*Edit. A few details about the creation of this object.
This started life as a dynamesh sphere and was quickly sculpted to give a rough representation of a hummingbird.
Once comfortable with the initial sculpt, I quickly re-defined the topology with qRemesher to better help with the polygroup slicing.
Several parts of the body were then extracted as a separate subtools, several other raised areas are simple panel loops.
Lazy as I am and without much regard for polycount, I dynameshed the separate pieces and used custom insert meshes to cut out various shapes from the model.
The final steps were created with the MaHCut mech brushes and the feather insert tool provided free here at this thread.
This test render was done with Vray in C4D, using a custom stage and some neat tricks to create an anodized metal surface.
Final poly count after Decimation is around 800k.
Despite not having perfect topology anymore, it held up to close up scrutiny.
My Zbrush philosophy is, if I'm not selling these models or having them inspected by some random studio, then they can function with whatever geometry works. So long as they look good in scene.
I'm also working towards creating a number of similarly themed hard surface sculpts that represent animals, birds, insects etc.
Each Model will feature the same kind of treatment, intended to represent mechanical version of the things found in nature.
I realize it's not even close in quality to some of the works posted here and I have a great deal to learn. But thanks for looking.
All models besides the Ivy (on the left) created in ZBrush. Other foliage is Fibermesh.
Obviously the piece was inspired by the game Machinarium, but the exercise was to test
whether or not I could replace my entire modeling workflow with ZBrush.
10 days to create in my spare time.
Full Render done in C4D w/Vray; Here
As far as modelling and overall concept is concerned... I really...REALLY like this thing. I just love how organic everything is... I think the final render is way too bright though. I think it'd be way more interesting if it felt like it was at night... with lighting coming only from those lights we see everywhere in the scene...
I did a quick pass in photoshop to illustrate what I meant. I hope you don't mind.