TF2 Female Spy WIP

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Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
So I'm working on this female Spy model. The main focus with my character mods, as far as aesthetics, is to reinterpret them in a way that conveys the same personality and style of the original character. It'll be playable in-game, so I need to take into consideration certain gameplay elements, as well as maintaining the same proportions for rigging.

I'm still in an early stage, so I'm at a point where I'd really like to hear thoughts from as many people as I can. Here's my latest progress, as well as some of the earlier ideas. Right now I'm debating over the pea coat idea, for the sake of the silhouette, despite it being more generally Jackie O-ish than cheesy spy-ish (and also more suggestive of cold weather, contrary to most TF2 maps).

Anyway, I hope to get the final design nailed down soon so I can start texturing. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)


Female_Spy_sketch_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

Female_Spy_sketches_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

Female_Spy_variations_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

Female_Spy_face_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

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  • MattQ86
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    MattQ86 polycounter lvl 10
    Good stuff, solid start. I'd say the one on the left has a more distinct silhouette. Also the lines of the belt would draw your eye toward the weapon she's carrying, a key part of TF2's character design. Oddly enough I just found this today:

    [ame]
  • Sukotto
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    Sukotto polycounter lvl 8
    I definitely like the one with the opened coat, it gives her a better looking silhouette opposed to her wearing the trench coat.

    Though I did like the concepts with her with a short sleeve coat and the long gloves

    Are you planning on doing the rest of the classes as girls? :)
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    MattQ86 wrote: »
    Good stuff, solid start. I'd say the one on the left has a more distinct silhouette. Also the lines of the belt would draw your eye toward the weapon she's carrying, a key part of TF2's character design. Oddly enough I just found this today:

    Haha, that's been suggested to me before for the voice pack, it's pretty neat. Though I think it sounds a little too young (and too authentic) for my character.
    Sukotto wrote: »
    I definitely like the one with the opened coat, it gives her a better looking silhouette opposed to her wearing the trench coat.

    Though I did like the concepts with her with a short sleeve coat and the long gloves

    Are you planning on doing the rest of the classes as girls? :)

    Interesting, I always get such an even spread of opinions whenever I post ideas related to the female Spy, for some reason. This one's going to be really tough! I think these are good points, though. I also liked the short sleeves, but was warned that the Spy's wrists don't rotate very well once you rig him, and that it might be better to cover them with a sleeve. :(

    I would like to do all of them eventually, and I've already finished the Medic and Heavy so far.

    Female_Medic_and_Hats_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

    Female_Heavy_and_Hats_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    Damn, The Medic and heavy are freaking epic! Im pretty sure that heavy was in class with me in college :)

    Im not sure which spy i would choose. The Left reads more feminine in its silhouette but the shoulders seem much too wide. for some reason it matters less on the right. I love the concept she really looks like a suitable rival for the male spy. also the pinstripe is awesome :D



    :D when i read the title i was secretly hoping you were doing cate archer
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    r_fletch_r wrote: »
    Damn, The Medic and heavy are freaking epic! Im pretty sure that heavy was in class with me in college :)

    Im not sure which spy i would choose. The Left reads more feminine in its silhouette but the shoulders seem much too wide. for some reason it matters less on the right. I love the concept she really looks like a suitable rival for the male spy. also the pinstripe is awesome :D



    :D when i read the title i was secretly hoping you were doing cate archer

    Most people told me it looks like their mom. Surprisingly, someone sent pictures and it really DID look just like their mom 0:

    The shoulders have to be super man huge because of the rigging constraints, which is one of the reasons I like the pea coat idea. It's bulkier and makes the big shoulders more subtle than on a really slim model.

    I'll toss around some more ideas later, but for now I spent some time refining the pea coat version some more. I think I like the shorter coat length, but I'm not totally sold on the more figure-accentuating contour and kind of prefer the boxier one. Several suggestions were made to bring in the waist a little, so I thought I'd try it.

    Spy_coat_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg
  • achillesian
    just dont like the head covering, i'd try to get closer to this
    Spy_genderbend_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg
  • HonkyPunch
    Honestly I vastly prefer Chem's, and the head wrap seems very spy like to me, as it's similar to the male spy's mask, and also reminds me of Thelma and Louise, which takes place in the era tf2 does (I think so, at least.)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    +1 the headwarp suits the character.
    Most people told me it looks like their mom
    Thats kind of cool though. shes not just another tits and ass character. (which is rich comming from me having suggested cate archer :D)
  • James9475
    The headscarf is great, especially for her silhouette, keep it.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    HonkyPunch wrote: »
    Honestly I vastly prefer Chem's, and the head wrap seems very spy like to me, as it's similar to the male spy's mask, and also reminds me of Thelma and Louise, which takes place in the era tf2 does (I think so, at least.)

    Lol, that's actually one of my old drawings, it's just a design I came up with half seriously and then abandoned. I agree that the scarf is a better idea, as it's both a better replacement for the Spy's mask and is more grounded in actual fashion.
  • vj_box
    The female heavy is super good! Great piece of work!
  • achillesian
    well, your heavy and medic both have a quirky interesting/attractive look. So far I'm really not getting that vibe at all on the spy, and i doubt the texturing process will fix that. I found that you tried the spy from your last concept i posted, and kind of failed at it also. One of the big things i think holding you back are the shoulders, i know they have to be in a certain place or whatever to use the male spy rig, but you might be hurting the model due to that constraint, on this particular character.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    well, your heavy and medic both have a quirky interesting/attractive look. So far I'm really not getting that vibe at all on the spy, and i doubt the texturing process will fix that. I found that you tried the spy from your last concept i posted, and kind of failed at it also. One of the big things i think holding you back are the shoulders, i know they have to be in a certain place or whatever to use the male spy rig, but you might be hurting the model due to that constraint, on this particular character.

    I was going to save the Spy model for last, as I see this one as the one with the most challenges to overcome, both in the technical aspect and with suiting everyone's taste in what the character should look like. With most of the other characters (maybe excluding the Medic), it's not too hard to build a female who can believably carry the extra bulk to fill out the male frame suitably, while not looking out of place.

    But due to perceptions we carry about female spies from pop culture, a certain look needs to come across to the player. I think the best bet for dealing with these constraints is with the outfit itself, and trying to downplay the awkward parts by hiding it fashionably. I think for that reason I'll be exploring options that lend towards the boxy frame like the pea coat, though I don't think it's an impossible project by any means.
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 10
    I'm digging the hell out of this! You're going in a really nice direction with it, keep the headwrap, definately - and I like that you chose this concept as opposed to some of the other ones. I was hoping you'd choose the pea coat. Very much feels like the "spy" and is still a cool model.

    The only things that stick out at me right now, her chin seems a little too pointy, and her feet seem like they could use some more work but there's plenty of time for that.

    Like your heavy and medic, too. The sunglasses pic of the heavy gives off a real nice vibe, especially.
  • JimeeB
    I love the pea-coat and the shawl, but I have to agree about the shoulders. They're far too broad for her.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    JimeeB wrote: »
    I love the pea-coat and the shawl, but I have to agree about the shoulders. They're far too broad for her.

    I had the same problem when I was working on the Medic. I've made the shoulders about as small as I think is safe right now, but once I start rigging the model, I'll be able to test out how much more I can bring them in without getting some wonky animations. Hopefully I'll be able to get away with reducing the width more.

    At the worst, some of the extreme arm movements might be a little unnatural (which does happen with my Medic), but it'll be a matter of finding the right balance between aesthetics and movement.
  • bounchfx
    dude those are awesome! how have I never seen those two before?!
  • HonkyPunch
    I think part of the problem is that in general, it is expected that female spies be overly attractive, as in most movies and games, female spies use the fact that they're female to aid them in their espionage. From what I can see, the TF2 universe enjoys playing with stereotypes; The big, angry russian man, the scrawny loudmouth kid, and the doctor from germany with questionable ethics.
    So near as I can tell, the major obstacle to over come would seem to be balancing between people's expectations, and something fresh. I'm interested in seeing how it turns out, as The Medic and The Heavy turned out well.
    (Perhaps, and if you're stuck with design, and haven't already done this, you could look at female criminals of the past, both real and imagined. I.E Bonnie, Thelma and Louise, Irene Adler, and other such characters)
  • javi
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    javi Polycount Sponsor
    Its looking good, and I like the first idea a lot more. I am noticing though, that the shoulders are wider than the hips. Other than that, very cool idea!
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 8
    She needs more hips
  • nofacej
    Just a couple of things that jump out to me immediately.

    First, the legs. Typically in tv when a female spy is introduces we get a shot of her legs and then the camera pans up accentuating their length and shape. The legs on your spy are suitably long, but the height of the knee is making them look shorter than they are. Is it possible to raise the knee a bit within the confines of the male spy?

    Another thing is handbags are almost synonymous with female spies. Especially the iconic makeup mirror she uses to look around corners and dust her nose.

    And finally, I see you've experimented with a scarf/neck wrap, and whilst you're certainly correct to have ditched the first version, I think a silk scarf somewhat like this (but toned down a little) would work wonders.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    nofacej wrote: »
    Just a couple of things that jump out to me immediately.

    First, the legs. Typically in tv when a female spy is introduces we get a shot of her legs and then the camera pans up accentuating their length and shape. The legs on your spy are suitably long, but the height of the knee is making them look shorter than they are. Is it possible to raise the knee a bit within the confines of the male spy?

    Another thing is handbags are almost synonymous with female spies. Especially the iconic makeup mirror she uses to look around corners and dust her nose.

    And finally, I see you've experimented with a scarf/neck wrap, and whilst you're certainly correct to have ditched the first version, I think a silk scarf somewhat like this (but toned down a little) would work wonders.

    For the legs, I'm not totally sure how that would work out. I think the knees were slightly offset with my female Medic model, but I'd have to rig it and test it out. I've adjusted the length of her coat to emphasize her legs a little more, hope that helps some.

    I played around with the idea of scarves that have loose parts hanging down, but wasn't too fond of it because it's distracting from her main contours, and to have it jiggleboned would only draw more attention to it in-game. I could experiment with the idea a little more, though.

    I've pretty much decided on the pea coat version by now, and I've spent some time touching up and adding details to her face, boots and coat. I've also tried out some variations with the scarf, with it conforming to her head more like the male Spy vs. having a unique shape.


    Female_Spy_scarf_variations_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

    Female_Spy_variations_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg
  • Andrew Mackie
    This is looking great Chemical Alia!
    The legs are looking a little too thick for her I think.
    I feel like the woman Spy should have longer more "slender" legs.

    Also, I think you modeled the shoulders perfectly.
  • Simski
    I like the legs, I don't think they needs changing.
    I don't think they should be more slender, I don't want her to look like some anorexic teenage girl, I want her to look like a woman.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    Simski wrote: »
    I like the legs, I don't think they needs changing.
    I don't think they should be more slender, I don't want her to look like some anorexic teenage girl, I want her to look like a woman.

    I think you should perhaps make the forearm sleeves bigger though to better fit Spy's arms.
    His forearms increase in size a bit down, this more due to his sleeves being big rather than to imply that he's a ambidextrous fapping champion.
    I think this would make your character's silhouette match the original one's better, and it would make it fit into the TF2 style better.

    Well, I've added cuffs to her coat for pretty much that reason, I want to suggest that the coat is the reason for the bulk and not just phenomenally cosmic forearms under there. If I bring the cuffs up higher, I could reasonably widen them some more and get a good tapering.

    I think you're right about the legs, especially since if I make them any skinnier they'll be scarily close to being thinner than her arms D: Pretty much any changes I make to the arms and legs at this point will bear that issue in mind.
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 10
    I like it! Going to pretend it actually is Scout's mom.
  • Simski
    Well, I've added cuffs to her coat for pretty much that reason, I want to suggest that the coat is the reason for the bulk and not just phenomenally cosmic forearms under there. If I bring the cuffs up higher, I could reasonably widen them some more and get a good tapering.

    I think you're right about the legs, especially since if I make them any skinnier they'll be scarily close to being thinner than her arms D: Pretty much any changes I make to the arms and legs at this point will bear that issue in mind.

    Ah, yes... also sorry about writing to you on facepunch simultaneously...
    I get confused as to where I should write...

    Why can't you copy Spy's way of making it bulk though rather than having cuffs :O?
  • phillip.bailey
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    phillip.bailey polycounter lvl 9
    Whoa........AMAZING!! What an idea. And well styled too. Love it. Love it all! What else you got?
  • Minos
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    Minos polycounter lvl 12
    Fantastic stuff man, can't wait to see this finished!

    Make a female scout next, that's gonna rule!!
  • SandroTheMaster
    Hah! Finally that's some decent female TF2 characters, it doesn't have all that Anime chibby non-sense (where the heavy is a tiny girl... argh) or sexy objectified hookers, and that's probably because it's a woman making those (I take it? Sorry if I'm wrong).

    But one piece of advice, if the Spy gal is going to have a different attire, the Medic gal and the Heavy gal (who are otherwise perfect) should also wear something more feminine. As long as you don't oversexes it (like all such mods are akin to do...), but I know you wouldn't.

    On a final note, the glasses and scarf do a good job covering her head, but I guess the scarf could be a bit higher to cover her mouth slightly, that way covering her identity better. On the other hand the glasses is going to be over her mask during disguises, which is great because it throws back to the spy's cigarette over his paper masks adding that little bit of TF2 silliness.

    My only real concerns are about balancing, with double the number of character models for each team once this is done it'll be a bit easier to single spies out. In a team with 2 demos it isn't strange to see 2 demos at the same time, but with 1 demoman and 1 demogal the spy is singled out more easily. Also, I'm not sure if you're keeping the hit-boxes with the same overall area, but if not you should also be mindful in that regard, or one model might be considered better than it's counterpart for dodging bullets and the like.

    Good job all the same. :thumbup:
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    I've added some solid diffuse color to see how she looks so far. They're a little off compared to the in-game lighting/shading, but it's a basic idea. I remodeled her sunglasses, but her scarf still requires attention.

    I was also thinking of making the stripes on her legs wider, just wanted to throw some detail on to see what people think. This color scheme is closely based on the colors of the original Spy, but I'm happy to try out changes too.

    Female_Spy_color_test_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg

    Hah! Finally that's some decent female TF2 characters, it doesn't have all that Anime chibby non-sense (where the heavy is a tiny girl... argh) or sexy objectified hookers, and that's probably because it's a woman making those (I take it? Sorry if I'm wrong).

    But one piece of advice, if the Spy gal is going to have a different attire, the Medic gal and the Heavy gal (who are otherwise perfect) should also wear something more feminine. As long as you don't oversexes it (like all such mods are akin to do...), but I know you wouldn't.

    On a final note, the glasses and scarf do a good job covering her head, but I guess the scarf could be a bit higher to cover her mouth slightly, that way covering her identity better. On the other hand the glasses is going to be over her mask during disguises, which is great because it throws back to the spy's cigarette over his paper masks adding that little bit of TF2 silliness.

    My only real concerns are about balancing, with double the number of character models for each team once this is done it'll be a bit easier to single spies out. In a team with 2 demos it isn't strange to see 2 demos at the same time, but with 1 demoman and 1 demogal the spy is singled out more easily. Also, I'm not sure if you're keeping the hit-boxes with the same overall area, but if not you should also be mindful in that regard, or one model might be considered better than it's counterpart for dodging bullets and the like.

    Good job all the same. :thumbup:

    Thanks for the feedback! The project started as research for my masters thesis, and I built the characters for testing. But I agree about a lot of the other female versions of these characters, while there are some amazing ones here and there, I really don't like the approach most people take. When it comes to how feminine each character design will be, I like to base the amount of makeup, hair style, whether she wears a skirt, etc. on the personality of the individual. This way it feels more natural than a blanket approach (since there's so many of them), and feels less like they were designed with one particular aesthetic in mind, by just one person.

    The issue of the scarf, and finding a good balance between fashion, function and gameplay is a complicated one. One one hand, I can definitely see the reasoning behind covering her mouth, though then we'll run into the problems of whether her voice needs to be muffled, and more importantly, facial expression. The male spy's mask covers his face, but it still allows him to have a full range of facial expressions. Mine is already lacking expression with the eyes because of the large sunglasses, so to cover the mouth as well might cause her expressiveness in-game to suffer (or look like I was too lazy to rig the face :poly121: )

    Hitboxes and stuff, I'm trying to keep it as close to the original as possible, it's one of the challenges I'm wrangling with in coming up with each design. Ways to hide bigger proportions in some areas, stuff like that. I want to change the game as little as possible with them, and minimize visual clutter and confusion.
  • Isaiah Sherman
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    Isaiah Sherman polycounter lvl 11
    Just a suggestion, pinch in the waist and widen the hips more. It's in all the concept art, and you did it a little bit with that first revision.

    Do it moar!

    I really like your heavy / medic.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    Haiasi wrote: »
    Just a suggestion, pinch in the waist and widen the hips more. It's in all the concept art, and you did it a little bit with that first revision.

    Do it moar!

    I really like your heavy / medic.

    My concern with this idea is that the pea coat was intended to be a square shape like the male Spy's coat, an excuse to draw attention away from the wide shoulders which are so prominent in the first version. The other issue I can foresee is, with the higher waist line, it would too closely resemble the contour of the female Medic's torso.

    I see where you're coming from, though, and I can definitely check it out. Never know until you try it. :)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    looking awesome, I've just noticed her eyes look very close together.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    r_fletch_r wrote: »
    looking awesome, I've just noticed her eyes look very close together.

    Yeah, definitely. Strange that I didn't notice it all until I saw it with color 0:
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 10
    "You got blood on my peacoat!" Though maybe stockings would sound better.

    This is looking good.
  • JimeeB
    Yeah, definitely. Strange that I didn't notice it all until I saw it with color 0:
    Her eyes are close, but they're not so close it's weird. They're proportional to her head and eyes.
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 10
    Yeah, it's not so much that they're close as that the sides of her heads come out a bit too far.
  • Torrrtilla
    I think you are right, at first I thought it was the refraction on the sunglasses causing that and I passed it off as ok.
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 10
    Actually... maybe that's just orthographic view? Whenever I view my character heads in ortho front, despite their looking fine in perspective, weird proportion issues become apparent - sides of the heads too far out, etc... does this mean they're wrong, or...?
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    Vrav wrote: »
    Actually... maybe that's just orthographic view? Whenever I view my character heads in ortho front, despite their looking fine in perspective, weird proportion issues become apparent - sides of the heads too far out, etc... does this mean they're wrong, or...?

    I use orthographic view to model from and switch to perspective to check the overall look, but I know what you're talking about. I'm not sure, but her head does look narrower and pointier in perspective view, whereas nothing recedes in my renders. I'll be sure to post some perspective shots in my next progress updates so this great mystery can be solved. :)
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    Been away from this project for a while to work on the TF2 map contest. I did this drawing last night, something to help me understand the character and the changes in the design, color, etc. I also just wanted an excuse to paint something, lol.

    Spy_lady_by_ChemicalAlia.jpg
  • Simski
    She looks like the sexier little sister of the Announcer :3
  • raul
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    raul polycounter lvl 10
    this is looking awesome! looking forward for more!
  • jumpyed
    For this design you need to have it as a scarf anyways else the model looks like it has hoodie on it, like its little red riding hood. :\

    I don't think the female spy's voice would need to be muffled as she would be speaking softer anyways.
  • Chemical Alia
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    Chemical Alia polycounter lvl 7
    Hi there. I had taken a little break from this model to work on some other stuff for a few months, but now I'm looking forward to finally getting it finished and released to the community.

    I've done a bunch of reworking to the face and remodeled her boots, with some other details here and there. I just about wrapped up the diffuse texture for red and blue versions, and before I start rigging it this week I was hoping to get some thoughts on the color scheme.

    It appears that the brown buttons on the blue version are generally disliked, but I haven't thought of a better alternative. I like the dark contrast, like you see with the BLU cigarette, and feel that there should be some warm color highlights to balance out the color scheme, so I've been staying away from darker blue or grey for the buttons. Any thoughts or suggestions would be wonderful at this point.


    0bb6a4f108689d1cb0c11ba801b867d3742e82f2db0410d9a08b855ccb267cb86g.jpg

    female_spy_color_test_by_chemicalalia-d358hfk.jpg
  • n88tr
    The goggles remind me of like an aviator or like a Jackie O photo, like she's trying to be in disguise
    jackieo.jpg
  • Marvin, the Daedali
    I have already downloaded the Trench Coat Spy, but I can't seem to find the Female Spy with the "casual" clothes. Is it because you never made it, or just didn't release it? If you haven'r released it, could you please? Because they're both lovely models, but I personally prefer the "casual" version. Otherwise, great work and I would love to see female demo and soldier models :)
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