Posts Tagged ‘Casting Room Miniatures’

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Piratical 2017 recap

January 6, 2018

This year has been a weird one hobby-wise. On one hand, I must have painted less than 20 miniatures all year, which is very few even by my modest output standards. On the other hand, I’ve been fairly prolific with terrain – building a whole new pirate board for example. To showcase what I’ve done this year, I set up most of my pirate stuff on my new board for a major photo shoot. To be honest, this is what I’m mostly in the hobby for: I game very little, so the pirate project is more of a dollhouse thing than something for frequent gaming use. I think this goes back to old Citadel Journals, where dioramas with tens of minis were used to display the variety of miniatures available. Another, more recent example and a great inspiration has been the pirate gallery on War in 15mm.

The table has many items that I haven’t featured in dedicated posts. If there’s something that catches your eye, just let me know in the comments and I’ll do a separate post. There will be one on the table itself, too!

My pirates have become by far my most enduring and consistent project of the past years. I’ve stuck almost exclusively to them since 2015, and there’s been no drop in enthusiasm. On the contrary, I’m more and more interested in the 18th century (and there has been a bit of an overspill into 17th and 19th century too) and I’ve for example amassed quite the collection of books on the subject. Might be a post or two in those, too.

You can click on any photo for a larger version, opening in a new tab.

The governor and his family survey the town

A wealthy merchant with his bodyguard in tow – a highwayman lurks behind the turn

One of the governor’s footmen keeps an eye on the pirates making landfall

A scoundrel with a heart or an assassin?

A boatload of pirates lands on the jetty

Trouble might be brewing

It’s Jean Blanc – the Unkillable Frenchman!

The obeah woman and her maroons keep watch

A pirate is about to get hanged – is this what drew the Frenchman?

“Nasty business, hanging.”

The captain makes sure the king’s law is carried out

A few pirates got off with an easier sentence

On Tyburn Island, trade carries on

…even in the shadow of the gallows

Speaking of trade, the governor’s men have discovered a stash in a beach cave

A footman keeps watch as the cave is investigated

At least the weather’s nice

…unless you’re working

…let alone using the outhouse

Barrett’s dead drunk in the pigsty again

“Need a hand wi’ ‘im Peg?”

Old Rogers’ cart is a landmark by now

Whatever happens on the island, the Queen knows about it

So, that’s where I’m at now! Feedback is most welcome. To all new readers and regulars, happy 2018 and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

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From the painting desk #42 – Redcoats

August 27, 2016

Pirates obviously need opposition, and who better to fight them than good old redcoats. An iconic piece of Hollywood pirate imagery, the British soldier were always going to play a part in my project. I’ve actually amassed a fair few, and finally got some painted.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

The miniatures, that I picked up at Salute, are from Casting Room Miniatures, who are an offshoot of Foundry. The soldiers are part of their wonderful War of the Spanish Succession range. I love them for their character – some of them really don’t enjoy their stint in the Caribbean. I imagine this lot has ended up here after lots were drawn, or maybe they came looking for a nice, sunny holiday. In my mind they draw inspiration from late Terry Pratchett’s city guard, turning a blind eye to the occasional bit of smuggling for personal profit and safety. Obviously a Serious Military Man is coming along to put these miscreants into some sort of shape…

As you can see from the photos, I had to build up the miniatures’ bases quite a bit, as they’re a fair bit smaller than my Galloping Major soldiers. I stuck some plasticard under the minis and covered it in putty, and it turned out quite ok. They’re still less bulky than the Galloping Major ones, but now they’re of a similar height. I wanted to base them similarly to my pirates, but to distinguish them I replaced the tufts I use on my pirates’ bases with flower tufts.

Another thing you probably noticed is that I used one of my buildings as background for the minis, and the pure white background was making everything look a bit too clinically clean. What do you think? I’d love to hear your input on this new, hugely dramatic change.

The minis’ uniforms forced me to spend a bit of time thinking about historical accuracy. It’s not a big issue in this project, as it’s Hollywood pirates after all, but this stuff is often (sort of) interesting. The War of the Spanish Succession was fought from 1701 to 1715, putting it just before the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean (1716-1726). The other redcoats I have are from Galloping Major’s American War of Independence range, and that war was fough 1775–1783, sixty years later. As it is, uniforms had changed by then. Funnily enough, the Pirates of the Caribbean films, that are a big inspiration for the project, are supposedly set around the Golden Age of Piracy, but feature British soldiers with much later uniforms, and so the historically inaccurate uniforms are the ones we associate with the era.

I solved the problem by not caring. I’m sure grognards would gag at this approach, but from where I’m standing, it’s a project with undead pirates, so a bit of historical inaccuracy regarding uniforms isn’t a deal breaker. This is an approach I’ve learned in years enjoying the hobby, and following fellow bloggers has reinforced this way of thinking. It’s painting with broad strokes, having fun and buying miniatures I enjoy painting instead of leaving them on the shelf because of trivial issues.

However, and creating a bit of a conflict, despite this approach I have a tendency to strive for some internal coherence. Even if I’m not too concerned with exact accuracy, there has to be something to tie it all together. In this case I think of two things: one is the idea of the redcoat, and the second is a sort of historical explanation. The idea of the redcoat is simply that in my mind the defining visual characteristics of the 18th century British soldier are the tricorne hat, the red coat and the musket, and everything else is fairly irrelevant detail. The historical explanation is a bit more fudged (obviously, as the game isn’t set in a fixed year), and basically focuses on the idea that troops in the backwaters of the Caribbean will have older gear, whereas fresh troops shipped in from England or the American colonies will have crisp and more modern gear. There you have it, I sort of had to get it off my chest!

These bring my miniatures painted this year to six, literally doubling my output. Oh my. At least I’ve built a lot of terrain!

 

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