Old Norse

Foundry Norse warband, one careful owner, full service history! Background from Jon Hodgson Maps.

In the dim and distant past, I had my first encounter with Viking minis courtesy of the Citadel Norse range. The Perry Twins sculpted a characterful bunch of Scandinavians that tied in with the early Norse lists which were circulating around Warhammer Fantasy Battles (1st and 2nd edition, I think) and fired up my imagination for some Viking gaming. Once Citadel had become part of GW and historical minis were dropped, these guys found their way over into the Foundry stable, where they are still available today.

Ulfhednar. L-R Gripping Beast, Essex, Foundry, GB. The GB models are certainly showing their age, being some of Colin Patten’s earliest sculpts.

The exact provenance of these minis in my collection is hazy, as I bought some when they were released, and then added to them with various Foundry and second hand purchases (while rebasing them, I found that some had slottas and others integral bases, so it was obviously a mixed bag). When Warhammer Ancient Battles was released in 1998, I bulked out the Viking force to make a full WAB army with Gripping Beast and Essex Miniatures. My painting at the time was pretty basic with a black undercoat, single layers on most areas, limited highlighting and some interesting colour choices – I’m not sure why I thought that purple Rus trousers worn with a green-trimmed tunic was a good idea, but there you go!

Foundry Vikings. Old school Perry work: big heads and weapons.

In between WAB games, they also saw action in various Viking skirmishes, but have been sat in a box not doing much for the last decade. However, playing an increased amount of Norse myth games (OGAM and Midgard) got me wondering if I should get them back on the table. I also toyed with the idea of starting again with Victrix plastics, but the nostalgia won out and I decided to start reconditioning these old campaigners.

First, I removed them from their old bases and patched up any chipped areas. Skin areas had a quick wash of brown and a highlight. I painted over the worst excesses of my youthful colour choices and repainted selected areas (especially shields) to try to get back to a more limited palette. The chieftain and his raven standard bearer were finally paired on a single heroic base, as should always have been the case! (Warhammer always required singly-based minis, but there’s nothing that beats a cool leader vignette in my book).

Having touched up the metalwork, I gave them all dark bases that I hope won’t look out of place in a rocky/ snowy Norse setting. They’re not my finest work, but I hope that they will measure up to my current output a little better than they used to. It’s been fun getting them back into action – just another 70 or so to go!

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