Khorne Bloodreaver + my #Fembruary 2018 Round-Up

This model is a kitbash using parts from the Shieldwolf Sheildmaiden boxed set, along with selected parts from some of the Khorne Bloodreavers kits. The story behind this kitbash is pretty simple – I wanted to create a female model that could be used as a Champion of Khorne for our games of Gorechosen. After all, there’s no reason that women can’t also be blood-crazed psychopaths, right? It pisses me off that so many people still just default all female worshippers of Chaos to Slaanesh. Because women just = sex, right? Fuck off with that shit! Since this model was started months and months ago, and then sat there neglected, she’s also another Neglected Model February success story. Go me!

It was a bit of a pain in the arse to put together now that I think of it, and I needed to cut down a Space Marine shoulder pad in order to cover the right mess of a join underneath while trying to maintain reasonable proportions. Of course, she has huge arms and rather slight legs, so while I’ve tried to draw some attention away from this with the shackles and cape, we can just use the “skipped leg day” trope there for a bit of a laugh. I mean, it’s Khorne, amirite? I originally planned to overpaint the brass of her helm and pauldron with clear red (not BFTBG) to give them a nice lacquered look, but I left them as-was after the last varnish. I can always go back to the model and redo them, but I’m not so sure. Same applies to applying some fresh blood to the axe – worth doing if the armour is left brass, but not if it’s a lighter wet-look red.

The whole Fembruary thing of Alex’ has got me thinking though – about representation of female models in our hobby, most specifically GW’s portrayal of them over the years, since I’m most engaged with GW’s IP. Now, don’t SJW me here, because SJWs and MRAs can both fuck off and die in the same car fire as far as I’m concerned. I just believe in equality, regardless of <whatever>.

Now, before I keep going, I’m well aware of manufacturers like Stonehaven (I’ve got a bunch of their dwarves – both female and male) and obviously, Bad Squiddo (along with Hasslefree and so on and so forth). But I’m going to talk about the Big Dog here, Roman Reigns Games Workshop.

Speaking from my own personal opinion, I don’t think Games Workshop/Citadel’s portrayal of female in miniature form is actually the worst, and while it’s far from perfect, it’s a lot better than others. Both Corvus Belli and Reaper seem to be a lot further down cheesecake town than Citadel’s own output. But still, the main issue they have from my own perspective is that most of GW’s female models tend to fall into one of two tropes – either Joan of Arc or The Bangles.

Models that are Joan of Arc are the single (or few) female model amongst an army of men. There are lots of examples – current-situation Celestine is like that. Nominally a Soriritas, as far as available models, it’s just her and the Gemini twins readily available, so she’s a Joan. Any number of other female magic users across other armies, particularly elven armies and Brettonia deleted forces also fit this trope. 40k lore also drops this from time to time, with the odd random female Inquisitor or Lt. Mira from the Space Marine videogame. Shadowsun from the Tau empires seems to be the only female Tau with a model. Likewise, Helga Longplaits, who I just posted up is another strong example of that. She’s cool and everything, but she’s also one of …I dunno? Five? Less? Female Dwarf models that Citadel has put out over decades compared to the hundreds of male dwarf sculpts. I mean, I can’t think of any other female dwarf models off the top of my head besides the joke figure of Dwarf Cheerleader for Blood Bowl back in 2nd or 3rd edition. I’m sure there’s been another joke female dwarf like a bar wench or some such, but I can’t think of any other female dwarf warrior types. There might be a couple, but I can’t think of any.

And sure, WHFB is rooted in both historical gaming and Tolkien, and neither of those were exactly overflowing with female warriors, but then this is fantasy, and current year argument is actually a good argument for a bit more representation. What kind? I’ll get to that a bit later.

Khorne Bloodreavers. One Male, one Female, both badass.

The other trope that GW’s female models fall into I’ll call The Bangles. (I chose The Bangles because they were more than “a girl group”, being actual musicians and songwriters rather than a manufactured group put together via auditions and management.) This is the “All-female” unit, that can be anything from the metal-bikini-clad Witch Elves to the armoured Sisters of Silence or Sisters of Battle, to Sisters of the Thorn, to… well, you get the idea. Escher, anyone? And yes, I know that these units have existed historically, and even exist today.

An entirely female #Fembruary

So what’s my beef? Well, I’d just like to see GW do better. It doesn’t mean all-female armies, nor all-female units or more female heroes in male armies. I’d actually just like to see more mixed units – which for some reason very rarely seems to be a thing. 40k’s Elves, the various Eldar (Aeldari) forces are actually better than most armies here across the board. Their varied units such as Guardians, Wyches, Hellions, Kabalites, Scourges, feature both male and female torsos and heads – though being elves, a number of the bare heads can be seen as androgynous enough via their sharp, fine details to work for males or females.

…and with the month’s Plaguebearers. Some of which are undoubtedly female and others male, but I’m not looking underneath to figure out which ones are which!

So where are these mixed units in non-elf armies? The closest thing I can find are the Plaguebearers, which I posted and wrote about at the start of the month, along with an interesting discussion in the comments of that post about the background as it relates to them. It doesn’t mean I want the mono-gender units (of either type) removed, or that everything needs to be integrated. I’m okay with Loyalist Astartes still all being male in the lore (unless you want to kitbash some females, in which case, go right ahead) but I could certainly see the Heretic Legions incorporating female recruits. More obviously, I’d like to see female models become a normal thing in baseline troop units, across both 40k and AoS. There are, what? Two female Stormcast models with one being a special character and the other being a Shadespire model (despite female Stormcast apparently being pretty common in the lore, and the argument of “they all wear the same armour” kind of fell apart when they released Stormcast with very different proportions.

I’m also totally fine with Witch Elves and their bikini armour. You won’t see me out there with a placard telling GW to cover them up. They’re currently still rolling out the Daughters of Khaine sub-faction made up of all that was vaguely Witch-elfy from the WHFB range with some shiny new toys, but from what I’ve seen of them, I’ll probably buy the whole bloody range. (See what I did there?)

But really – how about some Imperial Guard Infantry? Tau Fire Warriors? Chaos Cultists? It would just take some heads for some of the lines, because as the new Star Wars films have proved – armour doesn’t need to incorporate huge boob-plates (and yes, I will DIY my own instead of waiting, I have a couple of batches of the aforementioned Statuesque heads waiting for when I get back around to the IG). I’m okay with Orks and Orcs just being themselves, and Necrons don’t need boob-plate.

And of course, some mixed gangs for Necromunda. Just like the “Grendel” gang I used back when the original game was released.

In 1995.


38 thoughts on “Khorne Bloodreaver + my #Fembruary 2018 Round-Up

  1. Just woke to read your post and my first thought was “I feel sorry for whoever gets on the wrong side of you today!”. There is a lot I could say on this thought provoking subject and I may well do so in one of my “mid week musings” posts. Your point is a good one and opens a can or worms. Given the periods I tend to work in the lack of female figures seemed rather natural but once you start dealing with current and futuristic conflicts then that’s another matter entirely. I did just do a quick calculation of Wild West Exodus which I think is relatively new and they had about 25 female figures which I thought was good so perhaps it’s starting to be addressed (I’d like to think so). I didn’t look at the ratio to male figures but then again I haven’t even had my bloody breakfast yet!

    As to the figure? Superb as always and I wouln’ t kick her out of bed, I wouldn’t dare!

    Have a nice day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s cool. I’ve just got a few pet peeves, and while I’m totally on board with respecting both historical fact and lore – I simply think there are large areas in GW’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi worlds that should have more representation. It was nice to see more models painted with darker skintones when AoS launched.
      I mean, I don’t expect to see any black women represented in a WWII-era 101st Airborne Division force for Bolt Action, or a 10th Century Viking force for SAGA, but it would make sense in an Imperial Guard regiment dying for the Emperor in the 41st millennium, or a mixed-gender street gang set in the Underhive.
      It’s also good business sense. I mean, I’m a white male and so are the vast majority of us in the overall hobby. They’re already got us as a demographic. Do they want more Anns and Westriders? Pretty sure the ladies have money to spend, too. The videogame industry is picking up on it, as are professional sports, combat sports and even pro wrestling. I don’t think too many people are wanting – or especially expecting – a 50-50 ratio (not me, either) but more is always better.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Well said mate, and nice Bloodreaver – another worthy Fembruary piece! Funny enough, I mention the new Daughters of Khaine in the draft of my round-up post for Thursday… Great minis, but to be honest, I was a little disapointed with them being in regulation Witch Elf battle-bikinis – it just seems a bit of lazy design to me :-/ Still, as you say, GW are not the worst offenders by any stretch!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We all have varoius bees in our bonnets, none more so than me. In fact I have been seriously considering another blog tentively called “The Daily Rant”.

    Your point is a very good one and I suspect it’s one that has passed a lot of people by, myself included and I’m very much on your side with this one. Anyone can bring something to this hobby of ours irrespective of ethnicity or sexual orientation. The more inclusive the better as far as I’m concerned. Like I said in my initial response, one for me to mull over and comment on more fully in due course perhaps.

    Meanwhile I need another coffee Before I walk the dog!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Cheers mate. It’s far from something that causes me to walk around angry all the time or anything like that, it’s more a collection of points on things that have always annoyed me – so I’ve tended to do the little I can with my own models when it works, but given how much popular entertainment has moved on these days, it’d be nice for GW – as the market leader in sci-fi and fantasy – to catch up a bit more.
      “The Daily Rant” might be a bit draining after the first week or so – maybe a weekly rant? Either way, I look forward to it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Plenty of good points there! I’m all for more inclusion in the hobby, and I think it makes for more interesting painting and modelling too. I’m happy to bend history in my pirate project which is heavily Hollywood anyway. Plenty of female pirate minis suffer from the wank fantasy approach, but there is luckily some really good stuff out there too. While I in general do object to unwarranted sexualization, with these it’s more a case of uselessness. Since I don’t need male pirates running around in underwear and a tricorne hat, I don’t need female pirates doing that either (although I will paint one as a Kairi Sane homage as she’s kick-ass awesome).

    The lack of female Imperial Guard minis has always baffled me. They feature in Black Library books and in the genre in general (think Starship Troopers or Aliens), so it’s strange not to see them in miniature. Victoria Miniatures makes some excellent IG female conversion sets, and Copplestone Castings and Hasslefree have some great female troopers too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah – the IG *especially* is where they’ve always lagged behind the rest of popular culture massively in terms of having a few female model in there. I mean, there were a handful back in the Rogue Trader Imperial Army release, so it was always odd to see them essentially going backwards and then staying there. I mean, I get it in terms of especially those first plastic kits of Catachans and Cadians, but the odd special edition metal female Cadian or Catachan or Commissar models were always sought after – so obviously the Sciions set was the first real missed opportunity to do more. Easy enough to fix with some 3rd party heads and still look great, as my mate BrookM from Dakka has so deftly shown, but GW really needs to step up because we should’t have to go to Vic or Statuesque or others to get this working in (current year argument).

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Great mini. Well done on nailing a couple more challenges.
    I fully agree with you about more mixed units. I was disappointed that the Orlock gang are all male. I didn’t mind with Escher and Goliath as this is written in the lore, but I would really like the other gangs to be mixed. The same goes for genestealer and chaos cultists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mike – and you nailed it there perfectly in terms of my own (desires? expectations?) Not everything needs to be “co-ed”, but there are a lot of places where it makes perfect sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes, I just love being a bit behind as far as time zones are concerned – it means everyone’s already put forward some good discussion points and I won’t have to think of anything original (my brain hurts)! Having said that, I simply like this figure and I’m pretty impressed with the base she’s standing on! Nice work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate – she’s come up quite decently (though with guns like that on a slender frame it’ll be hard to make more that look significantly different). The base is simply a bog-standard one from one of GW’s new ranges (Shattered dimensions? I forget!) with a couple of resin skulls added as a “facing marker” for games like Gorechosen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers mate. I generally try to moderate my language, but sometimes it’s worth just letting it rip! And where better to fill a post with expletives than in a post showing off female models? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice work! There’s actually enough going on that the skipping leg day wasn’t really that noticeable until you pointed it out.

    I was working on a mix of new and old Eschers the other day, and it actually kind of annoyed me that the 20+ year old sculpts actually have more sensible boots and more reasonable busts than the new ones. As you say, I can see the skimpy look for some Units, such as Witch Aelves, Wyches, and Sisters Repentia, but for most combatant Units, it really doesn’t make sense. I did manage to get the new ones to suit my taste, but it took rather more work than it felt like it should have.

    I need to get some of those Statuesque heads for my Orloks. A 50/50 split for them would be awesome. Could probably retrofit a bunch onto some of my older Culties, to good effect, too. Not really an issue for my MEq forces, tho, since I hate seeing Power Armour troops with their helmets off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alexis. The shoes on the new models are an annoyance to me as well. The excuse of “we wanted to do it this way but couldn’t do them properly in the old, metal days” makes sense for a lot of things when they redo model ranges, but not for the heels to me.
      I’ll have to see your Statuesque Orlocks once you get them going. I do need to grab a bunch more heads sometime soonish for my stockpile. And then put them all in one (labelled) place, since I keep losing the tiny little baggies in the huge mess that is my workspace…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I need to get around to finalizing what I want from Statuesque first. There’s rather more that I like there than my budget can really cover, and the overseas shipping costs enough that I don’t want to piecemeal it too much.

        I keep meaning to properly organize my bits and such, but haven’t got around to it. And you want to talk huge mess, I’ve lost an entire Dread in my mass of bits!

        Oh, as an aside, I’m WestRider. I just switched to using my Facebook login because the other was having issues and I kept having to sign in again every time, while this stays on better.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, got that you’re Westrider right away, since your name was attached to the WR avatar.
          I know what you mean about Statuesque. Pretty much everything I buy has an overseas shipping cost attached to it, so I know what you mean. Because of this, I also tend to make my orders “worth it”. As for messes… well, here’s my painting area…


        • Cool. I can never tell how much data is visible on these things.

          Looks about comparable to my own painting mess, tho I’m trying to clean it up because my brother wants to start coming over to play Magic, and it’s the only table I have that’s large enough.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sadly, that’s the “active” space. I’d show more but there’s too much of a risk of showing just how damaged my psyche is. 😡


  8. Really love the female Khornate champion! I’d even argue she works better than GW’s “official” Darkoath Queen, which seems a bit too pulp fantasy to me.

    The arms do seem a bit too heavily mucled for her otherwise fairly slender frame. I will say that it doesn’t really stick out on the finished model (which is a credit to your excellent paint job), but it becomes obvious once you compare her arms and legs during closer observation. Still, with her being a servant of chaos, it can always be explained away with mutation if somebody should ask, eh? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah. “All the better to swing this axe into your skull, my dear!”
      I quite like the Darkoath Queen – she works well as a companion piece to the Darkoath Champion at least, and the Marauders, if not with models like the Bloodbound.
      The Shieldwolf models read strongly as female, but they’re very lithe, and don’t compare at all to the bulk of your average champion of Khorne – and I really wanted to avoid the “Witch Elf/Rogue” look for this figure as opposed to a meat-axe type. Finding parts that read well together for a lightly-armoured, muscular female model is a tricky task – much harder than for armoured models!
      (Any suggestions that you have are more than welcome!)
      Ms. Darkoath would probably work as a decent base, but given her price, I’m not in any rush to run out and get one to chop up!


        • I …think? I have some of them. Somewhere. Maybe. I think?
          Hmm… I’ll have to have a look around. They haven’t been in any of the recent-ish army deal pack type things, have they?
          If you think of any more, LMK as well.


        • Not sure about any army deals, but the kit is well worth it: It comes with lots of cool bitz, and the Marauder Horsemen are much, much better than the older Marauders. That being said, you’ll need to think of something to do with the actual riders and horses 😉

          As for other options, all kinds of (Dark) Eldar arms would work, but I think you are right to avoid them. Maybe arms from the Sisters of Silence…? Seems like a pretty impractical solution, though.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve contacted my usual source to ask for two boxes. I’ve got plenty of chaos warrior types so they can just slot in there and I imagine spare marauder or blood-whatever arms could work on the horsemen ok.
          Probably be a month or so before I have them in-hand, though…


  9. I’m in agreement with you, all male forces (like Space Marines) are fine, as are bikini-clad witch elves and Eschers in ludicrous heels, but these only work if those forces which should contain a balance of men and women do so (Stormcasts, Imperial Guard etc) and that’s an area where there’s still a bit of room to improve. Ultimately fantasy should be an exploration of ideas, and the designers should pursue those ideas to their natural conclusion. Space Marine genetics mean they’re all boys? That’s fine. Whole populations are conscripted into the Imperial Guard? Then why no women on the tabletop?

    As for your model she’s excellent. As you noted the arms are a little bit too big but that’s only noticeable from some angles. Otherwise she’s fabulous, definitely one to file away in the back of my brain for future inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup, yup!
      I’d like to put together a few more like this, but the challenge is going to be not ending up with them all looking like clones, and keeping things like arm proportion towards the subtle side. If she had an open pose, she’d look ridiculous!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well written rant! And the miniatures are great too. I appreciate the subtle details like the cloaks. Well done. I can’t paint fast enough to get into too much from this century, but I do have a lot of Amazon’s and female space pirates the are in the queue. If you want to see some really cool female minis, you might want to check out Bombshell Minis stuff as they are really cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mark. I’ve actually got a decent little selection of Bombshell’s models, as I backed their first Kickstarter. Like all the Hasslefree stuff I have, they simply haven’t made it to the painting queue because of all the old stuff I’m trying to get done and out of the bloody way, and the fact that they’re so random I haven’t had a project that they fit right into!

      Liked by 1 person

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