1936-2011: IN MEMORY

Doug Chaffee was one of a handful of artists farsighted enough to realize the future of the human race is in the stars. A product of Cold-War science fiction, Chaffee turned his energies to the technological. He became the head of IBM’s Art Department during the early years of the space race. His career quickly skyrocketed as one of the leading artists not only in his genre, but of his generation.

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Chaffee began illustrating space related subjects during a time when the space program was young and at a time when few artists knew how the Earth looked from space. While the “Space Age” was in its infancy, his work was winning national awards in shows relating to the space program and in the aerospace field. Several years before the Viking probes reached Mars, he illustrated a National Geographic article about the Red Planet, authored by Carl Sagan.

Doug Chaffee’s artworks range from paintings for NASA, the military, the book and the gaming industry. His paintings are owned by top ranking military officers, corporate executives and famous authors including Tom Clancy as well as a shuttle astronaut. Chaffee did the official program painting for the Trident submarine and his work has hung in the Smithsonian, the JFK bldg., the American Airlines museum and has been featured in Air Force, Think, Newsweek, and US News as well as several military and science magazines.


The US Vice President’s airplane, A World’s Fair poster, a calendar painting for a major aerospace client, a painting for the Air Force’s Special Tactics Group and paintings for government leaders outside the US are part of his portfolio. Doug has won many awards with his art including Bests of Show from the National Association of Industrial Artists and the World Military Gaming convention. He won the Frank R. Paul award for science fiction and received a nomination for a Chesley.

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Best-selling author Tom Clancy is an enthusiastic collector of Chaffee’s submarine art. Clancy autographed fifty artist-proofs of Above Top Secret, after he purchased the original. Chaffee worked for computer game companies and he has illustrated BattleTech, Shadowrun, and Magic: The Gathering, as well as other adventure game properties. Chaffee’s paintings have appeared in Inquest, Duelist, Scrye and on covers for Strategy & Tactics magazines, as well as many game box and module game covers. Doug Chaffee was the Guest of Honor at the World Gaming Convention as well as Artist Guest of Honor at several other major conventions.


Catalyst Game Labs is honored to be working closely with Doug’s wife, Melba, and son, Scott, to display the magnificent portfolio of BattleTech illustrations that have meant so much to so many fans.

More than sixty original paintings of a wide variety of sizes across more than a dozen years of BattleTech history will be available for purchase directly at the show; a full list of prices for that artwork will also be available at Gen Con.

All sales go directly to the Doug Chaffee Estate.


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