One of the most abundant types of fully legal, high-quality models are based directly on real-world products; AK-47, F-16, Ford Mustang, you name it, if it’s famous and real, there very likely already exists a high-quality model of it that you can use directly or at the very least you can easily find references to make your own high-quality models and you don’t have to spend weeks developing concepts before you can start modeling.
It is often very attractive to use real-world models from a production standpoint, but when will it require a license from the people who hold the right to the real product your asset is based on?
What makes a difference?
If you put in an F-16, but call it something entirely different?
Would you be allowed to call the F-16 a Viper? (This is a commonly used nickname specifically for the F-16, but the official name is Fighting Falcon)
Would you be allowed to call a Mustang a pony car? (This is a commonly used nickname for any affordable American sports cars, so a Mustang is indeed a pony car, but the term pony car is not specific to Mustangs)
If you put in an F-16 and call it an F-16? (Designation)
If you put in an F-16 and call it a Fighting Falcon? (Name)
If you put in an F-16 and call it a Falcon? (Incomplete name)
If it is an accurate simulation of an F-16?
If it looks like an F-16 but is a spaceship?
If it is positively depicted, e.g. performs super well and/or is described positively in the game’s fiction?
If it is negatively depicted, e.g. performs very poorly and/or is described negatively in the game’s fiction?
If the product is associated with the hero?
If the product is associated with the villain?
Does it matter if it’s a military product like the F-16 or a consumer product like a Ford Mustang? (Governments will not have their opinion of the F-16 affected by how it is represented in a game. Gamers, on the other hand, could have their opinion of the Ford Mustang affected by how it is represented in games.)
If I put in a Ford Mustang, am I okay if I do like they did in Bullit and remove the Ford logo?
Does it matter if it’s a 2018 Mustang or a 1969?
I found this article:
If you have other articles relevant to the subject, please post them.