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"Italian Sailors Early 1700s: What Did They Look Like?" Topic

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Cacique Caribe22 Apr 2007 3:03 p.m. PST

In one of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels ("The Land That Time Forgot"),there is a tale of an Italian navigator called Caproni who, in 1721,discovers a land called Caprona/Caspak . . .

"Did you ever hear of Caproni?" he asked.

"An early Italian navigator?" I returned.

"Yes; he followed Cook about 1721. He is scarcely mentioned even by contemporaneous historians--probably because he got into political difficulties on his return to Italy. It was the fashion to scoff at his claims, but I recall reading one of his works--his only one, I believe--in which he described a new continent in the south seas, a continent made up of `some strange metal' which attracted the
compass; a rockbound, inhospitable coast, without beach or harbor, which extended for hundreds of miles. He could make no landing; nor in the several days he cruised about it did he see sign of life. He called it Caprona and sailed away. I believe, sir, that we are looking upon the coast of Caprona, uncharted and forgotten for two hundred years."

What if a few Italian sailors (a handful, maybe) had been left stranded somehow in 1721?

What 28mm figures would you suggest to use for sailors and explorers of that period (which also happens to be Blackbeard's era)?

If I was to buy a handful (2 packs or so?) from Foundry or other sources, which two specific packs would you suggest for a leader and a few sailors of the early 1700s?


I can really cannot tell the difference between pirate costumes of the 1600s and those of the 1700s,


TMP link

Cacique Caribe22 Apr 2007 3:11 p.m. PST

Come to think of it . . .

. . . I wonder how efficient would early 1700s muskets be against dinosaurs and other giant beasts, such as those in "The Land That Time Forgot".


The Gray Ghost22 Apr 2007 3:56 p.m. PST

The sound and the smoke might be more effective than the ball itself.

jweaver22 Apr 2007 5:58 p.m. PST

I dunno, but the guy that runs this website could probably give you a lead:


Cacique Caribe22 Apr 2007 10:05 p.m. PST

Thanks for the help with the research on my "Caprona 1721". A friend of mine directed me to the Foundry's Treasure Island collection (a novel presumably set in the early 1700s):


If I go that route, I will probably be ok with only 2 packs (2/1 and 2/6), since all I want is about 10-12 figures for a short/small game.

What do you think?



Carlos Marighela 223 Apr 2007 5:20 a.m. PST

If he followed James Cook in 1721 then he must have been some guy, even for a fictional character, as Cook wasn't born until 1728. Perhaps he was a gourmand and`was following 'a cook', in which case I'd look for a fat officer figure from a WSS range. Maybe file back a sword and insert a pie or drumstick in the figure's hand. :-)

Cacique Caribe23 Apr 2007 5:32 a.m. PST


Very nice catch!!!

I guess that that is one of many bloopers we will always find in Sci-Fi novels, even Burroughs'.

Cook's date aside, I still like the idea of an early 1700s discovery for the fictional Caprona/Caspak, as it would give me reason to get figures that look like they were contemporary with Blackbeard:



Cacique Caribe23 Apr 2007 8:05 p.m. PST

That "Captain Smottett" and "Doctor Livesy" (pack 2/1) could easily work for leaders of a small expedition left behind:


"Jim Lad" and "Ben Gunn" might be useful too.

The 2/6 pack could become the sailors that accompany them on their fateful trip into the interior.

That gives me 10 stranded Italians on the island/continent of Caprona/Caspak. Perfect!!!


blackjohn01 May 2007 12:12 p.m. PST

If you do a web search on Canaletto… wait, I'll do it for you…

Canaletto was an Italian painter. He did lots of really cool paintings of… Canals! Canal scenes. When arguing pirate stuff with my fellow pirate enthusiasts, I like to point to some of the stuff his sailors are wearing as what could've been accurate for pirates.

Cacique Caribe01 May 2007 12:17 p.m. PST

Nice, nice, nice!



Cacique Caribe28 Jun 2007 2:18 a.m. PST

Based on the Canaletto paintings mentioned by Blackjohn above . . .


Any specific figure suggestions for 28mm, anyone?



Luke Mulder28 Jun 2007 1:44 p.m. PST

To see what Italian sailors of the early eightenth century looked like, i would look at some of the Italian lanscape paintings which were very popular at the beginning of the 18th ce. to the mid 18th cent. Many of these painters focused on scenes of the docks and busy sailors. Canletto was one of the painters, but there were many others of this school. I remember seeing at a mansion called the "Filoli Country Home" a well done oil painting of the boats and docks of early 18th century Italy by one of the lessor known "Canaletto" artists.

Cacique Caribe04 Jul 2007 5:53 p.m. PST

I guess I have a lot to think about . . .



Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jul 2007 9:00 a.m. PST

Some of the Italian sailors undoubtedly had parrotts perched on their shoulders. The sailors probably wore eye patches, bandanas and said "arrgh".

Cacique Caribe22 Sep 2008 9:31 a.m. PST

For a recent discussion on pirates AND dinosaurs . . .

TMP link


Cacique Caribe12 Nov 2008 2:06 p.m. PST

If anyone is interested in trying this with 15mm, I hope this other thread produces rules suggestions:

TMP link


Cacique Caribe11 May 2009 5:28 p.m. PST

"Who do your pirates fight?"

What a silly question: TMP link


Pyrate Captain11 May 2009 8:07 p.m. PST

Is the resurrection of this string a commentary on current strings?

abdul666lw12 May 2009 9:33 a.m. PST


Cacique Caribe03 Mar 2010 1:12 p.m. PST

Well, if anyone is interested in doing 18th century Caspak in 15mm, when it was named by the Italian navigator in 1721:

TMP link

TMP link

docdennis196804 Mar 2010 8:18 a.m. PST

Always room for a fresh concept I guess!

munchausen04 Mar 2010 5:37 p.m. PST

Sailors of the period, (merchant, navy, pirates, whatever) did not wear a uniform as such. Even officers uniforms would be postperiod.

Old Glory 'european sailors' would work. As would most pirates for that matter.


HerbyF14 Mar 2010 8:37 p.m. PST

I also use artillery crews from the period. They are often not very uniform & are dressed down for the hot work they are doing. I would even use Turkish gun crews. A lot of Medeterainian sailors were influenced by the Turks, also the Turks hired many Europeans to man their guns.

archstanton7314 Mar 2010 9:12 p.m. PST

As for a musket against a dinosaur?mmmm a bit dodgy!! I think against the larger saurapods it would merely annoy them (unless you get a head shot) for the armoured dinos like ankylosaurous or even triceratops I don't think you would have much luck…And as for the big carnivours like T Rex or Alosaurus it would just advertise you as lunch!!….I think the best bet would be to use a canon with grape/bar shot--That would certainly make a mess of any dino!!

Cacique Caribe14 Mar 2010 9:48 p.m. PST


You'll find that several people agree with you:

TMP link


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