Tag Archives: Miniatures

Interview With a Professional Modeler, Part 2

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!


Star Wars and BattleTech and Aliens, oh my.

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Interview with a Professional Modeler Part 1

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.

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Robotech RPG Tactics

Having played Palladium Games’ Robotech RPG back in my school days, and of course having watched both the Americanized serial and its component anime series from Japan, I was very interested in hearing about a tactical miniature game now under development by Ninja Division.

Robotech RPG Tactics

The miniatures look really clean and detailed at about Z or 6mm scale; just like standard BattleTech rules. Also similar to BattleTech is the game system’s use of six-sided dice exclusively.

The differences and similarities can be seen in this video. Instead of single sheets for each vehicle there is a smaller laminated card for tracking units of vehicles. In the case of the video, four Valkyries, two Destroids, and two units of Regult battlepods. Gameplay is streamlined, with no heat phase and interesting in that both sides are actively moving and resolving fire.

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Interview With a Custom Miniature Maker – Part One

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.

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Mecha Front

One of the things I like about the progression of technology is that it is so much easier to network and promote new ideas. There are some great opportunities for “the little guy” to make a name for himself with luck and a strong grasp of networking. (Something I wish I’d learned way back when). BattleTech, and tabletop gaming in general have even benefited from the influx of new blood, despite being considered ‘quaint and archaic’ by the younger generation’s tech heavy gaming standards.


Anyone that follows the BattleTech-themed IRCs and forums will probably have seen custom built ‘Mech gaming cockpits, CAD designed and 3D printed custom miniatures and molds, even unofficial rules, non canon TROs, custom map and record sheets.

But making money on a labor of love hobby project is a different weight class altogether. Jon Paulson’s Custom Miniatures and Parts is an as yet obscure website that sells custom designed generic weapons and mods for miniatures; typically Warhammer and BattleTech. What interests me however at the moment, however, is the game system he is in the process of creating. The array of mecha designed by artist Anthony Scroggins (TRO 3145 Mercs cover art) also lends a solid and familiar look to Jon’s vision.

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