There’s a wonderful selection of miniatures depicting orc and goblin pirates available from a variety of companies. In my opinion Borgossa is up there with the best of them! Less brutal than the orc sculpts and less comical than most goblins, he comes across as a distinct individual. The sculpt depicts, I think, both experience and cunning intelligence. This is not someone you would wish to risk crossing either swords or wits with.
Commodore Borgossa is only my second proper attempt at painting a bust and as such posed a stimulating set of challenges. My first bust was Uncle John from Infamy Miniatures and, although I’m very happy with how he turned out, there were definitely some issues around how I chose to paint him. At the time I was experimenting with Valleyo paints and had great difficulty controlling their level of gloss. This was particularly noticeable on a larger piece like a bust. My colour palette also proved to be problematic. I painted Uncle John in a bright palate of contrasting colours giving the piece a strong visual impact. Unfortunately I think this, combined with a clean and ‘cartoony’ style of painting, resulted in the wrong sort of impact. Seeing my version of Uncle John displayed next to other painted busts, at both Euro Militaire and Salute, I was stuck by how out of place he looked. I don’t believe in painting something a certain way just because it’s in vogue and everyone else is doing it but, to put it bluntly, my Uncle John looked like a toy next to the other busts! Clearly there were lessons to be learned from the experience.
The issue around controlling the finished gloss was my own fault and not one of bad or faulty paint. It’s important that a painter understands the inherent qualities of the materials he is using and employs them appropriately. This is something I’ve tried to pay especial attention to over the past year. With the addition of Scalecolour paints and inks to my toolbox, I feel I now have a good range of finishes available to me. More importantly, I’m mindful of how I use those finishes in my projects.
To avoid an overly bright colour palette, I need to pay close attention to saturation and contrast. As someone whose instincts run towards a more colourful approach, I’m constantly surprised by just how far you can push the desaturation of your colours without compromising the colourfulness of your work.
The quality of the cast on the Commodore Borgossa bust was near perfect, with no air bubbles and almost no sign of any mould lines. As a result the preparation time prior to painting was minimal, and that’s never going to be a bad thing in my book! The kit comes in four parts and I decided to begin painting before I assembled them. This allowed me greater access and ease of handling.
For Commodore Borgossa I want to put my past experiences to good use. So I’ve decided to set myself the goal of achieving a more realistic and less 'cartoony' result than I’ve previously done in my painting.