Friday, September 11, 2009

Like slogging through molasses...


Mike Sullivan has not responded on the topic of using his Crinos Red art for an internal color plate, but that’s understandable. He’s been quite busy. I have been waiting to see how things work out for him, but it’s likely he won’t be able to finish all the commissions, so they will have to find new homes.

I left one for him if he finds the time to do it – the Velite. It is based on one of his existing designs, suitably modified, so the work is minimal. And to be honest, the existing design is really snappy – I do not exaggerate when I say that this is a piece to which only Mike can do justice. Hopefully things will settle down a bit and he will be able to do that final piece. Meanwhile, his money is on the way.

JP Sphagnum has finally acquired a PayPal address and I will begin paying him shortly. Meanwhile, Karl Olson has sent a few rough drafts of the Panzer IX and we’re hammering out the details.

Jim Devlin responded briefly, mostly to note that we would use the print layout to work out the bugs in the TRO before settling on the online version. This makes sense, as the ‘skeleton’ of the print version and the online version are apparently the same – just different ‘skins’.

Geoffrey is very busy settling into his new home in Japan; I have not received any reply from him in several days. It may be a while before he can establish a reliable internet connection, and meanwhile he has more pressing matters to work out.

Here is the current TRO status in a nutshell:

‘Mech writing – the writeups for the Draconis Combine, Capellan Confederation, Comstar, Mercenaries and the Periphery are edited and proofed. We are awaiting the Federated Commonwealth, Lyran Alliance and Free Worlds League edits.

‘Mech art – the art for the Anvil and Vulcan II are the only ones which remain undone.

Vehicle writing – all vehicle writeups have been edited and proofed.

Introductions, Table of Contents, Back Cover – edited and proofed.

Vehicle artwork – out of 63 pieces, we have ten left to finish. Several are in the working stages and should be ready in a few weeks. Several more have been dropped by the artist due to special circumstances and will be re-commissioned. One has no commission yet and is still in limbo – depending on my finances, this one may or may not be re-done.

Diatryma armored car [OA] [art ½ complete – Jeremy Pea]
Horatio Bridgelayer [FWL] [commissioned to Lee Madison. Status unknown.]
Mastodon Minesweeper [FWL] [commissioned to Lee Madison. Status unknown.]
CM-33 Ammo carrier [CC] [art is 2/3 complete – David Dryburgh]
Panther [LA] [commissioned to Mike Sullivan. Will be re-commissioned.]
Panzer IX [LA] [art is 1/3 done - JP Sphagnum]
Sarpedon [FWL] [no commission yet]
Jian MMTV [CC] [based heavily on original work by Mike Sullivan. Re-commission.]
Velite [MH] [blah drawing – commissioned to Mike Sullivan and is about ½ done.]
Striker II [FWL] [turret is a copy of the original Striker’s – re-commission]

As you can see, we are very, very close but still have a bit of a slog ahead before I can ship all this off to Jim Devlin. Nearly half the pieces are for the Free Worlds League, two are for the Lyran Alliance, two are for the Capellan Confederation and the rest are Periphery vehicles.

I am left with little to do right now but polish the Table of Contents, tinker with new ‘Mech designs, bug my artists and balance my bank account. Part of me wants to add another ‘Mech to the Lyran Alliance, but they already have seven and House Kurita, with only four, could use a little love. Eriance is considering taking on the fugly ‘Mechs out there – the Blitzkrieg, Jagermech and Stalker are at the top of the list. But whether or not they will make the TRO depends on whether or not I can make a design which brings something new to the table – not just a warmed-over rebuild of an existing design.

Equipping the Blitzkrieg with an LB-20X, two ER Medium lasers, more armor and jump capability (6/9/4) might qualify – but again, the Lyrans already enjoy the lion’s share of the ‘Mech section. And some might argue that the latest Lyran Hunchback, with a similar warload (but a movement profile of only 4/6/4) serves the same purpose.

I’d dearly like to add Eriance’s Clan ‘Mech, the Leviathan, but this TRO has no Clan equipment of any sort. Sorry guys, but the Clanners are already fearsome enough without adding a hundred-tonner with four gauss rifles, two heavy medium lasers and a BV2 of 3024 to the mix! Even if it does feature Eriance’s beautiful art, it will have to wait…

We’re going across the water tomorrow, to Southcenter Mall so my son can do some shopping. He wants Vans for footwear and he’s been patient. He saved his money, did his chores, and has been a good kid studying hard in school. So off to the shops we go!

Thanks for stopping by.



Paint it Pink said...

I don't know Mike, but give him my best will you. Having been divorced and forced to move out while losing my job, I kinda understand the situation he finds himself in. Besides that even having to skirt this sort of Real Life stuff is just draining.

BTW: the TRO looks excellent and I find myself waiting with baited breath for this product, unofficial or not what I've seen is excellent.

Anonymous said...

Turn Eriance loose on one of the vehicle designs and see what he can do. :)