May 2019. I needed additional models for my Kill Team. Instead of spending lots of money on troopers with special weapons I considered doing my own models. Once the idea bloomed into existence it started to morph. When doing something new, why not doing a new Team. And so I started doing a Space Marine Scout with a missile launcher. I didn't like the look of this and came back to the original idea, doing Guardsmen. I pondered different ideas and coming to no conclusion decided to do some test model in the style of an American WWII soldier. There was a variant with different headgear, a Südwester, the hat worn by the Schutztruppe in Deutsch Südwest.
Here you can see the models at an early stage.
In the end I stayed with a helmet, just added some neck protection and a microphone, some shoulder pads and that's it. The Sergeant got a peaked cap instead of a helmet. The models are quite chunky and have their own charm, but are not really good. I tested different poses and painted some models, but this didn't win me over, so back to the drawing board.
The legs are a bit longer, but overall the same stocky build as before.
At that point the idea came up to do a female team. Can't really say what triggered the thought, but I liked it.
The typical dream soldieress wears a crop top and skin tight trousers. To look a bit more military the trousers would get some baggy pockets on the tigh. The butt would be to be curvy, the belly flat and the bosom visible.
The top would take the form of a bustier. To make it a bit more amour like, I decided it to be made of polygons, instead of giving it a smooth cloth like surface. Helmet or not was an easy decision, because I wanted them to be easily recognisable as women, I would leave the helmet off. Footwear would have to be boots.
To bind the model into the 40k universe the models would get shoulder pads with regimental number and imperial eagle. Also the weapon would follow the usual 40k patterns.
To get that concept down was rather easy. But designing women for gaming wasn't. I always start out with a poseable dummy. All other models are derived from that. Because she would be mother to all she was named Eva (German version of Eve).
I started with something anatomically correct, which looked completely wrong beside a GW miniature. But models with the proportions adapted to GW standard looked not very feminine. So I tried to find the middle ground. There still is some compromise. The face is rather small for a "heroic" miniature. For that reason the eyes are only slits. The hands are a bit oversized, to be able to distinguish different fingers. The weapons are basically the ones I did for the afore mentioned Guardsman, but scaled down by a factor of 0.7. The women being as high as the men, this speaks volumes about the volume of men- and women-models.
Canteen and spare power pack on waist belt and bayonet at back.
What would the soldieress carry around besides weapons ?
A bayonet, which would be fastened at the back, as I didn't have any other space for it. The hold would look over the shoulder for the bayonet to be reasonable easily drawn.
A canteen to be worn on the waist belt. It would be round and hopefully offer space for an imperial eagle.
A spare power pack for the Lasgun also mounted on the waist belt.
A waist belt with little pouches. Obviously they wouldn't hold ammunition, but could hold pills, energy bars, tools etc.. Most importantly the belt looks better with pouches.
Eva, progenitrix of all
Eva would have to be in a feminine pose, resting the Lasgun on her hip. In the process of designing the miniature she developed into a Sniper. She got a bionic eye and her Lasgun got a telescopic sight. Later the Sniper Rifle got slightly modified by getting a silencer and the power pack sticking out to one of the sides.
When I started out I planned to have uniquely feminine poses for all models, but nearly all of those would be non-combat poses. That would look weird while a game being in progress, so I decided to pose all the models combat like.
Sniper sniping away
If there is a Kill Bill, she will collect it
Use for "home phone"
My standard list consist of a Sergeant, a Sniper, a Radio Operator and two Flamers. So that would be what was needed. Eva could pitch in as Sniper, but I wanted somebody more combat like.
I started with the Sniper, because I had a clear picture of what pose she should take. I had seen a photograph of a Sniper sitting cross-armes and cross legged. The gun resting on a knee. So that's that.
The Radio Operator would also be kneeling, communicating with HQ. She got a radio-backpack with a circular aerial and a headset to go with it. I couldn't resist to add some pink cat ears to the headset.
An iconic pose for flamer operators is kneeling, back erect and firing while resting part of the weapon on the knee. The Flamer got some welder glasses for good measure. As the Flamer has a backpack, the bayonet went to the side of the waist belt, replacing the obsolete power pack.
The second Flamer got a ducked advance pose. Quite a typical military pose with or without flamer.
The Sergeant would have to have a Chainsword and a Laspistol. But how to make her easily recognisable ? I decided on a coat. The pose would be the one from Kill Bill, the one where she holds the sword in a two handed grip across her face, looking over the blade. The first coat I did, looked more like a soft, comfortable wool coat. I wanted something more strict and replaced it with a firmer coat, a bit like the coats worn in Matrix. The Laspistol is hidden under the coat, I might do a version with pistol and belt later.
The Dab that isn't
Better not to get in her way
Finally somebody with a gun at the ready
Sitting, but not resting
The backbone of my Team is made of Scionesses. The Scionesses are close in appearance to the ordinary Guardswomen. In addition they wear a respirator fed by a backpack. So the bayonet has to move to the waist belt. There are also additional armour plates on forearm, tigh, knee and lower leg.
There is a Tempestor with Power Fist and Plasma Pistol usually being a Medic. I will field 4 Gunneresses which I select from two Plasma, two Melter and two Hot Shot Volley Girls.
The Tempestor is posed after a scene in Matrix or was it Aeon Flux. Anyway it looks a bit like a Dab, but it isn't. For what it's worth the Frenchman Giraudet published a pose like the "Dab" in a book about gestures for theatre performances. The book was published 1895.
The Plasma poses are standing upright firing and storming ahead.
One Melter girl advances with large steps, rigid back and demeanour. The other one moving to her left, but turning back to see what's happening to her right.
Firing a machine gun from the hip is a standard image in war movies. The first Hot Shot Volley girl does that. The other one is sitting on her leg, leaning back, resting the weapon on her other knee and firing as if there were no morning. Both do not carry a bayonet as it's space is taken up by a double sized power pack. And they wouldn't give up their canteen.
Fun with flags poses
In the meantime I did four more models. I did those just for the poses. Take a look:
Design and print
The models are designed in Cinema 4D. Cinema 4D is a rather mixed bag and offers tools for polygonal design and parametric design as well as sculpting tools.
The models are based on parametric elements, which can be posed 1k like. Once I'm content with the pose, I use sculpting tools to finalise the design. Why parametric elements and not a standard skeleton rig and a skin ? Cinema 4D offers those, so that's not the problem. The parametric objects suit my design style better and allow a more modular approach.
This is the Scioness Eva. The weapon will be replaced, the model posed, equipment added or moved, head and hair swapped before starting to finalise the model using sculpting tools.
I print my models using a B9 Creator version 1.2. That's a resin printer using a projector as UV-source. The resolution in xy as well as the layer height is 30µm. That's 1/33 of a mm. A print run takes up to 6 hours depending on the height of a model. But it doesn't matter how many models are printed at once, so it will take 6 hours to print 4 models as well a 1 model. Depending on the pose, I can print 2 to 5 models at the same time. But often I print single models, because so I can design the next one or paint the last one while this one prints.
This is a screenshot of the printers software. The model grows layer by layer by adding resin to already existing parts. If there is something to be printed that has nothing besides and beneath, you will have to set supports to offer them something to grow from. You can reduce the number of supports needed by different means, but you can not always prevent the need for them.