Just a woman

By Jakob Villien

There were two ideas I had in mind for Nordlys from the very beginning, when Mads and I decided to go for it and create Nordlys Miniatures. One: A female practice bust. And, two, a female hiker kit. I knew I had to see both become a reality before I could let it go. As both were really strong ideas.

I was thinking a lot about what the female bust should be. And please don’t get me wrong, I like painting female busts with big boobs and bigger weapons, honest I do. But apart from Pepa Saveedra’s ‘Women på Pepa’ and Pedro Fernandez busts it seems to me there really aren’t that money female busts that aren’t suggestive or aggressive. So I really wanted to see a bust come to life, that would both be an academic bust for practicing skin and face, and also a bust that would function as a canvas for creating characters, in the same way as Banshee’s classic and brilliant couple of Anonymous busts. But what should her expression be exactly?

I knew just who could pull this off all along; Peder Bartholdy. I talked a lot to Peder about it, and thankfully he was all aboard. She should be neither suggestive nor androgynous. But just a woman. If she is not powerful, she risks being passive and weak. And if she is powerful she risks not catching the subtlety and softness that I wanted to. And she should have breasts. Because of the simple fact that women have breasts. But she should not be sexualized. She should be neither old nor young. She should have a look that is strong but not engaged in any action. Resting and content. Powerful, but not overly so. I have been so nervous about this balance, and oddly so, as it should be pretty simple. Jane is, after all, envisioned to be just a woman. Plain and simple. 

Thankfully Peder is a brilliant mind reader as well as a brilliant sculptor, and could see how she should look in my mind before I even thought it, and created this marvelous gorgeous character. And voila, Jane was a reality within a couple of weeks. The name Jane is from Jane Doe, and is the female equivalent of John Doe. It does not have biblical connotations, although I admit, that if I was an art teacher I could put a lot of meaning into that, naked and all.

The ideas that popped in my head, interestingly, wasn’t typical characters (a marine, a doctor, etc.), but women in different settings, from different backgrounds, with different stories. All just being and not acting. Also just interesting ways to painting her. Like colours, shapes, and settings. I am not lying when I tell you that I have currently finished three, and three more in the WIP section, and at least five times as many ideas and references collected for version I would love to do. My dream is to do ten versions and display them together, and Franco Serra from Il Basetta has made me ten amazing plinths for it. But who knows if that will happen. Life, time and inspiration will decide. But in that way, Jane is as much a commercial release as it is a personal project for myself. 

Jane is what I wanted, and hopefully others will appreciate her too.  

The casting is done by Bent Ejaas. I really wanted Jane to be a community project, and for this one I talked to Bent from Crazy Goblin Miniatures about doing the casting as he just got new equipment for it. I am so sad to say that Bent is no longer with us and passed before we had the chance to release Jane. A shock to all friends and people in the community, and we will miss Bent dearly. Bent was a great friend. Full a life and passion, and I dedicate Jane to him. Bent only did a very small number of casts for the initial run. I had hoped for a long and strong cooperation with Bent. And so this means that the initial very small run of Jane is just of 25 casts of Jane, and what happens after this I am not sure at this point. All sales’ earnings go to a Danish crisis hotline called ‘Livslinjen’ of the first 25 casts. The frosty version is done in his honour. 

A many faces of Jane

The box art, the tattoo’d lady and frost are all vastly different. The box art version was mostly about painting skin and painting this model. Testing it. Seeing what it could.

Whilst the second version, the tattoed lady, was mostly about having fun. This is, admitted, not my best work, but god knows it was fun. Tattoos are always crazy hard, and these especially so as they are (supposed to be) geometrical designs. And the tiny conversions were very hard, but I had great help from Torben Ryde Pedersen with those. But the rest was just about creating a different powerful version that seems at rest in her own being proudly strutting her stuff.

The third version is piece done to handle the loss of my friend and so I will not say too much about it. It is simply about grief.  It has the tiny model Marie Fleur from Mr. Lee’s Minis attached.

I have three more in the works: A second ‘box art’ version done for commission, that i will do a step-by-step on my thoughts about painting skin, also based on some feedback I got on the first one. I will try my hardest with this one. And then there is a body painted version (classic Demi Moore suit) and Lara Croft complete with bow. 

It will be fun. I hope you will love painting Jane as much as I do.

We most probaly will be making new cast of this figure in the future. But we cannot guarantee it as nothing is planned currently.