Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

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Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 0:12

I'd been thinking about making some changes to Elisabetta's appearance. This has taken on some additional urgency since I decided to let Kiskaloo use her in his new fanfic project if he wants to. I figure that at this point I really ought to start to nail down some things about her appearance.

Problem is, my knowledge of girl's fashion terminology is rather poor. I have some ideas of what I want with Elisabetta, but they aren't quite concrete yet. I need to solidify them a bit and also figure out how to describe them properly (and succinctly).

Anyhow, to give you an idea who this character is: Elisabetta is about fourteen years old and 4'11 in height, with a light build. She has blue eyes and long brown hair (how long I haven't decided yet). She is energetic, intelligent, and very mischievious. She is also extremely cute and well aware of that fact.

She's also quite graceful and light on her feet (nymph-like might actually be a decent description of her in some respects). In her more energetic moods you might see her spin around a bit, or stand on her tip toes. If she's just lying on her bed and suddenly decides to get up and do something you might see her spread her arms, press into the bed a bit, lift her legs into the air, spring forward, and land daintily on her feet, more or less all in one go. She's got pretty good balance.

I had been thinking of doing something with ribbons or bows for her hair, but I'm not completely sure what, other than the fact I don't particularly want to braid it (though that could also be a possibility). Garments wise I'm thinking perhaps something light and flowy (if this seems like a disaster waiting to happen given her energy level, she can just wear gym shorts underneath or something).

Lastly I need to conceal her sidearm in such a way that she can easily access it. Currently that sidearm is listed as a Ruger GP-100 revolver with a three inch barrel, but I've been thinking of replacing it with some kind of large or small automatic of some kind. A Sig Sauer P239 (straight black, not two tone like Etta's) seems like a good contender in some respects due in part to its small size. I don't want her to have to carry a large bag or anything to carry her sidearm since she already has the viola case to lug around, although a small bag or pouch might work if she can access the weapon quickly from it.

Any suggestions on outfits or hairstyles that could help turn this from a general impression of what I want the character to look like into something more concrete that's not too difficult to describe?


Last edited by Piero on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 21:05; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 2:02

Here's one nobody has used for an OC yet;

Most of the hair loose, but with one single braid in the center.
Piero wrote:Lastly I need to conceal her sidearm in such a way that she can easily access it.
I'll leave the fashion & attire to those who know more about such topics, but the hidden firearm is something I've had to consider as well. My own OC isn't exactly a purse carrying kind of girl, and wearing a jacket would be a dead giveaway during a hot Mediterranean summer.

Although I only brought it up in one episode, my Marisa keeps her pistol strapped to her thigh. While this does necessitate yanking up her own skirt to pull the weapon there are seldom survivors left to tell the world what color underwear she has on.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 4:54

Well, "light and flowy" doesn't always have to equal "short".

Clothes wise (as something to start off with at least) if you're set on a dress I'd look at some summer dresses:


Perhaps something with an empire waistline (needs to be handled carefully, they have a nasty habit of making people look pregnant):


or a shirt-dress, possibly belted:



Other options could be the go-to baby-doll t-shirt or even a ruffled skirt if she's that way inclined... frankly no-one does "girly cute" quite like the Japanese do (at least without landing on the border of "Hipster", which I don't personally mind but might not suit the character), so I'd look to there maybe.

Dresses and skirts do come with the advantage of being able to conceal a firearm with resonable ease, though it does mean hitching the garment up... I don't know where Elisabetta stands on this subject, whether it be like Marisa who leaves no man standing, or Monty who views it as some sort of occupational hazard, or some completely different view. Monty generally tends to carry her PPK in the waistband (with a shirt bloused or draped over it) or in a shoulder holster if she's wearing a jacket or suit, though it has been on her thigh regularly and in a purse.

That is however a somewhat smaller firearm than the P239.

Hair... drawing a blank I'm afraid: I'm guessing she wouldn't be one for the low-maintinence top-knot you see around a bit these days... which I have a love/hate relationship with.


As a side note: one other thing to consider would possibly be what her handler's tastes in clothing etc. are seeing as they're the one who will a) initially clothe her and b) be forking out for all of this. I've got a few other things to clear this weekend first, but if I have a chance I might take a stab at sketching Elisabetta.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 21:20

Wow, thanks. Wasn't expecting anyone to want to try sketching her!

Sonia is very fond of Elisabetta, perhaps a little more so than is good for Elisabetta's discipline. She'd be more than happy to provide her charge with some cute outfits (assuming they weren't too hard on her pocketbook).

A loose fitting summer dress of some kind is definitely a good way to go with this character. A very high waistline with a very long skirt seems like it would suit her. Maybe something like this? (Although I wonder if that strapless design is okay for a character as young as she looks. Well, that and I wonder a bit about the amount of lace too. Laughing)

Hair wise, I'm wondering if there's some sort of loose style that could incorporate a large bow to either side without going for the traditional twintails route. Laughing

I'm tempted to say the P239 is a small gun, but it actually is big enough (and heavy enough) that carrying it strapped to her thigh could get uncomfortable. So perhaps some sort of small pouch with a lengthy shoulder strap (long enough to position the pouch at about waist level) is the way to go. I'd been thinking zippers would make quick access a pain, but a simple flap with a clasp or a bit of velcro to hold it shut could probably allow for sufficiently rapid access.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 22:14

Piero wrote:A loose fitting summer dress of some kind is definitely a good way to go with this character. A very high waistline with a very long skirt seems like it would suit her. Maybe something like this? (Although I wonder if that strapless design is okay for a character as young as she looks. Well, that and I wonder a bit about the amount of lace too. )
That I actually quite like... I don't see anything wrong with strapless, particularly in summer. If you're worried about it she could always throw a light jacket (I'm picturing something in denim) or open blouse over the top. The lace makes it look quite vintage in some ways, but again I see no issue with it... I assume Elisabetta's a fairly "girly" girl?

Piero wrote:Hair wise, I'm wondering if there's some sort of loose style that could incorporate a large bow to either side without going for the traditional twintails route.
I'll admit to classing twin-tails as something which looks good in anime but kinda dicky in real life, I'm also not a great fan of semetrical hair decoration, but whatever floats your boat... maybe some sort of headband with decoration on it?

Piero wrote:I'm tempted to say the P239 is a small gun, but it actually is big enough (and heavy enough) that carrying it strapped to her thigh could get uncomfortable. So perhaps some sort of small pouch with a lengthy shoulder strap (long enough to position the pouch at about waist level) is the way to go. I'd been thinking zippers would make quick access a pain, but a simple flap with a clasp or a bit of velcro to hold it shut could probably allow for sufficiently rapid access.
"Small" is relative: remember I'm coming from working with Jethro + Monty who don't use their guns very often (fun fact: in six issues of comic and almost 120k words of story, Monty has yet to fire her PPK... ditto Jethro with his P230) and tend to utilise them more as something to wave under people's noses to make sure they have their attention.

Also remember: Elisabetta's still a cyborg, weight won't be much of an issue.

I'll be honest, I tend to let what I need for the story dictate how Monty's carrying. If what she's doing may not be that practical in real life I'll tend to shrug my shoulders and hope nobody notices Half the time I don't even really bother specifying how she's carrying. That said: J+M's needs are probably a bit differnt/more varied than most fratelli. If you're looking for a standared way for Elisabetta to carry, then I still think the thigh is probably a decent one, bag wise, unless you can go to a tote which would be large enough to just leave the top open, Velcro or some sort of magnetic catch would be a decent opening... something non fiddly which can be operated one-handed.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 22:20

Also, remind me again what Elisabetta's ethnicity is?

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 22:53

Alfisti wrote:[That I actually quite like... I don't see anything wrong with strapless, particularly in summer. If you're worried about it she could always throw a light jacket (I'm picturing something in denim) or open blouse over the top. The lace makes it look quite vintage in some ways, but again I see no issue with it... I assume Elisabetta's a fairly "girly" girl?

Aside from the tendency to lug around big, black, nasty looking, large calibre rifles and shotguns in a viola case, yes. But then the contrast between her cutesiness and the very large, nasty looking guns she tends to favor is deliberate.

I'm still a little unsure about going too heavy on the lace though.

Piero wrote:I'll admit to classing twin-tails as something which looks good in anime but kinda dicky in real life, I'm also not a great fan of semetrical hair decoration, but whatever floats your boat... maybe some sort of headband with decoration on it?

A hairband with a very large bow on either side does kind of fit what I'm aiming for... Do you find that tacky/repulsive by any chance?

Piero wrote:"Small" is relative: remember I'm coming from working with Jethro + Monty who don't use their guns very often (fun fact: in six issues of comic and almost 120k words of story, Monty has yet to fire her PPK... ditto Jethro with his P230) and tend to utilise them more as something to wave under people's noses to make sure they have their attention.

Also remember: Elisabetta's still a cyborg, weight won't be much of an issue.

It's not so much a matter of whether she can handle the gun (she can easily do that), but whether it's comfortable to wear strapped to a thigh. Supposedly trying to strap a heavy gun to your thight can be quite uncomfortable. Quick access to spare magazines is also an issue, hence another reason I'm favoring a small bag with a long enough shoulder strap to position it near her waist. That being said it would be a quite small bag since she's already lugging around a viola case and I don't want her to come across as too much of a packrat.

Also, she's Italian.

What else would it be useful to know at this point?

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Fri 6 Apr 2012 - 0:25

Piero wrote:I'm still a little unsure about going too heavy on the lace though.
Then maybe something like link. I would suggest trying a maxi-dress as well, but I think that's getting too long to remain in the real of "cute". For the lace, if it doesn't fit it doesn't fit... I guess I used to spend a fair bit of time hanging with the fashion kids at uni so am used to seeing a whole lot of the stuff worn.


Piero wrote:A hairband with a very large bow on either side does kind of fit what I'm aiming for... Do you find that tacky/repulsive by any chance?
Not really my thing to be honest, but different strokes...


Piero wrote:It's not so much a matter of whether she can handle the gun (she can easily do that), but whether it's comfortable to wear strapped to a thigh. Supposedly trying to strap a heavy gun to your thight can be quite uncomfortable. Quick access to spare magazines is also an issue, hence another reason I'm favoring a small bag with a long enough shoulder strap to position it near her waist. That being said it would be a quite small bag since she's already lugging around a viola case and I don't want her to come across as too much of a packrat.

Also, she's Italian.

What else would it be useful to know at this point?
Facial shape perhaps?

I think I meant more that the weight of it being strapped to her leg shouldn't be as much of an issue in terms of comfort, though there's still obviously other factors. As to bags, I'm sure there's some small handbags which could be used... and I think Galco make a couple of bags with inbuilt holsters as well. Maybe even a small, vintage camera bag?







Camera bags are also good because they're generally protective and designed to be accessed in a hurry, not to mention usually have quite long straps as well.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Fri 6 Apr 2012 - 1:00

Alfisti wrote:Then maybe something like link. I would suggest trying a maxi-dress as well, but I think that's getting too long to remain in the real of "cute". For the lace, if it doesn't fit it doesn't fit... I guess I used to spend a fair bit of time hanging with the fashion kids at uni so am used to seeing a whole lot of the stuff worn.

The one in your link would probably suit her too. (As far as the one I found goes, I still think it suits her quite aside from the lace, which I'm a bit unsure on, but not really totally against either.)

As far as her hair goes, could those big bows be attached using clips of some kind?

Facial shape perhaps?

Dang, I'm having some trouble on that one. Main thing is that I don't think she'd have a wide face since he overall build is pretty slight. Probably best not to get too far in the other direction either though.

Edit: you know what, despite what I just said let's go with "round" as her face shape.

I think I meant more that the weight of it being strapped to her leg shouldn't be as much of an issue in terms of comfort, though there's still obviously other factors. As to bags, I'm sure there's some small handbags which could be used... and I think Galco make a couple of bags with inbuilt holsters as well. Maybe even a small, vintage camera bag?

There were a few things I came across for bags, although a few of them are a bit expensive and/or include a few problematic features. But they do provide some general ideas.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/42800605/small-shoulder-pouch-think-spring
http://www.nwtrader.com/shoulder_bag.html
http://www.swedishhasbeens.com/small-shoulder-bag-p-14.html

I'm also thinking an extra long strap would be a good idea so she can wear it across the body. I don't think she ever really lets this bag get away from her in the field, so why not go for a design that won't slip off easily?


Last edited by Piero on Fri 6 Apr 2012 - 1:10; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Looked up a few things.)

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Fri 6 Apr 2012 - 6:38

Piero wrote:The one in your link would probably suit her too. (As far as the one I found goes, I still think it suits her quite aside from the lace, which I'm a bit unsure on, but not really totally against either.)

As far as her hair goes, could those big bows be attached using clips of some kind?
They could be tied, or glued to a headband, but yeah: attaching to clips would be the easiest way.


Piero wrote:I'm also thinking an extra long strap would be a good idea so she can wear it across the body. I don't think she ever really lets this bag get away from her in the field, so why not go for a design that won't slip off easily?
Yeah, I'd sort of figured it would be across the body. Shoulder bags are fine for walking from point a to point b, but the minute you need to move around a bit they become awkward.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Fri 6 Apr 2012 - 14:08

Actually I guess what I'm thinking of with the hair decs is a couple of very large ribbon bows. Something along these lines perhaps:
http://www.cheeretc.com/images/cheerbows/TLB100-1MYGGFS.jpg
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/206024275/hair_ribbons.html

Yeah, I know that's a bit extreme but I do not have very many really cutesy characters with longer hair (still haven't decided for sure quite how long "long" is). There aren't that many of my other characters who seem well suited to having a couple of enormous ribbon bows worked into their hair.

As much as I'd like to keep that bag small, concealing a 168x130x31mm pistol and a few spare magazines probably means it can't be too tiny. With a top flap design I imagine Elisabetta carries the thing with the barrel pointed down so she can just reach in and grab the grip.

Thanks for all the help. As much as I'm not entirely certain about some things like face shape this is at least starting to come together.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 10:21

Ok, first pass sketch:



Took the strapless dress from before and de-laced it a little, so it's just lace around the hem, but still made from a light material with an under-dress to prevent it from being see-through. Also had a quick stab and organising a bag for her P239... imagine the internal layout shown there as flipped to allow a cross-body draw:I don't know about her, but when I'm wearing a messenger bag I tend to hang it toward my weak side. If she does the same then she'll need an across-body draw, so the grip facing forward rather than back.

Stilil not sold on the double bows though, but your character not mine Wink

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by tremec6speed on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 16:22

Nice dress, very summer and airy, it's cool but I have to comment on the art even more, the girl looks very cute, Alfisti! Two thumbs up! Good Good
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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by MP5 on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 22:49

*looks at the sketch for Elisabetta*

HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Sun 8 Apr 2012 - 2:12

Awesome. Thanks dude!

It's cool that you went to all the work to figure out how the layout for her shoulder bag worked, I'd actually only given you the dimensions so you'd have a general idea of how big the bag would be. Laughing

I actually imagined she'd carry the bag strong side for a faster draw, but no need to sweat the small details.

Anyway, thanks again for the awesome picture! Smile

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Sun 8 Apr 2012 - 5:24

Piero wrote:Awesome. Thanks dude!

It's cool that you went to all the work to figure out how the layout for her shoulder bag worked, I'd actually only given you the dimensions so you'd have a general idea of how big the bag would be.

I actually imagined she'd carry the bag strong side for a faster draw, but no need to sweat the small details.

Anyway, thanks again for the awesome picture! Smile
Well then, I guess there's no need to flip the bag's contents over...

No worries mate, glad you like it.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Mon 9 Apr 2012 - 13:04

I hope you aren't too upset that after all the work you did sketching out the bag with a P239 I went and changed her pistol to a CZ 2075 RAMI. I'd favored the Sig for some practical reasons such as ease of getting features like night sights and a threaded barrel, but ended up deciding that the RAMI had some advantages such as not being the same gun Henrietta uses and a higher magazine capacity, particularly with the fourteen round extended magazine.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Tue 10 Apr 2012 - 5:02

Piero wrote:I hope you aren't too upset that after all the work you did sketching out the bag with a P239 I went and changed her pistol to a CZ 2075 RAMI. I'd favored the Sig for some practical reasons such as ease of getting features like night sights and a threaded barrel, but ended up deciding that the RAMI had some advantages such as not being the same gun Henrietta uses and a higher magazine capacity, particularly with the fourteen round extended magazine.
Eh it doesn't really matter what gun's in there, the bag was more an exercise in seeing how a gun and a couple of spare mags could be carried and still look like a decent bag. The only real difference would possibly be to account for the double stack (I assume) mags or any other size variations... if you were writing I'd just state it fit a gun and two mags neatly.

To be honest I was sort of wondering how long it was going to take you to decide to re-arm her, for exactly the reasons you've just stated.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Wed 11 Apr 2012 - 22:55

So you noticed my tendency to frequently change my mind about what my OCs are armed with?

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Alfisti on Thu 12 Apr 2012 - 6:35

Piero wrote:So you noticed my tendency to frequently change my mind about what my OCs are armed with?
A bit... but also, it IS sort of 'Etta's gun and it is also slightly short on the round count for what it sounds like Elisabetta's doing. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you're basically looking for a compact version of a full-size combat pistol for her.

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Re: Help figuring out Elisabetta's appearance...

Post by Piero on Thu 12 Apr 2012 - 22:27

I'll admit Elisabetta was conceived as more of a "troubleshooter" than a spy, although she's pretty smart, so she might be able to handle more subtle jobs if properly trained. The main question is just whether she's mature enough to handle it.

I was looking for something more than the usual "slice a bit off the front and bottom' and call it a "compact" with the RAMI. The RAMI is actually often referred to as a Subcompact. It's actually very similar in size to a P239. It's a bit thicker due to the double stack magazine, but it's actually shorter with the 10 round magazine and only slightly taller with the 14 round extended magazines.

Here's a comparison between the RAMI and some other pistols:

RAMI with extended magazine vs. Full Size CZ75B
RAMI with flush magazine vs. CZ 75 Compact (Height it pretty close to identical if the RAMI is using the extended magazine.)
RAMI with flush magazine vs. Baby Glock (Glock 26 Subcompact)

Granted using the extended magazine increases size considerably, but she can probably get away with it using the bag. And she can switch to the flush fit 10 rounders if she ever needs to carry it on her person rather than in her bag.

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