The thought of this is one of my experiences in Iraq. Generally when we have missions, particularly conducting searching routines, we always have to pull security around the perimeter to make sure we have our behinds secured. There was this one mission, sunset had started to peek out slowly and saw it rise, I was ordered to move at a specific position and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was beautiful.
I used reference for the uniform and the m249 (SAW gun) which I finished slightly different to go along the lines of a newer futuristic version of it. The SAW gun was a pain in the ass to paint but I've gotten most of the details there! Even tied down mods (only us soldiers/veterans of this recent war will understand that).
Background Texture was used from cgtextures.com. I decided to use and modify a bg texture because I wanted to capture more realism and I think my decision to that turned out nice.
For the mask design, I was hugely inspired by the master chief himself
edit: by the way, I flipped the image during the time I was near finished so the ammo feed of the weapon is on the wrong side. I think the light on the right suited the image better.
edit2: I decided to change the overall mask design into something that made more sense and realistic. I felt that the last mask design needed tweaking, mainly proportion wise. Hope you guys still like it, I tried to still keep the master chief influence to it.
PS CS3. CINTIQ. Ref used.