We just got a rough draft of the Crinos I in from Mike Sullivan, who has been doing some really good work. He’s the guy behind the Cheyenne III, the Dragonfly, the Flagstaff and the Oculus, so you know it’s going to be excellent. And judging from the roughs, it is.
But that is not all. Jim Lafferty has also turned in a serviceable rough draft of the Fox. We’ve worked on a few bugs and it looks ready to hammer into shape with increased detail. I look forward to the next iteration of the design.
Two new artists have signed on for putting the remaining art to bed. The first is Karl Olson and the second is David Dryburgh.
Karl is a man of great talent and I wanted to see his work in the TRO so badly, I went through what ‘Mechs we had on hand just to see if there was anything which could be considered sub-standard. There was. The Cobra CBR-03 is an updated, upgraded variant of the 3060 machine, the original CBR-02.
This is a forty-five tonner that moves at 5/8/0 and carries two LRM-15s and two medium lasers, along with about 75% of the armor allowed for its tonnage. It's okay for a fire support 'Mech, but is basically an Apollo Lite with no Artemis fire control. And Lord love it, no CASE. It could be better with just a few changes, especially given the Lyran propensity for big direct fire guns.
The CBR-03 has the same framework and engine, but it carries two ER large lasers, three medium lasers, 99% of the armor allowed and moves at 5/8/4. It also features additional heat sinks to deal with the heat spikes generated by those big guns. Yes, it is still fire support and not just a glorified Griffin; though the indirect fire capability has been lost, it can at least jump to get into position for a good shot.
The art for this was originally provided by Vlad, and he did the best he could with what amounts to a fairly ugly ‘Mech. But the result is a side view which is visually confusing. I have always thought it could be done better, and now it looks like Karl has pulled it off. The new Cobra is so well-put-together that it practically gleams. I really think it does the design and writeup justice and, after sending the minor corrections back to him, eagerly await the final product.
David is another fine artist whose work I saw on one of the forums. He agreed to do the CM-33 and despite the lowly nature of an ammunition carrier, has submitted a sketch which is quite attractive. A few corrections here and there and it will be ready for inking.
Pea-man has finally (!) coughed up a rough draft of the Diatryma armored car, and aside from the wheels (which I feel should be more robust), it looks promising. The turret sticks out like a sore thumb from the sleek hull, however, and so a bit more back-and-forth will be required before we nail this one down. I want to preserve the sleek looks as much as possible – the Diatryma is an urban combat vehicle whose primary role is security.
The base model carries a triple rack of small pulse lasers in a turret, the Urban variant trades two of those SPLs for an SRM-2 which is capable of launching CS missiles and is thus better-equipped for civilian crowd control. The design weighs in at ten tons and one problem may be that the scale is off – right now I have what amounts to the image of an oversized AMC Gremlin with a turret, and the whole thing can’t weigh more – visually, at least –than two or three tons. It looks like something from Car Wars. Which means, not bad, but we gotta work on it.
As an aside, I will be tapering back on my weekly updates. The project art and writing are temporarily in the hands of others right now and do not require my full-time attention. I promised my son I would spend more time with him, vice a writing project which has been omnipresent for the past two years. Time to play catch with the boy, instead of going through files over and over, weeding out errors. I can still fire the machine up after he takes to bed, but the days of coming home, making dinner and then planting my ass outside with a cigar, coffee and this computer until 11pm are over.
Also experienced some issues with Windows Explorer (not the web browser), which reacted to my opening my Incoming Work folder by gobbling up 99% of my processor time and staying that way. I fixed it by killing the folder after salvaging the items I needed. Made a new folder and we are back to normal. Thank goodness the fix was so easy. I have not the slightest idea why it did that, though.
Tomorrow I have the day off – took it to get the van into the shop. The starter solenoid, the anti-sway bars and the poor oil pan are all hurting. My Cavalier’s brakes nearly went metal-to-metal on Friday; fortunately there was a mechanic who agreed to come over and do what was needed. Two sets of calipers and brake pads later, I am good to go – albeit $220 poorer. That was not in the budget, needless to say. I will be scrambling to make ends meet for the next two weeks, so if someone out there does not get their payment immediately, rest easy. I will pay you before using your art, but I must also tend to the lights, water, etc.
Expect another update on Friday or Saturday.