Friday, November 20, 2009

Space Marine

Here's some concept art for a new approach to the ol' stand-by, the Space Marine. I really hate what people have done with the concept. It's a genre with so much freedom and possibility and potential, but everyone has been doing the exact same (shitty) thing for a decade or more. I'm so tired of it.

I went with the approach of basing it in a realistic world, set in our future about 150 years or so. There are a lot of facets to the Marine Corp, so I had to choose one possible category and flesh it out. After brain storming with a friend of mine, we narrowed it down to 4 primary active military branches that would require their own special getups. 1. Ship to ship, 2. Ship to ground, 3. Ground to ship, and 4. Ground to Ground. In this future, all these approaches to warfare will need their own special gear and training, and it would be highly unlikely, and boring, if there was just a one-suit-fits-all solution to every mission. I chose to do the ship to ship suit, but I'd like to do the others in the future. I just need time. That's also why these aren't rendered or textured. I'd also love to take a shot at doing some of the formal dress uniforms of the Marine Corp. Those guys have an awesome sense of style.

So anyway, the ship to ship Marine would have to be able to perform certain tasks. My friend and I concluded that space battles, most realistically, would be most similar to Naval battles in many ways. Ships would be run very similarly, same with the way you'd deal with the enemy ships. Practically, this facet of the Marine Corp. would most closely resemble modern day Navy SEALs in their appearance, methods and gear. The main function of this Marine is to approach an enemy ship undetected, wether alone or with a small squad, blast or cut their way into the enemy ship, and neutralize the enemy crew, as well as hijack control of the vessel. So that was my self-prescribed design brief.

Layer one: Skivvies. I wanted to take my time with the design and build each layer of it around the one under it. I felt that would help practically, and also help add a level of realism that I think would help make the concept more interesting. So this is the standard issue underwear. You got your boxer briefs, undershirt, socks and gloves. The socks and gloves would help with comfort, and also aid with sliding on the flight suit and keeping everything snug and cozy. I'd imagine that at this point in the future the undergarments would include some sort of wiring and devices which would track vital signs and other various life signs and statistics or something. All being monitored and kept organized by home base. Anyway, it's undies.

Layer two: Flight suit. This is the basic flight suit. It's padded and insulated and pressurized and mildly armored. I'd imagine that textiles would advance along side every other technological material on Earth, so this would be loaded with cool little features. The suit needs to be durable, and also would be required to be able to supply the wearer the ability to survive brief periods of time in the vacuum of space in case things go wrong. Enough time to survive until rescue anyway. (The suit alone wouldn't provide these safety benefits without the helmet and gauntlets, though.)

Layer three: Active gear. So this is basically what the Space Marine would be wearing after blasting/cutting into the enemy ship. It's air-tight and sealed, and he'd be able to maneuver around a ship, even if it's air had been cut (by himself) and any other life sustaining systems. As well as providing effective armor for his purposes (infiltration and stealth), it also doesn't constrict mobility and agility. I'm not imagining he'd be flipping and flying around like a cliche sci-fi ninja, but he'd need to be able to slip around in an almost submarine-like interior with as little interference to his movement as possible.

The helmet is designed to resemble a mix between the Marine Corp. standard issue 8-point cover (their cool hat), but it's also based on their germ-warfare head gear, with the shape of the goggles, as well as a bag-like neck sheath. I think having a highly detailed tech-neck would be a bad, not to mention cliche, design. This is practical from a functional view, as well as from a manufacturing and financial perspective. There's also a subtle reference to the Marine standard of having rolled up sleeves (which my Marine friend told me is because of their big biceps), which serves as a foundation for those weird flared out shoulder guards. The front of the face is also designed to resemble a fighter jet flight mask. It's meant to be able to clip into the inside of the next layer, which includes a much larger air supply.

Layer four: Approach suit. This is what the Marine would be wearing outside in space. He'd glide towards the enemy ship head first, allowing his body to trail behind him. This is because the suit is designed to mimic the stealth fighter, in that it provides a deflective shield towards radar/sonar and whatever sci-fi sensors they might have. It's only on the upper part (and back) of his body because the idea is that it'd be so heavy and constricting that once he boards the enemy ship he'd have to take it off and keep it near his make-shift entrance. It'd have to be fast and easy to put on and take off. And the body-bag (same idea as the neck piece on layer three) provides an extra layer of insulation and space-survival goodness. It is also easy to put on and take off.

The main outward facing surfaces are also covered in an array of white LEDs, which would serve as space camouflage, incase anyone was lookin' out the window.

It's form is a slave to it's function. It's a mix of the stealth fighter, the standard NASA suit, as well as underwater demolition gear.

This was for the first activity at an art blog my friends run that I was invited to participate in. There's some talented dudes over there. You can check out their entries there, too


Xbox 360 accessories said...

Nice stuff..the steps that undergo the process to the final figure is amazing.

Tom said...

Hey Tom,

I love all the layers and the amount of thought you've given the design. Great take on a space marine!

Tom (lol!)

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