Fan Submissions FAQ

Interested in becoming a member of CSO?  Here’s how to apply.

1. You must send in pictures of exactly five different miniatures in five different paint schemes. The different paint schemes should be diverse enough to show a range of talent to the panel.
2. One of the paint schemes must be from our Unrepresented Units List.
3. Only canon schemes referenced on CSO will be considered.
4. Only BattleTech miniatures sold by Catalyst Game Labs or currently available from Iron Wind Metals will be considered. Any modifications may only use parts from Iron Wind Metals, Catalyst Game Labs or artist-made custom parts.
5. Miniatures must be assembled correctly, and have all mold lines removed.
6. The miniatures must be based, and pictured with some sort of terrain as the background.
7. The pictures must clearly show the mini in focus, avoid excess lighting or shadows, and be 1000×1000 pixels in size.
8. Name the files you send in with corresponding unit and mini name. For instance: ‘wolfdragoonarcher.jpg’
9. Send along a simple text document stating which unit each mini belongs to and the name or variant of each mini as painted. Only canon variants/loadouts should be submitted.
10. Minis must match logical composition for their Unit. e.g. a Clan ‘Mech in a Clan Galaxy.
11. If a Unit’s Insignia has a location specified on its CSO Unit page, then it is considered part of the scheme and must be included in the specified location.
12. All submissions will be critiqued by a panel of CSO artists. If you are averse to criticism of your work, then this is not something you should pursue.
13. You will be judged on photography, adherence to canon information, painting skills, and should your initial submission not be accepted, ability to correct issues.
14. You will be judged on your overall skill level. While CamoSpecs still hosts miniatures over a decade old, our painting standards have risen much higher. We strongly encourage you to review only miniatures from the last 1-2 years to get a better feel for the required skill level.
15. Techniques like jeweling, weathering, and non-metallic metals are not required, but displaying a wide range of skills increases the chances of acceptance. Additionally, some techniques can demonstrate a more robust knowledge of BattleTech lore like a variant’s weaponry or unit-specific traditions.
16. If your submission is not accepted, there is a minimum 60-day waiting period before you can submit again.
17. Please be aware that many first submissions are rejected. We encourage you to utilize the comments generated by the review process, and submit again. Most of CSO’s current artists had to re-submit at least once, sometimes more often than that, so you’d be in good company!
18. Members of the Camo Specs Online (CSO) team are ambassadors for the Catalyst Game Labs (CGL) and CSO brands. This requires professional conduct when representing our organization and/or interacting with other BattleTech fans online and in person. Submitters with an internet presence are required to have a similar measurable history of professional conduct.

We care very much about details and canon lore here at CSO. Your submission miniatures should show a reflection of appreciation for details like weapon type, unit markings, and proper canopy placement. Particular types of technique or style aren’t required, but use your application as a way to demonstrate your painting skill and your willingness to research what you’re painting. It’s not just about your skill with a brush, but also your passion for the subject matter.

That’s it. Paint your miniatures. Take pictures of them. Put them all into a single zip file and submit them to 00dawg [at] gmail [dot] com.  Please note this is a temporary measure as of  10/12/23 while we redirect our traditional email addreses.
We look forward to your submissions!

Unlicensed copies or printings of Minis that the printing party does not have full intellectual property rights to cannot be posted in any CSO-related social media. This includes designs from Mechwarrior Online. While we will not prohibit artists from owning these types of miniatures in their personal collection, any involvement in promoting this area is strongly discouraged, including advertising of painting these designs for hire. Artists found printing unlicensed miniatures for sale may be removed from membership.

What is CSO?

CamoSpecs Online (CSO) is a volunteer organization dedicated to displaying high-quality images of miniatures from the BattleTech canon material. CSO is an official website sanctioned by the BattleTech game developers, and is often tasked to help promote the miniatures aspect of the game. Work from the CSO team is frequently used for illustrations in
rulebooks and promotional material, and such work is produced under the auspices of a legally binding Non-Disclosure Agreement between each contributing Artist and Catalyst Games.

Member artists have the privilege of contributing images of miniatures to the CSO website, participating in special projects requested by Catalyst, and even helping to develop new paint schemes for the  BattleTech universe. As representatives of Catalyst (and thus Topps, owners of the rights to BattleTech), artists have the responsibility to present themselves to the community in a professional manner, and to work with other CSO artists as part of a coordinated team. In addition, each artist is responsible for checking the quality of his/her own work as well as the work of other CSO artists to ensure that the presented material is high-quality and consistent with the published canon.

New artists can join the CSO stable by submitting an application package as described on this page. Current artists will review the work and vote on its suitability. If the new artist passes the vote, the CSO Coordinator can approve the new artist for acceptance to the team.

Please note that CSO isn’t just about pretty miniatures. We’re a team that’s often called upon to produce material to exact specs on fixed timelines. The GenCon diorama, photos for sourcebooks, and marketing/promo images are all subject to CGL approval and requirements. This means we’re looking for people who not only play well with others, but who can accept and work with repeated feedback and precise specifications. This isn’t to say that there isn’t room for individual style and flair, but it does mean that when a request comes in for a specific laser color, terrain type, or stripe width, we do what’s needed.