Droids Custom R5-D4 - Penciled!

by Bill Cable
on 2020-04-29, 07:45:35

As promised last week... actually, promised is far too strong a word.  As hoped for last week, I have some pencils to share for my Droids Custom R5-D4!

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So, a little background.  I went through a few different ideas before settling on this one.  My first, absolutely awful idea was to do an astromech band inspired by the Droids Cartoon.  R5 would be playing one of those guitar-keyboard things, R2 would have a bass guitar, and Gonk would be stomping on a drum pedal.  And I loved it in all its awfulness.  That was, until I discovered it was a false memory!  After a good bit of research, I figured out I conflated R2-D2's cringe-worthy breakdance routine in the cartoon with a Simpsons bit where R2 played a guitar.  Hopes dashed, I moved on.

Lost, I reached out to world-renowned R5-D4 focus collector Brian Angel to get his ideas.  He was super excited I'm doing R5-D4, and suggested I depict the scene where R2 disables R5 ensuring he'd explode and R2 would be purchased with 3PO.  Now - I always felt that story was a bit of a stretch.  How would R2 have any idea he was going to be sold to someone in the vicinity of Obi-Wan, and conclude that fragging his competition might improve his chances of completing his mission?  But anyway, after some pondering I decided there was no real fun way to translate that to art, so I abandoned it.

I turned my focus to "bad motivator."  I wanted R5 to be mischievous.  I wanted him to be a punk.  And a vision formed in my head.  I penciled it in two sessions, the results of the first of them above, and the second here:

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Now that there is R5 being a problem.  Resisting the Jawa attempting to affix his restraining bolt.  And it's fun stuff. Dynamic and playful.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.

My big fear is that I'm ripping off something I've seen before... because I could swear I saw something just like this.  I don't recall if it was R2 or R5, but Jawa riding an astromech seems like it's been done.  But after an hour plus of Google searching, I couldn't find any other examples.  I apologize if it turns out my design was inspired by something somebody else created.  It seems like it's too good an idea not to have been done before!  Worst case, I've put my own spin on it.

I think I want to put a boulder in the lower-left for some character, but other than that it's essentially done.  So moving on to inks!

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