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Designer’s Notes – Timber Wolf (Mad Cat)
On June 14, 2019
Our big announcement yesterday put the redesigned Timber Wolf (Mad Cat) front and center. Take a closer look at this iconic ‘Mech in this stunning 360-degree video! Here’s BattleTech Art Director Anthony Scroggins with his Designer’s Notes about how he approached refining the look of a fan favorite:
I knew redesigning Clan mechs was an eventuality, we’d talked about it internally a lot, and it’s a guarantee that the Timber Wolf would be first up. So, when I was assigned illustrating the cover to Blaine Pardoe’s novel ‘Forever Faithful’, featuring the Timby front and center, I knew I had to give it a serious new look then and there.
That paid off, as just months later we launched the Clan project, dwarfing the previous box project in scale, and from there the Timber Wolf would only need some easy tweaking to cross the finish line.
Over the history of Clans in BattleTech we’ve had plenty of great iterations for this mech, so I didn’t feel compelled to include too many details out of nowhere, it was more a task of picking and choosing among several eras of art. This included TRO illustrations, book covers, various miniatures, videogames (mw4 particularly) and even large scale toys. I wanted a design that satisfied the old, current, and future. It wouldn’t be the best retro, or the best modern, but it would enjoy a classic feeling with modern flairs.
Some of my specific intentions however, were properly showing the canon prime weapons load out (fun fact, this has arguably never been done before), making the torso a little less square, bringing back the old tube arms after an era of boxy ones without them looking flimsy, maintaining the classic slick nose shape, and finally giving it a sturdy overall bulk without killing the nimble look of the old source art.
I don’t think there’s a possible ‘perfect’ look for the Timber Wolf, but I’m glad to have reinvisioned one of the most iconic faces of BattleTech.
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