17 September 2005

Israeli Centurion MBT

An image of the most successful postwar tank, the Centurion. This is an ink sketch from a photograph of an Israeli machine. The Israel Defence Force were prominent users of this tank and with them, they drove the invading Arab armies from their borders.

The drawing is a tribute to these brave Israelis who defended their state from the armies of despotic Arab governments and Palestinian terror.

In 1945, six prototypes of the A41 Centurion were rushed to Germany for field testing but these prototypes did not see action. They would have been a match for the German Tigers and Panthers. The Centurion was armed with the 17-pounder (76.2mm) gun then. In subsequent years, Centurions were upgunned to a 20 pounder (83mm) gun and finally a 105mm gun. The longevity of the Centurion in service was due to the basic soundness of its design and its ability to mount heavier armament.

With the ranging machine gun, the Israeli tank crews were able to acquire Syrian and Egyptian tanks before they can respond. Egyptian and Syrian T-54s and T-55s were utilising stereoscopic sights for ranging then.

"With so many mindbytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns. " Richard Dawkins

16 September 2005

Byzantine in Full Armour

I am planning to draw a fifteenth century Byzantine foot soldier in full armour. This will be a slightly larger piece than my usual 10 cm by 10 cm sketches. This will measure about 20 cm by 10 cm, thus allowing for more detail in the armour.

The reference will be a line drawing from Ian Heath's 'Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2'. The line drawing is based on a construction.

This should be interesting. Not particularly ambitious. I have not done something ambitious since 1995 or 1996.

At the same time, since it is Friday, I may sketch a section of Orchard Road tonight. I will need to find a good vantage point. Lighting will, of course, be a challenge. It will really depend how I want to plan this. Hmmm...

Maybe not, I will just stick to sketching the usual imaginery landscapes. Heheh. And that will probably only happen after I comb for books at Borders as usual.
Teutonic Knight

A drawing of a Teutonic Knight based on a simple sketch of a figure in a book. I have given it texture and shadows.

The Teutonic Order was originally one of the three religious orders present in the Holy Land. By the thirteenth century, the order was settled in Northern Germany and with another religious order, the Sword Brothers, it launched a series of crusades against the pagan Prussians. The Teutonic Order and the Sword Brothers continued expanding into Livonia and Poland-Luthuania until 1410 at the Battle of Tannenberg.

'Angels with silver wings
Shouldn't know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it's your eyes
He's seeing through'

Depeche Mode 'Precious'

15 September 2005

Wargames and such

GMT Games has just announced the following games for pre-order:

  • Gergovia (GBoH Module for Alesia) Designer: Richard Berg
  • Kutuzov Designer: Mark McGlaughlin
  • Monmouth (American Revolution Series Volume V) Designer: Mark Miklos
  • Pacific Typhoon Designer: Ben Knight
  • The Bulge (Fast Action Battles Series #1) Designer: Rick Young
Previously, I would have been interested in 'Kutuzov', 'Pacific Typhoon' and 'The Bulge' due to their playability. Given the number of unplayed games that I own, I think I will stick to pre-ordering 'Gergovia' for now. I will need to focus. I will go re-read Caesar's defeat at 'Gergovia' in his classic 'The Gallic War'.

'Pacific Typhoon' is a fast playing simulation of the Pacific War utilising cards with a system similar to Avalon Hill's out of print 'Atlantic Storm'. 'The Bulge' is a fast playing block-based wargame on the 'Battle of the Bulge'. (Of course!)

'Kutuzov' is a theatre level card-driven simulation of the 1812 campaign into Russia and should be relative fast-playing. An earlier game utilising the same system, 'Wellington', has began shipping. 'Wellington' is a simulation of Wellington's 'Peninsular War', the 'Spanish Ulcer'.

Meanwhile, the new issue of Strategy & Tactics magazine #231 features a new treatment of the French & Indian War. The news stand edition is now available at Borders at Wheelock Place while the wargame edition available at Paradigm Infinitium. Other feature articles include the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a French armed forces update and battles of the French & Indian War.

The next two forthcoming issues:
07 Oct Strategy & Tactics #232: Catherine the Great (Solitaire)
25 Nov Strategy & Tactics #233: Dagger Thrusts (Market-Garden plus a Patton scenario)


OSG's operational level wargame about the campaigns of the Italian Wars (1494-1530), 'All is lost save Honour' is now at the 214 unit mark. It will take 36 orders before publication! Yay!

'I came, I saw, I conquered.' Julius Caesar

A medieval handgunner. The handgunner became more common towards the end of the Hundred Years War. The French utilised numbers of handgunners and were able to nullify the unquestioned battlefield supremacy of the English longbowmen through a variety of means including refusing battle.

'Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give'
Depeche Mode 'Precious'

14 September 2005

Kill Every One, Extraordinary Ways

Australia's Novakill has released a terrific ebm album, 'Kill Everyone'. Harsh, uncompromising and absolutely evil. Not to be missed. Recommended.

Meanwhile, Rhys Fulber, formerly of Front Line Assembly and Delerium, has released his second Conjure One album, ''Extraordinary Ways'. Wonderful album but without the ethnic stylings of the first.

I have shelved Goldfrapp's 'Supernature'. It was a good listen for a while but it gets tired easily. Forgetable.

Other news

On the drawing front, I have just completed a sketch of a Second World War Japanese infantryman armed with a Type 100 sub-machine gun (SMG).

I have also done a coloured piece using Painter 8.0 of an ink sketch of a forest path which I posted a few days back. That was a first.

It would also appear that three of my submissions for ideas is at the Battle Angel Alita website. Nothing elaborate. Just something for the writer and artist. I hope he employs my contributions in the next volume. Anyway, that is just wishful thinking.

Meanwhile, I am typing something up on the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. I will be also typing something on the campaigns of Marlborough.

There will be more blog entries on books and military affairs soon. Of course, there will be one new drawing daily.

The Keymaster

This is an even older sketch done a decade or more ago using a ballpoint pen. This is a keymaster. Yes, you need the keymaster for the key which will open the portal. The keymaster is the key!

"The State is nothing else but this domination and exploitation regularised and systemised."

Mikhail Bakunin (1867)

13 September 2005

Drawings of Tanks and other AFVs

Here are the links to the current drawings of tanks and other AFVs*.

Centurion, Hetzer, Jagdpanzer IV, OT-34, M4A1 Sherman, Elefant, Pzkw V Panther, Jagdpanther, Pzkw VI Tiger I, Pzkw IVH, Comet, M1A1 Abrams, PzKw VI Tiger II, KV-1, KV-2Sturmgesch├╝tz III

For the drawings of AFVs, I use photographic references, other drawings and schematics. The references I use are books from Schiffer Books, Concord Publications, Signal Squadron and several other books.

These drawings are usually done with pigment ink markers from Eddings, Artline, and a few others. The sizes I use most frequently is 0.3, 0.1 and 0.05. For large shadows, I simply use a big black Copic marker. For the ones in colour, Copic markers are used.

These drawings are normally completed from start to end in two to three hours.

*AFV - Armoured Fighting Vehicles

"If the tanks succeed, then victory follows." Heinz Guderian

This is an old sketch created mostly using a ballpoint pen. After which, an Artline technical pen was used to darken the shadows. The image is the samurai is copied from the cover of an book published by Osprey.

It was a delight doing this sketch. I did draw a hoplite and I will post that one up some time.

Most of my ballpoint pen sketches date back about six to eight years I think...

12 September 2005

The Quiet Path in the Woods

This one-hour sketch was inspired by a photo of a park somewhere in Orange County, California. I have not been there myself. The photo is quite different from the resultant drawing.
The Castle

Another fast sketch. Lines defining light and texture.

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

11 September 2005


A sketch inspired by a stretch of road by a reservoir in the live-firing area when I went for my last reservist stint ever this year. A celebration of sorts I guess.

I don't miss those reservist stints one bit.