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No More Sculpts from Rocco Tartamella on PredatorStuff

February 10th, 2008

Hey folks! Just a heads up for those of you looking for when I will get more of the human cast member kits from Predator that were made by Rocco Studios, I will no longer be carrying them due to Rocco Tartamella being an insecure and self centered artist that has decided to once again be rude to a company that has shown extreme support for him and his products. So while I pull the knife out of my back from this asshat, I figure I’d let you guys know what happened and why I won’t be carrying them anymore.

As you guys have seen, I put up a nice article about his new kits here and have posted rave reviews and answered questions all over the forums I normally participate on. So my support has been unwavering and I plugged his products all over the place and worked hard to get his stuff in my shop. I think you’ve all seen this and know exactly what I am talking about.

There’s an old saying that applies to any artist that wants to be successful… you never take criticism personally, you use it to improve and grow as an artist. So when I told Rocco recently that I thought the upper body on his upcoming Dillon kit was too small compared to the legs (A comment made by MANY of you fellow collectors, including the esteemed Anthony Mestas, who made this exact comment right here on my blog), I told him in hopes that he could address the issue and make this a more accurate kit. Instead, like a petulant child, he took it as a personal attack and then proceeded to cry like Paris Hilton in the back of a squad car.

Here is a PM I sent to him after I made the comment about the sculpt, which was friendly and constructive and not “wow this sucks” in any way. I was VERY enthusiastic about these pieces and I only wanted the best possible sculpts as this was a chance and finally having these awesome pieces.

Hey dude,

They have arrived! The box was heavily damaged but everyone survived *happy dance* Beautiful sculpts and nice casts… top marks man these are awesome and the scale is kick ass. So now my question is, can I get more? LOL! I need 3 or 4 more of each, how soon would you be able to get them out?

Thanks!
Dan

This is how he responded:

Hey Dan,
I’m no longer wholesaling kits, as it turns out it isn’t worth it for me in the end. I appreciate your business and your level of enthusiasm over the quality, but to be succinct, I’ve read your posted comments about these kits and to put it briefly it left me dumbfounded. I don’t understand why you would go so far out of your way to put these kits down on several forums and then p.m. me with how much you want and like them. Certainly, I don’t understand it after the deal I gave you on your last order and after I posted that you were a trusted source to get these kits in Canada. With friends like you who needs enemies, eh?! I really don’t know what to make of you, but it’s negative comments like the ones you’ve made (without even seeing the kits first hand, mind you) that lead to lost sales and then to the eventual discontinued status of such collections. Other than these, I am at a loss for words.

So this is how Rocco takes constructive criticism folks and this is how he treats people that support him. No wonder I had several prominent members of the kit community warn me that talking to Rocco was like walking on eggshells and that he was very sensitive about his work. Wow, Rocco, get a life man and learn to accept that no one is perfect and there’s always room for improvement.

I then communicated with Rocco exactly how I felt about his ridiculous outburst and more or less demanded and apology as I had clearly supported him fully and was bringing him SIGNIFICANT sales and I even left the door open to him to resume business with me. He responded with:

Dan,
You are not going to threaten me into selling you kits. I’ve told you where I stand, so leave me alone.

Apparently demanding an apology from someone clearly in the wrong is a threat… who knew?! So there you have it folks… I will no longer be carrying his kits and I sincerely hope that Rocco’s balls drop in the near future and that he’s able to accept criticism like any real artist should and conduct himself accordingly instead of alienating people that give their time and money to supporting him.

Dan

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19 Responses to “ No More Sculpts from Rocco Tartamella on PredatorStuff ”

  1. Rob Says:

    Hey Man.
    I just read your comments on Rocco Tartamella. Sorry to hear about that. I was looking forward to seeing these kits. But you were right. Dillon’s body is too small! In the movie he’s almost as big as Arnie! If the other Kits weren’t soo well made this might have gone unoticed. Oh well. You know the old saying. You can please some of the people most of the time and most of the people some of the time…..
    Love your site. Keep up the great work.
    R.
    p.s. Would you be interested in original pen and ink Predator Art? let me know.

  2. Dwayne Says:

    What bunch of crap now Im glad I didnt buy the first two kits if I cant get the rest of it. Is he gonna stop to whole production of them? Or is he just refusing to sell them on this site? Either way he didnt handle it very well and I cant believe he freaked out like that over something that was not meant to be a insult.

  3. Punhulk(matt) Says:

    Wow dan that is sorry of Rocco

    From what was posted it seemed you tried to keep it extremely professional and straightforward. It would have been different if you were raving how great they were to him and than bashing him on the boards which that never occured so for him to get like that is just wrong. But hey it happens

    Just sad when bridges are burned and they dont have to be

  4. Faken Says:

    I agree and that’s what pissed me off about all this. I posted in a thread HE made on a forum where you’re supposed to talk about the sculpts posted, I kept it professional and this is how he acted… unbelieveable.

    In fact, here is exactly what I posted and you can judge for yourself:

    OK, I think Dillon is pretty awesome (Arnie and Dillon are off the hook), but I want to be honest in my feedback, so Rocco please don’t get pissed at me. You know I LOVE Dutch and Blaine (Blaine’s mini gun is too small though), but I feel this piece needs work. After Arnie, Carl Weathers is the next biggest guy on the cast, but your Blaine looks way bigger in terms of upper body. I just think the upper body on Dillon is too small, especially compared to his legs. Carl has a huge chest, but his shirt seems almost flat on the kit.

    Anyhow, that was my first impression when I saw the pics… his upper body is too small.

    The other thing that I noticed was how thick the brim of his army cap is… Not sure if that’s just the way it needs to be sculpted and cast, and then the builder can sand it down, but it’s definitely too thick from what I can tell. The brim appears to be thicker than his eye sockets from the pics.

    I very rarely take the time to give out this kind of critique on sculpts and I know everyone likes to hear nothing but good, but I am VERY passionate and excited about FINALLY having human figures that are dead on, I felt compelled to share my honest thoughts. So please don’t be offended or frustrated, I just thought I’d share… I’ve seen P1 a couple hundred times by now (I used to come home from work and play the DVD while I ate dinner when I was a bachelor lol!) so these characters are forever etched to the back of my retinas

    Dan

    This is the exact quote and this is exactly what I posted originally and I didn’t go back and edit a thing. This is what he is referring to when he attacked me…

    Dan

  5. Mark Brown Says:

    Dan,
    I am truly sorry that this happened! I dont understand Rocco’s
    behavior? He is such a talented artist. I have a two of his kits in my collection. Why he overreacted to some constructive feedback is a real mystery? It is his loss that he will no longer offer his Predator Diorama through such a GREAT website as
    Predator Stuff. Dan, you’re the BEST guy that I’ve ever had the pleasure to buy kits from. It’s a real shame that Rocco doesnt feel that way. I have just received the Dutch & Blaine kits and they are so SUPER COOL with the bases that interlock! I thought to myself after unpacking them that when the entire rescue team is assembled under the tree with the Predator on top, this is going to be the diorama of 2008!
    I’m REALLY disappointed with Rocco. If he only knew how much he’s letting everybody down. Dan, he has no idea what a GREAT guy you are to do business with!!! I’m very sorry.
    Thanks again Dan for all your support and hard work in the hobby!!!
    All the Best!
    Sincerely,
    Mark Brown

  6. Predian Says:

    I also replied to Rocco’s posts on Hunter’s Lair because I am working on waist-up busts of Dutch, Dillon, Harrigan, Keyes…
    I started with the heads made in milliput to make sure I was satisfied to carry on with the bodies. I didn’t criticize but it took me weeks to get Arnie’s face right and Dillon’s cap is thinly sculpted over a thin sheet of metal, I prefer mine but his finished full figures knocked me for six. His Dutch is the same pose I was planning to do.
    When I said what I was doing and asked which other characters he was planning he seemed very off in his responce. It made me think he’s not interested in anyone else’s work.

  7. superfly Says:

    Hey Guys,

    I got both Arnold/Jesse from Rocco Studios…Let me tell ya…They’re not that great…casting of Arnold was terrible! huge seam lines flash…etc likenes is not really dead on..not compared to Andy Bergholtz! Blaine’s mini-gun is too small and I’m missing the back-pack!..Anyways I’m thinking of selling them both (as is)for a good price! Had them for a week…haven’t touched them…still in the box they came in!

  8. Faken Says:

    How’s the barrel on the minigun? Does it end in an oval or is it round? Sucks you didn’t get the backpack, Rocco should be able to get you a new one (I don’t think you got it from me right?).

  9. superfly Says:

    Faken,
    I got them directly from Rocco before you posted it on PredatorStuff.. It might still be in the box..I found all the parts mixed in with the packing foam bits..some parts were not in plastic baggies! The Mini-gun barrels are incorrect and not even round! all the round parts are oval!…Any average modeler can make their own using brass rods and plastic card.
    Anyways I’m saving my energy for the Death Warrior kit! =)..instead of wasting time fixing these!

  10. Faken Says:

    Yep.. I noticed mine were oval too. Fixable, but still stupid to have to deal with.

  11. Punhulk(matt) Says:

    Dan

    Wow ya from your post to rocco you were just being honest and trying to help him out so he does the statues right. unreal he acted like that

    Also predian i remember reading that post and ya he was off with his response to you. You were just asking genereal and simple questions

  12. Predian Says:

    I’m glad you thought so too Dan. I think somehow he was expecting only comments of praise instead of the usual mix of critiques. When someone looks at my work and asks “shouldn’t it look a bit more like this?” I either see my mistake and agree or tell them why I did it that way, as long as the communication is clear from both sides then nobody gets upset. An artist just can’t be too sensitive, they are making pieces for other people to be happy with not just themselves.

  13. Big Arr Says:

    I was literally 10 seconds away from putting in an order for these kits, and i am **SO SO** glad i didn’t, as i HATE to support garage kit artists with bad attitudes. Sounds like Rocco has some issues- too bad because when he grows up, and gets a little older than 8 years old, maybe he will be able to handle critisism like an adult, that’s the only way you improve.

    I will GLADLY spread the word for people to NOT buy ANYthing he makes.

    a short list of the problems and reasons why you shouldn’t buy these kits:

    if Arnold and Blaine are 13″ or taller, then they aren’t really 1:6 scale. So for kitbashers and 1:6 customizers these are completely useless.

    Dillon’s chest is too small.

    Incorrect chain gun on Blaine.

    Poor QC from Rocco – no parts should be missing! no excuse!

    casting flash left around the seams – BOOO!!!!

    so there ya have it- Rocco, do garage kit building a favor- and stop.

  14. Edward Says:

    I want to start by saying I dig this site and check it pretty frequently. But I do have thoughts about this and I doubt they will be popular.

    Personally I think the situation was worsened by both parties.. perhaps his reaction to your comments was less than optimal, but he didn’t exactly OMGWTFDUDE EXPLODE about it either. So… what is achieved by airing the dirty laundry on the main page of this site?

    If the guy didn’t like what you said fine, if the guy decides to stop selling the kits on account of what you said, also fine.. an announcement that your site would no longer carry the kits was all it would have taken. Going the extra mile – posting an exchange of PM’s, villianizing him while making yourself out to be ‘merely a fan who wants the best possible representation’, etc – really only makes you look like a bit of a jerk yourself.

    As I understand it, you criticized his kits based on your own expectations – which anyone might do really, not taking a shot at you – and he didn’t like it. That equation begins and ends with you and him. I seriously think people should deal with situations like this privately, as opposed to turning it into some kind of blog war to be aired publicly.

  15. Faken Says:

    You have every right to feel the way you do, that’s fine, but I don’t think someone who has completely disrespected me and accused me of trying to sabottage his business despite busting my ass for him deserves me to be silent. People should know exactly what kind of person he is and how he treats people that try to help him.

    I don’t think I look like a jerk in the slightest… Read the comments on the post about his kits… MANY people have pointed out the Dillon issue as it’s an obvious problem and for him to turn around and stab me in the back (don’t forget, he never said a WORD while I was out trying to sell his kits and get these things promoted on MY time… it was only AFTER I did all this work that he decided to take issue.. convenient don’t you think?).

    Rocco was way out of line and this is the type of stuff potential buyers and resellers like myself should know before getting involved with Rocco.

    You will notice I didn’t bring this up an the Clubhouse or any forum I or Rocco may frequent. This is my site and my backyard, so my laundry is in my own yard where it belongs and those that come to my site may see it or may not. I think it’s well within my right to present this information on my own website, that’s what it’s here for.

    But again, I respect your opinion, that’s what the comments are for, but I don’t think exposing Rocco for being underhanded and childish on my own website is unreasonable. If that makes me a jerk, so be it 🙂

    Thanks for your post!

    Dan

  16. VPaul Says:

    I received both the Dutch & Blaine kits directly from Rocco. Here is my critique of these two kits:

    The likeness to Dutch was pretty decent. The casting on the other hand had a lot to be desired. Horrible double seam lines on the back of his right arm & double seam lines down both sides of his body. I told Rocco about it & his response was ‘Oh, I have a different caster working on Dutch now, so future kits won’t look like that’. Ok, then how about offering to send me a replacement you idiot! That’s how things work in this biz Rocco! I am also a GK producer & would never just leave a customer hanging with a piece of crap casting like this. I would offer to replace it ASAP!

    Blaine is also a decent likeness & the casting is much better than Dutch. I do agree with what others have said about the mini-gun’s size & accuracy.

    When I first saw the Dillon piece, my first thought was: The upper body does not do justice to his character in the film. The upper body is WAY out of proportion in relation to his legs & comparatively to the other characters.

    I have since sold both the Dutch & Blaine pieces & will not be purchasing any of the future characters from Rocco.

    This is a small hobby such that talk behind the scenes between collectors, producers, etc runs rampant. This is not the first that I’ve heard negative comments regarding Rocco & his ‘artist’s attitude’. I have worked with sculptors who’ve been in the biz far longer than Rocco & they’ve learned to have an open mind regarding constructive criticism of their work. It only helps put bread on their table down the road.

    Although I understand why Dan decided to ‘air’ this matter with Rocco on this site, I can assure you there is enough talk about this & other issues concerning Rocco circulating behind the scenes in the GK world already.

    Honestly, if Rocco wants to survive in this industry, he will very quickly need to perform a complete 180 regarding having an open mind to constructive criticism & his customer service.

  17. Jack Says:

    i think you shouldnt have said those things personality.if you wanted his models then dont put them down.Secondly i think your in no possession for demanding anything.your the one that owes him an apology.your not a really good friend if all you do is use him.Then when things to you dont seem up to par.Knock him down so you should apologise for using him.

  18. Faken Says:

    So making him money and promoting him all over the kit community is using him? Are you stupid? Do you even know what that means? I’m all for intelligent discussion like what Edward posted, but maybe you should get a firmer grasp on reality before you spew on this discussion any further.

    And I am not his good friend by any stretch of the imagination… my good friends don’t stab me in the back and get offended at the drop of a hat.

  19. griffin_t_a Says:

    Superfly, you still selling that Dutch kit?

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