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Diversity and Representation in Miniatures


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4 hours ago, Lidless Eye said:

Feels like it has been forever since a Heroines in Sensible Shoes project!

I suspect such is due to them sadly not selling all that much compared to the rest of their catalog.  They get a decent amount through the Kickstarter, but then afterwards it's been mentioned they're rather slow selling, especially compared to the Burrows and Badgers minis. 

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I'mma second this, with a huge enthusiasm.   I'd also like to see - in addition to heroes and adventurers - more townsfolk/NPC-type miniatures with some of these traits; they might not be cu

It has, and it's unfortunately down to this:   Probably a lot of that's our fault, because inevitably if we're not developing/promoting the Sensible Shoes line, then they won't do that wel

Dark Sword has started adding a wider range of body types and ages lately. They have a very nice androgynous rogue sort of character, and some older witches who aren't hag-like. They're just nice olde

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2 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

I suspect such is due to them sadly not selling all that much compared to the rest of their catalog.  They get a decent amount through the Kickstarter, but then afterwards it's been mentioned they're rather slow selling, especially compared to the Burrows and Badgers minis. 


Sad, since I remember they were surprised by how well the first project did, but if it has no post KS momentum that will hurt.

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Looks like the pregnant  Oathsworn isn’t available in their website...too bad for me.

 

on that topic, it’s not really for gaming purposes, but Ouroboros is soon-to-release a pregnant android that tickles all my cyberpunk/AI dystopia/mechanofuturist fancies. I wont post the pics, because robot mammal parts, but it’s pretty great. A frisson of body horror, but nothing so squicky as many of KD’s pregnant offerings (pun not intended).

 

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I'd like to second the motion for pregnant figures - and also add that a few mothers (and fathers!) with babies in arms or toddlers in hand would help fill in the townsfolk more than the standard barmaids and doxies.  More well-fed and older figures would also be welcome.  Where are the elderly townsfolk?  Even retired adventurers (of varied amputations and so forth) seem scarce on the vine.  As to the non-binary or trans figures, I'm afraid that my painting skills are such that any figure of mine that hasn't got prominent breasts or massive muscles is... not easily gendered anyway.  But yeah, the more figures that represent the gamers that buy them are always welcome.  

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I’d like it if all the old women didn’t look so mean and angry. Some kindly grannies would be great. Or rowdy grannies.

 

Agree on the pregnant women, and adults holding babies. It’d be great to have pregnant non-human figures as well.

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I dunno if anyone mentioned this, but HeroForge now has wheelchairs available for their products. They’re under the “mount” section and they don’t add anything to the cost (the other mounts make the mini “extra large”.) They have 3 styles of wheelchair too.

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(I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I kept typing.)

 

I'd absolutely love more representation and diversity. I frequently make suggestions to a few of the other sculptors I speak with, and I practice whenever my old lady arms let me! This is a nearly endless topic with many factors, so let's just stick to miniatures in this thread.

 

I believe there are many barriers but little steps can lead to big progress!

 

1 - We have a lack of diversity in gender, size, ethnicity, and roles. It's awesome to see minis like us. Companies and sculptors have already been improving on this, and I believe it's important to encourage them. As we have more diverse figures, we create more chances to build incredible, believable worlds and stories.

 

We can all work together (like this thread) to come up with minis that we'd love to see. Sculptors can make awesome minis with representation!

 

2 - Businesses are here to make money. We will probably always run into the argument of what sells. Businesses can only continue with a profit, so unless these diverse minis sell, they won't happen again. I believe there is a huge demand for more minis like us. And demand means more money!

 

I believe we need to support businesses and sculptors - big and small! - who are willing to take the steps of creating and selling diverse miniatures.

 

3 - Attributes outside of a typical young, white, fit person need to look intentional so they aren't misread as a "bad" sculpt. There is a fine line here. There should be parts that show who that character is without defining them by that singular trait or becoming cringey and fulls of stereotypes. Clothing can help show and celebrate that culture, but it's not necessary for every Asian mini to be in a kimono (a lot of yikes and erasure of other Asian cultures there). Things like weight and age lines need to be done with reference or you risk very weird faces or lumpy characters that don't feel natural.

 

That's for us sculptors to learn and for y'all to encourage and teach us. Lots of studying anatomy, speaking with real people who love their heritage, and practice, practice, practice! Anyone can sculpt, and I'd love to see more new and diverse sculptors in the hobby. There's room for everyone.

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@Morihalda thank you for your insights from a sculptor's view of things. It's good to see those who make minis are thinking of these things as well!

 

From a professional side of things, how easy is it to add diversity onto a character for a client who otherwise doesn't specify things like ethnicity, age, weight, gender?

 

For example if someone asked for a set of pirates or orcs, would you be inclined to stray from the stereotypical portrayal for a few models?  Or is there typically less room for that kind of flexibility?

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:17 PM, Lidless Eye said:

Feels like it has been forever since a Heroines in Sensible Shoes project!

It has, and it's unfortunately down to this:

 

On 2/4/2021 at 4:32 PM, WhiteWulfe said:

.... it's been mentioned they're rather slow selling, especially compared to the Burrows and Badgers minis. 

Probably a lot of that's our fault, because inevitably if we're not developing/promoting the Sensible Shoes line, then they won't do that well... but Burrows & Badgers has a ruleset, and a community of players, and we need to support those, which takes up pretty much every spare moment we have!

I'd like to get back to the Sensible Shoes stuff in the future, if time ever allows...

The pregnant mini from the first Heroines campaign has a really dodgy mould (mould line down the middle of the face!) so I've been putting off adding her to the webstore until I can get around to having a new mould made, and that's a job that never seems to make it to the top of the job list, sadly!

 

 

On 3/29/2021 at 9:58 PM, Morihalda said:

2 - Businesses are here to make money. We will probably always run into the argument of what sells. Businesses can only continue with a profit, so unless these diverse minis sell, they won't happen again. I believe there is a huge demand for more minis like us. And demand means more money!

 

I believe we need to support businesses and sculptors - big and small! - who are willing to take the steps of creating and selling diverse miniatures.

I think this bit's the key; the simple fact is that over the years, non-combatant, NPC types just haven't sold as well as full-on stereotypical adventurers. I think Kickstarter might be a good option to change that though; at the very least, it should be possible to cover the time and costs of design and production that way. 
I'd like to see a project purely focused on diversity; it'd be interesting to see how it went! I'd worry slightly though that one such project might get popular support, but not be sustainable.

I reckon most sculptors would find it fun doing the sculpting, though!

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4 hours ago, Lovejoy said:

I think this bit's the key; the simple fact is that over the years, non-combatant, NPC types just haven't sold as well as full-on stereotypical adventurers.

 

Is there any reason diverse characters have to be limited to NPCs? I think any of the suggestions that have been tossed around in this thread could be on more heroic minis.

 

Maybe a pregnant hero might not be the best, just for the implication of potential harm that could happen, but there's also no reason the mother couldn't be equipped and prepared to fight back if needed.

 

I might be reading into your response incorrectly, and if so I apologize, but I think that's half the problem around the discussion of inclusion. We often delegate the more diverse characters to the background - to NPCs.

 

A peasant mother holding a child could change to an armoured woman defending a young kid wielding a wooden sword.

 

The hunched old man with a cane could become an old wizard in a wheelchair blasting spells.  Etc.

 

I know some of the people in this thread ARE asking for NPC types, and those are good as well, but if it's a question of demand, then there's no reason that these characters should be limited to just NPCs.

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On 4/8/2021 at 5:34 AM, MoonglowMinis said:

Maybe a pregnant hero might not be the best, just for the implication of potential harm that could happen, but there's also no reason the mother couldn't be equipped and prepared to fight back if needed.

I’ve seen some pretty bad-arse armored pregnant lady artwork, so I am definitely down for a mini. Women have spent most of the history of the world being badarsed while pregnant, it would be fun to have some minis that reflect that.

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Mithril elves sometimes have ambiguous gender. I used a Gildor Inglorion miniature as a figure for Angua von Uberwald from Discworld.  I also have a mithril elf swordsman that is passable as Sally.

 

I would appreciate it if Reaper would make more figures that could be either gender. This is especially true for some of the more alien or exotic creatures like a tabaxi or a lizardperson. Why on earth would such creatures have human breasts?

 

    buckyball

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