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Shimmering-Sword's avatar

Battletech - Experimental Marauder

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I noticed Catalyst has finally released the XTRO: Succession Wars ebook. My work on the book was finished over half a year ago but I had to sit on the art while it's release was delayed.

Here it is though and I'm excited to show it, a Marauder design that I collaborated on with Matt Plog. Turns out Catalyst was trying to redesign a marauder at the very same time I was publicly redesigning it, when they saw what I had done they pulled me in to help out. After we got the design nailed down Matt plog whipped up some great TRO line art of it and I came up with this painting, which turned out to be used as the cover.

Shown, a Free Worlds League Marauder-4X 75ton heavy mech going through live fire trials on the Ronin Inc testing fields. It uses special cooling jackets around it's blazers to keep heat in check.
2 Binary Laser Cannons
2 Short Range Missile 6's


Thanks to ^3wyl and ^alltheoriginalnames for the DD. I'd like to again give a shout out to ~mattPLOG for the fun collaboration on this design. He's a great battletech artist.
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S3dition's avatar
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Overall
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This is great for a book cover illustration. It's not too busy so it won't detract from the title or branding. The damage fits well with the descriptions in the Battletech universe (there are several examples of the armor burned away from the myomer on the legs and the mech is able to keep limping along). I like how the armor is pooling up and melting from the laser fire as well. It makes the damage look more than abstract detailing that most artists put on their vehicles.

The cockpit also looks more functional, with substantial visibility for fighting other mechs. It is a bit large for a real combat vehicle, but Battletech steers pretty far away from one shot kills, and nothing in the game has enough accuracy to hit a target that "big," so it fits with the overall universe.

The arms feel too far forward and would disrupt the mech's center of balance, though it could be the angle. It feels like there should be something in the upper left corner, even though the design is for a book cover. Some helicopters/vtol strike craft might have helped without taking too much focus away from the mech.

Overall, a very good piece. I look forward to a Bushwacker :3
Adeptuschematicus's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
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I like the overall concept, but the damage is somewhat unrealistic, and the left leg normally would have given way from that many holes. You were a little generous in inflicting damage on that leg. I also noticed that the lazer thingies aren't solid, they look more like crayon smears. The arms seem a little to thin to support the guns. I see this as more of a rough draft than a final concept. I especially like the realisticality of the treads and such, as well as the acess panels in key places. The background is interesting as well, but it lacks detail. This is an exellent start.
regorris's avatar
The reviewer should also consider the fiction that this piece is inspired by. The machines in Battletech can have all of their armor stripped off and still function. Yes, even on the joints.
Alexander-Brandt's avatar
A spot of damage does not indicate that the laser completely penetrated the armor. If you jam a knife into your countertop, it leaves a mark, but doesn't always pass straight through the wood.

Lasers aren't solid. I feel that one should be pretty obvious.

Criticizing the lack of objects background, considering the context of it being a live fire testing ground, feels silly. This is not a draft. It is not a sketch. This is a finished product and it looks like a finished product.
Fakultat's avatar
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Good afternoon!. I am not sure about where to start since weapons along robotics is a great "product". The first relation I did after looking at this work was "Highlander Marauder", though this one seems far from that, because this Marauder provokes a much different impression. This model is for sure a weapon to provoke high impact in the front line, not only over a single objective!.

I must personally say that while looking deeper at colours, the purple colour kind of makes me think in other least aggressive items, but if you see it as "combinations", of course it does fit quite well with the background. I don't know how to express it well, but the damage being made on the Armour gives live to the realism of a munition exchange (battle).

I like the surroundings, the destruction is all around, saying clearly "This is a war zone".

Quite a different model, but aren't weapons about innovation and new designs for different cases and situations?. Yes!. Is good to see a new scene and/or design!.

Keep the good work Shimmering-Sword!.
Escef's avatar
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Overall, excellent quality of work. My only complaint is that the angle does not give much of a sense of how long, front to back, Marauder torsos tend to be. And that, I think, is more of a nit-pick. The paint scheme screams "proving grounds" rather than testing in real combat. The yellow/black striping is the big one on that. Without that, I'd call the prominent presence of the Marik purple to be an indicator of a parade unit, or perhaps an elite outfit that eschews traditional camo patterns. I'd love to see an urban camo composed of straight vertical and horizontal lines with varying shades of gray, maybe with the lines composed of digital blur, kind of like modern digital camo patterns.
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At the risk of decapitation, I'm going to say now that I never liked the orginal Marauder. Now don't get me wrong; the Glaug/Offler's Pod/whatever looks cool, but it was just too 'alien' for the rest of the Battletech universe's design asthetic.

This one, however, blows it out of the water. You've retained all the elements that made the original work so well; the chicken-walker legs, the blocky arm-pods and the bird-like torso. What you've added compliments those elements; the "bubble" canopy and the chin intakes especially work well for it. From an asthetic viewpoint there's nothing not to love.

The posing adds to that, being rather dynamic and active, giving a great feel of motion, especially with the weapons fire going off all around it. The colours are also good; Marik Purple is a nice touch, but what really gets me is the combination of grey and warning strips which adds to the "prototype" feel.

All in all, awesomeness.
Don-Dragon's avatar
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First of all: Wow, hats off.

Alright, down to specifics. The upper torso area is by far the strongest part of the design. It's what I first noticed, and it's also what I remember the clearest. This area is what makes the mech really look like a Marauder, because, frankly, the rest just screams Timberwolf (Mad-Cat) which is not so strange if one thinks about it.
At first, I did not care for the weapon arms much, until I looked up what those binary lasers are, and no the design makes more sense. Now it really looks like one of those old Blazer guns from the pen and paper Mechwarrior RPG
Arguably, the only weak part of the design is the crotch area, which is essentially a box. It serves it's function well, but beyond simple functionality, it seems to stylistically clash with the curved, heavily slopped upper body.

Overall, it's a fantastic redesign for a long missed battlemech. I'd love to see this treatment for the other Unseen mechs. With some luck PGI will eventually ask for permission to add them to Mechwarrior Online! They could even have a year of the Unseen <img src="…" width="15" height="15" alt=";)" title=";) (Wink)"/>
jmozynski's avatar
i love the game as well has the pc game love to build my form the tech books
jmozynski's avatar
h1r0Pr0tag's avatar
Love this. The detail is phenomenal. The captured motion and use of colour really make this
WonderSparks's avatar
Ah, Marauder, how would I live without you?
I've been reading up on all these TRO's lately and I must say there are some really interesting variants to some 'Mechs. :dummy: The Marauder in particular has a LOT of variants. >w>
Those Blazers are pretty cool and all, but I'm not entirely sure they're really that much better than just mounting two Large Lasers on something. =P
But my amateur ramblings aside, this looks really cool. :la:
Shimmering-Sword's avatar
The Blazers are mostly there because it's an experimental chassis, so they tend to put odd weapons on them. From what I've told, although the blazer isn't an ideal weapon, it is capable of head shotting a mech due to concentrating all that damage into a single area. So fluff wise, when you don't have access to any other heavy hitting weapons, a blazer is a good substitute.
WonderSparks's avatar
That makes sense. =P I've seen that sort of thing on experimental designs a lot.
I did not know that! I'm sure everyone likes to get a good headshot every now and then. :giggle:
Still, even if it's not an ideal weapon, it's still a neat idea. I wonder what would happen if someone took that concept and implemented it on PPCs? A twin-PPC... that'd be fun. :dummy:
CaptViper's avatar
Mad-ogre's avatar
Not too busy ?
Shimmering-Sword's avatar
Always busy, or lazy :)
hcelam's avatar
wooooow man...great
CorneliusOiwer's avatar
Now that I play Mech Warrior Online, I actually know what those guns are, and how to use them.
CorneliusOiwer's avatar
btw, If you run by the same name as on here, then I'm pretty sure that we've fought. It was a one way battle, not very memorable.
ScannerArtly's avatar
Awesome! :D

Can I use it for a game, granting you credits, and an annual percentage as it turns commercial?

Please consider my offer :)

to the following link:---> [link]

Have a nice day!
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