Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another month closer....


We’re another month closer to our publishing date, and things have been moving along.

Lee Madison has completed the Horatio and the Mastodon and is now hard at work on the new Jian MMTV. Click on the image above for a close-up look at some of the best vehicle art I have ever seen.

I have seen the preliminary sketches of the Jian and it looks very interesting. I have also approached him about doing the Velite ISV, as it appears that Mike Sullivan will not be able to complete that last project with the resources he currently has at hand.

Ian has done a preliminary Sarpedon and it will be finished with the addition of a few details. I have also approached him about working on the Velite, but as with Lee, have not heard anything back yet.

Eric has been busy with school and rightly so. However, he has also done a lot of drawing during opportune moments and the results are impressive. The art for the Daimyo is very good, with some last-minute tweaking to make it a handsome edition to any Kuritan armory. The Combine’s Gallowglas is at the inking stage, and Eric is working up a rough sketch of the latest Cataphract for the Capellan Confederation.

I gave Eric ‘license to upgrade’ with the new Cataphract III. Now, normally I stress retaining certain visual cues from the older drawings. This is in order to ensure a person looking at the design will make the connection and recognize the new art as being a ‘re-design’ of an established visual archetype. Thus, the new Vulcan has a ball-shaped cockpit that projects slightly forward and sits below the shoulder line, has a humaniform body and leg structure and is somewhat skinny. These are some of the most easily recognized features of the original Duane Loose art.

However, I took a look at the original 3025 Cataphract and then another at the 3050 version and recoiled in disgust. The 3025 version is a mish-mash of other ‘Mechs – the original Marauder legs, the Marauder arms and a few bits stuck on here and there to a Ost-style body.


The 3050 version, on the other hand, has no styling cues at all, unless you count the grotesquely fattened legs.

Neither have features I want to preserve in a new image of an otherwise-solid design, so I told Eric to come up with something he would want to pilot if it was a miniature. I am not sure what I have unleashed, but it should be a hell of a lot better than what has come before. Quite frankly, previous illustrations of the Cataphract stink. They look as though the folks at FASA were in such a hurry that they commissioned a high-school kid to sketch these during study hall.

I have also commissioned Eric to do two tanks – the Capellan Dao and the Lyran Panther. I assume these are under way as you read this blog.

Geoff has been busy with life in Japan, but has found the time to produce two good writeups for the Daimyo and Gallowglas. I will try to go over these today, but I have been very busy this week and my laptop and the weather have not been very cooperative. Today is Saturday, Halloween, and as it is sunny outside right now, I predict the weather will be good for the trick or treat crowd. So tonight’s writing will not be all that productive. There are the groceries to get, the trash to dump, a room to clean out and a house to vacuum. I have my hands full. Tomorrow I will get up very early to get my son’s drum set stashed in the car (hope I can do it!) and drive him to an event known as ‘Woodstick’, a drummer’s paradise from what I have heard.

Otherwise, things are going well! This should do it. The total number of vehicles and ‘Mechs is 105, with 187 record sheets now ready to publish. With two remaining writeups and some tweaking of the Panther tank design, writing and design editing should be done. Next week ought to bring another few pieces of art into their final stages. We are getting close to finishing this baby, folks. I will send the edited pieces off to Geoff on Monday and make room in my budget for additional payments to my artists. David Dryburgh has finished inking the second interior plate and I will get him his payment for the CM-33 this next Friday in the mail. Lee Madison is getting the models I promised as well.

Take care and enjoy the tunes.



Doug said...

I do have a question, what weapons/tech will not be in the TRO 3063? Like, what was your cut off point to say 'this item' came out after the TRO's in universe publication date.

You can get good rates on high-school level artist... :).

Steven Satak said...

Weapons and tech will be what existed in 3063, with one exception - experimental versions of the HPPC will be deployed on 'Mechs and Vees from several Houses. Of course, we already know the Draconis Combine got the first mass-produced HPPCs out there, but four years earlier there were several efforts to up the damage potential of the PPC. Obviously only a few of them panned out.

Yes, you can get good rates from high-school level artists. You can't necessarily get good art. I needed artists with some experience under their belts and a track record by which I can judge them. And I had to commission them so I could retain control over the development process.

It seems to be working well for myself and the artists thus far.