This is a commissioned work of my avatar/fursona as envisioned by fantasy artist Lauralien ( http://www.furaffinity.net/user/lauralien ). Arc is ©me, but the art is ©Lauralien. :)
It is with great pleasure and pride that I present to you Arc Nova’s official armored feral reference sheet! The original concept art by Wolf~Nymph was a fantastic way to introduce this new form of mine, but it is only with this that I now feel truly comfortable in commissioning new works featuring Arc’s feral armor. There were a number of specific details that I needed to have drawn out in detail to better explain how everything looks and operates. And there are a couple of minor additions, too. :)
The first change was the inclusion of a display and communication unit. I actually have to give credit to Wolf~Nymph for this one, as she repeatedly insisted that Arc be wearing some form of armor on his head. Stubbornly I refused, as I wanted to maintain the characteristic ‘look’ of Arc’s anthro form. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized he had to have something to help him operate his weaponry and receive information from the sensor unit. The compromise was a subtle headset that connects wirelessly to the rest of his equipment, allowing him to control it through voice commands and eye/head tracking.
The second addition was that of the sensor array located on top of the energy cannon. Patterned after an AWACS aircraft radome, the sensor unit assists Arc with target detection and tracking. The cannon can be used to attack enemies from thousands of miles away (well beyond line-of-sight,) but that ability is useless without a high degree of accuracy. This unit ensures that nothing can sneak up on Arc without being seen, and gives him the ability to strike targets at long ranges. It also keeps careful track of the position of Arc’s head and wings. Very bad things could happen if they were in the way while the weapon was being fired. Safety first!
The last real change was the addition of the thruster units at the back of the cannon. These couldn’t be shown properly in the concept art, so I wanted to make sure they were visible in the ref. Those air intakes on the cannon’s sides aren’t just for cooling the weapon itself, after all. It stands to reason that Arc’s armor adds an incredible amount of weight (even with high-tech advances in alloy design,) and even a dragon as strong as him would find it extra restrictive in the air. The boosters assist his flight capabilities in speed, maneuverability, and range, making him much more effective as an airborne warrior. They can also be used to enhance his jumping capability. Watch out for pounces!
Otherwise everything from the concept art was transferred to the ref sheet precisely as I envisioned it. Even better, Lauralien broke apart the inner workings of the cannon’s mechanics, showing off just how versatile it is as a weapon! The ability to pitch and rotate in any direction is a must for a cannon such as this, but the retractable barrel and sliding base also give it the ease-of-use necessary to operate it in a variety of conditions. In the forward position, it can be aimed at targets straight ahead, while in the rear position it can more easily be tilted toward airborne targets.
Of course he still has the missile pods on either side for medium-range explosive attacks, and his fire-breath and armored claws for close-in fighting. High-tech battledragons need to be well-suited for a variety of situations.
People often ask me why a dragon would ever need to wear armor. In the days of legend there may not have been a reason. But times have changed, and technology has changed with them. A dragon can no longer depend solely on his hide and talons if he is to be effective as an instrument of war. The fusion of beast and metal only serve to make history’s most fearsome apex predator even more so.
Thank you so much, Lauralien, for helping to make my vision into a reality! I simply couldn’t be happier with the final result of this, and I’m really looking forward to using it for future pieces of art! :D