This one was done at the request of
and I hope he likes it cause like my Megalon and Anguirus this one leaves a lot of the original film monster behind for some new ideas conceptually. First off, this was a real battle getting this one started. When I start these only a few require mumerous sketching and re-sketching to get the design going. How the hell do you redesign Rodan without A. Making him look exactly like film Rodan. B. Makin him look like a giant pterodactyl or C. Making hm look like something Matt Frank (and other artists) has already done? Originality can be a daunting thing to pursue but I was determined to do something with this kaiju no one else had done before (and I did a google search to make sure). So at the risk of alienating all Rodan fans across the work I tapped into modern paleontology and present you with Feathered Rodan!!!! The inspiration came from realizing the Showa Rodan's head in fact looks very bird-like and he's got these weird bits of his wings that look like leathery feathers, so I ran with the idea.
Scientist have been pushing the idea of feathers on dinosaurs a lot in recent years and Ive noticed that a lot of artists have adopted this idea. I decided that in this instance I would too. Now to be honest the classic Rodan is my favorite look. He's huge and powerful and can still F'ing fly! Fire Rodan is rather wimpy in comparison but skews more like an actual flying dino, Rodan Final Wars is a solid combo of both looking more like Classic but with Fire's color scheme. I ended up using elements from all three for my design plus referring to the pterodactyl as well.
I wanted a design that would be powerful in the air and on land in battle but something that looked like it might actually fly as well. I studied the build of various pterodactyls and found their bodies to be too weak for combat of the kaiju sort but I recalled how effective these things were in JP 3 vs Dr Grant and Co, pecking and stabbing with there nearly all beak heads. I decided to keep that idea and gave my Rodan a large head in relation to his body with a vicious beak to match. I also gave him an enormous chest to power his wings in flight and battle (wing bashes are no joke...ever been attacked by a swan?). He also has very robust legs and claws like those of an eagle with the killing claw being the one on the back toe. Its the one in raptor birds that does the killing, being driven into the victim like a knife. Like Showa Rodan he has huge and muscular arms as well lending him a sense of strength and power. All four of these limbs will also allow him to move in a dragon style stance with similar speed, agility and power for ground combat. A stance I prefer to the penguin waddle Rodan sometimes executes.
Rodan has always had ventral plates of body armor (good defense for ground combat) so I kept this element and also spines on his front. I got to thinking about how this should work and decided that his spines are modified feathers without fletching, in effect becoming quills like those of a porcupine. Anyone getting inside Rodan's reach is in for one hell of a painful hug! Not to mention the pecking, biting and clawing! His wing claws/hands are structured like a spinosaurus with the outter most claw being the largest and most powerful. Lastly I wanted to color him like Showa Rodan but gave his plumage the Fire Rodan treatment. Top is all off with and eagle's eye and a violet tongue just because and there you have my take on Rodan.