Friday, August 26, 2011

The Ladies of Port Largo - Part 2

Hurricane Irene thankfully spared the Florida Keys (though my thoughts are with family and friends in the Carolinas) with a timely right turn up the East Coast but ventured close enough to scare away all the tourists for most of the week.  With no boat trips to run and unexpected free time on my hands, I've been able to catch up on some long overdue hobby projects and painting.

The denizens and inhabitants of Port Largo remain near the top of the to-do list and they've seen quite a bit of attention lately...especially the ladies that call the port home.  Two more "maidens" have moved out of the painting queue and are now available for game play.  Watch your coins sir for you are about to be parted from them by their not-so-subtle feminine wiles.

Both figures are available from the Reaper Townsfolk collection.  The miniature on the left, called Maggie by the inhabitants of Port Largo, is from the Townsfolk III pack.  She is a local girl, part of the first generation to be born on the island.  Her father was some sailor or buccaneer, or at least that is the story that has been told to her from time to time.  Her mother wanted to be nothing more than a sailor's bedwarmer and was want to disappear now and then with some salty ner-do-well only to reappear with more lines on her face and another babe in her belly.  Four years ago she did not return at all and Maggie found that she did not grieve for her.  Instead, she found work at the inn, first as a serving girl then as...entertainment.

Maggie of Port Antigua

She is amongst the favorites at The Wind and Whistle and has a smile and a wink ready for all who enter.  Though friendly and flirtatious, she does not suffer the unclean.  A large copper pot sits in the corner of her room and the water is changed often....more so when a ship has come to port. It is said you can always tell the man in the street that just left Maggie's arms by his freshly washed look and grin on his face.

All is not well with Maggie however.  She was recently beaten by a mate from Captain Barkley's sloop and some of her saved coin stolen.  If the tales be true, she has taken to hiding a dagger under her pillow and tells the other girls that when His Majesty's warship arrives, she plans to become quite friendly with the crew so as to gain a bit of protection from the sorry lot the Governor has been allowing to walk the streets.

Caroline Walsh, formerly of Charles Towne

Next is a miniature that I call Caroline.  She is from the Townsfolk II package but can also be found in the Village of Kullhaven boxed set.  Unlike Maggie, she is new to Port Largo, having arrived only four months ago with her elderly Grandfather.  It is no secret that they both came from Charles Towne in Carolina from a family with some wealth.  It is said that Willard was sent by his son to help set up trade between the booming island economy and the family business in Charles Towne but that Caroline was whisked away with the elder Willard due to some scandalous behavior on her part.

Things have changed for the two in the few short months they have been in Port Largo.  Willard's health is failing quickly and what money the two brought with them is rapidly running out.  Either the family business is not going well back in Charles Towne or the younger Willard has disowned them both.  As for Caroline, she has taken work at The Wind and Whistle to help care for her Grandfather.  As to what that work might be, she has kept to herself and away from the ears of Old Man Willard.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Ladies of Port Largo - Part 1

While the title of this post may sound like a bad calendar idea or worse yet, something you might find on cable TV late at night, it's actually something much more benign.  My slow but steady painting methodology has been moving right along (at a snail's pace) and another batch is ready to join the action on the gaming table.  Since I have quite a few pirate and naval miniatures already completed, I wanted to start fleshing out the inhabitants of Port Largo and what better place to start than with the tavern --- the place where adventure, intrigue, and more than a few fights always seem to start. 

The first two ladies to grace Port Largo come from Reaper and Black Cat Bases.  Although I very much like both of the sculpts, the character of each could not be more different.  I'm always pleased at how some miniatures, just by the virtue of their sculpts, speak to me and guide my decisions on color scheme and background.  Anyone else ever experience this?

First up is a serving lass from the Reaper line of Townsfolk.  With her short hair and innocent looking face I simply could not paint her anything other than blonde.  Actually I tried initially.  I wanted all the women of Port Antigua to be more than a bit shady so I painted her hair jet black.  But I quickly changed my mind and reverted to a more open and less threatening color to do the figure justice (that's not to say that dark hair equals dark intentions though...Just for the record, I'm quite fond of brunettes).  With the fair face and hair, the dress had to match so I went with a "country lass" type scheme.

She was fairly easy to paint as all the features on the model were large and bold.  The only problem I encountered was the food that sits on top of the serving platter.  You can't see from the angle of the photo, but there is a bowl of soup and a plate of meats and vegetables resting on top.  I had a devil of a time trying to paint that food.  No matter what I did, all the colors seemed wrong and I must have changed my mind ten times before I found something that worked.  Go ahead and laugh if you like, but really, how often do wargamers have to paint food items?

Next is Catherine, or Cat, or sometimes known as Black Cat.  She's quite a striking sculpt from Black Cat Bases based out of the UK.  I first saw her in the Legends of the High Seas rulebook but no information about the model was provided.  I took to the internet in search of her and had a difficult time of it but finally stumbled upon Black Cat Bases.  If you're interested in finding her yourself, the name above is one I've given her.  She is listed under the Civilians and Townsfolk section and called quite simply "Wench".  Of course, I'll be nice and provide a direct link here.

To me she is a perfect sculpt for a pirate town.  The sculptor has managed to combine beauty, innocence, flirtation, seduction, and danger all in one model.  Well done I say!  I tried to paint her to accentuate some of those features.  The red dress signifies her devilish side while the whale bone corset shows that she is still a lady.  But beware gentlemen of fortune, though she is smiling and flirting, danger is oh so close.  Behind her back she wields a wicked dirk that could easily change a sailor's moment of rapture to one of death.

Three more ladies are very nearly complete with several more in the early stages.  Stay tuned for part 2 in the near future.