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The Works of Mike Ching

Although Mike Ching isn't very active when it comes to gaming table-top face-to-face RPGs, he's more than balances it out with his participation in AEGIS Play-By-E-Mail games.

Aside from being a self-confessed Gundam fanatic and gun lover, Mike is also into Japanese Dating-Sim computer games.  Therefore, when Jay Anyong (an AEGIS GM) announced that he was planning a dating-sim scenario set in the L5R world, Mike jumped at the opportunity to conceptualize what the girls would look like.

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger image.  They will open into a new window.


ANIMECHA! Attitude!
The original version was actually less dramatic, until FV suggested I tilt the pic a bit for effect.  The inspiration for this was the cover for Stormwatch Team Achilles #4.  I kind of like the concept of a lowly grunt GM taking down a big Super Robot.  It's pretty kick-ass in a way, but would probably look better if Roach drew it, or if someone CGed it.  As I said, I'm more of a conceptualist, not an artist.  The Shotgun, BTW, was a very late afterthought since the GM's Sniper Rifle didn't look appropriate for this scene.

Aquarelle Pencils, Oil Pastels, Ink, WinPhoto for text touchups, and sheer boredom. :p
(size: 103k)

Akiko - Phoenix Shugenja
This was the first L5R character sketch I made simply because the Phoenix Shugenja's character concept was the easiest: a 'Yamamoto Nadesico' (Japanese term for a traditional Japanese Girl).  Very shy, and traditional.  The costume motif was based on the Miko (Shrine-Maidens) seen at Japanese Shinto Temples more than anything from L5R.

Aquarelle Pencils and Ink. (@$^$@&@&$#*!!! I can't draw Kimonos worth a damn...)
(size: 60.4k)

Chie - Unicorn Battle-Maiden
The Battle-Maiden was conceptually the Shugenja's opposite.  She's a stereotypical 'cute' anime tomboy character, and I pictured her as having an Osaka-Ben accent.  The first test sketches even had her wearing a bandage on her nose, but it was removed in the final version.  To keep her from being TOO tomboyish, I added a headband-ribbon as well.

Aquarelle Pencils and Ink.
(size: 57k)

Akemi - Lion Samurai-ko
Obviously this sketch didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it.  The central theme of the Lion was for her character to have tawny, feral-looking and intense eyes. Although I got the eyes right, I wish I drew the rest of her a bit better.  Outside of the eyes, the character doesn't stand out as much as a Lion Clan character should.  Hopefully someone with better skills than mine would be able to rework her in a better light.

Aquarelle Pencils and Ink.
(size: 55.5k)

Fumiho - Dragon Magistrate
I'm not really that skilled an artist, I'm more of a conceptualizer (i.e. I think the concepts, someone else actually draws them).  Thus, I don't know how to draw older women.  That aside, the 'mature woman' concept seems to sit pretty well with some people who've seen this sketch.  I also made a mistake, placing the tattoo on her face as well.  In the end, FV does a better job of illustrating older women than I do. :p   Click here to see FV's version.

Aquarelle Pencils, Oil Pastels, Color Markers, and Ink.
(size: 43.3k)

Kyoko - Crane Artisan
I originally thought of making a female Crane Iai Duellist, but since more variety of characters was needed, I decided to listen to FV.  The Crane clan characters are always known to be incredibly attractive, but I didn't want her to appear too elegant; thus the glasses and frumpy-but-cute looking hair in a bow.  It also sets up for a (cliche) scene where this character removes her glasses.

Aquarelle Pencils, Oil Pastels, and Ink.
(size: 59.5k)

Mirai - Scorpion Courtesan
I've been immersed in too much Rurouni Kenshin (or Samurai X in the English version).  No matter how hard I try, the Courtesan concept always looks like Shishio's lover Yumi (from RK).  I guess it just can't be avoided, but still--the similarity is disturbing.  In accordance with the Scorpion motif, I also placed in the stinger-like braid.  The lineart sketches don't show it, but ideally the braid shouldn't fall straight down her back, but slightly coiled, as if alive (see colored pic).

Aquarelle Pencils, Oil Pastels, Color Markers, and Ink.
(size: 42k)

Satomi - Kuni Witch Hunter
The original concept of the Crab was to be this big macho woman.  Trouble is, I didn't know if that would sit well, until someone (I think it was either Jay or FV) made the suggestion that the Crab would be a drop-dead gorgeous babe instead of a hulking man-woman.  That idea clicked, and thus we have a wonderfully attractive, split-personality woman to add to the cast.  Kuni Witch Hunters normally use face paint, but I felt the character would be a lot better illustrated with a mask (reminiscent of Japanese Noh plays).  BTW, this is also my favorite piece of the cast (FV!  Do your rendition!).

Aquarelle Pencils, Oil Pastels, Color Markers, Dry-Cake Watercolors, and Ink.
(size 63.8k)