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…

 

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, Tvau!

Part Two then, of my Vikings. These figures were mostly completed in 2016. On the 14th of November if my record-keeping is accurate. Of course, I then realised that the horn-blower who wasn’t yet finished should really have a shield as well, and so completing the sextet went into painting limbo, since the horn-blower isn’t exactly my favourite model from the bunch. Since I had to paint a Viking shield for another model a few days ago, I did this one as well.

28mm Vikings, SAGA

His mate in the picture above is one of the smaller figures amongst my metal Vikings, but he’s got a bearing to him, both in the pose and especially in the facial sculpt. Like he’s the sort of bloke you wouldn’t want to mess with. The horn-blower on the other hand looks like he has a big plum for a head, but the ruddy cheeks work for his pose.

28mm Vikings, SAGA

Of course, now that I’ve finished it, I’m happy enough with the horn-blower’s shield. Simple, but neat and effective. I went with more muted yellows than I usually do, from almost white into an ochre, rather than orange.

Wargames Foundry VIK031 Gunwald Uggason & Viking

I believe that the larger of these two is a Viking Hearthguard model, and he’s a big chunk of metal. Since he’s chunky and quite well-geared, I gave him a deep red cloak to suggest wealth, and grey hair and a marked face to suggest that he’s both a veteran of many battles as well as (probably) some lucrative international bodyguarding duties. His friend here is painted in simpler, more muted and earthy tones. I tried to “streak” the paint in his shield to suggest a less wealthy origin. Damn, at this scale, the blown-up photographs really emphasise every flaw in the freehand shield painting. They look much neater and straighter at their actual size of 10mm or so.

Wargames Foundry VIK031 Gunwald Uggason & Viking

Someone’s cloak is clearly much more expensive than someone else’s…

Wargames Foundry Viking, Gripping Beast SV01b Viking Warlord

The final pair are amongst my very favourites of all my Viking models. I think these two are both by Foundry again – Edit – Turns out that Mr Gingerbeard here is actually a Gripping Beast figure, “Viking Warlord“. I’d had him pegged as a Foundry figure as his sword is very much the same as the Foundry models, and often the style of weapons on historicals can be a good clue as to which figures are from the same range, along with size and pose style, both of which fit in well again with the Foundry.

Ahem. Anyway, it’s the dynamic posing that really works on these for me. Not a lot more to say about these two. I like the models and I like the way they turned out with paint and their shields added.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Gripping Beast SV01b Viking Warlord

These models, like the first half-dozen will be used for SAGA amongst other things. I’ve got a nice selection for my Hearthguard, and the others will make up a unit of Viking Warriors for the time being. I’m still short a model for a final warrior or my Warlord, so I’ll have to get some more done soon. I’ve just finished a few more Vikings, so once they’re dry and flocked I’ll have them up here as well. I can see a lot of the metals here being spread out amongst the plastics eventually to use as unit leaders.

Wargames Foundry Vikings, Gripping Beast SV01b Viking Warlord

When I got to the second half-dozen of my Vikings, I’d decided much more consciously to paint the shields with a palette that complimented their bearers’ clothing and overall colour scheme. I’d been doing this to an extent with the first set, but I’ve been much more aware of it since then. A flaw in the way I used to paint years ago was trying to get too many colours onto my models, when a smaller palette with more variation of those colours works better for the models far more often.

Vikings!

Something a little different to the norm. A bloke at work, who I’ll call “Cannon” and I accidently found out that we both collect and paint toy soldiers last year, when I happened to be carrying a few LotR models past him at work and he was “hey, what are those?” and then to my shock recognised them as LotR models. Sometime earlier this year, he gave me a pile of spare Vikings, in what I think was at least partly an attempt to get me to paint something non-fantasy. There were some nice figures in there, and they’re a mixture of Eureka, Foundry, Crusader, Gripping Beast and possibly others. I’m really not sure of all of their origins, so I’ll have to ask him to let me know which are which so I can properly tag them.

So without any further ado, here’s the start of my SAGA Viking force (and also my KoW Historical Viking force)

Eureka Miniatures Beowulf the Geat. Wargames Foundry Viking

A lot of the more subtle highlighting on these guys just hasn’t come out in the photographs, particularly on the shields here. The guy on our left is a Eureka Miniatures model, but I’m not sure about his blurry-faced friendo. I believe that he is a Wargames Foundry model. Shields are both freehand, and in retrospect I probably should have done something fancier on the red-and-white since he’s got a real leader feel to him, but he was the figure I painted first, so I wasn’t yet confident in freehanding Viking shield designs.

Update Edit: He now has some freehand happening on that shield.

Eureka Miniatures Beowulf the Geat. Wargames Foundry Viking

While there’s plenty out there regarding Viking shield designs, you’d think that figuring out realistic Viking clothing colours would be a reasonably easy task, but it was much, much harder than I expected. I noticed initially that Foundry et al have their models painted in much the same way as their Celts – all stripey trousers and colourful patterns. I wasn’t so sure, so in doing some research online, I found quite a bit of contradictory stuff. The TV show “Vikings” had at least one full-time researcher, but then, it’s a TV show. Of course, some random guy on the internet decided to “big man” himself when I dared in a forum to suggest the show as one potential source of painting inspiration and bothered to lecture me on how everything in it was wrong. I guess he must have been there in the 10th century.

28mm Viking Miniatures

In the end, I decided to avoid the whole “stripey trousers” look entirely. I’ve got Celts to paint down the line and so they can have the plaid and stripes. I’ve kept the Vikings to solid colour for the most part, with a mixture of bright colours (especially on shields) and more muted, earthy tones.

28mm Viking Miniatures

I’ve got a pile of plastics to paint later, so I’ve decided to go richer overall in tone with the metal models. These models are where I’ll draw my Warlords, heartguard and other elites from, and so these guys are much more the professional Viking “soldier” and more likely to have visited Albion on “shopping sprees” as well as travelled the Mediterranean or even served as Varangian Guard. Based on these loose ideas, the metal models are much more likely to be wealthy and so afford more colourful clothing, as well as richer shades of colour. The two blokes below really fit that ethos to a tee.

Wargames Foundry VIK031 Vikings Horvak Sigvaldi & Arnthor Boddason

The Foundry models are in the typical chunky style, but have a lot of character to them. There’s a bit of Brian Blessed (in a ginger wig) to the right guy, and they’re both the sort of figures that Space Wolves seem to want to channel. I’ve got a couple of half-painted Wolves squads I should finish one day as well… and some more actual Wolves half-assembled.

Wargames Foundry VIK031 Vikings Horvak Sigvaldi & Arnthor Boddason

I enjoyed the freehand designs on these guys. I’m especially proud of the raven. The cross designs look a little wonky, but the photos are of course blown up to quite a few times their actual size, so look much straighter in person. I decided that I might well use transfers on a lot of the Viking models, but all of the metal models would get freehand shields.

Wargames Foundry VIK031 Vikings Horvak Sigvaldi & Arnthor Boddason

Even when doing “red” cloaks, I’m trying to avoid the bright reds of my fantasy models in favour of darker, slightly earthier reds – while maintaining the richness of colour.

Eureka Miniatures Beowulf the Geat. Wargames Foundry VIK031 Vikings Horvak Sigvaldi & Arnthor Boddason

The group shot. These guys could comprise of half a KoW regiment, but more importantly, Warlord, hearthguard and a spare model) in SAGA. These initial six were finished back in October. I’ve got another batch of five just waiting on their last man before I show them, and a few more now on the paint desk.