With all the emphasis on our new book (Airship of Fools), I thought it would be nice to show the cover art for the first book. This will also give most of you a chance to see the entire painting as well; by the time the text lines and graphic devices were added, 15%-20% of the image was lost.
I loved doing this painting because it was created with my old process (airbrush/paint/pencil) that actually a lot more fun to do with the wide variation in tools and activity. I think that this process also makes a painting with a bit more “pop” to it.
(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.