Greetings all & welcome – happy International Women’s Day to you all. This post is a bit unusual for me – nothing new painted, and it is (mostly) presenting the work of other people. Today I am summarising and collating the various pics of work that many excellent hobbyists contributed to a little challenge idea that I called ‘Fembruary’. Just for fun, I am also going choose my personal favourite Fembruary entry, and award it a virtual award of high-fives and ‘we are not worthy’ kudos – the artistry shown in the winning entry is (in my opinion) quite stunning! But before that, let’s recap on what Fembruary is all about.
So, first off, for those not involved in the wargaming/wargame modelling hobby, an explanation on the whole month thing. There are quite a few themed months within the community, so ‘Orctober’ (paint Orcs/Orks), ‘Deadcember’ (paint undead), and ‘Slaanuary’ (paint – you guessed it – Slaan), are all things… and there are many more beside!
Second thing to bear in mind – wargamming is a very male-dominated hobby, with most of the sculptors and designers being of the male variety, so small surprise that quite a lot of the portrayals of femininity in the hobby are (at best) unrealistic, and (at worst) blatantly and unnecessarily sexualised. This is probably more noticable for older minis, but I think it is telling that even GW’s latest releases for the Daughters of Khaine and the recent Escher reboot can’t seem to dress themselves fully… Ok, so I guess they all have to be lithe and graceful ‘because Elves’, or ‘because dystopian warrior-women’, but surely, we should’ve moved beyond ‘battle bikinis’ by now? FFS, even the half-snake/half-elves in the new DoK have war-bras on… I’m not trying to be puritanical in making this point – empowered and informed clothing choices are A-OK in my book, but let’s at least ask ourselves why these minis are dressed as they are. Is this a deliberate design choice that is intended to entice empowered women to the hobby? If not, then who are these design choices actually aimed at? Most importantly, was there a different way that the talented designers at GW could have articulated their vision for these factions? More questions arise when we look at the backgrounds – vengeful & killy she-Elves, (Daughters of Khaine), or drug-crazed man haters (Escher)… Hmmm… not exactly breaking the mould here are they :-/
This February thing is therefore about getting a conversation going about how women are presented within our hobby – asking questions, and challenging some assumptions. It also becomes a celebration of the growing movement and taste for more plausible representations of females in the hobby, whether by design, or converted.
Right… I think that sets the scene, so let’s look at some pics shall we?! Huge thanks to everyone who took part & contributed. I counted
9 10 bloggers who got on board – I may have missed some supporters or pics, but please don’t be offended if I missed anything – this curating malarkey is tricky!! All the pictures here are totally stolen, but are credited & links provided to the appropriate blog where possible. So, in no particular order:
Argent Badger @ The Bovine Overlord completed Hannah, Chief Freikorps Archivist for Malifaux, and dedicated her to Fembruary. I’m not hugely familiar with the Malifaux line, but I do love a bit of Steampunk, and Hannah rocks it (literaly) in this hulking battle suit!
Huge apologies to Argent Badger btw – I missed this out of the original post, but edited it in once I had it pointed out to me (told you curating was tricky!)
Mark @ Heresy of us gave us this utterly gorgeous paint job on a classic JB ‘Femme Militants’ figure. The whites/off-whites and shading are beautifully rendered – no surprises there – Mark has a wonderfully painterly style, and he certainly doesn’t dissapoint here.
Azazel @ Azazel’s bitz box really went to town with 5 minis – and covers 4 ‘races’ to boot! (ok, the Nurgle Daemons are stretching it a little Az, but hey, who am I to judge!) There is some brilliant work here, but just look at that Dwarven Queen – outstanding!
Man of Tin really got stuck in – I know the Land Army gals are painted by him, but I’m not sure about the others (collected? Painted?), and there are more on his blog. I should probably note that MoT works in a part of the hobby that I’m not familiar with, so I may not be doing his stuff justice, but it’s great to see Fembruary spreading beyond my immediate circle! Man of Tin & Heart of Gold.
Thomas @ High Times on the Eastern Fringe gave us Trung Gozen, Archon of the Kabal of Infinite Sorrow. By his own admission, Thomas was outside his comfort zone with the face on this mini, (he usually paints brutes, monsters, and power armour!), but I love it! She is wild, savage, and definitely in charge – perfect!
Wugugast @ Convert or die gave us two trademark figures – I love how Wudugast deals with black, and the way he gets a really cool desaturated look to his minis for an almost fairy-tale quality… It’s quite a Scandie look, and must be a special quality of that cold Scottish light :-)
Speaking of fairy-tale quality, the eponymous Imperial Rebel Ork has produced a beautiful diorama for Fembruary, as well as one of his more trademark conversions, (wonderfully bonkers). Unusually for IRO, the diorama was inspired by the art in a graphic novel called ‘The girl from the other side’, and really is special for its departure from a ‘normal’ figure painting approach.
Inchmurrin, (sorry, don’t know the blog site), gave us ‘Rachel’, a no-nonsense exo armoured conversion – she’s really cool, and certainly looks ready to put in a heavy shift at the coalface!
Mikeland82 @ of the Starship Vorenus has knocked the ball out of the park, and given us a whole Escher gang! They have a beautifully vibrant and coherent colour scheme, and we got an excellent female soldier (WW2?) as a bonus as well!
Kraut Scientist @ The Eternal Hunt converted and painted this stunning Inquisitor for us – Krauty is one of the best converters out there, and I am a huge fan of how he handles red in particular, (no doubt refined through years of worshiping the Blood God!). This is a beautiful example of his work.
Finally, my own humble submission is a 5-strong gang of post-apocalyptic ladies – I have focussed on creating as diverse a group as possible here, while still hopefully keeping a coherent look to the gang.
Phew, how cool is that! What a superb and diverse collection – I hope you enjoyed the round-up! Now, I did say that I would pick out my favourite of the bunch… Tough task, because there are some superb projects in this lot, but I have to say that IRO’s ‘The girl from the other side’ diorama takes the cake for me. I love the monochrome ‘drawn’ style that IRO has used here, and the narrative is brilliant. This girl is strong – that looming presence behind her is supporting and protective, but she’s clearly the one in charge as she fearlessly walks through the darkness. The sheer uniqueness of this work is really appealing… it is just so atmospheric!
Go check out the whole blog post if you haven’t already.
Anyhow, that’s all folks! Well done IRO – virtual high-fives and kudos to you dude :-) Thank you again to all those who contributed – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and thanks as well to those stopping by for a look. Do feel free to drop a comment below, vote your favourite, etc. :-)