Friday, June 16, 2006


There's been enough wittering from me the last few days, so I thought I'd show you some designs from the first issue of The Great Game, which will be out soon; this is a VTOL biplane airliner inspired very loosely by the old Comet jetliner.

I first do very rough ink sketches to work out the shape; none of these are exactly the finished version, but they help to pull the ideas in my head into focus.

The next step is to build the plane in a 3D modelling program; if this seems like cheating, the process was inspired by the working method developed by Frank Hampson's team on Dan Dare. They would build detailed models and photograph them; I make rough models in CGI and work from those.

Most of the elements (wings, engines & fuselage) are taken from free models supplied with the program; I rearrange, scale and distort them to get the look I want, which is much quicker than trying to build from scratch, especially for a newbie modeller like me. The chequer pattern on the plane (and on the slabs in the background) is to help with drawing in additional detail in perspective.

This is the half-finished drawing; the plane has been inked in, and the other elements roughly drawn in following the perspective from the CGI rendering.Details like cockpit windows are much easier to draw by hand than to model.


paulhd said...

Beautiful stuff, I'm really looking forward to this comic!
BTW, no way could you remember me but you gave me great advice at a Bristol con a few years ago, so thanks for that too!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on being the first person ever to comment on this blog!

Glad to hear you're looking forward to The Great Game. Right now the deadline's bearing down on me like a big beary-down thing, largely 'cos I lost quite a bit of time last month when we had to have our central heating re-done, and they needed to empty my work room to get at the pipes...

I. N. J. Culbard said...

If Frank Hampson had access to the technology we have today, I think he'd have definitely done the same. As would Herge. "Whatever gets you through the night" as John Lennon would say.

Brilliant. Great to see production drawings like these.

Looking forward to seeing the finished thing.

paulhd said...

Yeah, I'm a bit of a technophobe, but the 3D modelling is a good extention of 'life' drawing.

Unknown said...

I started picking up the new Titan editions in Dan Dare as reference, and I was amazed at the amount of model building they did. Beautifully-made, detailed jobs too, it's astonishing they had the time to draw the comic as well.
They also used members of their studio to pose for photo reference... the most famous example is Hampson's dad posing for Sir Hubert Guest, but apparently the overall build and body shape of the main characters match those of the team pretty closely...

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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