This is going to be a long post.
Before the Battletech Kickstarter happened, The Rock Beast was originally commissioned by a private individual to be a homage to his favorite Mech, the Stone Rhino from Battletech. It was meant for him personally and his group of friends to play with. He gave me around a dozen reference images and clear guidelines on what he wanted, as such I modeled and printed it.
He's a very positive person and despite being meant for him, he told me I could do with it what I wished. When I posted the renders on social media, I got lots of positive feedback and a few inquiries about printing it for others. Selling prints of the Mech wasn't my goal but I thought it wouldn't do any harm to print a few every month for fans who wanted one, and instead of replying to the occasional private message they could easily get it directly from the website. I decided to make him a sort of "pre-release" for the full Assault on Blackstar set, because why not, right?
However, when I posted pictures of the miniature on social media it came to light that one of the reference images was artwork from someone in the community, a rough sketch he had posted on the web, and that the finished work looked like his design. Nothing of the sort had been mentioned by anyone previously, not the client nor any fan that saw the renders a few weeks earlier, and I had never heard of the guy.
He was (understandably) upset that some of his artwork was used as reference for major shapes on the Mech without his permission. In the past, when someone used my art without permission, I tried contacting them privately and figuring it out from there, but in this case several members of the community, including another known artist and even the BT Art Director from the Kickstarter all decided to go after me publicly in a manner I feel was overly harsh. I'm not putting them on blast but I do wish they had handled it differently and contacted me directly instead of throwing me to the court of public opinion.
Long story short, I did get in touch with the original artist, resolved the situation amicably and removed the Rock Beast per his request. I was uncomfortable with the whole situation, being in the dark but now recognizing his art was used, being an artist myself I can relate to his unhappiness at the situation. You might see me post pics for my own personal use which he has no problem with, and that's it, I won't be selling it any further.
This does lead to a change of plans regarding Assault on Blackstar, but that's the subject for the next post...