Time continues to speed by with its usual unseemly haste and, even though I’m pretty sure Christmas was just last week, we’re striding into February already, which means it’s also time for Fembruary. By now the annual Fembruary challenge will be well established in a lot of hobbyists calendars but that’s no reason not to give it another mention, to remind anyone who might have been planning to take part and to alert anyone who’s not come across it in previous years.
To quote the man behind the challenge, Alex of Leadballoony, Fembruary works like this;
“…the deal is ‘Paint at least one Female miniature’ – it’s that simple! I’m not bothered what genre, game, manufacturer, painting style or material you go with. It can be a squad, a single mini, a diorama, or whatever takes your fancy… I’m just looking for awesome portrayals of the feminine in miniature form, as part of an ongoing conversation about how women are presented within our hobby.”
Originally I was just going to post something brief aimed at directing people towards the challenge and encouraging anyone who read it to take part, however I actually ended up writing quite a long post all about the representation of women in miniatures. In the end however I pushed it onto the back burner for now and went back to my original plan. At some stage however I’ll tidy it up and post it – after all it was both erudite and witty, and contained a number of well-structured and intelligent arguments without ever becoming rambling or preachy. You should try to imagine it – it was really something! In the meantime here’s a few of my favourite female models that I’ve painted in recent years.
Speaking of female miniatures, a recent release that stuck a particular chord with me is Fecula Flyblown of the Wurmspat, the Nurgle worshippers who’ve oozed their way into the latest expansion for Warhammer Underworlds. Allow me to pretentiously quote myself when I reviewed the Maggotkin of Nurgle in January of 2018.
“Disease affects all living things so here was a chance to show what happens when Nurgle’s ailments are contracted by someone other than a well-built male barbarian. We could have seen a sickly elf, twisted with bitterness as his immortality became a curse. We could have had a disease ravaged dwarf in a rust-caked suit of armour, great vats of toxin on his hunched back whilst intestinal pipes, throbbing with peristaltic action, spew jets of filth ahead of him? We could even have had a woman. Of course Nurgle isn’t all that interested in high heels and boob-armour but this is an age of equal opportunities and girls can worship an unglamorous god of disease and putrefaction just as well as boys.”
And what do you know, two years on here she is. What a joy to discover sometimes they do listen to me after all! And thank goodness they didn’t give her a chainmail bikini…
I’ve got a few ideas in mind for things to paint this year, although time is going to be very pressing this month so I suspect I may not manage very much. At the very least I’d like to tackle some more of my unpainted Warcry collection, and I know there’s a lady amongst the ranks of the Iron Legionaries, as well as the awesome Beastspeaker amongst the Untamed Beasts so if I manage nothing else I’ll at least take a shot at painting those two. Maybe, if I’m very lucky and clever with my time management I might even find the time to tackle Nayam Shai Murad from Blackstone Fortress, and Severina Raine (the lead character in my favourite Black Library novel of 2019).
In the meantime I implore you to take a look through the unpainted pile of shame and join in the challenge, as well as spreading the word on your social medias or down the local gaming club. The days in which female miniatures were thin on the ground are thankfully receding (although there’s still plenty more ground to make up – GW, if you’re reading this, female Orlocks stat!) so you should have plenty to choose from. Anyone who treated themselves to a new Sisters of Battle army last month for example now has no excuse to let them gather dust…