I "fake-swapped" (i.e., worked on a themed project without actually exchanging it with anyone) this figure for Craftster's Vikings, Pirates, Ninjas, and "Friends" Swap. The object of said challenge was to make some artwork celebrating the warriors of yore.
This is my 3-Dimensional rendition of Atlus' interpretation of an Amazon from their 1995 Shin Megami Tensei: Debiru Samana- (Super Reincarnation of the Goddess: Devil Summoner) video game. In Megami Tensei titles, in addition to battling your opponents, it's also possible to recruit most of them into your party [or create them outright, by fusing the correct combination(s) of monsters together] and have them fight by your side. As such, if you wished to do so, you could potentially have an Amazon as one of your party members during your adventures. In the Megami Tensei games, deities and supernatural entities from all of the world's religions/mythologies, past and present, simultaneously co-exist--an example of tolerance that humanity could stand to learn from.
Atlus lumped the Amazons in with their other female Neutral Chaos entities (the equivalent of Dungeons & Dragons "Chaotic Neutral" alignment, so, in other words, women that are neither good nor evil, but unpredictable and self-serving), a group which they dubbed the "Kijo" (the Japanese kanji for said term translates as "demoness", "witch", "ogress", or "she-devil", and the word can also be used as an insult). Kijo in the case of the Amazons is more of a reference to their strength and ferocity in battle (not to mention their proclivity for killing men), as they're only mortal after all.
Video gaming nonsense aside, Amazons are the well-known female warriors from Greek mythology. Matriarchal Amazon society reputedly had very little use for men, when they allowed them to survive at all, other than as slaves and/or procreation (depending on your source, Amazon male babies were either killed outright, abandoned in the wilderness, or returned to their fathers). Ancient writers disagree on where the Amazons resided, citing areas in what are now modern Turkey, Iran, Ukraine, and Libya. The meaning of the Amazon moniker is often disputed as well. Some of the proposed origins of the word are the Persian "Hama-zan" (all women), Iranian "Ha-mazan-" (warriors) and "Ama-janah" (virility-killing), Hittite "Am-azzi" (woman of the Azzi), Greek "A-mazos" (without breast), and Tamazight "Amazigh" (another name for the Berbers). While there are many Greco-Roman stories and art pieces devoted to Amazons, there's also very little in the way of scientific evidence that they ever existed. The closest thing anyone has ever found in the way of proof are some graves in Southern Ukraine and Russia where approximately 20% of the Scythian-Sarmation warriors' tombs contained the remains of women with armor and/or weapons, but that's still a far cry from a nation of nothing but militant females. I still believe in them though, after all, a society of warrior women is something that's quite plausible, unlike crazy stuff like centaurs and harpies.
Kazuma "Kaz" Kaneko's Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Amazon illustration.
Forget her arsenal of weapons, that glare alone will kill you!
Perhaps the most infamous of Amazon myths is that they intentionally cut off, or burned and cauterized, one of their breasts (usually in infancy) because they supposedly believed that (1) boobs impede a woman's ability to draw a bow and shoot arrows and (2) removing a breast during childhood results in the strength/energy that your body would invest in growing said structure to transfer to the adjacent arm instead, making you a mightier warrior. As most female archers alive today shoot just fine with both of their breasts intact, including the local deer hunters where I live, that's obviously rubbish. And even if breasts did cause problems, it'd be a heck of a lot more practical, not to mention sane, to strap them down then to cut or burn them off! Needless to say, the ancient Greeks weren't always the shining example of enlightenment that historians often champion.
And, no, it's not lost on me that I'm just perpetuating that nonsense further by making a figure of a one-breasted Amazon.
Anyway, I'm not quite as lazy as I sometimes make myself out to be when it comes to producing artwork. I did attempt to make an action figure of this Amazon back on the 23rd of April, but, while things were proceeding fine, I quickly got bored with it, so, I quit after roughing out her legs. For some reason, I just don't have the patience for making many-jointed figures like I used to.
So, almost a month later, on the 22nd of May, with my deadline rapidly approaching, I finally tried again, this time with a static papier-mâché sculpture instead. By the time I called it a night, I had the figure pretty close to done as well as her weaponry.
There wasn't a whole lot else for me to model the next day other than her loin cloth and the foliage for her hair (gluing a bunch of tiny leaves onto equally miniscule branches is not for the easily frustrated . . . and I'm easily frustrated), so, that done, and after doing some fine tuning on the body in general, I got started on the painting process. To tell you the truth, I kind of prefer her this way, without the striped body paint/camouflage. And, while I do like the longer tresses on the final version, I dig this short pixie cut too.
Here she is with the camouflage stripes applied and most of her gear attached. I could have just painted the camouflage on, but I chose to cut the stripes out and glue them on instead, one-by-one. Both methods are fairly tedious, so I don't know that I'd say one is really better than the other, but decoupage does have the advantage of giving you sharper edges. I also added earrings and some straps for the spear, quiver, and knife, but those were all pretty quick, simple things. I probably should have made said dagger a bit smaller, as it's kind of comically out of scale--a handle/hilt that size would be okay for a sword, but it's a bit much for a knife. She must have some serious chopping to do.
The finished product--she reminds me of Rambo!
Newsprint, tissue paper, white notebook paper, embroidery floss (hair),
elastic string from a sock (bow string), acrylic paint, ink, and white glue.
4.4 cm (1.7") wide x 4.7 cm (1.9") high.
Excluding the spear and branches, she's 3.6 cm (1.4") tall.
Three days; May 22-24th, 2016.
Wikipedia Amazon and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner articles.
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The MIDI music playing is "Ginza" from Shin Megami Tensei.