Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Female Representation: Concerns with the Necromunda Escher models

The new Escher models largely maintain the classic look of the Escher gang from the original Necromunda: sports bras, spiked leggings, and crazy hair.

It is no secret that Games Workshop does not produce many female miniatures. Recently, that has started to change with the release of the Sisters of Silence and Inquisitor Greyfax. While the inclusion of female models is a good thing, virtually all of these female models ascribe to the same questionable imagery: lithe and voluptuous characters in form-fitting battle armor that always accentuates their breasts. This imagery does not send the message that women are welcome in the Warhammer community. The newest collection of female miniatures to be released by Games Workshop is the the Escher gang from the re-release of the fan-favorite game, Necromunda. I had high hopes for this release, and am disappointed to report that Games Workshop has not used the release as an opportunity to present women in a less objectifying light. Read onward if you want to hear more about my concerns about this release.



The Sisters of Silence are one of the first plastic, multipart female kits that GW has produced. It is hard to be excited about this milestone when they are wearing impractical, form-fitting armor.


Inquisitor Greyfax is arguably worse than the Sisters of Silence, with her painfully thin waist, enormous breasts, and high heels (it is hard to think of anything more practical than high heels on battle armor, he he).


Some of the original art from the first release of Necromunda in 1995 looks like it came straight out of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (with some exaggerated anatomy). The imagery is extremely over-the-top, bulging muscle, oiled skin, and over-sized firearms.

Necromunda has always been a game that enveloped itself in 80s punk sensibilities, with mohawks and bondage gear, almost as if they took Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and took away the cars and put it on a overpopulated city planet. It abounds in over-the-top portrayals of characters: the Goliath gang featuring absurdly muscled men in the aforementioned bondage gear, and the all-female Escher gang wearing sports bras and spiked leggings (looking like they walked right out of the comic series Tank Girl). With the redesigned models, I did not expect Games Workshop to make any big changes to the imagery (GW is usually very reluctant to make any large changes to any of their established imagery).  At the very minimum, I was hoping that Escher gang members would have more sensible anatomy that made them look like athletic warriors, as opposed to slender and well-endowed swimsuit models. The models are much more muscled than they were in the past, which is a good thing. But this improvement is undone by numerous other design choices. Each model has extremely large breasts, each of which are larger than the characters’ heads. The models’ behinds are outrageously pronounced in pants so tight that they look like they are about to burst, a small detail that looks juvenile (like something a hormonal 12 year old boy would draw in his notebook while in class). On top of this, all of the models are wearing high heels, which is not something the old models featured (nor was it in Jes Goodwin's old concept sketches). Ultimately, the only major design changes GW made to the new Escher models was to make their behinds more pronounced and to give them high heels, both unnecessarily sexualized and puerile. Neither of these design choices make the models look like more imposing warriors, which begs the question as to why they made them.

The major new addition to the Escher design was giving them high heels.


Comparing the scale of some of Games Workshop’s more recent plastic models. From left to right: Custode, Primaris Marine, Goliath, Genestealer Cultist, Escher, Space Marine


There is much less tact displayed on the new Escher models compared to the Dark Eldar Wych models.


Other than the aforementioned design choices, Games Workshop also made an interesting shift in scale for certain aspects of the Escher models, notably their heads. Normally, Games Workshop models are sculpted in a heroic scale, meaning that they have exaggerated proportions to make them stand out more easily, generally in the form of over-sized hands, feet, and heads. These anatomical aberrations often serve to pronounce other deficiencies such as short abdomens and necks. This design language has followed GW for years, to the point that it seems natural to anyone engrossed in the hobby (but if you take look at historically scaled models, the differences are stark).  Interestingly, when looking at these new Escher models, they reject some of these heroic scale tenets and make their heads smaller. When I first looked at the models, I thought that the heads were too small. But upon further reflection, I think they are a little more realistically sized (your torso should be about 2-2.5 heads tall), but with the huge hands and feet, they look awkward. Normally GW will minimize the visual impact of large hands and feet by enlarging the heads to compensate. To explore the ramifications of head size more, we quantified the size of the new Escher heads and compared them with other common GW heads. The result is quite striking, with the Escher heads being about 26% smaller than the Genestealer cultist heads, which are the gold standard for the modern GW human. Because of this, I do not think the Escher heads will work well with most of GW’s other models. This comes as a major disappointment, as this set is the first major source of numerous plastic female heads, which would have been excellent for building and converting female models to add to your armies. We had originally wanted to use some of these Escher heads for building our Thorn Moons Imperial Guard force, but now think they are too small to look appropriate.


Comparing the head sizes of Games Workshop models. From Left to right: Space Marine, Genestealer Cultist, Goliath, Escher, Wych, Wych.


The head sizes of various Games Workshop models were quantified in ImageJ and normalized to the Genestealer Cultist head, since it has become the stand size for human sized models.


The Escher heads look tiny even on the slighter Elysian models from Forge World.

I had high hopes for this new Escher gang. It is one of Games Workshop’s first modern attempts at making a collection of all female models in plastic, and I was hoping that they would present them in a more realistic, and less objectified manner. However, GW largely kept the old imagery of well-endowed women in sports bras and tight pants intact, but exaggerated their behinds to an absurd extent while giving them high heels. None of these design choices are going to help bring women into the hobby, particularly if they felt unwelcome before. I am not saying that some of these design elements have no place in the 40k universe, but as it stands, all of the female models GW produces ascribe to the same basic image: thin and shapely women with ample bosoms and form-fitting armor. If there was some variety in the types of female models available (such as female Imperial Guard), the inclusion of these Escher models would not seem as egregious. While I purchased a set of these Escher models to potentially use some of the parts in future conversions, I have come to the conclusion that they are unuseable; Games Workshop still has a lot to learn. 

- Greg Wier

93 comments:

  1. I am looking at those and going AND IT CLEARLY ISN’T EVEN A HALF-DECENT SPORTS BRA. That shape? That is underwire without compression.

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  2. I like 'em. Especially the punky heads, neutral on the big tits. I have female friends who like 'em (ie they don't play miniature games, but they've seen them & think they're pretty cool, obviously not realistic but these figures are not supposed to represent real women). GW did well on them. And on Greyfax and on big true form Morathi. They fit the brand's style, which may be juvenile and full of exaggerated stereotypes, but is also fun. In fact, it's probably fun & cool because of this. If I wanted realism I'd be doing 1:32 scale modelling.

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    1. I swear, "I have female friends who like them" is the miniature community version of "I have black friends."

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    2. what's wrong with having black friends?

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    3. The idea is that just because you have a black friend does not make you an expert on all black people, and what they think. Just because you know a few female friends who like the Escher models does not mean that all women like them or think they are appropriate. Furthermore, this imagery has become so common that people are desensitized to it.

      As for the notion of these exaggerated proportions being fun, I would ask what about it is fun? What about always presenting women with slender frames and large breasts is fun? Aletheia linked a good article about this notion below that you should consider reading. Here is is for convenience: https://www.tor.com/2017/12/13/fun-doesnt-exist-in-a-vacuum-why-context-always-matters/

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    4. Where do I claim to be an expert on women? I'm only reporting my experiences & observations. And this goes in the other direction too. Just because you are a woman doesn't mean you can speak for universal womanhood, no matter how many dubious theories you drag into the discussion. Like the dubious claim of desensitization. There's no evidence whatsoever this is actually what is happening, but it's a convenient way to "explain" that women who disagree with your assessment are somehow not expressing what would be the right sentiment, if only they hadn't been brainwashed by the patriarchy. It's patronizing and disrespectful to people who do not share your opinions.

      I did read Aletheia's linked article, and found it to be the kind of typical woke wonkiness that appeals to hardcore activists with their desire to politicize everything and impose their dogma's everywhere. I find it incredible that you assume I didn't read it. Anyway, I've had my say, and I'll leave it at that. Before I fade back into the night, I do want to thank the owner of the blog for not censoring the critical reactions to his blogpost.

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    5. Wait, I do want to say one more thing.

      I just want to make it clear what you are taking away from me and people like me, when you insist on politicizing this to let in wonky woke people, like everyone who isn’t a straight white man.

      When I got my Escher models, my hands trembled as I stroked their bulbous plastic bosoms with my pinky. As my pants grew tighter, I rubbed the models against my crotch, breathing heavily. Gazing into their plastic eyes, knowing that these miniature females existed solely for my pleasure and as inanimate objects had no thoughts or desires of their own, I ejaculated without even unzipping my pants. I looked around the gaming table at my friends, Chad, Brad, and Thad, and felt the kind of community that is generated by seeing that they are all doing and feeling the same.

      This is what 40k is all about, and if you’re doing something else, like building stories and characters, or playing a wargame, then you don’t understand the hobby.

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  3. Quite the opposite- I was glad to see the eschers retained their tank girl aesthetic but sad to see the goliaths gain somewhat sensible armour rather than he-man bandoliers or straps.

    The addition of armour to the sportsbra only brings a chainmail bikini quality to the models that doesnt make nearly as much sense as heels. The addition of heels I could live without (except on leaders maybe?) as it throws the models into super amazonian heights that doesnt blend well with existing 40k lines.

    Heels make sense within the 40k wargame aesthetic- where you have the mordians and vostroyans marching to battle in what are clearly dress uniforms. Aesthetic and heraldry take priority over battlefield function to such an extent that even Ultramarines are (almost)never depicted wearing camo. In that aspect- 40k is much like a hierarchal business or political environment where signalling what you are is more important than dressing for efficiency. Thus heels, armour that exaggerates the physicality of the wearer, giant hats on officers and flags everywhere.

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    1. I was also disappointed to see that they changed the imagery for the Goliath models. They no longer have the bondage gear, and are hardly showing any skin anymore. Why did GW decide to tone down the bondage imagery for the Goliaths, but not tone anything down with the Escher models?

      It is true that some of the 40k aesthetic is based around flash impractical elements, but it certainly is not universal. Most of the Imperial Guard models are fairly practical (Cadians, Tallarn, Death Korp, Elysians, Valhallans, Tanith, etc.), aside from the two you mentioned. The galaxy is a large place which could foreseeably feature all sorts of designs, some more practical than others.

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    2. I agree and second the notion that there is a place for practically dressed women in 40k- particularly in the guard, as you rightly pointed out, there are lots of regiments inspired by historical combat troops.Some female Ghosts to represent the Vervunhivers would be nice, for example. Victoria models caters to this excellently and I'd like to see GW recognise this- the difficulty of compatibility between female and male soliders notwithstanding.

      I think that toning down existing extreme stylistic elements in 40k like the Goliaths straps or Escher hair reduces the richness of the game. The Goliaths look far more practical and far less loony than their previous incarnation.

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  4. I have to agree with the above points. GW and miniature gaming in general is not a place for realism and the high heels and big hats etc. fit the feel of 'Form over function' in the 40K universe.

    That said I do roll my eyes at the 'T and A' portions of the models. I personally view the Eschers as female MMA fighters with body proportions that should reflect this where as the Goliaths are 'roided up, juice heads.

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    1. it's not a question of just realism though, is it?

      think about it; the problem is also not one of simply square cm of skin exposed, or nipple visibility; the Stormcast women are still part of this same problem despite being a bit less sexualised

      the problem is not that there are models with any of these features, but that the acceptable range of features for women is noticeably restricted (for sexist reasons, yes, but also others). consider that even GW's more monstrous women largely maintain the same thin, perkily buxom and conventionally attractive attributes where it counts... comparatively, the men, even just among the humans certainly tend towards the "brick shithouse" type but also cover a wider range beyond that

      and nevermind the nonhumans...

      at a base level, and (foolishly) removed from all context, I contend that this is immensely lazy design work.

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    2. I disagree. I would contend that GW defaults to idealised athletic proportions for men and idealised athletic proportions for women, unless they specifically want to do something different (the sisters of sigmar unit leader and Creed are examples of this. Both are far more broadly built than the standard sisters/cadians- conveying seniority of age- and making the lady look far more like a real world nun.

      In a similar vein- Deathguard get to be fat marines to deviate from the norm as a design choice- there are no fat spacemarines otherwise (except hrothgar, in a novel)

      The reasons for this are both to ground the figures in some reality (the models should look like their real life inspiration) and to represent the female form at 28mm. The sister dialogus is an example of a completely androgynous female model- only the hair-do ties it to a pre existing range of female figures.

      In short- if GW do dumpier, less obviously female models it will be a design choice to convey an idea, not to improve representation.

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    3. Have you never seen a female athlete? Those are not athletic proportions for women, at all.

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    4. let's get everyone a common reference point then, shall we?

      https://imgur.com/a/cOTTF#19

      just a small example, but I think it should get the point across; do you see anyone that looks like GW's standard bodytype for women?

      what about the men in those pictures?

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    5. As Alethiea and Tristan have mentioned, the female models GW makes are not idealized athletic proportions. The images Tristan linked above does an excellent job of illustrating that.

      Some of the Sisters of Sigmar models from Mordheim did have different body types, as you mention RSF_Angel. But, those models were released more than 18 years ago, and we have largely not seen anything like that since.

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  5. I agree with Anonymous, the fact that GW's style comes across as juvenile and full of exaggerated stereotypes is the entire reason the 30+ year old franchise is cool and fun in the first place! I love the heels on the models it seems practical and matches their massive hands and feet. My favorite part of Jurassic World was how watching the female lead runs around in heels through heavy vegetation PROVING that it is not only possible but that it was as efficient as the hiking boots her male counterpart was wearing. The best part is they didn't have to make a bullshit boot that green screened in the heel at all it just worked just like heels in a heavily industrial environment would work! The ingenious part of high heels is your feet go in them! There's no point in trying to make models look realistic your opinions are just wrong!! A middle ground between exerting any effort on the appearance of a model and just not thinking about the mentality put forth in making a model and getting it to sell on a global scale in efforts to maintain certain fanbases is pointless!! Tits!!

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    1. So say we all.

      I agree with your ironic assessment of the realism of heels in combat or action. I disagree with your ironic strawman- no-ones opinions on subjective aesthetics are wrong. Some realism is important to ground an otherwise fantastical figure in the realm of what is familiar and possible, which is why so much of AoS falls flat in my opinion.

      With the eschers we have already seen girls in platform shoes and stilleto heels in real life- the fantastical is that this future punk rock is also the culture and style of a matriarchal megacorporation/feudal kingdom, which fields teams of armed women so dressed.

      You may consider this inconsistent with the 40k universe. However, the universe operates under an aesthetic code (because miniatures) where the entire Eldar race denotes rank by who has the largest helmet and human officers get more skulls and gold attached to them as their career progresses.

      Ultramarines don't wear blue and Eschers dont wear high heels and put their hair up in crazy conspicuous styles becuse they think it will improve their combat efficiency. There are in-universe reasons for this-the same in universe reasons that allow us to stab with powerswords in the same game we shoot plasmaguns.

      In the real world they look like that because it is a cool aesthetic and a house of bald ladies in sensible shoes wearing military fatigues would look lame beside barbarian house and biker gang house and bald-trenchcoat-goggle house.

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    2. I agree with you that no-ones opinions on subjective aesthetics are "wrong", with that said though there is a time and place for all opinions. I cannot fathom how other readers stumble upon this blog whose mission statement is to add realism into the hobby and then are baffled when realism is what is being discussed.

      I personally have less of a problem with the heels than I do the bad proportions of the models. These models are badly proportioned for humans like almost all models in GWs range. With that said though it will take considerably more time and effort to convert these models to a realistic standard than say the Genestealer cultists for example.

      The "Aesthetic Code" you mention is precisely what I believe this blog is trying to change, with that said I am kind of lost as to the examples you mention. Once again we are on a blog where realism is the achieved goal, in the case of the Eldar if Adam spent the amount of time he typically does on a model I can guarantee there would be a clear way to determine rank outside of helmet size, which realistically would be smaller across the board. With Ultramarines I can guarantee they would remain blue but their firearms and wargear would be a lot more mechanically feasible, them being blue given their lore isn't the unrealistic part. With the Escher I do believe a very similar aesthetic could be achieved without Skin tight clothes, heaving breasts, and high heels, unless I am mis-remembering these are not things in their actual lore these are based off of the miniatures. Would the masses rise up to declare Adam a heretic for not drinking GW's koolaid? Of course, they do every time.

      There is a way to clearly meet in the middle of realism and also pay tribute to the IP which to my understanding is why these three have spent so much time talking about and doing this. GW comes up with their designs based on money and how well they can pander to their customers to earn said money back. The past discussion of the bolter comes to mind and despite the fact it was clearly designed to have a simplistic and individual aesthetic that GW could trademark there is a massive text wall with people arguing til they are blue in the face that it would work.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and perhaps going to 1/32 scale modeling would be more realistic, this blog certainly thinks so hence why Eric had a few posts on the subject. Will it be 40k? Not out the gate no but with work it could work. That seems to be the theme for this entire blog, putting in the work to make yourself happy with a product and putting up with others opinions on why you're wasting your time.

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    3. I would have been much happier with these new Escher models if they kept the old designs, but did not give them gigantic breasts and bulbous asses.

      Eli is right in suggesting that the main purpose behind this blog is to try to add some realism to 40k. It is not something that everyone likes or wants, but it is what we enjoy. And at the end of the day, I think a middle ground could easily be reached, maintaining the general 40k imagery without defaulting to overly sexualized depictions of women whenever they make a female model.

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    4. Bro how a studio movie prove anything?

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  6. I like the tits n' ass models myself and don't want blue haired ideologues in the hobby at all. Personal preference I guess. RE Head size: I can't understand you thinking they're too small. They're smaller than other GW heads, yes, but heroic scale heads are notoriously WAY too big. The escher heads look just right to me, especially for non space marine sized characters.

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    1. “Blue haired ideologues” is the most uncreative stereotype ever referenced on the internet. Plenty of people have opinions that want to be heard, even hobbyists, even people who have been playing for a long time. Dismissing every opinion you disagree with as a result of tumblr scene kids is a great way to insulate yourself from anything that might make you think, but it’s not all that great of an approach to life.

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  7. Yeah, sorry, I don't agree with your position. Each to his own I guess. I like all three kits you mentioned (Sisters, Greyfax, and especially Escher). My wife plays Escher and she thinks they're super cool. My 16 year old niece really likes them too even though she is more into Age of Sigmar with Mistweaver Saih being her favorite model. My wife plays Stormcast and adores Neave Blacktalon and Angharad. Personally, I'm glad to see GW adding more non-elf female models to both ranges. I guess it all comes down to personal preference.

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    1. It is interesting that your niece gravitated to one of the few GW female models that is not overly sexualized. It is hard to imagine that was a coincidence.

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    2. Not too hard to imagine. It could be that she likes elves and magic and the figure is cool.

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    3. Yeah, clearly it is a multifaceted thing, but I think it is naive to think the less sexualized features didn't have some role in her favoring that model. After all there are a bunch of more sexualized elves she could have picked.

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    4. Naïve is an interesting label. There are some interesting logical jumps going on around here.

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    5. There aren't any logical leaps, at all. The connection between female objectification and many sociological phenomena, including making women feel unwelcome and unsafe in a space, has been long and well studied. That you have the internet and still have never before yesterday managed to encounter ANY of this before is... unlikely. Which means that the most likely explanation is that you know ALL of this, and know you're a misogynist, and are just trying to run us in circles and tire us out to maintain the status quo.

      Hell, if I were that kind of person, I would be too embarrassed to post under my real name, too.

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    6. Sorry, no offense, but you're a lunatic. That has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout your comments.

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    7. Sure. A working knowledge of sciology is MADNESS. That makes sense to... someone, I guess.

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  8. I am shocked, shocked I say, that there are a bunch of dudes weighing in that they think sexist imagery is super great.

    https://www.tor.com/2017/12/13/fun-doesnt-exist-in-a-vacuum-why-context-always-matters/

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    1. It honestly gets boring/depressing the number of these types that get bought out of the woodwork every time an article on this or similar subjects gets published. What is about changing aspects of an aesthetic to make a group of people more comfortable and welcome in the hobby, that makes a load of others so uncomfortable? People do crazy thing with conversions all the time, and you don't see angry commentators boiling out of nowhere about how the aesthetics are ruined...

      (Article you linked below is a really good read as well, cheers for that :) )

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    2. But is it sexist imagery? My (ie the first anonymous to reply) point is that that while cliché, it is also totally unproblematic for quite a few women, a fair number of which even consider it cool or fun. It's fantasy stuff, and women also enjoy fantasizing about heroic, idealized stereotypes. At least that's my experience as an RPG GM & player in mixed gaming groups. Attractive "warrior princess" types are popular in fantasy games, in steampunk female players invariably dress their (female) characters in a corset. They often behave un-ladylike, but they're certainly not the plain & sensible looking "real women" as defined by a certain type of activist.

      If anyone is being sexist, it's probably those who seek to rigidly oppose male & female tastes. Often dictating that any proper female should find this stuff distasteful because they themselves regard it so.

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    3. Seriously, if you believe changing the aesthetic (as in making everything conform to the ideological tastes of a vocal brand of activism) will somehow bring in more female gamers, you're probably wrong. What matters isn't the imagery, but the real-life attitudes of gamers. If male gamers are nice & respectful and treat female gamers as regular people with who you could be like, friends, it'll work out fine, regardless of the presence of chainmail bikini chicks in the imagery. That's how it has been with RPGs & board games, and that's how it can be with miniatures.

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    4. "What is about changing aspects of an aesthetic to make a group of people more comfortable and welcome in the hobby, that makes a load of others so uncomfortable?"

      I think there's a certain segment of the population that sees representation (and everything else, really) as a zero-sum game: Anything that anyone else gains is at someone else's loss, and, well, there tends to be a lot of insecurity that goes with that, so they assume that the loss is going to be theirs.

      I've also noticed that a lot of the folks who get super triggered by this are the same ones who are always complaining about how "sjw snowflakes" are so over-sensitive and can't deal with anything that doesn't go their way.

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    5. Changing the 40k aesthetic to make it (theoretically) appeal to a wider audience would clearly be a loss for those of us who like 40k for what it is.

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    6. These ARE your real-life attitudes. I mean, look at "Anonymous" up there, mansplaining sexism to a woman. If this kind of imagery is what you think is okay, you are also treating women in ways consistent with that, just like you are doing right here.

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    7. The dearth of women in miniature gaming is a multi-faceted issue. As you mention Anonymous, the attitudes of male gamers in some gaming circles do keep women away. But that is not the only thing that keep women away. I think that imagery is one of the problems, which I why I wrote this post.

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    8. There's a dearth of women in the model train hobby as well.

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    9. Maybe there are so few women in the model train hobby because Neil Young greedily has most of the model trains?

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-neilyoung-auction/singer-neil-young-to-auction-model-train-collection-idUSKBN1D21XY

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    10. Are you really pointing out that other hobbies are driving away women in their own ways, and thinking that SUPPORTS your point?

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    11. I'm saying model trains is the most gender neutral thing in existence and women are still not interested. Maybe women are on average not that interested in miniatures, and especially not stuff that involves conflict.

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    12. You are saying with a straight face that women aren’t interested in dolls and dollhouses like men are. That is pretty funny.

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    13. Girls like to play with dolls, good point.

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    14. Aletheia Altzinger should be locked up in a mental institution. He is ready for a lobodomy.

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    15. HURRY AND LOCK ME AWAY BEFORE MY DANGEROUS LADY IDEAS CHANGE YOUR DOLLS!

      Even THAT isn't safe enough - better cut my brain, too!

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  9. I really like this blog, have followed it for years, and will continue following it. I simply don't agree with Greg's position. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re allowed to respectfully disagree. These discussions always devolve into silliness. From both sides. Such is the nature of things. There is a subset here who have determined that the models are sexist and implying that people who like them are therefore sexist. There’s another subset saying screw you, I like big boobs and I want more big boobs. Both groups are dull and uninteresting and not worth anymore time. Have at it. Peace out.

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    1. Thanks for following the blog over the years and for sticking with us.

      I wrote this post knowing that it would provoke discussion, and that there was a good chance it would devolve into name calling. I wrote it anyway, because I feel that the issue of sensible female representation is important. I think that Games Workshop can keep their existing designs, but it would be great if there was some diversity. Not all women need to be slender and well-endowed. Would adding some diversity destroy the hobby that so many people love?

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    2. If it would, then that means the hobby is inherently about wanting to fuck femme minis.

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    3. Greg, adding some diversity would not destroy the hobby that so many people love. Toning down existing ranges would not be adding diversity, but would be destructive to what already exists.

      Adding sensibly dressed Cadian females or non-boobplate inquisitrixes is fundamentally different than replacing a line of provocatively dressed girls with a line of something else. The game was not improved when the lithe, dynamic metal diaznettes made way for single breasted and static, plastic daemons.

      FW have hinted at female releases for the other gangs. I expect they will retain idealised anatomy but won't be quite as explicitly sexxychixx as the eschers. I hope thats a middle ground that will satisfy many people.

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    4. As I stated in the article, I did not expect them to change the general imagery of the Escher gang. I was fine with that. What I did not appreciate was them taking that design and increasing the breast size and exaggerating the characters asses. I am not saying that GW should remove their current designs and imagery. I think they should add some diversity and not present virtually all women in the same light (slender and well endowed).

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    5. Hell, I AM saying they should take the pornified models away and replace them with the idealized fantasy of someone other than a 15 year old straight boy.

      I also wouldn't complain if all of the Space Marines were replaced by slender, nubile, young male minis in scant, form-fitting armor with elaborate dick molding. So we'll know they're meant to be male, you understand.

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    6. You just had me in stitches with that last paragraph, Alethia! Spot on! ^^

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    7. I almost, ALMOST, had Adam convinced to post a video of himself lovingly sculpting an elaborately bulging codpiece a couple of years ago, but sadly he smelled my mischief over the miles.

      *sorrowful head shake*

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  10. Yeah, it took a ton of work to get my new Eschers looking more or less like how I wanted them, and I wish I'd had the energy to do even more extensive reworking on the boots. They're a major step backwards in terms of representation from the previous line, which was done over 20 years ago.

    You mention the Heroic scaling on GW's heads/feet/hands, but the other area it applies to (only on female models) is breasts. As you mention, they're large. But I think a lot of folks don't realize just how over-scaled they are. Most women with breasts that size (especially with an otherwise slender build) have implants. Not subtle ones, either. If they were modeled after someone with c-cup breasts, wearing a proper sports bra, there would just be a subtle curve there, not something that dominates the whole Model.

    Greyfax and Veridyan are even worse, with the high heels so extreme that they're completely distorting the pose of the rest of the Model. The Sisters of Silence at least don't have high heels, and the boob plate is easier to fix, but they only have one helmeted head on their sprue, which is idiotic for a Power Armoured Unit.

    The one good thing I would note about the Escher heads is that they actually fit really well inside the empty helmet that comes on the Cadian sprue.

    I'd also note that the "idealized" forms mentioned by some of the commenters are male ideals for both genders of Model. If you look into stuff marketed toward women, the guys tend to be more swimmer-type builds than bodybuilder.

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  11. That is an excellent point! When we think about what is "idealized," it's always good to keep in mind whose ideal that is, and what that represents.

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  12. I’m going to adapt a tweet thread into a PSA here, all about “I asked the women who consent to talk to me about this imagery, and they say it’s fine and even cool,” and why that is flawed as an argument at its very core: This shouldn’t be shocking news, but the women willing to look at the imagery in your games and discuss it with you are NOT a random, unbiased sample of the population. In fact, they are biased in a very specific way. By virtue of the fact that they’re talking to you, you have automatically selected for women who have already decided to accept any sexism you bring to the table, and to some extent want you to like them.

    This goes more than double for women who will engage in miniature gaming with you. They have already to some extent accepted your sexism and sexism in the game itself. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t be here. The implications of this should be obvious, but, hell, so should the rest of it: saying “women who already decided to bear sexism say that sexism is cool” isn’t the slam dunk point you seem to think it is.

    While you huff and puff and #notallwomen as you surely will reading this, ask yourself why exactly miniature gaming is a predominantly male hobby. It isn’t because it’s just a super manly thing to do, that women aren’t likely to be interested in. Let’s be real, here; you’re playing with elaborate dolls and dollhouses, and making up stories about them, and by and large, women do not want to play with you. Doesn’t this seem at ALL odd? Don’t you think that MAYBE there is something deeply off-putting to women here?

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    1. Are we offended? I disagree with blog post, but I'm not offended by it. I simply think the changes proposed would not add any value, as I actually like the models as they are. I'm not saying there should be no "ugly" female miniatures, there's certainly room for those, but let's face it, these too will be stereotypical clichés because the whole WH40K universe is made up of clichés. Again, that is part of the attraction. You see it everywhere in entertainment.

      Now what does offend me is the aggressiveness, the high handed tone of moral superiority & outright sexism of some of those supporting the idea that unrealistic sexy female models are somehow oppressive and are keeping women out of the hobby.

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    2. Do you really think that giving the Escher models outrageously large breasts and exaggeratedly large behinds is “adding value” to the models? What is inherently better about accentuating these features to ridiculous levels? Why do you think there are not very many women in the hobby? What is keeping them away? Images have power. There is a substaintal amount of research into how objectification of women is harmful (http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx). The blatant sexualization of women in media (and wargaming) is not harmless.

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    3. It sounds like you don’t know what sexism is, there, Anonymous. Sexism is a structural power imbalance that advantages men by keeping women at a subordinate status, and involves both the overt and subtle means of maintaining that imbalance.

      What sexism is NOT, is not being as nice to you as you would like. You claiming sexism in that is frankly laughable.

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    4. And as far as moral superiority, well, you being wrong in ways that implicate you as kind of a shitty person isn’t exactly a bug on Greg’s end.

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    5. Yeah, I don't see that person or anyone else apart from you declaring that disagreeing with their PoV makes someone a "shitty person". Nobody else is calling names, or deploying dismissive hyperbole. Nobody else is essentially claiming that everyone who does disagree is either stupid or bigoted(if men), or are poor submissive victims of patriarchy(if women).

      And no, that's not what sexism is, it's what patriarchy is - sexism is not a gendered concept, it exists independently of which sex it is deployed by or against. Though I don't know why I'm bothering tbh, you'll just assume I'm male and dismiss me as "mansplaining sexism", or else file me away in the "browbeaten victims" drawer with every other woman who doesn't share your puritanical zeal.

      Personally, I have no issue with heels, or oversized busts, or bared midriffs, or stylized armor. My problem is that's *all* there is. I like baroque, over the top, punky, tropey models of women, but I also want there to be chunky, grounded/mundane, matter-of-fact, grizzled, and even disfigured models of women. I think it'd be a lot easier to get those things if every discussion on the subject didn't always end up as a mudslinging match between the Fedora Brigade insisting *nothing* changes and the Neopuritans insisting that even one oversized boob is an unending affront to all women that must be expunged from the hobby, but then that might lead to some middle-ground compromise position being achieved with both styles of models and then neither extreme would be able to feel superior for having a righteous cause.

      The Escher are both what I expected and what I wanted, excepting the scale of the heads which has nothing to do with "sexualization" and everything to do with them not being a useful source of conversion parts. If they either don't come out with the rumored female models for the other gangs, or if they do and those have skimpy clothes for no reason, then I'll take issue with the representation of women in N17. And in the broader sense, I'll continue to hope that one day, the Neopuritan sorts can divert a fraction of their energy from berating and dismissing all who disagree with any part of their viewpoint towards helping the rest of us make some reasonable, achievable demands that increase representation without taking anything away from anyone, like a new Guard range with a bare minimum of 1/3 women(in "realistic" gear), and non-sexualized women versions of aesthetic archetypes which should already exist within the setting(Commissars, Preachers, Sanctioned Psykers, Inquisitors etc).

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    6. This is pretty much how I feel about this issue. There are mean-spirited, bullying people who always swoop into these conversations. Unfortunately, I'm afraid you are wasting your time trying to reason with them. Here is a handy "pop" psychology article that offers some pretty good advice for dealing with these personality types: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prescriptions-life/201201/dont-try-reason-unreasonable-people

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    7. I spent a long time writing this article, trying to be as reasonable and objective about it as I could, but not minimize the importance of the issue. Your first comment said that you thought that the models were cool, and that some women liked them too, which is well and good. Then you said that maybe it was the sexualization that made the models cool. It is not surprising that someone might take issue with that idea. But, what was your intent with the comment? To disagree the article that I wrote? Or just to say that you thought they were fine?

      Later in the quagmire of comments you do say that you disagree with the article: “I disagree with blog post, but I'm not offended by it. I simply think the changes proposed would not add any value, as I actually like the models as they are.”

      But with this new comment, it appears that you are actually largely agreeing with the article. Saying that you have a problem with all of the female models being similar, and that you would like to see women with different body types, etc.
      In digital formats like this, it can be easy to misinterpret others intentions, particularly if the issues is something that people care deeply about (and are effected by).

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    8. I would absolutely say that yes, giving no fucks about the second-class citizen status of women, and everything that contributes to that, makes you a shitty person. Nothing bullying or mean about that - it's just the truth.

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  13. something for some people here to consider; why are you so offended by the mere suggestion that the "female form" be represented in ways you deem unacceptable - that is, anything outside of this one narrow ideal of beauty - and why are these ways unacceptable?

    why is it you dismiss any alternative way to represent women as ugly?... "dumpier, less obviously female models" says RSF_angel; why is the only allowable representation of a woman (effectively) an overtly sexy supermodel?

    because it looks an awful lot like you're all saying "no uggos"

    is it so alien that someone might want another option to be available? an option that is not "sexy" (to you)?

    do you need Space Marines to be sexy?

    and lastly, why, to give something to others, is something automatically taken from you? it need not be as such.

    unless... you think you're spoiled children should have their toys taken away...?

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    1. NO MINIS SHALL EXIST THAT ANONYMOUS DOES NOT WANT TO FUCK. IT IS LAW.

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    2. You are assuming assumptions Tristan.

      There are are many body types that can be attractive between super model and androgynous or 'dumpy'. I meant 'less obviously female' because if it is not obvious it defeats the point.

      The female catachan is an example of a less pronounced female miniature. She is not ugly but is heavily muscled, like any other Catachan. The only visual cues we have that she is not a man are the breasts and exposed navel- she has short hair and otherwise might be a slimmer catachan. From certain angles- she could easily be mistaken for a man (cue alien references) defeating the purpose of making a female miniature as opposed to a male.

      Each range must choose a baseline body type if it is to facilitate conversion. The baseline will determine how you can deviate from that for leaders or novices.

      If they are multipart or designed for ease of conversion- they will have zero diversity of body types outside of special characters etc (marines cadians) and will come with some kind of pauldrons and/or bracers- allowing arm and hand swaps to be relatively easy.

      The original eshers accomplished a line of juves by toning down all the extreme elements of the baseline gang- the breasts are more petite- the hair is shorter and less extreme, their tiny frames and hands made the autopistol look like bolters. Just being shorter wouldnt have accomplished any of this- the baseline models having pronounced figures and extreme elements allowed the same visual language to be toned down for juves. It also allows you to have a larger woman on the heavy weapon- whether stouter or more muscled, within the range of what is considered attractive.

      I'm not opposed at all to female guard/skitarri etc- whether sensibly dressed female models or headswaps (theres no need to make specific miniatures if you don't want them to be identifiable as girls from arms length. If you do want a model to look female at arms length beside similarly dressed male models, I refer you to the female stormcast.)

      I'm also not opposed to ugly female models but I appreciate the challenge of making a miniature face recognisably female. An ugly woman is simply a less female one in most cases- a more mannish face, heavier build etc.

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    3. thank you for providing a wonderful example

      (as it happens, i'm going to ignore the "multiple bodytypes in a single range is impossible" part since it's an imagined end goal by you, and manages to miss the points being made anyway. when was it said that there cannot be generic body sculpts for a kit?)

      okay, so your main argument here - that "if a model of a woman is not obviously a woman, it is pointless" and the addendum of "an ugly woman is simply a less female one"... (qualify that however you like, but... WTF dude)

      well, first off, if you say anything like this to a woman in real life, I can guarantee they will immediately decide that you believe these things about real women too.

      this is because what you have said is extremely sexist.

      so - firstly, if you do not believe yourself to have said or believe as such, I would seriously consider changing how you talk about such things. because this is what you have implied about yourself, with the words you have chosen

      consider that, in your last sentence, you have equated (your own, entirely subjective standard of) physical beauty with womanhood... thus, unattractive women are insufficiently feminine... less of a woman... and not as worthy of depiction (as evidenced by your insistence that adding any additional depictions to what is there now is too difficult or unnecessary). this is what you have said here, with these words

      next, think about this: are basic Space Marines in armour "obviously male" enough by this standard? are they sufficiently gendered to be worthwhile?

      (and indeed... in their behaviour, and visually - while out of their armour - they are hypermasculine, to the point of it making them inhuman; that being a core part of their intended joke... but, how much of that is communicated by and through their armour?)

      what most differentiates a fresh SM from a veteran SM, or their leader? it's not their bodyshape or physical features; these are often near identical (or meant to be), as per their intended origin. it's instead the details on, and the kind of, their armour... why are these suddenly inapplicable to any women, but breast size is a key indicator of seniority and womanhood?

      that if you, personally would fuck them or not is important to them being recognisable - to be worth being seen as women?

      do you apply these standards to real life? can you? (you will say no, of course)

      art, however stylised, is ultimately an expression of how someone sees something. a vision. eventually, convoluted as it may be, that ends up being seeing something real. because humans, you will note, live in the real world

      (this is why I earlier said it is not simply a question of realism)

      another question. why, when faced by these suggestions, that more than you see could and should be reflected - these other ways of seeing be acknowledged - do you become defensive?

      you are not being driven out; someone else is being let in.

      there is no threat...

      so what am I to think of you, then?

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    4. "another question. why, when faced by these suggestions, that more than you see could and should be reflected - these other ways of seeing be acknowledged - do you become defensive?

      you are not being driven out; someone else is being let in.

      there is no threat...

      so what am I to think of you, then?"

      (quoting and repeating because it was so fucking great)

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  14. Some good points. I agree with everything you say about Greyfax but I still like the model (wrong... I know!). I agree with your core point that there should be more diversity. That would fix the issue of the Escher being the only true human females in 40K.

    The fact is the old models were just better. They are better proportioned, better detailed, they don't have high heels; the only possible argument that the old ones aren't better is if you are one of these people that insists on everything being plastic (I know I'm in the minority but I hate plastic).

    Adding the high heels was a weird choice. It makes no sense except if they were trying to turn the Blanche-dial up to 11. It feels regressive.

    I recall reading somewhere (Facebook?) that GW is working on more females but there is a 3 year lead time on plastic kits so it is going to take a while.

    For the time being, Victoria Miniatures is where it's at (except for the fact they're made from resin, but nothing's perfect).

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  15. Eschewing the ENTIRE conversation about sexism in gaming (not because I don't want to deal with it but because everything I would have said has already been said), I think the Escher models sucked because they look terrible. Their heads are indeed not only too small as the article suggests, but then they have giant hair as well. Their guns are gigantic and look out-of-place with their Eldar-like physiques. And they all look like they are carrying every possession they own on them.

    And what is up with each gang having matching team colors and uniforms and high-tech weaponry? These people live in the slums!

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    1. In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future there is only Nike!

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    2. Totally agree they look terrible. Put these next to the old Jes Goodwin Eschers... they don't even compare. You would take the old ones EVERY time.

      I think GW has its B team working on the Specialist Games lines... but even so why re-release a kit if it's not going to be better than the old one?

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    3. One would have hoped that a re-release of a kit would have made it better. But remember when Specialist games made new metal Orlock and Goliath gangs? They were much worse than the original metal gangs.

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  16. I may regret adding my own thoughts to this blog entry given that the Escher just don't hold any interest for me (and they never have) and given that I have yet to come across any stock miniature that I haven't immediately wanted to tear apart and rebuild in a different image, my own opinions are probably invalid to this discussion...

    That being said, the notion of 'idealised' image has already been put forward, that these Escher (and many other female figures produced by GW) represent an 'ideal' sculpted and designed by men that appear to be highly sexualised with fetishised curves taken to such an extreme that they look almost deformed.... they do probably give young men in the hobby the wrong ideas on what an 'idealised' woman should look like (after all sexism and objectification is learned behaviour)whilst alienating young women from the hobby. Does this dichotomy not also work the other way around too? Would a skinny young man with arms like spaghetti not feel daunted by the Goliath biceps the size of Bournemouth? What about young male gamers who happen to be gay? Is GW therefore trying to put forward an 'idealised' male form too; with huge muscly men with washboard abs? Are such formats so straight-forward or intentional?

    That isn't to say there aren't women built like the new Eschers in the real world, or who feel empowered to dress in a similar fashion (especially in cosplay circles), but do they represent an absolute image of women in humanity? Of course not, just a tiny cross-section. Similarly there are women who think that such Wonderbra(tm)-like garments are the tops, whilst others feel more comfortable not wearing bras at all. Likewise, I can't stand wearing high-heels, they make my arches and shins ache to insufferable levels, yet I've seen women capable of sprinting with the grace of a gazelle in them. So I guess it would be up to the individual woman as to whether they find such an image empowering or insulting....

    Is the larger slice of GW's core demographic going to consider all of this whilst examining these new Escher miniatures? Probably not; they'll more than likely be led by their crotches and the bucketful of hormones surging through their system, and GW will be happy to pimp out this 'idealised' image in exchange for money....

    I have the same thoughts about the rather narrow choice of female body types that designers put out (especially GW). Women come in more shapes than just 'lithe'....

    Food for though.

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    1. I appreciate the input, Gretchin. I think that most of the imagery that GW produces is designed to appeal to their assumed audience: straight males. It is presenting idealized forms of the male and female body from the perspective of a straight male. The males are strong and powerful (not necessarily presented how a female would imagine the idealized male). As you mention, the imagery is probably not considering what a young gay male would think to be ideal.

      And as you said, most of GW’s core demographic is not considering any of this when they are looking at these Escher models. And that is because most of them are males that are not directly affected by female objectification. Since it does not directly affect their lives, they haven’t had a reason to consider it.

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  17. Great article, Greg. I think you make some very important points. It's easy to see Games Workshop make some improvements in gender representation and overlook other areas where they're still lagging behind (if not going backward). I'm also a bit disappointed (though not really surprised) with a number of their design choices, despite still being pretty excited about the new Necromunda as a whole. That said, nothing is ever so perfect as to be above critique, and it's good to see that members of the community are looking critically at GW's design choices. I appreciate the thorough size comparison. I must admit, I hadn't noticed how much smaller their heads are than the Genestealer Cultists' under all that hair.

    Thanks again for the great analysis. I look forward to seeing more of your insights pop up on the blog.

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    1. When the first images of the Escher models hit the internet, I did not realize the heads were a little small, largely because of all of the hair. But when I had the models in hand, it became clear, especially after doing some comparisons.

      I think a lot of people see these critiques and think it implies that I hate GW and everything that they do. Someone can be critical of things that they love. I am critical because I think GW can be better, and I would like to see that. Not because I want to see the company fail.

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  18. Absolutely pathetic. Grow some balls ffs.

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    1. ...said while hiding behind an anonymity

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  19. Phew, I put off commenting on this post for a bit when it went up, intending to come back a bit later -- and now this? Quite the splash you've made there, Gregory ;)

    It's hard to come up with a point that hasn't already been made. Plus it also feels like the atmosphere in this comments thread has grown a bit tense.

    Even so...

    1.) First of all, thanks for the post, Greg! This blog is well known for insightful, often critical looks at current miniature lines, and while I may not agree 100% with all of your thoughts on the new Escher models, your points are well made, both about the possible uses for conversion and about the representation of the female form.

    2.) Personally, I am not quite as disappointed with the new Escher models, although I agree that they don't really seem to improve on the old Jes Goodwin sculpts, arguably even backpedaling in some areas. The inclusion of the high heels does seem a bit dubious to me as well.

    3.) One thing I would like to point out is that, regardless of what the official sculpts do or don't provide, the 40k universe, in particular, lends itself fairly well to experimenting with all kinds of representation of both male and female characters: The - often stereotypically - beautiful and idealised has always been there in the setting, along with the ugly, the grotesque and all kinds of shades in between. And let's not forget that it all started out as a pretty massive satire -- that includes the supposedly hyper-male Space Marines basically being chemically neutered child soldiers. Although I'll happily admit that such considerations probably go over the head of a sizeable portion of GW's target demographic.

    Anyway, that GW's sculptors have not yet given us the toolkit to achieve the desired nuancedness is unfortunate. We can still aim to do our best with the tools we are given, though: There's lots of inspiration to be had in the artwork and the background lore, where we often see a variety that seems to be absent from the model lines.

    4.) That being said, I can't help feeling that one thing that makes this whole discussion so complicated is how so many things are hopelessly intertwined, even where personal prefernces are concerned: For instance, I can safely say that I would welcome the inclusion of more variety in our hobby -- in fact, as it has been in the videogame scene, I think we can only profit from more people contributing their own ideas -- and making fantastic models while they are at it. I also welcome the discussions that go along with it, because discussing the lore and its intracis and fallacies is one of the most enjoyable parts of the hobby for me. At the same time, I also appreciate parts of the artwork and lore that could be considered sexist - such as the way the Sisters of Battle have been portrayed (apart from the Sisters Repentia) and the seminal piece of John Blanche art that served as the inspiration for Canoness Verydian -- not because I want to have sex with the characters, mind you (and to suggest that motivation strikes me as slightly disingenuous), but because by calling back to a certain flavour of glitzy 80s gothic punk and its inherently satirical undercurrents, these models and illustrations embody the 40k setting for me. Is that doublethink? I don't know...

    5.) In any case, and in spite of all possible contradictions, I don't think this entire discussion is about "growing some balls" as the previous poster suggested, it's about maybe not putting your balls first for once. They are still not going to disappear, and we might all learn something. The discussion to be had here is definitely important and worth having. I do fear it might be ill-served by the text-based medium of comments, though...

    Anyway, Gregory, Adam and Eric: Keep doing this, in spite of the blowback! The fact that there are 75 comments as of this moment proves that you've touched on an important topic!

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    1. I agree that many people probably forget that Warhammer 40,000 was created to be a satire, in the vein of 2000AD's Judge Dredd. I like to think of the Imperium as a representation of many of the worst aspects of humanity. I can certainly imagine that sexism would not be eradicated in the 41st millenium. But, the universe is a big place, with plenty of room for different representations of people.

      There is nothing wrong with liking artwork or things that could be considered sexist. I think it is just important that you are aware of what could be considered problematic about it, and to acknowledge it. And to take it further, consider what it is about that imagery that you like and why. A little introspection is always worthwhile.

      I might not like some of the imagery associated with the Sisters of Battle, but I can accept that GW is not going to change that. It is part of the imagery of Warhammer 40,000. I just do not want to see that portrayal of women as the only portrayal of women in the 41st millennium.

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  20. I like that butt! It's not a skinny or anorexic representation, that's for sure. But not every female mini has to be built like this. Or needs a lady-breastplate.

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  21. It's amazing this was caused by grey plastic charectures, with some painted. It's those first world problems I guess and the fight for 'spaces and the idea that we'll lose them. If you guys seen some third party sculpt you'd faint!

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    1. There are other pressing problems elsewhere in the world, but that does not mean this should be ignored. As I mentioned somewhere else in this labyrinth comment section, the objectification of women is harmful. There is a substantial body of work documenting this: http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx

      Furthermore, we are very aware that many 3rd party companies make considerably more egregious models, but that does not give GW a free pass.

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  22. If objectification (reducing them to an object with value linked to their traditional role) is bad. Then why don't you complain about the imperial guard and other groups as well?

    Let me explain. Women are reduced to sex objects as their traditional role is being the bearer of children, men on the other hand are reduced to utility objects as they are the traditional providers. This means that the imperial guard objectifies men as tools of war. The same goes for space marines as their entire life is sacrificed for them to become a tool of war. They are treated like objects, statistics, dehumanized, with worth not stemming from their ability to bear children (like women) but their utility to the imperium of mankind.

    Would this explain why men in most cases lose custody battles and are forced to pay child support without even allowing to see their children. Effectively reducing them cash generating machines? Would this explain why nobody gives about the disproportionate amount of work-place deaths involving men? As they are just tools to be discarded after use? Would this explain why people ignore the high amount of male suicides? As useless tools should be discarded without second thoughts?

    So explain to me why you address female objectification while ignoring male objectification? Either both are important to talk about ore neither is important to talk about. :)

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    1. The Imperium does not see anyone as people. They are merely a resource to throw into the maw of war. The tagline for 40k is: In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future there is Only War. GW largely reflects this in their male models by making them look like muscled, athletic warriors. Despite this setting of endless war, GW’s female models are not made look like the athletic warriors that the men are. They have large breasts and tiny waists and often have impractical attire. Their male models rarely have huge codpieces and revealing outfits, which is at least in part because it does not really fit the wartorn setting. And while GW’s female models are not nearly as egregious as some companies, they still do not really fit a galaxy of war. Furthermore, saying that it is important to address male and female objectification in gaming misses the point. Of course sexual objectification is bad regardless of whether male or female, however, in the context of miniature gaming, female models are the ones that are routinely being overly sexualized.

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    2. All lives matter, in other words?

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    3. @ Eric. Well my point was that the men where objectified not sexualised. As I explained in my post. Women get objectified and turned into sex objects. Men get objectified and turned into utility objects. The fact that you then start about female being rountinely sexualised means you missed the point.

      @Aletheia no, it's more a don't be a hypocritical. Either objectification is bad and should be fought in any form it exists. Or it isn't bad. But applying different only minding it when it affects a certain population is bullshit. For instance there was an article in the newspapers in my country about female suicide victims increasing. After going over the numbers it appeared that they increased at the same rate as male victims and the amount of male victims was still 3x higher. So What gives?
      Same with this. Is it okay to objectify females into sex objects? No. Is it okay to objectify males into utility objects... well the answer should be the same.

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  23. Not sure if anyone is still responding because this is article is about a month old, but I guess I'll go ahead with it anyway.

    Not a gigantic fan of the Mad Max aesthetic. The typical wasteland bandit look never resonated with me. That being said, I acknowledge that a great deal of people do get something out of the insane and feral BDSM enthusiast look, and that probably has something to do with members of the faction being overtly sexualized and exaggerated to comic effect. From what I have been able to tell from viewing this trope in most media is that the best (and only) way to achieve this aesthetic is to objectify the characters based on their sex and level of insanity. The Mad Max look is inherently objectifying, and good on it for doing so. The world would be a lesser place without it (the aesthetic not the objectification). If GW wants to create a Mad Max themed army of crazy, sexy, psychos, they would probably want to exaggerate the insanity and sexual nature of that army, as that is the core of the aesthetic in the first place. It's impractical as all get out but it's faithful to the spirit of the aesthetic and true to the lore, and the lore clearly doesn't give a fuck about anybodies sensibilities, which is part of the reason why I love the universe so much.

    Good story writers realize that aesthetic is just as important to narrative (in a visual medium) as lore. If you want to view a microcosm of this in action, check out the halo legends collection. Each is animated and based around a different design aesthetic that has a (somewhat) unique effect on each short. Granted, none of them are trying to make me feel uncomfortable sexually, but if that was the artists intent then he or she damn well better make the bulges disproportionately huge and the busts disproportionately bigger, because that would be mission accomplished in making me uncomfortable right there (Think of the master of this kind of art, H.R. Giger. Everything he does is objectifying purposefully and thats why he's famous). I'm almost certain that the Mad Max films would have done this if they had been animated.

    Now, after that spiel, it would be hypocritical of me not to point out that the lore and aesthetic for the sisters of silence (probably) does not benefit from having big pointy tits on their breasts plates, as the theme for them is one of solemness and servitude (like the Custodes). The jury is still out on the Sororitas for me though, as I am not sure how much of the Bayoneta vibe the designers were trying to emulate with that one. I like using Blizzards approach for Tracers posing in promotional material as an example for these things. Fans pointed out that Tracers posing was needlessly sexual in a way that added nothing to her character, Blizzard agreed and changed it to be something that was slightly less sexual (but still sexual(think WW2 Pin-Up Girl)) but way more conducive to her character, and stupid people on the Internet cried that SJW culture was ruining gaming. What Blizzard did was trim some needless fat from her character design and direct it into something that fell in line with her character and built upon her personality. That is essentially what I see being done right about the Escher models and wrong with the Silent Sisters models.

    If anybody is still responding to this post, I'd be more than happy to have a discussion (or an argument, I like debates) about this.

    TLDR: Women are an inferior sub-species to their penis counterparts, Bush did the Jews, and Hitler did 9/11.

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