Okay, firstly I know how notgood my sculpting skills are so I'll try to avoid calling any of them a bad sculpt, it's not as if I could do better.
So, going down the list -
1: Great stocky little figure. I like the way he looks nervous and paranoid (and in humans the downturned mouth is traditionaly significant of a pessimistic outlook as well). In fact the mouth, the nervous paranoid defensive posture and the general style almost make me think of him as being almost as pessimistic as Eyore (but actualy bothered enough to do things like dive for cover and hide). He almost looks as if he carries the gun to threaten people with (steal their lunch money?) but doesn't dare to actualy use it (maybe the bang makes him jumpy). In battle I can imagine him scurrying into a dark corner to hide and if someone ran by he might aim a bit but might not dare taking the easy shot (because as far as he's concerned he might screw it up and then they'd know he was there....).
10: Alright, I know it's not human but somehow the legs still seem a bit on the small side (I suppose I haven't seen enough great apes recently
). The balance on the barrel seems a bit odd, if he was jumping off or standing there I'd still expect it to look somewhat different (can't really explain it). I'm not too keen on the metallic parts on the left arm. The robotic hand is okay but the arm sections just don't seem quite right. I know that they're thinner than the arm but that because they're inside the space it was once in, then they could easily (by design) be slimmer. However the design of the arm parts says big and chunky and the hand is big and chunky. The arm'd look a bit better if the difference between the scale of the robotic arm and robotic hand was not so big. At least that's what I think.
11: "What you lookin' at?" I like the coat, I like the Grymn bits along the top of the boots. The face has a slight arrogant/bothered quality that gives it nice character that a good painter could really bring out. The shirt looks a little bit flat, maybe there could be a few more creases or folds/dips and ridges, in the cloth. The hat's great.
12: On the whole I like this figure. The pose of the sword arm seems a little artificial given the bulk of the sword. I could appreciate it with something a bit slimmer (such as a rapier or foil) but the sword almost looks a little too heavy for that pose (she seems a little more like she's posing before taking on some big action stunt than actualy fighting just yet). The dress is nice, the apron especialy (is that an apron?) gives a great "housewife gone bad" image and is a nice alternative to all those female pirate/thief miniatures you see wearing trousers, tights, bikini's and marvel superheroes spray on outfits. Those are all well and good but sometimes you really need to have some more normal models too (not only for npc's, sometimes you just feel like playing that sort of character too).
2: He's looking up, that seems a bit awkward exept that his size makes sense of it. The gun is aiming up at the same angle that the head is looking, that's good. If his right arm was natural then I'd say that he's holding the sword a bit too high for that high aiming pose (normaly it would be somewhat low to offset the balance). But he's not human, he's got a lower centre of gravity (as defined by his body shape) and the metallic arm is holding the blade in it's default position. I can't quite make out the things strapped on his back, they could perhaps be a little more defined (although if I saw it physicaly instead of a photo that probably wouldn't be the case).
3: I'm not too keen on this one. It's the very heavy square jaw with a slight curve. It seems a little too heavy for the rest of his body (not too much, just a little bit). I like the hat and coat, even the gun but the left arm and jaw sort of put me off a bit. Those straps/ridges down the back of the coat are great
4: That gun is brilliant! It looks like parts of a film projector, those old reel to reel tape recorders, a big square shoulder film camera, a personal stereo, laser rifle barrels and some sort of heavy machinery. It just screams retro scratch built trying to be new (and actualy being somewhat experimental). And that makes it a pirate thing
. There was a pirate who had a rediculous pistol combi weapon (a many barrelled pistol arranged like an organ gun with two rows of barrels that all fired on the same trigger). Now that was one hell of a crowd clearer but also highly likely to malfunction. This almost looks like the same kind of thing, very pirate, very risk taking.
5: The right hand below the gun looks like it's in a bit of an awkward position. The face cannot be very clearly seen but there are still a few things that speak of character, namely the "broken bit of tubing gun barrel" and the gasmask thingy. Is that a chemical cannister beneath the gun there? It's got sme sort of sigil carved into it - sort of like a Z with a curvy bit on the bottom. That's a nice touch.
6: If only his extended fist was giving the thumbs up! That'd be great
. This guy's got an upside down keyhole on a lock on his chest that has a number pad or air holes beside it. Lots of wires and maybe even a robotic face. He's got something that looks like a grenade pattern on his gun and something that could be stickbombs on his back. I almost see them as being slots for inserting energy fuel rods to recharge him. However, there's a few straps that were holding another one on so they're probably grenades (although I see them being fired from the gun as if it was a grenade launcher.
7: Wow, what can I say? We all knew that this one was good. Unfortunately the style seems a little bit too reaper to fit in with the Hasslefree style. Hopefuly the judges have managed to look past that. My only concern is that the sabre is very slender at it's base. That could prove to be a structural weak point (if it was a 20-25mm figure I'd definately expect it to break there, it'd be more durable in larger scales). I remember an older version of this with big ari puff/chav boots that were just huge. I wasn't too fond of those and the new footwear looks better, still a little oversized but better (and remember that pirates always go for form and style over function and usability). The tied shirt thing looks a bit odd, there's bits (ends) hanging down but no knot for them to come from. Of course if it's wraped round a few times and the knot tucked away beneath an earlier layer then that all makes sense. Damned fine model anyway. I'd probably say this is one of the best sculpts from a technical point of view but many of the others are really great because of the style or something about them which is just a really good idea. Style-wise this one's still pretty good.
8: Hmm.... almost a bit of flatmodel syndrome there (you know when you can look at it top down and it looks like a straight line with everything almost aligning itself along a flat straight line and the sides are pretty flat without much sticking out away from that flat line). The style of the glasses and the goatee are just cool. His robo-arm seems better proportioned than the gorrila's one (and so doesn't stand out as much as looking odd). The boots remind me a little of 7's in style but they seem to suit him. Is that a gorget around his neck? It'd almost be nice to paint it as a hanky he tied round his face as a crap disguise and has now lowered once he's been cornered and knows he's going to have to kill them to get away with whatever he nicked. My first thoughts (after cool glasses and goatee) when I looked at this model where "which bank did he rob then?"
9: There's almost an impish puck-like quality to this face. Sort of child like but not childish. The fur boots don't stand out from the trousers enough, in fact if the trousers stood out a bit more it'd almost look like fur feet (or perhaps he has fur feet). Knife on the boot's a nice touch. The only bad thing about the big sword on his back is that his arms are too short for him to fully draw it (oh he can reach it but it'd get stuck halfway out because he can't pull it out far enough to clear the scabbard, thus leading to some awkward hand over hand moments). Maybe he's carrying it for someone more important. When they call he'll rush over and kneel for them to draw it from his back. In fact, if he's a squire that could explain the cocky childlike quality to his face.
B: I'm sorry but I don't like this one very much. It's too "french" for my tastes (looks too Rackham with the curvy linear filligree stuff and the Dirz look to it). Even 'though it's not it actualy looks really skinny and willowy like some wispy sort of air thing that'd blow away on a breeze or wash away in a fast stream with a few oversized big bits tacked on the side Rakham style. I don't like that, big chunky things on thin skinny bits look like they'll break off (especialy when it's on creatures). I prefer my miniatures to look a little more feasible although this comes quite close when you look at it and see that it's not that skinny (and you probably wouldn't get so much of an optical illussion when it's painted up but the monotnal green pic strengthens the illussion). The parrot on his shoulder is a nice touch but looking at the whole miniature I'd almost want that parrot to be a crow
C: Someone above said that this one looks very pirate. I agree with that. He just has that rough and ready pirate look about him. I love the battle damage on his leg plates. I suspect this is one of the ones Kev & Sally want (either a winner or one of the three runners up) because the sculpt just seesm to fit the Hasslefree style so well.
D: Um, same as B mostly only this one would look even more willowy and skinny when painted too but at least the big bits aren't so large this time (unfortunately the skinny bits are considerably thinner than the other one which almost makes it worse). Don't worry, I'm not insulting the stylistic choices made, I'm just explaining that I don't like them (and my reasons why).
E: Waaaaa! Two handed adjustable spanner of doom! Have some of that you sailor scum! Bash.... Ahem.... Um, I quite like this one. The bare wires extended from the bottom of the slightly unfinished looking spanner and the footless leg give it a slightly unfinished feel but also an impression that, given a little more time, it'd be a really great miniature. The existing foot is standing up on tip toes but the upper body looks as if it's standing flat footed. The spanner also looks like it's drawn back for a swing, not raised for an overhand bash. The sculptor's got the arms right 'though. With a two handed weapon the strength arm goes at the base (where it doesn't need to do much other than whack) whilst the guiding hand grips the weapon higher up and moves up and down the grip as it rises and falls (if you've ever used a full axe or sledge hammer you'll know what I mean).
F: I like this one a lot. As I've said before I like the flatheaded look. The bony knobs make him look a bit like a specific dinosaur (can't remember the name of it) so overall he's got a sort of scale free ogre dinosaur lizardman look that is nice, unique and full of character. The anchor's just great and the rhino/elephant feet are just a touch of genius
. Pose is a bit static but the rest more than compensates for it
G: This one doesn't really say pirate to me. It's more a sort of witch, wizard or seer (although I could see a pirate crew exploting a seer for their own evil gain). It's nice but it doesn't quite strike me as a pirate model.
H: Okay, to me the sword blade looks like an oversized plank. Something between the hips and breasts doesn't quite look right. The body's twisting and leaning forwards but the upper body doesn't seem consistant with that lean. I hope her knees are bent because from this angle her arms look long. They aren't, they're the right length which makes the legs look short. If she's not standing straight legged (and who would on a rolling ship's deck?) then that explains it but then there are some people who have short legs just as others have long. I can'ty see it too clearly but is the scabbard large enough to hold the sword blade? I hated a period when GW made loads of models (when they got mad on those naff plastic high elf spearmen) that all had swords that were too long and wide to fit in the empty scabbards at their belt (they were also all using two handed swords single handedly and the double handed weapons just looked rediculous). The scabbard here looks about the right size to almost hold the sword if it doesn't entirely fit so if it doesn't fit then it's not a glaring inconsistancy.
I: A bit of flat model syndrome again but all the folds and creases in the cloth more than make up for it. He does look a little like he's doing the splits (and has what could be described as a look of painful agony upon his face). He might look better with his feet slightly closer together but then on a rolling ship's deck you want to stand with your legs apart and knees slightly bent for better balance.
J: Grumpy goblin. His boots remind me of the ones I didn't like on an earlier sculpt of 7. The folded arms, the ears, hat and face all emphasise the same attitude with the slashed trousers looking like his luxury item he has to cheer himself up a bit and feel special. The belt buckle is the wrong way round and people who've read the peeves thread might remember that I hate it when the buckles on miniatures are the wrong way round.
K: Okay, this one looke a little flatter than the two I previously said had flatmodelsyndrome. Lots of nice cloth to paint. The cloth looks very natural but somehow the style of the sculpt doesn't look very Hasslefree. It doesn't look very Rackham either, more sort of Mithril Miniatures on a larger scale really. He looks like he's got a bit of a 'tash as well but I can't really tell from this angle.
L: Well from earlier pictures I can tell you that this one's the same size as the dwarf pirates (the 3 earlier ones and the two handed spanner one). I like it. The cutlas looks a little big for it's scabbard but I like the gun slung across the shoulder. It's got a nice blunderbus/shotgun look to it and that's the sort of nice low tech big damage pirate thing (they probably use it for the bang sound and cloud of smoke rather than the damage). I think she was meant to be captain of the pirate crew with the spanner being first mate (but I'm not sure the others are from the same sculptor although they all seem to have been done by the same person).
M: Robo-pirate. The big square body could be slimmer but it definately tells you that this is a machine. The face has a distinct skull like look (very pirate). The coat looks very square behind but where it's open at the front the robotic body looks more sort of human chest shaped. The jacket's square chunky shape doesn't seem to have any folds in it, almost as if it's a metal coating applied to the body. It's got a few creases at the front and across the shoulders at the back but just looks a bit too stiff. Perhaps a headscarf tied on by it's co crew members would have been a nice touch.
N: Lovely little lass. The style seems a bit Reaper but often that's no bad thing. I normaly don't like the "silly shaped holes in the blade" thing but in this case (because it's a pirate) it makes perfect sense. I do wonder what her left arm is doing. It almost looks as if it should be clasping some flagpole or gripping a shield. If the hand was doing something it wouldn't look odd but the arm out like that with the closed fist looks a little strange. Feet are a bit on the small side but apart from that I seriously like it.
O: Um... Max in a robotic/padded raccoon/otter suit? Why do americans keep thinking of badgers as flat things with really long pointy tails? Over here in britain (and probably in europe) the non american badgers have a more bulky body and a short stubby tail you can't see because of their fur. American badgers always look like fake joke doormat flat things to me (probably why they make so many stupid jokes about them that just don't make sense and aren't even funny unless badgers look like rediculous silly fake doormat flat things). So it's not a badger but it might be an otter or something that actualy is this sort of shape. The actual face within the open helmet is furry but not a badger's face (no snout). It's got more of a bear cub's face or a dog or something. It's certainly an interesting model but I'm not sure I'd actualy want to own it (unless I started up a squat army and wanted a really unusual squat in exo armour).
P: I remember saying I liked this one before and I still do. I remember the sculptor having a real battle with her, suffering constant bouts of frustration gettings parts of her to look right. Given all the work that went into this I'd say she's a damned good final result.
Q: "Sword, what sword?" The nice little smug innocent face trying to blag something so blatantly obvious just makes this funny. It's as if he thinks he could actualy get away with it. His arms seem a little bit too short to actualy use it very well but he looks soft footed enough to sneak up for one hell of a two handed overhead kidney strike that'd floor any unsuspecting victim.
R: Orc pirate. If there was any race that just suits the pirate life well (apart from elves) it'd have to be orcs. They've just got the right sort of attitude "use da wun wot looks nasty!" You can just see him lurching across a ship's deck, robotic arm twitching as a faulty circuit causes the hand to shudder and flex. He doesn't care 'cause as far as he's concerned that just makes it more scary. The gripper hand almost looks like it was made to be a gun rest. The sewn up scars on his body are very low tech, very pirate, very orcy and all on the front. Those flabby bits of skin on his lower back add to his experienced rock hard old orc look. I hope he's one of the five Kev & Sally want as he just looks so good. The whole thing from his eyepatch and headscarf right down to his rootic arm and bare feet all make him look very pirate like indeed.
S: First thought: that sword's too big. Seriously, that's not even a plank. It's a plank and a half. That aside it's a very nice model but (and this could be a trick of the light) it does look as if it's another buckle the wrong way round. Add that to the sword and I'm sorry but I'm not too fond of this little chappy.
T: Swooping crouching pirate psycho hook thing of doom! The whole pose says he's crouching for a spring at someone. Very animalistic but, more importantly, very pirate style. The hooked end of the sword looks nasty too.
U: Woah, big punk hair, scary.... The sword's a bit big but the clothes definately suit the type of pirate/punk psycho look she's trying to pull off. The shoes seem a bit out of place, almost as if they belong on some little daddy's girl. It's almost as if she was captured/ran away to join the pirates and has had to look the part to avoid getting bullied but just couldn't part with her dearest little shoes. Almost as if she's trying to look a lot tougher than she actualy is just so that she doesn't actualy have to prove it by being tough as well as looking it.
V: Hmm, okay, so the robotic parts are seriously oversized and make the body look scrawny. Without the arms the head and body do not look scrawny (although the shoulderplate looks a lot larger than it ought to be). If it didn't have the same big chunky things on thin willowy bits as two others I mentioned then I'd quite like this figure but as it is I'm sort of turned off a bit.
W: Another orc pirate. This one's more GW and less generic (the other one was seriously nicely generic but not very GW). Okay, so he's a bit big and rough and crude (personality, not the sculpt) but then he's a savage brute of a monster so who cares? In fact, in his case these are good traits. The bat on his shoulder and the little bundle of rope with the two eyestalks are a nice touch as well (or is it a little creature with eyestalks tied up to the stake/peg with an exessive ammount of rope?). He's certainly got a lot of attitude but he's the sort of model which might almost cause GW's legal team to investigate as his head looks so close to some of the things they've done.
X: That's got to be a two handed weapon when actualy in use. Sort of like a long handled cleaver. The jacket, the hat and the pistol all have a very piratey look and I definately like this little fellow. The face could probably look a little more gblinish 'though.
Y: I'm glad the sword arm's been changed since the earlier preview pics but it still looks a bit odd sticking out so much. I seem to remember the sculptor saying he'd have redone it if he had the time. Somehow the big cigar makes her look very spanish, I don't know why. It'd be a nice challenge to try to paint mediterranean skintones 'cause there's not a lot of paints out there to do it without mixing and skin tutorials all seem to be caucasian, dark or occassionaly oriental.
Z: Scary. This guy's got so many bionic parts he's almost a robot. His remaining "humanity" shows in the pose, the unmechanical way he's moving, and it makes him seem very alive. A nice emotional piece.
a: Arab ninja martial artist with robot bits. That's sort of nasty. The robotic parts here look efficient, skillfuly designed, not the sort o crude pirate things the other pirates have. The style almost seesm a bit Rakham again but this time it actualy looks good (no oversized chunky things attached to twigy thin limbs). I could see this being a nasty addition to any pirate crew.