2D concepts and illustrations, typically done in some combination of Photoshop, Painter, and physical media.
Not so much a vehicle as a building and industrial facility that's afraid of commitment.
Anti Multiped Rifle
An anti multiped (mech) weapon adapted from a system used on light armored vehicles and mechs. This example is fitted with an adapter for use on a pintle mount.
For a while there was a time when alien invasions were so common, yet so ineffectual, that armed commercial robots were fashionable to own. Combating death from the stars became a sort of pest control.
The Electro 500 was an entry level model, and distinguished from the 1000 series by having a more conventional armament loadout than the tachyon-pumped masers of the flagship model. While prestigious, the masers were unreliable in practice, and were often replaced with systems that were less expensive to maintain. Unmodified 1000s are collector's items, while 500's are still comparatively common.
I wanted to design a character and related equipment that was someplace between current technology and some sort of near future space invasion scenario. A classic bug hunt, to be honest. I suppose it would be a little like what might come after something like Battle: LA, with a dash of Them, Aliens, and whatever Matt Damon is in this week.
The Thunder of Guns
The basic idea is a supergun attached to a converted mining vehicle. A ballistic weapon lacks the (relatively) slow initial boost phase of rockets, and is harder to detect and destroy by satellite defenses. Everything old is new again, if only as physics fanfiction.
'Mephisto' Drop Suit
Here we see the 'Daisy Pusher' a Block 10 'Mephisto' suit being used in operations against Trans-C Separatists on Titan. The terraforming of that moon served as a sort of mirror for the strange civil war that wracked the settlements there. The conflict was noted for both questions of sapiency, humanity, and the moral weight of aesthetics.
Salt Marsh Biome
Illustration of a salt marsh biome on Thales IV.
The marshes that line the equatorial seas are one of the more conspicuous features of the fourth planet in the Thales system. Even from orbit, they appear as turquoise bands between the land and the deeper blue of the sea. A native race, known to themselves as the !cha (seen here in the background), is friendly to travelers and was able to give insight into the coastal ecosystem of the north temperate zone.
Pictured here prominently is one of the ‘tripod birds’ seen in the first surveys. The name stuck, despite them being neither a bird, nor having three legs. They spend almost their entire lives standing in the water, hence the algal growth depicted. The winglike structures seem to be for both balance and gas exchange, and will flare up when the creature feels threatened.
Large areas seem to have been forested at one time, though a mass die off seems to have occurred sometime in the past century. The dead trees are colonized by a tube worm with a floral appearance. These worms retract deep into the tree when startled, though spawning seems to engender the opposite behavior. The colonies display some signs of communal intelligence, though further study is needed.
ICV 'Manta' Interceptor
The aesthetic is meant to convey a mix of the old and the new, with an odd mix of multifunction and analog displays. The fighter is supposed to be rather old, but with upgrades to keep it viable.
Futuristic police character and equipment design.
Ranger 3000 Construction Robot
The Ranger 3000 was a general construction and maintenance robot made by K-VOSS AG late in the last century. The example shown here has a Kylix GT shown for scale. The 3000 stand 1.75 meters tall and weighs 210 kg in base configuration.
Originally, this was a sort of technical exercise to take the very anime-ish conceit of the 'spider tank' and try and paint a thick and drippy coat of realism on the idea. One thing led to another, and I worked up a small scene centered around the vehicle the remnants of the supporting infantry.
The vehicle backstory is this: An aging APC chassis converted into a rocket artillery unit. The batteries lower and are reloaded hydraulically from a magazine between the tube bays. Normally, the gun would be traversed to the rear when firing rockets to prevent damage to the barrel and muzzle brake. In this case, the commander has left the gun deployed to be able to more quickly engage infantry or light armor. This is the sign of either a highly experienced or dangerously inexperienced crew.
The roads clogged with burned out vehicles, an ad hoc patrol crosses from field to field near dusk.
Concept for a somewhat ragged low-level soldier serving the Etongi Protectorate. Also An examination of how to do something interesting with armor while still being able to look down the sights of a weapon.
The survivors regrouped, and hid themselves in the maze of blocked streets and burned out buildings that the downtown had become.
Here we see one of the surviving combat engineers using a flak robot to harass one of the walkers. He is assisted by what looks to be an airman armed with a PDW, possibly a gunship crew member.
While 57mm is unlikely to present much direct threat to the walker, it does prevent the advance of the associated powered infantry and give the main force a chance to withdraw south. Walkers that could be lured into the downtown blocks found many of their strengths nullified by the poor sightlines and hazards from ambushes and multilevel basements among the ruins.
Snow, Ash, and the City
This design springs from a discussion I had with another artist as to the features, role, and scale of a 175 ton tank.
Dust Runner Concept
The stars are denied to us. The great ships of old have fallen, nevermore to rise. Amid the ruins of great things, there is still work to do, and some principle of life survives and even prospers.
With enough thrust and a profound enough ignorance of physics, you can make anything fly.
Unmarked and unseen, valor and infamy play their old roles.
A color and mood study. I guess you could say that it's post-post-apocalyptic. The fires die, and the waters are churned once again by young limbs. Hope? Perhaps it's just part of the deep complexity of a unified whole.
It's also an attempt to illustrate not just a memory, but a particular type of memory: the gilt frames we put our visions in, when we recall how blue the sky was, or how beautiful she was, or how young we once felt, or any one of a thousand horrors unleashed on a conversation by boozy old men.
The Long Road Home
Cold dawn and a new silence greeted her, but there was still a star in the sky called 'home'.
This was a technical exercise that got away from me. Some ideas are released to the public, and some escape through the dumbwaiter then get into a fistfight with security. I regret nothing, with the possible exception of that pair of blue chinos I bought in the 90's.
'Gunlord' Weapons Carrier v2
This is a revisiting of my previous concept for a sort of ‘flying gun’ artillery spacecraft, but encumbered by my own aesthetics rather than the needs of the RTS genre. The reflexes die hard.
A lot of vintage anime influence here, sitting at a bus stop somewhere between Shoji Kawamori and Kow Yokoyama.
The media you use isn’t neutral, and guides results as much as it does process, if more subtly. I won’t neglect the pencil again.
Blue Hearts, Grey Steel
This valentine has a goblin riding a tank on it. Your argument is invalid.
Mobile Launch Platform
Prototype mobile launch platform. Payload is a missile bearing a nuclear-pumped x-ray laser, and is designed for use against high-value air, ground, or low orbital targets.
Concepts executed in 3DS Max.
Type 23 Special Weapons Carrier
This is a 3D treatment of a vehicle I did in a painting awhile back.
Eventually I intend to do a full modeling of the interior as well as rig the suspension.
Max and Mental Ray. Contrast adjustment and compositing done in Photoshop.
The future is another country. They do things differently there.
Through the length and breadth of Titan City, the sky swarms with the inhabitants of future dreams gone past. Googie, moderne, and deco merge and with all the colors of the rainbow, bright and poisonous as a jungle frog. Vertibugs are a common sight here- small vehicles of cartoonish proportions. Everybody takes them, but few can even pretend to really drive. Some mime it and try and get a feel for how it might have been done, but it's not necessary. Beneath the hood and behind the facades the 22nd century lumbers on of its own accord, asking the same questions.
Here at least, one can pretend they know the answers.
1927 Calumet Sixty Special
For the fall motoring season, Micromegas AG commissioned a short run of replicas of the Calumet Sixty Special from the AIGO design house on Titan. These were unveiled by Gessler himself at a gala event at the Titan City core. In typical style, the reveal was done as a series of structured leaks culminating in a holographic shoot out and car chase through the core center featuring the likenesses of the original Butler Gang.
While rarely licensed by the Laclede estate, this event had not only the blessing of Laclede Mythopoetics LLC proper, but the author of the saga herself was there, albeit in fragmentary form. A certified gestalt quorum had uploaded itself into a suitable fixture, which delivered a few words after the formal announcement itself. Another chapter in the saga was hinted at, though the question of authorship has become muddy after a century, and the term ‘ghost writer’ takes on a new significance.
The Sixty Special is currently available from the usual outlets for lease, term purchase, or simulation.
(3ds Max w/Mental Ray, Photoshop, and caffeine.)
A somewhat older render of an original design.
'Donnerpferd' Scout Car
This is a converted medium truck used by the Protectorate in a scouting and fire support role. Done with 3ds Max 9 and Photoshop 7.
An older render, and while my character models have improved, I still enjoy the vehicle design.
The Lux Mundi
John Blanche was a big inspiration for me throughout the 90's. His Warhammer Fantasy/40k illustrations showed me worlds where everything was old and steeped in the ambivalence of history. This is fan art, I guess. I modeled and textured a flying ship from one of his old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay illustrations.
Modeled in 3ds Max 2008, it's about 2600 polygons and uses the map you see here. Went for the handpainted look with the textures.
Concepts done for the PC game Grey Goo.
Beta Anti-Air Unit
A quad walker design for Grey Goo.
One interesting aspect of the design was a need for the legs to fold up so that the unit could perch on a tower and act as a turret.
Beta Commando Weapons
Concepts for the personal equipment of the Beta infantry units.
Beta Artillery Unit
With the small screen size of you average RTS unit, it's imperative to communicate facing and function clearly. One of the ways the artillery unit was moved away from the short-range siege unit was the addition of a giant cylindrical magazine behind the gun breech.
Beta Recon Vehicle Variants
Two different versions of the Beta signals intelligence walker, along with a heavy infantry walker for scale.
Early Beta Walker
Unused early concept for a light Beta unit.
Beta Siege Unit
Short range, heavy gun companion to the artillery unit.
Beta Light Walker
A light, semi-enclosed support unit built around a medium caliber anti tank gun.
Beta Civilian Vehicles
A variety of civilian vehicles to be found scattered around Beta outposts. It was important to echo certain visual motifs from the playable units while differentiating them enough to avoid confusion.
End of Nations
Concepts executed for the PC game End of Nations.
Titan Tank Concept
Tank destroyer companion to the Ares.
Helios Beam Tank
Anti-personnel vehicle concept.
Light anti air unit.
Helicopter gunship. One of my favorite concepts that I did for End of Nations.
Ares Tank Concept
Bread-and-butter heavy tank design for End of Nations.
Transport/Gunship for End of Nations.
A variety of environment and character concepts done for the MMORPG Hero's Journey.
Spacecraft of the First World War
Spacecraft of the First World War is an ongoing book project based upon one possible scenario of what might have happened after The War of the Worlds.
Storm and Nemesis
The sole member of the USS Porter class makes a fateful sighting in the upper atmosphere of Neptune. She prepares to launch a fighter to shadow the unidentified vessel seen in the storm below.
Some months later, the mystery ship would be well know by the navies of Earth. They would call her Nemesis, and her arrival would herald the closing of the skies.
Another illustration for Spacecraft of the First World War.
In the Court of Titania
Charles Martel swoops low over a moon of Uranus. The carbon dioxide clouds and electrical storm are an unusual phenomenon for the icebound and near-airless Titania. It’s thought to be a side effect of operating gravity engines within her pull, but the outer planets have a number of unexplained spectacles.
Another illustration for Spacecraft of the First World War.
SMS Donnerkind, lead boat of her class, seen here with the Austro-Hungarian Squadron of the Martian Punitive Expedition. Excerpt from Rossignol's Spacecraft of the First World War.
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.
The HMS Inexorable, flying over a (mostly) rebuilt Manhattan after the Peace.
Fall of the 'Gloire'
The ship fell burning out of the night, her crew missing. She was intercepted by German pickets above Mare Erythraeum, and boarded by Raketentruppen when she did not respond to hails. This was a pivotal moment in many ways: Not only did it mean that the Anglo-French technical advantage in engine design had evaporated, but also that the Martian gravity technology could be used to warp time itself. The crew was subsequently found to have been reduced to dust, an engine malfunction aging everything within the gravity field in a highly accelerated manner.
Death in a perfect sunset, somewhere at the edge of the Venusian atmosphere.
Italian short range fighters with oversize Le Prieur rockets attack an Austro-Hungarian air vessel during the blockade of Phobos by the Central Powers. Smuggled aboard a cargo vessel, the 'Gattina Spettrale' squadron was not particular effective against the forces there, but the presence of allied fighters so far inside their own lines had the Imperial forces searching for carriers that didn't exist for nearly a month. This splitting of their fleet made the blockade untenable, and Phobos was relieved.
The Basilisk glides silently sunward, her iron turning to gold in Saturn’s glow. The seventh boat of the Cockatrice class, she was analogous to the torpedo boat and the submarine of more familiar seas. Armed with long range rockets, she could deal a lethal (if inexact) blow to ships and installations many times her size.
A side project, set in a resort aerostat at the edge of the Venusian atmosphere.
Of the floating dome cities of Venus, New Cytheria is the largest and most populous. The dome itself in a self-repairing protein film reinforced with a carbon lattice floating high above the heat and pressure of the surface. The buildings of New Cytheria are capable of movement, blurring the line between architecture and transportation. They utilize efficient antigravity suspensors on the same principle as those discovered with Shukra-A artifact.
The Hotel Galliard is a fairly typical example of a 'touring inn' which moves continually through the city to both better show guests the sites as well as avoid certain taxes. The architecture is also typical of New Cytheria, being a late 21st century interpretation of early 20th century art deco.
The spires of Titan City float on the air in the afternoon sun, needles of hyperengineered carbon and bronze balanced on their S-Drives, so many refugees from the law of gravity. When the buildings can move, fortunes, squabbles, and alliances can all be figured out by location, location, location. Repossessions and buyouts are parades, and the touring inns, street vendors, and taxis all make their pickups and deliveries regardless of location or movement. Taxi to the lower lobby. Lee Ho Fuk's dropping off the daily MSG to the design studio. $200NHK sly to the inn coxswain to circle the block again so the guy in 106 can try and catch sight of that girl on the roof of Heinrot's again. Happy to oblige. It's your money.
Older buildings and tight fits require special tenders to maintain safety. Here we see one of the first needles moving spinward, her glamor spent and her steel dotted with prion damage. Miracle crystal pits as the micromachines pass their terminal dates and the building passes into the faceless oblivion of transient housing and the legal shell game of light industrial work.
A tourist snaps a picture.
Titan City Dawn
Based upon a waking dream of being a night watchman at the Pharsalus Building.
Postcard from the edge of the night. The Venusian aerostats possess a very limited ability to generate air currents within their interiors. One of the few times there is a proper breeze is during the earliest part of dawn. This is due to a differential heating of the inside of the shell. Warmer air rises, cooler air sinks in a great fractal tangle.
Anyways, you have to have to get up early to appreciate it- but some of the best pleasures in life are both subtle and private.
Wish You Were Here
A tour boat exits from one of the airlocks on Titan City, taking a cargo of the curious to see the storms near the equator. In 2200, it all looks like the year 2000, courtesy of the dreams of 1930. Maybe dreams and longings do not even really change, with travelers regarding the skies and thinking of those who are elsewhere.
Titan City Terminal
Here we see one of the passenger terminals by which tourists and a wide variety of other individuals get the first (and last) looks at the floating city.
The suit isn't what it appears to be, nor is the city. Nor is Gessler, for that matter. Whatever the truth is, when the tourists come to Titan City they want to see the tomorrows of yesterday *now*, dammit.
They come straight down from the Spinward Hilton, reeking of white wine and and an unsettling feeling that they missed something back on Earth. Gessler and the Metatronics Corporation are here to give to them. Gessler himself is as much showman as executive (maybe more). He always makes sure that nothing is quite so well planned out as that which appears spontaneous.
Working Boats of the Outer Planets
Concepts related to a possible book project exploring life and work among the outer planets.
Cyclops III Book Spread
This is a page spread I've mocked up for a possible book project I'm working on.
Ice and Smoke- Enceladus
Even now, the outer planets and their satellites hold many questions within themselves. More than once, the faint glimmer of light in the wrong spot has triggered lifetimes of exploration and fruitful research. Nature yet holds the deepest of her secrets to be teased out little by little on the ice of silent worlds.
Here we see a survey team near the equator of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. Normally, drillships like this are used as a sort of flying oil rig. They tap underground pockets of light hydrocarbons on the outer moons, pumping them to automated cracking and storage complexes which cook them up to ethylene and heavier molecules. These in turn are usually built up to polymers or fuels.
As deployed here, the ships are taking core samples of the icy crust of this moon. The cryovolcanos of the equator spew water ice into the distant sunlight, and leave a thin glaze upon the surface of this airless place. This ancient ice carries within it hints of not only the history of Enceladus, but also of the deeper mysteries lying at the bottom of the Saturnine gravity well- Impact organics, hints of heavier elements, and all the dust of the young solar system. Overlaying all is a thin film of aerosolized steel and fissionables- memories of the Minute War.
The pressure of the water against the crust is considerable here- As the aging drillships 'Clear Pick' and 'Zib IV' penetrate the crust, microfractures in the ice will vent water vapor up the borehole, coating the ships in frozen jets of frost. By the time the survey is complete, the whole workings will look like a faerie castle, exploding in glittering shards upon final liftoff.
Jump shuttles were once common, but were eclipsed by newer, lighter hulls and the dropping price of He3. Remaining examples have mostly been converted to more conventional layouts. The few that remain as built ply their trade in the shadows of Saturn and her moons.
The basic concept is simple, if a little unusual. The main ship can be configured to carry a dozen passengers, two tons of cargo, or some mix of the two. The jump shuttle doesn't enter any significant gravity wells, but rather offloads what fraction of travelers and materiel is required onto a small launch secured below the hull.
With the Acadian Queen complex coming online late in the last century, the commodification of fusion power had become total. This combined with improved materials technology made the type obsolete, and complexity yielded to simplicity once again.
The type was never robust or capacious enough for smuggling, so the remaining examples are mostly operated in either ferry or tourist service by the smaller carriers. Here we see the 'Witch's Promise', a particularly early example of the type, making a holiday run to the Cassini Astoria and associated botanical gardens.
Dedicated to all travelers in time and space, as well as those who await their return.
Heavy Construction Suit
While this isn't a spacecraft, it'll be complimenting some exposition about the equipment and challenges of getting things done in trans-saturnine space.
Hexjack, Talos Station
The Acadian Queen mining complex and other large installations that dominate the trans solar economy were only made possible by advances in basic materials and construction techniques. This was true not only of the orbital assembly complexes around mars, but also the asteroid shepherding operations further out. Emblematic of these new construction methods is a class of vehicle known as the 'Jack'. This name is a truncation of 'Jack of All Trades' and describes a vast and ubiquitous class of multiarm construction suits designed for general purpose microgravity work.
Here we see an early 22nd century example participating in the construction of Talos Station above Neptune. The type identification is difficult, as field modifications and extensive retrofitting of new equipment was the rule rather than the exception over their long service life. The basic body does seem to be a license-built Chinese copy of the Volund Z-X, but such a machine being in service on Talos would make it quite old, even by the standards of the type.
Grendel Class Assault Cutter
This is another spacecraft design for my Working Boats of the Outer Planets book project.
Following the emergence of the Howarth Fusion Plant as a viable propulsion system in the early 22nd century, helium-3 mining on an industrial scale became economically viable. Vast mining complexes started dotting the Jovian skies, their collection heads extending miles down into the upper atmosphere. Extending up from this, vast cracking towers boiled and separated the constituent gases for reprocessing.
The construction of these mining complexes, when taken with shipyards of Mars and the terraforming of Europa constitutes the crowning wonders of the age. However, these wonders could never have been conceived of, let alone completed without a vast flotilla of vessels and equipment first constructed on the Moon, then Mars, then the freespace arcologies of the asteroid belt. For while humbler in scale, this ocean of anonymous vessels embodies the hidden wonders behind the greater wonder.
The Voland HVX-3001 is an good example of one of these 'lesser wonders'. It is a modular construction ship, consisting of a spun nanocarbon frame bearing drive, powerplant, and pressurized crew sections as well as fixtures which could accept a wide variety of equipment. The narrow width of the vessel is the result of dual requirements from both how they were stowed and for the occasional need to operate within the outer atmosphere of Jupiter itself. The construction manipulators fitted here are typical. The 3001 series contained a number of innovations, including one of the first modern antigravity suspensors as well as being one of the first civilian vessels to be designed from the bottom up with the Voynich-Harden Telepresence Rig in mind. While commonplace now these were once innovations that revolutionized not only microgravity construction, but the very nature of space travel itself.
The example seen here was built by Feng Long Heavy Industries in 2206 and served on the construction of the Acadian Queen complex, among others. She was retired after two decades of service when it was found that her nanocarbon frame had been significant weakened due to an infestation of self-replicating prions. She was subsequently sold for scrap and now serves as part of an orbital squatting community near Io.
Concept for a sort of specialized tug used for salvage and ship breaking work.
Concepts related to a variety of smaller projects.
6X6 Rapid Assault Vehicle 28mm Miniature
I had the opportunity to take one of my vehicle concepts and adapt it for production as a 28mm wargaming miniature.
3d prototyping is evolving rapidly. It's like the same sort of thing that happened with printing technology in the late 1990s, only with the ability to create real objects.
Sky Destroyer Concept
All evil empires need ridiculously impractical technology to be the centerpiece of their forces. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.
This was a vehicle I designed for a game pitch that never went anywhere. Essentially a pair of guns on legs, it would form the core of a squad of players. It could hit hard, but was vulnerable to being overrun.
Digitally colored pencil.
Walker Tank Details
Some detail drawings of the Walker Tank.
Sky Destroyer Interior Details
Some interior drawings of different sections of the Sky Destroyer.
Sky Destroyer Armament Details
Detail drawings of the weaponry on the Sky Destroyer. Since this was going to be a first-person shooter, it was deemed important to detail out the elements that the players would see up close.
This is a mech design I did for a movie project.
A variety of rough explorations and half finished thoughts.
High detail sketches of one of the Beta units done as a favor to a modeler who wanted to do a high poly version for his portfolio.
Mook With A Nuke
Enemy submarine with an area attack and slow, heavy gun. Aesthetic is somewhere between the old Raiden games and In The Hunt.
Wanted to do something a little more lighthearted than an exploration of next-generation warfare in Asia and the proliferation of nonstate actors and the use of autonomous combat vehicles. So, nukes and cartoon colors.
A little insight into process...
Refined Mech Thumbs.
These are refined, so they're probably bad for you.
Taking the earlier thumbnails and refining them.
Exploring different ways of rendering things and the idea of an arm that splits into a pair of manipulators.