Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Will Beck


Will Beck is entered in the “Steampunk Myths and Legends” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Steampunk Battle of Camlann


These are an overview of the design notes which were to help me out with this project:

Steampunk Battle of Camlann – King Arthur vs. Sir Mordred

19th Century style Industrial/Victorian King Arthur
Realm of Logres is like the British Empire but more European in feel.

Armies and combat are based on a continutation of the chivalric code of fighting (challenges/jousts and so on) but because of industrialisation there are now massive armies and casualties are high among the lighter armoured squires and men-at-arms. Artillery is restricted to siege warfare. Zeppelins belong to individual mad scientists like Merlin (see below).

Knights are armoured enough to withstand a bullet to the head or chest but usually begin battle inside ‘Chargers’ – tank-like machines that have replaced their warhorses. These are crewed by the knight and one or two squires and are decorated with the heraldry of the knight. When the machines are battered and useless the knights will fight on foot.

Squires/men-at-arms are less well armoured but will usually have a gasmask, helmet and a rifle/bayonet with a short sword or falchion.

Where in the legends you have reference to anything mystical or magical in the steampunk world I replace that by something pseudo-scientific. So Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, who gives King Arthur Excalibur and its magical scabbard in this steampunk world would be a Captain Nemo-like scientist who creates useful weaponry and equipment in her submarine-laboratory. Merlin could be a Wellsian time-travelling scientist which could explain all his fore-knowledge. Both Merlin (and later Arthur) would be put into cryogenic stasis by Nimue.

I’m going to create the classic scene where King Arthur confronts Sir Mordred at Camlann. Arthur is armed with his spear (called Ron in the book I read) and Mordred a sword and shield. It’s at the end of the day and sunset is casting blood-red light across the dead knights on the battlefield.

This first post is my basic Arthurian Knight costume idea – a combination of Roman, mediaeval and 19th Century armour (Curassiers and Horse Guards) with a gas-mask built in (I imagine scientists (wizards) like Morgana la Fay aren’t averse to using chemical warfare).


Very cool concept. This is a great legend to work up. Wonderful sketch as well.


Very nicely done :thumbsup: Looking forward to more of your designs~


Hi WillVery good start. :thumbsup: That concept looks great.

Keep it up and god luck


great design !


Firstly many thanks, miketche, Solais, Ataulfo and Neubius! This is my first foray into CGSociety challenges but as it was Steampunk and Myths (two of my favourite things) it would be foolish to not have a go.

Rightyho, as I feel the Arthurian Knight is getting there as designs go, these are my thoughts on the rebel scum under Sir Mordred’s leadership:

As they’re basically the same but to distinguish them I wanted to subtly give them a more ‘punky’ look, more assymetric and spikey. They’re not bandits though, they’re still knights so they needed heraldry and well-maintained armour just a more individualistic, perverse attitude about them. I didn’t want them to be too Germanic as that look would do nicely for the Saxon invaders of Arthurian legend so I wanted to maintain a Romano-Celtic feel. OK so that’s Punk-Romano-Celtic-Victorian-Knights!

Any more feedback on all this madness is most welcome, it’s not been easy to keep all the elements hanging together, there’s two thousand years of military history being jumbled up after all!


[left]OK, I think I’m waiting for approval of my posts so I can add further attachments - I do have a picture to go with the above text and I’ll check again tomorrow![/left]


wow nice concept! steampunkish Arthur


Design for the general look of the rebel knights following Sir Mordred. A real mish-mash of influences, almost hanging together I hope.


Many thanks nash88!

I’m gradually getting the hang of this forum/competition now, do ignore my earlier confused postings.

I just noticed the rebel knight’s feet look a bit odd but as it’s a concept sketch I won’t worry too much now, there’s an actual picture composition done!

I’m in two minds about the format of the picture - portrait or landscape - I’ll put up some sketches in the next day or so and any input would be appreciated. Most of the pictures I’ve seen of this event (NC Wyeth’s and Arthur Rackham’s for example) are traditional full-page book-illustration format with hardly any background save the setting sun. That’s kinda what they went for in Excalibur the film too but obviously that was widescreen.


Much better to portrait if no war scene in the background. Just like in the illustrations of NC Wyeth and Arthur Rackham, I’ve seen their artworks lately. Yeah and it’s full-page illustration.


This is a really cool concept! And the design Ideas strikes too!! can´t wait to see the scenery. :thumbsup:


This work is promosing some cool stuff! :slight_smile:
I vote for the portrait, it seems better to me if there’s no action around…and I wait to see more from you!


I love your concept, i want to see more!


Over the New Year period I suffered an attack of ill health that I’m only just recovering from, so unfortunately I don’t forsee my completing this competition, I’ll see how it goes the in the next day or two. However I did complete a few drawings (in pencil, A4) so I’m sharing the ideas here.

Here’s my ideas for Arthur’s armour and a possible sword, perhaps Excalibur. I’ve taken his heraldry from Walter Crane’s illustration. There are a few heads from loyal knights and also a design for his spear, “Ron”.


Though they wouldn’t be in my picture I had a handful of ideas for Merlin and Nimue (also called Vivian in some stories). I imagined Merlin would be a time travelling or time-viewing scientist, a Dr Tesla or Dr Who like character. Nimue, the Lady-of-the-Lake who gave Excalibur to Arthur would be like Captain Nemo, travelling around in a submarine, making advanced weapons and experimenting with cryogenics.


Here’s the ideas I had for Sir Mordred and his mother, Queen Morgan La Fay. He’s going to be the ‘punk’ to Arthur’s ‘steam’, graphically speaking. Queen Morgan is an expert in chemical warfare, poisoning a battlefield from her Zeppelin.


OK, though I know there’s precious little time for it I wanted to get the darned thing started at least. Crikey, I’ve much to do, the two knights and their decoration , heraldry, battle damage and so on. Also, of course the background though some smoke and haze will have to help me here! And if I get a spare moment there’s also the dead knights and battlefield wreckage as well!


I think I’ve got too much to do for this picture before the deadline but it would be nice to finish it off. Here’s a WIP with all the metal shine, Victorian filigree and mediaeval details I’ve worked on all today.