History of Manned Spaceflight, The Essential Books.

There are a huge number of books out there covering space exploration, but in my opinion, very few that manage to combine definitive coverage with an exciting read. So, here is my shortlist for books you should read if you want to enjoy finding out more about the history of manned space exploration.

I’ve included Amazon links, (I get nothing from these). Continue reading “History of Manned Spaceflight, The Essential Books.”

A letter from Yuri Gagarin…

While visiting the Cricova winery near Chisinau, the guide described Yuri Gagarin’s visit, and I thought this was worth blogging.

Cricova Entrance
Cricova Entrance

The Cricova complex is built into 120 kilometres of caves, where the temperature and humidity is stable at the best level for storing wine.

Continue reading “A letter from Yuri Gagarin…”

Private Viewing, Visions of Space 2

On Friday 9th June 2017, I went down for the opening night of “Visions of Space 2“, This is the first time I have been to see my own work on display in a a gallery!

This is a joint effort between the International Association of Astronomical Artists, the British Interplanetary Society, and the Wells and Mendip astronomers.

Wells and Mendip museum
Wells and Mendip museum

Continue reading “Private Viewing, Visions of Space 2”

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”

I don’t use Daz Studio much these days, but thought people might be interested in one specific image I was very happy with, from a few years ago.

I don’t like the Daz renderer at all, as I find it ridiculously difficult to control the arrangement of things, and position them accurately. So I generally export them as OBJ, and then rework the textures. This last bit is not too painful, once you get used to what stuff typically needs fixing. However, there’s a ton of very reasonably priced content available for Daz Studio, and this draws me in.

I’m particularly impressed with the products of “Stonemason” (Stefan Morell), who consistently produces superb settings, often of a science fiction nature. Urban future streets, and SF interiors in particular. Continue reading ““It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.””

Wernher von Braun’s RM-1 spaceship design

As you may have noticed, I love the designs from the dawn of the space age, particularly the fifties designs of Wernher von Braun.

This one is the RM-1, which includes the ‘bottle suit’, something halfway between as spacesuit and a spaceship, with a ring of articulated arms, complete with a selection of tools.  Seriously Cool!

The ship as a whole though is not as credible as most of the other designs, for a couple of reasons.

rm1-en-routeThe red cone at the nose is meant to be a radiation shield for an unfeasibly tiny atomic reactor in front of it.

Continue reading “Wernher von Braun’s RM-1 spaceship design”

A collaboration with David A Hardy

I was absolutely delighted a year or so back when the great David A Hardy suggested a collaboration!

I think the first art of his I came across was probably an album cover for the awesome Space Rock band, Hawkwind. Anyway, you really should check out his web site:

David A Hardy Website
David A Hardy Website

We went with his first suggestion, a combination of the landing craft from the famous “Colliers” articles from the 1950’s, as designed by Wernher von Braun, and modelled by myself, with a landscape that DH would make. Continue reading “A collaboration with David A Hardy”

As Philip K Dick said…

An older image, which I thought I would revive for this blog.

headcase-again

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”

Philip K Dick

The setting and two bots are by StoneMason, and exported from Daz software. The head is by Ten-Twenty Four studios. Head case by me, as was the scene, lighting, and so forth, which was done in Lightwave 3d.

I often struggle with characters even in a basic way, and even more when I try and get some sense of story into an image. This is one of very few with a human figure I am happy with.

Finding a relevant quotation from PKD really was the icing on the cake, as I am a huge admirer of his work.

Nick

Space art by Andrei Sokolov

I recently managed to get some small (card sized) prints of Astronomical Art by the great Russian artist Andrei Sokolov. He often worked with Alexi Leonov, and his work is very hard to find in this country.

With the Stars, A. Sokolov
With the Stars, A. Sokolov
In the atmosphere of Venus, A Sokolov
In the atmosphere of Venus, A Sokolov

Continue reading “Space art by Andrei Sokolov”

Some photos from when Alexei Leonov visited Moldova

When I visited Chisinau ion Moldova in September, I visited a small cosmonautics museum. They have an impressive collection of photos of cosmanauts visiting Moldova from the early days of the manned space program.

Here are a couple of photos of the first man to walk in space on his trip!

leonov-moldova-2