Thursday, February 17, 2011

Captain Cutlass - Modern Day Pirate

Captain Cutlass is, in reality Judsen Flaire, who squandered the family fortune building a fleet of restored and updated old ships. In Blackhawk #160, May 1961 it is revealed that his family fortune was originally built up by piracy, the leader of which was a Captain Cutlass. Judsen decides to rebuild the family fortune by using his uniquely configured ships to commit crimes on the high seas, which of course brings him into conflict with the intrepid Blackhawks. In their first couple of encounters Captain Cutlass gets the better of the Black Knights, including downing a couple of their jets with buzz-saw shields from a Viking ship. Later Captain Cutlass spies Blackhawk and one of his men in a rubber raft floating on the sea and decides to pick them up. Big mistake!!! Turns out the raft is attached to the conning tower of the Hawksub from which issue the rest of the Blackhawks for a dust-up on the deck of the Greek galley Cutlass is using. They capture the gang and bring the pirate captain to justice. When I was thinking about doing Captain Cutlass and his crew I looked around for figures I could adapt. I finally settled on some pirate figures from a French company called Repliques et Legendes, which specialized in finished pewter figures. Finished pewter is basically tin, lead and a few other trace alloys which is then treated in an acid bath that turns them black. They are then hand polished on a polishing wheel which gives them the nice patina you will normally see with finished pewter. These can then be painted but I only use acrylics on them. The company had a nice range of pirate figures, including Black Beard, who I used as Captain Cutlass. I also threw in a girl (Ann Bonny figure) just because I thought it would be neat. I also liked that they offered an African figure. In the story the pirate crew isn't really seen in any detail and there was no evidence of either a girl or an African, and there are very few Africans in comics during this period, but I thought it would be neat to include both. As for the ships - they were models I had on hand and fit in nicely with the story, although they are not to the same scale.
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