Sea Chariot of Rowernarc... maybe

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by gippolot, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. gippolot

    gippolot Member

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    A very good friend of mine was quite impressed with my model of the Terrestrial Voyager, and suggested that I should make the Sea Chariot of Rowernarc my next model. Another Rodney Matthews drawing, and one of what I consider to be part of his "ship trilogy".

    This illustration has always been a favorite of mine, so I thought I might test the water, with what I assume would be the most difficult part. A model of the sea dragon, and in particular, it's head.

    Red and brown, to me, is the overiding colour here. I have a few ideas, but have yet to "nail" a definitive idea down yet.

    The emphasis of the illustration is drawn to the dragons, so they need to be quite impressive to pull the model off.

    Here is the original Sea Chariot of Rowernarc. The white line is from the centre line of the book I scanned.

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    Model 01. Something to start with.

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    Model 02. Give a bit of shape to the skull, and the upper jaw.

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    Model 03. Add the bony structure for the eyes.

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    Model 04. Add some teeth and draw some lines to give a bit of definition.

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    Model 05. Add a drawing of the frills and spines at the back of the head to see if it is anywhere close to the original.

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    Model 06. I drew some lines to try and decide how on earth I could get this to look anything half decent.

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    Model 07. It is much easier to design something complex at the 2 or 3 times the final size.

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    Messing arond with some colour. That would require a bit of thought.

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    Finally, some of my initial designs laid out.

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    Gippo
  2. jagolden

    jagolden Guest

    giggpolot,


    Nice work on the dragons!
    The ship is very reminiscent of the ones from Robert Silverbers "Valentine" trilogy with the large city-like ships being towed by brontasaurs like creatures.
  3. Gixergs

    Gixergs Well-Known Member

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    WOO HOO another R M model this should be stunning when finished I look forward to following another interesting and thrilling thread. Your artistic skill is only rivalled by your courage in taking on such complex challenges,
    I and every other Rodney Matthews fan thank you and wish you luck.
  4. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

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    Fantastic work gippolot. I'll be watching this as well. You did a magnificent job on the Terrestrial Voyager, but I came in late on that one.
  5. rockpaperscissor

    rockpaperscissor Member

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    Will this be a waterline model, or full hull? At first glance, waterline seems like it would be easier, since there are really 3 models, the ship and the 2 dragons. But a waterline model would require you to somehow create a dynamic ocean surface that would have to be every bit as good as the model itself will undoubtedly be. This model will be a monstrous challenge regardless of how you choose to do it. Your techniques and thought processes will be very educational. Bon voyage!

    Regards,
    Don
  6. Gixergs

    Gixergs Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts too full or waterline? I was wondering if you were going to make a sea base that would also act as the Serpents body and blend it all in?. I look forward to seeing your
    Solution .
  7. OhioMike

    OhioMike Member

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    This would diffinitely top the Terrestrial Voyager and be far more of a challenge!!!
  8. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    Oh boy. This will look good next to the 'voyager'. Nice work on the head. I nearly missed this thread, glad I looked in now.
  9. gippolot

    gippolot Member

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    Thanks very much for the encouragement/comments/queries, Jagolden, Gixergs, CJTK1701, Rock', OhioMike, & Paulhbell.

    Jagolden, regarding Robert Silverberg "Valentine" trilogy, thanks, I'll follow that one up, sounds interesting.

    Rocks' (Don), regarding your comment, Will this be a waterline model, or full hull...?.

    Waterline - I doubt it.
    Full hull - I expect so. To make a waterline hull, a full hull has to be made initially.
    Dynamic ocean surface - Now that IS the defining point of the illustration. And the really difficult part,... deciding what to do,... that is.

    My 2 initial thoughts were either having (1) the hull & dragons position/balanced as in the illustration, representing motion in a heavy sea. Or (2) using a card surface modeled as in the illustration. I don't believe designing this would be too difficult, BUT, I would still pretty much have to make a full model, to then create an ocean surface to make the cutouts in.

    The choice of what to use as the ocean surface is, to have a clear surface, (from plastic sheet I guess), with semi-opaque blotched markings on the water surface, as per illustration, (I have a picture in my mind's eye, but the printer doesn't work). Or, a solid, coloured ocean surface? Have to sleep on that one.

    Some posts have been requests for how do designers design? To this end I'll try to give a bit more information as to how I go about it.

    Usually I make a few hand sketches to get a "feel" for a design, but here I have mostly used 2D-CAD. Here is one of my earlier layouts where I tried to put the size of the ship, dragons and "sailors" into a similar scale. If you look a bit more closely at the drawing, there are more than 2 dragons in total. The chains for the leading dragon/s, are shown in the water. I, personally, don't have a problem with extending the illustration. Whatever looks suitable.

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    Another view where I tried to get a feel for the size of the vessel.

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    Here I've put a basic hull shape together to fabricate into a simple model. To start with I just lay down a bunch of straight lines for the curves. I'll put some effort into smoothing the shape once I'm satisfied with where it is heading.

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    Some views of a half model of the hull.

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    Here a model of the "paddle wheel" is added. On a side note, can anyone conceive a reason as to their existence?

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    Here are some views of the hull with the central tower added. I'm still thinking about this one. I expect to have to tweak it a bit to get an acceptable final design.

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    Gippo
  10. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

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    Fantastic progress, wow, you don't play around, do you?
  11. gippolot

    gippolot Member

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    Recently I've been messing around with shapes, colours and ideas.

    My first attempts to model a true representation of the ship upper structure. My methods are typical drafting, except drawn on 2D CAD. This makes it so much easier to rub out & redraw.

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    A 2D plan of my progression as I work through ideas. Any writing or extra lines, is the notes I make as I progressively move through drawing stages.


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    Cannon have recently released a model plesiosaurus to their papercraft range. Canon 3D Papercraft - Futabasaurus

    This was fantastic timing for me, as I now had a plesiosauru/dragon that I could look at while it was in pieces, and compare again when assembled. Even though my model will be quite different, this is a very good base to evolve ideas from.

    Here is a comparison of my initial head design, next to a coloured model.

    The coloured model was halved in size. I doubt this could be reduced in size further without making it too difficult to add extra changes to the design, and keep the current design finger friendly. Plus, I still have plenty of room to give the head a bit more shape.

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    Here is a shot of the Canon plesiosaur next to the full size dragon head. This portion of the dragon body needs to be scaled up by about 30%. Well... that is my opinion for today.:mrgreen: It may change. Oh, and the hump is missing...& the fin... and the patterned skin... &...

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    My progressive changes in skin patterns and colours. I've been thinking of colouring the dragons in shades of red, and the ship in shades of brown, possibly with a small amount of gold trim.

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    A basic view of the ship's upper.

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    Gippo
  12. FlareBaffled

    FlareBaffled Member

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    Being a massive Matthews fan, and owner of many of his books, posters etc, I find these threads very interesting to watch. From a technical point of view, they represent someone making organic shapes ... the most difficult thing to do in paper... and showing us his design steps and thought processes. Absolutely fascinating!

    On the flip side, these aren't models I am likely to build for myself ( good though they are ) because the artwork convertion to model requires certain assumptions and design choices which are not the ones I see when I look at the pictures. No reflection on the build, but an indication that with fantasy art such as this, different people see different things in different ways!

    This looks like another 'must follow' thread though. I love to watch the way these things evolve. It's an organic process...and one I am sure the original artist would appreciate!

    Specific to this, though.... please don't make the dragons red! They should be brown, with russet coloured finning. Matthews art was very naturalistic, and red just seems to jar with the feel of the picture.
  13. gippolot

    gippolot Member

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    Very good points you've raised FlareBaffled. But what I usually do is either go with my gut feeling, or... no, I pretty much I end up going in a circle and coming back to my gut feeling.

    Maybe because Dragons, i.e., Eastern Dragons and mythology, usually tend to be red, from my experience, I see them as red. Though not always red.

    For myself, colours transmit feeling and or intensity, passion if you like. When I look at those dragons I see red. When I look at the ocean I see red. ( Nothing to do with Split Enz :rolleyes:... I have heard them played on Radio Paradise, think 80's).

    Am pretty sure I will stick with shades of red. But thanks very much for your point of view. Glad to hear from any RM fans.

    Gippo
  14. FlareBaffled

    FlareBaffled Member

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    Been a fan ever since I picked up a copy of 'In Search of Forever' many years ago. I had been impressed by a friends Roger Dean books, and was looking for them...but found that instead. I particularly love his insect like style of fantasy creatures, and the lovely flowing feel to his work.

    Anyways....I am sure you will make red work as a dragon colour!
  15. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

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    Beautiful development work. This is, as always, a pleasure to watch happen. Thanks.
  16. gippolot

    gippolot Member

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    Thought I'd throw in some of the shapes & colours I've been playing around with.

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    Gippo