Art of Mechaweek Part 6: Mech Development III
I’m opening up with a bit of advice for fellow artists. One of the best things you can do for yourself is learn multiple methods of construction. I’ll list the ones I know of just so that you have an idea of what I’m talkin’ about:
- skeletal/structure-based - the first things you draw look like stick figures/skeletons
- mass/volume-based - the first things you draw are solids and prisms
- shape/area-based - the first things you draw are flat shapes
- light/color-based - the first things you draw are areas of shadow/light/fields of color
Construction methods are important tools that many of us take for granted. They’re the most basic of basic things. If you ever find yourself in a corner, try changing your construction method. It’ll force your brain to think a bit differently by changing the source of difficulty. In terms of wider application, the concept requires a bit of bending. You have a goal and you have means with which to accomplish it. You can’t really change your goal, but you can change your challenge - if that makes any sense.
So? Why mention this? I dunno. Woolie’s mech was hands-down the easiest to draw. Out of the bunch, it also turned out to be my favorite. “The Dread-nought.” Come now people, did you really think we’d make it out of this week with zero puns? Surely, you jest. Woolie requested a pile bunker and a rail gun. A short-range and long-range weapon. Interesting choice. The main challenge was designing a bullpup rail gun. I mean, a non-bullpup railgun presents a problem: close-range emergencies. The railgun track is on the top. The bottom track is a Gauss grenade launcher. I gave Woolie’s mech hip-mounted piton pistols for its gimmick. I imagine them being used to help with evasion by allowing speed modulation or to pull enemies off-balance. I think this works well because its center of gravity is fairly low. Woolie’s decal is a bit of a throwback to old fighter-plane nose art with a modern weeb twist. Chie. In a bikini. Posing on a railgun… Okay. Now that I actually type it out, that’s friggin’ weird. How the hell did I even…? Something’s gone horribly wrong with my life.
I’m more of a Naoto guy myself, but Chie’s cool too.
A huge source of inspiration for these mechs comes from Wanzers. I feel that Wanzers are almost perfect real robots - if anything, because of their size. Whenever I see giant robots, I always wonder where the resources came from to construct them. ACs are the size of buildings… And in many cases tower over them. ACs must be a strain on the world of Armored Core. Especially considering that the world at that point is practically a dying, war-ravaged husk.
For some reason, the shading and inking reminds me of Bill Watterson (if Bill Watterson suddenly developed an interest in mecha). Watterson was a huge inspiration for me as a kid. To see some of that make it into the present day makes me smile a bit on the inside.
Edit: D-D-D-DOUBLE MECHAWEEK!