I decided to paint this model silver, to make it different from all the other ships in this universe. Silver models start off life with a flat black primer. For this one I used a rattle can. Below is the finished model in primer black.
I next painted the whole model in silver using my airbrush and acrylic model paint.
This is the top of the model getting painted silver.
After the silver was good and dry, I mixed some India Ink black with water and used it to wet brush all over the model and then wiped off the excess. This is a tried and true weathering technique and it really does work. It puts black into the cracks and sometimes tarnishes the base color of the model.
It was decided to make the head removable so that I could model the ship as it appears in the story. Thus I had to make some interior pipes and details and then paint them up.
In the below image, I’m using a dry brush method with dusted pastels. The brass coloring on the engine shields was an attempt to add some interest to an otherwise pretty dull paint job.
below are the finished versions of both the Sultran warship and the Ostrov warship. The tiny X-Wing is very close to the 1/350 scale of these models.
It’s fall and the temperature here in Boise has finally come down to tollerable levels. This means it’s model building season at House McConnell. My workbench is already dirtied up with bits of plastic and a new model frame on the stand. I have to create two new starship models for an upcoming trilogy of Destroyer novellas.
I’m starting with a Sultran Warship which is loosely based on drawing a buddy of mine did when we were kids. Of course I’m improvising the build and using a bunch of kit bashing parts from the junk bins of the company I work at. I’m hoping that foks won’t recognize anything and that I have used and it will look unique in the universe for which it was built.
There is another warship, slightly smaller that I still haven’t worked out yet. I’m considering something more along the lines of a rocket or perhaps a submarine-like shape. The Sultran ship will be a matte green color, so I might do the opposing forces in silver or something completely different than what we’ve seen before. The stories are set in a distant star system that is not part of the main Federation, and can therefore be very different in just about every way imaginable.
Stay tuned for more progress posts on these models.
Sometimes the people I know find their way into my stories. I usually will honor a friend by naming a character after them but that character never looks or acts anything like the person they are named after. Such was the case for a friend who works with me at my day job. He has always been one of my best fans and has read many of my books. When I was writing Devon’s Blade I decided to honor him by creating a character named after him. That character was called Hank in the novel. For those of you who haven not read the novel, Hank dies in the end. But my friend always insisted that his death was never confirmed and that Hank lived!
This week is my friend’s last week with my work group. He’s moving on to bigger and better things and we’re all going to miss him around the office. To honor him, I wrote him a short story about Hank and what happened after Devon’s Blade finished. I hope you enjoy it as much as my friend did. Maybe someday I’ll include it in a new version of the ebook. But for now, you can read it right here, on the blog.
Are you a fan of short fiction? Did you read the Star Saga books and wish there were more stories set in that universe? Really? Wow, I thought only I wanted that. Cool. Well, if you want more Devon Ardel, Red Allen and Thirty-seven, you’re in luck. Just head on over to your phone’s app store and get the Kobo ebook app. Then you can start downloading ebooks of all my short stories set in the Star Saga universe. Kobo is the exclusive publisher for my short fiction. You can’t get these stories on Amazon or anywhere else in ebook format.
Each short story ebook will set you back a whole US dollar! So choose wisely. Collect them all for hours of reading adventure.
There are eleven individual shorts and one anthology – Tales From Ocherva, that contains many of them. I’ll be adding more stories soon, and from now on when I write a new short story, they will appear on Kobo, and nowhere else!
Corvette 3, Pirate’s Lair is now available in 5×8 paperback, exclusively on Amazon. As of this writing, it has not been linked to the ebook offering page, but I expect that to change next week. When you buy the paperback, you will get the ebook for FREE. So if you like to have two versions of a book for convenience sake, like me, this is the better value.
I’m mulling the possibility of creating a Trilogy Paperback in a larger format, probably Trade Paperback. Let me know if this interests you. It would cost less than if you were to buy all three in paperback. I’m less likely to offer a similar ebook because Amazon already bundles it for me.
I’m done with this series for now. My immediate writing efforts are going towards completing Kill Dash Nine, the next Joshua Jones Mystery novel. Once that’s finished I can come back to Destroyer.
It’s a few months later than I anticipated, but it’s finally here. The exciting final book of the Corvette Trilogy. But don’t worry, Vance and crew will be back again in a new trilogy, early next year. Look for Destroyer: Declo Demons which will be the first book of the middle trilogy for this Starship Series.
In the meantime, enjoy this one and tell all your friends it’s out! The paperback will follow in a month or so.
Commander Vance and his crew are about to launch their new Corvette, the SS Kootenai, with orders to find and kill the ruthless pirate Captain Vynn. There’s just one problem; the only person who knows where his secret lair is located is currently serving a life sentence in Federal prison – Trin Lestor.
Will she help find her former lover so that Vance can kill him? Or will she lead him into a trap in the pirate’s lair known as Kamaia? Join Vance, Boxer, and Rizzo on their most dangerous mission yet as they battle Vynn to the death.
The exciting conclusion to the Corvette Trilogy is a fast-moving, and action-packed ride from start to finish.
There are five books in the first trilogy of my Star Saga series. It’s called the Starforgers Era or Trilogy but it really consists of five books and one anthology of related short stories. Each numbered book is a novel and each in between book is a novella focusing on the lead good and bad characters respectively.
Starforgers is Book 1 of the entire series and the first book of the Starforgers Trilogy. But before you go off and read book 2, take a gander at Devon’s Blade, a novella set between books one and two. Then you can carry on with The Rising, Book 2. Before rushing off to finish the trilogy, read The Blood Empress novella. Now finally, you have Counterattack, Book 3 of the trilogy. But wait, there’s more…
Did you enjoy the introduction of the heroin, Devon Ardel, when she was a Stellar Ranger in Starforgers? Then feast your eyes on this anthology set before book one. Silicants, Rangers, and Space Western goodness await you in Tales From Ocherva, Vol 1. Is there a Volume 2? Not at this time.
Okay, you got all of that? Good.
Now, here’s where the Corvette books come in.
Corvette is book one of a planned nine-book series of novella’s that follow the career of Armon Vance. This series consists of three trilogies, each set a number of years apart. The final book in the series takes place at the time of Starforgers, Book 1 of the Star Saga. The first book, Corvette takes place 20 + years before Corvette, for perspective. There is about a year between each book inside the trilogies.
Corvette Trilogy ~ 5 years ~ Destroyer Trilogy ~ 10 years ~ Explorer Trilogy –> Starforgers Trilogy
Clear as mud? Okay now go read, I’ve got a ton of books to write!
With the release of the third Corvette starship novella coming in just a few short weeks, I thought I’d take a moment to let you know what’s coming up next. The Corvette Trilogy is just the first of three planned trilogies with the same main character – Armon Vance. His story started with Corvette, then advanced with Corvette: Seer of the Black Star and finishes with Corvette: Pirate’s Lair.
The next book I will write for this series will be called – Destroyer: Declo Demons. Look for it in the Spring of 2019. Following along on the heels of that will be book 2, Destroyer: The Mutineers, which should ship for Christmas in 2019. The trilogy will finish in the Spring of 2020 with Destroyer: Letting Go. The Destroyer Trilogy will be darker and all the books will take place in a single system with seven habitable worlds, none of which are in the Federation.
I have one final starship trilogy planned. It will be called the Explorer Trilogy. The names of those books are still subject to change, but chronologically speaking, will end with the events that take place in Starforgers, Book One of the Star Saga. That will complete the Captain Vance starship series and take you right into the Star Saga.
Speaking of the Star Saga, I need to get back into that middle trilogy starting with Book 5 – XiniX. The Starstrikers trilogy will continue in parallel with the Starship Series. After XiniX comes out, there will be a novella – Dark Wind, followed by the final book in that trilogy: Nex Gen. Now the Star Saga books take longer to write because they are closer to 300 pages long and usually have more involved plots. So it’s going to take me longer to write them. But when the Starstriker Trilogy is over, it will have three novels and two novellas, just like the Starforgers Trilogy.
Needless to say, my lunchtime writing sprints are spoken for well into the near future. I should continue to have two books come out every year for the next decade or so.
The Corvette 3 manuscript is being scrutinized by Beta Readers at the moment, so I have some time to prep the starship models I built for the cover shoot. This began by using canned air to blow the dust off of both the pirate ship and the new corvette. More time was taken on the Kootenai to ensure dust and hairs were removed as it would probably be in the foreground. I had to glue a piece back on that the air can blew off, but other than that, they were good to go.
I still don’t have an exact idea how the ships will be positioned on the cover. I’ll try and replicate a scene from the novella and make it look visually interesting. But the end cover will come alive after a decent Photoshop session from Byron, my cover artist. The color scheme will include mostly blues and oranges. No more black and white covers like Corvette 2.
The title will be orange and the nebula and twin black holes in the background will be blue. I’m going to rely on Byron to make all that. I think the end product will be engaging and fit with the previous covers of the series. Since this is a trilogy and the next books will be called Destroyer, I’ll probably combine three novellas into a single book and charge $1.99 for it. That cover might be just a collage of the other covers.
The ebook should be out at the start of this summer with the paperback version probably coming out in the fall.
Corvette 3, Pirate’s Lair is heading out to Beta Readers and will then go to my Editor. I’m hoping to have it out in ebook format in May. I still have to make a cover for it. At this late date, I have no idea what that cover will look like. I think it will be orange titles and mostly blue nebula. Probably have some “laser beams” on it because, hell yeah, lasers!
Meanwhile I’m well into my next Mystery novel written under my alter ego’s name, Johnny Batch. It’s called Kill Dash Nine and I hope to have it out before Christmas of this year. So if you’re one of the one percent my readers who have read Null Pointer and are still waiting for another Joshua Jones mystery, this is your year.
So what’s on tap after I finish KD9? I had planned to dive into the fifth Star Saga novel – XiniX. But looking at my book sales numbers tells me I need to keep writing Corvette books like there’s no tomorrow. I’m selling far and away more copies of them than any of the Star Saga books. So XiniX is going to the back burner for a while. I’ll probably start writing the first of a trilogy called Destroyer using the same characters from Corvette trilogy. I’d like to plan out all three books and then start writing the first one in the fall of this year.
So in 2018 you will get the third Corvette novella and a new Mystery novel. Next year you’ll probably get two new Destroyer books. I have three novella trilogies with the same cast from Corvette. The ninth novella in that series will end right before the events in Starforgers, Book 1 of the Star Saga. If I continue with at least two novellas per year, then in 2021 I’ll finally be working on XiniX.
That’s all for now. I’ll try and do another post before the end of the year.