Saturday, June 26, 2010

Progress on ALL Fronts! And new Art!

Hello there!

Sorry for the tardy update, but I was waiting on several things in order to present a more optimistic blog post. Hopefully my artists and writing partner do not disappoint!

On the artwork front, several pieces of good news:

- Our layout man is still alive and his significant other is working on layout art. But more importantly, we now have an understudy training with him who already knows how to make what we need. However, the new guy is still somewhat rough around the edges - thus his status. These two, together, should be able to do a good job.

- Eric Ou has finished the two replacement versions of the Privateer. I am asking him to create a tank as well, but that will have to wait on other commission work he has to finish.

- As you can see from the illustrations (click on them to enlarge), we have permission to use art already in place for several pieces. Nathan Carlisle (ShamanX) and Dave Reynolds have been gracious and while we do not have new art from them, we don’t have to toss the original work Vlad sent. That is six pieces I do not have to sweat and which will not delay our schedule.

- The Lyran Vagabond writeup is done and is ready to go. The art is already complete. Whew!

- Ian Stead has created the basic chassis of the Roland Omni Tank.

- I am staying on Eric to finish the second version of the Isometrus. So far we have a pencil sketch, but he lost the original so he has to use my copy for inspiration.

- We are hard at work on the Battleaxe writeup, a Capellan machine that I mentioned before as the replacement for the Emperor.

- I believe I have gotten Alex Iglesias to either commission a new Percival or, failing that, get his permission to use the piece we have which is based on a piece he did a while back. I actually prefer the second option, as Alex works primarily in color and we’ve topped off on color pieces. And, well, Alex and his fine work do not come cheap…

[Update: Alex came through in record time AND in black and white. Thank you, Alex (as I flinch at the thought of the bill...)]

[New Update: Alex gave it to us gratis, no charge. THANK YOU!]

More Remains...

As you can see, I am making good progress, though there are still eight machines awaiting art. Specifically, there is the Panzer X (to be commissioned to Karl Olsen), the Katana, the Montgomery II, the Tomahawk, the Roland (commissioned to Ian Stead), the Percival (awaiting Alex Iglesias), the Urugan and the San-Ku-Chu. Some of these are mildly derivative, others blatant copies, and still others mimic current military machines. We are currently in need of a good black and white aircraft artist to re-do the Urugan jet fighter.

The ‘Mech art is under control – we’ve replaced copies with new art and I believe only one remains to be completed – the Isometrus.

Still on the back burner are the second draft of the Battleaxe and the daunting task of updating the TOC, Introductions and Index to reflect the new machines. After that, I will inspect the new writeups and generate the necessary PDF forms for our Record Sheet Annex.

Got to go!

Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Sound of Progress...


Some good news and some bad news.

Good news first:

- the White Knight has been redone by Jake. A little background and cleanup and it will be good to go. One man down.

- We’ve contacted other original artists and gotten them to accept commissions for rework.

- We’ve been offered a nice ‘Mech piece by Eric Ou, originally commissioned by Brian O’Connor. Rather than attempt to redo the Capellan Emperor, I have decided (based on the fact that there are a number of new Emperor designs that debut in our period) to replace the Emperor with an updated version of the Terran Hegemony’s Battleaxe. Yes, it is an upgrade to the original. Take a look at the top of this post to judge whether or not the art is fresh. The writeup is in the early stages, but I promise it will fit and it will be good. And yes, I will offer the Emperor as an online addition to anyone who wants it – the art was improved by David White and actually looks better than the original it was based on.

- We are introducing a new ‘Mech for the Lyran Alliance as mentioned before, replacing the Zeus PE. The Vagabond writeup is in the end stage and looks quite promising. It’s a pulse beast.

- Ian Stead is making solid progress on the redo of the Roland Omni Tank. He will be doing several other pieces as well.

- Eric did a preliminary sketch of the Isometrus, version 2. Unfortunately he has lost the original sketch in a move, but plans to refine it further.

And now the bad news:

- Our layout man is still down. He is in sporadic contact, but is still recovering.

- Our local man doing background art has not made any progress – he is faced with going under the knife soon for an unspecified ailment. I will be shifting to a new background artist within the next few days. Hark! It’s the curse of the TRO!

- I have ten vehicles and three ‘Mechs which need new art. Some of it is already in progress, other stuff needs to be commissioned. This is going to set me back another $300 so if anyone wants to pitch in, I would be grateful. I am still making payments on the color plates done by David Dryburgh.

I will be going through the Battleaxe writeup this week and re-doing the credits, TOC and Index sections to adjust for our new machines. Then I will put each machine (including its variants) in PDF format and install them in the Record Sheet folder.

That’s pretty much it. My son ‘graduates’ from Junior High School this week and is very happy to have the schoolwork lifted from his shoulders for a couple of months. He will be attending PE over the summer and should have a ball. Meanwhile, I have finally gotten down to attending some much-neglected yard work (the moss is taking over!) and spreading new bark on our front garden areas. It is good to get outside even though the weather in these parts still feels like spring.

Take care and thanks for stopping by.

My apologies for the musical box, but two or three songs have been acting up and despite repeated attempts to reload, they are still gunched. The site will not permit uploads at the moment, so perhaps this has something to do with the provider site itself.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

More Art Uncovered, More Commissions...


At the top of this column is another example of improved art. The original artist, Ian Stead, did a fine job. We own it. But I think it looks better since Eric Ou provided some background art to flesh it out. Click on the image to get a better view.

I have not heard from our layout man in a while. Hopefully he is not worse off, but I should have some news by tomorrow.

It is the end of swing shift and overtime at work, so my schedule will return to normal for at least a few months. It was quite the experience and I was very productive when working alone, but it will be nice to have the resources I took for granted on day shift.

I have had some luck tracking down the original artists thanks to Ryan, our art proofer. SimpleJay has not responded to my notes or emails, so we’ve gone ahead and begun replacing the art. Prdarkfox has been busy and just completed the re-engineered White Knight for House Kurita. As soon as I pay him I will post the piece for your viewing pleasure.

Ian Stead has not checked in yet but I expect something from him soon. Bill is working on the background art for the Ocelot II and should have something to show in our next update. He is highly skilled at shading and black and white art, so I expect good things. Daniel Cherng is also quiet; I have no idea where his piece stands, as I have had no sketches from him. Lee Madison is still silent too – he has not responded to my email and I can only suppose he no longer wants commission work.

Ryan is still chasing down vehicle art sources. He should be finished in time for our next post. As you can see from the following art, there is more to be uncovered. Since I have not heard from Mike Sullivan since he dropped out of the commission business, I do not know if we will be able to get a re-issue from him of the Montgomery II as it is. It looks good, really. But it’s too derivative of the original. I will ask him anyway… [he responded this evening, but is too busy right now. Perhaps in a few weeks…]

Take a look at the following pieces. ShamanX is responsible for most of the originals and I have reached a tentative agreement with him to redo the work in black and white to our specifications.

And a personal message to ShamanX (Nathan)...

Eric Ou is still at work on the Privateer, although he is also busy with other commissions right now. He has summer school approaching and I can only hope he will be able to provide the art for both Privateers before he is hip-deep in algebraic alligators. Meanwhile, I will be reading the rough draft for the new ‘Mech tonight after I finish this update.

Catalyst Games…

As of this writing there is nothing new regarding CGL. There is a lot of speculation and a lot of sniping going on at the remaining forums where Frank Trollman can still post. It seems there are plenty of CGL supporters out there, but to be honest, most of them don’t have a lot of constructive comments. As you might imagine, topic drift is pretty bad. But I still tune in to see if anything new appears.


My son had his birthday today. He is now fifteen years old. It’s a big deal to me, as I can recall his fifth and tenth birthdays pretty easily. John made out with the gifts – he got a new set of Pearl pedals for his drum kit so that he is working with the same set at home and at his instructor’s studio. He also got new shoes (Vans), skinny jeans and a red hoodie (Zumiez), a baseball bat and some balls, and a small surprise party with six or seven of his friends. Cake and ice cream for all! Oh, and dinner at Olive Garden. He was quite pleased with the day all in all, and is watching a movie with a sleepover pal right now.

I think the only individual not pleased with the day’s events is our cat, Marcus. He was spooked at the sudden arrival of all those strange young men and women in our house, and is just now sniffing around to see if it is safe to come in. Poor kitty!

Thanks for stopping by.