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Corto Maltese - Ballad of the Salt Sea


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Corto Maltese - The Ballad of the Salt Sea

From Hugo Pratt's masterpiece comic book, comes the first adventure of the adventurer Corto Maltese, the captain without a ship. In The Ballad of the Salt Sea, we find Corto lost at sea tied to a raft, only to be rescued by the infamous scoundrel Rasputin and brought aboard his Fijian Catamaran ship. Together with First-Mate Cranio, they navigate the treacherous waters of the South Pacific. They eventually reach the "Escondida" Island, the lair of the mysterious pirate king, known only as the "The Monk".

This set would include Rasputin's Catamaran (~390 pieces) and The Monk's Throne (~100 pieces), plus a small display "island" for the minifigures. This means that the project could easily be made into a€/$49,99 set. With the ship I tried to recreate Pratt's design while keeping the size manageable and adding some play features. It has a two-story deck, with intricate weaving pattern on the outer walls. The roof is detachable to allow easy access to the bottom floor. The mast if fully articulated, as are the traditional melanesian sail's edges. There is a secret trap-door for smuggling on the ship's bottom. The minifigure display stand doubles as an Escondida Island beachfront, and can be placed in front of the Monk's Throne.

Essential minifigures would be:

Corto Maltese - the "rogue with a heart of gold", the captain without ship, an adventurer who likes to carve out his own destiny where nature failed to assign him one. He has seen wars and revolutions, but keeps his allegiances to himself. 

Rasputin - a trickster, thief and, at the moment, a pirate of the South Seas, deep down he is not as bad has he seems. Very deep down...

Cranio - the Melanesian first-mate of Rasputin's Fijian catamaran, Cranio is an excellent sailor and a better henchman...

The Monk - the elusive and mysterious Pirate King of the South Seas, The Monk controls all traffic from his stronghold at the Escondida Island.

Additional minifigures (not necessarily because they are less relevant to the story, but simply because they would make less iconic minifigures):

Pandora and Cain Groovesnore - British cousins, rescued from a shipwreck.

Tarao - a Maori sailor from New Zealand, also rescued from the shipwreck.

I hope you like the project and all comments and suggestions are more than welcome.


Check out my other projects:

After Jules Verne: Robur's Albatross, Clipper of the Clouds

The Crimson Thunder

More on Corto Maltese and The Ballad of the Salt Sea: 

Wikipedia entry (english)

Wikipedia entry (french, much more information)

A review of the book

And another one

Browse through these images to see Hugo Pratt's awesome artwork

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