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Ryan began with the miniatures hobby in his youth with Warhammer 40,000, playing Imperial Guard with his close friend, Mark. After a couple of years, he dropped out of the hobby altogether.
Taking a trip one weekend, nostalgia kicked in and his passion for the hobby was rekindled. As soon as this happened, Ryan, Mark and Chris were going gangbusters with tournaments, open games at the Bunker every weekend and weekly “hobby parties”.
Relatively soon, Chris and Mark broke into other game systems, but Ryan is still stuck on Warhammer 40,000 and Bolt Action; commanding Soviets and Imperial Guard. His models are clearly distinguished with their grim, grungy yet still extremely detailed style and it truly sets them apart.
Ryan’s favorite phrase is WYSIWYG, if you ever meet him in person use the phrase and watch his face light up with joy.
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Mark started off with scale models and playing Warhammer 40,000 in 4th edition in his youth. He played Black Templar, Tau, and Imperial Guard his first time around. He left the hobby for a number of years until him and Ryan were feeling nostalgic one day and decided to pick up the hobby once again for “old times” sake. That nostalgic itch inflamed a deep desire to paint toy soldiers and the hobby once again became an addiction.
Now, only a few short years after rekindling his love for paint, paintbrushes, and rolling dice to watch his army men die he plays and collects Warhammer 40,000, Firestorm Armada, Bolt Action, and Wild West Exodus. He brings his detail oriented background of fine scale modeling to the table where his focus is highly detailed vehicles and terrain. He has begun to add sculpting and casting to his repertoire of advanced painting and hobbying techniques.
Keep an eye out for Mark’s new products in the Mercenary Miniatures line of high quality tabletop wargaming.
His primary game is Bolt Action where he commands an army of Waffen-SS or an armored platoon of American tanks.
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Chris started in the hobby of tabletop gaming and miniatures painting in late 1998 when he was turned on to Games Workshop’s 3rd Edition of Warhammer 40k by a close friend. Under the guidance of his cousin who had been in the hobby for a little over 5 years at that point, Chris quickly gained many useful techniques and a wealth of knowledge pertaining to scale miniatures painting that would have taken years to acquire otherwise.
Over the next six years, Chris dabbled in other Games Workshop games such as Neromunda, Epic 40k, Battle Fleet Gothic, GW’s Lord of the Rings, and Inquisitor exposing him to many different scales of miniatures and styles of gaming.
In 2003, Chris began doing commission painting on a small scale for friends and acquaintances.
In 2004, Chris fell out of the hobby and followed other life aspirations that left little to no room for the hobby.
Several years after that, in 2013, Chris reemerged into the hobby with fellow Mercenary Miniatures founders Mark and Ryan starting a Tau Army from close to scratch and quickly making a name for himself in the local competitive 40k scene.
Now days, Chris collects, paints and plays 40k, Bolt Action, Wild West Exodus, Firestorm Armada, and Beyond the Gates of Antares. Painting and hobby specialties include SciFi miniatures, epoxy sculpting and effects painting.
Chris’ previous experience with audio recording and editing also prompted the start of the Windy City Wargaming podcast in 2014.