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M Helsdon

Swords of Central Genertela

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Well, I now have 70-75 sketches (uncertainty caused by some being composed of multiple figures) and there's now only one chapter with space for more: Gods of War. So... I'm going to have to thing about drawing more priests/magicians, though hopefully in regimental panoply. At present my mind has gone blank - other than I don't want to draw more hoplites!

Not quite all of the sketches in miniature below.

mini.png

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Well, the book is again about 98% complete (though with every delay it grows...) and whilst the level of illustration (in both quality and quantity) doesn't approach that of a Chaosium book (there's roughly one picture on every fourth page) it doesn't look too bad. Probably only room for one more sketch, and I believe it will feature a bison rider from Jarst...

Here are the first forty pages...

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First component of the next sketch: 'complete'. These days tend to draw complex pictures in bits so that if, for example, the rider or mount goes wrong, I haven't lost the entire thing.

It's all ink crosshatching, but oddly when scanned looks more like pencil. There are some supporting chains for the harness to be drawn, either with white ink or digitally. Might adjust the nose ring.

This is a Bison Priscus, but not one in Prax. The extinct priscus were larger than modern species. I suspect that being charged by a regiment of these beasties would be a bit... daunting.

bison#1.png

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And... done.

Am now filling white space in my layout, so this sketch isn't related to the chapter it concludes. In the book it occupies about half a page.

Almost as much remains at the end of another chapter, so I am deliberating whether to do two infantry sketches, or one cavalry...

ADDENDUM: figures re-merged as the rider is a little bit too large... Now sketching out the next two (they are related).

ommmo smaller.png

 

ommmo smaller2.png

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Today's sketch.

This hoplite has his closed helm propped up on his head because they are claustrophobic to wear and significantly reduce vision and hearing. He'll slip his helmet down when combat is imminent. 

twilight forum.png

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Latest, and perhaps last.
 
There's no more gaps in the book. EDIT: having reformatted the text, there's still room for one more....
 
Also, the picture which inspired this sketch.

Nightlight forum.png

0c9939d706d718290ae31f11a67e72c5.jpg

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Latest, and perhaps 'last' as all gaps, save in a chapter I don't intend to mess with, are now full.

Have to decide whether to continue sketching... If I don't draw for a few days, seem to lose some of the control in my fingers - maybe it exercises the arthritis to a degree? The book is effectively 'done' until new information becomes available. For more sketches to be added, would require 8-10 infantry or four or five cavalry, or a mixture thereof, or more text. All the sources available to me are exhausted, and the last book on ancient warfare I read a week ago, inspired a single extra sentence.

This is a member of the Green Bow cult, wearing green woad camouflage... 

Woad can be used to make many colors, not just blue.

 

greenbow forum.png

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According to Chinese legend "dogs are hard to draw, because everyone knows what they should look like, but demons are easy to draw, since they belong to the realm of imagination and and artists imagination is superior to that of an average person". Might you draw some regimental wyters or other supernatural attachments to military units?

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1 minute ago, Byll said:

Might you draw some regimental wyters or other supernatural attachments to military units?

I might - but there's no more room!

A few fantastic beasts have already been drawn: a Black Horse and a Unicorn. Plus a giant wasp.

Am presently torn between trying to illustrate all the regiments (Lunar, Sartarite, Holy Country etc.) or doing something else. Unless there's a major info dump (Gloranthan or real world ancient warfare) I am leery of letting the page count increase - it is already at 360 + index. And a friend has asked vaguely for some Tekumel sketches.

Here's the updated minis image. It doesn't include every ink sketch (missing a chariot and three types of horse harness), and there's also a map, several diagrams, and some montages.

mini.png

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I guess demons/wyters is but a small subset of 'doing something else'. Whatever else is most interesting, seems like  is the best option :-)

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I mean... at some point all projects reach their completion, right? Is there anything in particular you're waiting for before you consider it done?

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On 6/4/2019 at 11:25 PM, Byll said:

I guess demons/wyters is but a small subset of 'doing something else'. Whatever else is most interesting, seems like  is the best option :-)

'Doing something else' would probably be: doing something not related to Glorantha.

On 6/5/2019 at 4:03 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

I mean... at some point all projects reach their completion, right? 

Have thought so several times, but then either new information comes to light or I think of something necessary but not yet in.

This is how what was intended to be a seventy page book became 370+ pages...

It is now in the 99.8% complete phase.

On 6/5/2019 at 4:03 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

Is there anything in particular you're waiting for before you consider it done?

Yes.

Meanwhile, filling in white space in the Appendices.

This one will illustrate the 'Phalanx Commands' section. As a rule attempt to ensure that the sketches are relevant to the section they appear in and are not just fillers - but so far one is a filler. Information on Gloranthan sappers and other siege engineers is non-existent so have been wary of attempting to draw one - don't even know what regiments (Lunar/Sartar) they'd belong to.

This hoplite is intended to display a mixture of Dara Happan and modern Lunar styles. I now have sketches of Pelandan, Darjiini, Dara Happan, and Lunar hoplites. Hmm, there may be another subtype that might be illustrated...

Quartz Phalanx forum.png

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3 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Information on Gloranthan sappers and other siege engineers is non-existent so have been wary of attempting to draw one - don't even know what regiments (Lunar/Sartar) they'd belong to.

In my old Imther campaign, I had a subcult of Hwarin Dalthippa called the College of Engineers based out of Jillaro which focused on sieges (and roadbuilding of course).

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I just wanted to say how impressed I am by your work, it is really splendid!! Congratulations!!

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:09 AM, jajagappa said:

In my old Imther campaign, I had a subcult of Hwarin Dalthippa called the College of Engineers based out of Jillaro which focused on sieges (and roadbuilding of course).

Interesting, and logical, but can I treat this as canonical? Maybe @Jeff could confirm?

On 6/7/2019 at 7:57 AM, Minlister said:

I just wanted to say how impressed I am by your work, it is really splendid!! Congratulations!!

Thank you. I'd like to think this project is almost complete.

Today's sketch of a Shargash-worshipping hoplite. May do a little digital rework on it tomorrow.

Decided to make the helm taller to either indicate or simulate cranial deformation as some worshippers of Shargash appear to follow that custom. This will be going into the Regional Warfare chapter - will probably have to delete a piece of Chaosium owned artwork there to make room for it.

Addendum - second version added, as it looked as if he were wearing spectacles. (Trying to merge a Corinthian helmet with an Assyrian conical helmet with a skull mask...)

Iskalos forum.png

Iskalos forum.png

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A few thoughts about creating all the spot illos for this project... After a lapse of decades, when I used to draw for a few fanzines (there's some of my earlier work in The Eye of All-Seeing Wonder, and some sf fanzines) when this book went out to designated reviewers, the most tricky comment was: needs some illustrations showing people wearing the armor described. As a result, the first four were sketched out (all now redone or reworked) and it then became apparent that other chapters could do with a few similar sketches. And things snowballed from there.

Initially the sketches were done on cartridge paper, and this meant that they were entirely line. One day I wanted to draw a Praxian bison but found I'd left the pad at home, and only had smooth paper to hand... The cross-hatching was easier; the paper didn't tear, and it was easier to create shading. As a result started drawing on this paper, and then had a light box for Christmas which meant it was possible to judge shading more accurately. Cue a redrawing exercise of almost every old picture.

So here we are, with around seventy (or eighty?) images (tend to count riding animals separately from the rider). Now, these images aren't to a professional standard; the poses are usually more than a bit stiff, and there are only so many ways to draw a hoplite standing 'at ease' but the style seems to fit what is in effect a text book on ancient warfare, with added magic and gods.

Have no idea what this art would cost from an artist (what would probably take a professional an hour takes me a day) but suspect to ask a pro to do these would be approaching $800? Or more?

However, they aren't cost free: pens perhaps $40, paper $25, and new 'reading' glasses (waiting for them now) $150? 

Having assessed the 'white space' there's room for one more half page illo, probably of a Tarsh cavalryman. After that, whether any more get added depends on where this document goes. The pagination is now fairly fixed, so to add more spot illos would require a combination of text and sketches to fill two pages, and there aren't many places that could go.

It would be nice for every regiment in the Army Lists to have an illo, but that would take another year to do, and there are three regiments I have no details about, so at present their details are blank; for one, I just have the name.

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Latest. Appears in the book as a half page illustration.

Tomorrow will be spent checking and updating the document, and on Thursday will probably convert it from A4 to 'Letter' which will probably mess up the layout... Will have to see if that offers any room for more sketches.

 

landholder forum.png

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Two thirds of the way through reformatting the document from A4 to 'Letter' which much cursing. On the one hand, once the width of tables and text boxes are adjusted, the page count isn't going up too much, but the pagination is affected, so the resulting layout isn't quite what I would like. It is also resulting in more empty white space - some has been filled by moving 'filler' sketches to where they are more relevant, and a small amount filled with extra material. However, it is apparent that I need at least three or four new sketches to fill the Great White Space.

Will have to deliberate what should be sketched... Any thoughts?

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5 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Will have to deliberate what should be sketched... Any thoughts?

A Lunar major or minor class magician.  Beat-pot Aelwrin. A Zorak Zoran troll berserk. An Impala Rider.

 

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Trolls!  Night and great troll heavies, trollkin slingers and disciplined trollkin spearmen of Argan Argar.

Elf bowmen, and dwarf pike and shot regiment.

Dragonewts with their half-bird cavalry.

Vampire Legion and Ralzakark's Broos.

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20 hours ago, jajagappa said:

A Lunar major or minor class magician.  Beat-pot Aelwrin. A Zorak Zoran troll berserk. An Impala Rider.

The first is possible; the second - tend to avoid known characters; third - haven't any experience of drawing trolls; fourth - none of my pygmies look right (something about trying to get the proportions).

A professional artist can draw anything; my talents are far more limited.

5 hours ago, Brootse said:

Trolls!  Night and great troll heavies, trollkin slingers and disciplined trollkin spearmen of Argan Argar.

Elf bowmen, and dwarf pike and shot regiment.

Dragonewts with their half-bird cavalry.

Vampire Legion and Ralzakark's Broos.

Have tended to avoid non-humans - though there is a sketch of a Duck slinger. Details of the Vampire Legion are sparse, and suspect they only come into action in Phase III which is a bit outside my self-imposed dates (the book roughly covers 1620-1635).

The transformation from A4 to Letter layout is complete, and sadly it alters some features of the layout I was very happy with.

Assessing white space, chapter by chapter:

  • Introduction – no free space
  • Fundamentals of Warfare - third of a page
  • Arms and Armor – quarter of a page
  • Regional Warfare – eighth of a page - will probably remain blank
  • The Battlefield – quarter of a page
  • Transport and Mobility – two thirds of a page
  • Fortifications and Siege Warfare – eighth of a page - will probably remain blank
  • Arcane Warfare – half a page
  • Gods of War – third of a page
  • Armies of Central Genertela – two thirds of a page but I might delete some material instead
  • Army Lists – no free space
  • Appendices – no free space

That's more than I'd hoped... Have filled some white space with extra text (things I'd knocked out due to lack of space) but anything less than a quarter of a page will remain white space - unless I create a small filler. A quarter page is probably a standing figure, half or more cavalry or similar... That's at least seven more sketches... Ouch.

To prevent more layout quakes, I either need more text, or sketches that can be used towards the end of a chapter to minimize changes in layout.

Tomorrow may start sketching out a bull rider... or an Esrolian soldier.

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