Friday, October 4, 2013

Into Shadow

While not a true artificial intelligence, the Hannex/ASECOR 'Herakles' represented a substantial breakthrough in both spacecraft and autonomous control systems design. Introduced into the private security market late in the decade, the Herakles I gave independent and short-haul transport concerns an affordable security solution in the form of a fully palletized short range fighter.

Barely 8 meters in length, the Herakles could be operated from a hangar the size of a standard XSE shipping container and could be carried in external cargo stowage in a number of configurations. By using a control core of picoformed nickel/palladium, the maintenance and survivability problem of organic material was avoided, and shielding mass could be reduced correspondingly. External command input could be minimal for most applications, but lack of sapiency certification prevented legal use within Treaty Sphere space. This was of minimal concern for most operators, as the primary market was operators in the outer system needing cheap and effective escort for cargo ships.

Operating a range of modular beam and missile weapons, the Herakles could be configured to deal with threats from zombie swarms to borgsats. While not a match for the more organized pirate concerns, the system proved effective enough to discourage even these attacks. Later marks introduced switch-on-the-fly weapon pods in addition to the refueling facilities fitted in the hangar module.

Here we see a late Mark I upgraded to Mark II standard. The auxiliary radiators fitted to the heat exchangers are a distinct element of the subtype. It's been deployed to sweep for mines in the Jupiter Trojans preceding survey work.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Silent Sea

This is a sort of glorified mood and atmosphere study for the interior of the Titan City aerostat. Originally I had wanted to push this much further, but my tools and techniques have changed so much since I started the piece that I decided to just let it be in the end.

Possibly I should have just discarded it, but I’d grown attached and since the final product will be words rather than images, I decided to indulge myself.
I regret nothing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Alt 1948 Infantry Weapons

I took a little time and revisited the idea of creating fictional infantry weapons based on mixing different historical weapons together. Originally I was going to do something much more elaborate, but other factors intervened. Hopefully this is still of some entertainment value, if not use.

Like my designs from a few years ago, I wanted to create an ecosystem of small arms like you might see in the 1943-1952 time period, which would mean a mixture of of machined and stamped components with furniture of wood and Bakelite. Optics would be basic. Here are some notes on the individual guns:

Machine Pistol- This was originally a doodle of what it might look like if the features of an MG 42 were put on a bolt gun. To try and make the very short barrel make a little more sense I added some elements from the Manchester SMG and one of those vertical foregrips everybody thought was cool a couple years ago. (Yes, your groupings would probably be about the size of a bus.) The magazine is a quad-stack affair.

Automatic Carbine- VG1-5 plus bits from the FAL and that odd peep sight from the first version of FG 42.

20mm Anti Tank Right- Solothurn, Type 97, and the Boys all mixed up. Also a sort of shaped charge rifle grenade based on the Stielgranate 41.

Light Machine Gun- Rhinemetall did some interesting prototypes after the war based on the MG 45. I've mixed these with the reversible feed direction of the MG 34 and some experimental FG bits while adding the odd drum from the MG 13. I've added back in the barrel change capability of the MG 42, though in the LMG role that might not be necessary.

Autoloading Revolver- Mateba + Webley = Party all night.

Anti Tank Projector- I'm not sure that there are any anti tank rocket weapons that *don't* have a piece or two in there. A note about the warhead: The lugs on the side are my attempt to visualize some sort of mechanism to tilt the hollow charge warhead to convert glancing hits to solid ones- plus it makes it look meaner. =P

I've used guns as an example here to show how you can use existing elements to get something that looks novel while still seeming familiar. The same process can also work well with architecture, vehicles, or equipment. Originality is a tricky question when designing things like these. Of course you don't want to rip somebody else off, but you also want to your designs to do what they need to do for the project you're working on. A gun that hints at the time period and nationality of the soldier wielding it makes it so that exposition is less needed elsewhere. When you're designing things you're telling part of the story. Oftentimes the best way to do that is to give the audience some familiar elements they can latch on to and use that to draw them into what's different.

It seems like there's a lot of retro designs out there, but fortunately there's a lot of interesting historical designs draw upon and mix up.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Dust of Mars

I finished up an old speedpaint I found while cleaning up my files. It’s like the 1980s never ended, but I liked the colors.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Wreck of the von Kessler

Following the Conquest, the eyes of Earth found purchase upon wider realms. Where one world had become two, two became five beneath the four crowns of the victorious blue world. As Mars yielded her secrets, the shipyards of Luna and Telemachus Minor birthed ships embodying the unearthed knowledge of lost races. With this, a tide of steel flowed out from Sol, seeking to turn the five worlds into a dozen, or perhaps a hundred.

The SMS Markgraf von Kessler was a cresting wave upon this tide, though that didn’t save her from the hunger of a haunted universe. Here she drifts above a nameless world that would eventually be known as Sargon IV, though the mystery of her cargo and her loss are still not fully understood.

Dedicated to all those crossing a wide abyss to an uncertain hope.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tablescapes Concept Art

Recently I've been doing some concept art for Secret Weapon Miniatures for their new range of modular wargaming terrain. They've got a Kickstarter campaign going for it that has a few hours if any of you tabletop players are interested at all:


Thursday, April 11, 2013

1927 Calumet Sixty Special

 Some time ago I made up this concept for a flying car. In the absence of the future we were promised, I've decided to model it. I always liked the idea, and it's aged fairly well.
It's just a start, but my evenings are my own once again, so you should see regular progress posted here.