Character Contest 66 Winners!

We had a huge response to Character Contest 66: Cyborg — thank you all so much for sharing your creativity! As a result of the larger than usual number of entries, I also have a larger than usual number of Finalists. There were just too many quality submissions to limit it to the usual 20 or so.

I hope you enjoy browsing through this creme-de-la-creme as much as I have. Without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you (in alphabetical order) the following Finalists.


Alex went with a “traditional” super-hero look with “Hardwire”, and I think he did a stellar job. I say this all the time, but having an awesome environment or setting isn’t always necessary if you have a solid, believable, and well-executed character design. All the pieces here work great together, and the pure white background helps you focus just on the man … er, machine … cyborg himself. Itself. This is confusing! I like the techie looking shoe that echos the normal sneaker, the cool axe, and the nice touch of adding numbering to the leg bands. Great job, Alex!

I really liked all of AMS’ entries this week (as usual), but I picked out the Cyborg Centaur to highlight. It brought back fond memories of a couple of childhood toys, two Transformer-like centaur guys (one all white and one all black) that you could take apart as the limbs and such were held on with steel balls and magnets. Anyone remember what those were called? Anyway, this is a neat looking take on the concept of an organic/metal hybrid. Why limit yourself to human shapes when you start grafting on machines, after all? The setting is really nice, too. Any chance of adding that to the HM3 Custom Items Archive, AMS?

Asder’s soft-focused see-through “Cyborg” has a lot of charm to it. I like being able to see under the skin to the mix of organic and metallic bits. The colors also complement the layout well.

I don’t think I’ve seen Bad People post before, but I thoroughly enjoyed this “Bubble Brain” entry. The brain in a jar is classic, but done very well here, with the added bonus of a heart-viewing portal. That would come in handy when you’re thinking of dating a guy, because you can see ahead of time if he’s heartless or not.

I love the attitude and sassiness borntobealoser put into his steampunk “Clockwork Cyborg”. I can almost hear the clack-clack-clack or the gears in her neck as she’s cocking her head to the side and computing whether to come on to you or fill you full of lead. Her left (our right) shoulder is also genius, just a totally cool assembly of mechanics to build a custom limb. Just as nice is the puffy sleeve and human hand on the other side to reinforce that this is not just a robot, but a cyborg, coal-driven or not. For bringing us a whole new level of “steamy”, I definitely tip the hat to borntobealoser!

Brons’ “Tisiphone” is a neat mix of gritty street-level grime, high-tech parts, and old-fashioned fantasy goodness.

dblade continues to bring it with both custom items for you all to enjoy and with great creations of his own, as in the crowd favorite “Cyber Witch”. Not too much more to add to this, as it really speaks for itself.

Frevoli’s “RoboWalrus” is just too funny not to include!

Headlessgeneral had two entries I liked a lot. In addition to the not-pictured Killbert (great name!), I thought this “Wheels” image showed a ton of creativity and a lot of hard work. The highlighting alone … wow. I also think it’s neat how the arms aren’t strictly built along human lines, and the way the walker is also a chair for the guy. It’s a neat take on replacement limbs.

Much like borntobealoser’s entry, Ian T. Healy brought us a cyborg lady of the night. Starring now in of one of his short stories (available now on SmashWords), it’s Clockwork Chloe!

Jordan Xord’s “Pirate” would certainly be at home up in the rigging. Repelling boarders with a hail of bullets. Another nice, clean, simple design that works.

Kaylin88100 put a lot of work into a large number of submissions this week, which is cool on its own. But I really liked “Mind Control”, perhaps in part because he brings to mind a much cooler “Validus” from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Only not as huggable. This is another really good take on the “Brain in a Jar” style of cyborg.

Kwnnos got an ethereal, “Ghost in the Machine” type of look out of “Cassandra” that’s a nice contrast to some of the harder-edged submissions. Great use of patterning, colors, and item choices.

mercwithoutamouth has another addition to the Steamwork pantheon with “Steam”. I like the combination of classic elements with the metallic bits, The tattoo on the human arm is a nice touch as well.

How could I not include Myro’s “Hippoburg”?! I would totally want one of these.

On a more serious note for Myro, I really like the dynamism and thought behind his “Turbo” illustration. I know the pose is originally from the innovative SeanDavidRoss, but Myro’s use of the baggy pant bottoms to sell the idea that he’s upside down is a fantastic touch. The boxers peeking out help, too. But what I particularly think is inspired is the idea that not all cybernetics have to be built around death-rays and bullets. This built-in sound system is something I could actually see happening in the real world. Really clever, and a well-executed image to illustrate it.

This is newerlie’s second contest, I believe, and once again we have a wonderful submission. I’m glad you decided to join in on the fun! What I like about this one specifically (besides just the general quality of the demon cybersatyr body) is the use of that axe blade as a holographic weapon, and how it looks like it’s coming out of the gauntlet at an angle. Nice job!

PapaKrok once again brings the brilliance with “CyberBabe”, an illustration that I thought for a while was going to scare everyone else into not entering the contest at all! Luckily that wasn’t the case, but this is still a wonderful image of a cyborg actually being assembled.

Actually, though, I think I liked his “Tankmunculus” better. It’s like the bizarre love-child of Slimer from “Ghostbusters” and the Road Warrior.

Pesky’s “Cybertaur” has a lot of great elements to it, from the way it has a great flow to it, to the combination of real and artificial satyr legs, to the nice item choices, to the way the bow is being held (although the string should technically be on the other side of the forearm). A great image bursting with energy!

I’ll agree with the other commenters that the small but vital addition of the reflection in the ice of Spidercow2010’s “Linda” helps seal the deal on this neat character concept. I love the integrated arm keyboard, too, that’s a great idea, which I will be calling Best Buy about having installed as soon as I am done with this post.

Tool’s “Cyber Ninja” looks cool, although I do wonder just how stealthy he could be with that gigantic metal gun built in to his arm …

Trekkie’s “Caped Cyborg” is another good super-hero type of concept. I like the vaguely “Specter” vibe you get!

I don’t think we’ve seen vodnik enter a contest before, but if all his or her entries are going to be of the high quality we got this week, I’m all for it! My favorite was this “Demetrius Panoptes”, featuring really inspired use of insignia to build virtually the entire body. The buried eyes in the thighs and background elements adds a real sense of the otherworldly to the whole illustration. Definitely worth a click-through!

I liked both the not-shown “Windup Man” and this “CyberWere” by Watson Bradshaw. I chose to highlight this one because of the neat asymmetrical nature of the body, adding to the concept of a diseased creature lurching through the night to feast on the flesh of the nearest ATM machine, or coed, whichever comes first.

Finally, we have Zyp’s clever, creative, and fun “Cyborg DJ”. As he said, they replaced the arms and created the world’s greatest disc jokey! A great combination of colors, background elements, and concept.


As you can see, picking just one winner from this great slate of Finalists is no mean feat. From the comments, it sounds like PapaKrok’s “Cyber Babe”, dblade’s “Cyber Witch”, and Zyp’s “Cyborg DJ” were the crowd favorites. But you know me, I’m no slave to the crowd! Instead I’m going with an entry that I thought had a fantastic combination of personality, pose, style, and design. Namely, borntobealoser’s “Clockwork Cyborg”! I guess you’re going to have to change your handle now!

It was a tough choice, but something about her really caught my eye and made me want to know more about her, which to me is the hallmark of the successful character illustration. Great job, borntobealoser, and all of you Finalists!

41 Responses to Character Contest 66 Winners!

  1. Thanks for the mention on my design! Appreciated.

  2. Congrats to all, esp borntoSO-NOTbealoser!

  3. Cool! My first finalist mention! I did notice when I finished it that he did look Spectre-like.
    I really do love Cyborg DJ, though.
    Clockwork Cyborg is definitely very good. Well done borntobealoser!

  4. borntobealoser has now disprooved their name

    @Zyp wow that really is amazing, just all the shining glowy-ness

    @Myro I think I know what we all want to see… Hippoburg vs RoboWalrus

  5. borntobealoser! You gotta change your handle now! Nice work and super creepy pose, I can hear the whir…click…whir…and feel the mechanical death-stumble inching toward me in a dark, steampunk laboratory…very Bladerunner!

    I think there were some freakin amazing entries this time, I think it is getting harder to make a splash in this pool! Loved em all, but Cyborg DJ moved me in a weird, loungy, blue-light kinda way…. I like to imagine he’s spinning STYX “Mr Roboto”.

  6. Congrats to all finalists :) great job everyone!

  7. Congrats borntobealoser! Congrats finalists!

  8. Congrats borntobealoser!

  9. Great job everyone!

  10. Well, I didn’t win, but congratulations to the winners!

  11. The winner remind me a little bit of bioshock. Gratulation.
    But…ok i say dblade and watson bradshaw were my favourite.
    Tastes are different.

  12. borntobealoser

    Woah…
    I really wasn’t expecting to win when I started reading this. When I saw all the hard work put into the other entries, I started to feel a little guilty. I’m really very grateful that I was chosen as winner.

  13. borntobealoser

    I haven’t really thought about what I would want as my prize, but I have been playing a game called Minecraft recently, some of you may have heard of it. It’s been controlling my life, I can’t stop thinking about it! So, as my prize, I would like something related to Minecraft. I’m not sure how this works, you may not be allowed to create something that is obviously from somewhere else. If that’s the case, I can always come up with something else.

    What I would like most is a Creeper added as a companion:

    http://images.wikia.com/minecraft/images/0/0a/Creeper.png

    http://www.minecraftwiki.net/images/thumb/f/fe/Twocreepers.png/200px-Twocreepers.png

    But any other Minecraft related thing would be just as good (maybe the other contestants can come up with something?). Hope this isn’t too much to ask for, or isn’t allowed.

    Thanks!

  14. Excellent job, borntobawinner! It was a tough competition so be proud.

  15. Congrats to borntobealoser! Thanks to Jeff for the shout out and were these the toys you were talking about? http://www.toymania.com/columns/spotlight/s1micronauts.shtml
    How could you forget the Micronauts? I had these when I was a kid after walking to school uphill both ways in the snow! (you have to say that last line like a crappy, old man) I’ll work on the background and add it to the forums. Cheers!

  16. clockwork cyborg looks like the things from doctor who

  17. I’ve actually never played Minecraft, so I definitely would be open to suggestions from those who have as to what would be a good “inspired by” item from there. If anyone has better images of the creepers, that would be great too.

  18. YES! Thank you AMS, that’s exactly what it was. I did a search for Micronauts centaur but I didn’t find it, this is great. Man, those things were cool. I might have to go hit up eBay now …

  19. Watson Bradshaw

    Great work on Clockwork Cyborg, I am a huge fan of the steampunk esthetic and glad to see it win. As always PapaKrok, dblade, and Zyp brought the thunder but there were also some amazing work from Myro, Pesky, and Asder to mention a few.

  20. Congrats, glad I could make it to the finalist too!

  21. borntobealoser

    So Minecraft is an OK suggestion for a prize then, Jeff? I understand how you’ll need some better pictures of Creepers, so I tried to find some:

    http://evtron.com/Evtron-Alpha/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Creeper.png

    http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy175/borntobealoser/creeper1.png

    I’m not sure whether these are good enough, but I think they give more of an idea than the first ones I gave.
    http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy175/borntobealoser/creeper2.png

    http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy175/borntobealoser/creeper3.png

    http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy175/borntobealoser/creeper4.png

  22. borntobealoser

    Ooops!

    I noticed that I accidentally moved my cursor to the middle of my hyperlinks when I wrote: “I’m not sure whether these are good enough, but I think they give more of an idea than the first ones I gave”.

    That was meant to be at the end.

    Just so nobody gets confused. Terribly sorry. :P

  23. Congrats Borntobealoser! (That really sounds kinda like I’m insulting you, doesn’t it? Well I’m not!) I really like the colourscheme in the Clockwork Cyborg!

    @Papakrok: Domo arigato! :D

  24. Wow, some awesome work done this week. Congrats borntobealoser on the win, which of course, sounds oxymoronic now that I said it.

    Thanks Jeff for not one, but two Honorable Mentions, although I should point out it is Hippoborg, not Hippoburg.

    Frevoli (4): Hippoborg vs. RoboWalrus definitely needs a Deadliest Warrior treatment. I would so watch that.

  25. Clockwork Cyborg also made me think of the crazy nurses from Silent Hill. Creepy.

  26. Blue Blazer Blue Blazer

    Congrats. Now I know what people mean when they talk about how much it sucks to work hard at an entry and not even get mentioned.

  27. Hey AMS howd u do the face i love the detail in it and zyp the color of yours is amazing great work!

  28. @Watson Bradshaw: Is Cyborgwere A cyborg whose human parts turn into a wolf, or is he a human who transforms into a cyborg werewolf? If he bites me will I turn into a cyborg werewolf or just a werewolf? I can’t sleep trying to figure this out… :D

  29. I think when he bites you, your Ipod, watch, and phone grow fur.

  30. spidercow2010

    Well done all; surprised to see mine get a mention against the odds. Congratulations to the winner, ‘loser.

  31. Grats for all finalist. –

    I love Papakrok, Dblade, and Zyp picture.
    I personally miss to don’t see Kytana picture. – That picture is awesome too.

  32. Congrats, borntobealoser. I’m a steampunk kind of guy at heart (right next to my mech aorta and pouty little girl artery… but anyway…)

    Zyp snuck in DJ Cyborg. Love the pose and colors!

    Personal favorie was Pandademic’s “The Rusted Man.”

    @ams & Jeff: When I saw the Cybertaur, I also thought “Micronauts!” Rumor has it that a movie in the works. Rumor for… 30 years now.

  33. Congratulations!

    So many good entries this week … people really brought their A games to this one.

  34. Holy S&*%!

    That’s all I could manage to get out before I had to go and collect the pieces of myself…after being BLOWN AWAY! All of you have outdone yourselves– well done.

  35. Kaylin88100

    Waahh! I had I don’t know how many great characters saved on HM – and it just DELETED THEM ALL!!!!! HEEEEEEEELP!!!!

  36. @Kaylin: Did you clean your browser cache? You can save your work as text / xml files. “Select All” then paste into your text editor. Hope that helps.

  37. @31.Tarkabarks: Thx i miss it too…but ok.
    What’s done cannot be undone. Next try, next hope.

  38. Congrats BornToBeAWinner! There where a lot of good creations in this contest.

  39. Ok I guess Im not getting the picture or don’t understand. What is a creeper and what is minecraft? All i see in the picture is some fuzzy lego ahem… male attachment looking thing. I’ll try and google it.

  40. BTBAL, Ok so I googled it and it still looks like that but I found this link to one I thought looked cool if its what you meant but it wouldn’t work but I know of a creatuere from heroscape that looked simular, is this what you meant? Just trying to be on same page here.

    http://www.hasbro.com/games/kid-games/heroscape/default.cfm?page=Inside/CharacterDetail&char_id=10&set_id=3&set_type=2#altbox

  41. Zorbas the Awesome

    dude… no Daft Punk references?