The berzerkers! I needed a few of these for the Viking special rules in the Kings of War Historical Viking special berzerker rules. They'll also come in handy for skirmishing at some point I'm sure. Overall, I am happy the way they turned out and I really like the way the Gripping Beast heads on the two there work with the Wargames Factory bodies.
This one was the last berzerker I built, and I decided not to put a shield on it... It just seems that a shield would be an easy thing for a berzerker to use as both a shield and a weapon... But I know that many people see berzerkers and shieldless and shirtless crazies, so I figured I'd do one. This fig is a Wargames Factory German with a Gripping Beast Viking head.
A Wargames Factory German with a Wargames Factory Viking head. I'm pretty happy with this fig.
Another German with a Viking head and sculpted shoes. I do believe the axe is from the Gripping Beast figures though.
Another Wargames Factory German body with a Gripping Beast head. I think it works very well together.
The berzerkers charging out of the shieldwall to smash the enemies! Those bondi back there are really hoping that the berzerkers do all the work for them!
The second troop of Viking bondi, which is the Viking version of free levies: levies of free men who aren't professional soldiers. This groups likes their shield designs. Note the injured bondi in there, not exactly sure what the nature of the injury is, but I expect that he tripped and sprained his ankle!
Side view of the latest bondi troop unit. The shield there on the left end of the unit depicts the 'buckle monster'. It was a monster image found on a buckle in early-Viking Sweden, now in the Oslo museum. I really like it, especially since it reminds me of natic American art.
The rear view shows lots of pale blue (woad), red (madder weed), gray and yellow (onion) coloured clothing. Nothing deep or dark here, it's all peasant stuff!
The other side of the unit. Notice the old shield there on the right end. Not covered, well aged, it's likely grandad's shield passed down; it shows that that particular family didn't spend enough time in the front ranks of battle lines in order to have a shield survive that long! Apparently shields would last a single battle or less.
A close up view of the front line. All young men by the looks of it... It's the short beards that give it away, that and the lack of interest in life that would let them rush to the front rank of battle! The leader there (left) is the only one on this side with a helmet, a rare honour indeed.
A close up of the right side of the unit. I imagine that inured guy there stepped in a rodent hole and sprained his ankle... A convenient excuse to move to the back of the unit!
The two troops of bondi lined up in a battle line. They're eager, but not too eager. I am really happy with the way it looks though, nice and dark-agey, not too uniform.
The two bondi units formed up into a single Kings of War regiment-sized unit. The two unit bases work very well together I think! I'm happy with them.
I'm pretty happy with this viking bondi troop unit for the Kings of War Historical supplement that I did. It should go well with the rest of the army I think! Notice the pale colours, lack of shield designs, and general lack of armour; the bondi would likely have been armed with spear, shield, and axe at best! Perhaps a leather helmet here or there...
There's nothing like realizing the reality of battle by getting an arrow in the chest... I imagine the poor guy was thinking he would be a hero, or perhaps hide out in the back when the real fight came...
A close up of the front rank. I like the expression on the poor bondi - viking peasant - who was suddenly brought up to speed on the reality of the situation when an arrow struck his shield... Luckily he didn't suffer the fate of his buddy.
Here's a view that shows the tunics of the bondi. You can clearly see Wargames Factory's snazzy lined tunics! See the trim around the neck and hem of some of the figs? It's pretty cool that bit of attention to detail...
A close up of the raven banner. This one's inspired by the Norman banners on the Baeyoux Tapestry along with the early germanic style raven.
Here's a view of the bondi unit from the side that shows the profile and nature of the arrows. The archers still aren't too close given the angle at which they came in on...
This figure I just couldn't find a place for in the last regiment of Vikings; the figure was too similar to another front-ranker and so I decided to base it up on a single hero base. I'm happy I did, because I like the pose and it's work well.
This figure is one I had painted up already. I just replaced the spear with a banner pole and banner. It's a viking figure, but originally I had it painted up as a generic dark-age fantasy raider. I repainted the shield rim as leather, fixed the poorly-highlighted hair, and painted the handle on the saex knife as more realistically viking, but otherwise the figure didn't change.
Here's a less blurry picture of the banner itself. I tried to do a better version of my original (first ever) viking banner, and I am quite happy with the way it turned out!
This is the third and final regiment that I was able to squeeze out of one pack of GB plastics. I am very happy with how it turned out, and the Old Glory death scene in miniature at the front works pretty well I think. Notice the christian shield and that the dying warrior there is a Saxon! Muahaha!
A side view of the third regiment. I really like how the spears work in the Gripping Beast plastic box set. It gives the sense that they are actually being used, and not just being held for gamers to see clearly!
From the back, the regiment is pretty much a sea of metal, but not quite as much as it could be. It still has a lot of character I think, with a good mix of colours. I muted down the colours a bit for this regiment too.
The other side view of the vikings. I really like the saex knives that were included in the set, as well as the balricks. The odd thing is, I can't really place these vikings in time. At first glance I'd say they were early, but their armour and helmest strongly suggest very late... But who cares! They'll cover the entire period for me.
A close up of the longship shield. I'm not sure if it's all that historically accurate, but it's feasible.
A close-up view of the front rank. The apparent leader of the unit is swinging an axe with a boar-style shield. And a close-up of the slain (or being slain) Saxon chief as well. The blood was done with a bluish-red as a base, and then light pink for the highlights.
The boar-head banner front and centre. I'm quite happy with this, and I really like this viking-style boar. It's much cooler than the migration/Roman period boars that are usually used for vikings!
A close-up view of the front rank.
The shield on the end there was stolen from the dying viking on my first element for my forsaken DBA viking army. I figured I just had to show it off, instead of burying it so it was unseeable. It's a replica of my 1:1 scale shield.
The three regiments all lined up and ready for battle! I made a special effort to make sure that the shields for all three regiments lined up on the ends no matter which order you put them in. It makes a nice shieldwall effect.
This is the second KoWHAC regiment of Vikings that I've done, and it's working for me! I'm very happy with it. For flavour, I've added a few warriors with metal-framed leather helmets!
Side view of the second regiment. That's a lot of blackened steel...
Rear view of the second regiment. Take note of the single-edged blade carried by the guy on the second from the right. Kudos to GB for adding that snazzy little detail!
The other side view of the second regiment. This one is broken up by shields! Though, that raven shield isn't my favourite shield that I've produced...
A close look at the front rank of the second regiment. These guys have a bit more of a battle-battered appearance with bloodied swords and some slashed shields.
This view shows a little more of what the regiment looks like from the side and above. It really turns in to a sea of blackened chain mail from this perspective. In reality, you would be able to see the tunic through the chain mail a little, but it's a lot of work to do in miniature, and the effect isn't all that convincing either.
Don't fool yourself, banner bearers are typically the kinds of people who don't want (or can't) do any fighting. Here's a close up of the banner bearer and another less-than-motivated spearman. I like how they are peeking over the heads of the warriors in the front ranks; they want to know when it's time to run for the longships! As for the banner itseld, it's not too bad; the design could have used a black outline, and the pole could have been longer...
A close up of a warrior who lost his helmet during the fighting! Not time to pick it up now! Also, you can get a pretty good view of the musician's horn here as well.
A good piture of the musician. I'm not sure I'd use the hunched bodies for the musician ever again. Instead I'd use the upright body, like the body of the banner bearer, because the musician just looks odd hunched over like that...
A close up of the poor dead Irishman, or Saxon. Whatever he is, he isn't a viking, not in the pants with tied ankles and a fringed cloak!
The first and second regiments of vikings all lined up and ready to charge the Saxon/Rus/Andalusian/Frankish line! I took special care to ensure that the regiments line up well no matter which side you line them up against; the goal was to make it look like on continuous shieldwall.
Just for fun I took this picture of the first and second regiments facing off against each other! aside from its narrow width, it looks quite dynamic and convincing to me!
This figure is the leader of my Viking army. Steinthor Skullsplitter to his friends! This is is a Jomsviking from Gripping Beast's old line of vikings. I really like the pose, laid back yet full of potential energy. I'm happy with the way it turned out. It's a re-paint, the original version can be seen in the Norwegian Viking Gallery.
These figures were fun to put together and paint, sad though that the plastic viking pack from Gripping Beast only comes with a single set of arms for holding their Dane-axes. I converted the figures on the far left and second from the right to break the monotony. But five are all you get in one pack of plastic vikings! You do get five extra axes though; ten is pretty good I think.
My first regiment for Kings of War Hostorical Ancient Combat - The Viking age! I really like the large diorama-style unit bases... Very cool stuff. This one is made up of figures I had mostly already painted for DBA elements. Four new figures and some re-basing and the shield wall is done!
One of the new vikings. I really like the over-arm spearman pose. The image on the shield there is a Scandanavian-style boar, which I really like! I'm happy with the way it turned out.
The musician was the second new figure I painted. I like the pose a lot, and this one is carrying a single-edged blade in his left hand! Very cool. The horn is insanely large though, so I will likely cut the next one off at the rope-holding clasp next time.
The third newly painted viking, this one with a poor colour combination on his shield, representing a complex snake pattern... I should have gone with a brown or red... Oh well, I still like it; it's not as if all the Vikings were accomplished artists anyway!
And the last newly painted figure is the banner man. I like he pose a lot, peeking over his shield is the best defense against face-thrusts. The image on the banner is Fenrir's head.
I had these guys and I had planned to use them to expand my ancient Germans into a regiment for KoWHAC. But I remember that I would need to do the same for my Vikings, so I forced them to play double duty as vikings AND Germans. I left the shields a bit more generic than I would have... and I also painted the shield rims as leather instead of the metal that it might-have been. These really get me excited to do more Vikings!
Here is the German/Viking base at 40mm by 30mm beside the DBA berzerker element, together they make a Viking Berzerker troop! I think they work pretty well together, except I almost want to go back and paint those metal shield rims as leather... Why? Apparently metal shield rims have no historical president in the Viking age. I imagine that's true for the ancient Germans as well... Oh well, they're fine for now ;)
I wanted to finally pre-order something :) I never have been the type to pre-order for various reasons, but this time I took the leap! I was hoping to actually get the figs the same day that they were released in the UK, but alas, they weren't shipped until that day! Da*m GB! Anyway, the figs are certainly nice, and heads above the older GB vikings, of which I have painted hundreds. Overall, I am happy with these! Very much all business shield-wall types!
I also got these so that I could compare them to the Wargames Factory plastic vikings. Here's the first of a couple comparison shots. Overall, I think the figs are very nicely matched. The WF figs have more posability, but the GB figs have more of the character of sculpted figures. On the table though, they are perfectly compatible!
A shot of the shield wall with GB and WF figs together. Note that the GB figs have larger heads, which is more like standard 28mm sculpts, while the WF stuff is much more closely to scale. Also note that the heights are very compatible. The GB figs also have bulkier weapons as well, but they are not as well detailed as the WF weapons.
Here are some WF viking berzerkers converted from the vikings and the ancient Germans beside the GB vikings. Again, I think they mix well, but you can see that the WF double-handed axe (center of the shirtless warriors) is about the size of a GB single-handed axe!
Four more figures, making up a single base element for my 28mm DBA Viking army. This element is made up primarily of charging figures, and so I did a shield wall breaking into a charge sorta theme. Overall, I'm quite happy with these!
For these I used the shirtless ancient German bodies with shoes (and one that didn't have shoes that I sculpted on) along with Viking heads and gear, which together make very convincing Viking berzerkers to play the role of 3Wb (warband) for my DBA army. I had fun with this one, and I think it turned out extremely well! The figure in the middle rivals in character any berzerker fig from any line of vikings out there! Cool stuff that I can hardly wait to get into battle!
Some excellent plastic vikings from Wargames Factory here. So easy to convert, I fully intend to do an entire 'diorama' style DBA army with these guys in a similar way to my Marian Roman DBA army. The figures painted up really well, and converted super easily. The scene here is inspired by my recent re-enactment ventures; it was my first time in the shield wall when my opponent used his axe to pull my shield forward and down while the spearman behind him pierced me through the heart... Of course, not for real :) Anyway, I have two full-size shields and the one on the dying figure there is the one I was using that day. Good times!
These are the first six vikings for my new WAB Swedish vikings army project. The colours here are a bit brighter and a wider range to reflect their access to the east, Byzantium and beyond. The two on the left are Old Glory (OG), the one on the right is Gripping Beast (GB). I like the OG stuff, the figs look almost insane in their poses, whereas the GB figs looks a little more reluctant :)
A few more karls for my Swedish viking army. Here the eastern influence is most obvious with the square shields. The centre fig is an Old Glory Norse spearmen, the two on the outside are Gripping Beast Johmsvikings. They work pretty well together, except the GB figs look so reluctant :) Second rank for sure ;) With this one, the Thor's hammer on the centre shield is a little too perfect as well. I'll leave it, but in the future, I will remember to make them a bit sloppier :)
Painted originally three years ago, they still stand up to my current painting levels (for the most part). These ones were originally based on a single 60mm by 40mm base all together here. I decided to split them up and make them the first five bondi in my new 28mm viking army project!
Two more that have been re-based for my latest viking project. As with the other figs, these ones were painted pretty well even though they were painted three years ago!