|Papa Jambo, Witch Doctor of the Black Sailors|
I have always had a soft spot for orcs, ever since I started playing 40k with the second edition boxed game. They were called Space Orks back then, and their identity was a little confused, equal parts goofy and equal parts brutal. Most of the models were also quite generic humanoid figures, with few discerning features. This all changed when Brian Nelson re-envisioned/recreated orcs for Games Workshop. Rather than spindly human frames, they were replaced with hunched, hulking bodies, with huge corded muscles dominating their oversized arms. Their faces also changed slightly, taking all the hallmarks of orcs in the fantasy setting, pointed ears, small recessed eyes, pug nose, and a broad jaw brimming with sharp teeth, and created something more his own. This gave Games Workshop’s Orc design their own unique look, even though it was built from standard tropes, and it solidified my love of orks. In the years since Nelson’s redesign, many have tried to sculpt orks in his style, but few ever really succeeded. They tend to go through all the right motions, but always ultimately lose something in the process (often the sheer brutal practicalism of their clothes and weapons, replaced with wonky oversized nonsense). I can probably count on one hand the orc models that I like that are not designed by Brian Nelson, and therefore almost lost interest in new orc models in general. This all changed with the Black Sailors - Pirates, Orcs, Fantasy Miniatures! Kickstarter
by Big Child Creatives. They are a small company of very talented sculptors based out of Madrid Spain, who decided to launch a project with the following premise: "At BigChild we love orcs, we love pirates, so we thought, why not combine the two and produce such miniatures!?" The result is an astounding collection of swashbuckling orcs, each gigantic in 54mm scale. The amount of passion and creative energy oozing from each model literally renewed my faith in the creation of orc models. I had to get one. I ended up selecting Papa Jambo, a ramshackle Witch Doctor, and to my delight, he arrived in the mail yesterday. I think that pictures will convey the meticulous craftsmanship of these models better than I could write!
|I was immediately impressed just looking at the box of the Black Sailors. It is big and colorful, with excellent graphic design. It has a particularly lovely orc skull and crossed sword symbol, and an excellent image depicting the scale of the model to the standard 28mm. |
|The box even has a little flap that reveals the contents of the box. Inside all of the pieces are in a plastic clam pack, along with a sticker that shows a painted version of the model.|
|All the the many detailed pieces included with the model.|
|I was blown away by the complex and fine detail on the body of the model. It is never gaudy or needless. Notice the tiny crabs crawling up his leg and the claw that replaces his ankle.|
|The model’s face is wonderful, full of mischievous mirth.|
His two arms, one holding a bleached orc skull, the other holding a simple staff.
|This massive bird, a familiar perhaps, perches on the orc’s back.|
|As a Kickstarter bonus, they included this top hat and ritual dagger.|
|To give you a sense of the scale of the model, here is the witch doctor’s body next to the classic Gamesday Black Orc warboss!|
|In addition to the Witch Doctor, they included this little goblin king as a Kickstarter bonus. They also gave a free 28mm gladiator model to make up for the models being shipped 4 months later then they suggested in the Kickstarter (a nice gesture, particularly considering 4 months is hardly late compared to most Kickstarters, in my experience).|
I was excited when I heard that Big Child Creative was shipping out the Black Sailor models, but I was not expecting to be so impressed. Everything from the package to the model design is top notch. The sculpt on the Witch Doctor looks fantastic in the pictures, but I cannot overstate how impressive the model looks in person. The larger 54mm scale allows for a level of detail that is astounding; Joaquin "Freeman" Palacios did a magnificent job. The resin casting was also stellar, with very few moldlines. In fact, his body is probably the best resin cast I have ever seen, with virtually no moldlines or shift whatsoever. Sorry for not having time to assemble the model for this post, I was just too excited about the model not to share! As I am finishing writing this, I am already starting to clean each piece!
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