Character Contest 92 Winners

Due to this conference taking forEVER and cab rides in Manhattan at rush hour being endless, I'm awfully late getting the results of our last Character Design Contest posted. My apologies. Time constraints are also keeping me from doing a writeup for each Finalist, which I regret, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Your challenge was to come up with an illustration showcasing a common soldier from any genre. Not the high and mighty generals or the one-off super hero, but your line grunt, the kind of man or woman (or orc or robot or ...) that fights on the front line against the enemy. All of the entries were great, but I picked out a handful that each had something special, unique, and/or spectacular about them.

I also wanted to send a special shout out to all our new folks, as well as returning stars Sean David Ross and Superfan1. Good to see you guys back!

Ladies and gentlemen, your Finalists!

Of course, as always there can be only one winner, and this week I am compelled to go with ... Ploughed Jester!

Since this was a Memorial Day contest, wherein we honor soliders who have died in the discharge of their duties, I thought this was an appropriate representative. I also really liked the lens flare effect, as well as the way Ploughed Jester left the camo pattern on the legs visible. That's a nice effect. Plus, the whole illustration evokes a real emotional response, which for my money is one of the hardest things for any artist to accomplish.

Congratulations to our first time winner! Email me or post a comment to this post with your prize request and I'll throw it on the ol' list.

Thanks to everyone who entered and a hearty well-done to all of our Finalists as well.

28 Responses to Character Contest 92 Winners

  1. Congrats to the winner, very well deserving piece, I see two of my pieces made it into the final pick. Very cool. See you guys next time!

  2. Very nice! I didn’t see this one the first time around so it was a great surprise. Congrats, Ploughed Jester.

  3. Congrats to Ploughed Jester and all the other finalists.

    And special thanks to all that have served, currently serving or going to serve in any military aspect!

    Cheers!

  4. The random d26 roll comes up “6”, which makes Jack the “Chosen One” of dblades Random Finalist Consolation prize.

    1. The Chosen One can choose one new item to be created for any existing category in Hero Machine 3 with the exception of these categories: Backgrounds, Companions. I also reserve the right to exclude monster bodies, but you can try me on this one. Sometimes I will take the bait.
    2. The new item must be applicable to the default body type. No specialized items for alternate body types (turned head, 3/4 torso, back view, etc…)
    3. I reserve the right to ask the Chosen One to pick another item if the request is beyond my ability or inappropriate for Hero Machine 3.
    4. Reference images or a really good description must be provided so I can fulfill the request with the minimal amount of heartache and frustration.
    So there you have it. As many of you are familiar with my contributions you know I can handle a wide range of art requests so don’t let the guidelines scare you. I do have limitations (damn you, Human Hair!!) so please be understanding if I have to decline a request.

    So Jack be nimble and quick and choose the art asset that I will depict. 🙂

  5. Congrats to the winner and all finalists!

  6. dblade:
    The random d26 roll comes up “6″, which makes Jack the “Chosen One” of dblades Random Finalist Consolation prize.

    1. The Chosen One can choose one new item to be created for any existing category in Hero Machine 3 with the exception of these categories: Backgrounds, Companions. I also reserve the right to exclude monster bodies, but you can try me on this one. Sometimes I will take the bait.
    2. The new item must be applicable to the default body type. No specialized items for alternate body types (turned head, 3/4 torso, back view, etc…)
    3. I reserve the right to ask the Chosen One to pick another item if the request is beyond my ability or inappropriate for Hero Machine 3.
    4. Reference images or a really good description must be provided so I can fulfill the request with the minimal amount of heartache and frustration.
    So there you have it. As many of you are familiar with my contributions you know I can handle a wide range of art requests so don’t let the guidelines scare you. I do have limitations (damn you, Human Hair!!) so please be understanding if I have to decline a request.

    So Jack be nimble and quick and choose the art asset that I will depict.

    Oh man, this is so cool!

    For my image, I’d like a pair of cargo shorts like these, http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mV_mw6fknTo/S9mcuWi7vYI/AAAAAAAACS4/s62IrXCQGUg/s1600/Gap+Cargo+shorts.jpg, as there are no shorts in HM at the mo’. It would be loaded in Legwear-MalePants.

  7. Excellent choice, Jack. Cargo shorts it is.

  8. Ploughed Jester

    Wow… I really didn’t expect that. While definitely my favorite of my entries, I just didn’t think it fit the task that well. That was just the first thing I thought of when reading about a soldier contest and I only included it because it meant something to me and I really just wanted others to see it. I’m really glad it was appreciated.

    I’ll have to think on what I’d like to see added to the builder… I can think of so many niche items, but I may see if I can come up with something a bit versatile.

    And everyone else… dblade never ceases to impress with the Fallout/40K hybrid Deathdog, RobM’s plastic army man definitely caused a moment of waxing nostalgic, Jack’s rope dropping soldier gave me a few new ideas (dig the direct pointing gun), TJ’s cavscout was simple, yet nicely done, and Iscarioto’s Alpha Company hit the future note on the head for me with a bit of clone trooper style. A lot of cool stuff both in and out of the finals.

    Cheers to all involved and thanks alot.

  9. Tik Tak Tik Tak Here is the Clown.

    Gratz for the finalist and gratz for the winner. I hope everybody have fun when made his/her contest entry.

    😀 – I’m suprised a bit, only bit. 😀 He he he.

    I personally hate this contest, and the reason is not that to i can’t do anything cool, i hate the meaning of this contest. I live europe, in the middle of the old world a we never celebrate the soldiers. I don’t know why i tribute to someone who fight against an another man and kill that. Don’t want to humilate the veterans or the active soldiers, but this is the truth. If someone tell me where comes this celebrate i maybe understand, but i don’t change my mind.

  10. Congrats, Ploughed Jester! That really is an amazing entry!

  11. Harlequin, if someone is coming to try and kill you and your family, and is stopped by a soldier giving up his or her life to protect you and everything you love, you’re telling me there’s nothing there to celebrate? You’re telling me that the men and women in uniform who died in World War II fighting for the Allies to defeat Nazi Germany and liberate millions of Jews from extermination were not worth honoring?

    You’re telling me that you’re a person who loves super-heroes — men and women who dress up in a uniform to fight for the defenseless against the strong who would harm them — and yet you have no regard for real men and women who really do dress up in uniforms to do the exact same thing?

    I’m not saying war is always right and that violence is always the answer. But to say it’s never right to pay tribute to soldiers who die doing their duty because they killed another person is just wrong.

    Some soldiers are ass-holes, because soldiers are people and some people are ass-holes. Not everyone in uniform is a paragon of goodness and light. And history is certainly rife with examples of governments spending the blood of their young men and women in causes both horrific and immoral.

    But some soldiers are heroes, because soldiers are people and people are capable of being heroic. And history is certainly rife with examples of governments spending the blood of their young men and women in causes both glorious and noble.

    You have what you have at least in part because other people are willing to die to protect you. Regardless of what you think about war, that willingness is worth your respect.

  12. Well done Ploughed jester, such a poignant image!

  13. Harlequin:
    I personally hate this contest, and the reason is not that to i can’t do anything cool, i hate the meaning of this contest. I live europe, in the middle of the old world a we never celebrate the soldiers. I don’t know why i tribute to someone who fight against an another man and kill that. Don’t want to humilate the veterans or the active soldiers, but this is the truth. If someone tell me where comes this celebrate i maybe understand, but i don’t change my mind.

    To me, I think the American mindset is that a soldier’s main purpose is to protect the people of his country from outside threats. It’s not that we want them to go out and just kill people or conquer other countries or oppress other cultures anything like that, but historically we’ve been big on having a good military to keep us from being killed or conquered or oppressed. We like to say that “the best defense is a good offense,” or as the U.S. constitution says, “A well regulated militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State.”

    To us, a soldier isn’t someone who goes and fights and kills. A soldier is someone who willingly risks everything—his mind, his body, his life—to keep his friends and family and fellow U.S. citizens safe. He puts himself in harm’s way and lives in difficult conditions and gets shot at so that other people don’t have to.

    So the reason we’re so big on celebrating our soldiers is that we’re thankful to them for the sacrifices they make to give the rest of us a secure and comfortable existence.

  14. Tik Tak Tik Tak Here is the Clown.

    Thanks Jeff and Logosgal the explains. Now i understand the deeper meaning of this. We don’t have this type celebrations. I also respect that soldiers who save his country.

    Thank you – Köszönöm Szépen

  15. First: Greats on the winner(s)!
    And sorry for that, but i must say a little bit for this patriotism in america( i see).
    In our land we celebrate this day also, in a different way. So we are sorrow about the people they fallen and unknown troops. But you honor also the leaving soldiers to invade other countries.
    You think its about protect other people in other lands? For piece and honor? No thats wrong.
    You go there because the politican and companies want oil and money from there. Sorry its hard, but thats the truth.
    Individuals want believe them and search for a good reason, but the bottom line is to fight for nothing. You think so patriotic because american people are educated with them.
    You are big land, thats right. And you have a many problems like poverty and crime in you own land. Fight against them, risk his life in your own continent, the own land, the own city. Most of the heroes to that.
    And forget the past, live in the present day.
    Know you can convict me for that, but many european think so. America i a good land, but the patriotism and the old stuff like world war beats me hard.

  16. Congrats to all ! well we need to seperate the idea that soldiers and goverments are the same.I am not a support of a war for oil!I think unfortunately $ is most of the time a reason for war.Our soldiers and all others soldiers are there to protect freedom,and for that they are heroes!
    I am a patriot of the united states of America,NOT the U>S> government.soldiers should be Honored,the just follow orders and as long as the believe that they are fighting for freedom.they should be treated with respect.this is not about memorializing governments it’s about memorializing sons,daughters,fathers,mothers,sisters,brothers,aunts,uncles who chose to give their own lives to fight for freedom against primitive idiots trying to take that away from us,because they believe that everyone is wrong and they are right in thier fanatical rediculous beliefs.Anyway I honor you all who have served are servingand who died serving us and our freedom!

  17. Charles "Drago" Smith

    I didn’t get a chance to post mine, but looking at the winner it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This one totally blew mine out of the water. Awesome job and congrats to the winner, from an ex-infantry soldier.

  18. The reason Americans memorialize soldiers is because our military tradition is based on the concept of the citizen soldier volunteering to fight for a just cause – our independence, preservation of the union, the defeat of fascism. The idea is that we fight defensively rather than aggressively and that war involves sacrifice from everyone not just the professional or mercenary soldier. This has not always been explicitly true of course. America’s military motives haven’t always been pure. But I think what many of the entries for this contest convey (very well) is a paradoxical combination of pride in fighting for our ideals and a realization that despite what we may feel is a just reason for war, the price is always too high.

  19. @scatman: I mean its an idea from the goverment to go in war, not thats is the soldier who fight for them. You can memorializing about the soldiers, its your right. But i cant understand that people go in other countries to die pointless. For himself yes, he believe to fight for right, but still he fight for oil and money.
    But for the rest i agree. Freedom is that who ends the war and no soldier must die.

  20. Tik Tak Tik Tak Here is the Clown.

    What i start what i start.
    So we don’t see the things equally in europe and in the USA.

  21. Congrats, Ploughed Jester – a beautiful and evocative illustration.

  22. The Atomic Punk

    Congrats, Ploughed Jester and all finalists! My personal favorite is Sean David Ross’ “Soldier.” Very solemn and reflective

  23. ProwlerKnight

    I dont agree with the standards of the government, not many americans do, but a man who is willing to lay down everything on field and sacrifice the one thing that many people take for granted, his life, and fight for the protection of our freedomes and the safety of people they don’t even know, that in my eyes is a real super-hero. Many people are focused on what the Government is doing and ordering but nobody ever looks at what those troops endure and fight. I dont think the government is right to fight for oil or land, but the men and women of our armed forces didnt sign up for oil or land, we as americans were devastated at the actions of a single group of terrorists, and saw the tyranny of these men.
    Osama Bin Laden was once a simple farmer who’s land was taken yes for oil, but his actions were un-justified and wrong, and lead to many peoples deaths. I’m not trying to start a social fight, just my simple opinion that our government was wrong to take land, but that didnt mean they had to do what they did.
    Our soldiers we honor because they fight not because they want to (well true soldiers I mean), but because somebody has too. This world isn’t perfect and god knows America is far from perfect, and if we don’t fight to keep others safe, then who else will? Same goes for any military in any country, the British SAS as well, who fight for their country and lay down their lives everyday so we can sleep at night without having to worry about being blown to bits and peices.
    This isnt meant to mudsling anybodies opinions, this is just my own ideas.

  24. ProwlerKnight: >Osama Bin Laden was once a simple farmer who’s land was taken yes for oil, but his actions were un-justified and wrong, and lead to many peoples deaths. I’m not trying to start a social fight, just my simple opinion that our government was wrong to take land, but that didnt mean they had to do what they did.

    I try to avoid politics when I am on HeroMachine as well. Especially after I blew up, taking out a bad day here. Still, I feel compelled to clarify this misconception, mis-charactization of Osama bin Laden.

    Osama was not a “simple farmer.” Please refer to his biography. Osama was a multi-millionaire by birth (a 1-Percenter, if you will). He became a jihadist by choice. Folks won’t like what I say next. But he was the Oriental equivalent of a bourgeois intellectual. Rich kid who took up radical causes with all the comfort and safety of daddy’s money.

    He earned a university degree in Public Administration. His land was not taken for oil. He supported Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. The United States even supported him against the Soviets! However, after the Soviets were repelled, he turned against his native Saudi Arabia and his U.S. allies. He orchestrated a campaign of murder out of cult fanaticism not “stolen land.”

  25. ProwlerKnight

    The Atomic Punk: I try to avoid politics when I am on HeroMachine as well. Especially after I blew up, taking out a bad day here. Still, I feel compelled to clarify this misconception, mis-charactization of Osama bin Laden.Osama was not a “simple farmer.” Please refer to his biography. Osama was a multi-millionaire by birth (a 1-Percenter, if you will). He became a jihadist by choice. Folks won’t like what I say next. But he was the Oriental equivalent of a bourgeois intellectual. Rich kid who took up radical causes with all the comfort and safety of daddy’s money.He earned a university degree in Public Administration. His land was not taken for oil. He supported Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. The United States even supported him against the Soviets! However, after the Soviets were repelled, he turned against his native Saudi Arabia and his U.S. allies. He orchestrated a campaign of murder out of cult fanaticism not “stolen land.”

    Touche good friend, and that goes along with what I said about focused on the Government, even I myself got twisted into it. But yeah I try to avoid discussions over politics myself, just this specific topic kindof brought it out of me, idk why or how but I had to say my peace and I was done, but thank you for the info lol.

  26. I think a lot of the current swell of troop support comes from the guilt of the baby boomers who once spat on troops returning from Vietnam. So, now they try to assuage their collective guilt by being fanatical about supporting the troops to make up for their earlier stupidity.
    While I think the troops should be supported, especially after they finish their service (history is full of governments brought down by disgruntled soldiers that were embittered by how they were treated after the war(s) ended.), I think the current level of adoration almost feels like diefication rather than simple respect, and some extreme displays bordering on jingoism, always make me a little uneasy.
    Maybe the European resistance to the issue arises from having suffered first-hand the effects politicization of this issue can have, as Hitler tapped into those feelings long ago to create Nazi Germany. He started with such issues as supporting the troops, and turned that into a blind unthinking patriotism that led to the worst atrocities in human history. So, yeah, I could see where the Europeans might view the issue differently.

  27. Ploughed Jester

    My belief in the idea that if our troops were told to turn on the citizens as in Nazi Germany they would disobey such horrid orders is firm. I know I would as would a great many others. We do not cultivate sheep in today’s military, but thinkers and innovators. The fact that our troops are both volunteers and citizens themselves is what will preserve this nation. We are not mercenaries for hire, but defenders of our nation. We are not blind followers, but leaders all, who know when to stand for what is right. Our duty is, first and foremost, to the people.

    Now then, prize like things… I have several selfish requests for things that I specifically want for one or two drawings, but I’ve come up with something a bit more versatile that I hope will see more broad usage.

    I would like to see some tattered robes. Something like a swamp shaman, spectral haunter, or bedraggled necromancer might wear… torn, maybe also stitched together of multiple pieces of cloth, with long, open sleeves. A front and side sleeve could be useful too, though I may be asking a bit much. There are already a bunch of good hoods so those aren’t really necessary.

    Some examples of what I’m thinking of and/or what could be done with this item follow (oh, and none of the armors or accoutrements are requested, just the robey bits):
    http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/126/4/9/49a5c22cd94665385e2e9f908a9d6053.jpg
    http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs9/i/2006/149/4/4/Necromancer_by_HAOSvip.jpg
    http://dungeonsmaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Necromancer11.jpg
    http://images.epilogue.net/users/sedone_t/wraith.jpg

    If this request is in any way too much or an unrealistic prize choice, please let me know, as it is my first time earning a prize. Hope it’s a welcome and oft used addition. Cheers.

  28. No problem, Jester, thanks!