#FEMbruary Female Figure Number Four: 1970s Space Princess on the painting table

IWD22 – it’s March 8th and International Women’s Day, traditionally over the last couple of years the end of the FEMbruary female figure painting challenge.

No winners on this FEMbruary challenge 2022 but I think Marvin (Suburban Militarism Blog) has excelled himself with painting the WREN / WRNS signallers from the Bad Squiddo ‘Women Of World War Two’ range by Annie Norman.

Anyway, today’s International Women’s Day Post becomes Intergalactic Women’s Day with the important topic …

Leggings or bare legs in outer space? That SciFi Space Princess costume dilemma!

I mentioned at the end of my last FEMbraury post to ‘watch this Space’ and that #FEMbruary figure No. 4 would be out of this world. And she is …

An oddity or rarity, this Space Princess from the 1981 Space Warriors set is possibly the only female 54mm Airfix Plastic figure? Outside of the Beach Buggy kit and other vehicle passengers, that is.

Here she is pictured alongside the prepainted 54mm Hasbro Figure of the most classic movie Space Princess of them all, Leia Organa from the first 1977 Star Wars movie.

I first featured Leia and the Airfix Space Princess in a 2018 blog post, so it’s only taken four years to paint the one: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/march-reading-minor-galactic-epic-fail/

The Space Princess from the 1981 Airfix Space Warriors set is showing as much thigh as the Space Prince, both with 70s / 80s big space hair.

This Space Prince / Pilot is still on the painting table as not quite finished and, like the Space Princess, not yet gloss varnished – both await the right planetary atmosphere (or fine weather) for varnishing.

I don’t have my original Airfix Space Warriors box forty years later, and as I don’t intentionally collect expensive vintage boxes, I tracked some examples down online on the useful reference source of the Worthpoint archive.

This shows how Airfix illustrators or designers in 1981 think our leggy blonde Space Princess (and Prince) should look with her 70s big hair and shiny space boots.

Very 70s Bionic Woman / Charlie’s Angels Flicky hair Farrah Fawcett (Majors)? Or even earlier 1968 Jane Fonda in Barbarella?

The Airfix Space Warriors figures from 1981 appear to be inspired by several films and this no doubt also helped Airfix avoid copyright or piracy by only referencing or borrowing a few elements such as the Cylon Helmet design from Battlestar Galactica.

Leggings, bare legs or thigh boots in space? The similar USA Tim Mee Toys Galaxy Laser Team packaging and figures.

The Space Prince / Pilot pose in the Airfix Space Warriors figures seems very very similar to this Battlestar Galactica publicity photo / US magazine cover of (l to r) Richard Hatch, Lorne Greene and Dirk Benedict (Apollo, Adama, Starbuck)

My Space Prince / Pilot and Space Princess (above) have a suitably 70s beige and brown colour scheme, partly inspired by the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica uniforms, as seen in the colour photos of my paperback / junior novelisation and Pinterest moodboard uniform reference shots.

Below, Battlestar Galactica (1978) female costumes of fighter pilots Jane Seymour (Serina), Maren Jensen (Athena) and Anne Lockhart (Sheba)

Maren Jensen (Athena)

Anne Lockhart (Sheba)

Great rugged space cowboy type uniforms – I wonder, why are so many American SciFi series basically Space Wild Westerns?

Space Princesses

After Princess Leia, 70s and 80s Sci Fi featured increasingly dark, gutsy or feisty female characters, not always needing to be blonde damsels in distress (and minimal dress) to be rescued by men.

Hasbro Plastic toy figure version of Scavenger Space Princess Rey, turned Jedi / Samurai Warrior Rey from Star Wars VI, VII and IX.

Hmm, that Star Wars / Samurai / Space film and costume connection again?

By the 2010s (the Teenies?) these feisty female dark haired SciFi heroines like Princess Leia had morphed under Disney direction into parentless young desert scavenger Rey, the main young female character of the final three Star Wars films VII, VIII and IX or Jyn Erso in Star Wars: Rogue One (2016).

The Disney franchise toy figure version from Rogue One of a modern Space Princess cowboy look. Image source: Starwars.com

The Star Wars cast of humans (now under the Disney franchise) is notably now much more diverse in age, ethnicity and gender. You can now aspire to be a middle-aged woman fighter or cargo pilot in outer space!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/04/may-the-4th-be-with-you-happy-international-star-wars-day-2021/

If you only watch one Star Wars film after the first and best 1977 movie, its immediate stand-alone prequel Rogue One is well worth watching.

Sometimes SciFi seems to imaginatively break the glass ceiling before other forms of popular culture or breakdown the STEM barriers of Science Technology Engineering and Maths to women and different backgrounds.

Likewise the female fighter pilots of Battlestar Galactica 1978 continued to evolve into frontline roles of female pilots, President and technicians of the grungy Battlestar Galactica reboot TV series of 2004-2009 (currently free to view on BBC I-Player).

This Toyboarders female skateboarder is pretty much in Battlestar Galactica 2004 reboot type grunge costume … skateboard or hoverboard?

The recent Trekkie homage series The Orville (Disney) like the original Star Trek also scored or made a few valuable points in this area.

Image source: IMDB The question is: Which ones are enemy Cylons in human form?

I have one or two more copies of the Airfix Space Princess figure stored away somewhere, which gives me a chance to paint several uniform and skin colour variations. More FEMbruary believable female gaming miniatures!

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That TimMee Galaxy Laser Team (slightly scary) female space alien with console, painted to match the others with Battlestar Galactica inspired costumes.

I well remember The 70s for its various design shades of brown …

SciFi series like Star Trek were important for breaking barriers like multiracial casts and multiracial relationships including the famous Star Trek Captain Kirk / Uhura kiss

In ‘real life’ there are some great stories and films about women behind the scenes of The Space Race like Hidden Figures about three African-American women working as ‘computers’ for NASA. Trailer here: https://youtu.be/td-PoTfWSEs

Or Gladys West, the African-American woman “whose work was instrumental in developing the mathematics behind GPS … When Mrs West started her career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in the US state of Virginia in 1956, just one other black woman and two black men worked alongside her.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-43812053

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DMZ – With events in Eastern Europe as they are, I‘m giving the “war games” a rest for the time being and focussing on some alternative tabletop strategy games such as snowball fight rules, Scouting Wide Games and the skateboard / paintball splat attack / suffragette bill posting on wheels variants of Splafiti.

https://manoftinblogtwo.wordpress.com/2022/02/24/some-more-peaceful-or-non-lethal-tabletop-strategy-games/

My DMZ demilitarised games and posts are also listed on my Scouting Wide Games blog summary pages:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com

There will come a time when I wish to return to gaming the epic struggles of good and evil in outer space, whether it’s inspired by Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, the space samurai Japanese version Message from Space or even the bizarre Turkish martial arts Star Wars film piracy.

My Close Little Space Wars rules, developed from Donald Featherstone, War Games (1962)

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/close-little-space-wars/

And my rough Back Yarden Planet / Galaxy 2016 game with mostly a motley of unpainted space figures and pound store plastics: skirmish game report here

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/in-a-garden-far-far-away/

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My favourite Star Wars / Dad’s Army useless trivia fact:

The lovely old Arnold Ridley, the weak bladdered Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army, is the great uncle of Daisy Ridley, the young British actress who plays Rey in the final three Star Wars main films.

FEMbruary Lite 2022?

If you’ve not seen them, check out Marvin at Suburban Militarism blog and his beautifully painted FEMbruary 2022 offerings in the form of Bad Squiddo WW2 WREN signallers:

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2022/02/23/fembruary-wrens/

Alex at Lead Ballooney blog, the organiser / founder of FEMbruary is having a bit of a lighter year or year off from FEMbruary this year to do a charity sporting Three Peaks challenge – support him at : https://leadballoony.com/2022/02/23/fembruary-minis-a-3-peaks-update/

Blog post by Mark Man of TIN Two blog, FEMbruary / IWD March 8th 2022

7 thoughts on “#FEMbruary Female Figure Number Four: 1970s Space Princess on the painting table”

    1. Thanks Guru PIG – there is a whole lot of stuff I left out as well on the fascinating topic of feisty gutsy Space Princesses evolving from the damsels in distress (or commonly enough, lack of dress) in space.

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  1. Interesting post Mark. I was also reminded of Logan’s Run re costume. You have done the figures proud with your painting.
    Perhaps , in the light of your DMZ vibe the space folk could be used in Laserquest type games?

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    1. Laser Quest – This is the useful “cloak of romance” approach, Laser Quest is an interesting demilitarised DMZ approach that I was chatting about to the Wargaming Pastor Deathzap.
      Visiting with extended family, one of our local indoor soft play areas has a Laser Quest area with CCTV and big B+W screens up outside, jumpcut flicking through the cameras. It makes for a crazy Alien / SciFi style grainy film footage.

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    2. I remember the Logan’s Run film and series well. A very young Jenny Agutter …
      Typical of those classical Grecian style SciFi costumes, space togas for all, all a bit Flash Gordon (both 30s and 80s).

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  2. Excellent – a very interesting overview of those sci-fi ladies. I did love the beguiling Airfix space warriors, trying to decide what they represented, were they ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and maybe I did have a thing for the princess and her shiny space boots.

    For classic sci-fi music to go with this Intergalactic / International Women’s Day post there is, of course, female electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire and her wonderful Dr Who theme.

    And thank you for the unofficial FEMbruary accolade – I’ll accept that very happily! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks Marvin. The Space Warriors remain a bit of a puzzle of pieces or maybe to misquote Bowie, a Space Oddity.
      Good suggestion of soundtrack for IWD / IGWD on March 8th – Delia Derbyshire cropped up in BBC series Dick and Dom’s Absolute Genius (along with rationing champion Elsie Widdowson in a separate episode) on https://youtu.be/D8frzECIHD4

      Liked by 1 person

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