The MkV[B] is unique in that it's the only Bungie-era MJOLNIR design that I've actually grown to like less the more I've looked at it. It's got a few areas that seem almost as cluttered and unfocused as many of 343i's armor designs in Halo 4 (though Reach's more realistic aesthetic does a better job of hiding it), and I used this as an opportunity to try to address my problems with the design.
-The changes to the helmet are purely a matter of taste. I've always felt that the default MkV[B] helmet was sort of like the RGM-79 GM to the "real" MkV's RX-78-2 Gundam- it's clearly built on the same design ethos, but it just looks kind of bland and cheap. I took a couple cues from the classic MkV while trying to preserve essential parts of the design like the visor shape and the overall cut of the mouth-guard and cheeks.
-The biggest problem area with the official MkV[B] design (in my opinion) was the lower-forward section of the armored "roll cage" around the chest. On the final game asset it just seems like a mess of angles that don't fit together properly, with odd triangular cut-outs and a series of awkward, irregular zigzags along the bottom edge. I tried to preserve the most important details, such as the forward-oriented planes with shield emitters on them, while cleaning up the overall shapes.
-My other problem area with the original design was the thigh plating. It was originally smooth, curvy and contoured, and it stuck out like a sore thumb in a design which was otherwise all flat planes and hard angles. This wasn't difficult to address, I just planed off the forward thigh plating.
-The other changes are relatively minor: I tried to clean up and streamline some of the details of the bicep and gauntlet plating, and tried to make the lower greaves look like a series of interlocking components. The bodysuit is just whatever, as I was focused on the plating. The official Reach bodysuit is pretty much fine, anyway.
Halo belongs to Microsoft.
Maybe in the future for one of your commissions or as a challenge I could talk to you about it.
Indeed. My main gripes with the [B] were always mostly the forearms and lower legs, especially since they looked so good in the concept art. I hadn't actually paid as much attention to the thighs, but now that you mention it, it's hard to unsee the glaring issue there. Looking at some of those original concepts now, Hannaford actually seems to have realized the issue with the thigh armor and separated the forward plane from the side one; somehow it just got lost in translation to the final game (kind of like the lower legs - I liked the boxiness there).
What's your opinion on the Mark VI-style overlapping layers of padding in the inner thighs as opposed to the classic Mark V's solution? I've kind of gone back and forth on that in my depictions and can see the positives to both -- the original Mk. V's inner thigh design sort of works better with the more angular shapes of the armor itself IMO, while the [B]'s overlapping plates seem like they're meant for a more organic-looking design (like the Mark VI).
First was your two re-designs of the Mark V ( definitly my favorites of all the art have you ever made )
and now you come with this piece, everything on it its just glorious to see, every little detail, hell you made me like the armor..just a bit haha
Really really outstanding job on this -w-b