Sometime in Spring this last year (2018), I reached out to Jeremy Cook of 343 to see if he might be able to come to my annual Halo LAN. He couldn’t commit then, but said he’d try. I knew it was a shot in the dark anyway, so no worse for wear.
Early July of 2018, I asked Jeremy again if he might be able to make it. He said unfortunately no. So I had another shot in the dark… I asked him if he’d be so kind to send a sketch in his stead. This to be used as the grand raffle prize. (I started having raffles two years ago to try and recoup money spent on the LAN as we have been in the hole every year.) He kindly agreed.
I followed up with him about a week later to see the progress on the sketch. He said he had something else in mind. Something 3D. Well, I had a guess, but I didn’t want to spoil the thought, so I waited for Jeremy to tell me what it was. He revealed to me that he was making an Atriox Bust. This would be only the fourth one in existence. I was floored!
He sent me the Bust with some very important instructions. This was NEVER to be sold on eBay. This included whomever won the raffle. I immediately agreed to that stipulation.
I held the raffle and pitched in money myself for three tickets. (all the money was going to a friend of mine who was in attendance, as he had so graciously loaned me a sizable amount of money to help with a financial emergency earlier in 2018).
There were roughly 25 tickets purchased at $20 each. I drew the ticket. Noone seemed to have it. Though there were two people’s tickets that hadn’t been checked. One person had left early. So I had my bud Zach check his numbers. He didn’t win. Now about this time I got both an elated and a foreboding feeling. Did I win? If so, would people think it was fixed? Indeed, I did win. I checked my tickets and had the winner. Most of the guys saw me pull the ticket straight from the bucket I used for the tickets. It has a wire mesh so it was see-through to boot. At any rate, I was happy to have won. A couple of guys were a little miffed. Understandable. Though it was a fair raffle and everyone else agreed.
Fast forward to May, 2019. My mother-in-law was in town to take my wife on vacation for a couple of days, then to spend some time with us both at our home, planting flowers and tomatoes as we do each year. On the last day of her visit, she took my wife to a local arts and crafts store that is going out of business. (I’m getting to the point, hang on…)
My wife saw the exact same glass case that I had seen at that store some months earlier. Similar to the one below.
It was WAY too expensive then at $60. However, as luck would have it, it was on “going out of business sale” and was prices at a meager $5!! She immediately got it thinking of me.
This past weekend, she asked me if I’d like it painted, to which I agreed, but with a twist of other than just one color. I asked if she’d paint the Banished logo on the base and add some red, dark grey and black to the base. She readily agree.
She added a large circular piece of felt underneath it so it wouldn’t slip off the shelf.
Speaking of, there is a chain of custody for the bust, four persons deep. This was agreed upon with three of the guys who were in attendance at the LAN and who are close friends.
It’s not for sale, unless you’re willing to pay $25,000 for it. Yes, that’s my asking price. I have no clue if it’s worth that. However, I will say this. It’s one of only five in existence. The others are located:
• Two at Microsoft executive offices (numbers #1 and #2)
• One at the dev company who made Halo Wars 2 (number #3)
• One at the Halo Museum within 343 (number #5)
Mine is number #4. All of these were painted by no other than Jeremy Cook, Art Director and former employee of 343. He numbered the bust on the bottom.
Here are some pics of Jeremy’s showing the busts in various stages of painting:
If I recall, this might have been the first pic of an Atriox bust I saw from Jeremy. I asked him about it. He couldn’t say much back then as Halo Wars 2 was well from being released. I had several conversations with Jeremy early on during that time. I had guessed that this brute was a sort of viking invader. To which Jeremy replied, that’s what they were going for. Turns out, I was very much dead on. Atriox does operate much like a pillaging viking!
Jeremy had originally sculpted these in a computer program and used a massive 3D printer to make these. But again, the paint work is all his by either airbrush or by hand.
Here’s the bust next to me for scale as well. I think I look a little like Atriox here! LOL!!Of ANYTHING I own that is Halo, this is far and away my most prized item. I’m happy to know that after I’m gone, it will live on with fellow fans for many years to come.