One of the things that always surprises me about doing Iron Empires stories is how much background work is required to build a consistent world. Every time I think I’m done, I sit down to paint a page and am confronted by something I don’t know. “What does the inside of a Comoran spaceship look like? Is it ornately decorated (like so much else in the Comoran Worlds), or, because it’s a military vessel, is it more utilitarian?”
There’s nowhere I can go to get answers to these sorts of questions, except into my own imagination. Here’s an example. I’m painting an early scene in the story in which our main character, Vasa Sunder, is in his dress uniform. I’ve already done a lot of groundwork on what Comoran uniforms look like… Officers (Lords) vs. enlisted, Dress vs. Field, etc… But I realized I hadn’t decided on any sort of color schemes! Curses!
I pulled out my Osprey books on the armies of Napoleon (which is where I go to get ideas about Iron Empires uniform designs), and sketched up a few line drawings of Anvil and Hammer uniforms to toss color onto. Each house in the Comoran Worlds has its own livery (armor design remains fairly universal, it’s just the colors that identify a warrior’s liege lord). Here are the results for four of the key players in the new Iron Empires story: