Vikings, Åtta!

So I’m back. It took the better part of a week to back up and replace the hard drive (still have my Steam folder to add to the external HDD backup). I’m feeling better in relative terms in that I’m over what I believe was the flu, and am down to more general, low level winter cough and cold misery. The more important family health stuff is ongoing and slow, but will hopefully work out to 100%, though there’s a couple of months on that road yet before it’s done. Thank you to all of you who left comments in the previous post, and apologies for not having replied individually.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Michael and Alan Perry Vikings, Citadel F8 Vikings

These figures mark the beginning of “Book Two” of my Vikings. Cannon’s ones are all now done, so we’re onto the Vikings that I’ve actually purchased myself. These three are from Wargames Foundry, and are in fact the old 1986 Citadel F8 Vikings “Oldhammer!” that Bryan Ansell moved across from Citadel to Foundry back in the day. I picked up two of the packs awhile back (VNS001, VNS004) and skipped the berserkers and archers for now.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Michael and Alan Perry Vikings, Citadel F8 Vikings

These three are the first of the next sixteen. I should have some more up shortly if I can get back to regular updates without any more roadblocks coming up.We’ll see how it goes, I’ve still got a ton of older posts to repair…

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Michael and Alan Perry Vikings, Citadel F8 Vikings

Finally, the shields. This trio is pretty simple, though I do like the yellow/white/red one. I may reuse that particular pattern on another shield or two as I move through the rest of the metals.

Vikings, Sjau!

This is the final post of my first “book” of Vikings – those given to me in bare-lead form by Mr. Cannon from work, who has just taken on another job and somehow managed to duck both a planned painting day and a series of SAGA (and possibly Frostgrave) encounters (admittedly, due to some family health issues on my end). I’ll catch up with him again, but it might not be until September.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Gripping Beast SV01b Viking Warlord, Eureka Miniatures, 28mm Vikings

 

Anyway, I thought a group shot was apt to cap off the collection that he generously gave to me (forced me to take them, actually!) I’m thankful though, as I’ve enjoyed painting them and have now gotten into my own collection of metal Vikings that may have otherwise just sat around forever in the leadpile. I say may. Let’s be real. They would have.

The next Vikings to be shown will be “my” Vikings, as I wanted to completely finish all of the ones given to me first, out of respect for the gesture.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Gripping Beast SV01b Viking Warlord, Eureka Miniatures, 28mm Vikings

I also got a new Samsung phone, so I’m trying to work out if the camera on my phone is better for this miniature photography gig than my Nikon. It seems a little grainier, but with better overall focus. I’ll probably have some dual-photos in the next few posts as I clue it out and see how they look online and what others think…

 

Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Dirty Roads Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

Here’s the last of the first batch of my gaming mat reviews of Urbanmatz‘ products from the Czech Republic. The Dirty Roads 6’x4′.

I’ve got a bunch of Deep Cut Studios and Gamemat.eu products that I’ve also purchased that I will be photographing and writing reviews for shortly as well. But today we’re looking at the Dirty Roads.

Oldhammer Zoat

Often when I buy something from a company, there’s a “key” item that acts as an anchor for other stuff you then add-on. In the case of my Urbanmatz order, it was this mat. After seeing several photographs of it online, I was sold. The overall colours and theme matches my bases once again, as the Urbanmatz Badlands mat did.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat

As with the other mats I’ve gotten from Urbanmatz, the design is printed onto neoprene (mouse pad material) and is once again quite nice. This time, the game I’m using to showcase the mat is an Age of Sigmar clash between Dwarves and Ogres, set in an unnamed Old World city (because I can use the ruleset without the background!) We were trying out the rules, so it’s an actual game rather than a mockup.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

We made a bunch of mistakes, mostly due to not quite understanding all of the nuances and not reading warscrolls properly. I’ll put a lot of that down to the rules. Well, not the actual rules, but man-idiot Kirby’s insistence to the designers that everything fit on four pages in total. I’m all for streamlined rulesets, but 4 pages is a bit much (or not enough!) I’m looking forward to trying out 40k 8th with 12 pages of core rules.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

One thing that can’t be argued is that we had a good looking game of toy soldiers. While I consider the quality of my models and terrain to be pretty solid, quite honestly the mat really does add to it. And no, I’m not paid to say this and didn’t get a discount – if I were offered one I’d certainly  accept it – as I accepted the stained Snow Territory 6’x4′ mat, but I’d also state it upfront in my reviews, as I did there.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat, Age of Sigmar

I didn’t set up a full 40k mock battle, nor any historical skirmish games because it literally takes hours to get out all of the stuff, set it up, photograph it and take it away for photos, but the actual AoS game being played on it shows it’s versatilty pretty well, along with those scale shots. I think this mat works very well for a variety of genres and a variety of scales. I could easily use this mat for 40k and it’s derivatives, Fantasy Battles/9th Age/Kings of War with fewer buildings, Age of Sigmar and other more densely built up fantasy skirmish like Mordheim and Frostgrave (if you play outside of the snow!) or Malifaux (in a sectioned-off area, or the smaller versions). It also works across period and scale quite nicely, as demonstrated by the below set of photos, so 20mm games such as Flames of War/Team Yankee/Crossfire will work as well as Bolt Action or SAGA with Romans or SAGA with Crusaders.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Based on its similarity with the “Badlands” design and colouration for the non-road sections, I’ve also found that it works both with “forest” and “jungle” foliage when I was playing around with my scenery, so once again that’s a positive.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Once again, the mat came in it’s own, labelled bag at no additional cost, which is good. Until this one, I really liked these bags. Unfortunately, the zipper turned out to be faulty on me as I was putting the mat away after reviewing it. I’ve got it back in awkwardly by not drawing the zip to the end, which is awkward. Since this was only the third or forth time I’d had the thing out of its bag, I found this really disappointing. I’ll let them know about it, and update with their response.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Verdict: I’ve said this before, but this mat is very much what I wanted it to be. As I’ve mentioned, it was the “key” design that motivated me to buy this batch of mats from Urbanmatz, and I’m very happy with the final product, as I was with their service. I’m considering buying another batch of mats in the near future (another 4 or so). I figure that while I’ll have spent a fair bit on game mats in 2017, I’ll then be set for the rest of my life, assuming that the neoprene lasts!

Small Scenics: Viking Runestone

This piece is the very last of the bits I got off Cannon. A two-part metal… model(?) of a Viking Runestone. It’s nice but also a little slack in some ways.

I have no idea who the manufacturer of this thing is, but if you’ve guessed that the slack I mentioned refers to the visible print lines on the runestone… then you’re right. While it’s true that I could have tried to scrape them off myself, or putty over – it’d frankly be more effort that it’s worth, especially as the thing is cast in metal. The fact that whoever made this thing didn’t bother to do so on their 3-d printed master, and then went straight to casting it in two parts in metal just boggles the mind…

It didn’t actually fit together all that well, either. I had to do quite a lot of gap filling between the two halves. Interestingly, the back half of the thing didn’t feature a lot of mould lines, making me think that only the front was 3-d printed. Personally, I don’t feel it would be too difficult to make something like this (including runes) out of foam or the like for the average hobbyist, or out of milliput or other putties for a producer. It’s a bit of an odd piece, but hey, it’s painted and based, and passes the 4-foot test alright. I even remembered to take a shot for scale this time…

Vikings, Seks!

Welcome to another “final models in the set” post, following up from completing my Marauder Slayers recently. This is the final post in the saga that has chronicled me working my way through the Vikings given to me by Cannon last year. I feel like if he hadn’t applied friendly pressure on me to take them, I wouldn’t have then felt so obliged to paint them, and they’d have instead ended up in my Lead Pile, with the best of intentions – alongside all of these 1980’s and 1990’s Warhammer/Oldhammer models I keep pulling out to paint. As it happens, painting them 2 or 3 at a time has been an enjoyable palette cleanser as I work my way through my many other projects, and now I have quite a nice looking little warband of Vikings all painted up (which I’ll sort out a group shot of, soon!)

Wargames Foundry Vikings, 28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

The first pair are from Wargames Foundry. I even managed to identify them. The swordman is “Bue the Pious“, who received a shield featuring a second knotted cross.

The second of these two, armed with an axe is officiallyValdemar Snorreson“, Viking Berserker Character – but when I saw the sculpt, I decided that the sculpt bore a striking (to me) resemblance to crazy-eyed WWE wrestler Luke Harper.

Luke Harper, Viking Berserker.

Given that his ring attire at the time was comprised of blue jeans and a (dirty) white singlet, I echoed these choices in his clothing. Marouda also pointed out to me that his girdle-belt looked like a wrestling championship belt, so I painted it in the colours of the WWE Smackdown Tag belt, which he sort-of held around that time under the Freebird rule with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton…

Luke Harper as part of the Wyatt Family, holding aloft the Smackdown Tag Team Titles.

What’s that?

Why yes, I have gotten back into Professional Wrestling in the last year or so. Thanks for asking. I know it’s not a mature, grown-up hobby like the SRS BZNSS of painting and playing with toy soldiers or video gaming, but I manage to make do… 😉

Wargames Foundry Vikings, 28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

Cloaks are exciting, too!

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

I’m not sure of the origin(s?) of the second pair here. The mustachioed model has a age and authority to the sculpt that I felt needed to be complimented by appropriate hair and gear. Hence he’s greying, and his equipment features richer, brighter colours than I’ve tended to use with my vikings, especially for multiple pieces of gear. His left hand was a “lego” hand, and since he already has both a shortsword and dagger sheathed, I felt that giving him a daneaxe filled him out nicely, adding to both his authority and menace – as does his harsh, intent stare.

The blond of the pair has a sculpt that made me think the figure might originally be a Gaulish Celt or similar. While the sculpt could easily be another warchief, not every model can be the boss, so I painted him in much more muted colours so that he can fulfill the role of a veteran warrior.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

No, really. Cloaks are exciting!

Wargames Foundry Vikings, 28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

One thing I have attempted to do through this Viking project is to challenge myself to improve my freehand. I’ve been confident for a long time in doing things like scripttattoos, and “paintings” like skulls and whatnot, but patterns that often need to be more uniform, or repeated is something I’ve let fall by the wayside, especially since I want real uniformity in things like Space Marine and Imperial Guard insignia, and so it’s been many, many years since I freehanded Ultramarines’ inverted omegas on models on a regular basis. Obviously, not every viking features something like this, since I still want to have a lot of variety and individuality in the warband, but I’ve been pushing myself to try different designs on them. Sometimes it works out a little wonky, such as the knotwork on the cross above, and other times it works out quite pleasingly, as on the dragon above.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, 28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

Here’s the group shot of this batch. I’d planned to also include the full group shot of all my vikings here and took some photos, but I then saw another pair of models that I’d missed for some reason, so I added them into the group and took some more photos and then packed up. When I got back inside the house, I found another one on my desk. At that point I gave up and decided the group shot could be its own post since it was cold, wet and dark by that point.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

As a little bonus, I added some freehand knotwork to one of the viking axemen I painted awhile ago. I know bisected shields are fine, but it bothered me every time I looked at him, especially as my plan has always been to predominantly have nicer, freehand shields on my metals, while the plastics that I haven’t started get either transfers or more plain shields.

So this draws us to the conclusion of Cannon’s Vikings. No fear! Just as I have many more Dwarf Slayers lined up, I’ve got my own Wargames Foundry purchases to paint, including the ex-Citadel Perry miniatures, and of course, way too many plastics. The warband shall one day become an army…

Vikings, Fimm!

Today we have the next couple of figures from my Viking project.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

I’m not sure of the origin of t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ two of these models, as once again I got them from Cannon at work. They’re smaller than the Foundry models, so I know that much. As per usual, painting the shields was one of the more enjoyable parts of these models, despite being a slow process of researching appropriate designs that look good and are achievable. The guy on the left is my first attempt at painting knotwork at this scale, within the arms of the cross. I also figured I probably needed at least one more Raven shield in the mix, so there’s that as well.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

The figure with the knotted cross on his shield is actually a conversion. Cannon had replaced the original head with the one with braids and domed helm, and also sculpted the fur cloak over his shoulders. He’d also changed the weapon to the (plastic) axe. If you can’t tell it’s a conversion, it speaks to what a good job he did with it. It looks pretty seamless to me!

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

Clothing colours are always hard for me with these Viking figures. Wanting to strike a balance between clean, colourful clothes (as we believe they favoured) with not getting too bright and “90’s Games Workshop” and being aware of the limitations of the natural dyes of the day, and the fact that they (naturally) faded over time, while wanting to retain some earthy tones in there, which would have presumably been the colours of majority of the easily-produced cloth… We know that for much of history, reds and purples were signs of wealth – especially strong tones. Blondie here obviously spent most of his money on his luxurious crimson cloak!

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA, Gripping Beast Jarl Sigvaldi, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf hearthguard

The lad looking a little mode berserker-ish here than the others, with the honking great axe is from Eureka Miniatures’ Beowulf line. I mentioned the fur that was sculpted on the guy with the knotwork shield above; I think he’d also sculpted the fur on baldy here as well. I honestly can’t remember since he’s been undercoated and WIP for so long now, but I remember a couple of them had sculpted fur on them, and without knowing their origin to look them up to check, I really cannot tell. Update! – It turns out not, as “baldy” is actually Gripping Beast’s own Jarl Sigvaldi, Jomsviking Hero. Are any of the other models I have here amongst the three hearthguard that he comes with? I have no way of knowing since, uselessly, Gripping Beast’s website doesn’t show them at all.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA, Gripping Beast Jarl Sigvaldi, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf hearthguard

Obviously one of these guys is well suited to the Berserker role, while the Jarl Sigvaldi is set up more nicely to be a Hearthguard (which works well, since that’s what he’s supposed to be!) I was in two minds on going so bright with the blue cloak, but decided that he looked like a veteran of many battles who would in turn have earned enough wealth for a nice looking cloak.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA, Gripping Beast Jarl Sigvaldi, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf hearthguard

Finally, the group shot of this small cohort of axemen. More vikings to come, soon!

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA, Gripping Beast Jarl Sigvaldi, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf hearthguard

Vikings, Fjǫgur!

Another small post in my slow burn Viking project. Just a pair of axemen today.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

These guys are essentially a pair of the guys that we use to fill out units. Nothing terrible nor anything special about them. Armed with axes and shields, the most noteworthy thing on them is the halved shield on the one. Sometime ago, I read something about how Vikings and others of the period would paint the designs on their shields in a way that the lines of the paintwork were “off” from the lines of the actual planks of wood that were used to create their shields. This in turn meant that enemies would not know where to aim blows on a shield to be able to split it – as that would be bad for your defence.

28mm Viking Miniatures, SAGA

Similarly, this pair have no emblems or knotwork on their shields – just plain halving and quartering. Some guys have to have the plain shields so the more fancy ones stand out, and that’s the job of these fellows. Similarly, their clothing is mostly in muted earth tones, and even the red shirt is a deep, earthy. browny red. (yeah, I know reds would have been much more pale, but hey!)