Hi everyone! Hey, so sorry I haven’t updated in a couple weeks now. Things have been pretty nucking futs here of late (see my post from early March). And I can’t really guarantee that it’ll get better here in the near future. So I apologize for the delays and missed posts. To help make up for it, I’m posting this magnificent portrait of a Regency-Era redesign of Captain Phasma from The Force Awakens.
I really liked Phasma’s design in Episode VII, and have occasionally wanted to feature art of her on Sartorially Smart Heroines, but I’ve discussed lady Stormtroopers before, and was reluctant to cover that territory twice. But when I discovered Mer’s stellar Phasma redesign, I couldn’t not include her. Mer’s portrait is part of a re-imagining of Star Wars: Episode VII as a Regency-Era story. While I’m not sure what would be an equivalent of the Star Killer Base in a Regency AU, I like the idea of Stormtroopers as fusiliers and grenadiers, X-Wing and TIE Fighter squadrons as dragoon and cuirassier squadrons, and Star Destroyers as 100-gun ships-of-the-line.
One quick note on armor: the Regency Era was kind of the final “phasing out” period for steel armor in organized combat, but not for the reason most people think. Though plate armor wouldn’t stop a six-pound cannonball, modern ballistics tests have demonstrated that it was quite proof against pistol- and musket-ball or grenade shrapnel. The reason steel armor was phased out had to do with cost-effectiveness rather than durability—it was simply more economical to use all that steel to make muskets and cannons than it was to make armor. By the Napoleonic War, only officers and certain elite ground troops continued to wear plate cuirasses, and by the start of the Victorian Era, it had disappeared altogether, save for in certain ceremonial uniforms.
Phasma’s steel cuirass has clearly seen a fair bit of action, given the scratches and ricochet mark on her right side. The heavy steel should keep her vitals safe from Resistance snipers and bayonets. The black-and-crimson cloak—a carryover from the films—should protect her and her armor from rain and weather, all while looking suitably imperial. Under the cuirass, the good captain wears a scarlet dress coat—wool or heavy linen for durability on campaign and during battle.
The captain’s gloves are likely soft, white leather for unhindered gun play, and should keep her knuckles from getting skinned when punching out uppity smugglers. Her trousers are durable wool or cotton for riding or marching. Phasma’s primary weapon looks like a Brown Bess or similar style of musket, with bayonet affixed for close-quarters fighting. Her sidearms are a pair of flintlock pistols, slung from her hips and strapped to her legs to keep them from bouncing around while running or riding.
I assume that Phasma is an infantry officer, given that she’s holding a musket, rather than a carbine or cavalry saber. Though her uniform would be perfect for an officer in a lancer or cuirassier detachment, it’s more likely she’s with the fusiliers, grenadiers, or other heavy, mainline infantry. One other option is that she’s a marine officer aboard a First Order man-of-war, storming hostile beaches or boarding Resistance warships, though the problem of swimming in a woolen cloak and heavy steel cuirass make this unlikely. All in all, this is simply a stellar portrait of everyone’s favorite lady Stormtrooper.
Huge thanks to Mer for letting me borrow Phasma for the blog. Thanks, as always, for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!