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Valley Guard
By PlasmaFire3000   |   Watch
63 51 2K (1 Today)
Published: December 25, 2009
The hydroelectric dam that generates electricity for those living in the small town of Glint below, although rather eroded at first glance, has endured decades of freezes and thaws, petty vandals, and even the occasional rampant battle frame from surrounding counties. Glint's citizens became concerned, however, when formerly-nonexistent power outages became frequent, sometimes occurring a half-dozen times per night. Dam operators discovered that thieves, riding silent labor frames, recently came during twilight to run high voltage cables directly from the generator substation to their own hideouts in order to charge their supercapacitor-powered mechs more quickly. They dug deep, wide trenches, then filled them in, in order to reasonably conceal these cables.

After disabling the rogue power lines, Glint's leaders made a radical decision to prevent future outbreaks. Rather than send out humans to alleviate a recurring (and inherently-dangerous) situation, they requested the assistance of a large, sentient combat frame to walk about the dam every night, armed with a phased concussion cannon. Swift, efficient, and intelligent, the frame's intentions were not to kill, but to deter would-be "current vermin," as these thieves were called, from ever causing power interruptions again.

The "Valley Guard," as the bipedal frame came to be called, did a marvelous job, learning day and night about what a current vermin could do next. Some also thought that it observed Glint's citizens in day-to-day life out of mere curiosity. A few believed that, on moonless nights when it couldn't find any thieves, the Valley Guard gazed in awe at the stars above.



Rapidograph pens on 9" x 12"Strathmore 300-series Bristol board. GIMP 2.6 and Faststone Image Viewer for minor cleanup and leveling.

Special thanks to Jeff Wang for helping me fix the mech's right shoulder during this drawing's development.

Merry Christmas, everyone! God bless, and hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
Image size
9449x7087px 18.3 MB
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Comments (50)
Ponentguy's avatar
Ponentguy|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is great!
The design and drawing are excelent, and i really like the description+fav 
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PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thanks a lot, Ponentguy! Pardon the late reply, but I do appreciate your kind words. The backstory of the Valley Guard is quite special, and hopefully I'll find the time to keep building upon it. :)
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Shininou's avatar
you should color this.
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PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Some day when there's more time, perhaps...and that's if I don't redesign it beforehand. -_-
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omdway's avatar
Hooo-leeeeee!!! Wow that is impressive. The detilas here are insane. Plus the shading and the background scenery. Just amazing.
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PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Pardon for the late reply here, but thanks a lot nevertheless! Gotta love the capabilities of a Rapidograph technical pen.
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ProgV's avatar
ProgV|Professional Digital Artist
fantastic design man!!
Reply  ·  
PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thanks, ProgV! Glad you liked it!
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J-son-Lok's avatar
J-son-Lok|Student Digital Artist
This is simply beautiful.
Reply  ·  
PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thanks, Jason! This fella is rather dear to me. :)
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Zerion's avatar
Sick detail, i love it!

Really like that part metal beam on the side of that gun :D
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PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thanks! The curved support is one of my favorite aspects of the mech's weapon as well.
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MacoDelo's avatar
Nicely done. The solution to every problem should be a nice good mech, with a cannon! Haha! I guess anyone cold simply hack into a damn, but in reality there are vigilent guards who patrol the damns all the time. But if there wasn't any, then wow you could just hack into the power supply like that.

By the way, how long did it take for you to draw mechs? It's taking a long time for me because I'm following "small" footsteps like the inventors of old: Benjamin Franklin, Tesla, Nobel, etc. HAHA! Rate my car in this pixel deviation:

[link]

Thanks. Great job on the mech! I love its cannon [not a gay reference]! LOL!

(^\/\/^)
Reply  ·  
PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thanks! The "Valley Guard" is somewhat personal to me since it unifies two very different thoughts processes I've had over time--one based on real engineering, the other based on storytelling and character development.

How long did it take me to learn how to draw this way? Well...mechanical drawing (in the drafting sense) has been a part of my skillset for ~10 years now, but I only started picking up fictional mecha design ~3 years ago when I started watching anime more seriously. The Mecha Sketchbook series should give you a good idea of how I've progressed over time, particularly in loosening up and developing a personal style.

It's good to see you gaining inspiration from famous inventors, names of whom I've recognized and learned about over the years (Franklin and Tesla especially); Tesla and Edison's patent drawings were sources of inspiration in my earlier 2D works.

For your car pixel deviation, I can see that you've spent a good deal of time getting the wheel hubs to look symmetric and properly aligned. One thing you should definitely do next time: export the file as a "lossless" PNG or BMP instead of a JPEG, because the JPEG image algorithm will cause your colors--and especially your lineart--to develop visible compression errors (artifacts). Look at and around your wheel hub's lineart for examples of this.
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MacoDelo's avatar
Gee! THanks. Now I just have to use PNG only. But why do we have the choice from JPEG to PNG? Since both deal with pixels, but JPEG just screws up the image. I should have done that to my NASA design! But whatever.

I looked at your Mechsketch book. I guess I have to start drawing right now. I mean, I have really good ideas. But again, I am just going to have to start from small parts first. I am studying my ASVAB and concentrating on electronics and circuits--IT'S ALL NEW TO ME. But I'm getting the gist of everything. Just need to understand Frequency Modulation and Stereo, and Amplitude Modulation and Stereo more--the ASVAB study guide just wants you to familiarize this stuff, but I have to constantly "wiki" everything to know further down to something I can relate to.

Aren't you in electrical engineering? I need some help whenever you have time to answer questions. But first things first, is it good for me to generalize electrical engineering from these questions:

1) Is it one of electrical engineering's main goals is to somehow provide power efficiently to any body of bodies that require it?
2) Is there no such thing as an unnused or obsolete kind of circuite or electrical device used?
3) How can I relate to hystersis, impedance, and capacitance to better understand it in the physical, and perhaps, nonphysical realms?

Thank you very much. Whenever I make a new design, I'll be sure to show it to you first. But concerning privacy, because certain designs I wish to remain private, do you have a private gallery in which you safeguard certain designs from the public eye? Thank you.

MD
Reply  ·  
PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Hey Adrian...I feel bad about replying so late, but summer's been very busy so far, and weekends are typically the only time when I can think clearly about things not related to my current obligations.


Anyway, yes, I am an electrical engineering student; I'll try to give you my best answers for your questions:

1. Yes, it is one of the goals for many systems. Power transmission is a classical example--hence why we increase voltage and decrease current using step-up transformers for long-distance lines, and in some of the largest grid sections, utilize high-voltage DC instead of AC. Joule heating (I^2 * R) is the enemy of low-voltage systems, and by stepping up the voltage, we can use smaller-diameter lines and decrease the losses too.

2. Most certainly. The semiconductor industry (and of course, the computer industry) is always changing because of this, and as you asked in question #1, part of this has to do with increasing efficiency. Higher speed/power and smaller size are two other major reasons obsolescence occurs.

3. A good physical representation of I've learned about inductance and capacitance is the hydraulic analogy. Magnetic hysteresis, on the other hand, is a measure of how well certain ferromagnetic materials' dipoles "remember" their alignments after an external field has been applied and then removed.

You can try understanding hysteresis yourself with a paperclip and a strong magnet: stroking the paper clip several times in one direction with one pole of the magnet will cause the steel's randomly-aligned atomic dipoles to align mostly in one direction. The clip is now a magnet itself, able to pick up other small items. However, steel has a relatively-poor hysteresis; the clip will probably lose some of its pulling power after some time if left alone (it's more pronounced if subjected to physical abuse and/or strong heating). This is why hard disk platters and cassette tapes are made with a material with a high hysteresis--so that their data remains readable after years of even non-writing activity.


Hopefully that helps! And about your privacy concerns: no, I don't have a password-protected gallery. Basically, I never post what I don't want people to see online; it's one of my lines of defense against people who pry around for personal data.
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VampireDGhost's avatar
VampireDGhost|Professional Digital Artist
Nice work
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PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thanks, Anton!
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The-Xie's avatar
The-Xie|Student Digital Artist
I wanna try my hand at coloring this when my comp quits acting so screwy. Would that be ok?
Reply  ·  
PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Send a note when you're able to; I'll get you a link to the full lineart file. Thanks!
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pedraven's avatar
Nice concept!colored version will be amazing!
Reply  ·  
PlasmaFire3000's avatar
Thank a lot! I don't think I'll ever do a colored version of this, however, since I only planned it as a technical pen drawing. Anyone who wants to give it color can ask, though. :)
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canadian-weapon338's avatar
canadian-weapon338|Hobbyist General Artist
i love it but were is its head lol
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vforvengeance's avatar
This is a pretty cool design but the proportion need to be tidy up to show some solidness or it would look like it's made of bubbles; some perspective can be used for this one, try position yourself looking at it from ground view.
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