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Valley Guard by PlasmaFire3000 Valley Guard by PlasmaFire3000
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!
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:iconponentguy:
Ponentguy Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is great!
The design and drawing are excelent, and i really like the description+fav 
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016
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. :)
Reply
:iconshininou:
Shininou Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
you should color this.
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
Some day when there's more time, perhaps...and that's if I don't redesign it beforehand. -_-
Reply
:iconomdway:
omdway Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011
Hooo-leeeeee!!! Wow that is impressive. The detilas here are insane. Plus the shading and the background scenery. Just amazing.
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011
Pardon for the late reply here, but thanks a lot nevertheless! Gotta love the capabilities of a Rapidograph technical pen.
Reply
:iconprogv:
ProgV Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
fantastic design man!!
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2011
Thanks, ProgV! Glad you liked it!
Reply
:iconj-son-lok:
J-son-Lok Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Student Digital Artist
This is simply beautiful.
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
Thanks, Jason! This fella is rather dear to me. :)
Reply
:iconzerion:
Zerion Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2010
Sick detail, i love it!

Really like that part metal beam on the side of that gun :D
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
Thanks! The curved support is one of my favorite aspects of the mech's weapon as well.
Reply
:iconmacodelo:
MacoDelo Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2010
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
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010
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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:iconmacodelo:
MacoDelo Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010
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
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010
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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:iconvampiredghost:
VampireDGhost Featured By Owner May 22, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Nice work
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner May 22, 2010
Thanks, Anton!
Reply
:iconthe-xie:
The-Xie Featured By Owner May 17, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I wanna try my hand at coloring this when my comp quits acting so screwy. Would that be ok?
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner May 17, 2010
Send a note when you're able to; I'll get you a link to the full lineart file. Thanks!
Reply
:iconpedraven:
pedraven Featured By Owner May 17, 2010
Nice concept!colored version will be amazing!
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner May 17, 2010
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. :)
Reply
:iconcanadian-weapon338:
canadian-weapon338 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
i love it but were is its head lol
Reply
:iconvforvengeance:
vforvengeance Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010
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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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010
Indeed, coherence between parts is one of those habits I'm trying establish, as is a solid grasp of perspective from any angle. Thanks for the insight. :)
Reply
:iconhuntsman97:
Huntsman97 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
Nice line work and very detailed, but I have a few things I would like to 'critique' there are afew area that look out of proportion, mainly the hands seem way to small for the overall chassis size, and the right 'foot' looks out of angle or perspective, too short and an at an odd angle.

Jus' my 2 cents.
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
The hands do look a little small for this fella, now that you called them out. For the foot on the right side of the page (I presume that's the one you're noting, not its real right foot), it's foreshortened because it's pointed mostly at the viewer. However, I also note that it looks out of perspective because 1. The top is too tall compared to its identical piece on the left side of the page, and 2. The ground is sloping slightly upwards from left to right. They irk me to no end because they were both preventable mistakes. :(

Thanks a lot for the advice, Allan; I'll take them to heart for future designs.
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:iconhuntsman97:
Huntsman97 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010
Your welcome! Just tryin' to help.
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:iconmecha-zone:
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2009  Professional General Artist
very cool!
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009
Thank you, David. Looking forward to seeing your new designs, too. :)
Reply
:icon4-x-s:
4-X-S Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009  Hobbyist Artist
hey, when did you do this? I should not clean up message without take look. Great work man, this sketch can make a very sick render. Buy the way thanks for invite me to the mecha club.
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009
Heh, I accidentally clean up my messages in bulk every now and then too... :p

And thanks for joining the group. Feel free to share your ship renders with everyone; your recent ones look awesome!
Reply
:iconangelicadonis:
AngelicAdonis Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very intense! Great attention to detail! :D
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2009
Thank you, AngelicAdonis. Just gotta convince myself to try color some day... :p
Reply
:iconangelicadonis:
AngelicAdonis Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I used to have that problem as well, and I can assure you, its not that hard to color!
Reply
:iconanvildude:
Anvildude Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009
Cool story. I take it you have an entire Universe set up for these Frames of yours?
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009
Perhaps some day, when there's enough time... :)
Reply
:iconxperimental00:
Xperimental00 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice design and description. With the latter, the whole thing feels eerily human. ^^
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
Well, let's say that I have a soft spot for autonomous machines. -_-
Reply
:icontheiiofswords:
theIIofswords Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
pretty awesome man, reminds me of the golems from break blade.
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
I haven't seen Break Blade, but now that you mention it, their Golem heads do share a slight similarity with this one.
Reply
:icontheiiofswords:
theIIofswords Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
its good series, i def. recommend it. Hope your xmas was good too!
Reply
:iconratbutcher:
RatButcher Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
so awesome!
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
Thanks, Preston! Detailing this fella took a while, but I had fun overall.
Reply
:iconratbutcher:
RatButcher Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I can see, it had to have taken some time
Reply
:iconphantasmastriker:
PhantasmaStriker Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
Nice detail work. The head is kinda hard to make out though :P But still, really nice :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
Thanks! I can see what you mean by a hard-to-find head (even the eye's difficult to spot unless it's full-viewed). Might need to work more on separation of parts next time...
Reply
:iconarukun14:
Arukun14 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Nice.
Reply
:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2009
Thanks, Tim! Hope you and everyone you know will have a wonderful holiday!
Reply
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December 25, 2009
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