A design for Shockwave for a possible sequel of 2007's Transformers by Michael Bay - It was my goal to combine G1 and the current look of the movie bots and hopefully please both fans of the old and fans of the new aesthetics.
A tutorial on how I did the dirt and scratches will be uploaded shortly. I hope you like it!
It's dedicated to Corey Burton because Corey rules.
I always thought Shockwave was one of the colder and creepier Transformer villains, perhaps due to the lack of a face, and only the single glowing eye. The hanging robot bodies in the background of this drawing are an homage to one of his earlier Marvel Comics appearences when his lair was full of hanging Autobot corpses. That's one cold dude.
And here's the colored version for the tfw2005.com contest...black didn't work so well, so I went with a dark turqoise/blue color scheme since I saw a bomber with that similar color when I was searching google images...anyways, hope you all enjoy! Again, any feedback is most welcome.
PS Please full view. Thanks!
**gotta get back to doing another 1000 online multiple choice qs...*
Update: Rough TF scheme for those of you wondering how he transformed from one mode to the other. [link]
In the redesign I decided to give Shockwave a more hard-edged look. I styled him with sharper angles so he would be more mechanical and less human in visual. Which stress on the idea that Shockwave is a character who bases his actions on cold hard logic.
This design did make it into my Decepticon Group Shot: [link]
During the Great War, Shockwave was appointed by Megatron to serve as his intelligence officer and second-in-command. Following Decepticon Supreme Commander Galvatron’s defeat and the subsequent capture of Megatron and many of the other Decepticon generals, signaling the war’s end, Shockwave willingly surrendered to Autobot forces. Although put to trial for his war crimes, Shockwave managed to absolve himself of most of his charges with the political connections, bribes and blackmail he had collected through the years. After serving a negligible prison sentence, he was released back into Cybertronian society. With access to public records and a number of shadow agents, Shockwave now secretly lives as an information broker for the fractured Decepticon remnant throughout the cosmos... and particularly Megatron and his earthbound team.
Shockwave’s boundless thirst for political and tactical intelligence is eclipsed only by his devotion to pure logic. Every action and thought he expends is performed with utmost efficiency and with some ultimate, greater goal in mind. Shockwave acts solely out of pragmatism rather than idealism. While - unlike Soundwave - he is not incapable of feeling or displaying emotion, he has eschewed such notions as impractical and obstructive. Logic, he finds, is the only logical choice. Shockwave’s ruthless demeanor, unmatched competence, and years of loyal service make him perhaps the only Decepticon that Megatron sincerely trusts and respects, and thus the only soul privy to Megatron’s ultimate plan for Earth.
As Shockwave continues to operate out of Cybertron, he retains a Cybertronian vehicle mode - a speedy, heavily armed hover tank. Its rotating turret contains an ultra-long range AstroMag cannon and a pair of retractable concussion missile pods. Vehicle mode armament is rounded out with a pair of forward-facing depleted uranium slugthrowers. In robot mode, Shockwave loses these guns, but his turret weaponry remains functional and is supplemented by a second pair of missile pods on his opposing shoulder.
Suprise! It's Shockwave, just in time for Dark of the Moon! Okay, pretty much everyone guessed the last entry was going to be Shockwave, but hopefully someone out there's still surprised.
Interestingly, although he's the final Transformer in Legacy, he was more or less the first designed. Very little about his robot mode changed from the initial drawing three years ago to the final version here. I originally drew that sketch without a clear altmode in mind although Animated Lugnut (who had been only recently unveiled, and who I thought looked a lot like Shockwave) skewed that towards a big chunky retro-futuristic bomber jet. That's why his robot mode's got wingy bits on it - they're pretty much functionless, but I thought they looked cool. Since that initial treatment I've considered a lot of other vehicles - a B-2 stealth bomber, a satellite, a submarine, and various designs of Cybertronian jet/spacecraft. It's worth noting that Shockwave's the only Legacy bot whose vehicle mode was designed from the robot mode, rather than the other way around.
Anyway, I settled on this, a Cybertronian hover tank. My reasoning is that since G1 Megatron, a realistic gun, was reimagined in Legacy as a realistic tank, that a space gun should be updated as a space tank. The decision also homages classic Transformers "H-tanks" (Armada Megatron, Classics/Generations Warpath, and of course Animated Shockwave), and Energon Shockblast's (lousy) hover tank mode. The design itself is more directly inspired by the TX-130 from Star Wars and a little bit of the Scorpion Tank from Halo. As usual it looked a little better in sketches but I don't dislike the final version. I'm also not totally sold on the cockpit (from both a conceptual and aesthetic standpoint), but hopefully the turret still reads as the "head" of the vehicle and not something being towed by the front portion. If you know what I mean.
I had a really tough time drawing Shockwave and had to go through multiple revisions of the final pencils before I was satisfied with it (which is why it's been so long in coming). The reason is because of the crazy angles much of his body is made up of. I very deliberately tried to incorporate a hexagonal motif throughout both of his modes, but that makes him really hard to draw in perspective (most of the other bots are composed mostly of rectangular solids and/or smoother curved shapes). The classic chest shape in particular was a nightmare as there are two angles to deal with - not only do the top and bottom faces of the torso taper out, the front face slopes backwards as well, while the middle piece (with the windscreen and Decepticon insignia) is flat. I'm not totally happy with the result (especially in the vehicle mode, which I obviously didn't have a reference for like the others) but oh well.
The head is sort of a halfway point between G1 Shockwave and Animated Shockwave. I liked the idea of giving him a "chin" - something I incorporated into my original design, long before Animated Shockwave was revealed, though it looked more like a cowcatcher than a simple extension of his "face box" - but I wanted to retain his original hexagonal face shape. His eye is yellow because he's officially neutral on Cybertron (in case you haven't noticed, in Legacy, like G1 and Animated before it, Autobots have blue eyes and Decepticons red). Of course he's still got the Decepticon insignia on him, so let's say it's a rubsign that remains hidden when he's out in public. Yeah.
The green accents come directly from Transtech Shockwave. I thought the purple and lavender was really monotonous and wanted to have it pop a bit more. The "glowing" contour lines are something I plan on giving to all Cybertronian forms, a la War for Cybertron (though I really hate the vehicle designs for that game).
His personality is again an amalgam of his G1 and Animated incarnations. Logic and all that. I hope that it comes across well enough in the bio, but please note he's not the same as Soundwave. Where Soundwave is literally emotionless due to the deletion of that part of his processor, Shockwave voluntarily eschews such predilections. Where Soundwave craves knowledge in the form of raw data and "hard facts", Shockwave craves knowledge in the form of political and psychological awareness. Soundwave is Wikipedia where Shockwave is Wikileaks, basically.
His transformation is pretty simple. his right shoulder (identical to the bulk of the turret) is hidden in the middle of his torso block in vehicle mode - you can see his forearm peeking out beneath his "cockpit". His arms transform in such a way that the gun can be on either side, since although he's almost always depicted with it on his left arm, there are a few pieces of art when it's on his right (they might just be mirrored though, who knows).
Jeez that may be my longest commentary ever. Goin' out with a bang.
Revision Edits (4/14/14): One tiny adjustment, aside from the typical revision stuff (cleaned-up schematics, doing away with drop shadows): His Intelligence is now 10, up from 9, following a well-reasoned suggestion from a commenter. This is the only concession I will ever make to any of my tech specs, so don't get your hopes up, jerks!
Next up: Okay, I lied, Shockwave isn't the last entry in Series 1. Remember how the Decpticons got that one extra entry (Soundwave's Deployers)? Well, I think it's only fair that the Autobots get one to match. As to what that means, you'll have to wait and see (and it won't be long in all likelihood - it's not nearly as much work as a typical illustration. Still hope to finish before DOTM, but I'll be cutting it reeeaaal close). Don't get too excited though, Shockwave is very much the grand finale, this last entry is just the finishing touch, the cherry on top of the sundae. Cryptic enough for ya?
After that, I'll post a real long journal entry with a debriefing on Transformers Legacy and the details on its future.