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June 15, 2014
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'Incroyable' Class Destroyer by MikeDoscher 'Incroyable' Class Destroyer by MikeDoscher

We sang songs to drown out the rumbling of the engines, and at least challenge the shrieking of the wind. We were bright blades piercing the breast of the night, recalling Roland and Oliver at Roncevaux, as was only fitting. We perched on columns of fire, arcing in a gentle parabola and feeling none of gravity’s curse, having solved the riddle of the Martian gravity engines.

It was just a drill, just a show for our allies and enemies. We all knew though. We knew we were going to Mars. We knew we were going to fight something ancient and terrible, and dig it out of its hole. It had tried for us, tried to conquer and harvest our world, and failed. The ogre and the dragon are terrible, but how much more terrible is the knight with revenge in his eye and steel in his hand? Well, we all know how that turned out!

Still, we were young and the universe was a new thing. Those old ships were deathtraps, with their fulminate fuses and the engines we really didn’t understand yet. It was intoxicating, though. Intoxicating not like any wine that mortals know, but like falling in love and foreseeing your own death at the same time. It was a different time.

-Michel de Traci-Bocage, Mémoires du Futur

The Incroyable class was a stopgap class of vessels designed to intercept a third wave of Martian landers that never came. Fast, lightly armored and terribly fragile, they were the first space vessels to be fielded by the Third Empire in any number. While cursed with a number of design deficiencies and poor serviceability, they did give the French crown an edge in practical engine design that extended up to the time of the loss of the Gloire.

-Dominic Rossignol, Origins of the Fall

Another illustration and a bit of the backstory for Spacecraft of the First World War.

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:iconwatcher25:
watcher25 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015
I'm sure such a design could be improved so that the chassis is optimized to be an accomplished machine over a slapped together stop gap- though i understand to need of something when you need anything

often I notice stopgap machines are.... disposable with all their potential advantages often never realized- particularly their less dependence on limited resources to make and maintain even though if armor and weaponry is not a top notch brawler...

generated with industry made to be sustainable, the availability number mobility and ease of maintenance would serve to split enemy forces and concentration to which only really careless planning and over bearing mechanical prowess would swing the tide around....  even so, time would have been bought and resources saved... unless if pilot casualties are unacceptable.,.. which suck and then invalidates everything i just listed... uggggh....

still a clever idea to have the ships built around huge cannons- makes a lot more sense than many ships I've seen.
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:iconmerc-king:
Merc-King Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2014
Marcel: "Where's Stephan? I thought he's in the engineering room with you?"

Meanwhile on Earth

Stephan: "You stupid git! You left me behind!"
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:iconwatcher25:
watcher25 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015
XD

oh that will cost you...
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:iconrraillery:
RRaillery Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014
Been admiring your work from afar for some time. All of your WWI-esque space stuff is fantastic. Keep up the great work!
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:iconrevealedfromthevoy:
RevealedFromtheVoy Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You know french ?
Reply
:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
Not really, but it's a very interesting language. 
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:iconrevealedfromthevoy:
RevealedFromtheVoy Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Je suis d'accord :D

Aren't you interested in taking course ?
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
Time is a problem. Between by day job and trying to get this book done, it may not happen for a while.
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:iconrevealedfromthevoy:
RevealedFromtheVoy Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah yes, I see.
Time is very important and we have so little of it ^^
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:iconnomansnodead:
NOMANSNODEAD Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
awesome man!
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:iconhunter2045:
Hunter2045 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Nice.
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:icongratefulreflex:
GratefulReflex Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this one is very intrigueing, is there some kind of book or collection this will be in at some point?
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'm glad it catches your interest. :)

Yeah, I'm putting together a sort of fake history picture book called 'Spacecraft of the First World War'. Hopefully it'll be out later this year, but life is pretty busy. I'll probably do it as a Kindle format e-book for starters, then do an expanded version for print if there's enough of a positive reaction.
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:icongratefulreflex:
GratefulReflex Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope you post a link to it on your DA account, though I don't have a kindle it's already interesting enough for me to buy were it in print.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
I certainly shall. :) Thing about the Kindle format is, you don't need a Kindle. I chose the format because you can view it on just about any platform- Windows, Mac, iOs, Android.
Reply
:icongratefulreflex:
GratefulReflex Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? I didn't know that, so you would just down load it and adobe might read it on a desktop?
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yeah, if the particular e-book is one without DRM you should be able to do that with the newer versions of Acrobat Reader. You can also log into your Amazon account and view it in your browser, or use the Kindle desktop app.
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:icongratefulreflex:
GratefulReflex Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
DRM?
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
Digital Rights Management. Copy protection. Basically, the ebook is tied to your account, and you can't read it on a device not associated with your account. I don't know all the ins and outs of how theirs works.
Reply
:iconorganicmcgee:
organicmcgee Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
So, is that a great big railgun I spy at the bow, or just a really big naval piece?
Reply
:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Pardon the copypasta, but somebody asked much the same thing earlier:

Yes, the front is actually a 15" gun from a scrapped cruiser. The bit on the front is tungsten-alloy squeeze bore adapter than compresses special skirted shells down to about 14.5" to increase the muzzle velocity.
Reply
:iconmetalsnail:
MetalSnail Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Brilliant work Mike, it looks amazing!!!
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:iconwingnut55:
Wingnut55 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
very interesting ! pumping up the lighting effects and glossing up the textures gives your concepts a different feel, as if they are moving off the book's pages and into the movie.
Reply
:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yes, I'd had a problem with some of the previous images because of the color space I was using. I'd been working on the same image at multiple computers with different calibration, as well as not understanding the parameters of the color space I was exporting to. Hopefully things are resolved now. :)
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:iconwingnut55:
Wingnut55 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
oh - and i thought you were just moving to a big budget look  :-)  but very good anyway !
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:icongromgorefiend:
Gromgorefiend Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Very nice , love your stuff my space ships seem so flat compared to yours .
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you. You know, if you want any suggestions about technique I'd be happy to look at what you're having trouble with and share what I've found works.

Of course, art can be a very personal matter and I totally understand if you would prefer I not. For my own part, I learned a lot from this tutorial, which seems like it's pretty legendary at this point: androidarts.com/art_tut.htm
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:icongromgorefiend:
Gromgorefiend Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Thank you very much if i ever get the guts to show what i have done , i will let you know .
Reply
:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
:)
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:iconcsp499:
Csp499 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That lighting makes me moist.
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:iconoctoberv:
OctoberV Featured By Owner Edited Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Simply amazing.
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:iconjailgurdnegative:
jailgurdnegative Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist
I've a silly question. Are you basing off these space battles of WW1 naval battles or just the battles of WW1 in general? 

I feakin love that ship. It's rear is just so industrial/steam punky while its bow is so smooth.
Reply
:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
I don't think it's a silly question, though I may have a silly answer for you.

They're based on guesses as to how the great powers would recover and resume their empire building after the events of 'War of the Worlds'. The devastation had been widespread, but the captured Martian technology (automated mining and smelting, feedback and control systems, and most importantly gravity control) enabled a rebuilding of industrial and martial strength on an incredible scale. The arms race continued hand-in-hand with a sort of 'land rush' for the inner solar system. History didn't stop, but these events were greatly altered.

I'm glad you like the design. It seems like what often works well is a particular sort of look overall, but with some variation to draw the eye.
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:icontoast-of-doom:
toast-of-doom Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
A strange, beautiful combination of elegance and clunkiness. They look both awesomely powerful and like they'll shake themselves to pieces any second. One wonders how they're dealing with the air resistance.
Is what's sticking out the front a huge-ass gun, or is it some component of their engines?
Reply
:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you. The propulsion is based on reverse-engineered examples of Martian gravity control engines, such as those that allowed the passengers on the cylinders to survive being shot out of a cannon. The vessel is essentially falling upwards, with the chemical rockets there to give extra speed at this phase. It's really a brute force solution, and you can only start the rockets once the air thins out enough. Otherwise, and combination of air resistance and vibration will tear the ship apart. Don't ask how they know that! :)

Yes, the front is actually a 15" gun from a scrapped cruiser. The bit on the front is tungsten-alloy squeeze bore adapter than compresses special skirted shells down to about 14.5" to increase the muzzle velocity. The unspoken rule is that these small vessels are actually expected to ram incoming cylinders if they can't be shot down. Very motivated crews.
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:iconbeltminer:
beltminer Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014
Brilliant stuff Mike.
g
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