I've always loved strong women warriors. Growing up I read the Red Sonja series among numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I always loved the art on the covers. Boris Vallejo and the Brother's Hildebrandt book covers heavily influenced my vision of the characters. But, I always found it unbelievable to have these strong women in scant armor. I always thought you could be strong and sexy without exposing everything. I mean, the guys had full plate armor. Why were the girls barely protected?
Fast forward many years later and I meet this fantastic leather armorer, Peter Vanslyke of Stoptroll. His work is lovely and his appreciation for the female form shows. His leather wear fits without exposing every little bit of skin. The leather hugs in the right places and boosts and minimizes in exactly where it should.
Martina Weiss created a perfectly dewy makeup look complete with dirt. We wanted Melissa to look like she'd been in battle. Martina knew exactly how she wanted to create the look, making sure Melissa looked gorgeous, with just a sheen of sweat.
Melissa is a tiny powerhouse. She brought the fierce looks and a great attitude. She was a trooper, hefting a heavy and ornate sword while never breaking character. Well, okay, maybe we laughed a few times.
Photographer/retoucher: Donna Macauley
Makeup: Martina Weiss
Model: Melissa Frith
Sword: Licata Custom Knives