Artwork: Infection 2.0, Kabuto Mushi Beetle Battle

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If you've been watching TGB Customs Blog, you likely know about Marty's new collaboration with Matt Doughty of Onell Design: Kabuto Mushi and a new Infection wave!  Marty commissioned me yet again to do an illustration for this release, but this one would be a bit more involved than the usual piece. Somebody along the line (I forgot who, I think it was Matt) came up with the idea of a triptych, i.e. a work that's a composite of three sections that are separate in and of themselves, but together form a more comprehensive piece.

With this illustration, I wanted to explore how the Infection spread through the Pheydens, so I started by sketching out the possibilities. With the first sketch, I was thinking that maybe the infection progresses by transforming the Pheyden armor into the spider's exoskeleton. The second sketch shows another idea: maybe the infection transforms Pheyden inside the armor, then burns through the armor like acid. And the third sketch shows how the infection might transform the hands: the claw rips through the hand from the inside out and the hand sloughs off, kind of like Brundle-Fly.

Marty took the transforming armor idea and expanded upon it, creating some truly incredible sculpts that work way better than my sketches ever did. With that, I got to work drawing and inking three separate, but cohesive, illustrations.

I had always wanted to do an illustration showing an epic battle like those awesome Autobots vs. Decepticons paintings on the backs of the boxes of Transformers. I'm also a big fan of the early Conan comics, the covers of which often featured Conan hopelessly outnumbered by a horde of gruesome creatures. This illustration would be the perfect chance to meld those two ideas together. I wanted to feature as many of Marty's new heads as possible. Matt even sent along a few new cool designs of his own, including the spider larva in the middle of the triptych who is wrestling with a beetle in the foreground, and the beetle-esque blaster-toting warrior in the right triptych who is in danger of getting pounced upon by an infected Sarvos. (Matt also came up with a cool storyline for this release.) Check out the scanned line work below.

And you can see the finished piece at the top. I included different resolutions of the illustration so that you can use it as a wallpaper, if you so choose. Enjoy!

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