“Old Uncle Douaumont” reborn among skinned knees and burnt coffee

Old Uncle Douaumont was a fort designed to withstand all forms of attack in the 1890’s, but was out flanked by advances in artillery in the early 1900’s.  The fort was brought to its knees by a pair of skinned knees ( the only casualty!) during the Battle of Verdun when the undefended fort was over run by the Germans.  The tides turned later that same year when German soldiers, attempting to heat their coffee with a flame thrower caused a huge fire that killed over 600 men!  This story deserves its own Graphic Novel..read more on this thread.


Sounds haunted to me…..and just in time for Holloween the Forte De Douamont is being brought back to life by a pair of digital artists.  “Genius” who is located in France built the 3d model based on historical data and WWDubya, a friend of mine in the Wing Walkers Squad is developing the “skins” to complete the model.  This international collaboration, combined with digital art and historical research is the kind of thing that can bring real richness to the flight sim community.

Follow this project as it develops on this thread..but please leave your coffee makers at home!!








Character Sketches

I posted a few sketches you might find interesting. Just experimenting with characters and faces. The three examples show how different the emotions are depending how you do it

The first resulted from tracing a historical photograph and adding detail to it. I like it but it is a bit predictable or formal

The second I did looking at a photo and sketching from scratch, trying to exaggerate or develop a character. I had a scribbly loose sketch and than put a layer over it where I carefully drew only the lines i wanted to keep, and removed the scribbly layer. The result is something very cartoony like characters I used to draw in high school for the school yearbook

The third one is a lot like the second, but I left the scribbles in, did not remove any layers and didnt try to make the picture look perfect, just kept building up layers until it felt done. For me it has so much more emotion to it, it also got closest to the character I was trying to capture…this is Unteroffizier Gerhardt Rupp, in The Blue Max, he is the squad informant and the guy you go to when you want to get something done under the table.  He is always watching and trying to get the dirt on other squadmates so he can use the information he gathers to protect or advance himself.  The tone is dark and brooding.  You will see and hear more about Rupp in the future.  My interim project to extend my research and improve my skills will be ” Rupps Sketchbook”….a mix of story telling and sketching along the lines of The Bloody April Journal

Let me know what you think of the sketches




Coming Soon! ( or at least eventually…..)

Was a busy weekend so not a lot of content to post.  i know what i want to do next but a bit intimidated by the copyright rules and how to do it.  i am trying to make resource image files sorted in catagories like Flight Gear, Dress Uniforms etc.  These would be images I could refer back to when I am sketching.  Finding great stuff and it would be great to have media files that I could share, but so many images are partially documented or not at all documented and dont want to get in trouble with copyright rules…hopefully can post some here so you can see them.

imageThe second part is easier, I want to start working on a “sketchbook” to start developing background information on The Blue Max story.  A bit like the Bloody April Journal, this would be the story from the perspective of one character with sketches from his personal sketchbook.  I think the structure will allow me to do graphic studies and research but also create something that is fun to read and pulls people into the book’s story line.  Will keep you posted as this develops.



Ring around the rosy, Pocket full of Posy….

I was researching images of uniforms as source material ( and will post more on that in the future) but ran into a whole group of these portrait shots of young german soldiers before they went off to war.  Apparently it was traditional to “decorate” the young man with flowers in the image, stuffed in their pockets, gun barrels etc. The uniform, the gear is all the same.  The young men, each one unique and different.

One image alone is chilling…


Many of them together is numbing…..

ManySoldiers copy

At the Battle of Verdun alone over 300,000 men gave their lives.  World War 1 as a whole, over 8 million men died.  Hard to even comprehend.  These images make it very personal and real to me.

Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down!