A Designer’s Tale – Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D

Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by FauxHammer

A couple of weeks back we reported on the situation between Games Workshop and Cults 3D. When it came to light that Cults had been served a legal notice to remove a selection of models based on them containing Trademarked terms. Cults responded by removing all chargeable models but refused the remainder on the grounds of them being “fan art”. You can read that article here and get up to date. But today we are getting a brand new side of the story, from one of the designers whose models were removed from sale for a period.

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Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D – The Designers Position

In our previous article, we inferred the positions of both Cults 3D and Games Workshop in the 3d Printing War. As noted in that article 65 models were removed from the Cults 3D platform. None of the affected creator’s details were shared. So we put a shoutout to the community for any of them to get in touch with us, so we could get beat on their experience.

Oh wow, am I doing actual journalism now? No, I’m really not. but let me just be clear that much of what I say here is just my inferences and opinion of the situation as I’ve heard it. I really don’t fancy getting caught up in the legalities of it all. I’m just using my platform to share what I have been told or read elsewhere and add my uneducated opinions on it. Apparently, a “Trademark” is something enforceable and can be applied for whereas a “Copyright” is something that just exists – I haven’t researched this, I don’t know this as fact. I’ve just watched the same Discourse Miniatures Video you have. And yes, I was annoyed when she kept saying “3D Cults” instead of “Cults 3D” too (possibly done on purpose for more comments). Anyway…

We were contacted by Cults3D maker ANYDBETONY to let us know he’s unhappy with what happened to him and that he has had little in the way of response to his follow-up emails to both Games Workshop and Cults 3D.

Here’s his story

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Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D – Rediculous Removal of Models

I’ll start by showing you the models that were removed (with descriptions verbatim). picture of this printed shown below too.


A Modular walkway for all your tabletop needs.

-ideal for FDM with minimal supports.
-minimal glue, only the stairs may need gluing.
-easy to build, take apart and takes up minimal storage place.

Includes a stand alone tower, decorations like wiring and pipes, multiple walkway lengths, insert designs, side panel designs and panel lengths which slot between uprights and several upright designs with doors which open and close.


Ideal for anything from vehicles to huge titans.

Ideal for FDM printers with minimal supports or glue needed.

Builds and come apart easily (while still being secure when built) and uses minimal storage.

Giant Dog Robot not included (used for scale only)

So you’re probably looking at these and wondering why Games Workshop requested the removal of these products?

Well if you read the former article, you’ll know that the takedown requests that Games Workshop made were against models using Trademarked terms. Not on models likenesses to any existing product.

And before the re-upload these were called 1. “Walkway Scenery for 40k, Necromunda, etc.” and 2. “Maintenance Bay – 28/32mm scale”. (in fact, the URL’s still show these names)

So the first model was removed because the title clearly contained the terms “40k and “Necromunda”, Trademarked terms. Whilst the second model did not contain these terms in the title. I’ll infer from the following emails that the terms “warhammer”, “40k”, and/or “adeptus” were used somewhere in the description.

Whilst Im not at all clued up on the legal side of things, possible the quickest legal research Google Search in history took me to the International Trademark Association where this specific page suggests that ANYDBETONY‘s use of the word “for” in his 1st items title would put this particular model under the governance of “Descriptive Fair Use”. That makes sense right?

Like, what if I made a 3D model of a case for an iPhone? Apple makes iPhone cases. So does just about everyone with the ability to do so based on how many I see available everywhere. And they are all called A or B case for iPhone “X”. Does the law change if my model (and the technology used to design and create it) is a potential threat to Apple’s primary source of income?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t think so? but again, I have no idea. if you do, please tell me in the comments here or on socials.

Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D – ANYDBETONY‘s experience

Here’s ANYDBETONY‘s own words to explain what happened

I received 2 emails from Cults3D that the files had been taken down (unpublished) on Saturday the 27th, I’ve no idea how long they’d been unpublished before this. I do believe the email was sent straight away.

“Your design Walkway Scenery for 40k, Necromunda, etc. cannot be published because of a copyright infringement related to a complaint received from Games Workshop.

You cannot use the brand names “warhammer”, “40k”, and “necromunda” on your page, either in the texts, on your photos or names of your 3D models under penalty of legal proceedings.

We invite you to re-edit your page to comply with the copyright as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and your collaboration.”

“Your design Modular Maintenance Bay – 28/32mm scale cannot be published because of a copyright infringement related to a complaint received from Games Workshop.

You cannot use the brand names “warhammer”, “40k”, and “adeptus” on your page, either in the texts, on your photos or names of your 3D models under penalty of legal proceedings.

We invite you to re-edit your page to comply with the copyright as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and your collaboration.”

I immediately deleted the offending terms and after turning to a couple of FB pages and added alternative tags suggested by the community.

I immediately contacted Cults3D as well to query what had happened and received an email saying GW had pointed out my models and were taken down at GW’s request because Cults3D received a list of models “infringing on their trademark” from GW.

I responded to this querying again what had happened because nothing I did infringed on IP, Copyright or Trademarks. I used Trademarks in a perfectly legal matter.

No response from Pierre to date.

At the same time I contacted GW and was asked to email “infringements@gwplc.com”. I received a rather terse auto response which seemed rather dismissive with the normal “we get loads of emails, don’t expect a response” ending.

In response to this I emailed again pointing out I was going to speak to a legal rep with the target of challenging it and asking for reparations (loss of earnings and time spent dealing with it).
I got an email from GW’s legal team this morning asking for more details which I’ve passed on. So will see what happens next.

Someone in one of the FB groups suggested I contact One Page Rules to use their product tags. So I contacted them and they’ve been really cool about it. They’ve said there’s no issue with me saying my stuff is compatible with theirs and said: “We’re actually in the process of creating assets that say “Compatible with OPR” for other creators to use”.

Next, I speak to a legal rep to see what my options are. I’m also investigating alternative ways people can buy my designs (MMF, my own website, etc).

I’m even tempted, if I can get the funding, to start my own hosting website with legal protection for artists and makers so this kind of thing doesn’t happen but that’s a plan for the future to decide.

My models are still available on Cults3D at the above links but I also started a Patreon just over a month ago (https://www.patreon.com/Squirrel3DD) where I release modular scenery sets and vehicles for ~£3.50 Early Bird and ~£5.80 regular tier.

As soon as I start earning enough I’ll be shifting everything over to MMF and/or my own website.


Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D – Selective Trademark Protection?

Here are some photos of an earlier iteration of this design which was printed on an FDM printer

I’m sure you can agree this is in no way similar to any GW products, but is that been the point?

I now worry for larger companies like eBay. I’m sure their legal takedown notice letter is due any day for models like this.

I don’t want to be Anti GW here, You all know I love GW deeply, perhaps too much. But come on…

I don’t even know how to put a pro gw fanboy spin on this? Again, if you can, comments…

Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D – My Thoughts Continued (from the last article)

Wow, I mean, just wow.

I’ll be honest, when I reached out to designers asking them to share their experiences. I was all poised to be on Games Workshops side in this follow-up article. I’ve already made my opinions know about directly copying their IP – I’m not Ok with it.

But you saw the models above. They are as generic as the day is long. And by that I mean there’s no Warhammer Iconography in sight, no essence of even so much as slight grimdark wear and tear. The models are plain gantries. Bolts and steel. GW surely have no more claim to this than the Games Master or whoever built the last warehouse I worked in! But again, they allegedly requested takedowns against trademarked terms rather than a copyrighted design.

But I’m shocked to see that even the slightest existence of these terms results in a takedown. The whole fair use of a trademarked term terrifies me. After all I made some Samurai Space Marines “for” Warhammer 40,000 That sci-fi game from the big miniatures company I mentioned earlier. Am I at risk of Trademark Infringement if I refer to creating them for the specific game? What if I now sell my models?

I mean, I’m selling my time and effort for to create a piece of art

I’m not actually selling them, so please don’t ask.

There’s no denying this whole situation is a mess and I for one can’t wait for it all to just be resolved so we know what the actual rules are. But this detailed part of the situation looks rather embarrassing for both Games Workshop and Cults. Especially when near exact copies of Games Workshop models still exist on the Cults Platform, and use a few of what I believe to be trademarked terms.

Go there, search “Warhammer” look at page 1

For Games Workshop to request takedown of these specific models at all, and for Cults 3D to comply just seems ludicrous to me. Perhaps there are reasons and I’m sure both parties acted in their legal team’s direction.

But I mean seriously. I can find dozens of things on that platform which I’m sure would hold up as Trademark, IP and Copyright breaches. from appearance, to descriptions and more. So either Copyright and Trademark law is much more complicated than I can even imagine, GW are concerned of opening up another ChapterHouse battle (I’m not clear what happened there I think like it allowed creators to essentially create more direct lookalike GW models – coverage on the situation was not good.). Or this is just the first wave of a larger request coming Cults way.

However, it reads like GW just aren’t putting that much real effort into actually sense-checking what their internal team of investigators are actually making claims against.

But meanwhile, the littlest guy (he’s not even a small company, just one guy doing what he loves, in a hobby he loves, for a game he loves loved), poor ANYDBETONY is getting shafted because two big companies don’t appear to be acting with a shred of common sense!

Hey GW, remember when the Music Industry was digitised? or the Movie industry? If you aren’t already building your own STL sharing platform, It had best be on your 5-year plan because the 3d model industry has just been digitised. Heck, I live 20 minutes round the corner, Give me a shout and I’ll come run the programme for you. There’s a contact button in the top menu.

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Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

3 thoughts on “A Designer’s Tale – Games Workshops Vs Cults 3D

  • August 31, 2022 at 12:41 pm


    copyright is enforceable, and in the UK at least doesnt even need to be registered to be enforced, I believe the US you have to register to be able to take people to court to enforce it ? Anyway as you say this is about trademarks.

    I dont know about GW specifically but many companies, A dont do their own trademark enforcement but employ others, and B actually do all of this automatically which is why using the words, even with the context of “for” can be problematic although thats no excuse for them not getting back to people on this sort of thing at all.

    As for “fair use” thats also a grey area as fair use is only a form of defence against infringement claims and is decided on a case by case basis, in court.

  • August 31, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    Further to my other comment (if it posts) the concept of fair dealing (use etc) does exist in copyright but not that I am aware of in trademarks

  • August 31, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    You cannot claim Warhammer is a genre. If you are making a product to support a line like Necromunda you should call it Grimdark skirmish walk ways. Or something similar. “Steps for Necromunda” is not legally okay in anyway.


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