I thought it might be fun to show the real world evolution of this particular character. Partly to explain why he has become such a big part of my current narrative. For me, being able to design a character in-game, to be as close as possible to my original idea, makes a lot of difference in whether I play them a little or a lot. Some times when I can't approximate a character I will try something radically different, and like it all the better. In this case, once they gave us the Project Clockwork and Defender 2015 outfits last year, I was finally able to make an armored suit that really came close to what I had envisioned for this character. (The scrap book holding these old drawings suffered some severe water damage so there is a lot of color bleeding on all of these.)
I was originally only going to show his 'final' real world sketch for comparison, but then I thought it might be fun to show the whole progression Starting in my junior year of high school, 1985. I had started reading Iron Man sporadically a couple years prior and although I generally liked him, I didn't like the 'spandex' style of armored suit he wore (I didn't really become a 'fan' until the Silver Centurion was introduced). I wanted something that looked more durable. That year, one of my best friends was an exchange student to Japan and sent me back a few things that were my first real exposure to anime. One of those things was a magazine about model building called DualMagazine At the time my drawing ability was limited to whatever I could copy, so the first version of this character was just a straight up copy of one of the robots featured in the magazine from a show called Panzer World Galient
This robot was called Panzer Hunter Zuwel. I called him Gladiatron. Obviously meant to be a play on Gladiator, in my mind the name should have worked, but it just doesn't roll off the tongue well. However I continued to call him that for many years. Then I wanted to try to make up my own design, of course it would be heavily influenced by Iron Man but I was so desperate for it to not be Iron man. And so we get this,
I also wanted to retain some of it's anime roots, Hence the leg flairs etc. Don't ask me why I used hot pink, I think the marker seemed more purplish when I first used it. As you will see, about the only thing that survived from this is the belt. Next I tried a little better color scheme but essentially the same design. I also was trying to retain the overlapping plates on the forearms, from the original robot design. (Incidentally, this pose is from the cover of Iron Man 213)
The next year, I try to return to the anime roots more fully, again borrowing bits from the magazine, and also the original design of the Doug/Warlock mech suit designed by Arthur Adams. At this point I had decided on the mostly-white and blue color scheme that he had originally.
He sits idle for several years while in the mean time I decide to attend art school and then revisit all my designs. The design is essentially the same as before just a little better presentation. I also then decide to experiment with a variety of color schemes. Trying to avoid the obvious. (although the red and black one did look pretty cool) Here is the blue and gold version which inspired the color scheme used in-game.
For years this character languished on the 'back burner' as it were, I mean with Iron Man tooling around there really was no reason to develop an armored character. Also due in no small part to his name which never really clicked. In CoH I tried to go in a completely different direction and made an armored suit with a copperish color scheme and called him simply Copper, which I generally liked for the time being. I recreated Copper in Champions but as I mentioned at the beginning, I never came up with a design I really liked. I then decided to just make the 'Iron Man clone' and almost randomly named him Halon. I suddenly liked this guy a lot more than Copper, and began developing his back story which was much more 'Champions' centric and even worked in a bit where he replaces Copper. He still didn't get a whole lot of play time till we got the Viper armor pieces. One of the things that really bothered me was that we didn't have any shoulder pads that sat down on the shoulders properly. The Viper ones were ok, but then you're running around looking like a viper guy. I basically had to work into his backstory that he was stealing his tech from Viper to cover that. The Holohex Armor helped some more, but was a little too organic looking for me. Finally we got decent shoulder pads from Project Clockwork (which I have to resist putting on everyone ;). You can see that in-game, I recently was able to even add the power cables his old design had, with the new costume creator changes and acquisition of the Cybermind bracers. All of this, coupled with a decent hybrid build I use for him, makes him really fun to play. (The only thing left I wish I could have, are the big flat 'antennae' on his helmet.)
While rummaging around for Halon's pics I ran across one for his arch-nemesis the Marquise. Again this is mostly lifted from model magazines. The legs are from Panzer Galient again, the arms,gun and head are mostly from a show called Heavy Metal L-Gaim