Another Enchanting Young Lady (follow up to Tuesday’s post)

(These days, who’s got time to wait for a midnight post, huh? Posting early, as I am wont to do.)

As promised, here is a picture based on the toy version of Castaspella. Also posted here on my variants thread on the fan-art forum.

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First off, you will notice that I have changed her into another character. While the toy’s packaging depicts Castaspella very much like her cartoon appearance, (bouffant intact), the toy itself simply had the hair tied in a ponytail. Because of the significantly different hairstyle, coupled with the toy’s differing color scheme, I decided to make her into a new character. The name Sorciela is taken from an image I found online of international packaging for Castaspella–unless I’m mistaken, Sorciela is her French name.

I made a few minor tweaks to her costume, but for the most part, this is a pretty straight interpretation of the toy. I turned her spinning disk accessory into a magical ward–the symbols on it are nothing more than the symbols of the western zodiac. I rarely use a dark background color, but here it was necessary to accentuate the glowing magical energies. And the finishing touch; a super-nerdy bio…

* * *

PROFILE: An extraordinarily capable magic-user, SORCIELA far exceeds the limits of most of her peers, but still requires focus and experience as a result of her youth. She specializes in hypnotism, but excels in this particular area to the detriment of her other magical capabilities. Sorciela can be impatient and frivolous, but her sense of compassion and fairness is true.

HISTORY: Sorciela is the younger sister of Castaspella, Mage-Queen of Mystacor. When Castaspella ascended to the throne, Sorciela was sent away to a hidden location. There were two motives behind this–first, so that Sorciela could continue her education in the use of magic, and second, so that the next in line for the throne would be protected in case any harm should ever fall upon Castaspella. With the Horde’s presence growing ever more oppressive and She-Ra’s departure to Eternia, Castaspella has summoned her sister back to Mystacor to aid in the defense of the country, and the planet.

* * *

A Shocking Event: I have drawn a character from an 80′s cartoon.

(Well, I’m running off of no sleep, so I’m posting early rather than risking a loss of consciousness and a late post. Enjoy.)

An entry for a re-design challenge at the fan-art forum. The subject is Castaspella, ruler of the magical land of Mystacor and an ally of She-Ra. I didn’t have much to express about Castaspella (in terms of a real re-design) but I did want to draw her, so I posted my drawing but abstained from entering the contest. My version is really a minor tweak rather than a true re-design. The thread is here, my post is here. Check out the other entries in the voting threads here and here. The final voting thread is here.

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This picture is based on Castaspella’s cartoon incarnation, as opposed to her toy incarnation (a pic based on the toy version is in the works). The toy was billed as an “Enchantress who Hypnotizes”; I have instead billed her as “Heroic Mage-Queen of Mystacor” because A) she never hypnotized anyone in the cartoon, and B) she was the heroic mage-queen of the country Mystacor.

The main tweak in my take is that I merged her top and skirt into a dress (and juggled some colors around accordingly), in an attempt to accentuate the ‘go go girl’ look that Castaspella sported in the cartoon. Her posture is meant to have a bit of a haughty aristocratic feel. If I could change one thing, I would make her hair more curly.

A Magical Sprite and a Thanksgiving Flashback

(Posting early for Thanksgiving…)

This sprite is Orko, who is not actually a “Sprite” at all, but a Trollan:

I started this a while back when I was trying to get into RPG Maker. The general proportions of the head (particularly the spacing of the eyes) mimic those of RPG Maker’s character sprites, but this was rendered from scratch. I did try animating this at one point, but it was choppy at best. However, this is definitely something I’ll try more of in the future.

And as a bonus treat for anyone who likes He-Man, She-Ra, or awesome Thanksgiving parades:

Clever Titles Are Overrated

After a brief hiatus, the re-design challenges at the fan-art forums have returned! The thread is here, my post is here.

(Voting thread is here and I placed 2nd–the winning design was an awesome piece by my pal Jazyl.)

First up is Light Hope, a mystical column of light who is guardian of She-Ra’s headquarters (the Crystal Castle) and acts as her advisor. My version depicts a human avatar of Light Hope:

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The design of his helmet is based on the toy version of the Crystal Castle, while his staff is a depiction of the cartoon version. The double crests on his robe are loosely patterned off of the upper windows of the Crystal Castle toy, and the colors of the robe are based on the toy’s flag. His breastplate, belt, and boots are based on the Bow action figure–not because he has any connection with Bow directly, but because if there had been a Light Hope action figure, it’s likely that Bow’s token male sculpt would have been harvested for parts. The symbol on his chest is the same sun-symbol motif found on She-Ra’s, and his wings of light echo the double wings of the cartoon version of the Crystal Castle. His sword of light is based on a She-Ra role play set which differs from other depictions of She-Ra’s sword.

* * *

PROFILE: LIGHT HOPE is a master sorcerer and expert warrior. He wields a sword of light and the staff of the Crystal Castle. His wings of light provide him with flight as well as a defensive barrier. Light Hope’s even-handed wisdom is reknowned throughout the cosmos.

HISTORY: The power embodied by the Crystal Castle of Etheria is ancient, and, like Castle Grayskull on Eternia, predates recorded history. Light Hope–a powerful warrior-mage rumored to be allies with He-Ro the Wizard and King Grayskull–sacrificed his mortal body to become the caretaker of the mysteries of the Crystal Castle. It is foretold that Light Hope will take on his human form once more in Etheria’s greatest hour of need.

* * *

No Time For Post Titles

I know I’ve mentioned COTU and talked about Fuerza-T in the past. Here’s an illustration of a little known Fuerza-T prototype that I did for an upcoming COTU project:

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The figure was to be named Goldar, and was built from He-Man’s head, torso, and legs, Jitsu’s arms, and Fisto’s armor. My drawing is pretty accurate to those details. I deviated a little, attempting to mimic the style of the Fuerza-T card art. This piece is not part of my “regular” series of Masters of the Universe drawings, as it deviates from my usual modus operandi, and was done for a specific purpose that COTU has in mind. The coloring, for example, is a blended style, as opposed to my usual cel-shading. A more J.Ho-ized version of Goldar (and the rest of the Fuerza-T cast) will come in the future.

Check out COTU World blog for some photos of their excellent He-Man customs (on the links list on the sidebar… or if you can’t be bothered, click HERE).

Also posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

Another Dude With An Axe!

(Posted early cuz i feel like it, sucka!)

Another Masters of the Universe action figure variant re-purposed (by me) into a new character. It’s the opposite number to last week’s Battle Armor Skeletor re-vamp, Battle Armor He-Man, reborn as “Battle-Scar,” for obvious reasons:

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On the one hand, I think I more or less got across what I was trying to with this piece. On the other hand, I think it greatly suffers because I have not yet posted an illustration of He-Man proper, for comparison. I need to remedy that soon. In the meantime, I’ll just have to point out the differences that would be apparent if I’d had the foresight to finish a pic of He-Man first. Lame!

Anyways, where He-Man has blonde hair and orange (copper?) bracers & belt, Battle-Scar is strawberry blonde, and has gold bracers & belt. I’ve given Battle-Scar pale skin and blue eyes, in contrast to the cartoon version of He-Man, who had dark eyes, and deeply tanned skin. The idea was to give Battle-Scar more of a Celtic or Nordic look (which is where his title of Berserker comes in as well). In terms of facial features, the cartoon depicted He-Man with more or less classic good looks–in comparative nerd terms this means that if you ignore his coloration and haircut, he pretty much looks just like Superman. I gave Battle-Scar a face that was a little closer to the rough-hewn looks of the toy. His armor is slashed and dented, to represent the battle-damage gimmick of the toy, and the scars on his body were added to continue the theme and give a visual cue as to his ability to take punishment (more in the profile below). On its own, I think this character re-mix comes off as just a version of He-Man, but once I post my take on He-Man, hopefully the differences will be more apparent.

My drawing is a little static, but hopefully it gets across the idea of raw power that I was going for. No characters with axes next week–I promise!

* * *

PROFILE: Young, loyal to a fault, and still somewhat naive, BATTLE-SCAR is nevertheless a veteran of the battlefield. Even before he obtained his magical breastplate, Battle-Scar was well known for taking heaps of punishment on the battlefield. His immense stamina and resistance to pain are magnified to demi-god levels by the breastplate.

Ostensibly, Battle-Scar was the first member of the entity that would become affectionately known to the populace of Eternia as TEAM GRAYSKULL, named so by Orko, much to the chagrin of their reluctant field commander THUNDER PUNCH. It is notable that Battle-Scar is the only member of the core team who is not a blood descendant of King Grayskull.

HISTORY: Years ago in the northern lands, the boy who would become known as Battle-Scar watched as He-Man saved his village from a brutal attack by Skeletor’s forces. This left an indelible mark on the youth, and he strove to live up to He-Man’s example of bravery and honor. Thus when word of He-Man’s disappearance spread, Battle-Scar (now a young yet experienced warrior) wasted no time, travelling to Eternos immediately to pay his respects to his missing (and possibly fallen) hero and offer his axe in service to Eternos and Castle Grayskull.

Initially He-Man’s allies were unsure of what to do with the young scarred warrior who stood before them. Teela decided to consult the Sorceress, and was bringing Battle-Scar to Castle Grayskull, when they were attacked by a platoon of evil Horde robots. Teela and Battle-Scar managed to fight them off long enough to retreat into the safety of Castle Grayskull’s dark halls. However, more Horde Robots were on the way, Teela had been gravely injured during the battle, and Battle-Scar’s axe was shattered, and his armor was blasted to pieces. The Sorceress saw to Teela’s wounds and lead Battle-Scar into a room pulsing with magical energies–the armory of King Grayskull himself!

“According to prophecy, only the just and even-handed–those worthy of King Grayskull–may wield these implements of war,” the Sorceress told him, “choose wisely, young warrior!” Battle-Scar was humbled beyond words–he could not bring himself to even touch the magnificent arms and armor before him. Everything was elaborately crafted and intricately inlaid with precious metals and gems. He spotted a dusty breastplate and axe in the corner; unlike the other items, these were plain and ungilded. The axe was rough and worn from use, the breastplate marred by slashes and dents, and marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull’s line. In spite of their obvious wear, both were sturdy, and well-crafted–they would serve his purpose. Battle-Scar hastily equipped the breastplate and axe, promising the Sorceress that he would return them as soon as the battle was over. As Battle-Scar ran to the Jaw-Bridge, the richly crafted weapons shimmered and faded–in their place was a collection of humbler, and yet more powerful implements–like the axe and breastplate that Battle-Scar had chosen, these were the true weapons of Grayskull’s armory. Sorceress smiled to herself, “Well done, young warrior.”

Now armed and clad like a god of war, Battle-Scar dispatched the Horde robots easily. After the battle, Battle-Scar attempted to return his newfound weapons. The Sorceress explained to him that he truely was one of Grayskull’s chosen defenders, and Battle-Scar pledged himself to defend Castle Grayskull until He-Man returned.

* * *

In case anyone didn’t pick up on it, the whole “choose wisely” bit is totally lifted from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here and the post is here.

For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:

The Savage Sword of… ?

After many weeks devoid of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, I present to you a drawing of the rare and mysterious action figure known colloquially among fans as “Savage He-Man.” The figure is also known by the far less glamorous moniker, “Wonder Bread He-Man” by virtue of having been a mail-in offer from the eponymous, um… bread. The fact that this figure was available through an offer from Wonder Bread is about all people can agree on. The concrete details of how, when, or why, are apparently forever lost to the forgotten mists of the early 80′s.

My version of “Savage He-Man” has been re-purposed into a new character, just as I did with Starburst She-Ra several months ago.

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The visual details of Savage are largely the same. The contrast between the color of his hair and the color of his furry underpants is greater than in the toy, but I think it helps break up the monotony. I chose to interpret the toy’s ruddy brown weapons as blood-stained tools of destruction. The blood stains were accomplished by choosing a “spatter” shaped brush in Photoshop and messing around with the shape dynamics and scatter settings. It doesn’t completely blend with my style of rendering, but I’m happy with how it turned out because I basically accomplished what I was trying to do. Actually, I had a few options on how to render the weapons, and it was friend Annie (who was hanging out whilst I was coloring this) who challenged me to do it this way. If not for her I would have tried to take the easy way out. She also suggested that his eyes be hazel, and they are.

I have alternating feelings of lukewarmth and satisfaction towards the drawing itself. As far as proportions, the arms are far more ape-like than I intended. The right arm in particular is terribly awkward, even beyond the usual level of awkwardness resulting from my loosey-goosey depiction of anatomy. On the other hand, the intensity of his expression is about what I was aiming for.

Oh, by the way, the title of this post, and Savage’s “Heroic Barbarian” tag, are both references to Conan the Barbarian–according to rumor, Masters of the Universe was originally intended to be a Conan toyline, but was repurposed into an “original” franchise, for whatever reason. Fans speculate that the “Savage He-Man” toys may have been discarded “Conan” figures that were produced before Conan “became” He-Man.

But, what’s this you say, dear reader? It has been far too long since I posted a painstakingly written bio of a fan character? Read on!

* * *

PROFILE: SAVAGE is a ruthless and experienced warrior who has little use for words. He fights with whatever tools he has at hand, or his bare fists if need be, and is a master of improvisation and opportunism. Savage is a capable tracker, and is well versed in jungle survival techniques. Superficially, his cultural differences alienate him from some of his allies, but his sincere sense of honor and valor are deeply respected by all.

HISTORY: The disappearance of He-Man and the Horde invasion of Eternia have left the planet in dire need of heroes. Teela, now developing her latent spellcasting abilities under the tutelage of the Sorceress, found herself isolated and outnumbered by Horde troops. In desperation, and lacking control over her newly emerging abilities, she attempted to summon He-Man by magical means. A mis-wording of her incantation resulted in summoning not He-Man himself, but one ‘as good as’ or ‘as noble as’ He-Man. Thus emerged the hulking barbarian Savage–with his sheer power to compliment Teela’s skill, the Horde Troops were easily dispatched. Though Savage was displeased at being summoned without any choice in the matter, he was taken by Teela’s beauty and fought alongside the forces of Eternos (the Eternian capital) for a time. Coming to terms with the fact that Teela was still infatuated with this so-called He-Man whom he had never met, Savage travelled back to his distant jungle home. Savage remains an ally of Eternos, and is leading his people in fortifying their territories against the inevitable spread of the Horde army.

* * *

Also posted on the fan-art forums. The thread is here.

Not the Candy…

(Posting a little bit early for the usual reasons.)

Re-design challenge at the fan-art forums for the second half of March–my post is here and the original thread is here. The voting thread is here. I managed to land first place!

The subject is Starburst She-Ra, an action figure variation of He-Man’s twin sister She-Ra. However, my version has a bit of a twist to it:

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As you can see, rather than drawing a variation on She-Ra, I tweaked the design so that she’s a different character entirely. I’m happy with how the sword and star field turned out, but other than that I feel pretty lukwarm about this one. Only one thing can save this–an elaborate and nerdy background for the character, written by yours truly!

* * *

PROFILE: Stoic and pragmatic, STARBURST is a woman of few words, as a result of her extended isolation in deep space. In spite of her reticent manner and her reluctance to trust others, Starburst is nonetheless a powerful ally to the heroes of both Etheria and Eternia. Her mystical cloak endows her with a number of powers, including super-natural strength and stamina (in the same league as He-Man and She-Ra), as well as flight, and the ability to traverse the cosmos freely. Her sword has a blade cut from a rare type of Etherian gem, and is charged with cosmic energy. The powers of the cloak have also slowed her aging.

HISTORY: Over a century ago, Etheria existed in an age of peace, and Starburst was Light Hope’s champion, watching over the planet, and maintaining the delicate blance of justice. A Cosmic Enforcer came to the planet, seeking Starburst’s aide in battling a marauding space fleet known only as “The Horde.” At Starburst’s request, Light Hope permitted her to leave Etheria, hoping that with her aid, the Horde fleet could be stopped before they reached Etheria.

However, the Cosmic Enforcer was in a fact a rogue who had betrayed his order, and he teleported Starburst lightyears away, behind enemy lines. Without Starburst to lead the forces of Etheria, the Horde was able to invade and gain a significant foothold. Light Hope was greatly weakened (a large portion of his power still imbued in Starburst) and could do little to help.

For one hundred years, Starburst has been fighting her way through Horde forces with little or no help, trying to get back to her home planet. In her journeys she has clashed with the legitimate Cosmic Enforcers, and later allied with them, after it was revealed that the Enforcer who betrayed her was a rogue.

Finally, she has returned, and none too soon–with the disappearance of He-Man, and the Horde invasion of Eternia, She-Ra has been desperately needed by Eternia and the Sorceress of Grayskull. With Starburst holding the Etherian front against the Horde, She-Ra has returned to Eternia for the time being. Accustomed to working alone, Starburst is finding it somewhat difficult to adapt to her position as one of the leaders of the Etherian Rebels. Her dedication however, is unquestionable.

* * *

Starburst is just the first in a series of “original” fan-characters based on existing He-Man/She-Ra toys. Look for more in the coming weeks.

SCARCE COCO NIMROD FEZ is an anagram for…

Zodac, Cosmic Enforcer!

(Posted early because I don’t know if I’m going to be sitting in front of my computer when midnight hits. I just might be unconscious with fatigue.)

This He-Man action figure was originally billed as being “evil.” The cartoon, however, made it pretty obvious that he was a neutral figure who leaned very heavily towards the side of good. As far as characterization goes, I take most of my cues from the cartoon, so I’m filing him under the good guys.

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This time, the static pose was actually intentional–meant to emphasize his supposed neutrality. The holographic globe (which is meant to emphasize his cosmic nature) is just something I came up with, as far as I know. It’s possible that my brain pulled it out of the subliminal depths of long forgotten He-Man episodes from my misspent youth. But those episodes won’t be forgotten for long–I do plan on completeing my He-Man DVD collection soon.

The costume tweaks that I made on this design are rather similar to the modifications that I made in my illustration of Tri-Klops–I consolidated the harness from his chest plate with his belt to avoid a redundant-looking double-belt, and I ‘covered’ his neck. The covered neck on Zodac, as with Tri-Klops, is inspired by the 200x version. The rest of the costume is pretty much straight up from the original.

This was posted on the fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

For more anagrams:

Mekaneck’s Wife Is Hott!

Re-design challenge at the fan-art forums for the first half of March–my post is here and the original thread is here. The voting thread is here–I snagged a first-place vote… sweet!

The subject today, is the mother of Mekaneck‘s son Philip. I phrase it like that because she is a character who was neither seen nor referenced in the old He-Man cartoon. The only inference of her existence is the existence of Philip. In fact we don’t even know if Philip is Mekaneck’s biological son. But for the sake of my entry, I make the assumption that Philip is the biological son of Mekaneck and this classy lady:

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The design of “Mekorset” is really just based on pre-existing elements. Her armor and goggles are extrapolated from Mekaneck himself, and the rest of the costume elements are swiped from Teela/Evil-Lyn. The club and pistol are weapons from Man-At-Arms and Zodac, respectively, re-colored to match Mekaneck’s club, and modified just slightly. The name “Mekorset” is a contraction of “mechanical” and “corset,” the same way Mekaneck’s name is a contraction of “mechanical” and “neck.” Where Mekaneck has the ability to extend his neck, his better half can extend her midriff. Pretty clever, yes? No? Right.

What you are looking at is essentially the very first drawing I did of this character. I’m pleased with how it turned out–yes, it’s a typical static girl-pose that you would expect from me, but something about her stance is natural and relaxed (well, relatively relaxed, considering that she’s armed to the teeth). And it’s always nice when you get something on the first try.

The colors, on the other hand, are pretty bland, I think. The colors of her uniform follow Mekaneck pretty closely, and she has blonde hair to match her son. The lighting is even less dynamic than usual, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on a really obscure character who’s the estranged wife of a second-stringer. How do I know that she’s estranged, you say? I’m glad you asked–read on for some background info, nerdily composed by yours truly!

* * *

PROFILE: In her public life, MEKORSET is a steadfast yet just authority figure, well-loved in the territories that she oversees. In her personal life she is fiercely devoted to her family. She is equipped with a bionic midriff that can extend up to 10 feet–beyond making her a “human periscope” like her husband, she also uses the ability to enhance her hand-to-hand combat abilities. Her goggles provide her with a variety of enhanced visual senses–telescopic vision, nightvision, thermal vision, video recording and transmission etcetera. Her light battle bludgeon is standard issue to Eternian military, but her sidearm is a special model engineered by Man-At-Arms from off-world technology. In close and ranged combat, Mekorset is surpassed by few.

HISTORY: Mekorset and her husband Mekaneck, were both injured when trying to to track their son Philip through a violent storm generated by the evil sorcerer Count Marzo, who had kidnapped Philip. The couple each received bionic prostheses which not only saved their lives, but gave them new powers. However, the loss of their son, compounded with the fact that they had married at a very young age, caused excessive strain on their marriage. Mekorset, as she was now called, became one of the King’s wardens, and transferred to a distant outpost, overseeing some of the King’s territories on the frontier.

In the aftermath of Mekaneck discovering and rescuing Philip from Count Marzo, Mekorset has reunited with her son and her estranged spouse. By decree of King Randor and Queen Marlena, Mekorset was transferred to an outpost closer to the Eternian capitol (roughly half a day’s ride on a Stridor unit) where she remains one of the King’s most trusted Wardens. Mekaneck, who still serves as a special agent in the reconaissance division of the Royal Guard, now lives with his wife and son at the outpost. Mekorset and Mekaneck are currently seeing a marriage counselor, and seem to be well on their way to rebuilding their family. Their son Philip recently became a junior recruit in the Royal Guard.

* * *

Further Tangential Fan Speculation Regarding Mekaneck’s Family: Some folks on the forums pointed out that another Philip who showed up might be the same Philip as Mechaneck’s son, though no reference is made to corroborate this.

Also: Yes, I realize this is all ridiculous, but as you ought to have guessed, I have unsurpassed affection for nerdy and obscure things. IT’S JUST WHO I AM… O_O

A (Humanoid Robotic) Horse Is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course…

Re-design challenge at the fan-art forums for the second half of February–my post is here and the original thread is here. The voting thread is here–I placed second.

The subject is Stridor, “Heroic Armored War Horse.”

The original Stridor toy is a solid, straightforward design without much room for improvement. My solution for the re-design challenge was to instead give him a completely new humanoid transformation. Actually, it’s not too much of a transformation–he pretty much just stands up on his hind legs, and his articulated hands pop out; a few other things shift around, but nothing too complex. To accommodate his humanoid mode, the tail gun is now mounted on the hip, and a protective shield guards what would otherwise be a vulnerable belly. The jousting lance is my addition as well. Color-wise, I stayed pretty faithful to the original–a notable addition being the coppery orange that I used for his joints:

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What’s that? You’re just not getting a feel for my interpretation of the character? The artwork is okay but you wish I had come up with some background info to flesh out and explain my re-design? Well, here ya go:

* * *

PROFILE: On the battlefield STRIDOR is a courageous leader, a shrewd strategist, and a firece fighter. Off the battlefield he is gentle and easy-going. In horse mode he is the size of a large armored war horse, and in humanoid mode, he stands almost twice as tall as a man. His ranged weapons include dual heavy laser cannons, and a rapid-fire hip blaster. His primary weapon in close combat is a heavy jousting lance.

HISTORY: The Stridor Project began in Man-At-Arms’ laboratory as a simple experiment in robotics and simulated AI. His goal was to create a robotic mount with the equivalent of a horse’s IQ, for military use. The Stridor prototype was field-tested by Teela, Captain of the Royal Guard, and over time Man-At-Arms gradually improved on Stridor’s design and programming. The Stridor prototype became the template for a mass-production model that would completely mechanize the Royal Armored Cavalry.

When the Eternian capital found themselves under seige by an army of centaur-like cyborgs–conquerors from the remote planet Equestris–Man-At-Arms engineered an alternate humanoid transformation for the original Stridor prototype, so that he could more efficiently battle this new threat. With casualties running high, and few human soldiers available, Stridor went into battle with his robotic bretheren, a so-called “unmanned cavalry,” and drove the gladiators of Equestris off of Eternia.

However, it soon became apparent to Man-At-Arms that the original Stridor prototype had developed sentience, as a result of the continued improvements to his programming. Faced with a crisis of conscience, Man-At-Arms could only grant Stridor his freedom, rather than forcing him to serve in the Royal army.

For several months, Stridor travelled the lands of Eternia, pondering his place in the world. But when the armies of Equestris returned to Eternia for vengeance, Stridor knew where he belonged. He raced back to the capital and again, lead his robotic bretheren to victory (with some help from He-Man). Stridor was heavily decorated for his heroism, and asked to be reinstated in the Royal Armored Cavalry, under one condition–that the other Stridor models be given humanoid forms and the freedom to choose their path as they developed sentience. King Randor and Man-At-Arms gladly agreed.

Stridor was made Commander of the Armored Cavalry, and he has come to regard Man-At-Arms as his father, and Teela as his sister. Eventually, all of the Stridor models developed sentience, and were granted humanoid forms and freedom, and have chosen individual names for themselves. To this day, you can see Stridor’s descendants mingling with the other denizens of the lands of Eternia. Most have opted to serve the kingdom, but more than a few have chosen a path of their own.

* * *

In Case You Were Wondering:

  • The cyborgs from Equestris are a reference to the Micronaut toy Centaurus.
  • Stridor, is not a reference to this.

Did I use "whom" correctly in this post?

This illustration was for another re-design challenge at the fan-art forums. The parameters of this contest were a little different–instead of re-designing existing characters from the He-Man/She-Ra canon, the goal this time was to redesign an unused concept drawing from the He-Man toyline. The concept drawing in question depicted two different versions of an unnamed female ranger-type character. The two concepts looked distinct enough that I thought each one deserved a full-fledged character design. My post is here, the whole thread (including the original concept drawing) is here. Voting thread is here–I placed third.
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You may or may not notice, but the inks on this sketch are much cleaner than anything else I’ve posted so far. This is the result of a few factors:

  1. My natural tendency towards the anal-retentive style that I have referred to in the past (ironically, drawing loosely requires more conscious effort on my part).
  2. The relatively small size of the original pencil sketch, prohibiting a certain degree of looseness.
  3. Female subject matter–whom, if drawn with an excess of sketch lines, can begin to appear harsh even if that is not the intended result.
  4. More design work than usual–the more I have to design a character’s costume elements, etcetera, the tighter I pencil. The tighter I pencil, the tighter I ink.
The coloring this time around was a bit difficult for me. Because I had no pre-existing colors to go off of, I went through several different color schemes before settling on what you see here. The trick was that the image needed to capture the bright, saturated, primary colors that I associate with the style of the He-Man universe. My first few attempts were done in subdued earth tones and olive-greens that were more befitting forest rangers in the “real” world. However, the result was that my redesigns simply looked like generic Dungeons and Dragons types rather than characters that looked like they specifically belonged in He-Man’s world. With that in mind, I adjusted the colors to try and capture the cartoony feel of He-Man as best I could. I think Trakka’s color scheme is more of a success than Rayn-Ja’s.

Here’s a brief profile that I whipped up for the two of them (oh, and the cheesy names were completely created by me):

* * *

TRAKKA (an Eternian “human”) and RAYN-JA (of the Tree People) are expert foresters and sworn sisters. They patrol the wilderness ranging between the Eternian capital and the ancient home of the Tree People, guiding travellers and merchants, apprehending poachers, and negotiating disputes between various forest-dwelling tribes. TRAKKA’s skills in archery are unparalleled by any villains that the Horde or the Snakemen have to offer–only Skeletor’s henchman Ninjor has ever equalled TRAKKA’s deadly aim. RAYN-JA uses her MOON STAFF to channel potent druidic powers that allow her to shape and communicate with the wilderness. They frequently ally with Moss Man, and the matching hunting knives that they carry were given to them by King Randor in honor of their heroic deeds.

* * *

BONUS POST: Double Bonus + Extra Bonus!!!

This illustration was for the second re-design challenge that I entered at the fan-art forums, during the second half of December. My post is here, the whole thread is here, and the voting thread is here. After the results were tallied, I tied for first!

Double Trouble is a character from the She-Ra toyline that never appeared in the cartoon. She-Ra and her allies in the Rebellion were at constant war with the evil Horde, a totalitarian regime that dominated most of the planet Etheria. Double Trouble’s action figure was billed as a “Glamorous Double Agent,” and her action feature was switching her face from good (smiling) to evil (grimacing). And really, I think that’s all kids need to know about morality:

smiling = good

click above for larger view

Inspiration struck when I was looking at pictures of the Double Trouble toy–I noticed that the crest on her helmet, and the symbol on her chest, both had vaguely the same silhouette as the emblem of the Horde (a skull with bat wings). So, rather than having the “evil” version of Double Trouble just grimacing, I designed a complete Horde disguise for her.

The Horde version (left) of Double Trouble is armed with a gargoyle-crossbow thingee, which I assume is standard issue for high ranking Horde officers, because almost all of the Horde action figures came with one. I darkened the green on her uniform so it would be a bit more “military” and added in some red and black to emphasize the Horde theme (for those who do not know, red and black are more or less the colors of the Horde). The end result is sort of christmas-looking, but that was just a coincidence!

The Rebellion version (right) has just has a few tweaks from the original–I added some green on the shoulder pads, and made her bracers and choker silver to match her boots and the accents on her helmet. I’ve never been a fan of the sheer tutus that many of the She-Ra figures had, so instead I made the “skirt” part of a tunic.

BUUUT, that’s not all

click above to view Super-Munkyboy’s Deviant Art post

Mad props to forum member Super-Munkyboy, who drew a chibi version of my Double Trouble re-design–he even modernized the costume to match up to the more intricate character designs of the 200x He-Man cartoon! (The character on the right-hand side is a Horde villain named Vultak) Super-Munkyboy’s post on is HERE, and his deviant art page is HERE–check it out, he’s taken “chibi” to a whole new level!

This Post Needs A Funny Title

Yet another illustration entered into a re-design challenge at My post on the fan-art forums is here, and the entire thread can be found here. The voting thread is here–I managed to snag third place again.
The subject this time is a character named Sea Hawk from the She-Ra cartoon. He appeared in a handful of episodes, and was the love interest of She-Ra (lucky bastard!). Sea Hawk was a swashbuckling pirate modelled after Errol Flynn, and named after one of Flynn’s movies.

click above for larger view

This interpretation is based on a later appearance of the character where he inherits a few special artifacts and temporarily takes on a masked identity to fight evil, like the Scarlet Pimpernel. I just made some minor tweaks on the costume to push the superhero aspect of Sea Hawk’s masked persona. Actually, if you ignore the color scheme, this looks sort of like a cross between Green Arrow and Robin (Tim Drake’s original costume).

It just occurred to me that this post is uncharacteristically humorless. I think lack of sleep has finally caught up to me… LOOK AT THE MONKEY!!!


BONUS POST: "I got an Orko." "What’s your Orko got to do with me?"

Every two weeks, the art forum at holds an character re-design challenge. The subject is almost always an obscure character so as to inspire a bit more creativity. This particular sketch of mine is the first piece of art that I posted in the forums (this was just a few weeks ago, in mid-December). You can see my post here. The whole thread is here, and the voting thread (where members of the forum decide which re-design they like best) is here–my entry landed in 3rd. A bronze isn’t too shabby, right?

Dree Elle is the girlfriend of Orko, from the He-Man cartoon. And if you don’t know who Orko is, I honestly don’t know what to do with you. Fine, fine, you can read about Orko here. Anyways, Dree Elle is basically a female version of Orko, but she’s more competent, and she has sexy bedroom eyes. Frankly, I think she’s got it going on, girlfriend. *snap*

click above for larger view
My version of Dree Elle has just a few modifications–I swapped the colors around a bit, making her gown lighter than her hood rather than vice versa, and added some bracelets and gold trim on her cuffs. The purpose of the shawl/cape was to give her better defined shoulders, and I changed her scarf to a veil so that we could see the silhouette of her slender neck. I felt that this emphasized her femininity just a touch, so that she wouldn’t just look like Orko in drag. As for the caption, Dree Elle and Orko both belong to the Trollan race. And apparently, I was mistaken in hyphenating “Dree Elle,” which is actually making my borderline OCD brain a bit crazy.

Fun Fact: The original title for the this post was “Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say/But nothin comes out when they move they lips/Just a bunch of gibberish/And m*********s act like they forgot about Dre (Elle)”