I got so lucky to talk to Nickey from Nickey’s Hatchery.
Nickey is a community driven man, got a Discord where he listens to his Patreons and other good advice, while keeping himself and the community up to date with his progress on Trello.
He creates gorgeous miniatures that you can utilize in your D&D games.
Lets get right into the interview!
First of all, tell me a bit about yourself:
My name is Nickey Dimchev and I’m a digital sculptor currently working as a freelance artist creating mainly miniatures, collectibles and action figure parts for 3D Printing or casting. My work as a miniature creator is mostly done for my Store (www.nickeyshatchery.com) and my Patreon (www.patreon.com/NickeyHatchery).
In the past I’ve worked on anything from movies like The Expendables 3, indie games and, of course, 3d printing-related projects. My focus right now is creating unique models that can be used in RPGs and wargaming.
How and when did you join the RPG modeling community?
I created Nickey’s Hatchery in November last year and since then have tried to be as involved in the community as possible. I’m active as much as possible and try to create models that are missing from the community and sculpt minis that hopefully help to enhance your RPG adventures.
Tell me about the expendables 3 and how it shaped your future
Working on The Expendables 3 several years ago was my first big project and taught me a lot about being a professional modeler.
Right from the get-go I had to dive into the deep end of being in a team of modelers and was very lucky to have a great Lead to teach me the ins-and-outs. It was challenging and involved a lot of overtime but in the end was a great experience.
It helped with gaining the confidence to tackle any project no matter how daunting it may seem.
What did you wish you had known when you started out?
The importance of communication and the social aspect of being a freelance artist/your own brand and to not be afraid to be open about what you do.
One of the scariest things about being an artist for many people, myself included, is posting your work online, sharing what you’re doing, facing the critique, unavoidably comparing yourself to others and learning how to communicate in a meaningful way.
To an artist that is now starting out, I would say: post your work online! All the time! Doesn’t matter good or bad. Document your journey, share your challenges and frustrations, and give people the chance to get to know you. Believe me when I say that the positive aspect of social media will far outweigh the negative when you’re honest with others.
And NEVER, EVER compare yourself to others. You should only be trying to be better than yourself. I’ve learned the frustrations that come from constantly trying to “beat” someone else the hard way.
You are a community driven man, and you got a discord. What is the weirdest / funniest request you have gotten?
This is a great question! We’ve had many conversation with patrons on Discord that go borderline crazy sometimes. It would take me way too long to list, or remember, every weird or funny thing but here’s some examples:
A Dragon’s head so I can put it on the Chimera’s butt (direct quote: “beware of the fire, it’s not fire”). The Chimera conversation yielded a number of suggestions for many different body parts and animals that can be “stitched” onto it. Also, a Chibi baby chimera which I can neither confirm nor deny that I’ve taken seriously.
Boobs. On everything. This comes up often (even with the mutated undead dragon so that we know it’s female). As a joke… most of the time.
As a suggestion for Mutant Month I got a weird pic of a dog with a spider costume so that I can make that… but scarier.
I’ll leave it at that but there’s dozens of these gems generated constantly.I’m sure I’m forgetting some great ones.
How long does it take you to model one of your models?
It varies greatly. I’ve started putting a strong emphasis on unique design and quality models, more than on quick, generic releases. With that said, on average, a model can take anywhere from 1 day’s work (a few hours) to several days of work or more.
I love the fact that you are using public project management tools for showing people how far you are. Why did you take that decision to put pressure on yourself?
I see it as being as transparent as I can be with the community. The Trello lists let everyone know what I have on my mind and planned for the future. And my TO-DO list is growing each day! It’s a way to let everyone know that I mean it when I say that I listen to your requests.
My plans for the future are many, some are very ambitious and I think about what more I can provide to the community on a daily basis. While I can’t do everything at the same time, no request is ever forgotten. I do have to apologize if requests sometimes take longer to complete but I’m only one guy with one Wacom tablet, one cup of coffee, a lot of ambition and only so many hours in the day!
You have a Patreon and a website. Why should people go to your Patreon right now and sign up?
I realize how extremely competitive the miniatures market is right now and, to be honest, my first suggestion would be – join my Discord! I’d love to talk to you about printing and miniatures, discuss your DnD games and share some laughs.
If you decide that what I do is worth supporting, then the Patreon is a great way to do so. I like to say that Nickey’s Hatchery is a community-driven project. Your support directly influences how much time I spend on minis and I even have a Goal at which I will go full-time sculpting minis for Patrons.
Unfortunately, the reality of life is that right now I have to take as many commissions as I can which means that I work on Patreon models in my free time (which often sums up to working 14-15hrs/day, 7 days a week so as to keep making meaningful releases). Not complaining at all as I love my job and only wish I could make more and more models for my supporters!
I’m personally super happy that i got the chance of chatting with Nickey. He is a super cool guy that really cares about the community. Something that we also do here and on Facebook.
I definitely think that if you have a chance you should at least join his Discord to see whats floating around for ideas. If you are in love, then check out his Patreon to support him. You can find him on following platforms here: