Halo: Reach – UH-144 Falcon and the “Iron Hog”

While trolling the interwebs for the latest bit of information regarding anything gaming, I happened across a Bungie News story that featured an artist who used concept art and renders from the upcoming Halo:Reach game to create his own works of art. One such work was his skinning of the UH-144 Falcon, a helicopter like vehicle that looks as though it will replace the Hornet from Halo 3 in gameplay (you can see it here.) As I looked at this image I felt compelled to try my own hand at skinning a Falcon.

After saving a lot of source material for inspiration, I opened up Photoshop and began laying out the image. The vehicle overall has a lot of wear to it, I made this decision because this vehicle can tell more of a story. At the nose of the flyer there are several grunt outlines mimicking the style of World War II pilots to keep track of their kills. I’ve also added a small skeleton graphic that could perhaps even relate to the crew who are in charge of this vessel. At the end of this process I chose to display the vehicle without any sort of background as the aim of this project was to feature the vessel, not an environment. I so happy with the process that I decided to try my hand at another vehicle skinning.

This Warthog skin uses a color scheme inspired by the Marvel Comics Icon, Iron Man. I was first given this idea when I saw another work where the artist created an R2-D2 with Iron Man inspired elements(you can see that image here.) I ended up not choosing to go with anything overtly connected to Iron Man, and instead stuck with the color scheme and applying a light blue hue to the headlights. After all of that I applied lighting to give the impression the Warthog’s headlights were the light source and called it finished.

Finally the last attempted Fan Art was using a conceptual landscape image of reach and changing the color tone to replicate that one might see as the planet is being glassed from orbit by the Covenant. I added a large beam of light and played up the reflection in the water, and then added to the city or military base in the background so that it appeared to be burning. As a final touch I added a render of the UH-144 Falcon leaving the area. I wanted the overall tone of the image to be rather bleak, as it would make an interesting contrast with that sort of landscape usually being associated with beauty. The idea is that this beautiful thing, the military strong point of the UNSC is falling, and we only see one vessel fleeing the burning city giving rise to the idea that there were heavy casualties sustained in the battle. As an artist, anytime I sit down to create a piece, be it completely original art or a fan piece as these are I always consider tone and what sort of story I want to tell. Giving the viewer a story to piece together in their head adds more to the overall viewing experience and creates a dialog between the creator and the viewer. As an added bonus I am able to tell a story that exists with the worlds that Bungie have brought to life and that is an extremely huge bonus for me as a fan. If you would like to see these images larger or any of my other original works you can view the gallery here.

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