Concept to Crate: Non-Metallic Numen

In this week’s Concept-to-Crate Insider, I’ll be discussing the concept art process for Non-Metallic Numen. For this MiniCrate exclusive model, the idea was to create a completely unarmored version of Aurora that would have her look more like an Iron Kingdoms adventurer with feathered wings.

I assigned this concept art to Carlos Cabrera, and he sent me the first two sketches above. Although she does, in fact, resemble an IK adventurer, I had to mull this one over a bit. After looking for inspiration online, I ended up changing direction and leaning more into a divine and angelic feeling for her. I then sent Carlos a few inspirational images to coincide with my written comments to help move the design in a more fantasy focused direction, and he sent me the following:

At this point we had enough to go on to make some clear choices. I sent all of the options to Matt Wilson and Ron Kruzie to get their feedback. Matt thought that B had the most potential with the following adjustments:

  • Ditch the leg bracelet and change the boots to come up over the knee.
  • Lose the broach.

The revised sketch moved us incredibly close to a final. The only requests we had left were to add some decorative elements to the wings in order to give them more visual interest, ditch the high heels, and get some pose sketches. My thought was to have her standing on a pedestal made of Cyriss tech like a large soul chamber.

With the presented pose sketches, we decided to go with pose E.

With the revised art above, Oz pointed out that she needed her staff, and we also realized the Cyriss vector chunk was a bit too large and would need to be shrunk down in sculpt.

So, with that, Carlos proceeded to the final line art that you see above. The art was then sent out for final approval and to be assigned to a sculptor by Ron Kruzie. The sculptor chosen for this job was our studio sculptor Doug Hamilton. With concept art in hand, Doug got to work!

“Have you ever heard of Convergence of Cyriss?”

I was already wide-eyed after moving cross-country and now dropping in on the PP studio the Friday before my official start date. I was meeting with Ron Kruzie and the rest of the team before checking out my new digs when he approached me with a couple of concept pieces. The first was an alien for LEVEL 7, a pretty cool piece, but the second was the reason I took the job: my first WARMACHINE model and the concept by Andrea Uderzo was stunning: Aurora, Numen of Aerogenesis.

That weekend went by fast. I truly wondered if I would be able to sculpt such a model—it was definitely going to be a challenge, and it was more difficult than anything I had ever attempted before. While it was not the greatest work I’ve been attached to, it was an amazing chance to jump into the Iron Kingdoms with what would become an iconic character.

For years—YEARS!—I have wanted another shot at Aurora. After all, she holds a special place in my career for me. So, when Mike revealed her MiniCrate concept, I was quick to explain why I MUST have this one! Fortunately, Ron Kruzie agreed with me, and we were off.

I really wanted to capture the youthful, freewheeling feel of this model that was in those concepts. With some flowing cloth and the natural, fluffy wings, I felt like we were stepping back in the time of Aurora’s life, despite knowing this is just an alternate version.

The end result came out very nice, and I find myself betting Convergence of Cyriss will be seeing some more time on the table soon! Enjoy this addition to our MiniCrate line, and I look forward to seeing some of the great paint jobs of Aurora from the community!