The paladin is a noble warrior. His blessed armor protects him from harm, and his holy vows help him resist the temptations of sin. Those who receive his aid in battle are assured of victory, but those who meet him afterwards consider themselves the truly lucky.
I made this suit of armor for the Magic Meat March challenge (delayed to May this year), which is about putting men into the sorts of costumes that fantasy women get drawn in. Check out other people’s stuff over @magicmeatmarch!
In place of a standard breastplate, this one is built in the form of a corset, providing protection and support while shaping and accentuating your profile. The pauldrons connect to the codpiece with a harness arrangement of straps, tying them together into one cohesive piece, supporting the necessaries and accentuating the assets. The greaves stand on their own.
I made everything by hand–cut, burnished, tooled, shaped, dyed, painted, sealed, and riveted together. The corset-breastplate and codpiece I designed from scratch–you can see a progression of the corset design here. The pauldrons (shoulders) and greaves (shins) I built from patterns by Prince Armory, partly because of time constraints, and partly because I wanted to see how other designers dealt with those pieces. (The greaves I was really impressed by, the pauldrons restrict movement more than I’d like, which was a problem I hadn’t been able to solve previously either.)
This is the most ambitious armor project I’ve tackled so far, both in scope and design, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out! I’m looking forward to making a few more pieces to go with this set in the coming months.
Now that is how you convert some folks to THE FAITH!
Look at his empowerment, gaze upon his confidence and ask yourself – is there anything extra layers could add that isn’t surpassed by the ability and distraction bonuses?
No. No there is not.
I do not know what faith this bold man represents, but I understand it is a powerful one!
When Samus was in armor, guys respected her (and even said they wanted her armor). But girls didn’t give a damn. They still don’t give a damn about her in armor, whenever I see fanart of it, the artist is almost always a guy. But now that Nintendo is pushing her as a big-breasted latex model with a nice butt, fangirls are drawing her, saying they idolize her and want to be her (and saying they want her SHOES). Care to weigh in on what’s up with that?
So… since I haven’t heard anything like this… I went and asked one of my gamer friends who happens to be a woman what she thought. Here’s how she started her response:
“Please provide sources, if you’re going to attempt to tar girls with the same brush that is clearly lubricated by entitled male gamer tears, then you must provide the burden of proof.”
From there the rage intensifies and it gets kinda nerdy, so I shall just share the highlights:
“You’re referencing art of ZERO SUIT Samus, which rose to popularity with Super Smash Bros, which has targeted a younger demographic. It’s become commonplace to see Samus OUT of her suit rather than in it, despite it being an iconic image of Metroid. Back in itty bitty pixels, we saw as a bonus at the end of a game that Samus was a girl, thats it.”
“If they’d spent any time actually IN the gaming community of tumblr … then they’d be aware that the community ISN’T vocal in favour of Samus’ new look”
“She’s 6 foot 3 too, mind you, and weighs 90kg. The recent sexualisation/slimming of Samus is a move on NINTENDO’S part, not the gamer fangirl base.”
So to make sure this wasn’t a one off, I asked another friend:
“Firstly, Dudebro McFedora, you have no basis to say that women don’t like Samus. The odds are that you’ve probably never talked to a girl that’s played the games.”
From there the rage intensifies – so I will just share some of the highlights:
“I will say that I particularly want her shoes. They’re spark shooting death heels to beat up people. It’s wonderful; who wouldn’t want that?
They are not appropriate for SSB though BECAUSE THEY’RE FUCKING PUMPS. You can’t run around in that shit!”
“Samus in her armor is fantastic because it creates this unique position where anyone can play her and entitled ‘macho boiz’ never think to say, “Oh shit I don’t want to play as the girl” or “Sweet, the girl character is fucking hot.””
“Samus Aran is my role model.”
Also, I seem to recall seeing amazing fan art by women:
And amazing cosplays:
This is not to say there aren’t female gamers who only discovered Samus when they announced her high heels of doom, female gamers who really want to cosplay Samus in heels because they’ll look cute and sexy or female gamers who like the Zero Suit better than the armors for other reasons.
I say this theoretically because I did look to try to find some of them, and between quick searches for them and searches to find choice examples of art and cosplays… I didn’t find a single woman who suggested that she only became interested in Samus due to the Jet Boot heels.
So if you have come across women who only got into Samus due to the high heels, it’s still quite ridiculous to decide those particular women are somehow representative of women or female gamers as a whole. Particularly since the character first appeared in 1986 – so has had quite a while to grow a diverse fan base.
Trying to dismiss and/or erase huge numbers of female fans just so that you can try to pretend gender stereotypes are facts is pretty much the reason why the rage intensified.
New rule for female armor: if you design female armor and you wouldnt be willing to cosplay it, you’re making a mistake.
I’d like to propose an expansion of rule:
If you’re a guy and you’d wear it because “it’d be funny” but you wouldn’t respect a female cosplayer who wore it: You are a mistake.
Another caveat to the rule, inspired by an article we linked in the past: if a costume is (near*) impossible to replicate or too uncomfortable to wear for cosplayers – it fails as a costume.
Honestly, if a cosplayer would need to use double-sided tape in order to maintain their decency while wearing your costume, maybe just… don’t.
*”Near impossible” only because cosplayers are amazing and can somehow make even the most absurd shit work on human bodies somehow. But at what cost?
Maybe it’s because you’re taking the same strategy you would in designing characters for comics or video games and applying it to real people, except fictional characters are a representation of how you choose to see people or wish them to be portrayed, whereas real people get to do their own choosing, because nothing is more sexist than denying someone the right to choose, regardless of what that choice may be.
Worth bringing back – this quote from a pretty great analysis of complex problems with perpetuating sexism. The quoted part and image are the ones most relevant to BABD’s subject matter, but the article is still worth reading whole.
Here’s my empowering warrior armor for Magic Meat March! Got it done just in time! I made the whole get-up out of leather, save for the shoes and the prop dagger. I just went to town this week with the strap cutter and the rivets.
It’s got a jointed spaulder for the shoulder, held in place by an asymmetric harness, zig-zagging down to a supple pouch to hold the necessaries comfortably in place. Onto this attaches a cuisse to guard the thigh.
Then there’s some accessory pieces: A thigh piece made of three panels laced together; an arm band with shearling trim for warmth; and a corset-like bracer to protect the wrist and forearm. Oh, and there’s that mass of straps for the left arm. I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to be for.
If I’d had a bit more time I was planning on adding more fur trim to the other pieces, but since it’s spring time now I don’t think that’s necessary. Wouldn’t want to overheat, after all. That extra padding would just get in the way during a battle anyway.