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Martian Steed

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Product Code ps_an269b

Part of the Beasts of Mars series: This swift and agile mount will carry you swiftly over alien terrain.

Poser/DS Technical Notes

General: Master ERC Dials to control overall body movement (specifically, the Neck and Tail) are located in the BODY of the figure, along with a few shaping morphs, such as hoof-shaping dials. Dials specific to the head (controlling both eyes together, for example) are located in the HEAD Body part, while the ERC dials for the tongue are located in the JAW body part.

An optional conforming set of Spines is provided. Usage of the spines is entirely at the user's discretion. If desired, use this in conjunction with the 'SpinesBase' morph in the BODY of the Steed to provide a more realistic base for each of the spines.

A conforming Saddle figure is also provided. Once loaded and conformed, it will pose with the main figure, as will its rider, using the instructions below:

Loading up Your Martian Steed:

These instructions will assist in creating a fully 'loaded' Martian Steed, complete with spines, tack and rider.

  2. Apply desired MAT pose file to the Steed;
  3. Load MS Spines if desired, and 'conform to' (Poser) or 'fit to' (DS) the Steed (DS should load already conformed, but it's wisest to verify);
  4. Load MS Saddle, and 'conform to' (Poser) or 'fit to' (DS) the Steed (again, DS should load already conformed, but it's wisest to verify);
  5. Load V4 or M4 Rider - ensure that IK is turned OFF for all limbs (Poser);
  6. Apply appropriate Rider Pose. Fingers and Feet will be appropriately placed on the saddle-grip and in the 'stirrups', respectively. Given the endless range of V4 and M4 'hybrid' variants possible, the rider poses were developed for the standard V4 and M4 figures - some tweaking may be required if Aiko, Hiro, Freak, She-Freak, etc are applied);
  7. Parent the rider to the 'Saddle' bodypart of the saddle (in Poser, click on Figure/Set Figure Parent, and select the 'Saddle' bodypart; in DS, drag the rider in the 'Scene' pane to the Saddle bodypart, and drop on top of the Saddle) - rider will now stay put in the saddle as the Steed is moved;
  8. Pose the Steed figure, using a supplied preset or your imagination!
  9. Pose the rider (In Poser, turning IK on for the feet will ensure they stay positioned in the stirrups as you adjust the rider's torso)

DS Usage: Files (including Materials) should load correctly in DAZ Studio by using the Poser Library icons, with DAZ Material presets loading textures into their appropriate locations and settings.

Usage Notes

The Martian Steed is clearly derived from the 'Thoat', the 8-legged horse of Mars (Barsoom to its inhabitants), as described by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his first novel of John Carter, A Princess of Mars. As the book is in the public domain (out of copyright), I may quote it here:

“And his mount! How can earthly words describe it! It towered ten feet at the shoulder; had four legs on either side; a broad flat tail, larger at the tip than at the root, and which it held straight out behind while running; a gaping mouth, which split its head from its snout to its long, massive neck.

Like its master it was entirely devoid of hair, but was of a dark slate color and exceeding smooth and glossy. Its belly was white, and its legs shaded from the slate of its shoulders and hips to a vivid yellow at the feet. The feet themselves were heavily padded and nailless, which fact had also contributed to the noiselessness of their approach, and, in common with a multiplicity of legs, is a characteristic feature of the fauna of Mars.”

The narrator goes on to describe how the riders use neither bridles nor reins, but control their mounts through a sort of rudimentary telepathy.

Martian animals are for the most part neither mammal nor reptile, possessing neither scales nor fur, and their feet are for the most part heavily padded and shapeless, possessing no nails, nor hooves or claws. Thus, complete accuracy may have led to a somewhat uninteresting figure for general use; so I used artistic license to add claws and scales to the default figure, as a matter of artistic interest. You will see that the hooves have a few shaping options available, from simple to cloven, claw-like or non-existent. There is an alternate MAT file provided, which eliminates the scales, spines and claws, thus recreating the authentic look of the Barsoomian thoat as described above, for those who wish to be completely accurate.

Obviously, however, the user is not constrained to use this figure in recreating scenes from the John Carter of Mars series. This figure can be used in any science-fictional setting, whether domesticated or wild! In fact, as an eight-legged steed, the figure can also probably serve in a fantasy/mythological setting as Sleipnir, the Norse god Odin's eight-legged mount.