Thursday, April 20, 2017

Combat Infantry: World War II tactical block game

A few years after working on the block art for what I thought was all going into Victory in Europe- (Sometimes I don't know the plan. I just draw what they tell me to) all of that art is going into a new game, Combat Infantry now on Kickstarter.
Combat Infantry, Charge, pen and ink-digital color
Copyright © 2017, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I was asked last month to do the art for the box cover. I will paraphrase the request from Tom, "Something silhouettey, with soldiers in combat, and I am fond of orange".
Above is what happened from that request.

Here is a shot of the game block art I did a while ago. Of course it is all very much strongly based on lots of reference photos that I tried to clean up and turn into readable images that would only be around 3/4" square.

Combat Infantry, game block art, pen and ink-digital color
Copyright © 2017, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
But I digress, back to the cover.
Combat Infantry, Sketches digital color
Copyright © 2017, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I decided I wanted the cover to have the feel of WWII poster art which have very strong and readable designs- though Columbia Games asked for something a bit more realistic, I feel I kept it pretty much in the middle of those ideas. In my research I found a few photos and images I liked for reference. The final image is based on a nice black and white photo of a single soldier charging. I sent these three sketches for Tom Dalgliesh to approve. As he said in his request, he said he likes orange- so he picked the first one. He had some suggestions, and I went from there.
First step is to a more detailed drawing. I used Google Sketchup to get the positioning of the tank which was a bit challenging to draw from that view rolling over the hill.
I ink the drawing and scan it into photoshop to color it.
Combat Infantry, Charge, pen and ink
Copyright © 2017, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I played around a bit and at moment tried a bluish sky but Tom thought the orange sky with higher contrast had a stronger impact. I agree.

Combat Infantry, Charge variation, pen and ink-digital color
Copyright © 2017, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I pushed the sky to orange and removed the competing tank explosion and replaced it with a trail of smoke to keep the focus on the charging soldier.
Once this gets laid out on the box slip cover it may go through a few more changes but I am pretty happy with the final image.

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