Interview With The World of Tanks Custom Xbox One X Designer Tsuchinoko

By Dave Horobin, 1 year ago
Last week, we announced our latest site giveaway where you can win a custom designed World of Tanks Xbox One X console. In total, only 11 of the hand-designed consoles were made, each one slightly different and with their own unique identifying numbers. We got the opportunity to speak to Tsuchinoko, the French graphic designer behind the consoles, to find out how he got involved with the project, his inspirations behind the design, and how he got into graphic design.

Click here to win this Custom Designed World of Tanks Xbox One X Console

World of Tanks

You can watch a video showing the design process for one of the custom World of Tanks Xbox One X consoles below:

Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi there! My name is Tsuchinoko and I am a freelance graphic designer and illustrator located in the heart of France, in the beautiful capital of Paris.
Why did you become a graphic designer?
When I was a child, I always loved to draw bits and pieces on any occasion. That never stopped, so my main goal from then was to make it my job for a living. On a professional basis, I've been doing this since 1994 for 23 years already, so you can call me a lucky person to reach my goal and still follow this road.
What are the benefits of freelance over working for a company?
Wow, that is really a tough question because some artists might feel more comfortable in a company. Others — like me — consider freelancing as simply the best to manage my private family life on my own, especially as I have a little boy who I love so much, so it is priceless to be my own boss.
Why did you pick the name Tsuchinoko? Is Japanese folklore where your inspirations lie?
How much space do we have, as it is quite a long story for real! However, I will try to make it short. A Japanese friend of mine who lives in Tokyo was the first friend who started to call me this. I try to fly to Japan as often as possible and my friend would never know when and for how long I was going to stay, so he started to feel like I am an urban legend — nobody knew where I was or when I would be seen.

The Tsuchinoko is a Japanese folklore creature, and even today several people claim they saw it for real; some others say it’s a hoax. A joke of a friend, based on a folklore creature, became my artist name, so many thanks to him.
Are you a gamer yourself? What sort of games do you like playing?
Hell yeah, you bet I am a gamer, but with a lot of work and my young family it is currently quite hard to find time. I just love gaming on consoles, especially survival horror games like Resident Evil 7 — with my VR headset it was a blast for me. On the other hand, I enjoy competitive games with or against friends, like some fast matches with World of Tanks or Overwatch.
How did the link-up with WarGaming come about?
As a member of ARTtitude’s collective, I regularly work for the video game industry's different needs. In this particular case, Wargaming had contacted me via the collective. After getting the first picture of the job, I was instantly hooked to their needs and idea, and really wanted to work on the World of Tanks branded new Xbox consoles to realize what I had in my mind to do with the World of Tanks look and feel.
What was the inspiration behind the design?
Right from the start, the whole concept was to make it look like a real piece of tank, with rivets and scratches everywhere. Wargaming and I wanted to make the console look as strong and powerful as it is in terms of its hardware capabilities, and rock the steel look like the game's main vehicles do — beautiful, but also impressive!
Was the design carefully planned out in advance or was it freestyle?
For this kind of work I need to prepare a photoshop mockup concept first. There is always the possibility that the visions of an artist are going too far or not far enough for a client, so it is normal to validate an idea first before buying all needed materials, and starting with the real creation process. In this case, the wishes from Wargaming and my vision were really close to each other, so the initial idea was only reworked in terms of small details, like the different tank logos' usage on each console.
How long did it take to customise each console?
As each console was done individually and completely by hand, the whole process took me almost seven days full time to finish all the eleven consoles.
What materials did you use?
To ensure the final look, I was using a lot of masking tape to create the individual aspects and look. Furthermore, I used many cans of spray paint and paint markers, not forgetting several cutting blades to cut the tape. In general, that is the usual material usage in the spraying creation process.
Are there any difficulties that you need to overcome when customising a console?
Absolutely! For example, when it comes to spray paint it is always very tricky to get the timing to work properly, because you always have to let each part dry first to avoid marks. Readjusting some broken paint when removing the tape is another frequent issue, and paying attention to spraying/painting only the outer parts, of course, which is not so easy on the ventilation/cooling parts of the console.
Was this the first console you’ve customised?
I did a lot of custom Xbox and PS4 controller showcases on various occasions, like Blizzard events, Paris Games Week or similar events. Nevertheless, these were always single design concepts, so this is really my first official consoles job within the game industry to create eleven consoles at one time.
How have your designs changed over time?
I’m not the kind of artist with a particular style. I keep working on it and making it evolve over the years. I consider myself more like the “Swiss army knife” of graphic design where I can do street art, custom, painting, highly detailed black & white illustrations, vectors, logos, identities, packagings, web duties etc. I am extremely flexible and can work on so many things that my designs change constantly from different inspirations.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Live painting is something special to me. I've only do that for a couple of years and I enjoy the thrill of it. I still have this fear in my stomach when I have to do it for a client, but it is something I am excited about. You never know what you end up with and this makes it so enjoyable.
What’s your favourite artwork?
If I look into my past, I am extremely proud of a massive — and I really mean MASSIVE — 1600m² Warcraft artwork I did on a tower of the National French Library in Paris.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Probably all the responses from my Japanese street art campaign back in 2015. When I was there to work on Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka’s walls and surfaces, that was a true experience. After a few weeks I could see my work posted and discussed on social networks. Some Japanese folks became crazy about some pieces and even by mistake thought one of my pieces (the geisha in Shibuya) was created by Shohei Otomo. He personally had to post on the networks and in the discussions to make it clear it was not his. #truestory.
What is your dream project?
Like you already see from my past, I really enjoy working on mega huge walls and realizing challenging projects on them. I already did some quite big ones, but as an artist, you always want to push the limits and reach new heights.
Where can people see more of your work? Website, social etc
My website:
Facebook 1: TsuchinokoSan
Facebook 2: Tsuchinoko
Twitter: @tcnk1
Instagram: tcnk1
Thanks to Tsuchinoko for taking the time to speak to us. You can follow him on the links above to see more of his work.

Click here to win this Custom Designed World of Tanks Xbox One X Console

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Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.