Powdered Shit Brown Dust Brave Nine, Part 1: Frellea 

Speaking of Brown D… I mean Brave Nine, whatever the changes to the game’s name, story and character roster, it still remains a confusing mess, seemingly made only for the sake of its exploitative waifu art. So of course I proposed to Icy that we stream redesigns from it! We’re definitely alright after staring at them for hours 🙃 

This character is Frellea, older sister to the backstory comic’s protagonist demigoddess Eda and, I guess, from how well-endowed she is, a very powerful deity. I think, judging by character names (is Frellea a corrupted take on Freya?), they’re Norse mythology-inspired, like Odin’s Sphere’s butt-wing Valkyrie
And of course, literally nothing else about the designs communicates that. 

It was SO HARD to decide what should take priority in fixing this mess, but the mix of boobplate and scalemail boobsocks went first. I reshaped her breastplate into something plausible and decided to extend the scalemail into a long-sleeved tunic (though that one’s tight fit is mostly my artistic license). 

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Next step was to tidy up the messy design composition, including the color scheme. Both me and Icy concluded those huge feathery… trains? tails? were purely decorative, so we got rid of them. 
I decided to balance out the contrast by making that ribbon white (instead of the shade shade of grey as her hair), reusing redness of the other ribbon (and the feathers) on new pants and, most of all, recoloring her non-mail armor to brass color of her bracers.* 

Easily one of my favorite redesigns, but also one of the most work-intensive ones, too. Hope you enjoy it!

~Ozzie 

PS: *In the comic the helmet and greaves are slightly different metal shade from the rest of armor, so it seems like different artists couldn’t agree on the color. Pic below, for the interested. 

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@thegreqtlilac​ submitted (and Ozzie bingo’d):

To be completely honest, Summoners War probably has way worse cases of terrible female armor if you go through their monster collection, but what’s worse about this one is that she is the reward for getting through the second scenario area of the game, which means EVERYONE has her, so you have to see this monstrosity all the time. 

I always feel so weird about the clash of chibi AND “sexy” aesthetic. Trying to have a cake and eat it too.
There’s really not much to add about the costume itself, other than this being too painfully generic to even register. BUT it did strike a rare diagonal bingo, so congrats to Summoners War, I guess?
I am sorry for all the players who are subjected to multiple copies of this running around inside the game. 

Thank you for the submission! 

~Ozzie

denilsonsa submitted and Icy bingo’d:

Bingo-worthy, shows how male and female characters are not treated equally. The contrast is very clear at this game cover art, and it summarizes bikiniarmorbattledamage in one picture.

Y-yeah it sure does…. ughh

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Honestly, what is even the point? You might as well be naked, going into battle looking like that. She doesn’t even look like she belongs in the setting. Also for people not in the know, this is NOT a dating sim where you’re a stud (?) with long flowing hair who’s looking for a sexy girlfriend. This game is about fighting and conquering for your royal family. With troops that wear bikinis, apparently. Fantasy~

At least the dude (the player character) has some nipple accents on his breastplate to even it out?

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Though personally, I would have just taken away 85% of his armor. When will game devs give the people what they want? 😔

-Icy

Remembered when I said under my redesign of Linkle’s in-game costume that it could have been bingo-worthy worse, based on the old concept art? Well, I meant it. 

I’d say Hyrule Warriors developers should be ashamed of having this sort of artwork going public, with all the tackyness of “female Link” having boobplate, bared belly and panties on top of trousers, but judging by their Zelda costume concepts, “tacky” is their status quo and shame is alien to them. 

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~Ozzie

So, the creators of Divinity 2: Save the Boobplate … sorry Divinity 2: Girls don’t play video games… sorry Divinity 2: Original Sin have shown off a couple of hours gameplay for Baldur’s Gate 3… and this is the iconic character in the intro sequence before you pick/create a character.

Which means aside from being in this atrocity, she also gets the dubious honor of being the character who we see as a fellow prisoner having a parasite implanted via her eye (then the first person scene implies its happening to you, even though she is playable as one of the pre-generated characters).

Aside from the obvious mountain of baggage to unpack about women as victims, ridiculous armor for women – accurate for men, etc.  There’s something else I’d like to point out which is probably not going to be obvious for anyone who isn’t a huge Dungeons and Dragons nerd.

Lae’zel is a githyanki, basically a near human but not human “alien” race from another dimension with a long history and pile of lore which actually makes the whole scene worse.  However, what I wanted to cover is this is what female githyanki look like in the current 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons art:

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So for this character, Larian Studio’s entire design process has been:

  • Remove all muscle tone and threatening aspects of appearance
  • Make the worst armor more ridiculous but cutesy and hyper-feminine

Great job at depicting a race where all members are raised as warrior from birth.

Why are people calling the people story tellers again?

– wincenworks

Fixing Some Grim Designs 😬, Part 2

Thanks to my forgetfulness, Throwback Thursday and Wednesday redesign switched places this week. Hope you don’t mind! 

It’s the return of the bikini armor edition of Zenescope’s Baba Yaga! And she still looks like a rando shmexy lady, with no indication of being an old powerful hag from Slavic fairy tales. Because who needs knowing who a character is just from looking at her appearance? Certainly not the Grimm Fairy Tales porn comics! 🙃 

It wasn’t a very inspired stream for me, so I basically worked from a Zenescope artist’s default mindset. The difference is, my priority wasn’t “MOAR BEWB”.

Most major edit was sharperning her facial features, so that she looks like an old lady we expect Baba Yaga to be. She doesn’t need to be “sexy” to disguise her dangerous nature – looking like a grandma already did that! Also gave her greying eyebrows and got rid of those random golden rectangles (warpaint?) on her cheeks which, because of outlines, looked like adhesive bandages and added nothing to the design.

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I’m not as happy with her new, older face as I am with Arhian, but anything’s preferable to Generic Hot Lady Face #9575.

Another obvious fix was turning this bodypaint boobplate into something resembling a breastplate. Not my best edit, and I left the center of the chest kinda barren, but I did extend her pseudo-gorget to somewhat normal size for this armor piece. Now she can’t die of stabbing in the cleavage!

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The lesser edits, after those, were thickening of her noodly arms and putting a red dress under her plate armor pieces. Not exactly realistic or practical padding, but still preferable to gratuitous skin display. 

Definitely among my worse redesigns, but I hope you like it in comparison to the original anyway! 

~Ozzie

Shard Mortal Trespasser 

@the-midnight-doe submitted (and Ozzie bingo’d):

Here’s a good example of how “fully armored” doesn’t mean a thing if said armor is still sexualized: this is Shard, Sideshow Collectible’s original character from their ongoing series “Court of the Dead”. The series already has plenty of questionable designs, but Shard here really stands out due to her backstory: she’s a mortal knight Templar that somehow wound up in the Underworld, whose inhabitants then made her armor for her. Highlights include the absolutely bizarre crotch plate (hard to tell if it’s a thong as the cape blocks the back view,) the insignia on her chest that just winds up looking like a literal “stab here” sign, and interesting footwear. It’s a shame, too, because her backstory sounds really interesting and the Court of the Dead series has some pretty beautiful dolls, but also has a metal bony groping hands bra because reasons.

Oh goodie, Sideshow Toys figures, we meet again! 🙄 And this time you guys don’t even have the excuse of adapting someone else’s sexist design – it’s your own all original creation! 

Obviously the bingo score isn’t very high, and I stretched definition of “male equivalent” to “all male-presenting characters in the series”. However, while not bikini-shaped or skimpy, impossibly skin-tight armor is still a staple of BABD content.
The fact that metal gives no additional girth to any part of her body made me confident in marking off the “No padding, just bare skin.” square, despite no bare skin at display.

And no, the “fine bone filaments of this protective encasement were woven around her form by the osteomancers and artisans of the dead” Thermian argument doesn’t excuse the sexualized design one bit. 

Saddest part is that this is what she looked like in her backstory

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This is so much more interesting in every way: costume, posing, expression, even painting detail. Textbook positive example. What a downgrade! 

Thank you for the submission, @the-midnight-doe! Hope you don’t mind me bolding part I found most telling about Shard’s problem. 

Considering how other female Court of the Dead characters look, we’re likely to revisit the property, with bingos and/or redesigns, later. 

~Ozzie 

Fixin’ Up Some Figurines, part 2 –  Lizard Boobs Edition

While we’re likely to go back to fixing some Dark Sword Miniatures in the future, this here dragonkin lady was the reason I proposed redesigning the figurines in the first place. 
The butt cape window was always amazingly mesmerizing, considering it displays her very human glutes with no trace of reptilian tail, which would be much expected in such character design. 

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So I simply changed her metal thong into a decorative belt that rests on the base of her new big tail. 

Another obviously non-lizard anatomy on her were the human breasts, adorned with a really ugly boobplate. So I flattened her chest and redesigned the breastplate to be more interesting, while still exposing some of the pec. 

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Also added a tiara with a matching jewel, for some non-tiddy-based feminine touch. Her weapon/scepter got a matching jewel as well. 

It’s one of the subtler redesigns, but also one with more deliberate process behind it. Hope you like it! 

~Ozzie 

As if that wasn’t enough, twin-bulged breastplates ignore the anatomical makeup of the female breast itself. To make a long story short, the breast largely consists of fat and modified sweat glands (for the production of milk, that is), and hence it’s not nearly as solid as a comparable mass of muscle. So all but the largest breasts can be bound quite flat against the woman’s chest without occasioning too much discomfort. In turn, this means a fighting woman probably isn’t going to need a breastplate with a chest profile larger than one worn by a fighting man of a similar height and general body shape, and therefore it’s quite likely that the woman would simply fit into the man’s breastplate with the aid of some padding to make up the slack in the waist and shoulders.

Why female breastplates don’t need breast-bulges 
(The article was deleted since. You can read its mirror copy on archive.com here.)

Today’s throwback: Boobs 101 or that thing NO pop media artist seems to know about basic human anatomy, as illustrated in one of our recent reblogs. (Also cloth doesn’t work that way…)

If you actually know that and still decided that boobsocks or boobplate on a breasted character is a good idea, maybe consider it’s cause you wanna see The Tiddy? And then consider, where are all the codpieces that really existed that you could be drawing instead?

~Ozzie 

Hey you… yeah you, the one typing the comment about how a guy on YouTube told you the shape of armor is just an “aesthetic” and hence boobplates would be fine because “hardened steel is really hard”.

Don’t take advice from a guy who only assess armor based off what it feels like to swing one of his wooden swords and not on the distinct likelihood of the wearer being hit by a sharp stick wielded by a person on top of a one ton warhorse charging at full gallop.

That guy clearly doesn’t pay that much attention to what happens with re-enactors using heavier armor made with better steel.

– wincenworks