Pirates are of course criminals - men (and occasionally women) who rob and murder for personal profit. However those of the past, and particularly of the 17th and 18th Centuries, are often viewed in a romantic and exhilarating light. Countless 'swashbuckling' films from Hollywood have glamorised these individuals into something they were not, but they were certainly colourful, exotic and enormously varied, which makes them a popular subject for figure sets like this one from LW.
These figures seem to encompass a large part of the history of piracy. Some of the figures seem fitting for action during the early days on the Spanish Main, when Spanish treasure ships were among the many tempting targets. Others would not look out of place on board a ship in the 18th century, during the so called 'Golden Age' of piracy. Naturally pirates took little heed of fashion and wore whatever took their fancy, but all these figures are dressed in an authentic-looking manner. The seamen are correctly attired for the 17th and 18th centuries, and the 'captains' are wonderfully over-the-top with a perfusion of feathers in the hat and other extravagant clothing. One of the figures is clearly a female captain (of which there were several), though her costume is rather too over-the-top, being more suitable for English pantomime or some other theatrical show.
Many LW sets have very poor sculpting (or else poor mould-making - the result is the same), but while the pirates could not be described as excellent they are a whole lot better than much of the rest of their range. The bodies are fully rounded and reasonably well proportioned. There is a good deal of detail, and the poses are realistic and interesting. However there is still a problem with flash and excess plastic (and some extremities like weapons not being fully present), and the dark grey translucent plastic in which they are cast does not show them off at their best.
The gun has a very long barrel, and is mounted on a naval carriage. This has actually been well done, and the two crew for it are also very good.
Making a set of pirates is as much about fun as anything else, and in that light this is an enjoyable collection of figures. We can even forgive the costume of the female pirate! This is one of the best sets so far from LW, and while they still need to improve the quality of their mould, this is a useful set of figures that should prove popular.