Fembruary 2021 Round-Up

Whew – I don’t think I’ve painted so many different things in such a short space of time in my life! There have been times when I’ve painted a lot more models (69 miniatures in October 2018 being the highest monthly output since I started keeping a record although that was mostly a case of batch-painting Night Goblins so perhaps not quite as impressive as it first appears). This month I “only” managed 21 models, but they covered as wide a range of subjects as I could find – united by a single common theme, all of them were women. Yes we’re talking once again about the Fembruary challenge run by Alex of LeadBalloony.

Fembruary Round Up Wudugast ConvertOrDie

For those unfamiliar with the challenge Fembruary is “a time of year for us to collectively challenge the male domination of our collections, and commit to painting some female miniatures”. The description adds “it’s a simple affair, just paint & post one or more female miniatures from your piles-of-shame, in the name of fair representation within the hobby” and notes “given that this is intended as an encouragement to think about inclusion in the hobby then it makes sense if your entries are kick-ass ladies”.

This year I was feeling both particularly enthusiastic about clearing my backlog and at the same time thinking a lot about the situation facing women both in my own country and abroad. Currently the government here is looking to bring in legislation which could severely limit our ability to even discuss issues affecting women, whilst taking away the sex-segregated services they need. It goes without saying that a lot of women, both in my circle of family and friends and the wider public, are frankly terrified. I don’t really want to get into the specifics of the debate, partly because this is a blog about miniatures and not really the right forum for the discussion and partly because there are activists out there who think that the appropriate response to someone saying “women are people too” is to make death threats and I don’t need that shit. 

I try to walk a fine line with this blog. On the one hand I try to make my posts thought provoking when I can, and to dig a little deeper than simply saying “here’s a thing wot I painted”. On the other hand I’m very conscious of the fact that the world can be difficult, distressing and depressing at times and our hobbies are intended to be a release from all that. Then there’s the fact that,  although the blogosphere is considerably more civilised than, for example, Facepuke or Twitter, many people fear any kind of online social or political discussion in case it erupts into an orgy of spittle-flecked outrage. At the end of the day people come here to look at pictures of miniatures, and although it’s my party and I’ll say what I want to, equally I don’t want to be a bore or start a fight.

It’s also a long and complex matter to try to dissect but we find ourselves in the odd position where, when I participate in Fembruary 2022, I may have to describe the kind of miniatures I’m painting without using the word “woman”, in case by doing so I cause someone offence – which under new laws could see me sent to prison. I know that sounds ludicrous to most readers but misogynist activists are already jeering themselves hoarse and claiming that they’ll exploit the new legislation to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

It should go without saying that, no matter what cause someone claims to be standing for, if a women says she feels unsafe and someone responds by threatening her with sexual assault and murder then the aggressor should not be hailed as brave. Such behaviour will always be abhorrent, regardless of how they try to dress it up. Regardless of what happens with this particular instance of state-sponsored misogyny watching events unfold has really emphasised to me the viciousness with which women in particular are attacked for speaking up.  

Ours is a hobby which traditionally has been primarily male. The cliché of the out-of-shape, unwashed, nerdy (and of course  single!) male gamer is a persistent one – despite the fact that my readers are to a man handsome, hygienic and erudite sexual stallions. We have worked hard to invite women into our hobby and the increased number of women – both in terms of miniatures on our tabletops and human beings painting and playing with those miniatures – is something well worth celebrating. Of course there are areas in which things could and should improve, and of course there will always be those for whom nothing is ever good enough. We just need to keep trying, keep discussing, and keep working towards something that works fairly well for everyone in the room who isn’t a total arsehole – and that’s basically the best that any society can hope for.

Anyway, in an effort to stop myself grinding my teeth right out of my head, I’ve found myself leaning heavily on my “go to” for calming my nerves and maintaining my mental health; painting miniatures. As a result what started out as simply an exercise in gathering together all the unfinished female models on my desk and trying to get a few completed turned into something of a marathon charge into the “pile of shame”. Let’s take a look at everything I managed to complete (don’t knacker your eyes peering at it, click on it for a decent sized picture!).

Fembruary Round Up Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

Not bad eh! I’m sure there will be plenty of hobbyists out there who could paint a lot more in a month, and to a much higher standard to boot, but this isn’t a race and I’m rather proud of my output. Along the way I added models to various ongoing projects and started a few new ones. We have three daughters of House Escher…

Fembruary Round Up Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)

…three Blood Bowl playing elves…

Fembruary Round Up Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

… two explorers delving into the Blackstone Fortress…

Fembruary Round Up Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

…the Imperial Guard commissar Severina Raine from the Black Library novel Honourbound

Severina Raine Warhammer 40k Wudugast (1)

…a Stormcast Eternal…

Stormcast Eternal Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

…two dryads…

Dryad Sylvaneth Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)

…two Chaos Sorceresses…

Fembruary Round Up Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

…a Genestealer Cult Magus…

Genestealer Cult Magos Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer 40k (6)

…an agent of Tzeentch…

Kairic Acolyte Narvia Tzeentch Warhammer Wudugast (1)

… an old goblin witch…

Goblin Witch Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

…one of the grand ladies of the Adeptus Mechanicus…

Tech Priest ConvertOrDie Wudugast Warhammer 40k (9)

…and a warband made up of the Daughters of Khaine.

DoK Wudugast Warhammer ConvertOrDie (8)

Things might be a bit quiet here for the next little while, and certainly quieter than they’ve been recently. This is the time of year when my work goes into overdrive and this year is scheduled to be particularly hectic.  I’ll still be painting miniatures when time allows though and I’ll try not to vanish from the world of blogging altogether, especially as I have a lot of projects up my sleeve that I’d like to be tackling soon.

Finally I’d like to give a shout out to Alex of LeadBalloony who organises this challenge every year. If you’re not already familiar with his work I highly recommend you go and check it out right away, and of course keep an eye out for the Fembruary round up, which he should be posting in the next few days, for a look at all the other talented people who’ve taken part.


34 responses to “Fembruary 2021 Round-Up

  • Mikko

    That’s a great selection of minis and you’ve done sterling work Wudu! It’s also amazing to see how much GW has improved in terms of gender representation in their minis – and I’m sure they’ve received plenty of flak for it. In the grand scheme of things it might not be a huge thing, but it has certainly provided us with much more variety in our toys, some excellent designs, and more food for the imagination. The worlds of AoS, 40K and all their spin-offs feel much more alive.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Aye, it’s true, they’ve come on leaps and bounds haven’t they? I think you’ve hit the nail on the head by saying it makes the settings feel much more alive. When I look at a crowd of people (assuming we’re ever able to do that again eh!) I see a 50:50 mix of male and female faces, and not seeing that replicated on the tabletop always needed a little bit of mental accounting for. With armies it’s easier because we’re used to the idea of professional or levied troops being all/predominantly male but once you get into specialists or civilians (and here I’m including everyone who’s not a solider – everything from frightened villagers to underhive gangers to Inquisitors to zombies) there really ought to be a mix. I’m certainly not a GW purist or think that they are beyond criticism but credit where it’s due they’ve done a good job on this front in recent years.

  • theimperfectmodeller

    As I have been saying all along, fantastic work and wonderful figures and so nice to see them all together. All in all you have had an outstanding Fembruary. 🤗 You have also thrown up much food for thought on the subject of acceptable speech and women in particular. I wont get into a rant out of respect of your blog (I’ll leave it for mine!) but I do worry about the future and where we are heading. To be honest I expect to go to jail. In the meanwhile if someone would like to stop the world I’ll happily get off.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you again – it’s been a lot of fun just getting my head down and charging through this little lot, and particularly enjoyable because although they’ve all had a “theme” they’re also all very different. All the encouragement from the likes of yourself was also very much appreciated, I certainly wouldn’t have got nearly so much done without all the supportive comments and feedback. 🙂

      To be honest I worry a lot about where things are headed. It seems like very many people are now incapable of saying “Well I agree with most of what you have to say but there are a few points I’m not happy about, let’s discuss this” and instead prefer something along the lines of “You don’t agree with me unquestioningly, you should die!”. I think if I let it get to me it would be extremely depressing. The thing is it seems to be very much an online phenomenon, I don’t encounter people behaving this way face to face (well, occasionally, but it’s very much the exception, whereas online it’s the rule). It makes me wonder if the whole situation is being exacerbated by lockdowns etc, with more people communicating via the internet. Mind you we’re doing that right now and being completely civilised – although maybe that’s because we seem to agree a lot! 😀
      Sadly I think the way things are going we’ll all end up in jail. Save me a good spot in the yard if you get there first eh! 😉 I actually feel a bit sorry for all the murderers, thieves and gangsters who’ll be forced to endure sharing cells with the kind of people who’ve been known to say or think the wrong thing, that’s bound to be hard on their sensibilities.
      As for your final point I’m with you there mate! (Well, actually, on second thoughts no – I’d like to stop the world and have 99.99999% of other people get off…).

      • theimperfectmodeller

        It’s always nice to have good feedback and you certainly deserve all that you receive as far as I am concerned, great work. As you say plenty of variety in a single theme kept any feeling of repetition at bay.

        Once again you have summed up the situation better than I could myself. Keyboard warriors don’t do face to face which of course is why they love it I guess. The more I think about growing older the more I am of the opinion that people die because they simply can’t be arsed to live any longer! It seems to me the world and far too many people are simply hell bent on making life far more complicated than it needs to be. The secret as we both know of course it to simply stay calm and paint! 🙂

  • Alex

    Lovely round-up mate, and a most impressive tally – I think the sheer variety of mini type is incredible to see & it does a fantastic job of highlighting just how many female minis there are these days! If we had’ve done this 10 years ago, there would be nowt but elves 😂

    I think that’s called ‘progress’ 😊

  • brucewjohnson

    As an “Old school” wargamer (pre 1970) I always thought FRP was a great way to get females involved, and those who did get involved were often very unique individuals, imaginative, alternative, sometimes crazy and sometimes shy, but always very much valued by the male majority in the hobby.

    Figures have come a long way since then. Its great to see such an attractive range of female figures so well presented, so thanks for sharing.

    Would I class the Imperial Guard Commisar as a ‘fantasy’ figure?

    You bet I would !

    • Wudugast

      Completely agree with you there Bruce. I think a lot of young people find themselves drawn to the hobbies that they think they “should” be into, rather than what really appeals to them. I know that’s how I felt for a time, when you’re young you’re trying to work out how you fit in the world and don’t entirely trust yourself to get it right. For a few years when I was between (roughly) 10 and 13 I went to a school where there was a real mix of girls and boys who were into fantasy/sci-fi/d&d/warhammer etc. When we got a bit older and moved to a larger and more conventional school there was a move away from these things and a very real sense that these weren’t proper hobbies for boys – and they certainly weren’t right for girls! And of course the boys want to be into things that will impress the girls so if the girls don’t think these things are cool any more then we didn’t want to seem too keen on them either. I spent a few fruitless months wishing I could seem like I was into sports and then discovered music and didn’t come back to this kind of thing until I was at university. Especially when we’re teenagers I think there’s a lot to be said for the girls who join in with these hobbies, it takes a lot of bravery to overcome the social pressure and do what you want. Plus it’s good for the boys, especially the nerdy ones, to be reminded that females are not entirely alien beings (no matter how much it might seem that way!) from which they will always be segregated. At the end of the day I think these hobbies will always be male dominated but it’s a healthy hobby community that always keeps the door open for the girls who want to come in.

      As for the Commissar she’s definitely a fantasy figure. 40k, for my money, leans too heavily on swords and sorcerer to be sci-fi – it’s just fantasy in space! 🙂

  • John@justneedsvarnish

    I have my wife’s permission to say that “handsome, hygienic and erudite” do not all apply in my case! You’ve painted a good selection of minis this month, all very nice, so well done! I always fail with this challenge, simply because I have no female figures to paint for my historical armies!

    • Wudugast

      Haha! When my fiancée read that part she said “Glad to hear about the readers, shame about the writer”. Wonder what she meant by that…

      Glad you enjoyed this month’s output. 🙂 Women were thin on the ground in historical armies weren’t they? On the one hand I’m sure there were a few and there must be models for them out there, but on the other hand I try to use these challenges to clear my backlog not add to it so encouraging someone to buy models to then paint as part of a backlog clearing painting challenge seems a bit back to front!

  • Marvin

    Congrats on a very impressive collection (certainly puts my humble efforts to shame!) and each one beautifully painted. Your use of colour is always great.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! (And not at all by the way – your models were great and I really enjoyed reading about them, some incredibly brave and admirable women there – with the added bonus in comparison to my efforts that they were all real!). 🙂

  • b00sk0r

    Some fantastic work here! You are certainly never one to disappoint, that’s for sure. Really digging the Lady Olynder conversion too! Keep it up :^)

  • FirBholg

    That is a really cool range of minis, I love the Mechanicus conversion, and it’s also great seeing some of the minis in context (it kinda blows my mind that your blog is the only place I’ve been able to see how tall the genestealer magus is compared with other models!). I know I don’t comment much, but I always enjoy looking at your minis (love a good conversion, me, and you have a really unique – and cool – style of painting). Gods only know when I’ll get around to painting again, but I did pick up some female samurai minis from Bad Squiddo that I’m looking forward to eventually (also some Wargames Atlantic spiders that are fun even if they barely resemble actual arachnids!).

    I’ve said to others before, to a degree, this is your blog so you can post about whatever you like or feel is relevant. It’s your space, and if people don’t like it they can always move on (we’re all still reading despite all the models of elves 😉 ). If you’re talking about what I think you are, in the first instance it seems like a piece of legislation with good intentions which may end up not doing what anyone actually wants it to, and in the second instance, financial cuts to women’s services (heck, any social services) during a pandemic are flipping awful… I’ve largely sworn off of social media myself (not least because social media, and the media in general, seem to have a vested interest in unnecessary conflict), but in my experience you have a tiny minority of dreadful people making things unpleasant, and most people just want to be left alone to get on with their lives (and paint minis, or whatever else it is that other people do…)

    Honestly, a more diverse player base can only be good for the hobby – more people to play with, and a flow and interplay of more ideas to keep things fresh and interesting. It feel’s weird that it’s less than a year since GW’s tacit ‘Nazi hobbyists, F-off’ (to paraphrase the Dead Kennedys via Napalm Death)… I kinda feel like there is absolutely more that GW could do, but there is movement, and I can’t imagine even 5 years ago seeing a picture like yours above with so many female minis from such diverse ranges! Would I like to see a little more queer representation in 28mm? Sure! (Though at the same time, part of me would rather not see myself on the battlefields of the 41st millennium…). Things like ‘Fembruary’ (and you posting a bunch of rad and diverse models, like this) help show that, you know what, this hobby is for everyone (assholes excluded 😉 ).

    Hope you, your fiancé, and anyone else close are all well!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! When I write these posts I always try to keep in mind that there are plenty of people out there who can’t or don’t comment and I try to write with everybody in mind. The main thing is that you’re enjoying what I’m doing – despite all the elves – that’s always very encouraging to hear. 😀

      (Glad seeing the Magus in context was helpful, do shout out if you’re ever wanting to see a few size comparison shots of a model, I do take requests and if I have it I’ll happy sort it out. I know how handy it can be sometimes to see a model alongside others just to get a feel for it, and a lot of studio images either showcase the model in glorious isolation or focus on making it part of a dramatic scene – which is very inspiring but not always helpful in a practical sense. Manys the time I’ve got a miniature or part for a conversion only to realise it’s out of scale with the bits I was planning to use with it).

      Aye, I’ve pretty much left social media these days and I feel a lot better for it. Deleting my twitter account just felt like such a relief in the end. I’ve not quite packed in facebook yet but I’m working my way up to it! I could write a thesis about why I think it’s terrible, but somehow I can’t quite bring myself to click the button and close the account.

      Regarding the legislation my fear is that it will only end up driving a wedge between people who would otherwise work out their differences amicably, and create an atmosphere of distrust and unwillingness to compromise. As you say it may well have started out well-intentioned but I worry it’ll just end up making things worse for everyone and might end up pushing a lot of good causes back in the long run, which would be a tragedy. Ah well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that. The main thing is for sensible folk not to sink down the level of silly name calling, however tempting it can be – we’re none of us perfect after all – and keep trying to work towards a better world.

      I completely agree with you on the importance of a diverse player base (and diverse miniatures too). I remember a few years ago GW saying this was something they wanted to do, and that they recognised that it was something people wanted, but that the lead times on making models is so long we shouldn’t expect to see results straight away. It’s very gratifying to look back now and see that they put their money where their mouth was.

      I have wondered how they could go about things like queer representation in 28mm but, and this may be my own ignorance here, I’ve not really envisioned what they could do at such a scale that wouldn’t risk looking like a caricature. Mind you I’m sure some fine minds are thinking about it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see something sooner or later. The repressiveness of the 41st Millennium would make it more challenging I think, but perhaps something for AoS or Necromunda where there’s more opportunities for characters with personal freedom.

      Funnily enough GW did make a model of what I would look like if I fought on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium. If you’re curious you can find it here: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Citadel-Skulls-2017 Ming you I guess if I was lucky though there might just be a place for me as a tall and handsome servitor!

      Oh and the very best to you and yours as well. 🙂

  • Pete S/ SP

    Stunning work on all of those.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

  • Kuribo

    21 miniatures in 28 days is ridiculous. Someone should take your brushes and paint away so the rest of us can catch up 😉 I think I must not be as humble as I thought because “handsome, hygienic and erudite sexual stallions” describes me very well indeed 😀

    I haven’t heard about what is going on over there on your island but it sounds worrying. Women’s issues are frustrating because there seem to be victories followed by waves of setbacks to me. Often times the forces that mobilize against women’s rights are scary and try to achieve scary things as well. What you’re describing sounds pretty bad and I hope that ultimately the misogynists lose!

    • Wudugast

      Haha! Well, I reckon you’ll all have a chance to catch up over the next few months. I’ll still be painting but at a much reduced rate for the next little while. Just got a proper look at the workload that’s coming up and it’s insane! (I’m getting my moaning about how hard I’m going to be working in early by the way because I suspect in a month’s time I’ll be too knackered to complain!)

      As for what’s going on here, it’s a long story. Basically it’s a piece of legislation which is supposed to protect minorities but the politician who’s department it falls under is a notoriously sexist and racist individual and he’s hammering through his own version. Apparently during consultation over 80% of the special interest groups came back and said it was terrible and they couldn’t support it, but they guy can’t be told he’s in the wrong. If it just trashed women’s rights that would be more than bad enough but the guys found the time to attack lesbians and gays and religious groups, and to ride roughshod over freedom of speech as well (presumably so we can’t tell him what we think of him and his Bill!). Goes for the final vote this week and there’s been a huge public backlash so we’ll see what happens. The police have already said it’s unenforceable so hopefully even if it does get passed it’ll crash into the jagged rocks of reality and get repealed pretty quickly. Bloody worrying though. :-/

      • Kuribo

        I’ve had a similar heavy workload so I can relate! It makes me feel fortunate that I don’t have to worry about overtime and things of that nature.

        That does sound scary and hopefully in this case, the public outcry has an impact on what happens. You really have to wonder in this situation, how this politician was asked to write legislation if they are so obviously poorly equipped to do so. It is things like this that give politics a bad name to be sure! Regardless of that, I hope that common sense and decency win out!

  • Argentbadger

    Wow, that’s some terrific work. The quantity and quality of your painting is really impressive. I think that the Adeptus Mechanicus conversion is my favorite, but it’s not an easy choice.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I wouldn’t want to pick a favourite (like choosing a favourite child and all that) but if you put a gun to my head and demanded that I pick (and seriously, why the hell would you do that?!) then I’d go for the Adeptus Mechanicus one as well. 🙂

  • patmcf

    Great work mate ,you have been busy ! It sounds like your neck of the woods has gone as crazy as mine! bloody strange times we are living in any yep, it is a worry.

  • 2021 – Fembruary IV Round-up | Leadballoony - It's a lead thing

    […] legend, (and 2019 winner no less!), and he has put in a monumental shift this year to produce 21 spectacular female minis… I’m not going to go into details here, the range is too diverse, but go check out his […]

  • Fran

    What a ghastly dystopia you live in, here you are only sent to jail for insulting our majesty the king!

  • Raise The Dead | Convert or Die

    […] the epic charge I made through the female miniatures in my collection for the Fembruary challenge it was nice to just paint something that positively demands a rough and ready, relaxed painting […]

  • Kadmon

    Oh wow, these are stunning!

  • Faust

    That’s an impressive bunch of minis. 21 in a 28 day month though? C’mon, what did you on the other 7 days? Sleep?! 😉

    Seriously nice work, and anyone of those minis would take most of days to even do. So kudos mate, and keep rocking those paints!

    • Wudugast

      You’re right, I can’t believe I missed 7 whole days! I’ll try to do better next year. 😉

      Seriously though, keep in mind that although some of these were painted start to finish in the month a lot of them were “neglected models” that I’d started months ago but never finished, and which only needed half an hour or so to complete. Still, it goes to show what you can do if you focus, later in the year I might try to set myself some more goals and see what I can knock out.

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