Science Fiction Xeno-archaeologist ideas

Currently I’m having a bit of trouble uploading images to my website but I managed to get this one; a page from last year’s sketchbook showing some ideas I had for a Xeno-archeologist exploring dead alien civilisations in a gothic SF world.

I imagined her to be a cross between Indiana Jones and Adèle Blanc-Sec (Adèle Blanc-Sec) more than Lara Croft. To help her she has hired a psyker to detect psychic traces of lost civilisations or artifacts, an ogre-like breed of human as a bodyguard and porter. She has also hired a mercenary human and an extra-terrestrial guide and carries her treasured finds in a stasis-vault with suspensors and a pop-up auto-turret laser.

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Some unseen sketches

I’ve got loads of commissions on the go at the moment but as they’re all for unreleased projects I haven’t posted any images of them until the miniatures or games are available. Despite all that when I’ve had a spare moment I’ve still been doodling away in my sketchbook and the next few posts will be these.

A quick warning, the next few paragraphs are all about Games Workshop’s Warhammer game, so please ignore it if you’re not into that kind of thing and do skip down to the drawings!

OK, here are some of my thoughts on Games Workshop and Age of Sigmar, though bear in mind that I haven’t played it, so this isn’t related to the game play, just me looking at the aesthetic of the miniatures, artwork and whatever the new world is called (The Mortal Realms?). Last year Games Workshop decided to ‘murder their darling’ by destroying their entire Warhammer World and the last 30 years of creative output with The End Times and by releasing Warhammer – Age of Sigmar (with round bases being hastily added to peoples’ miniature armies all previously cleverly designed to rank up in units on square bases).

Now I leave it up to others to discuss the commercial wisdom of this but creatively this seems daft at best. Despite Games Workshop’s deliberate artistic policy of going for the Northern European more realistic and gritty, gothic look with the Warhammer World (rooted in part on the writers, sculptors and artists having extensive knowledge of history and the Northern Renaissance) the new Age of Sigmar seems to be going for a more Catholic, Southern European, almost high-fantasy look completely at odds with their previous artistic style and seemingly influenced by Blizzard computer games (which had ripped Games Workshop’s art off to start with!) They could easily have created an epic Heroic game system, with stripped down rules and focus on quick fun battles without resorting to wiping the Warhammer World out entirely (and letting other manufacturers take over where they left off).

OK, rambling a bit there but I thought about how I got into this stuff as a kid and it was through Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (1st edition, with rulebooks, lots of different dice and no cards!) so I drew some ideas for an Age of Sigmar role-playing party:

Here I have a sort of priest dude with the top half of a Stormcast Eternal mask, a barbaric Chaos-creature hunter, a Wood Elf Undead hunter, a non-European(!) knife-wielding woman and an ex-Empire mercenary too.
There’s a sketch of a fish-man and my vaguely Arabic masked warrior from my Sunken World poster.

The next page is continuing these characters (I was thinking there was more of the Old Warhammer World remaining than just the name Sigmar and Khorne) so I expanded on the barbarian chap fighting Chaos to a Priest of Ulric, continued with the Empire lady mercenary with a beastman skull on her hat. The former Priest of Morr is carrying bones and urns from the Warhammer World to summon the angry spirits of the fallen to wreak vengeance. After seeing the new Warhammer Quest game I think Games Workshop are trying to get some more character back into their flagship Fantasy game.

All fan art and not intended to breach Games Workshop copyright.

Colony 87 Returns!

Colony 87 returns! The kickstarter here:
(Return to Colony 87 – 28mm sci-fi civilians)
This was funded within hours and the miniatures have been sculpted by the excellent miniature sculptor Mike Anderson.
These are concept drawings for the second wave of Science Fiction civilians for Colony 87 miniatures:


These are some of my initial sketchbook pages for this commission.
The first was a SF Recordist, a scientific type to accompany a noble or other advisor recording everything (smells, sights, Electromagnetics, as well as sound). Jon Boyce (my client) suggested I look at a tank crew head gear and Gaff’s (Edward James Olmos) hat in Bladerunner. I also wanted him to have a different body shape, so I based his size on the movie Dune’s Piter De Vries (Brad Dourif) combined with the Hannibal Chew (James Hong) from Bladerunner’s hat. A stenographer’s typewriter provided a retro look for his personal computer.

For the mechanic I had the idea basing her on Firefly/Serenity’s Kaylee(Jewel Staite) as a starting point and the welder/junker started out based on a photo of a Japanese industrial worker.

The Advisor was meant to be a power-behind-the throne character so I examined various fantasy and SF advisors – the tall hat was a reference to Turkish historical viziers and also to the sinister fellows that follow Emperor Palpatine in The Return of The Jedi.

Jon Boyce had a very specific idea for the Priestess so essentially I recreated his small drawing and the Planetary Botanist was an idea that had been requested by several people in the first wave. The broad-brimmed hat was a nod to Moebius’s drawing of Planetologist Kyne for Alexandro Jodorowsky’s Dune project. I thought he might have had some injuries examining alien plants so a bionic hand seemed appropriate.

My previous post: Colony 87

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Happy New Year! More Panzerfäuste sketches and drawings

A belated Happy New Year! My first post of 2016 is of some of the sketchbook pages I drew for Hysterical Games’ Panzerfäuste miniatures wargame.
Panzerfäuste – Mechanised Warfare in A Mythical Realm
Hysterical Games website
The first is some Troglodyte mountain troops, these are (in Panzerfäuste) the Polish so have the equipment and weapons appropriate to the real world equivalent. I drew these for their Kickstarter page as I had only provided them with a rough sketch originally.

Here are some Gnome commanders, wizards and generals and a nurse to heal the troops. Gnomes, in Panzerfäuste are French so I thought the druid (Getafix) in Goscinny and Uderzo’s Astérix The Gaul would be an appropriate character to homage for the illusionist.

This is an idea from John Bell that the Hysterical Games team wanted a bit more work on; the Dwarf Panzerbär. I based the shapes of the armour on the German Sd.Kfz Armoured Cars  from WW2.

And finally an extra Orc for the Local Orc Volunteers (Orc Home Guard), though I’m not sure if this will be produced as a miniature.

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Star Wars Sith ideas

Another image I previously posted on my Facebook page  Will Beck Illustration.

Devaronian Sith Juggernaut
Devaronian Sith Juggernaut

Here are some of my quite old sketches for SF bad guys, possibly Star Wars Sith or for some other universe. I think I drew these in 2003 while my brother and I were playing Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic on his PC.

More designs from 2004 (when we were playing the sequel!). I’ve found that Sith are easier to draw than Jedi, getting a truly evil cyborg samurai look is good fun. Though I should attempt to depict a Jedi some time soon!

And here was a quick page from late 2014. These are probably Sith from the time of the Old Republic when there seemed to be way more than two of them.

The huge Sith came from the reading about the visual inspiration for the Jedi and Sith and the Japanese-style robes they wear. So then I thought, why hasn’t a Sumo Jedi or Sith been done in the films or the Clone Wars series? (I can’t be sure of the comics or novels!)
I started by searching for photo reference and also woodblock prints by 18th/19th century Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi whose art I first saw when I was at Art College. Wikipedia entry for Utagawa Kuniyoshi
I imagined this Sumo-build warrior would be a bulky but fast moving Sith whose physical size was intimidating even before you saw his dark side powers. This got me looking at Japanese Ogre’s Wikipedia entry for Japanese Ogres and I thought a hulking Devaronian steeped in the Dark side of the force might be a cool idea.
For those of you who don’t know what the heck a Devaronian is (and why should you?) look here: Devaronian on Wookieepedia

This is all fan art, and not intended to breach Disney’s copyright.

Space Rat-Men Special Characters

Finishing my idea of a space hulk with warp-mutated rats on board: (See previous posts: Space Rat-men, Space Rat-men leaders and Space Rat-men characters.)

The large rat-hulk thing on the left with his midget controller (maybe they’re twins?) are kind-of like a space mutant rat-men version of Pinky and The Brain (wikipedia entry for Pinky and the Brain). The other creature is a Rat-man who has been possessed by a warp-entity and his form has mutated (Bestial face: Goat, Teleport, Cloven Hooves, Scorpion Tail,Temporal Instability, Acid Excretion, Suckers, Growth X2).

And here is the sketchbook page from over a year ago where I sketched the basic ideas:

This is fan art based on Games Workshop’s intellectual property.

Hysterical Games’ Panzerfäuste

I’ve been working hard on a commission from Hysterical Games over the last year; drawing concepts for their fantasy World War 2 miniatures wargame ‘Panzerfäuste’. Their Kickstarter project has gone live and surpassed its initial goal! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this project. Here’s a link to the Kickstarter page:
Panzerfäuste – Mechanised Warfare in A Mythical Realm

As part of this ongoing commission I created Wojtek the Bear, a character I based on the actual bear named Wojtek by Polish troops who adopted him in World War 2 Wikipedia entry for Wojtek (bear), carrying a MG08-15 machine gun. Wojtek is a helpful bear used by the Troglodytes in the Panzerfäuste world to carry things and to fight the Dwarves.

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Dead-world Ghoul ideas

A link from my Facebook site (do have a look and like it, if indeed you do like it!). Click on the Facebook image to the right or here:
Will Beck Illustration

Here are my ‘Deadworld Ghouls’ from 2009, inspired by my fighting (as Raziel) the cowardly Slaughs in the videogames Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, (Sluagh image and description) I liked their gleeful expression in the game and imagined mine lurking in the dark on ruined world attacking adventurers or travellers (only when they outnumbered them!). I wasn’t quite sure about their design at the time so I put these on the back-burner.

Bas-Lag and fantasy Wild West sketches

Well it’s been a few months since I posted anything on my website/blog; I’ve loads of mini-projects on the go that become huge undertakings without a deadline! Here are some examples of several of these from a few years back.

On the left are some characters I was having difficulty placing in a world so I was trying them out in a fantasy Wild West setting. On the right hand side is a Cactus Man from China Miéville’s Bas-Lag world. I’m a fan of China Miéville’s novels, (though I haven’t read them all) and I thought it would be fun to try and depict a Cactus Man from Perdido St. Station. I always liked the Symbolist movement and Odilon Redon’s work Cactus Man http://www.wikiart.org/en/odilon-redon/cactus-man-1882 is a classic example of his slightly creepy and surreal drawings so I tried to incorporate a sense of that into my sketch.

The next pages follow on, more experiments with a fantasy Wild West theme, a Wyrman. See here for a list of China Miéville’s Bas-Lag creations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bas-Lag and some high-fantasy characters I was working on.

I returned to the ideas again in my next sketchbook, I might have been reading The Scar at the time – this time I was considering a New Crobuzon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Crobuzon scene with various lowlifes (a fat criminal boss, his bouncer and hired thaumaturge, that sort of thing). On the opposite page are more doodles of Vodyanoi (frog-men from Russian folklore) who are another race in Bas-Lag. There’s also an idea for a Gundam/Starcraft type exo-suit in the middle.

China Miéville’s ideas are all copyright him, this is just fan art and in no way intended to breach copyright.

Colony 87

A commission I had last year to draw concepts for a Science Fiction 28mm miniatures range Kickstarter has been funded within a few hours!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/62661939/colony-87-28mm-sci-fi-civilians/description

Here are some of the sketches (an amphibian-alien trader, human trader, a pair of nobles with a freakish pet and a porter with a some sort of servo-yoke). The designs were influenced by, amongst many other things, Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner (1982) costumes by Michael Kaplan and Charles Knode and the nobles costumes in the David Lynch Dune movie (1984) by Bob Ringwood. I tried a gothic-arch hat from Russian history for the female noble though we settled on a simple cowl.


These have been sculpted by the talented miniature designer Mike Anderson.

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SF & Fantasy Art