Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where'd the pics go?

I know that most of your guys probably aren't sifting through my older posts so it's not something that jumps out but I've removed almost all pictures of the 1/285th scale Robotech models.

The main reason is that I don't want them being used to promote any potential Robotech game. The minis grabbed a lot of attention with potential players, which was fine at the time but now that I won't be involved with the project I want to avoid generating any confusion with new readers.

I've been getting a lot of emails about the minis asking if they'll still be used, or about what plans might be in place etc. All I can say is that my versions will not be used at all. I have no clue who they might be getting to do sculpts or what quality they might be or even "if" they are going to actually be produced.

I wasn't privy to any information other than what we'd discussed relating specifically to my minis. So that means when it comes to what can we expect to see? Well, your guesses are as good as mine.

From what they've made available on their website, Palladiums newest announcement said they have the rights arranged with Harmony Gold, but at this point they are at the most basic stages of development and indicates they don't have sculpts sourced.

They may have the rights to make miniatures but that doesn't mean it's an ironclad guarantee that anything will actually be made. You can always buy rights to a product and choose not to exercise them. Will we see minis? I have no clue.   Will they be any good? Again I have no clue.

They seemed to be looking for the lower end of industry pay standard so IMO that doesn't bode well for sculpt quality. If they decide to fund it properly maybe they'll get some top notch sculptors, but if they are looking for average or lower pay then the miniatures will reflect that.

(which is also why I don't want people thinking my sculpts are the ones be developed by Palladium)

They want a product made as cheaply possible with maximum profit, which is a standard business practice. However my personal feelings are that if you have a well sculpted professional product you will see far greater sales than a run of the mill sculpt that you could get from Reaper or Iron Wind for example.

I was willing to scrape my teeth in order to get the mini made as it's something I was passionate about. It's a tremendous amount of work to sculpt a 30-40 model range especially if you are trying to juggle a team of freelancers. They may find artists willing to work in that price range but I don't think the quality will be there and the time lag will be massive. I'll be interested to see what type of product (if any) they manage.

What about about rules? I have no clue.

Rules weren't really one of the things I was pushing, I was working on my MSIA adaptation simply to have something to show minis off with and generate interest with. It was never a serious consideration to begin with as my primary concern was with the miniatures themself.

Palladium's announcement only mentions them producing the miniatures as accessories for their RPG line, there's no mention of a miniatures rules system. Maybe that's something that will be addressed in the future or it could be an indicator of a line exclusively of miniatures and rules may not be a feature, I'm not sure.

Regardless of how it pans out I'm sure people will use them with Battletech, or Tomorrow's War or whatever system they are partial too. Likely any of those choices would be better than a Palladium system anyways so I don't see that as a loss.

I do want to say thank you for all the kind comments and support I've received about the minis. It's encouraging to get that stuff and know that there are fans out there. Parting with Palladium at this point is a very good thing, I've gotten some serious notice from other companies and it's generated several sculpting commissions for custom mecha. It's also freed up time to work on my own personal sculpts again. It's going to allow me to focus on my own designs which grants me a lot more creative freedom and personal satisfaction.

I also thought I'd share a bit on insight from several former Palladium staffers which is well worth the read. It also gives me a further reinforcement that not working with them on the project any further is a major blessing.



  1. This is just terrible news. Damn this rollercoaster ride: possible Robotech game, no robotech game, that was a misdirect and the robotech game is on, they're not using the great stuff that's already out and making a cheap and probably crap game. Ugh. I'm really worried about a new minis line looking like Palladium's RIFTS miniatures, which are just terrible. Not working with Palladium may just well be very good for your mental health, but what made me so damned interested in the first place was how great your figs were turning out!

    Good to see Paulson Games is getting some awareness from it at least. I may have to comission a sculpt myself, I've always wanted a Macross II VF-2ss mini more than just about anything, ever since I first saw the series and played the RPG. Palladium games ares an absolute blast so long as you don't know there are better games out there!

  2. I was a huge fan of the TMNT and Robotech games back around 88-90, but that's when I was in Jr. High. (After the Bomb setting was awesome) Sadly they turned the once hard core turtles over to the kiddie audience. My gaming interests expanded considerably once I hit high school and never looked back.

    It's not a bad gateway into gaming but I think that the games lose a lot of appeal once you move beyond early teenage years as their main draw is the comic style pulp art. You graduate onto much better systems and get on with real gaming.

    I still have a fond spot in my memories for those games but now days they just really can't compete with the slew of more attractive and less cumbersome systems out there.

    From here out I'll be putting my future efforts into my own line of mecha miniatures, more that likely at 15mm/N-scale so I can do stuff that'd 80-90mm so they'll be big with lots of roomn for model detail and to accomidate painting. Who wouldn't like pushing big robots around on the table for a skirmish game?

  3. Jon,

    As much as I hate to see things go in this direction, I feel glad for you that you won't be working with someone like that. I recently went through a similar experience, where I interviewed for a position which I had thought I really wanted. The potential new boss strung me along for months before finally telling me that he had selected somebody else. At first I was upset at not getting the position, but when I thought back on all of my interactions with him, and what others who had worked with him in the past told me about him, I realized that I was better off not going to work for him. I also ended up backing into a much better position as a result of the rejection, and it looks like the same is happening to you, so congratulations!

    I have a proposal for you. I have always wanted some black-and-white three-view line drawings of the Macross Mecha (actually, I'd like the back as well, so technically it would be "four-view"). I know that you created 3D models of several units, so I was wondering: can your CAD software spit out black-and-white line drawings like that? If it's something that's reasonably simple to do, I'd like to talk about paying you a commission to create line drawings of any models you've already produced. I doubt if I have enough money to compensate you for significant amounts of time, so I'm only looking to do this if the remaining work would be relatively minor.


    1. I don't think there's an easy way to do a line art render, but I'm not super experienced with tools beyond building the models (skins, textures and what not)

      It'd be possible for me to do renders from each angle but they'd look pretty much like the grey models I posted previously with a black background. The problem is it won't have any defining lines along the surface edges.

      There are some scematic type drawings that pop up on ebay from time to time. Battletech did a set of blue print style drawings that showed cut away line art for some of the mecha like the officerpod aka marauder and the warhammer/tomahawk.

      Also some of the macross art books have great line art diagrams which I used quite a bit while i was working on my 3d models. It'd be pretty easy to get those scan the art and blow them up larger.

    2. Thanks for the reply. I've got almost every Macross art book, and they do have a lot of great line drawings, but they don't have all of the views I would like. I'll check out those Battletech blueprints, though. I've seen them listed before, but it never occurred to me to use them that way.

  4. Wow... that link was an eye opener.

    I'll agree with the above posters; I'd give my left hand for some awesome looking Robotech miniatures... but it seems like Palladium truly is being run into the ground, something that I've always felt a nagging suspicion on, but had no proof. Until now.

    What's really sad is that honestly, I have immense nostalgia for their games; they're what brought me into RPGs and in turn miniature gaming (any number of the glitterboy variants from Free Quebec's sourcebook also rank up there on the 'want mini now!' meter). Sadly, I've seen what happens with excessive micromanaging, and looking at Palladium's woeful turnout in the last few years I can't help but wonder how they stay afloat.

    So to get to the point, frankly, I'm glad you will not be working or associated with said company. It could not have ended well, and while I shudder at what kind of miniatures we are likely to see now I am at least glad you will be able to maintain your own works at this time.

  5. I do want to say that my interactions with them weren't anywhere near as bad as what Bill went through. My contact was quite minimal and he never screamed at me or said anything cross. On the whole I found Kevin to be a very energetic upbeat guy and very personable almost to extreme where it was hard to get off the phone.

    However I've spent a lot of time reading his various weekly blogs and I can see areas poking through that convey some very mixed signals. There are areas he seems to be very controlling and guarded with, but maybe after keeping my business alive for 30 years weathering numerous lawsuits and company embezzlement I'll be in a simular boat. (I imagine it's enough to drive anyone nuts)

    I think he's one of those guys that is very sincere in what he says at the time, but his view point can flip quickly and he's equally passionate about his new course. A lot of artists swing between very hot or cold extremes.

    I know a lot of artists that are like that and while I understand it, it does tend to irk more normal thinking types. Artists tend to think a bit differantly than most (which is why they are artists) As an artist myself I fall into this category at times as well.

    I think that the personable manic side is also matched by a temper and resenting the world as being against you when things are on the low side. His murmurs indicates he sees there being two groups fans and detractors (haters) without any mention of the huge group inbetween that are neutral potential fans.

    I think the biggest problem is likely that he tends to speak his mind as the passion flows and while some things are meant well they aren't recieved well.

    One of my good friends does the same he's constantly opening mouth only to insert foot, as everything he says get taken as the worst possible interpertation and people take a dislike to him as a result.

    One of the problems is that when you are the face of a business those things tend to be magnified even more. So extra care needs to be taken with what light your comments will be seen in, and not everybody masters that. (myself included)

    It takes a lot of repeated effort to win over a customer and only a slight misstep to lose them.

  6. I have been remiss, and only just started following your blog. I am sorry. :( Iam also sorry for the loss of your Robotech oppertunity, your minis were top notch, and I am even more greatfull for the Excalibur you sent me. Also, I wanted to say that I am also a robot fanatic, and any mech based product you decide to create or take part in, in the future, just let me know! I will support it with all the enthusiasm ( and cash! ) I can muster! I have been on the hunt for decent Battletech or CAV scale anime style Mecha minis? I love the look of the mechs from Armored Core, and Front Mission and etc. So anything you make in that direction, I will buy in cases!! Good luck, and I cant wait to see you come up with next!!

  7. I only just came across your blog and was very interested to hear you've done sculpts for RoboTech. I'd love some minis for gaming. If Palladium has the rights for models but possibly not the money to pay for high quality sculpts, why not pitch them the idea of a Kickstarter project to fund it properly? Reaper Miniatures and Steve Jackson Games did ones which were were wildly successful (Reaper: $30,000 goal, $3,429,235 pledged; SJG: $20,000 goal, $923,680 pledged). Given all the RoboTech, Palladium, wargaming, and RPG fans out there I think the potential is high.