September 21, 2013 at 10:35 am #5218
It is great to see the layout image of Harrek and Jar-Eel, this book is going to be gorgeous!
One thing I noticed though, there has been a lot of articles on the web about female armour, including the recent swordfighting contest won by Samantha Swords, that make the point that good female armour shouldn’t emphasize the breasts as weapons will slide in at those points, making hitting the female fighter easier, instead of aiding the sliding of weapons away and around the target.
Was any of that considered in the planning of the illustration? After all, Samantha was “pleasant on the eyes” while still in sensible armour. 🙂September 21, 2013 at 11:45 am #5881
Personally, I think the whole “sensible armor” discussion is ahistorical and overly reliant upon medieval armor.
Here’s the original art direction to Mike. Note that all the references were to historical male armor.
Jar-eel is armored. Her armor is ornate and intended to emphasize that she is a demigoddess of both War and Love.
You can choose what kind of armor:
Option One: Samnite-style three disk breastplate. Something like http://media.moddb.com/images/members/2/1335/1334591/athena_armor_ref.png or http://archive.worldhistoria.com/uploads/20070505_140329_PunicwarArmour.jpg
with the lower disk being a depiction of the Red Moon goddess.
Option Two: Golden “female muscle cuirass” breastplate.
This is the female version of the Greco-Roman muscle cuirass breastplate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Museo_archeologico_regionale_paolo_orsi,_corazza_in_bronzo,_da_tomba_5_necropoli_della_fossa,_370-340_ac._01.JPG
It should hint at the female form instead of male pectorals. It likely has a mythological scene like
Regardless of the type of cuirass, she wears a short, ornate skirt of pteruges that let her show off her legs.
(for an example of how much leg would get shown off in classical armor, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Naiskos_soldiers_Baltimore_Painter_MAN.jpg).
She may wear greaves on her lower legs, and vambraces on her lower arms – she does not wear a helmet.September 21, 2013 at 11:52 am #5882
Sorry about the formatting screwup in the above post!September 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm #5886
Historically, there has been a remarkable amount of “armor” that was designed more to impress others with the wearer’s wealth/awesomeness/sexual prowess/whatever than to “sensibly” protect one on the battlefield.
For example, Boetian hoplites were often depicted wearing boots, hoplite shield, helmet – and absolutely nothing else. Greek male nudity (while wearing a helmet) is a common artistic motif.
We can look to the ancient Italic peoples with their interesting garb of wearing a manly muscle cuirass and nothing around their genitals. Or the bronze pectorals (which on occasion had bronze “cups” that were at least a C size) that were pretty much useless as protection, but boy they must have look awesome.
If we can imagine a fantasy ancient society where women had the same status as men and could fight alongside men, why wouldn’t their armor have the same degree of ridiculousness as their male counterparts? Would they were bronze pectoral “boob cups” and nothing else (because their male counterparts sure did!)?September 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm #5887
Or an Angus McDonald painting of Boetian hoplites (with strategically placed bits of cloth):September 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm #5888
Of course, Harrek’s armor consists of a shaggy bear cloak. Personally, I don’t think either can be cut by mortal weapons nor their bones cannot be broken by mere men; both are demigods of war and battle.September 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm #5889
I’ll just leave this here: http://www.blue-gauntlet.com/BG-Full-Chest-PROTECTOR-Sizes-for-women_p_3741.htmlSeptember 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm #5893
Thanks for the detailed answer, Jeff. When posing the question, I did wonder if the answer would include communicating Jar-Eel’s identity as Woman, and demigoddess of Love. Not being a classicist, my mind went back to the wonderfully corny scene in “Castle of Wizardry”, I think, of David Edding’s Belgariad, where Ce’Nedra is trying to persuade an Armoursmith to make armour “emphasizing” he femaleness. As she planned to use her identity to appeal to the common people of the land, her “femaleness” was a vital part of the armour’s design!September 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm #5895
I’m the first to furrow my brow and shake my head in disappointment at a piece of art that seeks to portray a woman as an object to be desired instead of a subject to be depicted. While I’m sure arguments could be made about Jar-Eel in this piece of art, she looks to be drawn as a person and a character, instead of a means of titillation. She’s not twisted so that we can see both her breasts and her ass, she’s not in a ridiculous pose, and she’s as much a part of the action as Harrek is. She’s not passive – she’s a participant in the narrative that the art is telling.
Honestly, I like the pectoral. It looks more like, “We’ve shaped this armor to give it an idealized feminine appearance.” instead of, “We’ve shaped this armor so we can see your boobs.” A lot of women warriors in fiction, regardless of genre, seem to have demands placed on them to forsake their gender in order to be a warrior, by both the characters within the setting and the author themselves. The old “I’m a warrior, but I’m a woman too!” saw, as a character laments that these two things are apparently complete contradictions. If that distinction doesn’t exist, if you can be a warrior and a woman and nobody sees any contradictions there, there shouldn’t be a reason for there not to be women wearing what Jar-Eel wears, alongside men in a muscle cuirass, in addition to those who would wear more form-concealing armor, like linothorax or mail.September 22, 2013 at 2:37 am #5906
re: those Thespian chappies; You’d want to be REALLY confident of your ability to keep your shield up for long periods of time.September 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm #5925
This picture by Peter Connolly from his book Hannibal and the Enemies of Rome shows a rider wearing a ceremonial cuirass that isn’t that different from the one worn by Jar-eel – including two discs that might be taken as breasts, but aren’t.
[img]http://www.glorantha.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/5y2ok-Hannibals-entry-into-Capua.JPG[/img]September 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm #5926
That’s actually based on the same “Samnite” pectoral found in Tunis that Mike based Jar-eel’s on. And yes, it does extend out like that.September 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm #5927
Martin HelsdonSpectatorQuote:That’s actually based on the same “Samnite” pectoral found in Tunis that Mike based Jar-eel’s on. And yes, it does extend out like that.
That’s the one. There’s a detailed photograph of the original from the tomb at Ksour-es-Sad on page 111 of Connolly’s Greece and Rome at War.September 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm #5928
I saw this in the Bardo Museum in Tunis last year:
They had loads of cool stuff. Well worth a visit.September 24, 2013 at 9:21 am #5934
Yes, that’s the very cuirass Mike modeled Jar-eel’s on.
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