@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.
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:
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.
I really hate the female Nergigante armor in MHW, so I decided to try my hand at a really quick redesign. Tried to keep it mostly close to the original, but also using the male version as the main source of changes.
The funny thing is- the skin showing isn’t even the part I hate the most. I don’t like how miss-mash the armor is. Most of the major parts of the armor look like they came from different clothing. And Nergigante is supposed to be a ferocious beast. The armor from the female set doesn’t look fierce at ALL.
Whatcha guys think?
While I’m usually not for overly stabby armor, this is a very fine redesign done with the original’s over the top aesthetic in mind, just without all that sexism.
For the record, this is what the difference between male and female version is in the game:
I really like how you retained the original’s silhouette and detailing while inserting actual armor in place of a generic bikini. And even though the armoring is based on the male version, it still has unique features, like the toothy helmet. Very good job at shape breaking and contrasts, too!
Amazingly, a female costume design doesn’t have to be sexualized to be stylized. Who knew? 🙃
Knowing how my friends feel about dresses with pockets I can only imagine how incredible this is!
Art by Benjamin Steamroller
I genuinely love this for SO MANY reasons, but one of them has to be the fact that now that we’ve all agreed that terrible skimpy armor that objectifies women is OUT, we can finally focus on what should be IN
This knight looks super adorable and so happy about her attire, I love it!
Also love the costume design thought put by the artist into incorporating cloth or leather pockets onto plate armor.
Leveling up with Angela
This thing was so bad to begin with that it should have been remade from scratch, not by modifying the unsalvagable original. I did my best, though.
Before doing anything to the costume, though, I had to take care of the ABSOLUTE GARBAGE color composition on this whole splash page. What genius thought that orange background was optimal way to present a character with big orange hair and even bigger orange wings?
Fixing it required all the sophistication of the easiest color theory trick in the book – I recolored the background. Wow, amazing! What do you mean orange pops out from blue better than from more orange? What even is complimentary colors?
Only then I could start working on the armor itself. Boobplate proved to be much less inspiring than Angela’s normal golden bikini top, as the shape language and colors in the original gave me much more to work of off. This I could only change into actual, rather boring, breastplate.
I had no idea what was happening to the leg region, so to cover the nonsensical crotch area and to give the design some consistency with my previous one, I recreated the mail tabard (just in gold this time) and gave her an updated version of the belt I was so proud of the last time. This time not only I let her keep the butt cape, I made it bigger and recolored it to light red, for another splash of color. and also to recreate the look her gambeson tassets.
The lesser changes include: fixing the giraffe neck, getting rid of the 90s comic hair (which also seemed to be clipping into her wings?), making her headpiece bigger and connected in the middle, giving her a bit smaller wedge heels and stockier built.
I’m afraid this really isn’t half as good as my previous Angela redo, but I hope you guys like it anyway!
Simplifying the Diablo Ladies, Part 2
Demon Hunter from Diablo 3 was… a challenge, to say the least. Mainly because I couldn’t decide where to even start with that ridiculousness!
Not only is she super sexualized via the enforced “feminine” silhouette of skin-tight armor, boobplate and giant thigh gap, including a cameltoe… she’s also the most overdesigned thing I ever tried my Photoshop skill on.
Apparently to work as an artist at Blizzard, you have to willfully forget the most basic rule any design school worth its salt teaches: Less is more.
For concept art of what would ultimately be a small character model in-game, all those pieces have SO. MUCH. NEEDLESS. DETAIL! Teeny tiny little shapes of distracting ornamentation, basically nothing to rest your eye upon.
I feel really sorry for anyone who ever attempted cosplaying this shitshow – so much work added into recreating all those arbitrary seams, textures and spikes, sheesh.
I was so busy simplifying the shape language that I overlooked some stuff I do pretty routinely, like getting rid of the cleavage in the first and second levels, and modifying the hourglass silhouette (I did add some bulk in higher levels, just not much).
Preparation for posting this redesign is why I threw back this post lately (also, you know, it’s just a good post to resurface) – because those level ups convey neither a better set of armor, nor more protective layers, except for pauldrons. The shape of her boobs and thin waist remain a constant, no matter how much more “armored up” she’s supposed to be.
Like with Ashe before, I decided that my version is a trans lady, with a noticeable crotch bulge
in the place of the creepy thigh gap. Though I discarded my initial gag related to its size, as it was just in poor taste and not my joke to make.
Overall, this thing took two or three weeks to finish (last level seemed unsalvagable at first), but hopefully I managed to put some actual design thought into this hot mess.
Simplifying the Diablo Ladies, Part 1
We’ve talked about how Diablo makes such an effort to make very disappointing characters. So, it was finally time to take on some of those designs and try to make them less overdone and less….
Anyway, I went for a concept art of the Wizard from Diablo 3. I stayed in the color scheme because I was more distracted by…. everything else that was happening. All the tiny details that only highlighted how little she was wearing… it had to go. I ended up giving her a simple tunic and pants, in order to have some grounded large shapes in the middle of all the small ones. I do like the shoes (below the knee, anyway) and the jacket, so I left them alone.
I did remove some weird-looking accessories, like the not-glove and the awful crown sharps, and I changed her face as I always do.
Definitely a simpler redesign, but it was still not easy to work around all the things that I wanted to keep in the design. I probably should have made her tunic a different color, but it’s still way easier to look at than the original. Hope y’all enjoy!
Fire Emblem: Pantsening, Part 2
I seriously needed Icy’s last post to remind me where that character comes from! With all those anime-style underclad game heroines I can not tell anymore the difference between That Popular jRPG Which Panders to Perverts More With Every New Game, That Harem Thing With Undressed “Defeated” Sprites and That Sexy Flower Warrior Girl Hentai. Turns out it was the first one. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
And then there’s the very practical bare back.
It’s one of those very frustrating designs which you can tell were referenced from some real armor and had some interesting shape language incorporated, then at some point someone just went “FUCK IT, WE NEED TO SEE SOME SKIN!” and cut out a huge chunk of fabric in a few vital places.
It’s a shame, because while I doubt the practicality of her perforated pauldrons and tassets, they’re very interesting visually and make her costume stand out so much better than the shmexy back and thigh cutouts do.
So, of course, my main goal was to get rid of those holes and make it look like a full set of armor. While the pants demanded only to patch those holes with the color of the fabric, I figured that doing the same for the back would be boooring. So I decided to add a tabard, which would also be a splash of color this grey-navy design so desperately needs. I went for rosy pinkish color similar to her hair and lined with golden detailing based on the design on her axe. I’m quite proud of how it came out.
The shape of the tabard also helped to mask the @eschergirls anatomy and not to make this picture all about her butt.
Smaller, but still relevant change was turning her weird batwing gorget (?) into a full helmet (with grilling similar to that on her shoulders and hips). It’s not supposed to be realistic of fully protective, but counts for something.
She, as an axe wielder, should really know that a lacy kerchief won’t protect her cranium from getting split open.
An excellent positive example of fantasy armor that is both lavish and regal, yet functional, battle hardened and just positively badass. Bonus points for the artist giving her a great looking battle scar.
The turnaround above gives a good view of the armor overall, but I highly recommend visiting the ArtStation page linked above to get a more in depth look. The artist has put so much beautiful and astonishing detail, it boggles the mind.
It’s almost criminal that this hasn’t gotten more attention; I would love to see this in a game.
This is a bit too over-designed for my taste, but I definitely agree that this is a design more likely to be given to a man character.
And her scar is pretty nice! Definitely check this piece out on Artstation for detail shows and workflow breakdowns, if you’re into that kind of thing.