Monday, November 13, 2017

Ask Barking Alien - Lost in Space

Foomf asks, "Have you ever created models, or art of Traveller spacecraft?"

The answer to this is yes. Unfortunately, I have no proof.

I'll explain...

Most of the spacecraft art, whether two, or three dimensional, that I've made for Traveller over the years was made long ago. It's been at least 10-15 years since I've made anything of a model-kit, or original illustration nature. 

Never particularly good at drawing Science Fiction vehicles (especially starships), and yet loving them to pieces, I would most often use already existing art found in books, and magazines. Eventually I met other gaming friends better at illustrating spacecraft, and left the depictions to them. 

I am pretty good at imagining, and designing ships, just not getting them on paper.

As my modeling skills improved, and I started to customize Japanese Robot models more, and more, I tried my hand at customizing Star Trek, and Star Wars models. I sold a battle damaged Klingon K'Tinga that I'd made, which originally hung down from the ceiling in the old Forbidden Planet comic book store here in New York. I later sold a customized A-Wing fighter diorama that included miniatures originally made for Star Wars D6.

By the time I started college I had begun creating kit-bashed speeder vehicles, and shuttles for Traveller, but this was around 1989-1990. We did not have cameras in our pockets like we do now, and so I never took pictures of any of my work. I also never kept any of it, since I rarely used miniatures in my own games. Instead, as with the K'Tinga, and the A-Wing, I made it a habit of selling my pieces to supplement my income.

So, the answer to the question is yes, I have made models of original ship designs, but no such works remain in my possession, and no photos exist of them that I am aware of.

You'll just have to take my word for it.

Barking Alien


  1. See, I think with your art connections you should have custom illustrations of every non-standard spacecraft or vehicle in any Traveller or Trek game. I'm not saying it's fair, just that it would be my expectation based on your posts here

    I rarely did pictures or models or miniatures for these, but I did plenty of design work in both Traveller and FASA Trek.

    We often took the Star Fleet Battles illustrations for inspiration then came up with an interesting design for that look in the Trek RPG.

    Traveller I just went nuts and have a ton of designs that never even made it into a game. When Megatraveller integrated the vehicle design rules I got way into that side of things. Heck, when The New Era brought in the full design sequence I was designing _guns_ for individual planetary and pocket empire militaries.

    Then there was Battletech. I know it's not your cup of tea but "design your won" has been a big part of that game from the beginning and I still have folders full of hand-written mech sheets from before we had PC design programs. Thank goodness for sheet protectors!

  2. I have been trying (between getting married, buying a new house and moving to it just this month) to come up with a good question for you. Yet only one has come to me, and it is neither about gaming nor about what you like (quite the opposite), so I don't think it qualifies. But... why dou you dislike Star Trek: Voyager so much? XD