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"Female representation in wargaming " Topic

31 Posts

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

"Our post about sexism in Kingdom Death prompted a reasonable amount of discussion, and made us realize that there was more that could be said about how women are represented in miniature gaming. When seeing a game which objectifies women as much as Kingdom Death does, it is easy to look at other games which don't portray women as egregiously, and give them a pass. In reality, all of the popular miniature companies today have issues with female representation.

Because it is assumed that the default, "neutral" gender of any model is male, which is itself a problem, miniature companies bend over backwards to let you know that a model is female, using certain coded visual elements. These indicators are numerous, including 1) armor that accentuates their breasts (often called boob-plate), 2) wearing less than their male counterparts, 3) being in provocative poses, and 4) having bare/unhelmeted heads.

Some of these are pretty obvious why they are a problem. Boob-plate does not make any practical sense. Having a breastplate with individual cups for each breast would likely be extremely uncomfortable, and could potentially end up deflecting a blow directly into the wearer's sternum. A breastplate for a female should not look any different from what a male would wear, at least not on the exterior. Why then is boob-plate so prevalent? It was designed to appeal to a certain crowd, and that crowd is predominantly straight and male. It is a design that makes it immediately clear that, unlike the "normal" male models, this character exists primarily for the sexual enjoyment of that select crowd…"
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Private Matter18 Mar 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

It's a restatement of a continuing issue. I want my female figures used for my games to be realistic

piper90918 Mar 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

There is the problem of establishing easy recognition of a model only 25mm tall. Given that most representations of female gaming figures are in fantasy/sci-fi settings, since historically you don't find a need for many female soldiers, the sculptors are obviously going to try to make a female casting stand out in the eyes of the viewer. And it's not like traditional genre illustrations and art have not set a standard, a convention, of outlandish and unrealistic outfits and proportions. The same could be said for male depictions in pulp literature, war comics, action films, etc.

Dynaman878918 Mar 2017 3:17 p.m. PST

Time for this topic again?

Weasel18 Mar 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

For realistic games, armour should likewise be realistic.

For a fantasy game, a wide range of figures is more important, so realistic armour and boob plate can and should co-exist.

zoneofcontrol18 Mar 2017 4:49 p.m. PST

Very important distinction must be shown for WWI gaming:



Thank you Wikipedia!

Stryderg18 Mar 2017 5:04 p.m. PST

Because it is assumed that the default, "neutral" gender of any model is male, which is itself a problem

Why is this a problem?

Ottoathome18 Mar 2017 6:22 p.m. PST

I agree with Stryderg. The vast majority of active participants in war have been male. Those females who have participated as soldiers in war were able to pass themselves off as male. Therefore as we are interested in our soldiers, which is the representation of real life. It is not likely that "Scoreland Models" would be trucked out in provocative uniform.

For years wargaming got along without this navel-gazing and hyperventilating about "sexism" in gaming. We played with toy soldiers and that was it. We used to talk about organization, tactics, and how to make the games better, not over the latent psychology of games and figures.

Time to recapture the old magic of just games, without attempting to raise up new issues.

Mako1118 Mar 2017 8:31 p.m. PST

I don't see an issue here.

I suspect most quilters, knitters, and people into sewing don't freak out about, or even bother pondering why more men don't participate in their hobbies.

The sexes are different, and many/most have different interests, which is not a bad thing, despite false narratives to the contrary.

Mitochondria18 Mar 2017 9:31 p.m. PST

When women outspend men in this hobby, there will be change.

Until then, sculptors are going to sculpt what sells. And currently boob armor sells. Provocative poses sell.

I am not going to change what I like to spend my money on to accomodate your feelings on the matter.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 10:54 a.m. PST

The vast majority of active participants in war have been male.


Those females who have participated as soldiers in war were able to pass themselves off as male.

historically you don't find a need for many female soldiers

No. Depends on where your focus is.

Which leads to the root cause of the crap in this discussion, and overly narrow interpretation of "wargaming" and "manufacturers" and an overly broad application to the hobby in general.

As Weasel points out, if you focus on a genre and judge it by its own standards, you don't see a lot of this dichotomy.

For my Rise of the Machines: 1812 project, the women look like early 19th Century women:

overtly sexy?

(And some late 18th Century women which is both fairly reasonable and a reflection of which figures I had at the time.)

I would commend anyone to check out Pulp Figures by Bob Murch. I don't think the topless version of the native island queen is exploitative; it is representative of the genre. Murch's Dangerous Dames and She Wolves are all conservatively and appropriately clothed.

Or check out Hinterland Miniatures, which are fictional, but representative of the "imaginations" time period to which they are tied.

If you shift from historical (or historical themed genre) to the fantastic … well how about these and those] ..?

Daughters of Malal

I agree that the "boob armour" noted in the article is stupid. Not because it is is exploitative, but because it is stupid from a within the genre perspective. That said, female figures without helmets (for recognition) is no more stupid than NCOs or officers without helmets (for recognition). So if that's what they decided to do, it's their genre so their call.

I don't think either of my above champion figures is stupid or exploitative. They fit their genre. The weapons, armour, and muscle tone are no more out of place than over the top fantasy and sf male figures …

I love Frazetta's work

Then there's the crappy assumptions about what "women think" on both sides of this.

I suspect most quilters, knitters, and people into sewing don't freak out about, or even bother pondering why more men don't participate in their hobbies.

When women outspend men in this hobby, there will be change.

Is equally as presumptive as assuming women (all 3.5 billion of them) object to boob armour. Or that more than 1% of them even know what that is.

If you were to ask my daughter for a list of the top ten doofy-cartoonish bits about 40K, I don't think SoB boob armour would make the list.

People do, however, have the right to be offended if that is how their moral compass aligns. And in free societies, they have the right to have discourse about such offenses and not be stifled by 50.0000001% of the vote. Likewise, they have the responsibility to accept the process and process outcomes of that society.

Nothing dilutes that discourse more than the vocal ends of the spectrum who cast their side as 99.9% and their opponent as 0.01%.

If I can assume that I have offended Weasel by agreeing with him, I guess I have ticked everyone in this conversation off by now. So, l8r.

Dwindling Gravitas19 Mar 2017 1:40 p.m. PST

I admit I'm confusored.

I think I agree with etotheipi, but I'm afraid to say so in case I self-brand myself as a sexist pig. :-)

To conclude, this discussion needs more boobies…

Legion 419 Mar 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

Since I only do 6mm Sci-fi, and generally speaking in PA, Body Armor[like currently], etc., you really can't tell the difference in that scale. But … here's some of my Alien Female[Eldar] Warriors … I really can't tell what gender they are ?


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 2:51 p.m. PST

When I was a college fencer, women's padded jackets actually had interior pockets into which aluminum boob armor was inserted.

Mako1119 Mar 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

Oberlindes, please do not confuse the issue by introducing facts into the discussion, since that will result in either DHing, based upon personal experience, and/or will quickly devolve into madness……..


Reactionary19 Mar 2017 3:31 p.m. PST

I. Don't. Care.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 3:49 p.m. PST

do not confuse the issue by introducing facts into the discussion

The discussion of representation of 28mm fencing figures vice 28mm sf figures wearing 7" thick (min) armour (which if we round down to 5" gives us a DDD cup as the break even point).

And let us not discuss the difference between how a sports bra and a lingerie bra works.

piper90919 Mar 2017 7:37 p.m. PST

Pulp Figures are indeed good castings!

Weasel03 Apr 2017 10:08 a.m. PST

If I can assume that I have offended Weasel by agreeing with him, I guess I have ticked everyone in this conversation off by now. So, l8r.

Unfortunately my ego is massive, so agreeing with me will only polish that further :-)

Weasel03 Apr 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

If you do want to make everyone angry, point out that women in proper armour are hot :-)

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Apr 2017 1:42 p.m. PST

Well, I've always thought that confidence, competence, and purpose were sexy … much better than lurid, explicit, and promiscuous.

uglyfatbloke28 Apr 2017 12:31 p.m. PST

SWMBO has n't told me what I think yet so I can't really comment..

Legion 429 Apr 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

LOL !!!! thumbs up

Stepman329 May 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

Is everything an issue? How far back do we go in history to see that women have always played a role in mens fantasies? Why is wargaming any different? Its grown men fantasizing about being generals and conquerors… And besides have you seen the weapons the Kingdom of Death females are carrying? I think they can handle themselves…

Bad Squiddo Games27 Jun 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

Man all those posts and nobody mentioned my company!

I specialise in manufacturing 28mm female miniatures my passion is historical but it is growing around quite a few genres now, with a super successful sci fi sub range.

As well as this, I also stock the largest collection of female miniatures in the world from over 50 manufacturers, always growing.

All these minis have in common is that they are not overtly sexualised. It also doesn't mean they are all nuns.

I totally agree that the representation of women in miniature gaming is problematic, but also don't want to stop anyone doing anything. We're all free to do whatever (in the confines of the law!) It is obviously something I am passionate as I do this full time, and have no intentions on stopping, nor will my customers let me now ;-)

What I try to focus on is adding more choice. I have ranted many a time about what I do not like (personally) seeing on the table, but now I focus on POSITIVE, and try to let people have more of a choice in the female miniatures they play with.

There is nothing wrong with sex or being sexy or women's bodies or anything like that, but when you just want a female figure that happens to be fighting a war/killing robots, it does get tiresome when your only choice is booby mcboob or ass mcpencildrop.

PS……………….. cheeky link

Bad Squiddo Games

Legion 427 Jun 2017 3:16 p.m. PST

huh? wink

Ottoathome23 Jul 2017 4:07 p.m. PST

Dear Annie

Never knew your firm existed. Some very nice things in there. I wish I was more motivated to ordere. I especially like the figure of Catherine the Great and the others of Elizabeth. The medieval fantasy is less interesting, but quite nice. Just not my period.

I shall try… TRY and send you a photograph of my conversions of Madame Fours-Bellote by Suren into the Princess' horse guard. Each model has extensive conversions. It's 30mm size.

I don't know if you can take American money but I will be ordering he Catherine the Great figure. One other thing is I am really looking for figures that are doing nice things. Like dining, talking, walking, enjoying themselves. I am presently converting court scenes where the only edged pointy things should be the knives and forks.

But then don't worry, I'm not a normal gamer.

I am getting into sculpting so I am interested in the heads as well.



kayjay20 Mar 2020 8:06 p.m. PST

rest in peace

AICUSV21 Mar 2020 12:23 p.m. PST

It is not a problem for me, as I game manly 18th century and women hadn't been invented back then.

Legion 421 Mar 2020 12:34 p.m. PST

Indeed ! huh?

Legion 425 Mar 2020 8:38 a.m. PST

They can wargame and Females register for Draft …


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