Unfortunately, I didn't really like how I painted it, so it sat around not getting any love for a while, until I got to painting Aya's earlier version, at which point the above saw some more attention and color saturation.
The model is a fair bit out of scale with regular Survivors, since, as Malifaux models so often are, since she wasn't standing, she's larger to compensate for height and to create a more substantial presence, and the character would be some sort of 8' giant if standing.
(I don't actually have Before the Wall, I might get it somewhere down the line but, for the moment, I'm pretty burnt out on Kingdom Death's single model pricing, especially since the minimal game content has been rather poorly printed. I might some day get the model, since it's a gear set I like enough that it would regularly see use.)
I like the idea of doing various iterations of a single character. It's loosely narrative, and I basically like the character design and theme they chose, as simple as it is, with her as some sort of wandering lone warrior. But then there's the comic related to her in the back of the Kingdom Death rulebook, which I just find tasteless... This next bit was originally going to be an aside, but turned into a more in-depth analysis:
Comic Analysis/ReviewFormally, "Bonus Comic: Aya's Origin" is light on substance. The art style is nice enough, but the entire structure shows a formal immaturity, with an overreliance on flashy panel design, and weird derivative references to manga: it uses various Japanese linguistic tropes in ways that don't appear in English translation, as texture, and for some reason, evil alien monster script is written with Japanese orientation and often suggests its character. Sound effects are awkwardly constructed, and include overly demonstrative language, like "chew' or "peel," and are often not really associated with any coherent action so form texture rather than meaning. It's all fairly competently illustrated if you like a dense style, which I generally do, but shows little control, subtlety, awareness. It mostly has good pacing, though occasionally the panel order gets muddled.
Here it's worth acknowledging that there's very often, in much of horror, some sort of sexual overlap with violence. There are all the classic teen slashers and thrillers, where there's the titillation replaced with violence, redirecting the audience attention while simultaneously creating the simple conservatively retributive association of transgression with punishment. There's the body horror of Cronenberg or Carpenter, dealing with relationship to society, intellect, psyche, through gross practical effects. There's the Xenomorph/ALIENS walking metaphor for various sexual organs and fears around sex (also: The bugs aren't the monsters, we are! ...again and again). And of course there's the long tradition of vampirism's metaphorical association with sexuality and society that has lost much of its subtlety in recent years. In short, whether or not I agree with their messages, some form of statement involved in the relationship between sex and violence.
And then there's "Aya's Origin."
Aya's victory may have been intended to suggest horror's conclusion of female agency in the tradition I'd argue was at least was popularized by, ALIEN's Ellen Ripley, but I believe any such message, if intended, is lost in the comic's voyeuristic aesthetic such as in the above splash of her transformation to well-endowed adulthood, with its detailed, exaggerated physique as she lounges, rendering her as an object to be viewed, or the sheer volume of panels emphasizing her prone curves. I could try to compare it to archetypal arcs of success or growth, but these are equally muddied by the scattered narrative and problems of theme and style.
There are a number of victim-as-sexy voyeuristic elements in the company's pinup miniature line, which I also find problematic, but substantially less so, since they're mostly essentially promos, usually with no gameplay content so have no particular interaction with the game proper. However, "Aya's Origin" is right in the core rulebook, in what amounts to, in my opinion, a gratuitous but unavoidable 30-ish pages that exemplify to me my conflicted feelings on Kingdom Death, a game with extremely enjoyable mechanics but often disappointingly poor taste.
Excerpts reproduced for review purposes.