Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Torque, you dorque!

I can't remember when I first became "fixed" on airframes and aircraft or aerodynamics in general. My first recollections are playing a game, a boardgame, by Milton Bradley called "Dogfight". This was back in the Age of Proto-Funk circa 1971-72. It was summer and I was at the board scattering pieces as my sister hated the game and I had no proper friends to partake in such things with me...Anyway, it was the cover art, the box art that I remember most about the game; a German pilot with a look of alarm as the struts to the wings of his crimson Albatross snap; the wing, with it's Maltese cross, crumpling; the victor, I'll assume British, in a Sopwith or an Se-5( I can't recall) streaking off to continue the hunt or die in a subsequent encounter with less a favorable outcome or to simple go home. This may have been the start of the "thing with airplanes".

Planes, reflexively, are the first thing I'll draw 80% of the time if I'm just "meandering" across the page. Sometimes, maybe the view from a plane or the detail of a flight surface or cockpit glazing. Rarely, RARELY are these aircraft jets. I love propellers; real engines. The Golden Age of Aviation.

The image above is from an old sketchbook circa 1996-7. This is a non-conventional configuration that was one of my "pet" silhouettes for a while; many variations on canopy gear and such, but the flight surfaces remained the same. In "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", the Brits under the lead of a one-eyed (yet still, oddly, hot) Angelina Jolie flew aircraft called Martins that had this same configuration. Not bad.

My futurist eye always keeps martial culture and the sense of "frontier" very handy and evident. The things that the military utilizes whether equipage or people get cycled into general society; or society itself gravitates to a martialist standing on it's own. Above,"VegaEights" is sort of a "my girl has been away for 6 months serving with the Flotilla". It's the sort of thing that really really made me appreciate the early "Love and Rockets" stories by Jaime Hernandez; there were chics and ships!

This is design in earnest here; would/could someone actually handle this plane safely? This is property for a story, but along with thinking of a narrative, having the best toys for your story is half the fun, no? Check out the markings on the tail surface; part of the original squadron flash is altered to signify a hasty realignment of this squadron apart from it's original loyalties and service.

OMG...I'm a geek!


Norm Dwyer said...

yeah. yer a geek. thank god for that! a very talented geek whose geekiness turns blank pieces of paper into drool worthy masterpieces!

WHO is that girl? and can i have her phone number!!! DAMN!

Beautiful airplanes as well, sir. Man. Good stuff. Good airplane drawing make me go weak in the knees. nice.

Tony Akins said...

Hey Norm,
Idunno, she's some Cuban or Nicaraguan hottie with a good set of sea-legs and a knack for avionics systems! Sigh.

Fred Schiller said...

You keep drawing your airplanes, Tony. Whatever it takes to keep you happy and down off the watertower with your rifle.

Tony Akins said...

Fred, the water towers are too obscured by cell antennae...I have to settle for a streetlamp.

Fred Schiller said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fred Schiller said...

I just heard that some Hollywood studio has announced they're bringing Alfred Bester's 'The Stars my Destination' to the big screen.

In a perfect world your telephone will be ringing soon and they'll want you to design the movie.

I would kill (not really) to see your version of Gulliver Foyle in a cinema near me. It would rock the cashbar.

I never read the comic adapation from the 70s that Byron Preiss was involved with.