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Before the Falcon... by Rob-Caswell Before the Falcon... by Rob-Caswell
This is another piece I did circa 1990(ish) for West End Games' Star Wars RPG. The assignment was to show what a freighter like the Millennium Falcon looked like in it's stock form. The main things I did to the design was to:

a) Replace the upper turret with avionics systems.
b) Close up all the open hull plating that we saw on the Falcon.
c) To add strap-on cargo pods to the upper surfaces to expand the ship's carrying capacity.

This image also reproduces the pencil doodles for the art and design department that lightly accompanied the finished art. Personally I do like this later interpretation better, as it shows a great departure from the lines we recognize as The Falcon: [link]
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:icontaranis69:
Taranis69 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nice work.. I remember the design
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:iconcolonialchrome:
ColonialChrome Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015
This was one of three images that started me on my seemingly endless project of deckplanning starships. The other two were the Falcon deckplan that was in the Star Wars Sourcebook and the X-Wing diagram in the same.

I'm interested in whether you saw the stock 1300 as being basically smooth and uniform on the upper surface? I'd assume that each cargo module would be, basically, identical (aside from having the pass through for the cockpit tube) and that these would therefore need the same surface features to bolt on to.

Either way, though, a great image.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
I did picture the cargo pods as fairly interchangeable. I'm not sure I'd approach this subject the same way today, but it seemed a good solution at the time :) I'm flattered that I could be part of the inspiration that set off your deckplan explorations!
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:iconcolonialchrome:
ColonialChrome Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015
Well, I would admit that in general I'd say if you needed to shift more cargo than a 1300 could hold, it'd be easier to just use a bigger ship, or two, but I've always felt that CEC are a little crazy, "How many engines do we need?" "How many can we fit?" "Well,  a dozen or so, but that's just asking for trouble, really, there's so many different ways we-" "A DOZEN! WE NEED A DOZEN! ALL THE ENGINES!" So an impractical but awesome solution to a problem that didn't really exist just fits, for me.

On a tangent, a few days back I generated up a 3-view Action 5 based on the original sketches you created...

fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/i/201…

And have to say I much prefer the ship being 'fat' compared to the thin Troy Vigil version.

I'd be curious on your take - I'm not sure I got the back end right.

The times I've tackled the ship before I've always had a hankering to make the dropped, presumed, bridge section as a detachable tug, of sorts, like a big rig cab, but have some troubles with the dome on the underside - normally I'd attribute it as the reactor core, but it seems too shallow for that to make sense.

Anyhoo, hope I'm not bugging you too badly.

B
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:iconblue-jedi:
Blue-Jedi Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014
I've always wondered.  Where do you put the cargo on one of these things?
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
In this case a lot of them are on the external cargo modules that strap into the upper hull.
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
And yet another inspiration for making a physical model is born. Actually, it was born years ago the first time I saw this pic in the RPG, but I (as usual) never got around to it. Now that I'm done moving (but not done unpacking, alas) I hope to eventually have time to get back into model building. I have a spare Falcon model somewhere that will be perfect for this.

By the way, I'm still discovering things like this in your gallery... I didn't know some of the SW art was yours, or more to the point, that you were the artist of work I'd seen so many years ago. Great to 'meet' you after all these years. (Or meet again, since we've chatted here at dA more than once.)

I like 'Chibibacca' as well!Clap 
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
I've got the Fine Molds 72nd scale Falcon, but I've yet to do more that open the box and admire it. I've been pondering trying to sell it and picking up the 1/144 version... but.... it really is nice to have the larger one, with the figures n' all. So my internal battle of the pragmatic vs. fanatic continues ;)

Having redone all the sigs in my gallery I fully understand how you could still be exploring it. Man, I've loaded BUNCHES of stuff here! :D  I'm happy that you've connected the dots to my 20th century self. It's nice to see that not all of that work has faded into forgotten history.
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
Budget constraints keep me from getting the Fine Molds 1/72 series (how awesome that somebody finally makes so many SW ships in the SAME SCALE!), so I was/am going to convert one of the old MPC Falcons. I picked one up for US$5.00 at a model contest swap meet... seems nobody wants the old, inaccurate model anymore since Fine Molds started their line.

I also have the tiny Falcon from the MPC 'Rebel Base on Hoth' diorama set, which is rather nicely detailed except for the sides of the hull. Might try to add a bunch of 'greeblies' to get the details more accurate on that little one.

I seriously need to live to be 300 just to complete all these ideas I've got running 'round in my head...

On an unrelated note, further down in these comments I replied about the FASA ST:TNG Officer's Manual, of which you'd said you didn't have a copy. I goofed and my reply went to the original poster (jonbluestone) rather than directly to you, so you may have missed it. Bottom line: I MIGHT have a copy of that book if you'd like it; I have to search for it while unpacking/sorting.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yeah, when Fine Molds started putting out all their SW kits in 1/72nd, I was in heaven. But I sure wish they'd done this three decades earlier! ;)

If you wanted to give up your TNG Officers Manual I'd be happy to give it a home. But.... you don't want it anymore?
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
Assuming that I still have the TNG Officer's Manual (I really hope I'm not confusing it with something else, but I won't know until I get a chance to dig it out of storage), I'd be happy to part with it. I have no use for it: haven't played tabletop RPGs in a couple decades, and my old group is scattered far and wide. Plus, I have sooooo much other stuff that I can't really justify hanging onto it for sentimental reasons, especially since my old group never quite got a Star Trek campaign off the ground, TOS nor TNG. I'd much rather it went to someone who'll appreciate/use it. Let me know if interested and we can set something up via e-mail for shipping it off.

I also have some of the WEG earlier Star Wars stuff, but I'd kind of like to try to sell that. A couple of items in that collection which I'll hang onto have an autograph or two from artists and writers, obtained back when I used to attend GenCon. Man, time has flown... (Around the time the RPG was adapting the Thrawn Trilogy into gaming modules, I met Timothy Zahn, and he kindly chatted with me for several minutes during what turned out to be his lunch break! I never asked for his autograph, and though I may have seemed fanboyish to him, he never seemed perturbed by my comments and questions... a nice experience for me. As I typed this, I swear I mentioned all that on another thread, so apologies if I'm being redundant!)

Re: Star Wars models, I was always bothered by the fact that all the old kits were 'box scale'... they weren't in scale to each other, they were all sized to fit a certain size of box on the shelf. Grr...

And so many spaceships were SNAP-TITE?! Well, I guess for snap-together kits, they were actually OK with a decent paint job applied, but accurizing them was like full scratch building rather than detailing-up. Oh, well.

I still have a bunch of those old things I built. In a box. In storage. (sigh...)
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
Well as I said, I'm sure game if you want to give it a home. :)
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014
FOUND IT!!!
It is indeed the Star Trek Next Generation Officer's Manual, and it's got a little bit of outside cover wear,  but the interior pages are all quite nice.
I quickly perused the artwork, and noticed your logo affixed to many of the character/race examples. How cool to see some of your old stuff, and to know now that it's yours!

I'm having some internet connection issues lately, but try to send me a message here (on my CR99nut page, that is) and I'll try to respond as soon as possible... from a public library terminal if necessary. (Darned lack of high-speed out here in the sticks...) We can arrange for mailing the Manual off the public boards.

PS: it was with my ST model kits in storage. Now that I've found it all, I might be able to build that Klingon diorama based upon your work, too! And eventually, this "Before the Falcon" version of the Falcon from SW. (BTW, in case you haven't heard, Fine Molds is apparently discontinuing it SW line, so grab 'em while you can!)
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:iconcolourbrand:
Colourbrand Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh GOD yes!!!

I did not realise you had so much influence in my youth man!! I saw this along with the Heavy Cruisers and the Torpedo Spheres!!

Again, brilliant work and love the wookie :D

I personally like this because it shows the standard before the modification :)
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
LOL! I had no idea that I had corrupted you years earlier, either!?! :D  It's certainly novel - and gratifying - to find out that my art made an enduring impact on people. Back in the re-internet days it was so hard to get feedback from people. You just did the job, sent it out into the void, and hoped that someone would like it enough to buy the product.
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:iconcolourbrand:
Colourbrand Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, and that is a shame; I thought the designs back then were utter quality - and yes sir you corrupted me damn good!!!! And I like it :D:D:D!

Trust me sir, your art has made a phenomenal impact not just on me but a lot of people :D

I cannot think of anything more impressive than that :D
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:iconvisgoth:
visgoth Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
I see no art on the linked page.  I'd really like to see the later interpretation...
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:iconjonathanbluestone:
JonathanBluestone Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually if truth be known YOU were one of the people who inspired a lot of my early work back in the nineties. I had been drawing spacecraft for about fifteen years at that point, but it was your clean presentation style that influenced a lot of my later work - nice to finally know who you are. And yes, I still have those early West End Games manuals.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Wow, I'm flattered.. and happy to pay the influence forward! I think my clean style came from people like Geoff Mandel (www.geoffreymandel.com/), Franz Joseph (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Jo…, and Terry Austin (www.comicartfans.com/comic-art….
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:iconjonathanbluestone:
JonathanBluestone Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. But then we have communicated before. If you recall I also commented on your Star Trek stuff, as presented in the very first ST:TNG manual, which was prepared before that show had finished the first season. As I indicated at the time, I also have a copy of that manual - published by FASA if memory serves.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yep - it was FASA. And I DON'T own a copy.
Still..... :(
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:iconjonathanbluestone:
JonathanBluestone Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It is still available, but now obviously as a used or pre-owned item. Simply nip on over to Amazon and enter: Star Trek The Next Generation Officer's Manual (FASA Corporation). Published 1988 it numbered 144 pages. The ISBN was 1-55560-079-4 FASA 1500 I paid around fifteen pounds for a good copy and six for one which had been written on extensively with pencil, but after carefully ungluing all of the pages in the damaged one and then scanning them into a computer, was able to clean up the damage and even re-build some of the images before reprinting the pages out and putting the book back together again - remastered it may be argued. The good copy remained in one piece it should be noted.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
*sigh* I just wish I'd never given away my ONE free copy. I was supposed to get more and FASA never came through.
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:iconjonathanbluestone:
JonathanBluestone Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry to hear that. Well, I've managed to find copies and if you are still having problems, why not try biblio.com - they have a lot of rare and out of print books.
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
Oh, wow... I THINK I might still have a copy of that. Never played, just looked at for reference, then packed away "to sell or trade later" at some future point. I think I saw it during my recent move, along with the Federation reference manual, but if I do indeed have it, it's now buried in storage.

If I find it, would you mind autographing it for me so I can sell it? Hmm. Evil plotting in progress.  (JUST KIDDING!! Giggle )

HONESTLY, if I find it I'd be happy--indeed honored--to send it to you, as I have no use for it. I always want stuff to go to people who'll appreciate and/or use it, rather than just 'collectors' who'll hoard it or try to sell it for a ridiculous profit. I can't think of a better person who'd appreciate it than one of its original contributors! :)

I'm going to be paring down my storage over the next several weeks, so if I find it, I'll let you know (we can arrange for mailing off-dA for privacy's sake). If I DON'T find it, I'll also let you know, so you're not left hanging.
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:iconptrope:
Ptrope Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never imagined the old girl with strap-ons - and I feel dirty even saying that! :D

Love the drawing - and Chewtoonna :D.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Those lil' cartoons were my favorite part of that job... even if it wasn't really part of the assignment :D
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:iconjohnmiic:
johnmiic Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013
I might be over-thinking this but would a stock freighter have gun turrets? Or would that section of the ship have been something else and converted by Calrissian or Solo?
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Mm. Good point. Maybe they wouldn't have any turrets. As I said earlier, if I were to tackle this subject today I'd probably take a slightly different approach.
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:iconterraxlorche:
TerraxLorche Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014
If memory serves me right, stock light freighters had dual cannons in the dorsal & ventral turrets.
Which again if memory serves, were ion cannons.

And with that, I'ma gonna run back to my nerd box and hide... o.o'''
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
Well before this no one had drawn a stock light freighter. At least not in any official Lucasfilms product. So... at the very least I was right before I was wrong ;)
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:iconghostbirdofprey:
GhostBirdofPrey Featured By Owner May 11, 2013
It would probably have some sort of turrets for self-defense against raiders (adding that central column ladderway and the domes would be quite the overhaul wouldn't it?), but I am certain the specific gins we see are special order.

I always liked the idea of having external cargo pods, but the shape always seemed awkward, and loading and unloading seems like it'd be a pain (is there any internal access to the main hallway and that ramp, or do we need a crane?)
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:iconcanray:
CanRay Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Professional Writer
Those strap-on cargo pods are a shot of brilliance!
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
:lol: Thank you!
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:iconcanray:
CanRay Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional Writer
You're welcome, just wish they had come out with stats for them so I could have gotten some for my ship.
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:iconleoshades:
leoshades Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013
Well, it took me two tries to find the right book on my desk's shelf... Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, page 135 in both the 1st and 2nd edition versions (though they moved it from the top of the page to the bottom). Of course, you may have already known that. This was one of my favorite WEG Star Wars books, and it is quite a treat to see you post this here.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
:blush: Well thanks. I hope you'll continue to enjoy the ride with my gallery :D
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:iconaltugbulca:
AltugBulca Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love your WEG work. Was that vehicle & ship recognation charts in the sourcebooks your work too! They also really made my day.
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Um... I don't recall. You're talking about the Star Wars ones? If so I seem to remember that they were just scaled compilations of all the ships artists works.
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:iconaltugbulca:
AltugBulca Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, I was talking about SW. Interesting all the profile shots of the ships in sourcebooks seemed to originate from the same artist. (imperial sourcebook; thrawn trilogy sourcebook etc.)
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think it was most me and Karl Martin. We had similar styles, but there were differences. But it's good to know that it visually read as a consistent whole to you.
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
One of my favorite old drawings from the "good ol' days" surfaces on dA! I love that you and some of the other WEG illustrators upload stuff here so I can personally thank you for all the hard work and for giving my imagination wings upon which to take flight. :D
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well that's VERY cool - and THANK YOU! It's nice how times have changed. Back then we largely worked in a vacuum. We assumed that people were seeing our stuff, based on sales numbers, but we rarely got a chance to get any direct feedback from those who bought and liked our works. So I guess, publishing it, gives us a second chance at the lost opportunity ;) So thanks again! It really is gratifying to know that this stuff is not only remembered, but still appreciated in many cases! :squee:
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
Yep! I mean, this artwork inspired me to learn traditional methods of drawing and inking, so I could replicate this style for my own technical illustrations in the Star Wars universe. I can certainly do it digitally, but I really miss the visceral feel of doing it by hand when I do it that way.

And like I said, it really gave my imagination fertile soil to grow ideas, such as a character's ship which was a modified YT-1300 that had a center cockpit and a few of those cargo pods mounted on the top. :)

BTW, that little Wookie under the ship is hilarious. :rofl:
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
Heh - that's another fun thing about republishing the work in this medium. I can include my design notes and little cartoons that I used to pop on there for the art directors and editors :) I was doin' Star Wars chibis before they were in vogue!

Well I'm quite honored to be a stylistic influence for you!! Really! I guess it's just payin' it forward. For me my big influences in linework were Terry Austin [link] , Franz Joseph [link] , and Geoff Mandel [link] .
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
Mandel is an inspiration to me, too. His Star Destroyer Imperator blueprint was one of my favorites. :) Franz Joseph I didn't really know about until later in life. I wasn't much of a Trek fan as a kid, but as I got older I began to appreciate that series and discovered Joseph's work on the Star Fleet Technical Manual. Fascinating illustrations there. :D
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
I forgot that Mandel did a Star Destroyer set! :)
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
Yep, and I used to ow those blueprints till I lost them in a move . . . It really hurts because those were supposedly pretty rare and I haven't been able to find a replacement set that wasn't stupidly expensive. :(
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:iconrob-caswell:
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
I forget if I owned a set or not?
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:iconshortsonfire79:
shortsonfire79 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting how this was posted only a day ago, thats a strange coincidence for me. I've been looking for other YT-1300 art and this one is one that I constantly see on Wookieepedia! [link] (Under External Mods) I was thinking about adding some of these external pods that you designed to my 1/144 model. Do you have any other angle shots of this? That'd be extremely helpful!

Its so cool to see the artist of one the most inspirational artworks I've found!
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