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Sally Redesign Part 2 by BenBates Sally Redesign Part 2 by BenBates
Weaponized Mecha Sally

This one took a lot more time and a lot more doodling. When I started the design I didn't know what "weaponizing" her actually meant, all I knew was she transformed into a stronger robot. I suppose I thought there was some very specific plans for what she would do and how it would relate to the story, and those details would eventually influence the design decisions. While I waited to find that out I had a vibe in my mind I wanted to explore, which is what all the top sketches are. 

The dark red trim/band around the bottom of her hair with the low pointed bangs gave me an idea to imply the shape as a sort of hat, giving her a potential evil military officer vibe.   

Looking through the sketches there I guess I started toying around with a big arm cannon, which looks cool, and it didn't take long to start messing around with a powerful laser cannon inside her head/hair (which I'm happy to say become one of her actual weapons used in the comic).

As you can see in the color sketches, Sally has very few pieces of metal with her fur tone. Knowing that this design would influence her deroboticized design down the road, gave me the opportunity to start familiarizing the reader with a Sally baring less fur. 

I sent these ideas off and was given the direction to try a sleeker body design. Editor Paul Kaminski also stated an interest in designing signature weapons for her, and I'm pretty sure he specified the idea of arm blades, which were super tough to figure out! 

I wanted something simple, something that could conceivably be used by an actual enemy in the games.  Although it can vary throughout the last twenty years, Sonic badguys usually fall into a fun and cartoony design approach, they attack with lightbulbs or launch spikes at you. More lethal threats tend to be laser beams, missiles, and bombs. 
Getting away from Eggman's robots, the character's powers and attacks tend to also be simple and unique. Curling up into balls, or a big hammer, or maybe throwing a giant shuriken. I wanted to bend these arm blades over into that kind of thinking as much as I could. Just because I could do anything I wanted to didn't mean I wanted to go for the easy solutions, I wanted it to fit in and be right.
What would it look like if Metal Sonic had arm blades? 

Unfortunately I don't think Metal Sonic's blades would look anything like what I came up with. These are too straightforward, too generic. The energy blades are kind of fun I suppose, but they're still not "there".
I did these drawings two and half years ago, and I can see what I might do differently now to come up with a better idea but I don't want to beat myself up too much about it. I was designing three forms of Sally all at the same time after all, my mind was thinking about a lot of stuff. 

So from there I did the turnaround and right at the end Paul had the idea to use power rings as her power source and add a compartment to her back. Her chest is very small and I wasn't sure how big power rings were supposed to be, but you can see my suggested solution if there was a size discrepancy. 

To be totally honest, when I was working on the Sonic comics I read every issue to stay up to date but around the time Sally was weaponized I started doing work on Mega Man and then eventually for other comic companies and put the story on hold. I've got all the issues stacked up for any future reference, but I really haven't read anything after issue 232. Was the power ring backpack ever shown in an issue? 

Oh yeah, and if you didn't notice her backpack is a slightly modified Dreamcast.

So because I jumped over to Mega Man I never got the chance to draw a Weaponized Mecha Sally story! It was something I really felt I missed out on. Luckily, during the Worlds Collide arc I got to spend at least one little moment with her.  

The last few images are some of my favorite stuff, her attacks and powers! It was a pleasant surprise to learn that I could design her weapons. Aside from Pauls suggestion about the arm blades, I thought it would be cool if she used lightning and tried to think what attacks she would have in a game. 

The first image is her using a Lightening Shield to block attacks. I don't know if the Lightening Shield has even been used in the comics before, but if not, more game elements added, haha! I thought she could also capture other characters in the shield.   





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:iconthelazyrat:
Thelazyrat Featured By Owner May 11, 2014  Hobbyist
Wait! The back pack was a modified dreamcast? Awesome! Shame the lightening shield wasn't used,I would have loved to have seen sonic get trapped in that.
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:iconglitched-moonveil:
Glitched-Moonveil Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is very cool~
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:iconaho4464:
AhO4464 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
ts nice Ha she or deroboticized. Though, I do like this design as well ^^
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:iconmystic2760:
Mystic2760 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OH DEAR GOD, SHE'S GOT A FOREHEAD CANNON.
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:iconglitcher:
glitcher Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's an excellent design indeed, and it feels like it could stand alongside Metal Sonic and Metal Knuckles without looking out of place. (I was also impressed with the new design for Mecha Sonic briefly seen in Worlds Collide.) The Dreamcast backpack is a nice touch and I never really noticed it before. I guess I was right in assuming that Sally's new look was influenced by her weaponized appearance - but of course that plotline never came to fruition in the comics. Incidentally, with all of the Freedom Fighters receiving redesigns, how come you were only responsible for Sally? Evan Stanley says Ryan Jampole handled the rest. Was it because the other Freedom Fighters were addressed at a much later date owing to the outcome of Worlds Collide?
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:iconburaideviant:
Buraideviant Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
The dreamcast thing on the back reminds me of Cybertroopers games, Like Oratario Tangram.

but this is a travisty having Sally robotized, I am not caught up on the archie series buuuuuuuut again just thinking that this is stupid.  So was the megaman crossover but again I look up to you wish respect on mech designs.
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:iconguardian-of-legends:
Guardian-of-Legends Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I definitely see some inspiration from series like Mega Man Legends in the early designs for her, which is refreshing and creative. It's always great to see the designing process of the artist. :)
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:icontheezekiel300:
TheEzekiel300 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
loving it, but I wish archie would have kept the "thin boots" version of Sally. Those blade arms look way to tacky. 
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:iconbenbates:
BenBates Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Professional
I think tacky is a fair critique. 
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:icontheezekiel300:
TheEzekiel300 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013
It's a true honor to have you answer back, because your my favorite artist on the Sonic comics. I wish we could see more of your art often in the book, but I understand you got other comics to work on, as well. 
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:icondragonheart07:
dragonheart07 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm...her backpack resembling a modified Dreamcast, huh? Quite ingenious. ^^
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:iconericthewhitelion:
EricTheWhitelion Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
wow
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:iconakessel92:
akessel92 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
Mr. Bates I must say it is intresting seeing the actual process that was put into the designs of these characters. You sir have a gift. I hope you stay with the comics as one of its artists. And seeing your work on Mecha Sally so far still gets me every time.
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:iconbenbates:
BenBates Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Professional
Thank you! I'd love to stay involved with Sonic in anyway I can. I recently finished (and had a lot of fun making) the cover for 260 and am slated to do covers up to 263. 
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:iconakessel92:
akessel92 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013
I will be looking forward to them.
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:iconkolbatsun1226:
Kolbatsun1226 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
man, that is a lot of work. It's pretty awesome that it paid off! I did not know that was a Dreamcast. Now that I look at it though, It's sort of like a cross between Sega CD and the Dreamcast
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:iconbenbates:
BenBates Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Professional
Yeah, I didn't want to make the Dreamcast super obvious, but reading through these comments I'm realizing that was a mistake and I altered it too much. Shouldn't just gone for a straight tribute.  
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:iconkolbatsun1226:
Kolbatsun1226 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
it's still great though. Better than what I could've done 
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:iconwakeangel2001:
Wakeangel2001 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ha, never noticed the Dreamcast thing before.  I was always tempted to make a figure of this version of her too but the Metal Sonic figure I'd need to use for the base is really hard to get a hold of these days...
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:iconomegamorph:
OmegaMorph Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
The power ring compartment's a nice touch and I see just a wee bit of Mega Man influence, particularly the bulkier Legends version. I really like the action effects as well.
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:iconoldmanwinters:
oldmanwinters Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
That's an amazing admission about Sally's Dreamcast "backpack!"

To my knowledge, it was opened twice in the comics: first in Sonic the Hedgehog #233 (sadly it doesn't look anything like your Dreamcast design), and then again in Sonic Universe #39 (the angle makes it hard to see, but it certainly has more similarities to your style).  I'll try to get you some panel scans later!
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:iconjayfoxfire:
jayfoxfire Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
AWesome, I wish this arc didn't end as a cliffhanger. I would have loved to have Sonic rescue her and bring back her free will. That's what Sonic been trying to do....there they are trying to save her then boom world collide then boom Sally's normal again. 
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:iconrocketspeed88:
Rocketspeed88 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Having Sally turn into a Mecha was a bit hard to take, especially as I got back into the comics when the Endgame Saga arrived and was a big fan of Sonic and Sally together. However, the design did the change justice. Plenty of the evil but enough of the old Sal to make both the reader and Sonic upset that she ended up the way she did. The fact that you got to create the weapon designs would've been awesome and a lot fun to draw. The real challenge would be to create something that would look natural on Mecha Sally and be free-flowing as her physique and battle style was very . I suppose the design of the weapon would have to be a factor as you wouldn't want her wielding anything cumbersome.

Overall, it was a fabulous design that complimented the organic Sally. Though I am out of the loop, I would like to know if she got un-roboticised?





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:iconjayfoxfire:
jayfoxfire Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
She did. After the World Collide she's  normal again.
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:iconrocketspeed88:
Rocketspeed88 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
That's a relief! Thanks for filling me in :D!
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:iconjayfoxfire:
jayfoxfire Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
yur welcome :3
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:iconsorcererlance:
SorcererLance Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Student Filmographer
huh... really digging the bulkier designs, but admittedly it looks a little TOO much like Megaman X... I guess it was a good call to keep her similar to Metal Sonic in design. Also an interesting touch having a quasi-Dreamcast on her back... I don't think anyone would've noticed it at first before you mentioned it.

in hindsight, she did use those blades a little too often... I was half-expecting her to suddenly surprise people with hidden machine guns in her arms or something, but a head cannon I suppose is fine too, even if it was used rarely XP
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:iconlbdnytetrayn:
LBDNytetrayn Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
The backpack did show up once or twice: I think it was shown when Eggman initially added the power ring to her, and again in Eggman's Sonic Universe arc, when she fought Monkey Kahn and was drained of power, which called on him to use his power ring crown to replace it.

Digging the design; in some aspects, it reminds me a little of MegaMan Volnutt's armor from Mega Man Legends. Was there any influence there?
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:iconmastergraveheart:
MasterGraveheart Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013
I'm disappointed that this angle, as well as many others from the old world including runaway Bunnie, King Naugus, betrayer Geffory, the missing Echidnas, Mecha Sally, Team Freedom/Team Fighters, imprisoned Snively, Mogul's role, Sonic and Sally's rekindling relationship, and so many others, will never get a proper conclusion based on the greed f one old artist insistent on holding onto rights that have no benefit to him.  I understand why it had to happen (the new world), I'm just now happy on /how/ it happened.

I guess I can take comfort in seeing neat behind the scenes stuff like this, eh?  Nice job.  :)
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:iconbenbates:
BenBates Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Professional
So apparently Alphonse Karr is quoted for saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same". I wouldn't be surprised at all to find many of those threads revived in time. 

But in case they never are, I'm glad you can find some solace here in the inbetween. 
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:iconxanderfox:
xanderfox Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013
I could imagine her in a  game as a repeat boss who Sonic has to beat multiple times so Tails can record her data to create a deroboticizer weapon so they can Zap her back to her organic self.  And having both normal and mecha versions of Sally as unlockable characters.  When I saw the weaponized design I figured the intention was she'd be deroboticized still but end up with a new outfit.  Personally I was hoping for some sleek bodysuit type deal like Rouge in Sonic Heroes, but that might just be personal preference.  Strangely the more angular chest design reminds me of the Qubeley Mecha from the Gundam series, though with much smaller shoulder pads.
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:iconbenbates:
BenBates Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Professional
I like the repeat boss idea, that's good. 

I also like Rouge's Heroes outfit, she looked great in that game (and I like that it didn't stick, making it kind of special. I wouldn't mind if every other game she got a new outfit or something), but I think the bodysuit is probably too decked out and adventurous for Sally. She's got to be as casual as all the other characters around her usually are. 
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:iconabundanceokatharines:
AbundanceOKatharines Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Looking at this reminds me of the first time I even saw Mecha Sally. I remember being so Pissed off because she was my favorite character, but as the story went on I was beginning to see what was going to happen. I'm glad she got a redesign to fit her as well, even if others disagree I really fell in love with the design as soon as I saw it.
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:iconbenbates:
BenBates Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Professional
That's great! I'm glad the story and events were able to carry you beyond your initial reaction and to keep your interest! I think that's a pretty high compliment for the comic!
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:iconabundanceokatharines:
AbundanceOKatharines Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I do wonder whats to come, Like if Sally will get her memory back and we will see her reaction to her being Mecha Sally.
Sadly the only way to find out is to sit and wait ;u; 
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:iconsailormoonandsonicx:
SailorMoonAndSonicX Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Her backpack is a modified SEGA Dreamcast? Hahaha, that's awesome! :D That's a rather clever idea there.

Yay for more concept art! For some reason, I really enjoy seeing this kind of stuff -- all the designs and ideas that people come up with for characters and such. The in-depth look on all the stuff and ideas you came up with, as well as how and why you did, is intriguing. I also really like that you try to go with a feel of the games in the stuff you do. You really put a lot of thought into this stuff! It's been fun looking at these concepts for Mecha Sally and Rouge Woman. Almost ended up commenting on them all. :XD:

I really like those early concepts you came up with on the far left. It's a bit difficult to tell you which ones since there's so much here, but the ones with the thick, black upper legs, and one is a dark blue and the one with the light blue under it. I think those are my favorite, for some reason. But a lot of the other concepts are cool, too, including the final designs. c: I also see a character base in there; that gives me an idea on how you draw your characters! Very cool stuff here.
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:icondarkspeeds:
darkspeeds Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I needed a break from my portrait drawing for finals this week and I looked at this and I'm like...

Daaaamn... This is SICK Ben. 

I'm gonna make a proper analysis of your design approach later. Thanks for sharin'! :+fav:
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:iconspectrumelf:
Spectrumelf Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wait.. So you got to design Weaponized Mecha Sally but not actually draw her in the comic? Aaaaw man!!
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