Okay, so I thought I was done with talking about Total Chaos…until I was looking over the final PDF the other day and realized I’d forgotten one important aspect.
While the book would contain several new commissioned pieces, it would also have two other types of art included. The first is what’s called “recycled.” This is exactly what it sounds like – reusing art from other projects, often in a different way or form in the new publication. I asked our art director and layout artist to keep the recycled art strictly from the previously done Jihad plot books, to keep the theme relevant. One of the best uses in Total Chaos is the image of the Bounty Hunter escaping the burning airship, found on page 33. The text is Mission: Pursuit and the image illustrates the page’s subject perfectly. (Not to mention that art is the illustrative piece of my short story, “Just Business,” which appears in Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents.)
The other type of art in the book is that of miniatures. In Wars of Reaving, we made the decision to use stylized photos of miniature battles to give an “on the battleground” feel. Here, we didn’t want to copy that style. Since the book is primarily focused on player campaigns, using miniature photos in static displays – similar to the Starterbook photos – helped convey both the BattleTech feel and the tabletop play.
In order to get such high quality miniatures and photos, I turned to one of Catalyst’s trusted sources for miniatures: CamoSpecsOnline. The artists here are exceptionally gifted and passionate about their craft (and their BattleMechs!), so Ray and I put a call out for photos of any miniatures they had lying around. We did something similar with Wars of Reaving and the subsequent Supplemental; here, there was little restriction except that no Homeworld Clans could be represented.
And boy, did the CSO artists step up. Selecting photos for the book was a difficult proposition, and I believe Ray choose the perfect images. But there were a lot these guys submitted, and I want to share some of my personal favorites from the pool below. (Not all of them made it into the book.)
A final word: the entire Total Chaos project, much like all other CGL BattleTech books, is a complete team effort. Without the help and support of each team member, from artist to writer to layout and beyond, none of these great products would see the light of day. I’m very thankful and grateful for all of the guys who worked on the book (you can see the full list on the book’s Credits page) and look forward to future projects with them.
And now, the photos. Enjoy.