As any hobbyist will tell you, representation in their field of interest is a real boost to feeling a part of the community. It can feel isolating to be a woman involved in male-dominated hobbies, and when I turn to gaming, ready to build a character or grab a figure from a set, my choices tend to be pretty well limited to damsel in distress or, if I’m lucky, an old crone or cackling witch–a lot of these games don’t represent the ‘fairer sex’ very much, or very fairly. Sometimes I’d like to play a knight, myself. Thanks to a set of great designs available now on Thingiverse, all I have to do is turn to a 3D printer and I can take to the tabletop with a more inclusive piece. Designer Andrew Stockton has created several figures of female knights–some even with accompanying companions–here to fill a void in medieval fantasy gaming.
“Although I don’t play Dungeons and Dragons, I do love tabletop games,” Stockton told me via email. “I like to get together with friends and play games that use physical pieces to represent characters and things. When I started getting into 3D printing 6 months ago, I searched the internet for good 3D models to use in tabletop games and couldn’t find what I was looking for. I saw a lot of sci-fi and modern tabletop models but almost nothing that looked like it belonged in a medieval fantasy era. So, by my model designing, I am trying to fill a niche that has not gotten a lot of attention yet (and is my favorite niche). It is also validating to know that other people are getting good use out of the models I am making!”
Stockton’s creations in this vein include a female knight available in several poses, as well as a female knight accompanied by a tiger (because “every knight needs an animal companion”) or by a smaller Egyptian cat on her shoulder.
This fierce lady is ready to use her sword however she sees fit–and, clearly not one for limitations, Stockton has made sure to note that he is open for suggestions of variations. He designs the figures using Blender, working and tweaking to get a great “basic version of what [he wants]” to work with.
“Once the model is made, I attach a movable skeleton to the mesh,” Stockton told me. “This lets me move the model into different poses – standing, kneeling, brandishing a sword. I attach a base to the mesh, clean it up to make it easier to print, and it’s ready to share online!”
Stockton’s work with 3D modeling grew from his experience using Photoshop, creating “just art for fun.” But then he found out that he could gain access to a 3D printer at a local university, and he was off.
Among his first creations were some pieces for the board game Settlers of Catan (including a delightful robber stealing a sheep, and my personal favorite victory points to earn, a trophy for the Longest Road, along with several other figures and trophies). It was with these creations that Stockton “fell in love with the process,” and he then turned to creating his own designs.
“I was pleased to discover that 3D modeling is not nearly as hard as it seems, and that by following along in a few youtube tutorials you can learn the basics very fast. Modeling became my summer hobby, and I got great fulfillment out of seeing my creations printed out as physical objects,” he told me.
He will be releasing more designs over the coming months, featuring more figures, monsters, and items for tabletop gaming. Stockton does accept design requests, and is also available for freelance work. Let us know what you think of these designs. Discuss in the 3D Printed Female Knight forum thread on 3DPB.com.