Saturday, July 21, 2012

Critical Mass Games Astagar Mech WIP, Part 1

What the hell's an Astagar, you ask?

The Astagar are the snakemen that PF sculpted for Critical Mass Games' extensive Mercenary line a few years back.

They're lovely sculpts, and are probably one of CMG's more popular products.

I liked them so much (along with the stumpy little Ygs Fighters) that I approached Craig and Dale with the concept of sculpting a pair of mechs for them, based on their unique body shapes.

They readily agreed, and I got to work.


First, came the sketch. It's a rough little thing, but shows you the general idea I wanted to do. A simple torso, with a universal left/right upper arm. The shoulder joint of the torso would be the same CMG plug that the Arc Fleet Walker's weapons use, to facilitate conversions.

An energy weapon would be on one arm (or both), or a nasty battle claw. The tail would have a hard point to mount a defensive turret.

The biped legs would have had a socket in the waist that would have accommodated the Astagar Mech's torso, but I put that concept aside after later reworks of the design (more on that later).

The Astagar mech (CMG calls it the "Volos") borrowed heavily from a concept I put into the public domain a few years ago, called the "Jha'Jhesh" Snakemech (it helps to pronounce it like you're a parseltongue).

That mech was just a doodle I did to keep busy, but the concept was solid. Far too big to fit in with CMG's other products, though, so some extensive reworking was required. There is some neat text in there, though.


I recycled the single-motive-segment-used-numerous-times concept from the old sketch, and began to sculpt.

I wanted an alien design, so I tried to get away from my normal slabby style. More swooping, organic curves. The work went fast, since I only had to do the torso, single segment, and tail.

Here were the first detail passes that I sent to Craig and Dale for approval.



The last screen capture uses the cannons from the Arc Fleet Walker, just to demonstrate the modularity of the system.

What are those socket things running up the back of the torso? Why, jump jets, of course! How badass is that! Of course, I had to do a double-take and eye-rub when I saw the request from Craig via email...

A Snakemech that can jet around as well as slither...I'll be damned. It's just crazy enough to work!

More to come, here, in part 2 of this WIP series.

Best,
JBR
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