on Monday, the photograph was still present, with the colours doctored and with credit to Hallberg removed. When Wargamer checked on Tuesday evening, the image was still present, this time shifted to greyscale. It appeared alongside a badge for GSW’s ‘stop piracy’ campaign.
Hallberg’s post attracted plenty of attention on social media. Since then, he and Green Stuff World have reached an agreement. Replying to comments on his original post, Hallberg says, “[Green Stuff World] have apologized and I’ve been fairly compensated and gave my permission to use my picture…. thanks for the support and hopefully this will help artists in the future!”
Hallberg’s paintjob has been reinstated as the product image for The Pilot on the GSW website. When asked to comment on the incident, a spokesperson from GSW provided this explanation to Wargamer: “We have been in negotiations with Patrick for the licence of this picture, but due to an error in the design department, a photo was shown before closing the deal.”
Painting miniatures to competition standard is a time-consuming business, and the best miniature games companies all use professional painters or freelancers to produce high-quality shots for their product catalogues. If you’d like to see more of Hallberg’s paintwork, his Instagram is packed with great work, including an incredible diorama of a duel between Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternals and Chaos warriors.