HMS Aphid Aerial Gunboat

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HMS Aphid Aerial Gunboat

(I apologize in advance if you get this image twice. I’m still learning the ropes what gets forwarded where when I post something here)

I made this model while doing pre-production design for Space:1889. GDW handled visual aspects for the game series in the same way a movie would be designed out before any film rolled.

Why the model? I knew the ship would appear quite often and I wanted convenient, consistent reference. It began as a simple I-board mock-up hovering between 1:54 and 1:72 scale-wise and painted overall primer grey to aid photography…but when I saw how good it turned out I finished it off, giving it a full-color paint job, adding Ral Partha miniatures for crew and using period-correct ship fixtures purchased from Flying Dromedary Inc.

I was very selective about showing it for the first couple of years as it was part of the whole Space:1889 design package for which I had been paid a retainer – I was a little concerned that I’d have to give it to them. Luckily Frank was feeling gracious the day I asked about it and “gave” it to me.

Many fan-built ships differ slightly because the first published drawings of the Aphid show differences from mid-point aft to the propeller. I found that as I was making the model some aspects of my first design looked fine from just one angle – but appeared pretty clunk when viewed in the round.

Raid on Iran Cover Art

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Raid on Iran Cover Art

Even though this was the sixth game cover I produced, it was one of the first to see print. I did a number of covers for Howard Thompson at Metagaming in early 1980 but for various reasons they were either delayed or never saw print…which is disappointing. Howard assigned art as “work-for-hire” and kept all the originals–and I was not consistent at first about documenting my work.

This shows that “movie poster” influence that I came out of undergraduate studies with. It was no accident that the M60 was part of the composition–I was a platoon leader at the time; during the week I was painting this at night but I was with my machine gunners qualifying at the range during day… and I wasn’t going to waste good reference!