I’m still working on Colony 87 but much of it is top secret. Occasionally I find a sketch or concept drawing that has been sculpted (this time by the talented sculptor Andrew May) and released.
This page contains four new characters; a woman who repairs robots, often cobbling them together to sell, the itinerant lawyer helping the poor, a sinister alien artefact trader and a lone, aged colonist unable to walk but who drives around the market on his custom kart.
Hello everyone, I know this blog has had no new posts since last May but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on art and illustration! Apart from my main commission from Crooked Dice Games (Colony 87) I’ve been learning the 3D program Blender which I’ll show you some examples of later.
Before that we’ll go way back to late 2020 when I was commissioned by Mad Robot Miniatures to create a special character miniature for the Necromunda Yaktribe meet up, I don’t know whether it happened or not due to COVID restrictions.
My brief from the Yaktribe community described a sump spider hunter on a ship who was a reimagining of Captain Ahab. As it happened BBC Sounds had an audio adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick so I listened to that, as I’d never read it before and I made some sketches and notes.
Here are my initial sketches of him and some ideas for his crew. I liked the metal eye-patch that Chang (played by Chritopher Plummer) had in Star Trek VI so that was a starting point for his head. He would need a harpoon that could break through the tough exoskeleton of a sump-spider so I designed ones with various drills/grabbers/flamethrowers. I spent some time figuring how these would work.
More of my images from the Colony 87 setting, this guy is a prospector with his survey drone.
This chap evolved from a sketch of a sauroid beast of burden with prospecting gear so I had to give the beast an owner. He has all the equipment a prospector would need in the wastelands: A new survey drone, core samples, geo-sampler and respirator. The drone re-charges on his arm, I imagined it would operate like a tame hawk in desert, though this would seek and analyse the area whilst broadcasting the information back to the prospector.
He has a power pick and trowel when he needs to get his hands dirty. I drew him to look a bit like all-round acting legend James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Bladerunner (1982) amongst many others). His padded coat resembles the rock strata of his profession and he has a corporate logo on his backpack.
You can purchase a miniature of him here if you like:
Well I haven’t updated this site for months, so here’s an image I created as part of a job application for a Games Workshop Specialist Games Digital Illustrator a couple of years ago. I didn’t get the job.
He’s a sinister Delaque ganger, from the House of Shadows, I read a bit about them online to better get a sense of their new iteration (even more sneaky and slightly psychic). As Delaques have snakes and a stiletto dagger as their logo I thought a sickly turquoise colour for his gear would be appropriate to suggest poisoned flesh.
I’ve modified the miniatures logo (based on Jes Goodwin’s original sketch from the 1995 boxed game) to a stylised snake skull. I gave him a slash tattoo to signify his preferred method of fighting and made sure his bionic eyes looked like the operation to remove them was quite brutal.
Here’s the sketchbook page where I pencilled him first:
I enjoyed creating him; I started with a pencil drawing then digitally painted over that in Photoshop with a bit of Painter to finish off, as I have more experience in using Painter.
Here is the robot in all his (its?) industrial orange glory. I wanted to keep a few shapes from the original 1960’s series so he has tracked feet but then so does 2000AD ABC Warriors’ Hammerstein. I imagined his extra arms could pop out from his belly like R2D2 in Star Wars.
Colony 87 Wave 4 has finished its Kickstarter receiving pledges of £32,760! Well done to everyone at Crooked Dice Games. Above are more of my Spaceship Breaking family. The Mother has a servo-arm with grabber to aid in dismantling a space craft and the son helps by programming the family robot.
Finally, after much work, Colony 87 Wave 4 Kickstarter is here and going very well. The image above is of an idea for a more working class Space Family Robinson, I was inspired to create these after watching and enjoying the Lost In Space reboot. The father has an extra augmetic arm to help him dismantle space craft and his daughter is responsible for making the deals with customers and fixers.
Here’s a link to the Kickstarter as well as more of my art work you can see great photos of expertly painted miniatures sculpted by the talented miniature sculptors Andrew May and James Sheriff:
Last year, I sent this page to Karl at Crooked Dice Games as he’d asked for ideas for jetbikes and beasts with their riders. Following this he asked me to work up the guy on the dino-bird (amongst others) at the bottom left.
Here’s the refinment of the designs. I had a good look at ostrich riders in the middle east for the position of the rider and ostriches themselves. I based the riders’ hats a little on the late John Mollo’s costume designs for the Rebels on Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back (1977) and I looked at comics genius Alex Raymond’s Frigia Lancers (from his 1930’s comic Flash Gordon) for inspiration too.
I worked it up in Manga (Clip) Studio and Painter with a bit of Photoshop as well. The outrider has an option for hands without a his laser rifle (he’s whittling a Chirroc bird from a piece of wood) and there are a few alternative heads.
A link to the post on Crooked Dice Games’ facebook page:
Above are my initial sketchbook pages; the Don Quixote character would be an aging but still tough bounty hunter and the Sancho Panza equivalent would belong to the Colony 87 squat humanoid race. (Though there’s an Insectoid Alien option here which Karl felt was a bit too monstrous!)
This page is where I refine the Don Quixote look, though I wasn’t quite sure about Sancho Panza and wanted to define the alien/human variant race more.
The pages show me inventing the high-grav worlder bounty hunter and his gear. The ‘Wheel Ships’ I imagined they travel in are built around a super-dense fragment of one of their worlds. I’m adding various high-tech elements to his gear and seeing what works.
OK that was a long month of May! I’ve been meaning to get more of my artwork online I’ve just been a bit too busy to do it (I’ve loads more Crooked Dice Games’ Colony 87 creations and many other images as well).
Here’s a page of rough sketches of extraterrestrial animals that I drew before the full page here:
This Colony 87 concept page shows an alien menagerie that the Alien Pet Merchant could be selling to those that can afford them. The Eel-lion, Testudo-bird and Varkdog are influenced by creatures in images created by Moebius, the other creatures are my own inventions.
Looking at it again I wasn’t sure about the Eel-lion, I think it should be thinner and slippery like an eel, I shall redraw this some time as I do like the other designs.