start the sculpting but leave out any super-obvious Aarklash references until after the legalities are settled ( Acheron/Alahan crests, symbols, etc )
on the subject of large models , I would love to see more of them , even if they are busts or too large for tabletop war-games
the Dirz bust that is in the old catalogues is super rare, I have not seen it on eBay, but I don't check every month. I don't know if super-rare translates into profitable for you. These busts might be super=rare because R only made 20 and then lost the mould. The Kickstarter business model is a great way to gauge customer interest.
For myself, I got the Cynwal wyrm while R was still alive, since then I have got the Mid-Nor hydra, flesh golem, TnB golem, Ulankor model, the crazy goblin riding the ogre. Too much to paint, even more difficult with snoopy cats in the house.
As for the Packham IP, I agree that it is cursed. I was hoping that a french gaming company could be successful
is it possible to keep the sales within a closed group? Don't advertise widely and just get private messages back and forth, start a mailing list to keep clients informed as to whether or not you have enough orders to get started?
I wish you luck with this venture, this fascination with the Rackham universe is a hard habit to kick.
The entire IP scenario really pisses me off. The auto industry would be forced ( still compensated ) to share groundbreaking new safety technology( I am somewhat certain of this); if an auto maker discontinues production of a vehicle they are also forced to guarantee parts and servicing for a certain period of time ( this task is quite often sub-contracted out, older filters and such would be made by Wix or Baldwin). Older Eastern philosophy about an individual's achievements are along the lines of praise the author/sculptor for a polite period of time but not his entire working career, he is honour bound to come up with more work/ artistry is he wishes to keep riding the popularity wave. Presently in many far East countries they are copying Hollywood movies the day after they are in the theatre. I can't agree with this scenario at all, the pendulum has swung too far the other way.
Coming back to Rackham, they haven't made hardly anything in the last 12 years. It doesn't matter which name holds the title, they think that they can sit on it until hell freezes over while they make up their minds. I really don't get that mentality . They should defend their IP by getting to work by making old models, sculpting new versions. Then when they do take some re-caster to court they could hold up sales records and bring up some hard numbers, what damages the re-casting black market has done to their business. Right now I feel like the re-casters have keep the flame burning strong for Confrontation style models, both new and old.
Seriously what could an artist like Picasso( if he was alive ) do if someone did a likeness of his work and called an "homage"? Could you do that with a 54 scale Black Paladin homage, and still collect some revenue for your time and expertise?