Mar 31, 2016

HELL ON WATER!! ACTIVISION'S OCEAN RANGER!!

Got a penchant for some seaborne battle porn? 



I always considered this package to have been one
of the poorest box designs I was ever involved in.
The terrible use of the colored lettering for the
masthead has always bothered me. I felt the
Activision Designers to have been asleep
at the wheel. Here I took the liberty of enhancing
the masthead for the benefit of my pride.

No Sweat: Sink or Swim. There's no middle ground, (...except 40 Fathoms down…)

The skies around you erupt with the Banshee wailings of supersonic attack aircraft as you floor your state of the art hydrofoil equipped U.S. Navy Attack Frigate , the U.S.S. Ocean Ranger, through a maelstrom of incoming steel and heat seeking Soviet air to sea, and sea to sea, missiles. Your mission is to sweep the Bering Straits free of Russian sea and air warcraft, secure the Carribean against drug smugglers, and sort out the mess in the Persian Gulf. You've got fistfuls of armaments, from your High velocity, rapid fire 76 mm cannon, to your Sea Sparrow, and your Harpoon Missiles, depth charges and Infrared chaff out the wazoo!!

The USS Ocean Ranger makes steam in this harpoon missile attack on enemy shipping, while deploying her (rather fanciful) depth charges, and fires her 76mm Cannon on enemy Mig 25 fighters overhead, forcing the pilot to eject.

HIT THE SILK IVAN!!

We wish this courageous pilot well, as an
ejection at sea is a harrowing and risky
act of attempted survival.

I tried to place a lot of Mayhem into a very small space, basing my Soviet era attack Aircraft loosely on an advanced Russian fighter bomber of 1988: The sturdy Mig 25 FoxBat, a superb piece of baltic engineering from the Mikoyan Guerevich Design team for the Soviet Air Force, showing the Russki Pilot ejecting after pressing his attack against the Ocean Ranger. His A/C is clearly disabled to the point of near disintegration, his right turbo fan flaming merrily





THE BACK PANEL


The navigation table on a 1988 era naval ship probably still
relied to a degree on the instruments that Activision directed
me to depict., but within only a few years the con of a U.S.
ship of war would be completely computerized, I'm sure.

 



This British sub has the Odessa in it's sights
in this 1989 illustration I created for
Warner Publishing.

The back Panel was a much more inspired design, and required a second illustration from me, of a down view of the plotting table for the Navigator of the Ocean Ranger. Interestingly, the Activision chose to include  a data sheet of the Soviet navy's cruiser, the Odessa. Within a year I would be working on  a book jacket illustration for a novel for Warner Books Publishing named 'The Saturn Experiment' which would also feature the Odessa.




                                      THE FRIGATE DESIGN

A Hydro Foil Patrol boat laid out similarly to Ocean Ranger

Another example of a Hydro Foil patrol
craft-Note the port side launch tubes
As you can see, I didn't have much to work with, although I could see the essentials required
for my illustration: the guns, missiles, bridge, radar array, and, at the rear the missile launch tubes.



My frigate version is larger than the patrol boat sized test craft seen above. Click on this piece to enlarge it, and you can see the figures of the crew on deck and the degree of detail. I did a little magic wash on the depth charges to make them look more interesting than they are, for the entertainment value.




                             The full Monte
Here's the original art, as it was photographed, along with the color scale and gray scale required by the
printer for reproduction purposes. it was a lot of fun to produce, and was one of my most complex battle
scenes. I only wish Activision had stepped up with a nice box design to show it off.

Thanks again for dropping by, and I hope you're having a great 2016!

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