Busy, busy, busy (3) — almost all the pirates

I’ve been on a tear painting minis and haven’t kept up with photographing them. Lately I’ve been trying to get things a little more organized and the cheapest storage solution I’ve found so far are small “bead organizers” you can find at craft stores for about 2 or 3 dollars. The “Darice” ones are made in the US and often come with no shrink wrap, so I feel a lot better about the reduced environmental footprint too. Recently Michael’s had a 40% off sale on all “bead & jewelry making supplies” which also covered the organizers. I line them with foam sheets, mostly, saved from packaging. The 18-figure capacity is pretty ideal for sets of figures organized by types, and the one over-sized compartment accommodates bulkier figures nicely. I also have a number of larger tackle boxes that I started getting for storing my 1/72 armies, but a lot of them have been displaced by D&D stuff. I don’t often buy tackle boxes any more because they have gotten a lot more expensive and almost always are made in China.

So anyway here are almost all the swashbuckler and pirates minis now. I did cheat and buy a collection of used, and already painted, orcish pirates via Noble Knight. The price was good and I’ll just need to touch them up a bit. The modest sales of my book at DriveThruRPG funded that purchase, which is awesome. I still have a handful of swashbucklers, some civilian types, and box of undead pirates to go, but this project is very near completion.

First up, the pirates (in one of the larger tackle boxes)

 

Most of these have already been on the blog before. There are some unpainted dwarves with blunderbusses in the top left, which I’ll get to eventually. They’re actually Warhammer minis, so they have horned helmets and the backs of their coats show some mail, but they’ll do. The green lady on the bottom left is one of the minis I bought already painted. The two chunky guys with big ‘staches are cheapo plastic pirates from a bag at the dollar store. The one with orange pants is carrying a swivel gun which is from a 1/72 artillery set. These slightly over-sized guys look way out of scale next to true 25mm figures but the Reaper half-orc at the lower right is just as big as them. I originally intended them to be ogres or half-ogres though.

Next up, buccaneers and musketeers. The top row are some Heroscape Revolutionary War era soldiers. I got one of the core sets a long time ago when they were clearanced at Kay-Bee Toys and a booster or two later. They had some great stuff — the Revolutionary War guys came with four werewolves! The guy with a blunderbus is Reaper.  There is another plastic pirate on the lower left; the rest are Wargames Foundry, I think.

Next, some swashbucklers! Quite a varied lot, Ral Partha, Grenadier, Rafm, a Marauder dwarf, and the guy in the powedered wig is possibly Old Glory or Foundry.

Lastly, the orcs. Mostly West Wind “50 Fathoms” minis, though the top row includes a Reaper goblin and four Citadel orcs. I’ll need to repaint the West Wind guys some — giving them the more orange skin tone the top row uses, and I’ll probably swap out the sledge hammer on at least one of them for a boarding axe or belaying pin. The two shaman types are a little odd — they’re holding voodoo dolls that really look like gingerbread men, and funky wands. One of them will probably get a weapon swap too.

Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Busy, busy, busy (2) — Swashbucklers

So my brother mentioned he might run a swashbuckler type campaign once the current Boot Hill of Cthulhu campaign is over. We have some time before that seems too likely and that gives me time to start working on the pile of unpainted pirates and swashbucklers that have been sitting unattended.

First up, the inevitable Three Musketeers. (D’Artangnon was already painted long ago.) These three are fairly late Ral Partha — the sculpting is not up to their old standards when Tom Meier, Julie Guthrie, etc. were there. I would have guess they were by Rafm. But they have nice clean designs and were fun to paint.

Next, a pair of conquistador types, also by Ral Partha. Shorty on the left is a Tom Meier sculpt. Honestly he’s a weird mix of elements — Landesknecht trousers, morion helmet, gladiator-style partial armor, and sawed-off poleaxe. On the right, another later Ral Partha sculpt, perhaps from the AD&D license years. Because of the morion helmets, I think of them as conquistadors, though in reality the conquistadors did not have morions.

See for example this contemporary illustration of consquitadors at work:

Image result for codex spaniards

Anyway the guy on the right reminds me of Klaus Kinski in Aguirre: wrath of God so I gave him bugging eyes for that crazed look.

Next up, some dwarf pirates. Left, a Mage Knight figure I touched up a little, with a mortar on his back. Center, the classic Grenadier dwarf thief. I have another of these I gave white beard and black cloak. Last, a Citadel dward sapper. My brother painted this one years ago, and he needed some touching up where the paint had worn off the edges. I mostly touched him up, adding some darker lines on borders between colors and giving him more distinct eyes, highlights, and so on.

Elven swashbucklers were surprisingly rare when I started collecting pirates and swashbucklers in the mid 1990s. These Rafm miniatures were for their Flintloque (fantasy Napoleonic) game. I’d painted a couple of other figures from this set who were in less formal attire.

And if there are dwarves and elves, there must be at least one half-orc pirate. This bruiser is by Reaper.

And here are two lady pirates. The first is very, very early Ral Partha miniature. True 25mm scale, perhaps small even for 25mm, she might pass for an elf or even a halfling now. On the right, another Mage Knight figure I touched up.

The last swashbuckler today was a civilian from a set by, I think either Wargames Foundry or The Foundry. He looks like a middle-aged gentlemen and I can’t help but associate him with Peter Laughton’s Captain Bly (the jowls I guess) or maybe Stede Bonnet.

For context, here are few of the above lined up to show the “scale creep.”

Really the Ral Partha lady is the odd one here. I consider the half-orc a little oversized too, but they are the extremes. I’m actually pleased with how well all the different manufacturers compare.

More to come…

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Scottsz’s Ghast

Scott Sz sent me a few minis last month; one was a RAFM ghast I’d never seen before, painted & based very nicely.  Scott works in Testors enamels, which I never had much luck with although the metallic paints in that line look great.  Here he is:

The basing looks like shiny pools of who-knows-what; very disgusting.  I think he uses epoxy glue to hold the minis to washers.

The disturbing skull-like face reminds me of the cool Post-it note monsters in the Don Kenn gallery.

Like this one, say:

It also reminds me of old Japanese woodcuts and drawings of ghosts, like this one:

and

I have an art book, Japanese ghosts & demons, with many similar images, too, but I can’t find the exact one I’m thinking of.  I think it was a illustration of scene in a play.

Published in: on January 9, 2012 at 10:46 am  Comments (3)  
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A couple more minis

Left: A Grenadier AD&D Fighting Man.  He originally held a guisarme (or a bill hook, or a bill-guisarme , or glaive-guisarme-guisarme-fauchard-guisarme…) but the blade broke off long ago and I’ve replaced it with a spare halberd head from a Zvedza kit. (Oddly, the Zvedza minis are pretty close to 25mm but their polearms were large even by modern, post-GW scale creep standards).  On the right: A RAFM cleric.  Nice morningstar.

The fighting man came in a boxed set that my brother & I got back in 1981 or so; the RAFM guy was just given to me by Scottsz a couple of months ago when he found a shop with a bunch of old lead.

The pics are blurry because I did not use a tripod.  They make a huge difference when you’re photographing small things like minis.

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  
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Pirates

The undead pirates I scored a while back at my FLGS remind me that I have a huge backlog of swashbuckler figures to paint. Huge. But here are some finished pirate and swashbuckler figures. Most are pretty old, and nowadays they market is lousy with pirates, but back in the late 1980s/early 1990s when most of these were made, there was not a lot of selection.

Here’s a scurvy crew indeed, sons of guns all.

Three Grenadier pirates, from the mid-1980s.

A Grenadier (Julie Guthrie, I think) rogue and a bard, most likely Rafm. The skull & crossbones on the hat turns a bard into a pirate, despite the little mandolin on his belt.

The guy on the left is a Castle Creations superhero figure (my brother got a set of two dozen super hero figures that were advertised in a Dragon Magazine some time around 1983, when we were playing Villains & Vigilantes). The guy on the right is Rafm, I think, and was sold as an elf marine in a set with several others I still need to paint.

Two landlubber orcs (a Nick Lund sculpt, Grenadier, sold as a war ogre, and a Citadel crossboworc).  I need to rebase these, and probably repaint the Lund orc.  My brother ran a “fantasy” pirates campaigns in GURPS (basically the historical Caribbean but with fantasy races, monsters, and a little magic added), which must be the best game I ever played in. This inspired me to adapt as many fantasy figures as possible to be pirates. I should post the naval rules we cobbled together using GURPS and the Games Workshop game Man o War. We had some great fun. The game had up to nine players at a time, plus the GM.

Two Dwarfs. I think the one on the left is by Marauder (an offshoot of Citadel) but the other one is a classic Citadel dwarf lord. He has a powder keg (or beer keg?) strapped to his back.

Two later Ral Partha figures, a pirate and a musketeer (D’Artagnan, no doubt).

A Reaper skeleton pirate and a cheap dollar store toy. The toy represents a half-ogre pirate.

Scale creep on the high seas. The Grenadier figure is a short 25mm and the Reaper stands almost 40mm!

Published in: on June 29, 2010 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Half-orcs

Do I have enough half-orc figures?  There are a few I still need to paint, but most of them are here. (more…)

Published in: on March 6, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (3)  
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