Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Dragon and his Boy



And now for something completely different: the Dragon and his Boy. And the boy is a new character -- actually, still under development. I might slightly redesign him as I go ... is his nose a little large? Difficult to tell, till you go away for a few days and come back, and have another look. There's a little story goes with this -- more of a children's story, actually...

...about a kid from (!) Melbourne or Sydney who's tasked with cleaning up his Aunt's attic, and he finds an old, old box, with a piece of jade -- creamy jade, shaped like a dragon. But when the jade gets into the moonlight it turns -- shamaz!! -- into Shao Lung, a real, live dragon who hasn't seen the light of the moon in 100 years ... and he wants to go home. Meaning, Sichuan Province ... which is somewhere Jimmy Li can't get to on the local bus!

Good thing Shao Lung is a lucky dragon ... suddenly everything Jimmy turns his hand to morphs into gold, and soon he can afford a passport and a plane ticket. But does he really want to take Shao Lung home? Because when he loses the Dragon his luck will turn back to mud. But he's a good lad and, seeing how unhappy Shao Lung is sitting on a sideboard in Melbourne, he takes the dragon back to Sichuan -- as a piece of jade in his check baggage. And there in Sichuan, the piece of jade is stolen by shonky antique merchants before Shao Lung can see the light of the moon again.

But Jimmy's luck is still holding: there's a gorgeous girl, Fang Mei Ling, who can speak English and thinks Jimmy's Australian accent is hilarious, and she hates shonky antique dealers, and knows where they've gone. Big chase to catch them at the regional airport before they can get away ... biiiiig kung fu fight in the late evening, just as the moon is rising, and -- yep. Happy endings all around. Inspector Fang, who's Mei Ling's uncle, arrives in the nick of time to arrest the villains, and Shao Lung turns back into a dragon, and Jimmy ... well, Ah Jimmy's just fallen in love, and Uncle Fang is impressed with his kung fu. How'd Jimmy like to help stop the shonky antiques trade between China and Europe? In fact, Shao Lung insists on it. Some of his relatives are missing...

Nice story, right? I wonder if I could actually write that...

The only other thing I've been messing with lately is the NARC armor, which is slowly coming into shape. It's not right yet, but with any luck I might have a version of it that's right enough to share in a few days. It's incredibly difficult to get this to work. Not just the helmet (which is going to be adapted from a Formula racing helmet, with bits added. But the dimensions of the armor are soooo elusive. I'm up to four versions so far, and it's not right yet, by a mile. Take another crack at it tomorrow, if I feel up to the challenge. Managed to get the mirror-black surface, but the "massive shoulders" of the armor, and the "smart seals" are not so easy.

Working with the M4 body suit gives you a place to start, but the suit utterly refuses to stop adding useless anatomical detail to the torso, which you have to paint out of every single render -- otherwise it comes up looking like bloody Batman! Anatomically correct rubber. Ack. Right now I have the design not-to-bad, but it's too "organic" after all the painting ... and I think the hips are too wide by ratio to the shoulders. *sigh*

Take another crack at it tomorrow, as I said.

Jade, 17 December
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