With the obligatory pirate-speak out of the way.... I have toyed with the idea of adding a Corsair contingent to my Haradrim army for quite some time. Dalamyr has pulled his weight many a time, and the idea of throwing in some xbows to increase my ranged damage and reduce ranged deaths was super tempting, but the notion of the squishy D3 units that I would need to pick up to offset them did not (yes, I know technically this changed under the new warbrokens scheme).
|The hasharin fleetmaster and his motley crew. Note the dashing chapeau on the bloke second from the right. Made up from some cardstock and a spot of modeling clay|
Unlike Tiberius, I have no great love for throwing weapons. They are a handy asset, but I have been unimpressed with their effectiveness as a primary means of damage dealing - especially when you trade off defense for them (see wood elves). However, since obtaining the new Harad/Umbar sourcebooks last summer, I now have another option - in what I'm pretty sure is the only official profile that has no model (and no plans to create one?): the Corsair Reaver.
I have seen a number of conversions for Corsair Reavers, typically consisting of taking the shield troops and either sticking a weapon under the shield, or cutting off the shield arm and attaching a weapon hand. This leads to two problems: 1) you have maybe three poses in your force (since one of the shield corsairs has his shield tucked into his body and is not conducive to swapping out), and 2) you can only use 1/3 of your box of corsairs, requiring multiple boxes to make even a halfway decent group (a very expensive prospect at the current rates for a single sprue).
|Forcing roll-offs with elves, multiple attacks, and now on equal footing with Haradrim in terms of armor (yay profile boosts!), these guys are significantly more viable than their knife throwing counterparts.|
Thankfully, I recently acquired the spare parts from the new plastic Easterling Kataphrakt sprue - along with a number of warg rider weapons from my bits pile. So I had an assortment of swords to work with. It took a bit of creativity, but in the end I managed to come up with a decent conversion for 10/12 poses! If I really wanted to, I could come up with something for the last two, but I'm really not a fan of the constipated archer or the lunging spearman models, so I was okay with letting those go.
|L-R: Archer, spearman, another archer. I sorta missed it in the photo, but I used the speartip to make a hatchet for the reaver on the right. The center reaver got a boarding axe made from some cardboard and a bit of brass rod.|
|I know technically corsair reavers don't have spears, but a boarding pike seemed |
like a suitable weapon for these crazed blokes
|using some of my experience sculpting warg fur for my hill trolls, I decided to give this guy a bit of a queue. Because nothing says "freakishly scary pirate" like a carefully unkempt hairstyle!|
|"But what about the archer quivers?" I hear you ask. Just hollowed them out, and used them for sheathes!|
|The whole crew so far. A few poses are still WIP at this point.|
I'm really happy with the way the conversions came out, and in the few test games I've gotten in so far, they performed very well. There is nothing quite like halting a charging mounted KoDA in its tracks (repeatedly) or beating back an Uruk pike block. I'm really looking forward to forcing elves and heroes to roll off. ;)
next on the agenda for these guys, finding a paint scheme that I like. So far my Corsairs have been a bit eclectic. I figure, these guys have been roaming the seas, pillaging and thieving. They wear whatever they can get their hands on - which sometimes means the clothing of wealthy Gondorians or it's fiefdoms.
Although before we get there, my sculptors tell me things about some new ideas they are floating for Serpent Guard conversions, maybe it's time to head inland...