Sunday, February 19, 2012

USMC Advisory Team, AAT-11, 1st Tanks (Afghanistan): Unit Emblem

In late December of 2011, I was contacted by Maj. Robert Burton, CO of the USMC Advisory Team, AAT-11, 1st Tanks in Afghanistan.  He was asking whether I could help turning a sketch made by one of his Marines into a professional looking logo for his advisory team here in Afghanistan. I liked the sketch, and I instantly liked the challenge. It was a hand-drawn B&W pencil sketch, which actually wasn’t bad at all. That Marine sure could draw. However, once again, this would mean that I had to start from scratch, re-creating multiple complex elements, such as a skull, revolvers, a hat and a ribbon. I also had to come up with my own color scheme and textures for the entire design. Robert also requested that I change the “Wild rebel” text to "Simple Man", and incorporate a scroll with "AAT-11, 1st Tanks". As to the colors scheme, Robert’s only suggestion was to somehow incorporate the colors of the Afghan flag – black, red and green into the design… 
The challenge was pretty obvious. But at least in this case I had a workable concept. I accepted the challenge. My first step was to create base vector images for all the separate elements of the design. After vectors of the skull, hat, revolver and scroll were ready, I have decided to recycle one of my Eagle, Globe and Anchor USMC emblems created earlier, and add it to the hat. I also added a bandana, which I planned to texturize into USMC digital desert camo. The next step was to bring it all to life, utilizing my M-LETT 3D technique. Since we were dealing with an armor unit, I decided to give the skull that unbreakable stainless steel look and feel. I also decided to replace somewhat antiquated revolvers from the original sketch with the two modern-day 44. Magnum Colt Anacondas.  On a side note, I have to admit, I have a lot of fun creating my weapons, even though it is an extremely time-consuming and mind-numbing task. A small collection of my side arms designs can be found here. I pay attention to every small detail of the actual weapon, and each design usually involves enormous number of layers and delicate texturing. For my dual-weapon designs, I would usually create just one side view, and then flip the duplicate copy of it. Even though the second gun will not be entirely accurate, since the other-side view should not be a mirror image, I usually let it go… And so I did in this case. 
And last, but not least, I incorporated the Afghan flag colors into the scroll, adding the required text. This one was an enormous fun to work on. What made it even better, apparently Marines were very happy when they received their brand new unit emblem on the Day 1 of the New Year 2012. Stay frosty, Marines, and come home without a scratch! Hopefully this emblem will scare shit out of every bad guy you manage to come across… 


  1. I was very pleased to find this site. I definitely enjoyed reading every little bit of it and I have it bookmarked to check out new stuff posted regularly.Thanks for sharing.

  2. @Rothco Military Thanks! Your comment is much appreciated. Cheers...