Welcome back, boys and girls! I hope you’re as excited as I am for another week of old mecha drawings! Maybe my mania isn’t as engrossing for you as it is for me. But I just love designing robots and other cool stuff… but, y’know, particularly robots.
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Dai Polarion is another super robot from the Giant Robot Universe. Manufactured by the Mechaworks division of Alliance-based think tank Limitless Logic Leap (L3 for short) and piloted by a specially chosen candidate in hot-blooded Jackie Otsuyama, the Dai Polarion is a platform for truly advanced Alliance technology. Like all Brave Armours, the Dai Polarion is a large machine that benefits from thick armour and the steely will of its pilot to see it through attacks. Its armament is focused around the Zwitterion Pylons which allow it to generate and manipulate vast quantities of energy in astonishing ways.
The TEX-800 here is a bit of the odd man out of these designs. I had been working on a comic book proposal for a Post-Apocalyptic Giant Robot Western and was reveling in the idea that I might be able to include parts of it into my wider Giant Robot Universe. The TEX-800 was to be a successor of the TEX-666 from my comic, however at the moment that comic has been indefinitely sidelined as the artist whom I was paying and I have reached an impasse in our working relationship. It seems likely that it may, in fact, never see the light of day. Working with other people is hard, particularly when they don’t share your passion to do things and are not willing to be in it for the long haul.
Herein I was inspired by two specific elements of preexisting Super Robot meta-fiction. First, as one can obviously tell, from the name and design, the DLD-10001 is based on the idea of mecha with female body types, akin to those one would see in 70s anime like Mazinger Z. The second inspiration is in that DLD, that Dynamic Lady Defender, riffing off of the Super Robot Wars Dynamic General Guardian, or DGG, line of mecha but (of course) these ones will all be feminine.
The Voodoo Hummingbird is one of my favourite designs from this sketchbook, where I pushed myself to do things I would otherwise not have chosen to do in my mecha design process, such as have the feet attached firmly to the lower leg to convey that this machine in meant more for space combat than ground based fights. As a limited production machine it is intended to be highly effective and powerful, and the reason i chose to have one remaining in LLLM (L3M?) hangars is because, as this was intended to be for a grand scale RPG, I wanted the player to be able to obtain one. I can’t remember if the 3 that are together, and have been given special names, were stolen by pirates or part of a black ops crew. I’m leaning towards pirates.
The XLR Evolver is my most Gundam design yet, and is intended to evoke those Gundam designs that had the multiple different parts you could swap on and off of them. I tried to evoke Gundam without ripping off any specific design and I feel I have mostly accomplished that here. This name and mecha design have stuck with me for a while. The original drawing I did of this idea was old. Way old. It sadly had to be thrown out because a cat got between the ceiling and the floor and pissed in there, and it rained down upon my drawing. No jokes. Terrible moment to all of a sudden have urine falling on you from on high. Not much I can say about this other than that anecdote, I think. It is pretty self evident that it is inspired by the original RX-78 and that I did my best to give it a unique head design and body part styling. Oh well…
And last and probably least we have this…
This was the inteded Samurai-Package for the XLR Evolver that I never finished. I really liked some of the ideas here but I was going at it without a pan form the beginning and I totally butchered the proportions I had established on the original XLR drawing. I’m not entirely certain how much of this is salvageable, but I really liked the collection of additional beam sabers on his shoulder.
Well, that’s it for this first set of Mecha Mania weeks! I had some weird little doodles I did somewhere of some other mecha from the Giant Robot Universe but presently cannot find them. If I do, I’m certain you’ll get to see them too. And I have some other mecha designs that are intended for the GRU which weren’t done in the same sketchbook or format at all, so they’ll have to be for another time.
Do you have any feedback or questions? Please leave a comment here.
So, here we are again with more mecha mania for all my fellow lovers of giant robots! I’m still pulling these from a really old sketchbook as I try to get more content with my up-to-date skills built up in my newest sketchbook for these adventures that we are on. So, here we will continue the feast of designs I have done for the Giant Robot Universe concept!
Unfortunately, with this drawing, while I absolutely love the design I cannot help but notice that I tried to build 3D perspective on the rifle, got it inconsistent with itself, and then did no 3D work on the body in any meaningful way. This prototype Carry Armour is designed for close-quarters-combat and quickly breaking through enemy defenses to gut their leadership. It’s tethered axe is designed to allow it to bring troublesome foes into a range where it can dispatch of them, and for preventing their escape. Designed to charge straight ahead into the fray of combat, pummeling the opposition with its gatling mortars and assault rifle until it is within range to deploy its axe and impact claws.
The Varangian Guard, named after the ancient Viking mercenaries that fought to safeguard the city of Constantinople, are deployed to safeguard a remote, key system in the Alliance’s control. The system is a choke point for interstellar travel and sits at the border of Alliance and Xalbangan space and the Varangian Guard are constantly on their toes, facing the persistent probing of Allied defenses by their nearest, most hostile neighbours on a daily basis across the wildly varying terrain of the planets and moons under their protection. They have been granted complete autonomy and a bountiful budget to safeguard this system.
Logan “The Tiger” Sabrödt is one of the eldest active combat pilots and has survived many of the worst campaign the Varangian Guard has ever endured. The Siegfried was designed with his successful combat techniques in mind, and he sat in on every design meeting and equipment test to provide combat insight.
The Turisas is the tried-and-true machine of the Varangian Guard’s assault forces, armed with a complement of weapons that make it effective at any range. Unlike the Wolverine Gatling Mortars of the newly developed prototype Siegfried, the Brunhilde’s Spear Longcannon cannot be fired while moving. In fact, the Turisas must temporarily bolt itself to the ground through special mechanisms in its feet to brace itself against the impact of the weapon.
This typically leads to a strategy of long range bombardment of fortified targets before they move in for the kill with their quartet of close range tools, switching progressively down to their Mauls and Rocket Spikes as it becomes a melee.
While the majority of the machines deployed by the Varangian Guard promote an aggressively close-quarters style of combat, the Alliance’s shield wall certainly recognizes the necessity of long rang combat. Designed and deployed to assist in long range bombardment and provide continual fire support for the quicker, smaller Carry Armours, such as the Turisas and Siegfried above, the Bullfrog is the Varangian Guard’s backbone.
At the start of combat the Bullfrog can be seen next to Turisas units as they all use their long range firepower to wreak havok amongst enemy forces. They will then remain in position, continuining to provide long range fire support for their compatriots as they close the gap, and finally, once the smaller Carry Armours have engaged in disruptive close ranged melee combat with their foes, the Bullfrogs will move forward while firing their Skorpion-G lasers until they are close enough to deal a deathblow with their mighty Muspelheim rocket chained beam maces.
The Varangian Guard are not the only element of the Alliance military using some particularly interesting Carry Armour. The Stingray is a variable-form Carry Armour deployed by all matter of special forces operations. It boasts both high levels of firepower, most notably from its Hyperion Mega Particle Cannon, and immense speed while in its high mobility mode. But don’t count it out in humanoid mode either, as the Flashfire Beam Sabre is a top rank melee weapon perfect for the intended vacuum and high altitude combat this machine was designed to excel at.
The Ilyan Koa is a one of a kind Avatar-Class Warframe, deployed only when the Ancient Ones’ colony ship the Sojourner’s Light is threatened or must actively engage in warfare. A massive machine nestled in the heart of the colony ship, it’s fueled via a directed wireless energy transfer straight from the vessels power core. So long as Sojourner’s Light survives, the Ilyan Koa will never stop fighting, never deplete its reserves. In this way, only its scattering launchers and corrosive breath rely on stored munitions, meaning it can dedicate all of its weight to carrying as many different options for combat as it needs. Its arsenal is vast and allows it to engage with and dispatch multiple targets at varying ranges simultaneously.
The Vagabond Tribes fleets must at all times be prepared for the worst and safeguard their dying cultures and species. For the Ancient Ones, the Avatar-Class Warframe is their solution. Each of the species has their own solutions for how to best safeguard against the ultimate dangers.
The Xalbangan Imperial Military has its own special forces machines, like this Granzeal OT. A heavily modified version of the standard issue Granzeal boasting improved mobility and unique armaments, like the entangling Orbweaver Missiles containing nets of microfiber razor wire that bind, mobilize and damage their opponents.
So, there you have the second set of mecha designs! Hopefully these give you an idea of the setting and aesthetics the Giant Robot Universe. I’m looking forward to slotting these designs in to my practice work to see how much better I can do with them now.
Do you have any advice or questions? Please leave a comment here.
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.