Saturday, January 22, 2011

More Bloody Pirates

One of the best things about keeping your workbench and miniature queue full of models in various stages of completion is that output tends to come in groups.  Though days may go by without the gratification of completing a single miniature, the sense of accomplishment of turning out three or four at a time certainly makes up for the days of dearth.  Due to a rare all-day cloudy day here in the Keys, I was able to turn out a few pirates to join my Legends of the High Seas crew.

Ready to sign the ship's articles and go on The Account.

All three miniatures are from the Artizan line of pirates.  Abel is on the left though he will be known as Blaze in my LotHS campaign.  Slugger O'Toole is the center pirate though he has yet to be named for the game.  And finally, Moses is on the right.  I rather like the name Moses for a pirate but using the names given to the miniatures by Artizan feels like cheating so he will probably come to be known as Cane.  I will simply "steal" the name Moses and use it with another miniature.

I am in the process of working out backstories for the main pirates in the campaign and have a few ideas for Blaze and Cane.  The former is an escaped slave from Jamaica.  He is wanted for several crimes on the island including arson (hence his name), piracy, and murder.  His coat, pilfered from a merchant captain in one of his first raids is Blaze's pride.  He is rarely seen without it despite the weather.  He is quite jovial when the mood suits him but his propensity for violence is becoming legendary.

Blaze wearing some of his plunder.

Escaped slaves joining a pirate crew was a rather common occurrence during the golden age of piracy and Cane is yet another such example.  Escaped is not really the correct term for his entry into a life of piracy.  "Liberated" is probably more appropriate.  Cane was taken during a raid on a sugar cane plantation on the island of St. Kitts and endeared himself to the crew with his acts of brutality on board.  Rather than being sold off with the other slaves plundered from the plantation, Cane was kept from the auction block and soon proved his worth.  He rarely speaks and either does not know his name or chooses to keep it hidden from the others.  On one particular night not long after he was taken from St. Kitts, he was dubbed Cane by one of his shipmates during a rum-sodden dice game.  Although the shipmate was promptly  pummeled for the offering, the name stuck and Cane now answers to it.

Cane with his blunderbuss.

I do not yet have anything in mind for this chap right now but for some reason I keep thinking he is Dutch.  If he remains so, his presence in the Caribbean would be easily explained with the Dutch still being maritime powers in the Caribbean during the golden age. that I think about it I rather like the idea.

A Dutchman from Curacao??

On another note, when I was looking through these photos I noticed that on most of the Artizan miniatures there are very small "holes" in several places...mostly around interfaces and joints.  I went back and tried to fill in some of these holes after I noticed them but they are apparently deep enough that very watered down paint would be the only way to get color in there.  At this point, the minis are good enough for table-top gaming so I would rather not risk getting runny paint everywhere to fix the problem.  The presence of the holes however sours my attitude toward the miniature line a bit.  I like the sculpts but I do not like the imperfections.  Now that I know what I'm looking for I have noticed them on the two unprimed minis as well.  I'm assuming this is a casting issue...perhaps old molds or maybe the curing process allowed air to escape and form the depressions.  I wish I would have noticed them earlier.

Have any of you had similar issues with Artizan miniatures or other lines?  If so, how did you fix them and what do you think causes the holes?

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