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March 28, 2006
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Earthshaker Front by shaloop Earthshaker Front by shaloop
Lineart drawn in pencil, colored in PS CS/7
Earthshaker design by Sawaki Takeyasu.

Back view here.

From the Xbox mech-sim, Steel Battalion: Line of Contact comes the biggest and baddest of Vertical Tanks, the Earthshaker. Unlike the rest of the VTs from LoC, no concept art was ever released for this guy. At the behest of lineofcontact.net sitemeister KingLeerUK I created this piece to try and fill that gap. I originally tried to mimic the style of mecha design genius Junji Okubo, but its look ended up firmly within the realm of shaloop-style. :(

Special thanks to lord of LoC screenshots Nemesis for taking dozens of reference shots of the ES and to KingLeerUK for getting them to me in a nice tidy package.

See this piece in it's natural habitat and find out more about the Earthshaker and Line of Contact at lineofcontact.net.

Also, yes, I'm aware these pieces have draftmanship issues. Crit if you wish, though I won't be making any changes.

Unless you're a fan of the game or mecha design principles feel free to ignore the rest of this post


One of the biggest challenges while working on this piece of faux concept art was trying to figure out what some of the lo-res textures & polygon challenged areas of the in-game model were meant to represent. "Is that triangular section supposed to be round?" Some spots were definitely open to interpretation. Because of this I drifted away from the in-game model in minor ways, but since so many of the LoC in-game models vary slightly from the original Okubo designs this seemed appropriate.

To be honest I'm not a big fan of the ES design. When it came time to create the handful of new VTs for LoC, original VT designer Junji Okubo couldn't or wouldn't do the job. Maybe he wasn't even asked. I dunno. Instead the job fell to Sawaki Takeyasu. And for the most part he did a fairly good job of recreating Okubo's style. His one big failing, in my opinion, is the Earthshaker.

Design-wise I find it unfocused and awkward. It's overall look doesn't fit very well with the aesthetic established by Okubo. Part of the strength of the VT designs has always been their distance from the cliches of Japanese giant robot design. Unfortunately, the ES seems to lean back in that direction resulting in a design that looks like it's trying to fit into the SB world but isn't quite clicking. The ES's in-game performance doesn't help matters as it's ridiculously overpowered.

However it's not completely without merit. The torso has a rather clever hinge design that allows it to swing down as the shoulders swing up to deploy the guass generators. And Takeyasu did a good job of trying to incorporate elements of other VTs into the design (witness the Behemoth fuel tanks) though this also this gives the ES a frankenstein VT look in spots.

Overall, a decent attempt, but I think Takeyasu did much better with his other VT designs. See them all (Okubo's and Takeyasu's) at lineofcontact.net.
:iconkatanaryu:
KatanaRyu Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow its nice to see ya still doing SB work. although concept art, very nicely done. It's been forever since i been on. Once my buddy finally gets ahold of the game after the semester is over I'll probably start playing again.
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:iconshaloop:
shaloop Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2006
Thanks. Taken on it's own I think the ES design is fine, but compared to the other brilliant SB designs it's a bit shoddy.
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:iconpheonixreborn:
PheonixReborn Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2006
Despite your opinions of the actual Earthshaker design (to which i pretty much agree), you did a brilliant job on the 'concept' art peice anyway.
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