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Dissecting BattleTech Handbook Covers

I’m working on the art notes for the cover of Handbook: House Kurita. And since this is part of a series, you have to look at what’s come before and dissect them to see how they were put together. That’ll then give me the framework to proceed in generating specifics for this cover.

Now the Major Periphery States cover we ignore, since that covered multiple in-universe factions. So then looking at the other four you start to get a sense of what constitutes each of the four panels.

BattleMech: Always a ‘Mech on the cover (yeah…BattleTech after all). And should be as famous/prominent a ‘Mech for that faction as possible within the timeframe of the in universe writing of the book.

Nobility: Again, this is BattleTech and since these are in-universe documents generated by the various factions, you have to show royalty.

Flavor of the Faction: Each of the primary faction in BattleTech have a unique flavor. One of the panels should try and convey this. Hence the merchant JumpShip on House Steiner, the back-street dealing on House Marik, the Fox’s Den military command post on House Davion and the Warrior House on House Liao.

Unique “Element”: Now this often over-laps with the Flavor of a Faction from above. For example the mercantile exchange illustration on House Steiner ties directly into the merchant angle. However, House Davion shows off its Unfinished Book (a religious movement unique to Davion), while House Liao shows off the Death Commandos (while such special forces are not unique to House Liao, the Death Commandos are perhaps the most famous of them and utterly Liao).

So with that framework firmly in mind, time to generate cover notes for Handbook: House Kurita right alone those lines.

Randall