THE BIG TEX TALKS BATTLETECH MACKIE ART DUMP!

Mackie and Asher ( Harasser….Sarna subbed a pic of it for the Asher. )

Greetings y’all,

The time has come! I can now reveal the artwork I produced for the Tex Talks Battletech Mackie episode! I’ve been a long time fan of the BT universe and Tex’s work. As such, I reached out to Tex to offer my services. He and the BPL team graciously accepted my help. What followed was several weeks of Battletech art fun! Now, I will share it with you!

Glorious Jacob Cameron superstar!

This is the first Jacob Cameron piece I produced for Tex. At this point, I had never indulged in creating BT artwork. Had a fun time researching the uniforms and gear. Had to ask Tex about the fancy way SLDF soldiers hold their laser guns.

Charles Kincaid

Charles Kincaid is the first man to pilot the Mackie. Sadly, There is no previous artwork of Charles; not even a description of his appearance. I went with a rather generic, “fresh out of the cockpit,” Chuck Yeager look for him.

Jacob Cameron in his space-cape with a Vincent and Sparrowhawks.
Sans Jacob

This is the second Jacob Cameron piece. I went a bit nuts with the Vincent redesign. In retrospect, I should have stuck closer to the “smoother” original design. ( It looks like it comes from the Expanse show rather than BT. ) HOWEVER, as with a lot of old BT artwork, old designs get associated with all sorts of vehicles. The art I referenced was used for multiple warships. ( The original art has no specific weapon mounts. I suspect the art for the Lola is just the stern view of the Vincent. ) The Sparrowhawks are pretty close to the original designs.

Jacob Cameron touring the Skobel Mechworks factory. ( Skobel logo by
David Allen Kerber
)

The first crack at my “version” of the Mackie redesign. Tex needed something showing Jacob worrying over Mackie schematics and productions figures. Rather than a boring conference room, I thought it’d be more fun to show him on one of those sleazy “suits in hard hats” factory tours. Originally, I wanted throw in some more hoists, lifts, and scaffolding for the BPL team to animate. I had to drop that idea quickly. The composition was already too busy for superfluous visual elements.

I’m overall pleased with how it turned out. Adding space-ridges and straps to future clothes is fun! Jacob Cameron leaves a bit to be desired in my eyes. He has a real Seto Kaiba thing going on with his trench coat and his head, left shoulder, and chest highlight make everything look wonky. ( Personal note: Work on hands! )

An older version of the above art with old book overlay.

I opened the post with the finished version of this art. Thus, I’m going to drop this version in for the fifth piece of art produced for the video. This would be my redesign of the Mackie going forward. I wanted to marry the modern BT aesthetic to the older Mackie “spaceman” design. I actually love the modern, revitalized mech designs done for MWO and the Battletech games. ( Thank you, Alex Iglesias ) But, I also want to honor the efforts of the artists that initially brought the setting to life. So, I kept the front and dodads largely the same. My biggest adds are the separated torso and the suggested feeding apparatus and shell ejection port on the AC-10 arm. ( It’s always been strange to me how mechs can have ammo caches all over their body with no visible suggestion of how it gets from the location to the weapon. As Tex would say, It’s space magic. )

A few more notes about the image. First of all, the book title and overlay. While creating this piece, I reflected on how much it looked like an old paperback novel cover. ( I laugh at dumb stuff like that. ) As a joke, I threw this version together to send Tex. I guess merriment was had. Also, that Harasser up front is supposed to be an older recon hovercraft called an Asher. Digging though old BT lore can be confusing. It wasn’t until this piece was almost complete, that I noticed the reference photo on Sarna was actually that of a Harasser. So, yeah, oh well…..

The calm before the storm. Dreadnought over Tintavel.
A troubles a brewin’
All the nukes.

The first of a series of narrative pieces created with the intention of animation. This was not originally what I had planned for the composition or camera angle. I really wanted to avoid the old cliche of “BIG SHIP SHOOT DOWN.” After some sketches and much deliberation, I went with this low orbit perspective. ( Get some dimension on those clouds. ) This version would be way easier for the BPL team to manipulate and animate.

I kept the TAS Dreadnought pretty faithful to the old art. ( I tried to avoid going overboard like I did with the Vincent redesign. ) Although, the angle of the old drawing left plenty of unseen space for me to play. The fore of the Dreadnought was a pain to render at this angle.

Yes, I copy pasted all those missiles. Sue me.

What a peaceful day!
Incoming!
Distant Thunder!
Bullseye!

The second narrative piece and the flip side of the warship scene. I’m largely happy with this set. My eyes doth see a few flaws and inconsistencies that drive me nuts looking back. But on the, whole, it’s fine. ( Pro tip for the art kiddies: Know when to move on. Cause most people are not going to perceive the flaws you do. )

I created most of the art for this project using Procreate on an Ipad pro. The problem with this is that Procreate puts caps on layers depending on image size and resolution. Thus, working on these larger scenes consistently became layer management. This, in turn, was trouble because I needed to leave plenty of layers for the BPL team to work with. What a hassle. The price of convenience I guess.

The vintage version of the big Mackie battle.

The final piece of artwork depicting the 801st Heavy Armored Regiment stomping a Draconis armored column on Styx. There are multiple versions of this finished image. ( This vintagey looking one is my favorite. ) Not a lot of info on this battle for the first deployment of Mackies in combat. That leaves a lot of gap filling for me do. The tank designs are rather generic. ( Again, researching old BT lore stuff can be a pain. So, I fudged it. ) I went with red for the Draconis vehicles to make them stand out from the BG and Mackies. The tank crew uniforms are close to what’s depicted in the old material.

Please note the cartoon turtle on the foreground Mackie; I’m very fond of it.

Annnnd….another early joke version!

And that is it for now. Hopefully, there will be future collabs with the BPL team and more BT artwork to come. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse behind the arty curtain.

Until next time!

-Eldon

Weekly update July. 6th, 2020! Comic updating tomorrow!

Cover art for the next Interstitial artbook!
Gradient map coloring test.

Hello Asray3 faithful,

Well the last few weeks could have gone better. My prediction about the new Astray3 update being on time last Monday proved woefully inaccurate. As a minor excuse, I’m testing out gradient maps for coloring. ( See the above image and the previous Interstitial cover for example. ) Typically, this has not shortened comic production times at all. You’ll see the fruits of this new approach tomorrow. 

In other news, more convention dates have been cancelled and pushed back. That means I’m delaying the artbook production too. Originally, I had planned to have it ready for print by mid-July just in case Kansas City’s Planet Comic-con happened as scheduled. That event has been pushed to April of 2021. The next possible event happens in September. So, look for the book pre-orders to happen sometime in August. 

These super shiny stickers will be part of the pre-order bonus. 

That’s all for today. New comic soon!

All the best,

-Eldon

Weekly update June. 22th, 2020! Finally, comic updates with a ton of art!

Alpha Legion art commission for a friend’s husband’s Bday.

Hello ye olde Astray3 readers,

Finally, Astray3 Enigma page 18 has landed. We should be on track for page 19 to land next Monday. Look forward to it! Lots of big plot points to come!

In other news, work will begin on the second Interstitial artbook this week! Expect a short pre-order campaign about mid July. There will be bonus prints and sticker for early purchasers.

I will leave you with ton of pictures fo art updates! Check out the holographic harpy stickers that will be available on the e-shop soon!

Till next time! All the best,

-Eldon

More experimenting with modern She-ra designs and old school filmation backgrounds.
A carnival themed Macaw Harpy! A test piece for the following holographic sticker.

Weekly update Mar. 23th, 2020 Art, Shop and Patreon stuff.

Hello everybody,

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. I’m working from home and trying to stay as isolated as I can. But, the crummy weather here in the Ozarks is really dampening the mood. ( Ha…DAMP… ) Well, that’s a minor complaint compared to what some people are going through right now. If you have the means, I’d like to encourage you to look toward artists and small businesses that could use help right now. I personally know artists who depend on conventions to literally pay the bills. The closures of those events have left them in a terrible bind. So, please, if you can, maybe search out their etsy or other stores to purchase a little something. I’m sure it’ll give you that warm and fuzzy charitable feeling. ( A selfish reminder, there is a sale going on at the Astray3 shop. All purchases will get some nifty bonus surprises. It might be stickers! It might be prints! It might even be bonus comics! Who knows? )

Ok, I’m not done with selfish reminders. Astray3 does have a Patreon page! ( Doesn’t everybody nowadays. ) If you can throw a couple dollars toward the production of Astray3 each month it would be greatly appreciated. The Patreon page usually updates before the home page and I even write some extra bonus commentary on the comic page and art updates. Also, I drop discounts or free shipping codes there for the patrons when new products are released. Ok…I’m finished for real now.

All the best,

-Eldon

Weekly update Mar. 16th, 2020 Not much to report…art?

Hello Readers,

I’m pretty much done with my Spider-Verse mini-print piece. ( Finished as in I’m tired of working on it. Oops, forgot the spider emblem on Peter Parker’s chest. Oh well, not done yet I guess. ) Time to move on to some new sticker designs. However, since all the conventions are on pause due to Coronavirus, I’m in no rush to get them done.

On the comic front, we should enjoy a few more weeks of consistent page updates. Also, the sale on the Astray3 shop will continue till conventions start back up. All orders will get bonus prints or mini-prints during the duration of the sale. Also, if you are in the mind to do so, please consider joining the Astray3 Patreon. Patreon members get discounts on new Astray3/Eldoniousrex merch. And any contributions help during the event closures.

And that is it for now. I will leave you with some new sketch cards and outgoing book orders.

All the best,

-Eldon

Weekly update for March 9th, 2020. More art and cons!

Branson Comic Con 2020 booth setup

Hello readers,

Branson comic con is now in the past. A great and fairly profitable experience. Special thanks to the crew who put the show on. Next, will be Planet Comicon in Kansas City   It’s bound to be a busy weekend of comicy goodness. 

Now, down to Astray3 comic business. As the last week proved, we are entering the time of update hiccups. Conventions and other businesses have started to gnaw into comic production time. There are three completed pages in the pipeline for the next three weeks. With another page currently in production, we should have at least four weeks of uninterrupted updates. I will try my best to make it five weeks of uninterrupted updates; no guarantees though. 

That is all for today. I will leave you with a WIP of a new small Spider-verse print I’m working on. The new page of Astray3 should be posting momentarily. 

All the best,

-Eldon

One more member of the trio to add…

Weekly update for Monday 24th, 2020. Art and cons!

Hello readers,

I’m going to try to make these updates more of a regular thing. We will see how long that lasts…

The above image is a creature design for Assorted Geekdom’s upcoming RPG project. The mysterious aquatic race known as the Uku’ Bant. I experimented with the rendering approach for this piece. Created it as a grayscale then added the color via blending layers. I’m fairly pleased with the result.

Next weekend I will be taking Astray3 to the Fayetteville Comic Show. Promises to be a fun event with a ton of cool guests.

The weekend directly after the Fayetteville event, I will be heading to Branson, MO for the three day Branson Comic Con. Or as the Simpsons put it…

And have I shown you guys the current booth? Probably not. Here is a pic from the previous Neosho Artscon.

My lovely corner of a high school gym.

And that is it for now! See you next time!

All the best,

-Eldon

Weekly update for Feb. 3rd, 2020. Merch and art!

Greetings readers!

My first set of rad stickers is now up on the big cartel shop! https://astray3.bigcartel.com/ Beautiful high-quality KISS cut vinyl stickers! And a reminder, Patreon patrons get discounts and other perks for new merch releases.

The above art is a revamp of an old Procreate favorite. It’s going to be part of a small series of prints I’m making for upcoming conventions. It’s kind of tough reworking an old piece rather than creating a whole new one. Go figure…

That’s all for now! Be back soon with more art and comics!

All the best,

-Eldon