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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Viking Hirdmen (Gripping Beast) 28mm

So this is my first set after almost a decade out of the game. I used a number of painting guides around the internet (in particular a youtube channel from Joey Berry who has a number of helpful videos and guides to get certain painting effects).

I went for this set first having read the Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwall (Epic stuff!), the Raven Trilogy and God of Vengence by Giles Kristian (really worth reading) and watching the History Channel's Vikings show. I picked these over the Wargames factory kit after reading this review from An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields.

Now I know that my figures in no way match up to professional painting standards, but I was surprised with myself given some of the horrific figures I produced when I was younger!

So in this box you get 44 figures, with an assortment of weapons including swords, axes, Dane axes, spears and seaxes. The poses available allow you to create warriors who appear to be standing in a shield wall (that is facing at a right angle to the enemy with a shield protecting their body).

There are also parts to create a command group (Warlord and trumpeter), there is a banner included but I decided to get a bit creative myself.

Since making this kit I've found out that you can get transfers for the shield designs (here) they would have made the shields much more interesting.

I kept the colours simple for this set, I didn't want to have trouble replicating the mix if I needed to patch them up and I'm also of the opinion that it's more historically accurate (whilst on campaign a Jarl wouldn't want to soil his best clothes would he?)

To create the spear to hold the standard ( which is intended to be a cloak for the warlord) I took the arm that I used for the warlord and removed the sword, I then replaced it with a spear, created a crossbar from another spear and lashed it in place with thread. I like to think that this adds a little originality to the figure, whether historically accurate or not I don't know but it doesn't seem that much is known about the standards the Northmen used apart from the Raven banner.

 Trumpeter & Dane axe
 Pair of Dane axe wielding loons
 Trumpeter alone
 Troop marching. I'm very proud of the figure on the right as I've adjusted the left arm so that it sits on the pommel of the sword. I took the arm intended for the left arm of a man holding a Dane axe and trimmed it slightly to fit. Ideally I'd have used some green stuff or putty to fill the gaps but I'm not confident enough yet to use that.
 Troop advancing from another view.
Individual figures advancing.

 Shield wall line

 Full host with commander

 The charge

The clash of shield walls... slowly

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