Well firstly, the Gyisache concepts were designed to have a race to base spaceships off of, not really to have a species to work with. I need a species established so I can interpret the ships form and function correctly, especially if every race intends to have their own "look". The insect looking ships you see now are not really what you expect a cowardly chicken race to have, are they?
The emphasis will be on looking flimsy and having large engines or anything else that conveys cowardly, and then building up the shapes so it looks cool. Or something like that.
As for the species itself, Utilae's original concept was for humanoid sheep, it was Impaler who decided their image needed tweaking. This was over 3 years ago, and I didn't hear any argument from Utilae's side, so I went ahead with the latest description. (as a word of caution: the less that is described visually the more I get to make up, so leave me some gaps too)
The most important thing to note is that all the parts are borrowed from something else. Very little is truly alien. Here are a few of the animals I used for reference when constructing them.
(Mouth and Pupils)
yisache were described as a race of craven sheep-like herbivores, but I saw very little of Utilae's original sheep concept in here except for a brief mentioning of sheep wool, so I left it out. I might add wool later if it looks nice, but there is enough chicken in them to merit leaving it out entirely. In fact the more I read the description the more it seemed like an ostrich or a giant chicken. Emphasis on the long powerful running legs, "bird-like" feet, in addition to the myth associated with ostriches cravenly sticking their heads in the sand to hide just made more sense. The image of sheep seemed far too forced here, and if you call it a chicken or a sheep it's still a coward, which was by far the most enduring and intriguing aspect of the race. (Their exact motivations and fears are still vague to me though, it's worth developing it more)
An Ostrich is evolved from a Gallimimus, a kind of running dinosaur that used a tail for balance, and possessed a bird like keel near the pelvic girdle. If you want to get into the etymology of the name you could probably find it in any dinosaur encyclopedia. These two creatures formed the basis for the entire organism, and keys well with the latest description, the one I used, including leg anatomy.
Mollusks came in for the eyes, I was wondering if a tentacle would be better than the hand/eye/arm configuration. This configuration seems "arbitrary", using pd's phrase, and correlates to the same problematic wind/food passage found in the human throat. It seems overly contrived enough to merit some kind of a change, like two three fingered hands as per Utilae's first humanoid sheep design, but never the less I kept them against my better judgement, as it's not my place to make outright changes contrary to explicit descriptions. The description, however, is too arbitrary IMHO and should change.
Gecko feet. Ah yes, the gecko feet. Somebody wanted sucker pads on an X like shaped foot print for grasping stuff while running. Disregarding the idea that makes me wonder whether that means they can climb walls or not, the description was vague enough to add my own 2 cents. Gecko feet are perfect, and you should read more about the wonders of gecko feet somewhere else, as there is too little space to discuss them here in detail.
Lastly the sheep were mostly discarded. Wool is a possibility, and I did used them to help define the lips mostly, but otherwise there was no need for them. I don't see why it can't be a giant chicken instead, calling it a sheep seems, again, arbitrary. Call it a chicken or a sheep, it's still a coward.
I would like it very much if the Gyisache had a name that rolls off the tongue. The current one bothers me.
This is the longest response I have ever posted, because I feel partly responsible for this thread; the topic hasn't come up during my stay here and this thread coincidentally appeared after I did concept art for an alien species. As a member of the graphics team, I feel that I should be involved in the argument