login   |    register

In-Box Review
Calico Jack
John Rackham - Calico Jack 1720
  • move

by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

about Caribbean Pirates

The beginning of the colonial era in the Caribbean was also known as the Golden Age of Piracy. The Caribbean Sea was thousands of miles from European control, making the region a prime target for pirates who patrolled the seas in order to steal. The Europeans monarchs could not afford to send their naval forces to the Caribbean, so they instead issued letters of marque that allowed the owners of private ships to attack ships from rival nations. These ship captains were known as privateers, legal pirates who turned over a portion of what they seized to the government that sponsored them.

English and French pioneers began to settle on the island of Hispanola around 1630. They became known as Buccaneers because they cooked their food on open fires known as buccans. The Spanish believed they could force the buccaneers to leave by removing their food supply, so they sent hunters to slaughter the wild pigs that were the buccaneer's primary source of food. With the pigs gone, many buccaneers turned to piracy in order to survive. Many buccaneers moved to the island of Tortuga, off the coast of Hispanola, because its fresh waters, fertile ground, good anchorages, and defensible harbors made it ideal for their needs.

Piracy in the Caribbean began to subside by 1750. The European governments had established profitable colonies in the region. This made it possible to send trained naval forces rather than rely on privateers. The Europeans also signed treaties that allowed the safe passage of ships in the Caribbean. Piracy is still a problem in the Caribbean, particularly in cases involving illegal drugs, but modern communication technology has made the sea a safer place to travel and trade.
about the figure

John Rackham, famously know as Calico Jack, is most remembered for his outlandish clothing and his female crew members – Anne Bonny and Mary Read, rather than his exploits as a pirate.

Rackham took on the nickname Calico for opting to wear cotton clothes instead of the more common silks and velvets in fashion at the time. His career as a pirate began when he was elected captain of a ship in 1718. The choice to fire on a French ship, against the wishes of the original Captain, Charles Vane, is what landed Calico Jack the job, and resulted in the crew dismissing Capt. Vane. Now considered a pirate, he sailed the Caribbean for several months, attacking smaller ships and taking their treasures. Calico Jack is also known for coming up with his own version of the Jolly Roger flag, with a skull and two crossed swords instead of two crossed bones.

Calico Jack soon settled down in New Providence in 1719. He was granted a pardon by Woodes Rogers, and soon after began an affair with a married woman, Anne Bonny. In order to be with Bonny, he ignored the pardon and took to the sea again, this time stealing a vessel known as the Curlew. He took his lover onboard with him, along with her husband James Bonny. While James worked as part of the crew, Anne dressed like a man to blend in with the pirates. Since James was mostly concerned with receiving part of the pirate's treasure, he looked the other way when his wife and Rackham had a child. Eventually they left the child in the care of pirates living in Cuba, so Anne could continue to ride with the pirate ship.

This odd arrangement lasted for over a year while they attacked smaller vessels along the West Indies. Calico Jack took on a new sailor whom he felt was spending too much time around Anne. He soon found out that this new sailor was a woman, named Mary Read, who was integral part of Calico Jack's crew. Near the end of October 1720, a British Navy ship led by Captain Barnet went after Calico Jack and his crew. They caught up with the pirate ship in the Jamaican waters. The crew were reportedly so drunk under deck that the two women were left to defend the ship alone. Soon the women were overtaken and the ship was captured. The entire crew were arrested and taken to Jamaica for trial. Both women were pregnant, so they escaped hanging, but Calico Jack and the rest of his crew were hung on November 27, 1720.

I am happy to say that Romeo Models has a very good change on the figure boxes. They changed the standard cardboard box to a very-high quality metal box. The figure comes in the new 130 x 90 x 50 mm. size Romeo Models metal box. The four sides of the metal box includes the company logo and the bottom of the box tells about company information and some warnings about white metal models. The front cover shows the figure painted by Danilo Cartacci from three angles– front view,back view and the face .

Inside the box, there is an A4 paper sheet including short historical info about John Rackham prepared by Riccardo Carrabino and represented in 2 languages; Italian and English. There is no specific painting instructions for the figure and noted that as pirates has no dress code, the artist is free to use his/her imagination,except for the painting of parts in leather or metal.

Parts are well protected between two slabs of thick white polyfoam and parts of the figure base are placed under the polyfoam not to damage the figure parts.

The figure is sculpted by Maurizio Bruno and made up of 12 white metal parts 2 parts for the figure base. All parts are cast clean and crisp in good details. There is not much need for a serious cleanwork, only cleaning a few slightly visible seamlines and brushing with a metal brushing will make it ready to prime.

The main part is upper body with left leg. He wears a long civilian sytle jacket with high collars and small metal buttons in front. Inside the jacket, he wears a shirt with frills and eyelets on the collar. A wide cloth sash is wrapped on the waist and a Dirk, a small knife that was particularly designed and used for throwing , is inserted under the sash on the backside. A wide leather belt with a big metal buckle is crossed on the right shoulder to be used as a weapon belt. He wears knee breeches tied with cloth straps on the outer side of knees, knee height woolen stocking and metal buckled leather shoes. Folds of clothing, worn effect on the skirts of jacket, small details like hilt of dirk, metal buttons and buckles are all well represented.

  • Right leg : It makes a nice fit to the main part. Cloth folds of jacket, breeches and stockings and details of shoe are well defined.

  • Head : Sculpted in very nice facial details,it makes a good fit to the hole on the neck.
    The top of the head is carved for the fit of hat. The hair on the neck, whiskers and visible part of bandana is well defined.

  • Hat : He wears a tricorn hat with decorations on the trims and feathers on the top. Calico Jack was always portrayed with red feathers on historical documents and drawings.

  • Left arm : Posed to put his hand on his waist. The cuffstyle sleeves of the jacket is decorated with 2 metal buttons. It shows nice cloth folds.

  • Right arm : Posed to carry a pirate scope leaning on the wooden sidewall of the deck. It shows nice cloth folds.

  • Sword : He carries a Cutlass - short,broad sabre or slashing sword with a straight or slightly curved blade sharpened on the edges and a hilt often featuring a solid cupped guard.

  • Pistols : (2 pieces) He carries 2 Flintlock pistols in leather holsters attached to his weapon belt.

  • Leather bullet case : It makes a nice fit to the hole at the bottom of weapon belt.

  • Tail of bandana : It will be attached to the hole under the collar at the back side of the figure.

  • Front part of cloth sash : It will be attached to the front where 2 leg parts meet eachother.

  • Figure base : It consist of two parts ; the deck floor section and wooden sidewall . Parts show very nice wooden texture and make good fit.

    The following books can be useful when painting this figure.

  • Osprey Publishing - Elite – 067 –Pirates 1660-1730 by Angus Konstam & Angus Mc Bride
  • Osprey Publishing - Elite - 069 – Buccaneers by Angus Konstam & Angus Mc Bride

    Very nice subject, excellent sculpt , high quality flawless casting, ease on assembly and correct fit with pins and holes on the parts. I believe any painter who will paint this figure will be absolutely satisfied.

    Very Highly Recommended
    Highs: Nice subject, great sculpt and flawless cast. Nice detailed figure base.
    Lows: Not much lows for this figure.
    Verdict: Absolutely a very nice figure to paint.
    Percentage Rating
      Scale: 75mm
      Mfg. ID: RM-75005
      Suggested Retail: 42 EUR
      Related Link: Product Page
      PUBLISHED: Oct 11, 2009
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 92.18%

    Our Thanks to Romeo Models!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

    View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2021 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


    Thanks for the review, bro
    OCT 26, 2009 - 03:34 PM

    What's Your Opinion?

    Click image to enlarge
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move
    • move