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Beowulf Class Profiles (updated) by RobCaswell Beowulf Class Profiles (updated) by RobCaswell
This is sort of a reprint... but more a re-execution of some of the technical art found in the centerfold of DGP's "Starship Operator's Manual" (circa 1988). I'd created the original art on a synthetic velum sheet. It's help up OK, being essentially plastic and all, but as a piece of art it's nasty in it's utilitarian aspect. It got the job done, back in the day, with pasted up text and all :) Anyway, this version drops the alternate views on the Type A and just offers a profile presentation.

Those Traveller geeks among you will notice the reference to the ship's fusion drive. Mwaahaaahaa - vengeance is mine!!!!!! Tom Peters, Karl Martin, and myself were strong believers in the idea that the typical drive arrangement in Traveller ships was anti-grav for landings, fusion drives for relativistic travel, and jump drives for star travel. But we were told to go stand in the corner and not make any more noise.... 'TIL NOW! It's my art and them's fusion drives, love it or leave it! :D

Anyway, I hope the Traveller fans out there will enjoy the updated past blastage, and the SF starship fans will groove on it for its SF shippiness. Of note, the look of the Beowulf was originally created by William H. Keith, and later tweaked by Tom Peters and myself. For some juicy 3D scenes of this ship in action, check out the Traveller gallery of Drell-7: [link]

UPDATE INFO: Corrected a few graphics glitches, added a few more key technical callouts, adjusted layout, added scale air raft.
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:iconfredy3d:
Fredy3D Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013   Digital Artist
This is way cool!!!!
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Glad ya like! It was nice to bring this one outta the shadows and update it.
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:iconfredy3d:
Fredy3D Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013   Digital Artist
This reminds me of a lot of sketches and technical drawings I saw in my youth in some magazines. Really nice :)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Depending on how old you are, this MIGHT have been some of those drawings?! ;)  These are circa '88.
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:iconfredy3d:
Fredy3D Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013   Digital Artist
Might be possible, in 88 I was 22 :)
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:iconspizick:
spizick Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
Yes I always wondered why the artwork contracted the rules.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Hm?? Not sure I understood you comment? Did you mean "contradicted"? If so, in what details?
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:iconstevenspizick:
stevenspizick Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
artwork showing reaction drives verses rules stating reaction-less drives... I like your ideas better. 
In reality if ships where correct to rules they would have looked very much different. I also like the industrial pragmatism of the designs and are not specificity over stylised like some space / star ships ships would likely in reality be designed to be fit for purpose... the are industrial objects not stylised consumer goods.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
FYI, "reactionless drives" in Traveller didn't come into print until around 1988. By that point there were many, many ship designs that were built assuming some kind of reaction drive ("fusion" was the common agreement). So when DGP determined these were reactionless drives we had to figure out a way to retrofit all the existing ships to explain that without totally changing them. I'm sure the game has assumed reactionless drives from the start, the ships probably would have looked rather different.
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:iconstevenspizick:
stevenspizick Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014

Yes I agree, I believe that was the when MegaTraveller came into play, CT had Fusion and TNE had also fusion. In my humble option DGP created arguably the best material and by far the most consistent quality of artwork throughout, my favourite was “Starship Operator's Manual" and "The Flaming Eye" and I was sold hook line and sinker, loved the artwork and line art allows your brain to fill in the blanks and not as prescriptive as photorealism...

Was it DGP or GDW that decided reactionless drives? I thought it came from DGW?

Regards Steven.

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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Professional General Artist
It came from DGP, but with GDW's blessing. However before that I don't think it was the GDW consensus.
FYI, this was a very thorny issue, internally. It led to some heated meetings....
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:iconpatpahootie:
Patpahootie Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
"Squeeeeeeee!"

I'm such a fan!
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
LOL! Aw, Paul.... :D
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:iconblackjamie:
blackjamie Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
we had one of those in the Traveller campaign I played in back in the day...it was called the "Margin of Profit"...:)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
Was it fun?
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:iconblackjamie:
blackjamie Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
a real blast...literally...at the end of the campaign...the old girl blew up...:)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
A heroic death - perfect! ;)
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:iconblackjamie:
blackjamie Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
nope...drunken engineer falling asleep... he slid under the table during a session...and every time we jumped...the GM rolled to see if there was some kind of critical failure...damn snake eyes...
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
LOL! That'll teach ya to skimp on the cola reserves!!!
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:iconblackjamie:
blackjamie Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
well he kept using the stuff as mix for his Johnny Walker Red...:)
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:iconsteampoweredmikej:
SteamPoweredMikeJ Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013
Wow, this brings back so many memories. What a thing of beauty. And of course the original (and others you did at the same time) was a huge inspiration for how I drew spaceships for the rest of my career ; )
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm glad it's been so well received... and flattered it had such an impact on you!! I'm always a bit conflicted about posting this old stuff as it feels a bit like I'm making people sit through my old home movies, y'know? :lol:
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:iconthenetruner:
thenetruner Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
Old home movie may be painful to you but keep them coming!!!!!
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:iconsteampoweredmikej:
SteamPoweredMikeJ Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
Ha! That's how I felt about starting a gallery here at all... but I've since learned the error of my ways ; )

They may be old, but your Traveller drawings were magnificent. I loved all the original little black game books, but with the Traveller's Digest / MegaTraveller era, it felt like the art for the game universe finally matched the quality of the hard-SF ideas that had always been there.

That said, most of my art from the time is too embarassing to post, so I can hardly complain. I was fresh out of high school and never used models or references, and it showed : P
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:iconmarkusglanzer:
markusglanzer Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
And someone else who's work made my buy tons of supplements I'd most likely never use in an actual game… anyway it was easier to find people to play Shadowrun and Cyberpunk than Traveller. Fanboy Emote 
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well your work improved dramatically over the course of your work with DGP. It was great to see! But even your early work has an appeal. If we ever manage to meet up, I'd love to hand off your DPG artists file to you. It's probably a nice bit of retrospective in itself. I kept everything :D
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:iconsteampoweredmikej:
SteamPoweredMikeJ Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
WOW, really? I'm kind of stunned at the thought! That is something I'd both love, and be embarassed to see!
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
It'd be nuthin' but fun, I'm sure :) You ever get out this way?
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:iconsteampoweredmikej:
SteamPoweredMikeJ Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
Sadly I haven't been able to do much travelling the last few years. I sure would like to change that though.

Do you ever get out to the wet coast at all?
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
No travel due to finances?

Nope - I haven't been out West in over a decade. I'd love to get to Seattle.... and to San Fran, again.
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(1 Reply)
:iconriftroamer:
riftroamer Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Arcas, thanks for that piece. My model of the ship was essentially carved out of the Operator's Manual (with a little modeler's license) and waits for a decent paint scheme and some detail work... [link]
Great to see you revive some more of your classics. :)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm glad you're enjoying the nostalgia trip as much as I am! :D
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:iconriftroamer:
riftroamer Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really do. :)

And I must admit - though when modelling the Free Trader I was quite unhappy with the various non-matching Deckplans I found back then (including the Starship Operator's Manual) - I like the ones from the latter best for their consistency. The scale doesn't excatly match in the publication, but thats easy to come by with todays computers.

Do you still have the original drawings?
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
The deckplans? I think I might... somewhere in the heap.
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:iconriftroamer:
riftroamer Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just now I'm looking at the centerfold blueprint of the book and it seems quite a bit of detail that the originals possibly have was lost during the reproduction process at that time (e.g. fine lines melting together forming near solid areas of colour (er... white)).

I guess I'm just curious how much detail the originals would show when scanned with today's technology?

Anyway. Yes, the arrival of the T5 Big Black Book has refueled my interest in Traveller stuff. Especially Classic Traveller and MegaTraveller. Just so much cool stuff...
:)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh yeah, the reproduction here is far more accurate. It benefits from a number of things.... most importantly, no analog conversions! That's true for a lot of my art. When shot, reduced, and printed, the image detail usually got put through the wringer. You'll probably see that if you compare many of the old print pics to what I've posted here on DA. I used to draw pretty fine detail, even when I knew it's be going down 50% in print.

So is there any image in particular that you're wondering about "missing detail"?
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:iconriftroamer:
riftroamer Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's more the graphical detail than the informational detail of course. The deckplan "centerfold" of the Starship Operators Manual was white lines on blue background and the are details like seats or panels or the engineering section where the fine lines "melt" together - for lack of a better description. An example could be the bridge, where small details are visible on top of the panel-boards but one can't possibly see whether you opted for a coffeemaker or a compass being located there. :)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Let me see if I can thrown something into my scrapbook for ya? ;)
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(1 Reply)
:iconzhaanman:
Zhaanman Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool how could you not love it!
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Er... I love it, so it's hard for me to say? ;)
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:iconzhaanman:
Zhaanman Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:rofl:
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:iconhara-surya:
Hara-Surya Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
GURPS Traveller - Interstellar Wars written by Loren K. Wiseman has the basic Type-A "Hero-Class" as a Vilani design going back several hundred years from today (as in 2013). It got the name "Hero-class" from a bug in a translation program. When Terrans asked what the ship class was called the Vilani crews would refer to the using an offhand idiom referring to the kinds large sandwiches laborers ate which was translated into "hero" as in a "submarine sandwich" or "grinder." The Terrans took to it meaning a hero like, eventually, Beowulf.

My games had the PCs on a redesigned version which had part Viani designed systems (which their fixed-use computers) and part Terran systems (with general-purpose computers).
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
:D
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:iconlordtigeron:
LordTigeron Featured By Owner May 31, 2013
I WANT ONE NOW!!
;-)

to boldly go where on grumpy olg git has gone B4
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
LOL! Pick me up when you get it and we'll cruise for (space) babes!
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:iconlordtigeron:
LordTigeron Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
will it fit on the landing bays of my Battlestar?

[link]
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
If you feed it well, maybe when it grows up. ;)

How's the model? I've never built any Moebius Models stuff.
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:iconlordtigeron:
LordTigeron Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
First time for a Moebius model, glossly instruction sheet vague on the base colour of the ship, transfers stiff and easily break :(
but a easy model to make and I lov my little baby ;-)
Next kit a WWII battleship Graf Spee, already ordered a british battleship for me birthday in 2 weeks
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm geekin' out on the Bandai Yamato 2199 kits. They're really masterfully made - clearly designed by fans of the show :D
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:iconbastler:
bastler Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
No matter what, LEGO makes it more awesome!
[link]
;)
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