At the sketch stage these were a pirate with a cutlass. After the lines were vectored it looked just like he was pulling the blade out from under his coat and I thought that was interesting enough to become the focus of the figure.
If you're pulling a weapon out of your coat, then you were hiding it. Why were you hiding it? Because you're not meant to have it. Who wears long coats and conceals weapons? City toughs! And so Mr Corsair becomes Mr Ruffian and the cutlass became improvised bludgeons.
The idea really cemented itself when I gave #2 that crazy hair. That's when I realised the OTT japanese gangster look was the way to go. #2 has it best with his bare chest and snazzy coat lining, but #3's tied trousers are pretty cute too. I think #1 looks too much like a wizard with that beard and the strange ruff - I'd hoped that the colouring would bring him more on-theme. Even tried going back to the lines to turn the ruff into a scarf, but it wasn't happening. Shame. The lead pipe is my favourite weapon though.
Speaking of which, I like the weapon variety. All things that a good leg-breaker might be carrying.Crowbar obviously coloured after Mr Freeman's, and a disquieting spatter-mark on the truncheon. And it's nifty how that little loop turns a baseball bat into a truncheon - though ribbing the handle helps make it obvious.
Modular divisions: Head, collar, belt, arms, weapon.
The colours aren't terrible, but only #2 feels right. Maybe if I had others so I could make it obvious that they're wearing gang colours? I'm missing a trick here. Not going to dwell. Plenty of time to come back to it if I have an idea.