well. kind of.

the idea is that the shield is connected to the arm and the weapon can fit into a slot in the shield to keep it steady and/or allow the user to use both hands for aiming while still keeping the shield up.

how practical is this? probably not very. still looks neat 🙂

even though i really enjoy firearms they probably won’t show up in the comic, at least in forms this close to real-life examples. i have some other ideas instead.

Words about words

As mentioned previously, I spent a couple weeks before ch3 doodling the characters and trying to streamline them more before I had to draw them in motion. In hindsight I wish I did that more for ch2, but hopefully I learned my lesson.

Silne was based off of a sketch i did a couple years ago, and was originally going to be a specific different character. I ended up splitting Silne and this other character who I will still likely use. It wasn’t the right time yet. Though I don’t mention verbally it in the story, you can tell by the two sets of tattoos that she has that she was once married.

The story itself was one of the earlier ones I came up with and remained mostly unchanged, though of course I tweaked some details as I went. It was originally going to have much less of Arbo, the old man, but previous chapters focused quite heavily on two characters and I wanted to branch out just a little bit. I still think I enjoy working with few characters rather than a gigantic cast, at least in a per-chapter basis.

The armor of the rene took a little bit to get down too, since I wanted to show similarities with the armor in ch1 (for both Allano and Rene) without making them identical. they likely wouldn’t have much standardization between troops if this was real life, but you also want to make it recognizable to the reader. The allanos have armors similar to malwan’s outfit from ch1, but the militia organized halfway through the chapter is more rag-tag since they are not professionals. I ended up with the rene’s “shark tooth” helm because I thought it was cool and unique. All of these designs will likely show up in the future to some capacity.

sharp-eyed viewers of a previous post may be able to infer some interesting tidbits about the rene.

Character concepts 3 – armor

(click to view larger)

some armor design concepts. on the whole metal is rarely used in Motherland due to a variety of factors, but the majority of regions have access to substitute materials. these alien ‘resin’ compounds are mass-produced from several species of wildlife and have no true real world analogue, though most have properties somewhere in the realm of rubber, chitin, ceramic, and polymer. among a myriad of other uses, they are used to make armor and weapons. it’s a big goal of mine to have some crazy setting weirdness and still try to make designs that make sense. I’m heavily basing armor and weapon designs off of real life ones since they actually work instead of hypothetically work.

pretty much all of the armor shown here would be ‘elite’ models that would be very expensive to create and own. common soldiers and guards would make do with much less. chainmail doesn’t really exist per se due to the tensile properties of resin, the city guards in ch 1 were using scaled or spined hauberks which is much cheaper than plate armor but still fairly effective. many of the (wealthier) renes shown were using plate armor which was inspired by the designs of real life armenian cataphracts, the manicas in particular. i just think they look cool.

Character concepts 2 – helmets

this is close enough to a character concept in my opinion.

it can be pretty tough sometimes but it’s always fun to have to design clothes and armor and such with non-human parameters. Of course the motherlanders aren’t that different from humans but it’s enough. One of my mains goals with this story and setting is to create things that are realistically exotic but could still conceivably exist within the setting. it’s not high fantasy, so I’m really trying to make designs and such that would believably be created by the people there with their resources and technology.

For instance, very little wood or metal is used in the Motherland world. it’s too rare or hard to shape with their resources. Much of the armor used by soldiers and such is a type of molded resin, along with kevlar-like hauberks made out of durable fibers from the local ecosystem. A wide variety of construction methods and designs exist in this era, influenced by cost and efficiency, and of course, looks. Rich people can afford more expensive and efficient protection than your average town guard. armor evolved in real life to counter the weapons of the day and vice versa, and here is no different. That said, the evolution of their technology can be anachronistic at times compared to our own history.

I really want to try to make things that are realistic-looking while still looking cool or at least interesting. A helmet in real life is designed to protect your face first and foremost above looks (with some less than “cool” results for the sake of efficiency), and boy do these characters have a lot of face to protect. a mask that totally covered their entire snout and ears would be very protective and practical, but looks real goofy as a result. It’s a challenge to find designs that do enough of both practicality and aesthetics, but that’s the fun in it.