Halo Concept Art: Reach Covenant

We’re moving on to the Covenant concepts for Reach and this article is just FILLED with color. Whereas, other than Spartans, the UNSC tends to use earth tones for their soldiers uniforms, the Covenant is known for being quite colorful.

As stated previously, these articles are by no means supposed to be exhaustive. I haven’t covered everything in them. Heh, if I did, the articles would be far too long and would take forever to load. So I’m saving you from that.

Before we get to the colorful stuff, let’s take a look at two Brute concepts.

haloreach_character_covenant_brute_brute_01_by_isaac_hannafordThe sketch above shows the musculature of¬†Jiralhanae (that’s the Brute race’s real name). These Brutes look much stronger. Though the neck muscles are a bit large. The furthest right looks a bit bow-legged. LOL. Still, I wouldn’t want to run into one of these guys.

haloreach_character_covenant_brute_brute_02_by_isaac_hannafordFleshed in with some color and fur, this Brute looks more and more like an evolved Gorilla. Gorillas are several times stronger than humans. If that wasn’t the inspiration for Brutes…. Anyway, the color and shading of this make the Brute seem that much stronger compared to the line-art drawing above it. Looking at this some more, not only does the Brute have gorilla like features but also has some attributes of a rhinoceros. The thighs are were this is most prevalent, though the lower legs exhibit those traits too.

Now let’s discuss some about the Elite concepts of Reach.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_01_by_isaac_hannafordThis side by side piece not only gives us the armor,but the musculature¬†of a Sangheili. That being the true name of Elties. Once again, the highlights and shading are great. The armor is very reminiscent of Halo CE armor, which makes sense since CE takes place immediately after Reach chronologically. The one curious bit is that outward tow/claw on the foot. I’m glad that was taken out. It just wouldn’t have fit into continuity.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_02_by_isaac_hannaford
Ah, now here we have an Elite with a very classic Halo feel to it. The rendering is well done in it’s highlights and shading, yet simple enough in shapes. Bungie’s concepts are superb. This elite looks ready to jump off the page, so-to-speak.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_03_by_isaac_hannafordObviously meant for a dark scene, that is dark in color as well in situational tone, this concept piece has a better blending of colors to give it a more realistic feel to it. I wouldn’t want to be that Marine!

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_04_by_isaac_hannafordBreaking this up a bit with a line art piece. This is a standard orthogonal view of a character. The reason for the arm removal is the see the side view of the chest and legs uninhibited by the arm.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_head_by_isaac_hannafordAnother orthogonal view, this time of the head of an Elite. That neck sure has some girth to it. If the Elite’s head sat up on it’s shoulders instead of forward of them, they could easily be another six inches taller. They’re already tall enough at 8ft+ tall.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_major_by_isaac_hannaford
Back to some color. This crimson elite looks evil. The sharp angles of the armor, the scowl of the mandibles, and the ever ready hand with energy sword hilt at the ready, really make this one elite to fear. Even the shield looks menacing. I actually wish this was in the game.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_minor_01_by_isaac_hannafordA standard Elite minor in the typical covenant purple hues. Duel wielding plasma rifles. Ah, duel wielding. I hope that comes back to Halo. What is striking of the piece above is it’s contrast. I’m drawn to the lighter points, yet that makes my eye also look at what’s around it. It’s almost hard for me to take in this whole rendering all at once. So much detail. Just a fantastic concept piece.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_minor_02_by_isaac_hannaford
I’m going to assume by the color of the armor that this is the precursor (no not that kind of precursor) to the elite Ultra that eventually made it into the game. I like the forearm armor on this one. However, the color palette makes this elite more toned down than the two immediately preceding this one. Strong hues and color can really bring out the dynamic nature of a rendering.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_officerThe elite officer show above looks quite like the final version seen in the game. I like the orange/bronze color of this. While not as pronounced as it’s purple and red brothers, the strong lines, large shoulders and wide helmet give this elite a strong presence.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_ranger_by_isaac_hannaford
The mix of elites seen here show the varied nature of armor that Reach would eventually contain. In the above, I particularly like the middle (white) one’s forearm. Or is that a shield? As well, I really like the jump pack elite to the immediate right of it. In any event, Reach really gave us a good variation of armor that helped to define difference between elites as well as their rank.

haloreach_character_covenant_elite_elite_spec_ops_by_isaac_hannaford
For the last elite in this article we have what’s like a minor elite. Man, I’m really liking the forearm, especially that it has a hard light attachment to it. I certainly would have enjoyed seeing that in the game. Also of note is what appears to be a concept of an earlier version of the carbine. I totally dig that. I wonder if 343 has poured over Bungie’s old concepts and will consider putting them into future Halo games?

haloreach_character_covenant_jackal_jackals
The deadly Skirmisher (T’vaoan subspecies Kig Yar), in my opinion was the best newly designed race to be brought into Halo. Contrary to what you may have heard, not all of the Skirmishers died on Reach. In fact a couple of key ones are in the Karen Travis “Kilo-5” trilogy of books. One of which carries over into the Dark Horse comics Halo series, Escalation.

What I like about this concept is the dark armor and red plumage. It’s very reminiscent of Jackals, but more menacing. The helmet piece of the one on the left denotes that Skirmisher’s rank. While ultimately Bungie went with muted colors to more easily define skirmisher rank, this concept proves that they were going for a Jackal variant that was more dangerous than the originals.

haloreach_character_covenant_jackal_skirmisherFinally, we have another Skirmisher concept. This one with more of the pronounced red bulges under and behind it’s chin. We didn’t see an all black armor version of the Skirmisher, which is a shame. Black just makes this Skirmisher look mean and that much more evil.

Whew, some really great concepts in this bunch. I really hope those are revisited at some point in the future.

Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing many concepts of Noble team. Lots of good stuff coming in that and future articles. Are you folks enjoying these? Please sound off by replying below!

-Sal