In Real Life

The Problem With Women's Armour, According To A Man Who Makes Armour

Ryan, aka “Jabberwock” makes armour. He therefore knows more about armour than I do. He’s noticed, as you might have, that the armour that some female characters wear in video games, comics and movies is ridiculous. Some of it is not.

Well, what can he tell us about ladies’ armour, both the real kind and the glorified tinsel that we see in some of the world’s most popular fantasy fiction?

One lesson: we should barely be able to tell the difference between the shape of functional men’s armour and functional women’s armour.

Plate armour is the way it is largely out of necessity. The layout and articulations of the plates are the best solutions the designers could come up with to balance mobility with protection. Also, note that nobody was naked under their armour. There was a tonne of padding between the metal and the flesh that absorbed the energy of the blows. That means the difference between male and female plate armour is relatively trivial because once you’ve padded it out and left space for movement, you’ve all but erased the figure of the person inside.

Another lesson: the so-called boob plate can be made (Ryan made the one pictured here), but it would be dangerous to wear in battle.

That there, that is a boob plate. I made that one. The woman in the photo asked for it to be like that. She fights in it. I worry constantly that she’s going to fall hard and it will crack her sternum, even with the padding. Note also that it seems almost perfectly designed to guide sword points and arrows into her heart. They still have to penetrate the armour but, honestly, that’s a design flaw. However, it looks good and makes her feel sexy and bad-arse at the same time. That’s important too.

Ryan has good things to say about the armour designed for female characters in Mass Effect games, but less complimentary things to say about the armour in, say, World of Warcraft, pictured at the top of this post.

I’ve never made a suit of armour. I’m trusting this guy.

Fantasy armour and Lady Bits [Mad Art Lab, via Twitter]

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