"KARATE METAL!!" pinup

"KARATE METAL!!" pinup

Software: Corel Painter X, Adobe PhotoShop CS2, Shade 9
Hardware: Power Mac G5 2GHz dual memory 6GB, WACOM Intuos3 PTZ-630 and Mac OS X Tiger (ver. 10.4.9)

This is a pinup illustration for the Ultra Jump May 2009 issue.

When I decided to draw this "KARATE METAL!!", the first thing I wondered was which instruments each character plays in the band. It was easy for me to imagine that Zekka sings as a vocalist in the center, big Toji plays drums, and thin Rakan plays a guitar. But I wavered in Taraba's part. I picked up a back number of BURRN! magazine from my library, and as a result of researching it I found out there should be at least 2 guitarists. However, Taraba has a too large physique to match Rakan as twin guitarists. In the ordinary course of things, his part should be a bass guitar or something like that, but then my playful mind got me to introduce a fictitious musical instrument "bat-tuba".

The idea of "bat-tuba" was what I have kept since I was drawing the city of Scrapyard for the original GUNNM series, in which I couldn't use the instrument after all, so this was the first time that I actually drew it. Though the engine and frames were designed based on those of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it was difficult to draw a complicated structure with an angle that you look up from a lower place. So I used a 3DCG modeling on Shade and complete the design.

I created each of characters, musical instruments and Gargantua in the background in separate files, went on coloring, and finally compounded them in one file and adjusted it. Since the quantity of this work was likely to be huge, I asked Tsutomu (a.k.a. Tsu-chan) to help painting ground-colors for the bat-tuba, the drum kit and Gargantua. His contribution saved 2 or 3 days of work time.

The most challenging part was the color of Zekka's skin. In my image, his skin is a semi-transparent material like ivories -- but light colors tend to be severely affected by intense lighting. I tried painting 3 times or so, then made it good enough. Moreover, I thought "the characters in behind are emitting flames and electric discharge, so how about letting Zekka emit fire from his mouth?" and drew it once. But the microphone with special spines got blurred behind the fire, so I removed it.

I had detailed Gargantua in the background as well, but after each character was arranged, he got hidden mostly and inconspicuous.

I have a plan to draw another illustration called "GUN METAL!!", in which the Space Angels play in a band and that would be a pair along with this "KARATE METAL!!", but it might take time until the book of drawings is released.

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