Ask any of the contemporary greats of Battletech painting, from inside and out of Camospecs Online, "Who inspired you?" One name rings out in all of their answers: Joe Frazier. His work both laid the ground work for technical proficiency--the standard practices of painting--as well as set the bar for what's expected of Battletech painters for years to come.
Bold, clean lines that define panels are and create rich contrast are the defining hallmark of Frazier's style. Using a fine touch and black ink, Frazier carefully traced the panel lines of his pieces. From his inspiration, many later artists adopted the use of micron pens and brush ink to line panels in miniatures. This is most apparent in the early works produced by key Camo Specs Online artists, such as Savage Coyote's white paint and black micron pen Ghost Regiments. These pieces bear an uncanny resemblance to Frazier's work, showing a definite force of inspiration. Though over time styles have changed to more rich and blending colors, the art of panel lining remains a key skill that every 'Mech artist must master.
In an ironic Old is the New New sort of way, Frazier appears to be one of the earliest airbrush painters amongst the Battletech artists. Viewers should notice that, despite his use of different tools, his basic style of contrasting colors and bold lines remains consistent.
Sadly, Joe Frazier passed away over a decade ago--as his hobby stood on the cusp of a resurgence. Inspired artists, hobbyists, and the global battletech community came together to mourn his passing with heartfelt tributes and "21 PPC Salutes" of their own works inspired by Frazier's.
As miniatures change, models undergoe seen, unseen, reseen, re-unseen, and new-seen statuses, and the Battletech community grows, Joe Frazier continues to stand as one of the great defining pillars of Battletech art and miniature painting. There may never be an artist with neither quite the legacy nor long lasting inspiration as Frazier. His work inspired many of the contemporary greats and eith each new artist they inspire, a little bit of Frazier's influence continues on into the next generation.
Below are a scant few of his exceptional works. Please enjoy and find your own inspiration in these!
The list of artists who set the tone of the Battletech universe is relatively short. There are only a scant few pieces that we see and see again, across websites, blogs, and publications. These works inspired countless artists and players across the globe. On many occasions, these pieces both inspire and frustrate me, jumping from "I want to be like that" to "!@#! IT! I'M DONE!" When it comes to many of the most iconic images of Battletech created in the last decade, the artist of note is Adrian Gideon. Whether miniatures or illustrations, his work has been features across the gamut of publications ranging from the Battletech Boxed Set releases, to Total Warfare and Alpha Strike.
Adrian Gideon's style is characterized by rich contrast, bold colors, and dynamic, evocative poses. Renowned for his jeweling and reflective cockpits, each piece is carefully constructed with highlights and spot colors that compliment and "pop" with the rest of the piece. Whether it is his rich blues and reds or his hallmark black, his pieces always demonstrate rich variation of color without showing where the mixing or transition occurs. Whether a still and imposing Battlemaster or a leaping Mad Cat, each piece Adrian Gideon creates tells a story; each miniature construct a tiny narrative of the Battletech universe in itself.
Though his portfolio contains models and schemes from across the Battletech universe, he has a clear favorite faction. Long-time followers of his work will likely be unsurprised to learn that Adrian Gideon's preferred schemes hail from the Federated Suns. Many of his most viewed and frequently published pieces bear the colors of the Davion Bridage of Guards or Crucis Lancers as well as their FedCom Civil War allies, the 10th Lyran Guard.
His preference for AFFS-aligned models is apparent in his collected works as well, with many--even in other faction schemes--using the blues and greens of the Federated Suns. When asked what his favorite miniature is, he replied: Marauder MAD-3R. "The unseen or the classic?" you may ask. His favorite is in fact, both the unseen and the classic redesign by Anthony Scroggins. "It stood out of 3025 as something alien and predatory like a shark, and its name perfectly matched," said the artist.
More than his artistic contributions, Adrian Gideon has worked tirelessly to ensure that the production of quality miniature art of the Battletech universe continues. As the stable master of the Catalyst Game Labs Camospecs painters, Adrian Gideon has worked uncountable hours behind the scenes to coordinate this team of volunteer artists to produce amazing content for publications, websites, dioramas, and events. The success of Battletech miniatures in product and art would not be what it is today without the immense contributions of Adrian Gideon.
Below is a selection of the outstanding work produced by Adrian Gideon over the last decade. These works range from diorama's to publications and contests. More than any other artist, he has set the bar in our world and brought the Battletech universe to life.
These are not just miniatures--these are in the truest sense of the phrase game pieces elevated to art. In that, Adrian Gideon achieved one of his major goals--to turn "unpainted minis [that were] pretty ugly that way" into things "at the top end, treated as works of art," (Adrian Gideon on why he began painting Battletech miniatures, December 2016).
With the painting legend's permission, Dave "Hauptmann" Fanjoy's website www.heavygauss.com is now listed on the links page.
Before Camospecs, Fanjoy was one of the early notable painters and electronic publishers of Battletech minis. Pieces like this Cerberus from 2003 were some of my earliest inspirations to get into miniature painting. I remember spending hours at work during university years studying the images on his website. Though it may not be readily visible in my current work, his style is an important influence in my aesthetic.
It's also worth noting that he is one of if not the first airbrush artists of Battletech minis.
Be sure to check out his page, www.heavygauss.com!
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