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Cover Model – The Blood Empress

The cover of my novella The Blood Empress features a dual KIV-3 starfighter. This is actually a 1/48 scale plastic model scratch built specifically for this cover art. In addition to being a writer, I’m also a model builder. All the starships featured on my novel covers are original designs created specifically for my novels. In many cases they are taken from old drawings I and my friends did when we were kids. The designs have been modernized and my modeling skills have improved since childhood resulting in some pretty cool models.

This model started with some PVC tubes and model rocket nose cones.

The center section is complete with a 1/4 20 screw mount for holding the model up while its photographed.

Details and fins are made from plastic and various other model parts, known as greeblies.

Wings are built from sheet plastic and attached.

The final creation is then painted with acrylics and weathered with pastels. The paint scheme was based on a WWII German Messerschmidt.


The model is then put against a blue screen and photographed with a DSLR camera. I use a Canon camera and high intensity flood lights under blue gels to simulate sunlight. This image is then passed on to my graphic artist brother, Byron, who uses Photoshop to insert it into a scene for the cover. The background image is a modified NASA photo of Mars. He adds battle damage, markings and exhaust flames.

The Blood Empress 10-27-15 High Res

The final design is composed with a title and author name to make an eye catching cover with all the right elements to attract readers who enjoy Sci-Fi. I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at how I build a book cover. You can find detailed looks at all the spaceships I have built under the Model Builds menu of my website. You can buy The Blood Empress on Amazon Kindle.