Tuesday 26 July 2011

Sci-Fi Meets World War 2

Ron Turner is rightly regarded as one of the leading illustrators of post war UK science fiction but by the early 1960's work his workload was beginning to ease up just a little bit. Not to the extent that he was going to have to put away his paints and brushes and get a proper job, but perhaps expanding his client base beyond science fiction covers for Scion and Rick Random strips would at least reduce his exposure to that most dread of illustrative phenomena the quite fortnight or even (horror of horrors) the quiet month.

So ever the pragmatist, Turner's work started appearing on the covers of Practical Mechanics and even the outlined and number keyed artworks that were sold as a means of assuaging people's frustrated creativity were soon to feature Turner's artistry. Yup! Astonishing as it may seem Ron Turner contributed designs for Craft Master's Painting by Numbers kits.

Some of them at least were science fiction subjects.

He also contributed a really different take on the classic war pocket library when he provided the interior artwork for issue 177 of Fleetway's Super Detective Library.

Lovely work indeed!

Cover by Nino Caroselli - the rest by Ron Turner.

Images © IPC Media 2011.


  1. It'd be great to see a sci-fi film or TV show utilising his design aesthetic. I love his work here, but, in all honesty, he just made it all up as he went along didn't he? There's not much accuarcy to his version of WW2 is there? Does it matter? Does it get in the way of a good yarn? Maybe not...
    Thanks for sharing.

    More WW2 RT here:


  2. In Ron's case I don't think technical accuracy mattered too much anyway as he could generally be relied upon to design better-looking vehicles and hardware than ever existed in real life! The odd thing is that, while his art gives a superficial impression of realism, it often has a surprisingly expressionistic quality - as seen in that eerie scene with the windmills.

    As with Ron Embleton I never cease to be amazed by Turner's sheer virtuosity with a brush, which meant that he rarely had to use pens for even the most tricky details. One striking consequence of this technique was his ability to 'sculpt' forms out of areas of light and shadow, without the need for obvious outlines (a style that was subsequently used to great effect by David Lloyd in his art for strips such as the ground-breaking 'V For Vendetta').