Hunting pirates #1 – The Cast

June 8, 2020

My pirate project has been running since 2015. Surprisingly, I haven’t tired of it yet, far from it.  However, at times I feel like I want to do something else – yet related to the project. Inspired greatly by IRO and Wudugast, I’ve decided to start a sub-project for my pirates: pirate hunters! A small group of special characters to pit against my pirates.

Now, I’m a huge fan of the Badass Crew trope. Whether it’s The Bloodpack from Blade 2, Dutch’s team from Predator, the Seven Samurai or countless other examples, I love it! In case you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s a case of rather than a leading character and some generic mooks, the group consists of individual personalities. As I’ve already got plenty of pirate characters, I wanted a group of memorable antagonists. I find it much more enjoyable to paint characters with some story to them, or even just a defined concept. While these tiny people will likely have their own crew of unnamed backup, as well as a ship of their own, I wanted to start small to make sure I can complete the project. I believe the final spark of inspiration came from stumbling across John Carpenter’s Vampires on Netflix one night.

So, let me introduce you to these characters! On a spectrum of strictly historical to Hollywood, this part of the project is definitely at the latter end. The pictures are an eclectic mixture of stuff lifted from manufacturers’ sites, screencaps of STL files and some photos. I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the archetypes:

There’s The Leader. He is merciless, aloof and holds a grudge against pirates – his lost arm is likely the cause. The model is Lord Wilmore from the 1775 Join or Die Kickstarter. Whether he’s the person financing everything, or if there’s a shadowy eminence behind him, remains a mystery for now.

Click for a larger version

Next, The Second-in-command. I’ve dubbed him The Marquis in my head, and he’s like a cross between Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride and Comte de Rochefort from The Three Musketeers. A brilliant, but cruel swordsman. He might murder his boss one day and take over the operation. The model is a custom Hero Forge piece.

Click for a larger version

Then there’s The Sniper. He’s a quiet type, and very good at hitting things from afar. The model is a marksman from Warlord Games’ Pike & Shotte range.

Photo © Warlord Games

The Twins are two British aristocrats, one proficient with a blade and the other with pistols. Obviously they form a deadly duo, perfectly complementing each other’s fighting styles. Much like The Gemini Twins in The Man with the Iron Fists (note: spoilers, if you haven’t seen the film). The miniatures are a privateer and a navy officer from Black Scorpion.

The next one I’ve dubbed The Scholar. Not as physical as some of the other members of the crew, but definitely the brains. He will use his pistols, but that’s not what he’s there for. The mini is another Black Scorpion privateer.

Every crew obviously needs The Veteran. While not as super-elite as some of the others, they’re a tough-as-nails, reliable sort, and have seen more than most. Think Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones, Sgt. Zim in Starship Troopers, Sgt. Apone in Aliens…and most video game tutorial instructors, you know the type. This is again from Black Scorpion, this time a pirate.

Click for a larger version

A somewhat shadier character, The Unhinged in this case is a redcoat wielding a couple of knives with brass knuckles. I see him as someone who will go to any lengths when fighting pirates, as well as him being possibly the leader’s bodyguard and attack dog. Another mini from 1775 Join or Die, this one called Joe Beckett.

Click for a larger version

Speaking of attack dogs, I have The Beastmaster. Now, fighting dogs aren’t really all that great if you’re at sea, but I love the model and that’s what counts! It’s a mini from Freebooter’s Fate called Tipo Duros. He has two big mastiffs at his command, and mastiffs are the best so there.

Photo © Freebooter Miniatures

Last, but very literally not least, is The Heavy. It’s Jesse Ventura’s Blaine in Predator, The Mountain in Game of Thrones and countless other examples. The hulking, partizan-wielding Zachary Sallow from 1775 Join or Die fits the bill perfectly.

Click for a larger version

There you have it, a group of specialists! I’m happy to add to it in the future, also for some more diversity. To make it both visually and narratively more interesting, I want to bring in some more non-white (as well as non-male) characters, but its something of a challenge to do that without succumbing to some pretty tired stereotypes. You know how it often goes in this genre, there’s that one character whose speciality is “woman”, kind of like in early Dungeons & Dragons Elf and Dwarf were classes, like Wizard or Fighter. The 17th-18th centuries, which I ground my project in, were very much racist and sexist, but there’s really no need to recreate that in miniature, especially as historical accuracy really isn’t at the core of the project.

Comments, suggestions for character types to include etc. welcome as always!


  1. It certainly isn’t a universal fact, but bad movies often make the best games.

    Do you plan a series of Getting the Band Back Together games where the characters are recruited/re-recruited?

    Is there a love triangle in this team?

    When the reveal occurs, which one is not what s/he seems? Suspicion will settle on the Second in Command/Lancer, an expectation likely to be subverted in act three.

    Will there be a hot blooded Latin personality? A variously maudlin and jolly alcoholic Irish explosives expert? Will the beret wearing French character ride a bicycle from femme fatale to femme fatale with more than a baguette in his pocket?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Turns out the Marquis was a pirate all along!

      Thanks for the comment, so many excellent ideas there, I knew you to be very genre-savvy 😀 Say what you will about tired tropes, they often become fixtures for a reason… I’m sure I can fit Seamus “Shamrock” O’Shorten in there!

      I’ve been planning some kind of pirate game, whether an RPG, a narrative miniatures game or a hybrid, for a long while. This might be a good lead up to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking good mate, I love shit like this :-))

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Alex! I’m pretty excited about it too 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ooh, I like these! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cheers John! It is a selection of my current favourites 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My favourite RPG was Savage world’s Pirates written by my best mate Wiggy. We played that campaign for ages. Pervcival Fanhard 3rd Earl of Lancaster was my character, with his friend and colleague Mr Lyle the sugar magnate. I had a big black dog called Satan and a small monkey called captain Pinch… you need a monkey mate, you really need a monkey.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very cool. Definitely need a monkey. And a wretched cabin boy.

    As for mastiffs, I love the concept as they were awesome weapons during the Spanish Conquest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooooh cabin boy, that’s a great addition. As a couple of people have now suggested the monkey, I don’t think I have a choice 😀 Thanks for the comment Mark!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like what you’re doing here – the thought behind each of the cast members is impressive, as well as how well the figures look to represent the archetypes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Az! Planning new projects (rather than finishing them) is one of the best things about the hobby for me. Now I just need to focus on actually doing stuff! I hope keeping this compact works.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean there on the planning. Sadly, I’m much better at getting all enthusiastic, planning something, starting it, then wandering off halfway through it than following all the way through…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ooh, that’s familiar. Half-finished projects are really difficult to get back into for me – once you lose that certain state of mind, it’s difficult to get back.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, hence challenges and trays and other things. I mean, it works – the backlog is just ….a bit huge.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Aww man this is exciting!! I love The Heavy and Joe Beckett. Great concept. After reading your battle report I’m thinking the Ex-Bodyguard of The Planter needs to turn up as a character for this crew.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, nice ideas! Not a bad idea to tie this project in with the game we played.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. […] been painting plenty. I’m especially happy to be showing off the first finished mini of my pirate hunters sub-project. As mentioned in the intro post, the model is “Joe Beckett” from the 1775 Join or Die […]


  9. […] pre-defined finish. So here they are, my pirate hunters! A group of tropey types defined in my initial post, the bit of extra character made all the difference when painting them. For me, a little fantasy […]


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