Dom : Hi, Stan. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Stan : I'm 55 years old, live in south Florida and work as a computer graphics artist for an equestrian publication. As well as manufacture and paint wargame miniatures. I originally come from N.Y. and moved to FL about 11years ago. I served in the US army for 2 years (36th engineer batt.), 5 months in Viet Nam.

Dom : What are your hobbies and your favorite games?

Stan : Wargaming of course, although I spend a lot more time painting than gaming. I also Scuba dive as much as possible. And do some shooting, pistols and Trap.

Monday night is my gaming nite and currently we are playing a Mech warrior/Battletech campaign game that’s been going for a couple of years now. I think Battletech, Necromunda, Ogre/GEV and colonial historical gaming are my favorite games in no particular order.

Dom : How did you discover wargames and RPG’s?

Stan : I got involved with wargaming in 1957 (11years old) When my cousin brought me to play in a wargame that he held as part of a Sea cadet activity. We played on a gym floor with monogram and revell vehicles, aircraft and ships. I was hooked from then on. I was involved mainly with WW2 and modern games until I went in the service. After I got out I joined a club that played Napoleonic’s in 30mm using column, line and square rules. I did not have any involvement with RPG's until I started working with FGU. I have played  D&D, Mech warrior, Merc, and space opera RPGs.

Dom : Did you play Space Opera? If so what do you think of this game?

Stan : Unfortunately I did not get a chance to play Space opera for any length of time we started a campaign and had a good time but our group broke up after 4 or 5 sessions due to job changes and going off to college for some of the younger players. I just never got a chance to play again. I did think it was a good game as far as we got with it.

Dom : How did you become a sculptor?

Stan : As I mentioned before I got into a Napoleonic club in 1968. Each player was given a country to build an army for, as a late comer to the club I got Austria back in 1968 there were very few Austrian figures to be had. So I had to buy French  and convert them to Austrians with 60 man units this got tiresome real fast, so with some encouragements from guys in the club who saw my conversions work I stated building stick figures out of solder then layering epoxy for the details. Eventual I bough mold making and casting equipment and I had a small figure business/Hobby going. Also I did have formal art training in drawing, drafting, painting and sculpting from private lessons starting at 10 years old thru Art & Design High School.

Dom : Can you tell us how you met Scott Bizar and how you came to work with FGU?

Stan : I met Scott at a miniatures convention. But my involvement with FGU came thru the meeting with Mark Ratner. He wanted figures made for his game this was when it was his company FanTac games and the deal was simple: I made the figures and they were mine. He did the rules and they were his. Then he sold the rules to FGU, and Scott just continued with the original deal. He liked my work and asked me to sculpt the figures for his MERC Game, which I still produce today.

Dom : You met Mark Ratner when you’ve sculpted the original 25mm figures for Space Marines in the ‘70. How did you worked together? Did you met other members of the FGU staff?

Stan : There were only 2 meetings with Mark. At the first he gave me the rules and drawings of what he wanted, at the second I showed him the master figures by his request all were done with separate arms. He liked everything except the Hiss, which he said, were too large. They stood about 35mm high and he wanted them normal human height. So I resculpted the hiss as you see it today. I forget how many races we started off with but I was to add races over a period of time until all the races in the original space marines rules were done. The only ones I did not get to before FGU closed were the Mertuns and bugs. It wasn't until I started the MERC project for FGU that I went to Scott’s HQ and I only meet with Scott. We had talked about other miniatures projects for FGU like vehicles for Space opera but he closed before anything got going.

Dom : As a designer, where does your inspiration come from?

Stan : The obvious are things like books and movies like my road warrior line. With the Space marines figures I have just tried to continue in the same vain as the original rules almost all were earth species made into aliens so it was just natural to add snakes. The Boomers (kangaroos) were a request form a customer, which I liked and just sculpted them. I like getting suggestions from the gamers after all they are the ones who use the figures.

Dom : What are your professional projects at the moment and for the years to come? Do you plan to issue new figures for Space Opera?

Stan : I must admit with so many companies making so many different things from Fantasy to historical to Sci-Fi I don't know what I should do next. As for space opera I have been thinking of redoing the humanoid races to 28mm size  since so many of the new figures being done are 28mm. I would like suggestions from the gamers as to scale desired. Figure types more civilian adventurer types or combat types.

Dom : After all these years, are you surprised by the continuing popularity of Space Opera? Do SO players still come on your web site and order your new miniatures line up? Have you been contacted by SO fans outside the USA?

Stan : No I'm not surprised, it is a good system and the possibilities for exploring the universes the GMs create are endless.

Yes, we fill orders for both the older figures and the new ones.

Yes, I have had orders and inquiries from outside the US for the Space opera 15mm adventurers and 25mm space marines.

Dom : Finally, what message would you like to give to all the Space Opera fans?

Stan : I wish them many years of exciting adventures in the SO universe. Also send me your suggestions.

Dom : Thanks again Stan for having taken the time to answer our questions.

Lake Worth, Florida, USA, 29/08/01