Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year & New Content For 2011

Here's wishing everyone a better year ahead than 2010.

For myself, I've had a pretty lazy year. Ill disciplined and lazy. So I resolve to post at least twice a month on this blog and work harder on my own content. And to kick that off, here are some sketches for new content coming in 2011.

Platoon Sgt

SAW Gunner


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Transport Helo Concepts

There we go again - an entire month almost gone. All thanks to the good folks at Obsidian and Bethesda Soft for bringing us Fallout New entire month of November almost got frakked.

There were however some work done and these here are some of the more interesting things from the month of November.

Transport helo concept based around co-axial contra-rotating rotors. Pretty much what the Russian helicopter manufacturer Kamov does. Started out trying it in a Gyrodyne configuration - which was curiously not popular in real life despite its speed and agility. Though its brought back into the spotlight recently with the X-49 Speedhawk Compound Helo testbed.

Subsequent tries were a bit more conventional.

Here's a light 2-3 man utility helicopter. Was kinda interested to see how I can cross the Bell-47 with a Kamov.

Also, a couple of portable UAV concepts.

This one's based on the MQ-8B Firescout. Instead of specialized outboard weapons, what if the UAV could be reloaded by simply mounting infantry carried AT rockets? That would probably greatly reduce the time needed to return for rearming.

That's all for this post folks. I'll be putting up another one before November ends - hopefully.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Disc-rotor Compound Helo - Concept

October sure went by fast.

I follow a couple of tech and military blogs quite often. Recently I've read that the USAF had an eye on a new medium/light lifter to replace the ageing C-130 Herc. But they haven't quite figured out what they want. A few days later I read on another tech blog about DARPA's experimental Discrotor Compound Helicopter Program. This is actually old news of course - the brains at DARPA had announced this back in 2008 and now they're more or less ready to go into the prototype phase.

Now, seeing as how VTOL is one of those options the USAF are looking at for the C-130 replacement...and how the Discrotor may come into play, I decided to visually duct tape the ideas together to see how ugly it looks :D

Now there may be questions as to why not a tilt-rotor like the Osprey. I think the Osprey is a great machine. Personally, I feel the biggest shortcoming of the tilt-rotor is that when its landing, the 2 (or 4) massive engines are in the way - you can't mount guns on the side and shoot through them if you're being engaged in a hot landing zone from your 3 and 9. You can't mount a gun on top either - coz you don't want to shoot out the rotors too. The only other logical place is underneath where they did eventually fit a mounted gun, but being underneath, it can't really be used once the bird is on the ground dismounting troops. So a Disc-rotor makes more sense - even though its ugly as hell.

Now bear in mind I don't have the operational or budgetary constraints of real world engineers and researchers - its just my pen, my sketchbook and my imagination. I have no real responsibility so I don't have to make sense and the above paragraph wasn't a critique but more of an observation.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Historical Stuff

It feels great to be doing historical units with watercolors.

One more piece of Roman Auxillary Trooper

Norman Knights maile coif study - they put on a quilted padded cotton arming cap before wearing the coif.

Subsequently with better metallurgy technology the medieval armourers were able to fashion bigger plates and the Great Helm was born. Full faced protection comes at a price - no peripheral vision.

I've been doing some reading on the Terracotta Warriors too - what intruiged me was really their armour. Instead of simply being overlapped in sequence like Lamellar armour, the Qin era plates were arranged in a way that would have less of a weakness if struck directly from the front.

What's also interesting was the plated helmet that was found in a separate site. That goes to show the Qin soldiers did not go to war bare headed. The Terracotta Warriors in the mausoleum were posed in parade dress rather than full battle dress.

If you compare the Qin bodyarmour to the modern infantryman....

...the design seems timeless.

Of course our anatomy hasn't changed at all since modern humans came about, but bodyarmour has gone through a great amount of changes via available technology and a compromise between mobility and protection. So its kinda interesting we've come full circle. If you look at the internal plate structures of today's bodyarmour - with front and back plates + optional side plates, its very close in layout to the Persian Chahar-Ainé. Ideas remain the same - technology and materials change....but war....war never changes. (October can't come soon enough)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

History Weekend - Medieval Military Update

Trying out some watercolors. Getting back into it with a Daler Rowney pocket watercolor set. Also ran across several BBC documentaries on the Normans and the Norman invasion of the British Isles. And I dug around a bit on the earlier Anglo-Saxon invasion and I've been reading up on the Arthurian legends which were kinda placed in the short span of time after Roman withdrawal from Western Europe and before the Anglo-Saxon invasion/immigration. All very interesting.

Here are some sketches on those topics.

Late Roman Era Infantryman

Equipment of an Infantryman

Granted its not really accurate - The Pilum isn't really in use by the 4th to 5th century just before Roman withdrawal from Western Europe. The course of warfare has evolved by then with the Romans so effective and technologically superior - it makes no sense to train and equip expensive troops when the frontline brawlers could win the day.

On to the Normans - I was intrigued by the written description of their hairstyle. I've given it a modern spin here - when I first heard the description I thought they must've looked a lot like modern infantrymen with crew cuts.

Norman knight 1066AD

There's a lot more freedom when it comes to accuracy of the uniform in this 1500 year stretch. Most soldiers paid for their own equipment and each piece is customized to some extent. Gives room for creative freedom :D

Pretty cool exercise - I need more practice. The Holbien Waterbrush is great if you're working on a more intuitive level as it always stays wet as long as you have water in the well - but sometimes for detail work, I have to switch back to a normal brush for dry brushing. Still, its quite an interesting piece of equipment.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time Flies

Kinda busy all thru July. So here's a post.

Rework of older concepts. I've got several things I keep reworking on throughout the years. They're never quite complete so I don't toss em out much. I guess I'll start doing it more often from now - these were first thought up of way back in 2004 but of course only close friends have seen the older sketches.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Still Nothing Done...

Listen...if you're not watching the World Cup....something is wrong.....WITH YOU!!


Also working on something new. Was pretty inspired by a >>friend<< who got back into drawing comics as a hobby. He claimed I inspired him...well I guess the positive vibes come back after all.

That's all for now. Nothing is getting done at all really. GO TEAMS!!! (I haven't adopted a country to support at this world cup).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

AKS-74U SOPMOD Progress and other ramblings..

May is almost at its end and its nearly half of 2010 gone. There's this voice at the back of my head telling me "Dude, maybe you're not working hard enough."

Anyhow, the last couple days I put in several hours into the AKS-74U SOPMOD piece. This is part of a package of firearms art similar in presentation style to the title bar (and my business ID). Its not complete yet, there are a few more things to add like a rifle sling and a background, but generally its done.

I've actually got a couple more pieces done in this presentation style for a client. I'll have to talk to him about letting me put them up here. Typically I don't publish artwork(s) before a client uses them for their business.

Also working on a new well as several others. Hope to finish the bunch of stuff by 2010 if time permits. Sure as hell don't want to drag it on till 2011.

Changing to another topic.

Quite recently an old friend and paintball buddy of mine messaged me to inquire about my Deviant Art post. Well I don't have a DA account then, so how the heck did my artwork get posted up? After some digging, we both found out that this dude posted my artwork claiming it as his own - its not even copyright infringement, its outright plagiarism. In fact 3 of the work-in-progress pieces of this AKS-74U SOPMOD piece was stolen and posted on his Deviant Art gallery along with 4 more of my sketches, all from this blog. Those pieces either had no watermark or had the watermark tampered with.

I had my friend message him regarding my artwork and he took down the 3 AK pieces, but kept the rest of the sketches up. After a few more failed attempts to communicate with him, I gave up and went to Deviant Art moderators to lodge a complaint. They suspended his account in less than a week of my complaint. Some friends joked that I've finally 'arrived' because someone feels my work is good enough to steal. Honestly I don't find it funny, but I accept that as the silver lining in this cloud.

So the lesson learned here kids - don't steal works from others. The kudos you gained parading the false trophy cannot outweigh the embarrassment of being found out. And its getting easier to be found out these days. Hard work and commitment always pays off.

Last but not least, super duper thanks to Marc for giving me the heads up on this situation. (When you come back I'll buy you coffee...the expensive ones).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frank Frazetta 1928-2010

Got this sad piece of news from friends. He will be sorely missed.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Visit To Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

Took a sketch trip down to the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research today. Located within the campus of National University of Singapore and tucked away into one of the buildings. I've heard of them some time ago but never really found time to haul my ass there to take a look. So I made the conscious decision to go for a short trip today - and it was awesome.

Did 5 sketches in about 4 hours. Lighting in the Museum wasn't optimal for drawing, but a lot of the exhibits were ancient so I guess the lighting was softened in consideration of the condition of the exhibits - some were from the early part of the last century or late bits of 2 centuries ago!! Here they are:

Malayan Tapir Cub

Sunda Pangolin

Sumatran Rhino - smallest Rhinoceros Species, extremely threatened, one recently captured on film.

Malayan Water Monitor - these guys are awesome. This particular specimen was one of the biggest I've seen dead or alive.


I'll definitely drop by again to visit and sketch. Hopefully I can interest more illustrators to join me. Entry is free and if today was a benchmark, then the place is peaceful and optimal for sketching - well like I mentioned, lighting could be better but you can't win them all.

I overheard some chatter when I was sketching away and I realized that a lot of the exhibits on display were once placed in the National Museum of Singapore, which had a natural science exhibit. It was done away after the declaration of independence to allow the museum to focus more on nation building aspects (and whatever). The current Biodiversity Museum had such limited floorspace only maybe 10% of the total collection was being shown at any time. I don't have an opinion on the politics that relegated natural science education to its current position over nation building or whether its right or wrong. But I think its high time we bring it back into view of the public. In the 40+ years of nation-building we've lost a lot of our natural environment to urbanization, if we don't educate this generation - it will be forever lost by the time today's children in Singapore become adults. Heck, I was born in 78 and I have NO CLUE about this awesome collection until I'm in my early 30s. I would hope future generations of Singaporeans don't have to wait till they are my age to experience this wonderful collection.

In fact the RMBR requires money to move to a bigger space (between 2000 to 7000 sqm). I've not received any deals or anything to make this appeal on their behalf. I do so only because as an illustrator, any resource is valuable to me and my work. Without these guys holding up the fort and educating our next generation of biologists in Singapore, I wouldn't have anything to draw. Check >>this link<< if you wish to donate.

Good news for the museum. They have raised a total of SG$46M and will indeed move to a bigger hall in a new facility by 2014. It will still be within the National University of Singapore campus and it should - hopefully - be able to showcase bigger exhibits. I know my 50 bucks didn't help that much but still...every bit counts. I hope our youngsters here will get a better sense of our region's natural history from this.

News link >>here<<

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Routine Of Working From Home

You get up, go to the kitchen, get coffee, come back, sit your ass down, work until lunch, remember you haven't brushed your teeth, brush teeth, work, tired, want to nap but cannot, finally gives up and took a nap, wake up, coffee, work till dinner, then slack off a bit, work, maybe do some workout, shower, more work, even more work....too tired to work...sleeep....repeat.....



Almost all my personal projects are on hold due to picking up 2 jobs at the same time. The burned weekends aren't great but at least the paid work was enjoyable content-wise.

For the first time in over almost 2 months found time to work on my personal stuff.

Weapon Detail:

Figure Detail:

Its just a few extra hours of work put in today right after I shipped off the last article in the draft to one of the clients. Looks OK I hope.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Swiss Army Knife - Not an Original Idea.

The Roman Army Knife! Predating the Victorinox by 1800 years. Original Article from Daily Mail UK HERE via the excellent blog Soldier Systems.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Put some ink on paper yesterday - ink always feel better than pencils. Used a single 0.05 point Staedler Pigment Liner (the grey ones) for all of them. It may sound like I'm putting myself through pain with such a small point, but its the only point size I can use to put down light lines and not have to worry about them showing up too much as I pile on the ink. Plus the sketchbook is just A5 in size so its no biggie.

** updated

Couple concept sketches on a SMG design. Kind of a mash up between a pistol, MP7, Uzi and so on. Firearms pretty much work on the same principles anyway.

**Edit: Added another sketch just today.


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