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

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… 😉

Cloaks are exciting, too!

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.

No, really. Cloaks are exciting!

Wargames Foundry Vikings

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!)



Vikings, þrjú!

The next post of my small Viking project. A couple of weeks ago, when I got up on the morning of Christmas Eve 2016, I decided to paint up some Vikings, and see if I could get them done by Boxing Day. I very deliberately selected four figures. Two of them were the berserker pair that, while now part of the Foundry catalogue are ex-Citadel models from the truly Oldhammer days. Before everything was All-Warhammer, All The Time, Citadel has small ranges of Normans, Vikings and Feudals under the Fighters/F4 category. When Bryan Ansell resurrected Wargames Foundry as a Historicals company while purging the historical ranges from Citadel, he moved a large number of moulds across that he deemed appropriate. The two berserkers here were amongst the models who made the trip, and as such, are still available today.

Citadel F4 Fighters Norse Vikings, Wargames Foundry Viking Berserkers - VNS003

Erik and Thorir the Ex-Citadel Foundry Vikings.

I actually owned both models back in the day. Erik, the model with the 2-handed daneaxe was broken at some stage, losing the axe and chunks of both arms – while Thorir, gazing at the sky, was simply lost to time. I notice that there are a couple of other old models that I always liked still available in the Foundry ex- range, so I’ll have to do another Foundry order before too long to pick them up. I should point out though that all of these models, like my other painted vikings in the above-linked posts came courtesy of the Cannon man from work.

Citadel F4 Fighters Norse Vikings, Wargames Foundry Viking Berserkers - VNS003

These two were painted very quickly, and done on time. While painting them, I noticed the shield boss on Thorir’s shield. This was unfortunate, as I’d selected all four figures based on getting them done quickly, so the two old-school models that were mostly flesh and pants, and the other two that had a good amount of armour and chain on them – and no shields amongst them! So…. erm.

Citadel F4 Fighters Norse Vikings, Wargames Foundry Viking Berserkers - VNS003, Eureka Miniatures Beowulf the Geat

…and joined by Beowulf the Geat.

It took until the first days of 2017 before I got around to painting the shield. I decided on using muted tones for it, to go well with the muted and earthy tones I’d used for both berserkers’ clothing and gear. While I didn’t get the shield pattern perfect, I’m happy with how it came out nonetheless. At the same time I also fished out the model who is the Warlord for the moment – Eureka Miniatures’ Beowulf the Geat – and added some small freehand ravens to his shield, which makes a vast difference to the model in my opinion. I can’t fathom why Nik’s Beowulf range doesn’t have “Viking” keyworded anywhere in it. I’ll have to ring him and point it out since it can’t be helping his online sales. I know that technically, Beowulf predates Vikings by several hundred years, but when you’re selling miniatures…

Vikings with daneaxes

Vikings with Daneaxes

The next pair of Vikings are essentially “just some guys”. I’m not sure of their manufacturers, though I think it’s pretty safe that they’re from different ranges given the difference in sculpt style. If/when I find out where they’re from, I’ll update. In the meantime I have nothing particularly interesting to write about them.

Vikings with Daneaxes

I used a little more in the way of the colour palette on these guys, but still kept them quite muted.

All together now....

All together now….

Finally, a group shot of all my completed Vikings to date. There are quite a few more where they came from!

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.

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.

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 Vikings

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 Vikings

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

Wargames Foundry Vikings, 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.





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 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. 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.

Eureka Miniatures 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.

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.

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 Vikings

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 Vikings

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 Vikings

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 Vikings, Wagames Foundry Vikings

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.