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.
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>.
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.)