As promised; the finished version(s) of the crab mutant guy from before. Coloured to boot.
I'm pretty happy with these. The blotchy style of not-really-shading gives a nice texture to them, though I'm not sure it'll be transferable to non-crab type peeps.
I'm also liking the hue changes on the shells, especially Mr Alpha on the top left there. I'm thinking that could be a useful technique to give a varied and organic appearance to large organic areas. For example, if I did some zombies I could use a dull grey colour for the flesh, but then work towards a bruised red or purple at the edges. Or olive reptiles that have pale underbellies or brown mottling.
And so on.
I was a little worried that Crab guy Alpha might outclass Beta and Gamma in terms of detailing -I didn't want to give them all the exact same crab features (past the basic carapace and claw theme), but neither did I want any one variant to stand out as the niftiest. I think that Beta and Gamma's more intricate carapaces have helped them hold their own.
Something else I'm thinking about is that those are three pretty different colour schemes. Ideally I want the variants to be interchangeable, and to look good in a mixed group. These... don't.
1) Colour each variant in all 3 colour schemes, so I can say " a bunch of random purple crab mutants" or whatever. This seems a little... simplistic.
2) Associate each colour scheme with a carapace style, and then swap claws and heads to make a couple of variants for each colour scheme. Problem - the colour scheme and carapace are both the most striking aspects. Will people even notice variety in claw and head when the major elements are so similar?
3) A little from column A, a little from column B. Colour each carapace variant in all three colour schemes but mix and match the heads and claws. This will involve the most work and won't be obvious if I'm not going to be using different colours together. But it would offend me the least. There are nine potential combinations of head, claw and carapace. Divide them up so each colour scheme has one of each carapace style, that seems like the best compromise between variety and practicality.
I won't actually bother doing so yet though. I can do the actual busywork if I ever actually get round to using these guys. Besides, if I do get round to needing to do it, by then I'll probably be disatisfied with my current standard of work and re-do them all anyway.
I ought to mention what these crab guys are supposed to be. I'm thinking that "brine mutants" is a good name for the kind of thing that they are supposed to be. The hulking crab-man caught my fancy and ended up getting his own skeleton and so they look a bit uniform for mutants, but I have other plans as well. Hopefully they'll end up working as an unusually consistent strain mixed in amongst their more random brethren.