Captain America & Tron Concept Designs by Daniel Simon


Sci-fi movies are one of my favorite genres because they explore the unknown trying to envision the future. Thinking about the future is not an easy task. There are so many things that we just take for granted and therefore it is hard to imagine how they will look and behave. Daniel Simon is a master of this reality and has created vehicles for movies like Tron Legacy, Captain America, Obvlivion and many more.

In this post we will share with you some of these projects, showing artworks and sketches. For more information we highly recommend that you visit Daniel's website at

Marvel’s Captain America

Hydra Parasite

The Hydra Parasite is a flying bomb designed for the 2011 Marvel feature film ‘Captain America’, carried by a large Flying Wing in a set of eight. The 2R marking on this early test version defined its spot in the wing, second right. Early concept drawings and models were created to explore the taste of director Joe Johnston. The simplistic teardrop shape on the right got picked (see first image left), with pusher props and a cockpit positioned far back. A futuristic forward facing cockpit was also considered (see second image with design models), but was difficult to film in particular scenes. So the front of the final design turned into the bomb device itself. Counter-rotating twin props were later dropped in favor for a more experimental drive.

The Hydra Schmidt Coupé

The Hydra Schmidt Coupé is technically a roadster, but was originally designed as a Coupé and never changes its name. Lets just say its stubborn owner Johann Schmidt the Red Skull liked the sound of it. The car was explained in the film script to be the fastest road car of its time. Not due to its aerodynamics but its incredible power – a supercharged, 16 cylinder engine. Together with Director Joe Johnston and Production Designer Rick Heinrichs, we researched Coupés of the 40ies to define the style for this vehicle. At first, I envisioned an extreme car shaped like a 1937 Auto Union Type C streamliner, but I soon understood the film’s director was looking for something classic and upright. A style-blend of a Mercedes 540K, a Mercedes G4 Off roader plus some hints of Bentley and Duesenberg turned out to be the perfect language.


Disney’s Tron Legacy

Disney’s Tron Legacy was a fantastic project to be involved with. I was hired as Concept Vehicle Designer under the supervision and inspiration of director Joe Kosinski and production designer Darren Gilford. Between September 2008 and July 2009 I was responsible to create the final look of various Tron vehicles, including the Light Cycle, the Vintage Light Cycle, the Light Runner, the Light Jets, and a few background vehicles. Working hand in hand with Darren Gilford, set designer Joe Hiura and cutting-edge effect house Digital Domain, this project was a team effort. For the most iconic vehicle of the film, the new Light Cycle, I could based the final look on previously done studies by fellow designers Ryan Church, Harald Belker, Tim Flattery and Ed Natividad. Other machines, like the Vintage Light Cycle or the Tank, are modern re-interpretations of their originals from the 1982 film, created back then by master mind Syd Mead.


Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.