Art Development: Germans Part 3

In the last blog post on this topic, I showed off where we’d left the Germans with Doug Chaffee. In the summer of 2012 I’d begun the painful process of starting to look for an artist that would be able to step into some mighty big shoes.

It was logical for me to try J. Lonnee, since he’d done a fantastic job on the orthographics for the British and French based upon Doug’s work. His first concept sketch for a German ship came in and well…man, made me very, very nervous…

German NewSketch01While that’s a wonderfully cool looking ship…it’s not a Leviathans ship. I responded back with the following comments (between the previous blogs and the releases Core Box Set, the images are available for those that want to carefully follow along with what “attached” images I sent the artists):


As I mentioned previously, we have a starting point for what the German’s look like. Attached is the illustration for the German battleship. The goal here is to maintain the over-all aesthetics, while introducing your own vision for the other ships. The ducted fans, look of the stacks (though not the number), and the look of the side-mounted tanks for the electroid must all stay the same.

The best example I can give is what we’ve done to date. Look at all the attached French/British ships:

You’ll notice that the fins in in the back swtich up here and there, as due the number of stacks and of course number and placement of turrets.

However, the over-all aesthetic of the hulls, along with the look of the ducts, the look of the stacks (note how each British/French ship may change the number of stacks, but they all have a unique look) and the look of the placement of the electroic tanks all remains identical.

That’s what we need to retain. The illustration you generated will be a wonderful third generation leviathans; i.e. I could absolutely see this once the Great War starts.

But for now we need to take the already established German Battleship and extrapolate that look into a series of other ships that all appear to have come out of the same general mold.

Hopefully that makes sense?


Based upon that feedback, I receive the following revised illustration (was still a little nervous, but could start to see a glimmer in there):

German NewSketch02

Based upon the above image, which I receive in October, I provided a very thorough list of notes:


So I’ve just spent the last 30 minutes going over your ship and looking at everything we’ve got, and here’s my comments for some additional tweaks we need to make.

First, I’m feeling like this is a Light Cruiser. For example, attached find all of the Ship Cards we’ve generated to date. Now as stated several times, we don’t match up illustrations exactly to Ship Cards. Instead, we ‘come close’ and then try and simply get the feel of the ship. Looking at what you’ve got here, I’m feeling the Kolberg-class Light Cruiser, specifically the SMS Wiesbaden. Especially if you drop one of the four bottom gun batteries off, then it will really fit well. Thoughts?

Second, I mentioned this before, but there are some key things that need to remain the exact same (or very close) throughout all of the ships and we’re still missing that slightly.

I believe I sent you a core box, so if you open up the poster and review it as you read the email, you’ll see how consistently these elements are carried across each faction’s ships.

I’m once again attaching the two illustrations we have of the Germans so far. You’ll actually note that the B&W and the sepia toned have different aft configuration, with the fin going over the back engines in the B&W version. We’ll just say this is an older ship and go with the sepia/your sketch as I feel it separates it more from the other ships. (Just bringing that up in case you noticed that.)

Now, some of the specific differences in your sketch.

1. The ducted fan casing at the back has three marks towards the back, where as the two sketches below have two circular marks…please follow that mark.

2. The location along the side in the center where the eteroid is carried is significantly different on your sketch then in either of the German sketches. Again, if you look at the poster, while there are slight differences, they are very slight, where as your take goes too far, IMO. Please pull that back to match these sketches.

3. The other eteroid tanks I don’t mind them being slightly different, but in the sketches below they look like compressed spheres set within a hollowed out rectangle, where as you don’t get the same vibe on your sketch…again, you don’t have to be identical, but need to mimic that same feel.

4. I’ve no problem with the different tweaks you’ve done on the deck…very nice there.

5. You’ve actually got different looking side guns along the bottom then what’s in the sketches below…I think I’m okay going with your version…but that means all future German ships should follow that same basic vibe.

6. The back mast is way too thick, especially along the bottom. Please trim that up significantly so better match the Sepia version.

7. You know, I absolutely love your smoke stakes. We’re officially going to label the smoke stakes below as the “old” version of the stacks and these stakes should be the new German look; i.e. this means ALL German ships should have that look.

8. Finally, there still is a ‘newer’ vibe to the illustration for me and I believe it has to do with the bow…you’ve got a “folded” metal line around the bow that tapers back…somehow that’s giving me that newer vibe I’m not liking…please refer to the sketches below and try and emulate that just a touch more.

Okay, I think that’s my comments. Again, absolutely love the direction you’re taking this and can’t wait to see the next iteration. If you’ve any questions on anything found below, let me know…


In place of receiving another single iteration, J. (and rightly so) decided to simply send me a “mash up” set of illustrations; taking my comments above and generating a variety of different takes on all of the elements that make a Leviathans‘s ship…well…Leviathans. This would allow me to pick and choose and more easily and quickly settle in a final direction.

German MashupSketch01

As soon as I saw this illustration, all my fears instantly disapated. Not only did I realize that J. was incredibly easy to work with and took well to my endless prodding, but the style and look of what we were reaching absolutely screamed Leviathans in all the important style/aesthetics Doug and I established.

Feel free to see if you can figure what we ultimately took from each ship to form the final Germans as you wait for the next installment.

See ya next duty shift!


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