With both the challenge and acceptance videos from the MegaBots crew and team Suidobashi numbering nearly ten million views in little more than a month, it looks like this good-natured rivalry is turning more heads than just those belonging to us big stompy bot fans. Especially with BattleBots back on the air… which, of course, brings me to some of the heavy-hitters getting involved. It’s no longer just a team of spirited ‘mecha-nauts’ anymore.
I mentioned in my first article about the challenge that the co-founders of MegaBots were no strangers to the media. But the crew they’ve managed to put together for this undertaking honestly reminds me of a 21st century Team Bonzai. And going by the new concept artwork for the redesign, the new Mk.II looks like a mashup between Robot Jox and Rocky IV- just dripping with ostentatious patriotism.
All this concept art needs is Captain America’s shield and Hasbro would be all over this.
Some of you might have seen this thread on the official forums where user Ion Raptor has been working on a mobile 1/5th scale replica of a Ghost Bear Warhawk prime. I asked him what gave him the idea for this. He answered:
“The idea was from a sad lack of BattleTech costumes besides the occasional pilot cooling suit. The MW4 Warhawk itself was chosen because of its blocky and imposing design. The prime variant was a product of finding shipping tubes the perfect size for PPCs. The Ghost Bear scheme came from the pilot figure I bought, which was a Max Steel toy that happened to have grey and blue shorts on. If I ever do one again it will either be much smaller or through commission so that logistics are someone else’s problem.”
The Invasion of Rasalhague reenacted at Gencon 2014
I reviewed Ep0ch last year during my mobile game round up series. First released in 2011, Ep0ch is set in a post-apocalyptic city besieged by warring robots used as soldiers by rival corporate AI. You are Ep0ch, a kind of bodyguard robot called a guardian in search of Princess Amelia; your charge. Built in Unreal 3, Ep0ch was the most graphically advanced game I had seen at that time on a mobile platform. The campaign was linear, but there was an arena mode to rack up credit and experience points to upgrade yourself. It played like rail shooters such as Time Crisis; only in third person with you swiping to move Ep0ch in and out of cover to get a better firing angle on or avoid the fire of various robot enemies. Weapons were numerous, as were support systems and armor upgrades.
Courtesy of Uppercut games.
Ron:I recently spoke to Ed Orman of Uppercut games; which developed Ep0ch and its sequel, Ep0ch 2. From what I’ve seen from the trailer, Epoch 2 initially seems very similar. In the original, the environments seemed pretty close in, with lots of dark alleyways and ruins to fight in. The sequel seems to be much more open and dynamic with both its setting and its 3rd person view. What’s changed this time around?
I know I talk about him a lot, mainly because of how much he’s involved in. Let’s face it; Tony Scroggins is good at networking. Almost as good as he is at designing custom Reseen Marauders. He always seems to be working with somebody on something.
I emailed him on Piranha’s contest last week, and unknowingly unleashed the Kraken upon the contest. You can see here in the official contest thread that there is mainly positive feedback when he said he’d enter himself. Not to belittle anyone’s artwork, if you look on Deviant art, there is probably as much high quality fan art as there is professional work. So Scroggins entering is probably blowing the Bell Curve.
Scrogginized MAD in 3D.
Judging by his popularity though, I don’t think too many people mind. Thanks to RAGoody via Reddit.
I would SO try my hand at this if I were not involved artistically with another, non-BattleTech related subject. If you can pencil, use a 3D rendering program, or even sculpt, you can try your hand at Piranha Games’ MechWarrior: Online Marauder redesign contest. I’m hyped at this not just because the Marauder is one of my all-time favorite ‘Mech designs (and that goes back to the Glaugg Officer’s Combat Pod design from Superdimensional Fortress Macross), and not because the reseen version looks…. well not bad, but definitely not like a Marauder should.
Not a bad design at all, but doesn’t look like a GM model body revamp either.
No, What I would like to see take to the field is the unholy offspring between the Piranha artists signature blocktastic look and Anthony Scroggins’ version of the venerable ‘mech. I even emailed him to make sure he knew this was going on. I don’t think he’d be eligible, and it really wouldn’t be fair to most other fans if he was. But the Marauder is one of his favorites too, and would like to see him get involved somehow.
Submissions must be in before November 10th 2013, at 11:59PM PST, and you also need a MW:O account on the website. Voting begins on November 13th.
It will be interesting to see what people come up with.
Welcome back to the Sarna.net interview with Catalyst Art Commander Brent Evans. Last time we touched on his background, the massive body of prior work they have to maintain and expand upon, and the exacting standards by which he must set for the artists. Let’s jump right back where we left off.
Brent: You can see why most artists when confronted with those requirements end up running for the hills. Most artists don’t have the chops. DeviantART is full of great artists (and yes I do mine it) but being able to create a cool ‘Mech picture does not mean someone has the chops to stand alongside Plog, Chris Lewis, David White or Anthony. The only folks who are actually happy working like this are those who do if for the pure love of BattleTech.
Ron: Anthony is definitely a big fan.
To bring this full circle Anthony is a great example of a new generation of BattleTech artists here at Catalyst. BattleTech had long relied on Doug Chaffee for good reason, and when he died in 2011 it rocked us profoundly. Doug was an artistic juggernaut who loved this property deeply and his passing left a hole in our creative team like no other. God I miss that guy. How do you replace a Doug Chaffee? The truth is that you don’t. You can’t. And no artist can be given that responsibility… which was why it was so incredible to have several guys step into the gap over the next year and take on art assignments that would have normally gone to Doug.
Let’s face it, Doug left some Zeus sized shoes to fill.
Brent as Star Colonel Eric Hazen from the Jade Falcon 5th Battle Cluster in Personae Studios’ MechWarrior Tactical Command
Good morning, afternoon or evening, folks. Today I have the Star Colonel of Catalyst Studios’ art department, Brent Evans. And let me tell you guys, it took me a while to come up with just the right questions for the man.
Ron: How did you get started in the art field and how did that lead to Catalyst and BattleTech?
Brent: I started freelancing professionally in the 80’s at age 17 with political caricatures and comic strips, and continued right on through college and beyond. After college I was always busy working corporate by day and illustrating at night. I became a die-hard BattleTech fan in the late 90’s through the novels and by 2005 I’d established myself enough as a Freelancer to be able to pick and choose projects. At that point I realized there were only 3 properties I craved to work on – BattleTech & Shadowrun being #1&2 on the list.
So I tapped my network, dropped a line to Wizkids who was churning out MechClix at the time, and tried desperately not to totally geek out in the interview. It must have worked because they brought me on for a contract. Randall Bills walked by my desk while I was drawing up ‘Mechs and instantly arranged to snag me once my contract was up. Sure enough the day they cut me loose I got home to an email from Randall with an offer and I’ve been on board ever since.
Welcome back to part two of my interview with Darren “Spaceman Spiff” Teigen. This time we’re getting into the hows and whys of some of what he does, the virtues of 3D printing machines, and some links modeling hobbyists might find useful.
Ron: Your work is professional quality. Has anyone approached you online or in person regarding making professional miniature displays, perhaps for a museum or marketing campaign? I know new buildings and equipment often have models made to impress prospective investors.
DT:Jon Paulson of Paulson Games has contacted me about some work. I don’t want to give out too much info yet because this project is still in the early stages. I have indirectly helped a lot of the garage kit builders by posting pics of my work on their minis. A well-painted mini is a powerful selling tool!
This time I have Darrin Teigen, known as “Spaceman Spiff” in some forums and modeling circles. He has a long time passion for making models and modifying miniatures for fun and profit. And as you will see, he’s exceptionally good at what he does. For those of you out there that like to alter, or ‘kitbash’ models and minis, stick around. You may learn a thing or two.
Ron:Tell me a bit about yourself. How long have you been into modeling? Do you play the table top games as well?
DT:My first model was a Tyrannosaurus Rex- I was probably 10 years old. I am 43 now. I didn’t really get into model building until I discovered table-top gaming miniatures. Then things kinda took off. My first miniatures were a box of Grenadier fighters to go with my Dungeons & Dragons role playing days. When I was 18, I was the resident painter at my local game shop in Des Moines, IA where I would set up a table on the weekends and paint minis where the customers could see the magic happening. Then along came two games specifically created for miniature wargaming- BattleTech and Warhammer 40K. I have long since grown out of Warhammer, and I have tried several other games, but BattleTech has and always will be my true love.. even if I don’t get to play much. I guess you could say I am more of a miniature collector and painter than I am a player. My favorite scale is 10mm (N scale) , which is what 95% of my collection is, but 15mm is also a preferred scale.
Salamander Battle Armor VS Hunter-Killer Tanks from Terminator. I LIKE the way this man thinks.
Welcome back to part two of my interview with Homebrew miniature builder Chris Gotcher. This time we’re getting into how he goes about producing a new mini, how to find them and some other things he’s working on.
Ron: How can someone get ahold of some of your creations?
CG: I have an interest list over at LordsOfTheBattlefield.com in the trade/sell section that has all the details. Tabletop folks know that if it’s anything Battle Tech, you can find it over there. I do feel this limits exposure for the pure video game fans and Dark Age players though, so I’d like to get the word out more in those circles so people don’t miss out.