Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday 29 August 2016

The Others (Pirates 7)

So although I've shown most of my pirate collection, here's a few of the figures that have either been missed or didn't easily fall into any of my 'categories', hence the first photograph of an executioner complete with impractical axe. I believe the figure is from the Foundry range but alas  why I cannot say. I suppose there must have been someone that had their head lopped off in the golden age of piracy but most pirates were hanged and gibbeted for their crimes.
"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to kill we go"
Next up is one of many axe-armed piratical types that I have (Foundry must have been doing a special deal on them).
The figures themselves are highly usable of course, both as pirates and civilians and come in two distinct varieties, those attacking and those looking like they may attack.
I don't believe I have any other pirate figures, other than the foundry ones that are axe-armed.
I singled out the chap on the left for his gnome-like (or dwarfish) qualities as an example of my axe-wielders (I do have another three that appeared in an earlier post)

Two left-handers and a special (I like this pose)
Men wielding their choppers
A rare breed pf pirate, 'The woodsman'
Amongst the other I have a few civilian types of which these three on the left are examples (yes, it's a poor photograph - I know).
The two individual on the left are probably 'named' characters from Foundry whilst the chap on the right is a captive. I've included him once more in the photograph below, for scale purposes.

The photograph on the right (with camera- hogging captive for scale) shows a very small preacher-type and an even smaller firearm (large pistol?) armed cabin boy (Jack Hawkins ?). The two are truly diminutive as can easily be seen, but they'll probably be used as they are. 'Jack' is either carrying a large pistol or a small musket-type carbine. Anyone who has handled a horse-pistol of the era will know how heavy these things can be. Such a small chap using one two-handed is a good representation imo.
Pirate cricketers ?
The four figures on the left are all 'grenadoe' armed, I'm guessing the throwing stance is unavoidable. Grenades must have been quite unusual terror weapons probably for both the recipient and the user.
To complete this post here's yet another figure I came across with the dreaded "chest foot":

"I'd have preferred a parrot"
The overall audit of my pirate collection was quite surprising, I knew I had quite a few (meaning well over 100) but here's the final count in loose categories:
Gunners -26; Muskets etc.-74; Melee armed - 97; "Grenadiers" - 4; Others - 54; Unfinished bases (various) - 35 making for a total of 290! I think have overdone it a bit and next week I'll be posting about their opposition, just the single post though and dependant upon whether or not I find them!

In other news, I discovered that my latest follower. Michal Kucharski has a blog that can be found HERE  - it's an interesting mix of various genres (and his painting is superb). It's well worth a look .

I'll also take this opportunity to apologise to those whose blogs I normally leave comment. Real life has raised its ugly head once more, in various guises, which along with the normal round of new and old health issues, there has also been a family bereavement.

As usual your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 22 August 2016

Personalities (Pirates 6)

Captains 3.  
It seems that almost every figure manufacturer feels the need to produce 'specials', or 'personality'  figures with probably the most prominent one being that of Blackbeard, or Edward Teach (or Thatch) if you prefer, being of course the epitome of a pirate.
The photograph on the right shows three such personality figures (all Foundry IIRC)  with their version of Blackbeard on the trio's left.
"I'm Blackbeard", "No! I'm Blackbeard", "I'm Spartacus"
Not a bad representation I guess, but he's not the only one I've got!
The photograph on the left shows another two 'Blackbeards' (How I ended up with two identical sculpts, I don't know).
The other Sculpts shown have probably all been given names of the more famous real-life pirates, such as Avery, Morgan etc. something which amuses me, but for all the wrong reasons.
Three more "Historical" characters ?

The variations between all of these is sufficient to give a wide selection of  figures that are emminently suitable as Captains for both pirate, merchant and Naval vessels.
The only thing I dislike about a lot of them (and a lot of other figures too) archetypical pistol raised in the air. Anyone who owns or has used a large pistol will know how heavy these things are and it's not generally done save for a formal duel (maybe).
"We could be proper pirates if we had hats"
Most of these can be used as ships' captains, but there are also those which shout out "Civilian!" (to me at least) , such as these three on the right. It's probably the lack of piratical hats or something!
There is ample scope for figures, such as these three to be used as Governors, important passengers etc.

 The last two I have for this section is the pair on the right; as they're so distinctive I have to assume they were listed as "named" or 'special' or something.
They wouldn't look out of place in a French-Indian war setting, the figure on the right being very 'Indian' looking imo.

Good, bad and ugly?
There are of course some Female Pirates too, amongst the 'personalities ( no doubt all called Ann , Mary or Grace (Bonny, Reid and O'Malley respectively.), but these vary from the historical to the hysterical.
The photograph on the left shows the three most historical looking in this selection.
(Sorry about the blurriness, but I blame the crap photographer )

"Avast behind" (and a bulging front too).
These next three amuse me, probably more than any other figures I have in this collection.
From left to right we have a pantomime lead woman playing the role of a man; the typical heroine from an old black and white film of yesteryear and finally a cross between a fantasy pirate and Rambo.

"We're laydees"
The three women on the left, a maid and two 'ladies', not quite the sum of my civilian female personnel, but a good chunk of it!
These three could easily be used over a span of a hundred years or so., but if I recall correctly they were indeed in some manufacturers Pirate range. I have quite a few similarly looking Redoubt figures from their Musketeers'  range (unpainted)

"We're feckin ladies too"
 Rounding off the female theme  are these two wonderful (imo) characters, suitable both for civilian and pirate use, being basically females in male clothing.
The figure below I discovered also to be a female I (I believe from the Old Glory Range) though I was dubious at first as to her sex.
It was only whilst working my way through the Old Glory pirate listings that I came across the figure and realised it was female.

"I may or may not be, I'm not sure"

That's it then for this week, next week will be the remainder of the odds and sods that haven't had their five minutes of fame, some more civilians and diverse crew that haven't been covered in a previous post.

As always your comments (and patience with this series of posts) are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 15 August 2016

The Bucket Brigade and Others (Pirates 4)

Over-manned gun
Continuing with my posts about my pirates this week I've sorted through the not-so-vast number of supernumeraries of my collection, the gun crew and a few others of note.
When I made my ships I did design them to be figure friendly, so that gun-ports were spaced sufficiently apart to allow for a figure  to stand on either side of the  model cannons.
The gunners
I had allowed for three gunners per gun and have various figures that are obviously only intended as gunners, so there are figures carrying cannon balls, with rammers, powder ladles and so on, both in action (ramming) and idle poses. Needless to say I haven't enough gunner figures to man all my guns, but I feel do have enough for my purposes.
"Be a pirate they said. It'll be exciting they said"
Along with the more or less unarmed gunners I also have various chaps that can also serve as gun-crew, such as the two figures on the right pulling on ropes. They can of course just serve as generic crew (also known as cannon fodder), but they're obviously not as 'exiciting' as some of the more dynamic cutlass wielding curmudgeons available.
I place the two figures below in the same category as the two rope-pullers, in that they're 'nice' but hardly anything more than eye candy (maybe not so much with my brushwork)
"We're occasionally excited"
"I wish I'd picked a cutlass now"
I seem to have a lot of these figures that are 'nice' to have but wouldn't be anyone's first choice, the two figures with boat-hooks,  on the left perhaps well illustrating the point. They're nice enough figures and it's obvious as to what their purpose is. They're a bit awkward for a busy deck with their boat-hooks as long as they are, but they could have a bit of  future serving as dockside workers.
"How come we never get shore leave?"
The next pair of figures really do look like a pair of fish out of water until they take up their rightful place behind a ship's wheel, as they're both 'Helmsmen'. It's obvious that every ship with a ship's wheel needs one of these chaps, so although they look awkward when not at the helm they're a bit of a necessity I guess.
At a pinch they could be used as an audience for the two musicians above. I've a similar opinion of the two lookouts below; they're needed but look out of context anywhere other than as lookouts. It's even further strange that they're pointing forward (presumably) whilst shouting rear-ward! 
"I'm pretending I've got a spyglass"... "Me too"
Pirate Line-dancing, hand jive.
It took me quite a while to figure out what the purpose of these five rapscallions  was exactly.
I did work out eventually that they were also gunners, but were intended for the swivel guns that I don't have! (But I did intend to get some - honest injun guv)

"How come I get two?"
Just in case you were wondering why this post was entitled "The Bucket Brigade", well here they are, men carrying buckets, just the four of them (probably three too many).
They look OK and could be used both as crew (and more importantly to me ) and civilians, carrying the many types of stuff carried in buckets.
Along with the bucket brigade comes the barreleers (that's a word - right ?) and all I've said about the bucketeers (that sounds a bit more 'piratey' - right?) can be applied to these . They look OK  gun crew with barrels of gunpowder, but could just as easily double as civilians lugging about barrels of rum in a tavern.

So that's it once more for another week and once more I haven't done anything over the last week, I'll be posting more about my pirates next week (sorry).

It remains for me to welcome a new follower to both my blogs (this one and my Gladiator blog - in case you'd forgotten), so "Welcome", Michal Kucharski, (whom I can't find a blog for), I hope you and the other visitors to my blogs find something of interest.

As always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated

Monday 8 August 2016

Muskets (Pirates 3)

All 60 (ish) of my 'musketeers' - bring on D'Artagnan
So in my continuing audit of my Pirate forces I'm  slowly sorting them into various groups and  musket armed figures are in great abundance as can be seen from the photograph.
Worst case of chest-foot ever?
They're quite a mixed bunch in both quality and armament, despite being meant to be musket armed.
There are a few that have carbine length 'muskets' and others that have attached bayonets (? - yep, I know -wtf?), but I'm happy to say most have a chunky  weapon that looks like the length a musket should be (- I get a bit annoyed seeing muskets that appear to be short.)
Amongst the 'shooters' (I've omitted pistols from this category) I came across several of the more esoteric (read Hollywood) weapons that manufactures have produced in their foundries (teehee).
Of course there is also the poor chap that's cursed to carry around a chest on his foot for the rest of his career. I know that manufacturers love to do this sort of thing but it does annoy me, especially as he's not the only one that I have!
Not quite so annoying are the lookouts who are pointing one way whilst looking the other way and presumably shouting something akin to "Sails ahoy"

"They're behind us to my front"
Some 'blunderbus' armed figures (BG 2nd from the left)
 Some of the more usable shooters are armed with the inevitable "Blunderbus", another favourite of both coachmen and Hollywood.

 (It was sorting through these that I found my "Ben Gunn"
They vary greatly in the quality of the representation of their armament as the actual weapons were in reality.

"I thought we were robbing banks"
Along with muskets and blunderbusses I have what appears to be a shot-gun armed pirate, no problem normally as shotguns are really just another form of musket, but this guy has a double-barrelled one!

Adding to the mix there is a figure armed with a multi-barrelled firearm, I presume loosely based on the Henry Nock Volley gun (late 18th, early 19th century) as used by the Royal Navy.
"I'll get the seven on the right, you get the other four"

I'll leave this post with a few pics of the more esoterically armed figures I have (and have no idea what to do with.)
"And the salesman said this is what all the cool pirates are using these days"
"You're no, wrong there laddie" 
"When he said hand-cannon...."
"It looked smaller in the catalogue"
That's it for this week and I'll be continuing to post about my Pirate figure collection next time (sorry).

Thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciate.

Monday 1 August 2016

Bloody Sepoy! (Pirates2)

I was a bit stumped this week (as usual) bout what to post about and I'd decided to do an 'audit' on my pirate figures collection.
Whilst I didn't really need to know how many musket-armed or sword(cutlass) armed figures I had, it would give me something else to post about and another chance to take some photographs of the whole collection.
Or so I thought !
I did start sorting through the two boxes of pirates that I posted about last week when I once more came across the Sepoy that I should have put with the others mutineers.
It was returning him to his rightful place in one of the drawers of a steel office filing cabinet) that I came across the following figures (see photograph below)
 The drawers aren't all labelled so it was a process of just going through the unlabelled ones until the correct one was found.
It came as a bit of a surprise to find yet more pirates.
They're painted but haven't had their bases finished (the other two boxes contain Celts/ancient Brits or some such that were to face my Romans though I can't ever see that happening)

So what was the results of this find ? The photographs reveal all:
28 cutlass/pistol armed pirates of various manufacturers
A trio of axe weilding scallywags
Four pirate-type women of dubious virtues
The women are very 'butch' looking (not that I'm bothered) and they're a cut above the other flimsily dressed  types (of which I also have a few). I have no idea of the manufacturer, but they do look like they're all from the same one.
So yet another 35 figures to add to the mix which means I've roughly painted (in both senses of the word) about 200 figures and have based all but these 35. All I have to do now is figure out how I originally based the majority  and try to match these up (one day).
The magnificent seven peg-legs
Whilst sorting through the others I came across even more peg-legs (or single legged types) to add to the original three (the three in the centre of the photograph above) making a total of seven altogether! I do wonder if they're as prolific as they're made out to be and it seems that every manufacturer of "pirates" seems to find it necessary to have a 'peg leg', not that I'm complaining,merely commenting.
I also discovered that the Wargames Foundry version of  Long John Silver is the third figure from the left in the above photograph, which prompted me to search for both Ben Gunne (sp?) and Jim Hawkins, being the only two others from the 'Treasure Island' pack that I could recollect.

So that's it then for this week - another thirty-five pirates to add to the mix, even if there is still a bit of basing to be done and all because of a misplaced Sepoy!

Thanks once more for visiting and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.