Last year, purely by accident (my carrying some part-painted Axemen of Lossarnach past him at the end of my lunch break) a co-worker spotted my “little men” and actually recognised what they were – specifically LotR models. It turned out that after (sort of) working together for a year or so (we work in different areas of the workplace), unbeknownst to each other there was another hobbyist in the place. Skipping over why we still haven’t managed to schedule a game yet, we’ve traded some odds and bods each way, and late last year he cornered me and rather generously insisted very strongly that I accept some of his unused Viking models – wanting me to take an entire SAGA warband’s worth of them. I was hesitant to accept, since I’ve got a ton of stuff already, but eventually he wore me down and I accepted. Since he asks me every so often if I’ve started painting them, I’ve now decided to paint them up a dozen or so at a time and hopefully help to motivate him to do some painting as well, as he’s been planning to knock out a big block of 50 Vikings in one hit over a fortnight off for at least 6 months now. I’ve told him about the monthly challenge on Dakka, and he’s warmed to the idea of completing a dozen models a month as a more realistic goal.
So last week I started these. Doing about half an hour of “monkey work” each night after work. Filing metal bases, gluing them down to plastic rounds, adding acrylic putty to the bases, spray undercoating, sanding the bases, then painting the sand. Blacking out the metal parts, drybrush, highlight drybrush, wash…
But now I’m a bit stuck. I want them to look reasonably realistic. They’ll still retain my overall “clean” style, but I want the colours to be appropriate. Browsing various galleries of Viking miniatures tends to show them painted in the same way that many Celt models are painted. Very bright colours, stripey trousers… I dunno. It just seems like they might be barking down the wrong tree.
I know I wasn’t worried about being historically accurate with the Spartans recently and was happy to go for a “Hollywood Style” combination of Lambdas and Corinthian Helmets, though I was wanting to be reasonable with the colours. I did the same with my T-34s for Bolt Action simply because I wanted to get some Red iconography on them despite most Red army tanks of the period and type not having red stars, etc. For whatever reason, I want to get the Vikings more accurate than that same “Hollywood Style”. Television teaches us that “The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants”, after all… 😉
My googling found me quite a good article on Viking clothing on The Hollywood Reporter’s website of all places (yes, really), including an attached gallery. No stripes to be had, but a smallish variety of muted colours.
I’ve got access to Osprey Elite 3 (Vikings) where Angus McBride’s wonderful colour plates only show striped trousers on a Rus/Eastern Viking (pictured on the cover), and Osprey Men at Arms 85 (Saxons/Vikings/Normans) where once more, the plates (G.A.Embleton) again show a variety of muted colours, but no stripes.
Of course, the models I have here are the nicest ones from the batch given to me, and many of them have capes or look like leaders in some form or another, so a unit destined to provide my Hearthguard in SAGA – and as elites in other wargames. So they’ll be painted a little fancier than others. Still, I’m wanting to know if I should stay with mono-colours on their clothing, with perhaps a differently coloured hemline or some patterning on cloaks at the most – and is striped clothing the historical no-go that it seems to be, despite being painted so often on seemingly everyone’s Viking models?
I know there are at least a few people who read this who are far more well-versed in this than I am. Any ideas?