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Divine Craft Paintball

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Ralph Torrell - In the Hot Seat

Ralph is a paintball player of 10 years, playing as a member of the Wild Geese in New York.  He is now turning his love of the game into a career producing custom paintball paroducts as well as writing and producing scenario games.  We sat him down in the Hot Seat to ask him a few questions about his paintgun collection and Divine Craft Paintball.

What got you started in the sport of paintball?

I first saw an issue of Action Pursuit Games about 11 years ago and was hooked ever since.

You are a member of the Wild Geese.  What is unusual about this team, who are some of the members, and how did you get involved with the team.

I was a paintball "orphan" when I was younger, My father didnít play so I discovered the sport for myself at the age of 10. The geese took me in because they liked my attitude and the way I played, Bryan Keker and his father Paul Keker were my segregate paintball family. As well as the captain Jerry Jameson who taught me a lot about life in general. The wild geese are the Oldest Paintball team in the world founded in 1982, and really just a bunch of friends who are more like family.

The Complete Guide to Paintball was one of the first really big, detailed books about the sport.  In the sections about paintguns and the development on technology almost every other paintgun photo is something from your collection.  What got you started collecting paintguns?

Iím a collector of many things, pretty much anything I have a passion for. To learn more about the roots of the sport I started collecting markers.  The only way to learn it is to live it - so I played for many years with my collectorís markers.

At present, how big is your collection?

Right now my collection has to be around 100 some odd guns. The peak of my collection was over 150.

What do you look for when adding to your collection?

When looking for a new addition I look for make, model, number produced, and condition. But its getting very hard to find something I donít already have.

What is your most expensive paintgun, and which has the most sentimental value to you and why?

My most expensive gun is Rhadamathus a completely custom $3500 pump gun [built by Palmerís Pursuit Shop.]  As far as sentimental, my Spyder, that was the gun my dad got me for xmas one year and it was my first semi.  I had asked for a PGP, and I got it and the Spyder.  I had a Trracer already and I thought "Wow!  I have three paintball guns, I could have an infinite number!"  Iíve sold the gun, unfortunately and I wish I could track down who has it.  I would love to be able to buy it back because it was what inspired me to start collecting.

Youíve recently started Divine Craft Paintball.  What products does this company produce, and what are your plans for its future?

Divine Craft Paintball was started by myself and Bryan Keker.  We have a clothing line, making active gear and also a line of cleaning products for your gear, as well as a full custom machine shop setup for milling, anodizing, and powdercoating.

If making paintball products isnít enough youíve also thrown your hat into the scenario production ring.  What is your background in big games and scenario games?  What do you bring to the table as a Scenario writer?

Iíve been involved playing big games for about 10 years and after going to college for theatre and screen play writing I realized that by adding paintball you can have some great scenario games. As I said Iím college educated it being a playwright, backstage tech and prop master. Which is all you need to make a great scenario.

The first scenario game you produced was Spaghetti, Meatballs and Mayhem.  Where was it held and how was it run?

EMR Paintball Park in New Milford PA. I think it went well.  Everyone seemed to have a great time. It ran as good as could be expected with a torrential down pour and snow.

What were some of the lessons you learned from your first time out running a game?  What went as planned, and what surprises popped up?

Lessons, hmmm, lets seeÖ Never rely on Mother Nature because she is a spiteful wench.   Also, that the paintball industry as it is growing is producing some very nice people, and Iím Glad Iím one of the industry family now.

For the first time ever, the International Amateur Open is combining a scenario game with its tournaments which will bring not only tournament players, but also recreational players out to its massive paintball trade show.  How did you get involved in this project?

Debra [Krischke] from [Team Effort Events] called me one day and said she saw some of my work and she was looking for new blood to do a game, an in reality you can get much older new blood then me.  Iím 20 years old and have been playing since i was 10.

What are some of the things the players at the IAO scenario game can look forward to this July?

IAO is going to be great, lots of real looking props, a very easy format to follow and, lots of surprizes.  There will be special missions.  There will be props that players can return for prizes.  There are going to be tanks there as well.

Thank you very much Ralph, is there anything youíd like to add?

I would like to thank Mike "Blue" [Hanse] from EMR Paintball Park for helping every step of the way, he is my paintball business role model, and I would not be what I am today without his advice.  Iíd also love to thank my parents for having faith in me and holding in while I started this business.  Even though I am in the public eye the most for Divine Craft Paintball, my partner Brian Keker is also involved in everything. 


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