Eiryss 3 — Work in Progress

With the deadline for the concept of the new incarnation of Eiryss rapidly approaching, I’ve been trying to carve out the time to make some decent progress. San Diego Comic Con is looming right in the middle of this timeline for me as well, which means that I’ll lose most of next week to work on it. What this really means is that my delivery date has moved up from July 16th to next Wednesday, or I’m going to be late! Time to get cracking.

The image below shows my progress so far on coming up with a new look for Eiryss’ trappings. This is drawn entirely in pixels on a Wacom Cintiq tablet in Photoshop, which gives me a lot of flexibility to work back and forth in layers as I refine the drawing and the rendering at the same time. I end up wandering a bit during the process, but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to explore the concept in a more time-economical way than generating multiple drawings. It’s easy to get caught up in the anatomy and pose and lose focus on what’s really important here, which is what the character is wearing. In retrospect, though, I chose a poor angle on the figure because I was trying to be a little too dramatic with the drawing. The low camera perspective prevents a good square look at her chest (no snickering, please), which means I’ll need to do a second front detail shot to make sure the sculptor and artist have all the information they need to interpret the design accurately.

Being her third costume design I wanted to present some sort of evolution from her previous looks, but as this is also the first time she won’t be operating as a solo, I wanted to make sure that some of that evolution was drastic and really sets her apart from the first two solo versions.

At this point, I’m sticking with a very similar silhouette, as the fashionistas would describe it. We’ve got the familiar cloak, the armored boots, sleeves and corset over a fine set of light-weight but protective mail coverings that more or less mimic the shape and rhythm of her previous designs. The big change here is the styling of her armor. Early on, Eiryss established a particular beat in Iosan armor design that included flexible segmented rings and panels of leather armor held in place by button-like fasteners. This design beat shows up on her two previous incarnations as well as many of the Retribution of Scyrah model designs that would come years after her first appearance. You can see this beat on Adeptis Rahn under his heavy armored plates, or in various places on the battle mages, mage hunters or storm fall archers. But, new Eiryss isn’t a standard trooper. I’ve always seen her as a bit of a trend setter, and while she’s very much part of the Retribution army now, I want to keep a sense of her individual identity. Where I’ve ended up is a much more organic approach to that segmented armor, treating it now like larger panels that have been created by many pieces joined together as opposed to overlapping. The button-like fasteners still hold everything closed, but I think there’s something much more fluid and beautiful and the lines of the armor. It’s almost got a touch of the art nouveau.

The original Eiryss is fairly utilitarian in her look. With the Angel of Retribution incarnation, she gained a little more style with the decorative wing/feather motif on her cloak. In this new version, I want to push that styling toward a more embellished and personalized look. Though there is much to decide and do with the concept design, things are starting to settle in place.

A lot to get done in a short period of time, so I’m getting back to work on this right away! More to come soon…

(Please feel free to share the link, but please don’t repost the image. Thanks!)


37 thoughts on “Eiryss 3 — Work in Progress

  1. I am absolutely in love with the boots and leggings. The shapes are awesome and fluid. The gun is beautiful as well. Great work Matt.

  2. She looks great but, not very battle ready. A bit too pensive. Unless this is meant to be much more conceptual than final design?

    And why bald? Seriously. What made you go with that look for her this time around?

    • This isn’t the pose for the model. See previous post for that. This is just working out the costume design.

      Eiryss has always been bald, you just didn’t know it because of the hood. In the beginning, it was a bit of a Mage Hunter thing — like Narn whose design actually came after Eiryss. Bald, tattooed scalp — I think it’s a sort of a monk-like devotional motif. It’s now a running theme in the Retribution, but so are wild hair styles. I think that maybe now it signifies an extreme dedication to the cause, and not everyone in the army possesses the kind of zeal that someone like Eiryss would. But rationalizing BS aside, I think there’s something edgy and obsessive about the look that enhances the idea that Eiryss is a cold-blooded assassin. Don’t let the pointy ears fool you.

      • Just a Observation about her art thus far. as i see in the other 2 models the blade on her Crossbow points forward not backward. I assume there is a reason for this but more of an observation. Also loving the whole concept thus far. I cannot wait to get her painted and on the tables.

      • That is awesome, I didn’t realize this, but the look suits her. You may get flak about it, but it does set her apart from anything else I’ve seen.

        As for the costume it looks great! I’d love to see this done in resin to ensure that none of the details get lost. Good luck and keep up the good work Matt.

  3. The armor is looking fantastic. I’m even starting to dig on the bald look for her. The preliminary on the “crossbow” has me intrigued. It looks almost like you’re going for a hybrid pistol/hand crossbow. The “scythe bayonet” seems quite appropriate to her style too! Thanks for the blog posts on this, it’s been really interesting to see the creative process in progress.

      • Well, at least us Merc players can hold out hope that we’re not going to lose access to one of our initial characters in tournaments where only the latest version of a character is allowed…

  4. Exposed mid-drifts and cleavage isn’t exactly “trend setting” in female miniatures nor is combat armour high heels in both models and their art. It doesn’t seem feminine to me rather more of a like the attire is attempting a pantomime of femininity.

    I’m a little bit disappointed on the route this is going because of the above (assuming it’s indicative of the final), but I do love that your going with the bald head showing though. It gives her a greater sense of presence. I really hope the sculptor manages to capture the regal/dominating authority, the power, and the confidence the art seem to evoke.

    Over all I guess I’m of mixed opinion.

    • Let me qualify the ‘trend setter’ comment: I didn’t mean that in any sort of universal sense regarding miniatures or fantasy, but rather, in the context of the IK and as the first Ioasan miniature we every produced that directly influenced and informed the design of all Iosan miniatures that would follow. So, thanks for the schoolin’ but I think you’re inferring a little too much into the language.

      To your opinion, let’s be clear — I never used the word ‘feminine’, in fact, I described Eiryss in a reply above as a ‘cold-blooded assassin’, so we’re not aiming for a a Victorias Secret model here. But your high falutin’ critique seems a bit confused — you seem to be disappointed in the thing that you think it’s failing to be which is what you don’t want it be, so maybe you like it and just don’t know it. 🙂

  5. I love the design, but to be honest it seems like a pretty substantial drift from the rest of the Scyrah (at least that I have seen). Of love the ornate “nature inspired” classic elvish (if there is such a thing) look, but Scyrah has always truck me as having a different slant. To me she looks like she really needs some gloves/boots/shoulders that help tie it into the established look a bit more.

    I obviously have no idea what direction you intend to take the Scyrah in, from a visual standpoint. I totally get that she does her own thing a bit, but it seems like a few callbacks to a more formal Scyrah look might be effective given her new role as UA.

  6. Assassins don’t wear high heels. They’d make their walk unstable and they produce to much noise thus jeopardizing their mission. Apart from that, the design is as I did expect it. I myself would prefer an additional optional head with hood on in her blister, if that’s possible. The bald head, as cool or intimidating it could look (depending of the sculpters abilities) takes away a little bit too much of the mysterious, brooding stalker-of- wizards-feeling which the previous incarnations of her had. And, like you said, as there are a lot of skin-heads in her faction it doesn’t let her stand out. At least in my opinion it doesn’t…! 😉

    • I have been in favor of the optional hood since the beginning, so very likely, yes. I think the hood is a part of her character and as much as I like that we’re getting to see more of her visage in this incarnation, I like the option to keep the look of the original. It’s what we did with the mounted version of Vlad and for the same reason.

  7. Hey Matt! I’ve been following this string of blog entries, and I must say it’s been really interesting seeing how a model goes from an idea in the creator’s head to production. As much as a character like Eiryss is near and dear to the fans, it’s cool to see them as a living, breathing entity through their creators eyes.

    Thanks for the “inside” look!

  8. I find the Bald look to be intimidating as hell, in a good way. More skin and tattoos to paint, but that should be fun and challenging. like above commentor, I really hope that the sculptor can take the presence of the concept art and bring it to life. I also hope the rules are super-powerful, so I never have to fight the other two 🙂

  9. I really like the curves of the leather plating on itself. The lacquered/lamellar look is a favorite of mine.

    I too long for a hood up option as I love that look.

    I know some here are nay-sayers but I adore the crossbow design with the blade from Garryth’s pistols. I think it cinematically would be great. The idea of her dropping from a tree at a caster, shooting the crossbow. As she lands in a crouch before the startled caster, lets say Goreshade cause he’s a dick ;), she shoots up to full height swinging her arm up with the cross bow to slice him. At the same time she whips around backwards to bring her sword into him with a back handed swing. Way cool.

    I notice the sword design seems to have a reverse hilt suggesting its designed for the back hand use. Thats a fairly unique style which I have not seen before that I know of.

    While I’m not a fan of Eiryss being bald, I still like the effort and the overall display of her.

    Yes the battle corset and heels are a bit strange to me but its fantasy. /shrug. Could be worse.

  10. I love it… save for one detail.

    She is bald. I am not a fan of that… it reminds me too much of Jack from Mass Effect 2 & 3… my least favorite character in the whole game.

    My piece on that being said. I love the flow and feel of the armor. The plates curvature and styling is muy bien. The crossbow and sword, although just sketches here, are fantastic. I love how deadly they seem.

    This is a lot of fun to follow, seeing the creative process like this. Thanks!

  11. When I think of Eiryss the trend setter, I think of her in something more technologically sophisticated; If anyone can get access to the latest prototype hotness, it’s her. Maybe one part Kaelyssa, one part Dark Knight Batman, and a splash of Guyver-something distinctly Iosan that reflects the evolving need of the mage hunters for the latest and greatest in personal protection.

  12. Looking good — if I had one comment, I’d honestly say I can’t stand the Garryth-style blade on flip side of the ‘hand-crossbow’ ( its sketchier so harder to say here ). I much prefer the bayonette style in your previous post to this.

    I found the blades on Garryth to be one of the weakest weapon concepts in recent times; they seem wholly impractical and downright dangerous to the wielder. Just trip while running with those out and see how it goes. To me something integrated on the forearms ( much like the Manticore etc ) would be more practical and perhaps even ‘cooler’ a design beat, as you put it.

    I have to disagree with the dislike of her baldness — it suits her role as an assassin in the fluff quite well — Look to Narn and the others for this.

    Just a small critique of an otherwise interesting subject.

  13. Yeah love your work man!

    Maybe she needs a fresh kill at her feet with her foot on it, just to show she’s done something, rather than her just being a poser 😛

  14. Matt,
    Do you like your Cintiq tablet? Is it a 12WX? I didn’t order one yet, but wanted to ask before I invested the $.
    Matt H.

    • I like the Cintiq very much! It’s a much closer to ‘real’ experience than using a normal tablet without a screen. Takes a bit of getting used to, but not nearly as much as the disconnected tablets. The only complaint I have about it is that when I bought mine, the screen quality was not HD. I’m not sure if that has changed in the past few years or not as I haven’t been keeping up. But on my system, there’s a notable difference when I move the image from the Cintiq to the Cinema display, but in resolution, contrast and color quality. That said, I would still endorse it as a great tool.

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