Eiryss 3 — Thumbnails

Having gotten a number of large projects off my plate, including a short film called [WELCOME TO] LEVEL 7 that you may have heard me rambling about and a life-endangering post-birthday celebration in Las Vegas (which I both thoroughly recommend as well as warn earnestly against), I found myself with a couple spare hours to start contemplating this next incarnation of the infamous WARMACHINE mage-hunter, Eiryss.

It’s been a while since I did any real drawing, so I thought I’d ease into things with some very rough thumbnails of poses and weapon ideas. I did these with an ink pen so as not to get too caught up in details or accuracy. When you draw in ink, you don’t have the luxury of erasing, so the mind stops worrying about making things perfect. It’s essentially doodling. When I have a chance to do exploratory drawing, which is rare, I’ll do it in ink.

Normally, I don’t start with poses. That’s usually the last thing on my mind. I like to start with a solid concept of the garb and trappings (aka the costume) and then find the best pose for it at the end. But because I’m rusty, I thought some pose exploration would help me get back into the character of Eiryss. There were also a lot of comments and suggestions about her pose in the previous blog entry, so I thought it’d be fun to show which ones were  bubbling up to the top in my mind.

Just warming up…

First, let’s get this out of the way — hood down, and bald head (if there was still any question) exposed. However, I am digging the ‘optional hood up’ idea, and I think I’ll try to implement that, but I’m going to compose the image hood down with the expectation of seeing this lady’s full set of tattoos once and for all. The image here, which is the first doodle I did, looks NOTHING like it should — it’s just a warm up — but I included it for fun, showing how I might approach the location of the tattoos we’ll see, which of course will only be seen in the art and on FULLY PAINTED figures (I’m looking at you, non-painters), not on the final sculpt itself.

For the pose, I keyed to several comments about how Eiryss primarily uses her crossbow in action, so I started with an idea to do a dynamic, leader-ish pose with her crossbow aimed and her saber held in her trademark reverse grip(1). I’m looking for a little more presence from this character, though, so my next thought was to get one foot up on something(2). I don’t know what that ‘something’ is, yet, but I like where this going. While I really love the scenic base that the Angel of Retribution is on, I heard a few people bemoan this feature, and I understand why. But I think I can get away with just a little bit of a scenic feature that will allow a more dynamic pose and help separate her from the pack.

About this time, my mind wandered into a different space looking for an entirely different way to approach this figure and this is the one I like the most at the moment (3). I don’t think the scribbles are doing the idea justice, but rolling with the idea of the foot up on ‘something’, I thought putting her in a deep stride, hunched over like a stalking predator might really bring this character home. I have some ideas that I’m going to playing with in her new cloak design, and I’m liking the idea of this extra long cloak (don’t start on functionality, this is fantasy!) dragging on the ground behind her as she slinks over this ‘something’. I want to achieve some symmetry in the way her arms are posed — shoulders back, elbows up, saber in the reverse grip, crossbow…er…<record screech>.

The ramblings of a mad man…

So the crossbow is giving me some issues. It’s not playing real well with my idea for this pose and I’m thinking it’s time for a redesign. Eiryss’ weapons have never been particularly flashy, anyway, but now that she’s hanging more with this apparently well-funded religious cult, I think she could have access to some upgraded weaponry. Problem is, this version has already gone through play test and the crossbow and ‘bayonet’ function the same as her previous incarnations. What’s that mean? I need a ranged weapon that is believable POW 10, and it has to have a blade on it. BUT, it doesn’t have to be a bayonet because she doesn’t actually have BAYONET CHARGE in MkII. That gives me some flexibility!

I noted a few comments about how a pistol crossbow might be cool — my only dilemma there is whether we’ll believe a pistol crossbow could be POW 10, but again I think I could fall back on the superior weaponry Eiryss now has access to. Also, it’s a one-off, so maybe it’s crafted a little better than normal for some extra POW? For the blade, I thought of something more integrated and less protruding, but then I had a thought — how about a reverse blade on a pistol-crossbow, similar to Garryth’s weapons? Now we’re talking. I’m really digging this because then she can wield both blades in a reverse grip, while still holding her crossbow in a useful position. It’ll give me that symmetry I’m looking for in the pose, as well as a cool evolution to her accouterments.

My mind may change, but this is what I’m thinking right now. This is a figure that I think would look bad ass leading my Mage Hunter Strike Team or a unit of these other Retribution bad asses that you’ll be seeing shortly.

Next I’ll start working on the costume and we’ll see how it comes together.

(Please link to the article, but please do not repost or link directly to the images.)

41 thoughts on “Eiryss 3 — Thumbnails

  1. It would be cool if she were stepping onto the body of a fallen enemy, or maybe the leg of a storm strider or piece of a ‘jack.

  2. This is really cool. Honestly, for a lot of the figures you create (you being anyone at Privateer Press), we’d love to see stuff like this. This is one of the coolest things someone has done for a character that we’ve known and loved (or hated!) for years!

    I’m very excited to see this model in the flesh!

  3. How about a Khadoran jack head/shoulder? It offers the height that you require and features their current conflict with the Retribution is having with the Empire. Or a bit of ruin similar to the damage and decay on the cover of the Forces of Warmachine: Retribution cover? It fits well also. My third possible suggestion would be that it is a defeated Greylord or Journeyman Warcaster that she has stepped on to remove her blade. This is least likely as you are trying to keep her weapons in both hands.

    The bottom of the sketches show a decent representation of what you described, but could the saber be along the arm instead of out? It will make for a more graceful and fleet looking model.

    Just my 19 cents worth.

  4. hooray for bald Eyriss, really loving the stalking forward pose, gives a really different feel to what Eyriss #1 and #2 give off.

    also, ” This is a figure that I think would look bad ass leading my Mage Hunter Strike Team or a unit of these other Retribution bad asses that you’ll be seeing shortly.”

    does this mean she can lead the strike force as well as the blade dudes?

  5. I like #3, but the gunblade at the top right hand corner is pretty boss. If you want to do something really daring, giver her a baby bump and make her pregnant!

  6. Hello Matt,
    I have followed your work at PP the last couple of years and it has inspired me to become a character concept artist for tabletop mini games. I know this is bold and possibly an inconvenience, but, would you be able to check out my work and tell me whether or not I have what it takes? Thank you. Keep up the great work and have a great day.

  7. The piece of something under her foot could be either A. A piece of warjack that she disrupted and now stands on, looking for her next prey, or B. Something that is appropriate for her rules. If she is still a mage hunter, perhaps she is standing on a corpse similar to the Butcher2, but that is more “mage-like.” A greylord perhaps?

  8. I really like pose #1, but I may also be a BIT biased after the chimney epic Eiryss has to lug around my trench board 😉

    On the weapon front, what about a bracer-mounted crossbow pistol (give her a crossbow pistol, she’ll probably have sniper so it won’t matter what the POW is!), leaving her free to wield a similar configuration to her razorblade-toting buddies while keeping her ranged attack?

    • I like this idea. Giving her the same blades as the Strike Team (I assume those are the dudes and dudettes we saw concept for at LnL) and the bracer crossbow could be pretty sweet.

  9. I agree with applekid a piece of jack would be nice for her to be stepping on. There is enough people stepping over skulls already. I think the biggest problem with Eyriss2’s scenic base was it is a cityscape, and rarely are the game boards people play on..

    Find it really interesting she is bald under the hood. I second alt head like Vlad3 as well, because some people just are not going to want to picture her as bald….

  10. What if she had a cross-bow that fired something else? Flechettes or a shuriken style? Ultra-sharp, runic etchings or magic bolts would all lend to the pow 10… or just describe that she’s extra great at hitting weaknesses in the enemy armour, hence the extra POW.

    If it’s a pistol weapon, what about some form of back-handed attack? Like fencing swords that protect the wielder’s hand/wrist.. but could have some form of blade coming out of it.

  11. I’m likely the reverse bayonet on the crossbow, it would fit a reverse grip fighting style she apparently uses. I’m also sad she won’t be working for the Protectorate of Menoth.

  12. 1) I love the action and dynamism in the first pose.
    2) “Yes please!” to the bald head. I’m all for nontraditional (ie, non-cheesecake) depictions of women– Dirty Meg is my favourite female mini in the PP line. 🙂
    3) I like the last crossbow the best. It seems the most compact, like it would interfere the least with her swinging a sword. If you want to keep the reverse-grip blade, you could still integrate it with the bottom of the weapon like that, but just slide it about 30% backward and move the pointy end, so it sticks out just enough in the back to be useable as sort of a trench knife.

    🙂

  13. Please don’t have her standing on anything. It’s just something I have to pay for that I’m not going to use.

  14. I think for the gun, maybe making it look more like some sort of gas-powered or cartridge-like bolt-thrower might work instead of a crossbow. Kind of go with this idea that instead of a gun in the gunpowder sense, it’s sitll a mechanized method of launching a bolt, more or less. This could let you do a more “vertical” form factor that might help with the poses.

    On poses, I like the bottem-left one best myself. And I actually am pro hood-down. I think her having this kind of badass, Jack-like (from Mass Effect 2/3) look to her actually makes hers tand out quite a bit in a unique way for a model in the game and I think gives her a more “leadery” for some reason.

    Rant over. And stuff.

  15. the other option, of course… is you get rid of both her crossbow AND her sword, and replace them with a… wait for it… gun-blade. (or in this case, a cross-bow-blade) At second glance, the reverse bayonette is pretty awesome.

  16. Or, instead of having a traditional wood bow mounted on the housing, you replaced it with a metal one, similar to a leaf-spring. It would definitely lend more power to the shot, while being a shorter draw.

  17. I really like that you are showing her with her hood down and I think the long cape stalking over something is a very cool pose. I personally favor the object she is stepping over to be the corpse of a spellcaster with a bolt sticking out of his/her neck. That might be difficult to fit onto a small base though. Maybe a jack head with a bolt in the eye?

  18. I also like pose 3, and am happy with either hood up or bald. I like the idea of giving her a Garryth-style blade/crossbow. The scenery should be her stepping over a ruined warjack.

  19. What about a punching spike or reverse bayonet strapped to her arm a la Manticore? That would make sense considering crossbows require two hands

  20. I concur with the people saying she should be standing on a ‘jack head. It would be great. Cant wait to see what the next step is.

  21. I also like the ideas she should be standing on something, but why not stand a bit vertically like she would jump matrix style away from it while shooting the Xbow?
    She could kick a Trooper in the Face while firing at another at the same time!

  22. Bald head shown, please. So rare to see a woman without hair, it’s rather jarring in real life. I’d like to see it in a table-top model that will see a lot of table time.

    Besides the other three Eiryss scuplts and faction art have the hood up already.

  23. I really like the 3rd pose, I am mainly thinking about how she will fit in my bad and the less parts she has sticking out the better for me.

    I agree that she should maybe be standing on something neutral like the FO:RoS ruins or something similar to that. I don’t like faction specific dead things on scenic bases because I feel it is out of place when playing any other faction.

    Also the Gunblade idea could work fluff wise as well because she is said to have worked with Garryth on many occasions. She would have seen their effectiveness and maybe commissioned one from the Retribution weapon smiths, we all know how busy she has been and that she has had to rely on her current weapon set for so long. Maybe given the chance she, like any other soldier in the IK, would upgrade her gear to be more effective.

    Nice work Matt.

    And I would just like to say that you blew me away in the above post by giving a “up and coming” some of your precious time. Kudos to you sir.

  24. Pose 3 is great, but do we really need to have her with the blade in her hand? It in a scabbard across her back with her striding forward in the ready to fire position would make for a pretty badass pose. If you did this I’d promise to paint the head tattoos. 😛

  25. MATT! Don’t forsake the dramatic pose! Please!
    Have her stepping on something. Have her leaping over something. Hell, have her perched on a dudes shoulders with her blade through his back as she searches for her crossbow target. I’m ALL for the pose where you look at that and it’s, “Holy crap that’s awesome.”

    The dude looking over the left shoulder or the one standing “at attention” looking forward is okay for 5% of a miniature world. Otherwise. Go dramatic.

  26. I’m really excited to see all these ideas come to fruition.

    First off, let me just say that if she’s going to have a foot up on something, make sure that foot isn’t attached to whatever she’s standing on so that people can remove it and replace it with something that fits their basing a bit more appropriately.

    Second: I personally really don’t go for the look of a character doing two weapon actions at one time. I know this is fantasy, and there is a certain amount of suspension of belief involved, but the idea of someone aiming and shooting a crossbow while holding a blade above their head to attack someone at close quarters never appeals to me. I think the more subdued a model appears the more bad ass it is. A model like the female widowmaker looks awesome, and has tons of presence, but she’s not even firing her gun. You still look at her and inherently know that she’s not a person you’d want to mess with. So my vote would be for pose 3, or something similar.

    Great work. Can’t wait to see the final product.

  27. Retribution of Scryah is what drew me to warmachine. I love how they look, especially the mage hunter strike force. I really love the different variations of hair color and their capes, so I was super excited to see that we were getting, basically, a mage hunter character solo for our army. I literally take the mage hunter strike force with me every time I play, so I’ll get good use out of these new additions to the ret army. I do have one concern though… I would really like to have a head option, if you are going to go with the bald female character. I don’t have anything against bald females, but I love the ret style hair. The bright color options and distinct styles really make my army stand out. I’d rather not have to give that up. Also, when you decide to make another female warcaster, please have her have some wicked cool hair. Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

  28. Definitely digging pose 3, and I also love the idea of alternate heads that you mentioned for those who want the hood up and those who want the hood down.

    Also as for the pistol crossbow wondering if it would justify POW10 you only really have to look at Kaelyssa’s Runebolt Launcher for a RNG12 POW10 weapon that fits the half-pistol aesthetic you seem to be going for.

    I also like the idea of the “something” she is resting one foot on, either a warjack head as some people have mentioned or a bent over double greylord corpse (which could have a bolt sticking out of it to emphasise the pistol weapon as a form of crossbow).

  29. Please leave her hood up or at least do alternate heads.
    When you switch such an iconic character like that, while interesting with the hood down, I feel like it would be like if santa suddenly quit wearing red and his santa hat.
    So please keep her hood up! Keep her well known look going!
    Or at least give her some sort of hair, the ret hair style is sooooo awesome.

  30. I’d like an alt version of her with hair as well, if you’re going to do the hood down version!

    Just a personal preference. Some flashy in-action hair would really really really make her stand out, though. Blowing back in the wind, perhaps (though you’d need to take cape physics into account there as well I’d imagine). But Hair is something that can really add a lot of dynamic to any piece. It’s something a LOT of Warmachine models lack. Hair on most models is so bland and boring.

    I think you could do something fantastic with her in that regard.

    Also, have her walking on something simple, like a rock. A lot of people really like custom bases, and giving them something simple to work with lets them decorate it in their own way, adding snow or turning it into whatever they want. Just my personal suggestion.

  31. Don’t listen to these people who are whining about a bald Eiryss, stay true to your vision and concept. I too find a bald Eiryss a bit more difficult to look at, but if that’s what the character is, that’s what it is. I like these characters for their story and their conflicts as much as I like them for their appearance. If you’re going to let them sway you, go with alternate heads in the packaging one hood up, one hood down.

    As for ideas on her crossbow, how about designing a hand crossbow to have a similar look to Garryth’s pistols. Give it a distinctly “Iosan” look, that sleek ceramic appearance. Needed or not a “bayonet” wouldn’t actually have to point forward, it’s just a small blade/spike attached to a “gun” for melee combat. It could just as easily point straight down off a pistol grip or sweep back like the pistol/blades that Garryth uses.

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