If you have never been in, or aren’t around people who’ve been in, I would dearly love to give you a few pointers.
Let me preface this: I love it when people write military fics (be they AU or canon-fic). I love the characterizations, the story arcs you create, and the love with which you create the stories.
But I’d like to help you make the actions of military personnel as accurate as possible, so someone who’s actually in doesn’t start to read your fic and roll their eyes at some of the things you unknowingly write.
-First off, you do not salute in civilian clothes. It’s actually unauthorized. There are only two exceptions to this rule: the President is allowed to salute in civvies, and if the national anthem is playing outdoors, combat veterans are now allowed to salute. (That came about in 2010, for accurate reference.)
-Do not salute indoors, unless during a formation (but I doubt people who don’t have intimate knowledge of drill and ceremony would bother writing about a formation, so that point is mostly just thrown in for shits and giggles).
-The army and air force do not say, “sir, yes sir”. That’s a marine thing (I’m not sure about the navy, since I’m not in the navy, but I’m sure someone else could help out if there’s a question about it).
-Saying “black ops” isn’t really something we do. For the army, you’ve got SF (which is how we refer to special forces–the guys you’re probably thinking about (”green beret” is an old term for them that’s not really used anymore)) and Rangers for the two big special operations forces. SEALS are the navy force, and I apologize, but I don’t know the other branches’ special forces. Again, ask someone who’s served in that branch.
-People don’t usually refer to themselves (or others) by their ranks. Exceptions are usually made if hanging out with people from your unit speaking about a superior, such as “Yeah, LT and I were talking the other day and …”.
-Sergeants are not referred to as “sarge”. You have no idea how many people got the shit smoked out of them in basic for that error.
-Army goes through Basic Training (or Basic Combat Training now; BCT for short), and marines go through Boot Camp. Yes, there is definitely a difference in terms. Army people tend to refer to their initial training as simply “basic”. I don’t know about marines or other branches.
-Calling someone “Soldier” is really something only done on TV/film. It’s usually mocked by people who are in.
-In the army, it is against regulation to just stick your hands in your pockets. We mockingly call them “Air Force gloves”, though I don’t know if they typically put their hands in their pockets. There is also a big stigma against wearing “snivel gear”: the poly pro cold-weather protection gear worn underneath your uniform.
-The everyday Army uniforms are called ACUs (Army Combat Uniform). They are never called anything else, but especially not fatigues. If you’re going back to 2003 or earlier, the uniform was BDUs, or the Battle Dress Uniform. The tan uniforms worn during the Gulf War and first few years of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; Afghanistan) were called first chocolate chips (gulf war-era) and then DCUs (Desert Combat Uniform).
-The dress uniform is called something different depending on what time period you’re going for. Saying “dress uniform” is usually a good bet, because you’ve also got Class A’s, Class B’s, ASUs, Dress Blues, Khakis, etc.
-Typically when meeting someone else who’s in, the first things you ask are, “What’s your MOS (military occupational specialty–your job)? Where were you stationed?” Giving out rank and deployment backgrounds out of the blue don’t usually happen.
-Time spent in the military is usually referred to as simply being “in”. “How long were you in for?” is heard way more often than “how long did you serve for?” That question is usually asked by civilians.
-There are enlisted, and there are officers. Enlisted are those who start out as privates, work their way up through the NCO, or non-commissioned officer ranks: sergeant (called “buck sergeant” in a derogatory term for someone who has been freshly promoted), staff sergeant, sergeant first class, and eventually get to first sergeants and sergeants major after fifteen to thirty years in. Officers also usually start out as privates and specialists, then graduate from college and commission as second lieutenants (the derogatory term is “butter bar” and is usually used in reference to said officer’s lack of experience and knowledge) before working up to first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel (”light colonel”), and colonel (”full bird”). The general timeline is making captain (”getting your railroad tracks”) after about 5-8 years for competent officers, and spending 5-10 years as a captain.
-We do not stand at parade rest unless forced. Ever.
-Or at attention.
-When talking to an NCO, a lower enlisted will stand at parade rest. When talking to an officer, an enlisted will stand at attention.
-The highest ranking NCO is lower ranking than the lowest ranking officer.
-If you want to throw in some humor, if there is a lower enlisted (E-4 (specialist) or below) joking with an NCO, and the lower enlisted says something, the NCO can snark back with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you because you weren’t standing at the position of parade rest.” It’s a dick move usually to call people out for that, but it happens often enough that if you put that in a fic, someone who’s in will likely laugh at that for a few minutes.
-There is a term for a slacker in the army called POG (pronounced “pohg” with a long o). It stands for Personnel Other than Grunt, meaning everyone who’s not infantry. The term has transformed to mean anyone who shirks their duty or is kind of a shitbag and should be kicked out.
-There’s also a bit of a stereotype that infantry are made up of dumb guys, because you don’t need a high GT score to get that MOS. Their nomenclature for their MOS is 11B (eleven bravo), which is often referred to as an “eleven bang-bang” when trying to insult them.
-If someone is making someone else do push-ups, they do not say “drop and give me x number”. They’ll tell them either to push, or tell them to get in the front-leaning rest. The front-leaning rest position is the starting position for the push-up.
-Usually referring to basic training and AIT (advanced individual training, where you learn your military occupational specialty), you get “smoked” on a regular basis. This refers to PT (physical training), usually in the form of push-ups, flutter kicks, and sprints. It’s not fun. One of the least favorite phrases to hear in basic is, “Platoon, attention! Half-left face! Front leaning rest position, move. In cadence! Exercise!” Because that is the full command for getting people to do push-ups. There is literally no other reason for the half-left face movement. It honestly exists only for push-ups.
-It is awkward as fuck to be told “thank you for your service”. It’s wonderful that people want to show their support, but it is very difficult to respond to that without sounding like a douche.
I know I said a lot about basic training in there, but that’s because I tend to read a lot of fics that are either about basic or about deployments. I can give some pretty firm answers on basic, but everyone’s deployment is different, and I also could be violating a shit-ton of OPSEC (operation security) by telling you guys specific details about deployments. Everything I’ve told you is information you can look up on your own on the internet, but this is a bit more insider’s culture for you to help make your stuff more accurate.
And if you ever find yourself writing a military fic and have questions, by all means, inbox me. I’ve been in for almost nine years and I do have one deployment under my belt, so I can give you accurate army info. I’ve never served in any other branch, though, but I can probably give you a little bit more accurate info than what the movies do if you’ve got general questions.
Also, if you’ve got questions about PTSD, I can help with that. It’s not the cake walk that a good deal of fics portray it as, and it doesn’t always involve nightmares and aversion to touch. It can present as depression, intense anger issues, pulling away from loved ones, driving in the middle of the road, freaking out over pops, bangs, crashes and other unexpected noises, being easily startled by things other than noises, hypervigilance, the inability to sit with one’s back to the room, sudden bouts of anger, depression, tears, silence, or mood swings, among many others.
-Also, please, please, if you’re going to write about someone with a disability, or something that gave them a medical discharge, talk to me about the VA first, unless you’ve got a lot of knowledge about them. Not only am I in, but I’ve also worked professionally for the VA, some of that time in enrollment and eligibility, so I know a lot about disability pensions, who would qualify, what type of benefits they would qualify for, etc. I also know the ways that people can accidentally get screwed over from the VA. (It’s actually one of my long-term professional goals to change some of those things, so I am very passionate and very knowledgeable about it.)
TL;DR: I know shit about the military and the VA. Ask me if you have accuracy questions.
I saw Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 last friday and it was amazing!!!!! forever dying about all the colors and stupid jokes and overall ridiculousness that would never work in any other movie but looks stunning in GotG! I love Mantis she’s the #1 Bae and i can’t wait to see how she will be in Vol. 3 when Drax teaches her his weird second hand humor and sass!
Also look! i did an almost monochromatic color scheme! (first time ever??)
How realistic was Laura fighting in Logan? She's 11. Her bones would theoretically still be pretty soft, but she's also a mutant who heals almost instantly. While she does often lose to adults when they swarm her, she also kills a lot of people. In addition, she falls in a weird limbo between Child Solider and Child Raised for Combat because the people who trained her from birth treated her as disposable, and didn't try to brainwash her. As a result, she escapes ASAP. Thoughts?
Well, I haven’t seen Logan yet but the problem with the question is “realistic”. This is X-men, realism left the building ages ago. Nothing is realistic. If you’re asking about realism then you’re asking the wrong questions because superpowers change the rules. What you’re really asking is: should an eleven year old child be able to fight on the same level as an experienced warrior like Wolverine?
And the answer is, in the Marvel universe characters with healing factors (like Wolverine) have recovered from being burned into ash by the sun. So, in a setting where his healing factor is failing and he’s dying but she’s young, genetically/physically enhanced, and hers is working at full throttle then why not? She’s a tiny Logan. A rage-filled murder ball dedicated to death and destruction, created in a lab that turns human guinea pigs into ultimate weapons. So, I ask, why not? She’s doing exactly what she’s been designed to do, minus it being on the orders of someone else.
What stops children from competing with adults is three things.
1) Physical immaturity. Their bodies are still developing, and not on par with an adults.
2) Mental immaturity. Their brains are still developing, and don’t have the same basic understanding that adults do especially in regards to consequences. They don’t really grasp concepts like “death” and “gone forever” very well. Psychologically, these kids get pretty messed up.
3) Due to the above two problems, unless they have weapons, they can’t overcome the gap.
X-23 does all three. She has the healing factor, genetic enhancements, and blades coming out of her hands and front toe, all of which solve two of the above problems. They allow her to go toe to toe with adults because she can simply power or brute force her way through it. From a combat perspective, it doesn’t really matter if she gets hurt or go through serious body horror as her body will repair itself. So, someone without morals could put her through a meat grinder and still use her again. Plus, at least in X-men Evolution and the comics, she tends to be psychologically messed up. Someone who was treated as a weapon from the moment she was born, trained as a weapon, used as a weapon, and doesn’t really comprehend most “normal” human experiences. A clone with all Wolverine’s experiences, except she went through them as a child.
Laura Kinney, X-23 is by all standards a fairly new character in the Marvel universe. She was first introduced in the early 2000s through the WB cartoon X-Men: Evolution. Like Harely Quinn, she’s a canon immigrant. When she was introduced in the cartoon, she was a teenager.
In character, she was an angry violent rage-ball, a teenage version of Logan except more lost and unstable. However, the major difference between their experiences was that where Logan was an adult when he went through the Weapon X program, she was a child. She was the twenty-third test subject, and the only one who survived the experiments. X-23 was desperate to find out who she was and where she belonged; and, having been “raised” by Hydra, determined to find (and, possibly kill) Wolverine whom she viewed as responsible for everything that happened to her. That desire was mixed up in her desire to know who she was. Because she was a human weapon, she couldn’t distinguish between the two. Fighting was what she knew how to do, so that’s what she did. Her introduction was sneaking through the X-men mansion, disabling all the other mutant children and teachers in order to single Logan out to fight.
As a character, considering everything else, she was a fairly accurate representation of a child raised to be a human weapon. Psychologically traumatized, unstable, and unable to really comprehend her emotions or concepts like “friendship” and “family”. Deeply mistrustful of anyone and anything who got too close, unable to communicate her needs except through anger and violence. Any approach was likely to elicit an immediate, violent response.
She doesn’t know how to be anything except a weapon.
Logan could reach her because Logan understood what she’d been through, but he also couldn’t really help her and it took a long time before she came to trust him (if she ever really did). That door didn’t open often for anyone else.
If you want to see her first appearances then the episodes to watch are “X23″ and “Target X”.
The name “Laura Kinney” comes (I think) from the comics as she originally did not have any name other than X-23.
In the comics, she’s another of the Weapon X subjects and the 23 refers to her gender rather than the number of times it took to create her. She escapes like she does in the movie, and eventually starts trying to figure out who she is.
It’s not really worth asking questions about realism when a setting has explicitly ejected realism. Have a good guffaw over anyone trying to argue about the “realism of Batman”. There isn’t any. The setting has defined its own definition of realism and that’s what it follows. Realism isn’t everything, and it doesn’t define what a good story is. Often, it’s not even the question you should be asking. Avatar: the Las Airbender has some awesome fighting for a children’s cartoon, fighting clearly drawn (ha!) from martial arts in the real world. However, it is by no means realistic. And, honestly, that doesn’t matter.
Well-told stories are defined by how well they tell their stories, and maintain their suspension of disbelief. Everything else after that is popcorn. Realism comes into play when we admire how well someone has done their research, how well that research supports and enhances our experience when consuming media. You don’t want to understand combat just for an added dose of realism, but also because knowledge gives us more options to work with. The more you know, the more detail you can add. All the better to create a more enjoyable experience, my dear.
Understanding the rules is the first step in figuring out how to break them, or just manipulate them to your advantage. Whatever works.
I have a fat character I want to draw but she ends up looking weird no matter how hard I try... :< Do you know any tutorials on how to draw larger people?
I can totally understand your frustration. We’re taught to draw thin bodies a lot more often and thoroughly than we’re taught to draw fat ones, so learning how to draw larger bodies can definitely be a struggle, even for fat artists. But I’ve rustled up some links that should hopefully prove useful to you and other artists dealing with the same problem.
Once you get past the part about abs this one’s got some really good information and reference on how to draw how fat looks realistically: “Understanding Anatomy VII“ (that whole tutorial series looks to be helpful on drawing anatomy, so I recommend checking the other parts out too)
This one doesn’t cover larger fats, but it does have some good stuff about distributions of fat on the body and variations on fatness: “Varying Your Body Types”
Here’s a short, not-terribly-thorough one (that’s got some complaints in it on unrealistic depictions of fatness in fat-fetishistic art, just fyi), but which makes good points on incorporating gravity into depictions of fatness so the fat doesn’t look like balloons: “How To Draw Fat Women”
This one’s a short tutorial (that has minor problematic language) about how to draw waists that’s inclusive of smaller fat bodies. “Female Waist Tutorial”
A short tutorial about drawing hips, inclusive of smaller fat hips. Not a lot to it, but helpful to glance over. “Female Hip Tutorial”
“Drawing Fat on the Body is a video tutorial that covers some helpful advice on how to draw fat bodies building off of prior knowledge of drawing thin bodies. Doesn’t cover different types of fat bodies/fat distribution and has some other imperfections, but a decent beginner starting point. ” (contains some mild problematic language)
“How to Draw Fat Bodies” Here’s a short post with some good general tips to keep in mind when attempting to draw fat people.
(One of the sadder parts of finding these was sifting through different tutorials and finding ones that were teaching how to draw really inaccurate or over-simplified fat anatomy, or included really fatphobic language or commentary in the tutorial =.=)
Here’s a Site which contains lots of pictures of different women searchable by height, age, weight, etc. that looks really helpful: “My Body Gallery.com”
A site with a lot of great full-body pictures of people organized by their height and weight (referential to the bs BMI system, but still great art reference) “Cockeyed: Height / Weight”
Otherwise, if you want to search for fat reference on tumblr, I’d suggest looking through tags and blogs that often contain selfies/photos of fat people, since when you’re trying to learn how fat actually looks, nothing is more accurate reference for it than the real thing.
HOWEVER, you must be respectful in your use of these tags or blogs for reference!!!! As in DO NOT draw people straight out of any photos you find and post your work unless you get permission from the subjects you’ve drawn and/or their photographers. If you do draw random people you see in the tag, then treat your drawings as practice/study and confine whatever you make to your sketchbook for your own eyes.
But I do wholly advocate looking at all sorts of images of fat people and really paying attention to all the different ways their fat manifests itself and looks, and then practicing drawing figures inspired by what you’ve observed.
(please note that some of these tags and blogs listed below may contain nudity/nsfw content:)
(If you see your blog linked to above and would rather it not be pointed to as a place to find reference of fat bodies, just let me know and I’ll take it off right away.)
Anyways, hope this helps! And if you know of, find, or make any more tutorials, references sources, etc., please do message me with the links to be added onto this post!!! I’ll update this as I find/receive more stuff to add.
(Updated: 5/31/15 with 8 new additions to the fat drawing tutorial and fat reference photo sections)
Hey its me (idk if you remember those lol) I was wondering how did you draw bodies? Everytime I try to do them they do that turn out right (love your work btw it gives me life ^^)
aw please you’re making me blush ^^ but really I don’t think I’m the best person to ask about this bc I don’t draw bodies that often, and when I do, they’re strictly based on references (which honestly is the greatest thing to do imo). that being said, I’ll try to show how I generally go about it?? but keep in mind that this is just what works for me and there is no ‘right’ way to do things! also this got a bit long so I apologize TT
first, I feel like having a really good understanding of anatomy really helps. I actually took about a month out of my art to focus solely on learning anatomy, one section of the body at a time. basically studying why the body looks and moves the way it does combined with practice practice
practice~ Here are a few resources:
Sycra and Sinix Design anatomy tutorials on youtube (I’ve been following these guys forever and their channels have played a huge part in helping me improve in my art. I highly recommend checking out the rest of their videos as well)
figure drawing practice (this site is amazing bc it lets you specify gender, nude/clothed, and how long you have to draw each pose)
I also have this tutorial here primarily showing how I go about making my lineart, but it also shows how I go about getting my proportions right (as also explained below)
As shown in my lineart tutorial, my primary method is not to jump right into sketching specific body parts, but to give my eye something to work off of. this is a bit similar to drawing gray scale silhouettes or thumbnails for character or landscape concepts.
so in the above gif (oohh look at me making gifs again) my general process is basically just creating new layers on top of each other,
using what I’ve learned from my anatomy studies and moving from ‘broad to specific’, lowering the opacity of each one as i finish them:
start with just blocking in a big blob of color in the shape of my ref pose. literally just getting the overall shape down onto my work space so that I’m not starting from a blank canvas
block out the general shapes of the limbs, torso, and head
sketch in a very rough line art just to show the actual shape and form, as well as where things actually start and end, including any needed symmetry guidelines
and then use that to help guide the more detailed rough line art, working from the reference. even in the above gif, that’s not even what I would use as a final line art. if this was to be a clean drawing with line art and cell shading, I would go back for another layer with a small hard round brush and reeealllyyy get those details nice and clean. but if this was going to be a painting, I would stop here and use what I have as a guide for blocking in color and rendering out the features in detail
as for getting proportions right, like I said, it’s really just a lot of practice and training your eyes and hand to duplicate references as accurately as possible~
and that’s really it?? i hope that helps, even if just a little bit ^^