Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Art is the Thing.....

Hi. Steve here.
I have spent the past few days sending off emails to the various artists and checking on their progress. As Father’s Day arrives, I am not much nearer my goal of getting some vehicle art done than I was two weeks ago. It’s okay, I suppose – just a case of the jitters. I don’t know how realistic the deadline is anymore, given the glacial pace at which Vee art is moving. Throwing money at it won’t help, even if I had extra money to throw.

And I don’t. Still gotta pay the electric bill and put gas in the car, ya know? The art is paid up to date (with the exception of Eriance; I still owe him fifty bucks for the Centurion art).

  • Looks like Dave White has other deadlines to pursue right now, all more lucrative than my project (Lego, various toy companies) and these are much more important, I am sure you will agree. He has projected a sketch will be ready by the end of this week, so it’s just time to be patient.
  • Daniel Cherng… not sure what the deal is with him. He has a busy schedule, but has promised quite a few pieces are in the works. I have not heard back from him in about four days, so it’s touch and go. Hopefully this Father’s Day will allow him to get a few in the email so I have a placeholder for some of my designs.
  • I have shifted two designs over from Daniel to Mike Sullivan, the Oculus and the Cheyenne III. Mike has been in constant touch with me, does good affordable work, and offers 3D rendering of any design he creates. This allows me the luxury of choosing one of several perspectives for the final image. Both of these machines will be using radical VTOL technology (some of it actually works!) from current and past attempts in the real world.
The idea is to get away from the conventional rotor-driven helicopter concept and dip a toe into some alternatives (back issues of Popular Science are very inspirational). My personal favorite is the Bell XF-109, with rotating jet engines at the wingtips of a conventional-looking jet fighter. In real life, this prototype did not perform as well as the designers would have liked, but I think the bugs will have been worked out by 3063…
  • I had planned to have three color plates inside the TRO, illustrating various scenes from the world of 3063. The first, Dawn Patrol, was done by Alex Iglesias over a year ago and is very good. The second, Chaperone, was to be centered around battle armor, but does not exist anywhere except in a well-described scene sketch on my hard drive. The third has no name; I may let the artist decide what the subject will be, but a crew having lunch next to their disabled tank is on my mind. It reflects a scene from many games I have played: what will a crew will do when their fearsome AFV loses its main gun?
  • Vlad is occupied with real life, and has not been able to do any work on the Horatio bridgelayer, so I may farm that out to another artist as well. Time is running out.
  • On the writing front, Geoff is doing what he can. He dropped off two very good final pieces for the Kuritan Privateer and the Capellan San-Ku-Chu Light Mobile Tactical Vehicle yesterday. I am eagerly awaiting more from him, but a lot of it is editing and will probably be shipped back to me the way it was sent – in a batch. Unfortunately, this means I will have to go through and look at them again – I would anyway, just to see what wonderful additions Geoff has made – and correct certain formatting errors which keep cropping up.
  • Oh well. At least it kept me busy for a few days, and I now know where a lot of the glitches can be found.
  • The rough draft for the Death Incarnate is finished, at a maximum word count of 765 for our TRO entry. I am sure I could find fifteen words to strip out, but would rather leave that to Geoff if he finds it necessary. Like the Mercenary entries, I have given some thought to whether or not this really belongs in a TRO – it is not a production model or even a prototype, after all. But the average Battletech reader would be a dull dog to claim no interest in such things, and this is not a company product. So they will stay, little bits of glitter amongst the drab grey primer of machines rolling off assembly lines.
  • I have a small stable of proofreaders assembled and waiting. Their main job will be to vet the overall look and feel of each entry; something similar to what Douglas Gatto did with the Hegemony’s Catapult. I have ninety entries to track; it is just not possible to catch every vague phrase when you are the original writer. I know what we meant to say; it is for my proofreading team to decide if we actually said what we meant to say.
  • Finally, the Table of Contents and Introductions have been amended to reflect the new machines, along with an update to the Credits section and a few shout-outs to the major players. Covering the copyrights is required, but I am debating the inclusion of a minor list of names under the heading of ‘Artistic Inspiration’ as well. That is probably a wise course in this increasingly litigious society. Despite our vigilance, there may be oversights in the matter of derivative art, and I do not want to appear in court.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the TRO.

Capt Kampson