This time I’m interviewing Chris Gotcher; aspiring prop artist with a room full of homemade goodies and just now venturing into N-scale production of MechWarrior IV and MechWarrior Online versions of popular Battlemechs.
Ron: Tell me a bit about your background, what got you into doing this. How long have you been into BattleTech?
CG: I’ve always enjoyed modeling and making props. I’d imagine most folks have thought how cool it would be to hold a Pulse Rifle or a Lightsaber when they saw those movies for the first time. I realized early on that if you wanted some things, sometimes you just had to make them yourself. Lots of great movies and games just never get the merchandise. You can buy a model kit of the Falcon or the Enterprise any day of the week, but the Serenity still hasn’t had a mass-produced kit yet. A few years back I got into using 3D programs to help build 1:1 prop templates and cut my teeth on props from Fallout and Halo. It’s only recently that the 3D printing quality has really been affordable to apply the same techniques to prototype miniatures and models for the everyman.
One of the most important ways we have of connecting with the BattleTech universe is with art. A picture really does tell a thousand words when dealing with a universe as far off as the one we adore. A key artist in bringing the universe alive was Doug Chaffee. Over the years, he painted many pieces that adorned the covers of novels, books, as well as numerous pieces in the CCG line.
Unfortunately, late April was the two year anniversary of Doug’s passing. It left us all poorer. There are some wonderful stories about how nice he was to fans at conventions. But, he left an important legacy for us. His style and composition contributed to the gritty universe. You can find some of Doug’s work at his studio.
Doug created over 70 of pieces of BattleTech art, plus line drawings in several books. His family has been selling the original art of his work, and they still have some of his BattleTech paintings. The gives the community Doug enriched an opportunity to have some of his art. Let’s look at some of his paintings, and at the end, we’ll discuss where one can go to get pricing information and pick up some art.
All of the art we’ll be looking at is listed for sale, along with prices, on a document passed along to us by Melba Chaffee. While many of his BattleTech pieces were picked up by others, most of these should still be available. Continue reading
I recently had the opportunity to interview Andrew Scroggins, a digital artist contracted by Catalyst Game Labs. Among a LOT of commission work, he’s also done the covers for some of the Experimental Technical Readouts, including the cover to TRO 3145: mercenaries.
Ron: What kind of art education do you have? Did you begin drawing tanks and planes as a kid?
AS: I went to the Art institute of Portland for 2 years studying animation, but in that time I figured out that animation itself wasn’t what I wanted to do. I could have transitioned over to game design but I was reluctant to leave behind my interest in drawing and painting, so after taking a few more interesting classes I left school and self studied.