May 012016

I admit that the USBP series looks kinda… bland. It’s text and line drawings; not a whole lot can be done to jazz that up. Especially since I have no head for graphics design whatsoever apart from layout diagrams.

Still, one reader sent me a mockup of a revised cover of USBP #18:


Things are moved around a little bit, but the obvious change is the addition of color. The suggestion was also made to consider color-coding each title in the USXP series. Just off the top of my head, I came up with:

Bombers: Olive Drab

Spacecraft: Black

Launch Vehicles: Blue on bottom, transitioning to black at the top

Fighters: slightly bluish gray (like the F-15 or F-22)

Transports: ??

VTOL: ??

The USBP#18 cover was re-done to reflect this, thusly:


Thoughts? Is this more appealing?How about color-coding… good idea or not? And if so, what colors?

I tried something vaguely like this once before, with USBP#05.

 Posted by at 9:43 am
  • kbob42

    The VTOL should be violet. As in ‘V’ for vertical.

  • Cthell

    Speaking personally? Yes, it is more appealing

    and the colour-coding idea sounds good too

  • publiusr

    Keep anything that flies all blue.

    Ground vehicles (if you go that way) Olive Drab

    • Scottlowther

      Well, then everything I publish would be all-blue, since ground vehicle projects aren’t my area.

      • publiusr

        Well, you did have that hovercraft thing that fired MXs or something a year or so back. You might do something on Bull and superguns, etc.

  • Bruce

    I agree with publiusr.

  • Bruce

    I like the effect….it gives it a bluprintish look.

  • sferrin

    Like the color coding idea. There are pretty easy effects to give them the “blue print” look (maybe just the cover?).

    An old Action I made in Photoshop. 1-click on a black and whit line drawing *boom* blue-print.

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  • Michel Van

    i like the idea of the color code, very much
    Vtol must be V like violet. (#8F00FF)

    Alternative for Olive Drab why not USAF blue or air force blue ? (#00308F)
    they the Transporter aircraft can be Olive Drab

    Navy blue for Navy aircraft (#000080)

    I like also the idea: Blue on bottom, transitioning to black at the top for rockets
    alternative for military manned space craft is space cadet blue (#1D2951)

  • Kelly Starks

    Looks better to me.

  • B-Sabre

    Th color does improve things. And the idea of color coding different series is a good one – no opinion on what colors to use.

    Another idea would be the “fake technical manual” look. Tan cover, black line art, fake coffee-cup rings, scribbled notes in the margins….

  • madoc62

    I like the blue. It adds “pop” to the cover that plain white simply doesn’t.