Here is my philosophy on cutting, painting, and decaling.
1. I don't do decals, too much cutting and pasting. You also lose some of the power of imagination so essential to LEGOs.
2. Drawing on models is a no-no to me. It's too permanent. Drawing on minifigs may be acceptable if I have to. For example, my Elites I would not consider minfigs, because they don't have any minifig parts. So drawing on them is a no-no.
3. Cutting: as long as the pieces I cut lose none of their funcionality. I have cut pieces in the past for my Klingon D-7 cruiser in order to make the head more accurate, BUT those pieces have lost none of their previous functionality. I have also cut pieces for my red Honor Guard (the arms where the revolvers are supposed to be) because I ran out of revolvers. But these pieces haven't lost their functionality.
4. Molding: If it ain't LEGO, I don't wan't anything to do with it.
Now I'm not bashing Saber-Scorp or any one else who uses decals or paints their models because some of them are sweet and amazingly done. I'm just saying that I have too small a collection to be going and cutting, pasting, and drawing all over my all to short supply of LEGOs. You don't have to follow my example; this is just an explanation of why I do what I do, and why I don't do what you think I should do.
-> Brad W.
In every way, or certain degree, this is true, but there is a Mini-fig Customiser Network, for people like me. But by decalling, modelling, and cutting up, you show your willingness to get the desired result. I understand that you don't have the resources, but I believe Scorp's Philo more than this, but you still have the voice of reason with in.
I agree with you to some degree. However, perhaps you have heard of something called "minifig customization"? It's a different style of LEGO building that is practiced by many builders (try looking up a site called "The Minifig Customization Network" to see). My policy is to only cut, modify, and use decals when customizing minifigs, since these things are necessary on such a small scale, but to use only official parts on actual models. Please see my policy page for more: http://www.saber-scorpion.com/lego/faq_philosophy.php
I, for one, appreciate your honesty, opinions, and not criticizing those who alter pieces. On your first point, I don't like home made paper decals and have never been a fan of stickers. But recently, I have been purchasing water slide decals from Kaminoan Cloniers and have loved them. They give a very professional appearance to my minifigs, aren't all that hard to do, and increase my creativity on how to utilize them. Point 2, I don't draw on parts because I think it looks too sloppy. The LINV8K dome I painted, but did my best to make it look like something LEGO made. Point 3, I alter pieces to give me the effect I want, again making sure they look like what LEGO would make, like Weequay's side braid and some of my droids. Point 4, I completely agree that clay and the like should have no part of LEGO MOC's, but would never tell anyone not to use it. I just don't review those. All the parts I use, altered or not, are Lego (unless you consider the decals non-LEGO). And I usually get parts from Bricklink because my supply isn't the largest, either.