Links

Here’s an annotated list of links to galleries, sites, and articles that I’ve found discussing intelligent armor and other adventuring attire for fantasy heroines. Categorized, but not in any particular order. I’ll be sure to add more as the blog progresses.

Personal:

  • My other blog, a place where I discuss writing, history, literature, or whatever else I feel like talking about.
  • My Tumblr, where I post images from this blog and share likes and links related to SSH.

Articles on the topic of smart women’s armor:

  • “Why do you hate the shape of breasts in plate armor so much?”
    This was the blog post that first gave me pause in regards to the dangers of sculpted women’s breastplates. Boob-plate was something I’d seen in fantasy art and video games before, but not something I’d given any real thought to one way or another. But since then it’s something I’ve made a point of watching for in women’s adventuring gear.
  • “Because It Would Kill You.”
    Another excellent article I found in regards to women’s boob plate. This one offers commentary on the misogyny inherent in a lot of the assumptions behind objections to boob-shaped armor. I like, however, the author’s willingness to compromise, offering boob-plate as acceptable in costuming and decorative armors.
  • Natural Selection 2, women’s armor
    An article by Wired about Unknown World’s Natural Selection 2 and their decision to give their women characters the same armor as the men. It’s a fairly brief discussion, but it offers insight into their rationale for shunning boob plate and other forms of women’s armor designed for titillation rather than protection.
  • Drawing Women, part 1
    Part one of a five-part series on some of the inherent problems with how women are drawn and portrayed in comic book and similar art. This first part deals specifically with women’s armor and adventuring attire.

Blogs:

  • Repair Her Armor
    A well-conceived Tumblr where readers submit examples of “broken” (sexualized) women’s armor, largely from comics and video games, for other users to repair digitally or in their own artwork and resubmit. The author also posts reader’s submissions of unbroken armor, as well as discussions and links to pertinent articles.

Galleries:

  • Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor
    Though sadly now defunct, Women Fighters was what initially opened my thinking up to the countless bad attire choices found so often in art, comics, games, movies, and others. The Tumblr featured many examples of smart, practical attire, assuring readers that reasonable armor isn’t as hard to find if you know where to look.
  • Armored Women
    A Reddit of art and photos of women in armor. Largely Medieval and fantasy, but there are also some excellent designs of women in modern and sci-fi armor. All in all, far sexier than any pornography.
  • Women’s Armor: Done Right
    A smart Tumblr full of artwork of women in practical armor. Focuses mainly on artwork from popular media, such as from Paizo and Wizards of the Coast.
  • Fuck Yeah! Women in Armor
    Another excellent image Tumblr featuring assorted images of smart warrior women in practical armor. (Yes, I realize there’s a pattern here.)
  • Shield Maidens
    A Pinterest gallery of women warriors from movies and artwork, mainly medieval fantasy. While much of the attire is smart and practical, the blog’s focus is more on empowerment than on sartorial intelligence, and thus not all of the outfits are ideal.
  • Character Portraits
    An image Tumblr of artistic visualizations of people’s RPG heroines. Also focuses mainly on medieval fantasy.

Satire and parodies:

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3 Responses to Links

  1. Edax says:

    I know of your opinion on boob-plate (I mostly share it) but I would be curious about your opinion on this piece of art, that features of Mithra from FFXI. There’s boob-plate, but also a chestguard/emblem that protects to cleaves and deflects away from the heart, rather then toward it. Is this a case of having boob-plate that actually is functional? What is your opinion on the armor in general?

    http://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=post&s=view&id=351180

    • Hi Edax! Thanks so much for your question!
      I’ve seen similar armors to the one you’ve posted, where there’s protruding boobs with a plate or emblem (gorget?) between them. I like that there’s no risk of blows being deflected toward her heart. What we can’t see, however, is how deep the cleavage is: as in, is there a risk of the wedge created by that cleavage breaking her sternum when she takes a heavy hit to the chest plate? I don’t think we can tell from this image. Too, adding boobs to an armor piece increases her combat profile, which increases her chance of getting knocked off-balance by even glancing blows. Regardless of sculpted boobs’ level of functionality, it will never be as functional as a non-sculpted breastplate.

      In general, I feel like Mithra’s armor is a bit overly ornate—not that this is inherently bad, it just makes maintenance and repairs more expensive. This tends to suggest that the armor is ceremonial, belonging to, say, an officer or a palace guard: someone who doesn’t expect to be in the thick of the fighting under most circumstances. The shoulder pauldrons look great, with excellent protection for her shoulders and neck. The ears on her helm seem a bit silly to me, making her head a bigger target and thereby increasing the risk of her brains getting knocked around from blows to the helm, but this might be another indication of the armor’s ceremonial nature. The red collar at her neck is an important detail in that it lets us know she’s wearing an arming shirt underneath her heavy metal—a lot of artists seem to forget that metal chafes skin and sweat and skin oils corrode metal. On the whole, I think Mithra has an elegant set of ceremonial or parade armor, but I’d recommend something more functional for front-line combat.

      Take care and thanks again for your question!

      • Edax says:

        Thanks for the reply. In regards to the ears on the helmet, it probably has to do with the fact that the Mithra (that’s the species) have cat ears, and some accommodation was made for that. Good catch about breaking her sternum when taking a heavy hit, I had forgotten about that. Maybe there isn’t a wedge in the cleavage given that the fact that the chest-guard appears to be a separate piece of armor fitted over her plate armor, but it’s hard to say. Despite not having the full profile of her body, I can assume that the armor she’s wearing is top-heavy, and thus likely to throw her off balance and fall over. I suppose some expectations are to be curbed because few artists are experts in the mechanics of armor.

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