Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rare Dave Trampier Art Part 5

Gas at Guadalcanal; Chemical Wargaming

UPDATE 1 - I got in contact with Tim Kask and he was kind enough to take a look at the illustration. He believes this unsigned piece may NOT  be one of Dave Trampier's.  I will research this one more and see if we can  determine if this is a Trampier piece and if not, who drew it? Stay tuned! 

UPDATE 2 - Signature found! An eagle-eyed reader helped me see the forest for the trees (again). Thanks to John Hardin for spotting David A. Trampier's signature DAT initials hidden in the foliage in the lower right hand corner of the picture.

When most gamers think about TSR's magazine publications, Dragon and Dungeon (Dungeon & Dragon?) pop into their heads first. The Strategic Review paved the way for Dragon. Some also remember the RPGA's Polyhedron or TSR's purchase of Ares from SPI before incorporating it into Dragon. TSR UK put out Imagine and sci-fi fans recall that TSR started publshing Amazing Stories in the early 80s.

A few grognards remember TSR's short-lived Little Wars, named after H. G. Wells' creation of the first popular wargame.

As I briefly mentioned before, when Tim Kask started TSR Periodicals, he founded two new magazines to replace The Strategic Review: The Dragon focused on fantasy and sci-fi gaming and Little Wars focused on historical wargaming (especially miniature wargaming). The TSR Periodicals art department soon consisted of Dave Sutherland, Dave Trampier and Tom Wham.

When LW and TD launched in 1975, role-players were still a very small, niche audience. Miniature wargaming, in comparison, was an established industry and board wargames were booming. It made sense to launch publications for both hobbies. Little Wars even devoured Dick Bryant's long-established gaming magazine The Courier (early issue covers read "Little Wars including The Courier").

Soon, the success of D&D and the many RPGs that followed brought a sea change to the industry. LW lasted as an independent publication for twelve issues. Issue 13's contents were incorporated into TD #22 (that cover reads "The Dragon/Little Wars"). The dual publication only lasted one issue before LW vanished. Even today, there is little information about the magazine. The Courier returned to Dick Bryant, who relaunched the magazine in 1979.

Trampier contributed little to Little Wars (though I still haven't checked the entire run) but one article of alternate rules for Avalon Hill's Guadalcanal in issue #11 (August 1978) features his image:
Gas at Guadalcanal; Chemical Wargaming. Art by David A. Trampier.
The piece is unsigned but the striking use of blacks and the line styles are clearly Trampier's. We see two WWII-era American troops (Marines, probably) loading a 105mm M3 howitzer in a jungle somewhere in the Pacific. A sergeant on the right operates a radio. It looks like the scene is taken from a photograph, but what was the source?

Oct. 29, 1942: U.S. Marines man a .75 MM gun on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (AP Photo)

Here we see US Marines on Guadalcanal Island, so the location is right. The howitzer looks about right, but it is actually way off. That is a 75mm M116 howitzer using a similar carriage to that of the 105mm M3.
The 9th Infantry Cannon Company in Northern France, 1944

Right howitzer, wrong location. This photo was taken in the ETO (hence, "Hitler's Doom" on the barrel instead of, say, something vulgar about Emperor Hirohito).
1/35 scale Tamiya 75mm M1 howitzer model
Instead of a war photo, it may be from a photograph of a model diorama, such as the one above (source). Tramp and Tim Kask played numerous miniature wargames together and probably had quite a few military modeling magazines.

At this point, I'm stumped. Does anyone recognize the image Tramp used as reference for this illustration?

1 comment:

  1. Does anyone recognize the image Tramp used as reference for this illustration?

    He might not have used one. Assuming he had adequate reference for the gun, Trampier's visual memory and ability to draw scenes out of his head were more than sufficient for him to have drawn that picture without closely copying a photo.