Proper Female Hobby Representation: Editorial

Astartes CosplayLet’s talk about a sensitive subject for a lot of people that seems to be popping up more and more lately: female representation in Warhammer 40k.

Don’t close your mind off just yet, we’ve only just begun! There’s been a lot of talk lately about properly representing females in Warhammer miniatures, and how uncomfortable it is for some of them to go into their FLGS. Now, I completely understand that not all game stores are like that, that’s why I said some. So take a deep breath and don’t shoot me yet.

Women are here, and they’re here to stay. If you have an issue with that then you’re part of the problem.

But what is it that has everyone so bothered right now? What is the core reason behind all of the disagreements? After reading negative comment after negative comment any time this subject comes up in a post, and seeing the fast growth of female hobbyist in our communities, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s that some of the females out there feel disrespected, uncomfortable going into stores because of constant staring or being treated differently by the other players, and tired of seeing overly sexualized minis.

And to be frank, I completely understand where they’re coming from. Women are finally speaking out, expressing their opinions, concerns, and a lot are even providing solutions.

Female player post warhammer 40k

A female player made a really good point with this post. I understand some hobbyist like the revealing models, and I’m not saying to get rid of them completely, but have a broader set of options. A female Space Marine wouldn’t be charging into battle topless next to her fully armored comrades. A lot of people have presented the solution of simply making new heads, and I personally think that is an amazing idea! It’s a cheap upgrade, and can you really tell there’s a woman under all that armor if you didn’t see her face?

With my job here at the Spikiest of Bits I’ve had the opportunity to travel around to different conventions and I have been amazed at how fast the female population is growing in tabletop gaming. While I was at Adepticon I was completely thrown back by how many females were there this year. And no, they weren’t just walking around shopping, twirling their hair… They were deep into games of X-wing, Armada, Warhammer 40k, and they were just as welcome at the table as any other person was. No one was making comments, staring, making them uncomfortable, or anything. At that point in time, everyone was there for the same reason, the hobby and having fun with like minded people.

I had the pleasure of meeting Christine Millar while walking around the floor browsing the vendors. She was in one of the best Sisters of Battle cosplays I had ever seen. The best part about her whole outfit was that she had completely designed it around her favorite model, and army, that she painted herself.

Sister of Battle Christine Millar Cosplay

Complete with fishnet stockings, there is nothing about this cosplay, or her mini, that is overly revealing! She truly captured how women of the Warhammer universe can be covered in armor, ready for battle, and still have a very feminine feel without being distasteful.

Sister of Battle Christine Millar Cosplay

Times are changing guys and gals (mainly guys though). It’s not a predominantly male hobby like it used to be. Women have found out our secret that painting miniatures and battling them out on the tabletop is actually fun! The crazy part is… They’re really good at it too!

They’re even good at cosplay as we saw with with this Russian offering a few years back, and pictured as the title image.

Den of Imagination is a commission painting service based out of Poland, they are one of the best in the business, and they have a studio that would make any hobbyist wish they had access to.

Den of Imagination Painters

Wait… What? Are there women in that picture? Yes sir, you’re eyes are not deceiving you, and they’re painting to a level that you and I can only hope to achieve one day. In a recent post one of their artists was more than happy to show off a set of Mortarion wings in a classy bunny-esque fashion.

Den of Imagination Morty Wings

Since the release of 8th edition we have seen our community significantly grow in size. There are new players buying, building, painting, and playing every day. Games Workshop has said they are taking an active role in providing an increased representation of females in the Warhammer background and miniatures alike. We should wait to see what they have in store for us. They have been doing a great job listening to the community so far, and I truly believe they are doing everything they can to make the game enjoyable for everyone.

There’s absolutely no reason that the topic of female representation should cause so many arguments. Women are here, and they’re here to stay. If you have an issue with that then you’re part of the problem. Respect the women that you see at the game store, try to make them feel as welcome as you can, don’t drool like it’s your first time ever seeing a lady. Don’t treat them any different, or “play down”, that’s more disrespectful and offensive than most guys out there realize. Besides, chances are, she’s going to wipe you off the table without your help.

So, in keeping with a couple things The Long War and everyone here at Spikey Bits are extremely passionate about… We need to quit the bickering back and forth online, come together as a community, create a hobby safe place for everyone to have fun, and welcome everyone as the hobbyist that we all are. Is that too much to ask?

Barclay Nurgle Wrapper

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About the Author: James Rodriguez

I'm a huge fan of anything tabletop. I play strictly Chaos in Warhammer, and Imperial in anything Star Wars. I spent 8 years in the military. Now I'm happy to be a civilian working with a great group of people. "We are all tyrants. Do not fool yourself. We were bred for nothing else." -Mortarion
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