In case I hadn’t made it clear in my coverage of Code: HARDCORE’s campaign, I absolutely love giant robots. Like, maybe i don’t spend as much money on merchandise as some people do, and maybe I don’t watch every single series like some people do, but I dream of Giant Robots, I see Giant Robots out of the corner of my eye when its late at night, I design them, I have them tattooed on my flesh, and the I dream of leaving an indellible mark on the international envisioning of mecha. The art in this #SketchbookAdventures special feature series is from an older sketchbook. The art isn’t as refined, and my techniques are on the weaker side, but these designs form the basis for conceptualizing my own Giant Robot Universe!
The Thermopylae is a “Super Junior” class Carry Armour, a specific designation of giant robot weapon used by the Allied Military Forces. Carry Armour are essential the real robots of the Alliance, but the “Super Junior” classification is for mecha designed to push the boundaries between real robots and super robots. They are equipped with specialized weapons and systems that push the limits of technology or human capabilities. This is in much the same way that the Gundam moniker has functioned in many incarnations as a super weapon stronger than mass produced units with remarkable specialization or adaptability.
The Shenlong is a Brave Armour, which designates that it is what would generally be called a super robot. Brave Armour are designed to take advantage of different aptitudes for pilots than the real robots, such as Carry Armour and Personal Units, do. Hot Bloodedness and spirit, while valuable in pilots of all kinds, are the bread and butter of a Brave Armour, allowing them to dish out immense attacks that are amplified by their pilots emotional and spiritual traits. Their giant scale tends to lead to them having to soak up damage rather than dodging attacks, which is its own kind of mental strain.
The Xalbangan Empire are one of main antagonistic forces to the Alliance in the Giant Robot Universe. They are a strict militaristic regime whose people have naturally no aptitude for Hot Blooded super robot combat, but excel with real robots because of their keen senses and naturally quick reflexes. Their military training pays particular attention to precision aiming, tactical prowess, and quick maneuvering. The Quintagrams painted on their Personal Units, the Xalbangan equivalent to Carry Armour, denote rank and mission records and are meticulously updated by their pilots, who take a pivotal and involved role in performing maintenance on their machines. To a Xalbangan soldier, their Personal Unit is an extension of their pride and prowess in personal combat.
As i am a fan of a myriad variety of mecha, I wanted to represent all sorts of possibilities using Giant Robots. While Zoids has long been the king of animal-themed mecha, they have shown up in other long-standing franchises such as Gundam SEED, and of course the Tokusatsu Super Sentai series. I wanted to be sure to include these kinds of options in my all inclusive mecha magnum opus.
Absolutely anything based on a dinosaur has to have serious destructive potential, or they’re just not doing it right. In the fight to shift balance of power in the galaxy blah blah blah but the Alliance and Xalbangan Empire are only two of the powers at play in this Giant Robot Universe…
There are far more than two forces in the Giant Robot Universe. Warframes are the standard combat unit of the Ancient Ones, one of the contingents of the Vagabond Tribes. They interstellar wanderers who have formed a cross-species bond to find new homes after their original worlds were lost. They are sentient endangered species. limited populations For them every ship is a colony, every soldier deployed a needed breeder to keep the genetics of the population, every Warframe a precious resource. It is a matter of necessity that all of the Vagabond Tribes practice some form of eugenics to prevent inbreeding and ensure a strong, adaptable and viable population once a new home is found…
As they are the oldest collection of species in the Universe they field the most unique and devastating technology at every level, only limited by numbers they can deploy. The reptilian Ancient Ones were the first of the Vagabond Tribes, the calamity that took their home so archaic that they have lost even the traditional name of their people. To keep their technological advantage they will work to sabotage, destroy or self destruct any downed unit that cannot be salvaged.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this first introduction to the Giant Robot Universe. These designs being rather old, I see places to improve upon them and my technical skills being better than what they are now, I want to refine and redraw them, including many action shots. I feel there’s a strong base to most of these designs that can definitely form the basis for my own Universe’ diverse aesthetic. I’ll be sharing many more designs over the next little while, and will also be adding some redesigns and sketches of these mecha into my new sketchbook to continue the #SketchbookAdventures 😀
Do you have any advice or questions? Please leave a comment here.