We have a fairly solid idea of what we want the characters to look like, so I've started modelling them. Like the title says, it's still early stages yet and I have a large 'to-fix' list of things that need improving.
The texture at the moment is temporary; it's just better then using a default shader. That includes the helmet materials too, they're just there as a sort of preview, we can talk about colours and stuff later.
I'm building the male and female character simultaneously, that way I can keep comparing them. The main goal at the moment is making the female character obvious as a female, which is hard because of the suit.
Other than the scale issue (the female is bigger then the male in these pictures, that's fixed now) I think their gender is quite distinguishable based on what we know as typical schemas of male / female body shape.
Also don't forget that it's not just shape that defines the gender, it's in movement and poses as well, so after the characters are connected to their rigs we can make them walk and display body language differently.
And some gloves!