Thursday, January 14, 2016

INQ28: Building a female Imperial Guard Trooper

The Emperor guides my hand.

Having just completed building Paige Levkau, a pilot hired by Inquisitor Anton Soljic, I decided that I wanted to continue to bolster his field agents.  I realized other than Levkau, I did not have any other female agents and decided to change that with the next conversion!



Although I really liked the helgun that the Death Korp Grenadier came with, I wanted to try to make it look like a traditional rifle, and emulated an M14.

Although Games Workshop does not make too many female models, I found that it was not a big issue because most of the male ones can be substituted for female ones easily. After all, most of the models in 40k are so armored that one really would not be able to distinguish gender anyway; the Imperial Guard is not going to stamp out special breastplates for its female soldiers.  So the only real issue was finding some suitable female heads. I ended up finding that Andrew Rae, of Statuesque Miniatures, had a line of Heroic Scale Female Heads, and decided to give them a try.  I am pleased to say that they were a good investment.  They are nicely detailed and well cast in white metal.  I opted for the shaved heads (though, they offer others with different hairstyles and headwear). It should be mentioned that the heads will not be perfectly scaled to all 40k models (admittedly, even GW’s own models are not always scaled to one another).  They worked well for the body that I selected, however, a Death Korp Grenadier.

Like with all my other Imperial Guard operatives/Inquisition agents, I made sure that she had a host of equipment at her belt, including a trusty sidearm.

Apart from switching the model’s head, the brunt of my conversion work focused on small detail-oriented modifications. The Death Korp Grenadier’s are some of the nicest Imperial Guardsmen models produced by Games Workshop, and manage to avoid many of the stereotypical 40k design tropes (massive guns without stocks, ridiculous optics, etc.).  In fact, their helguns look fantastic, equipped with proper stocks (that are even shouldered correctly), and have small holographic sights that look as though they could be used.  Considering how nice they are, I could have easily used the rifle just as it came from Forge World, but I felt it would be cooler if it fired solid rounds rather than laser ones.  And the more I looked at the rifle, the more I saw an M14, so I decided to try to create one!  First, I extended the barrel/created a flash suppressor and front sight from a section of a Sicarian Infiltrator antenne.  I used a small sliver of plasticard and a piece of a Sicarian antenna to create the charging mechanism for the rifle.  Finally, using greenstuff I modified the magazine for the weapon, since the model originally was powered via cabling.  A knife was added to her back, similar to my previous storm troopers, along with a magazine pouch and a fragmentation grenade.  I also added a sidearm to her belt, which was based off of a holstered pistol that came from one of Wyrd’s multipart kits from Into the Breach.  I did a bunch of greenstuff work to make the pistol look more like a modern polymer automatic, rather than a single-action revolver.

The plastic scion models are simply massive, dwarfing the Death Korp Grenadier model that the sniper was base on. 

So there we have it, a rather straightforward conversion to add another lady to Inquisitor Soljic’s retinue!  I am pretty pleased with how she turned out, there really was no need for a separate female sculpt.  I am happy with her simple and pragmatic design; very akin to Soljic’s other agents.

- Adam Wier

19 comments:

  1. I love those Statuesque Miniatures heads, as I've used one of them on my female Inquisitor! You're right about the scaling of the head, but it works fine with the power-armored lady as it makes it appear as if she is wearing armor that is about two sizes too large!

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    1. The Statuesque Miniature heads are really nice, and I imagine would work wonderfully for a female Inquisitor model. :)

      Games Workshop has been pretty lax over the years with the scaling of their models in general. The Space Marines are probably the worst offenders. The plastic Imperial Guard Scions are comparable in size to the current marines...

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  2. This is really nice! That head works brilliantly - and maximum kudos for not sculpting comedic boobs.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I am really pleased with how well the head worked on the Death Korp body. I did some small modifications on the head that are a little tricky to see in the pictures. I gave her a crescent shaped scar on her forehead and sculpted a little metal plate on the side of her head. She is a true veteran of war! :)

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  3. Works perfectly. You're totally right about armour. The "boob armour" you see on a lot of female minis does look ridiculous. The choice of base model is inspired too.

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    1. Thanks for the support! Simon Egan's Death Korp models are some of my favorite; they embody nearly all of the visual aspects I imagine in an Imperial soldier (male or female, ha ha). There really is a surprising lack of female miniatures in the industry with realistic battle armor (at least in terms of the well know miniature companies and games). But no matter, we as the hobbyists can remedy that in the miniatures we create. :)

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    2. One of my best friends is one of GWs sculptors and takes a strong stand in the campain for real armour. One of the problems they face though is once the sculpted boob armour is gone and the clothing loses the silly skin tight corset effect you start to run out of ways to differentiate between male and female.
      Shame they can't get a few more female heads on some of the sprues though I suspect that's management interference over Sculptor choice.

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    3. Thanks for the response and the insight. Good to hear the sculptors at Games Workshop are thinking about the matter. Hopefully in the future GW they will start including some female heads with kits that can easily support them. While only a small change I think it would be great for the hobby as a whole.

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    4. I think that making female models is less of a challenge than changing the way people think about the models.

      If you think about it, nothing really differentiates the "male" armor as male. There are usually no wild Goblin King codpieces, no skintight areas near the crotch or unzippered fly to show a little. The bodies of the models themselves are nongendered, for the most part; it is only that they are expected by default to be male that makes them so. Likewise, it's just the assumption that everyone in 40k is male unless proven otherwise that necessitates some mark of "other" to differentiate a character as female.

      The Geena Davis solution to gender disparity in movies (http://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/interviews/a31285/in-a-league-of-her-own/) would work here, too. If the head isn't showing, like if it's covered by a helmet, why not just assume it's female? A great, easy way to close the gender gap in 40k miniatures is to just decide that anyone who is fully covered in armor is female. Give them female names, and note in their backstories that they're female. Easy. Simple.

      I'm not saying, of course, that you shouldn't bother trying to make models with female heads, because this one is great.

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    5. Excellent point, more gender variety makes for more interesting stories.

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    6. Giving fully armored models female names and back stories is a nice and simple solution. Not every female model needs to brazenly display their feminine features. They should be defined by their character and background. :)

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  4. Lovely work as always. I like how the head makes the model look female without the need to resort to cleavage, bouffant hair, or all the usual tricks we see in miniatures.

    I particularly like the "heavy battle rifle" look you have achieved. Full stock semi-auto rifles really ought to appear more in scifi. (alas, giant guns and various black guns with 101 accessories seem to be all that most people sculpt)

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    1. I am glad you like the model! I was very happy with how the rifle conversion came together and agree that scifi needs more full stock battle rifles! The giant weapons overburdened with accessories are becoming tiring...

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  5. She looks very cyberpunkish. Great model!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! I think she could fit right into a Shadowrun role-playing session. :)

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  6. Now that's a great build. Utilitarian and looking like she's doing her duty in a uniform that's unisex not form fitted. She's more fey than I thought though seeing the comparison pic. As far as equipment though why no camouflage or is it pure urban?

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    1. Those Scion models are simply massive. I really wish they were scaled more like the recent Skitarii models and not like the plastic Space Marines.

      Currently I am thinking her color scheme will be similar to Inquisitor
      Soljic and his Naval Officer. Playing around with some camouflage patterns could be interesting though...

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  7. Oh Bugger! She is so amazing I had to login to the identity stealing privacy sucking chaos god of internet that is google :) It's a really elegant and clever conversion. I sometimes feel that the less "sweet you see vs. how unique the end product is" is the most critical factor in determining the success of a conversion. Some incredible models end up getting too clustered and many artists go over board with detail and suffocate the work. You guys are true masters of converting unique models with grace and focus to them.

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    1. Thanks for logging into Google to comment! Your support is appreciated. :)

      There really can be a fine line between too much detail and just enough. I feel often times it can be problematic if you are adding detail just for details sake, rather than having a functional or practical reason for the addition. For instance, adding a scope to a Space Marine plasma or bolt pistol just doesn't work in most instances. Ha ha

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