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Thread: Messing with a Viking Saga...

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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Messing with a Viking Saga...

    I've put aside the Crusader project for awhile to work on a Viking Saga project for WAB/CoE and SAGA. The core of the army will be built with the Gripping Beast plastic Viking kit, with a number of metal figures tossed in for characters and other eyecandy. Those that know me and my work, know my general disdain for most metal castings, and my love for plastics. I do like these GB Plastic Vikings, great looking minis. The metals I have are character models that I picked up that included a number of henchmen also in metal. The quality of the GB metals is okay, not as good as Reaper and Foundry and Red Box Games and Avatars of War in my opinion, and a little better than the Perry Crusader stuff that I have worked with. That said they are still a pain the **** to clean-up, lots of dremel work, filing, and sanding to get rid of rough spots and pits and miscasts and ugly flash lines. And don't get me started on the crap for weapons. Thankfully GB Plastics are loaded with extra weapons which should make for an easy and cool weapon swap transition. I also plan to do a number of conversions to get even more variety out of them using bits and pieces from other manufacturers.
    This is the first unit. It has the non-uniform look that I really enjoy.

    I've done a lot of head swaps and added some extras here and there. I've also gotten crazy with some of the poses so, some easy mail sculpting to blend in those subtle arm repositions.




    No banner yet, but the one uninspired metal guy in the middle is a place holder for that banner. My character will be the third guy from the left, next to the Berserker and the Musician. The front rank is all mounted on single 20 mm bases.

    The entire second rank will be armed with throwing spears in all of the units and are on 20x 40, 20 x 60, or 20 x 80 mm bases. Back ranks are 20 mm square or 20x40 bases. On the movement trays, I have switched up my method. The shields are being left off for now, as I plan to paint them separately, will also be using some transfers on some too to cut down some of the paint time. I've decided to go with the narrow sides, as I can see these units being massed closely together for WAB at least, much different than my crusaders. The front will eventually get some eye-candy. What's a good viking unit without some carnage and pillaging eye-candy.

    The first of many....

  2. #2
    Brother Sergeant anerion's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    I'll be watching this with interest!
    I've got some viking minis of my own on the go, so I may well end up using some of your guys as inspiration.
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Very nice!

    Consider me subscribed

    I started Normans for SAGA but Vikings would be a close second. I am looking at getting the Dark Ages supplement for Clash of Empire (Age of Ravens) to expand my Normans to a decent size. The Conquest Games plastic Norman Knights are good enough for me and they are releasing Plastic Infantry soon

    Happy Days to play Historical Wargaming.

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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Thanks for the kind words guys. I'm enjoying this project thus far.

    Viking Unit #2. Still have tons more models built and ready for assembling. Like the other unit this will have lots of single minis on 20mm bases in the front, and the longer 20mm deep bases in the second rank with the spears.

    There is a variety of bits being used on these. In the front rank I've mixed Warlord Games minis with the Gripping Beast minis also. Barbarian Warlord heads work with the GB plastics. As you can see my two berserkers for this unit are Warlord barbarians. The one guy on the right end is also from the barbarians. The third guy from the right with the two handed axe actually uses the two handed axe arms from War Factory Games, which mate up quite well with the GB plastic torso. If you are a converter, you will want to sculpt the mail on the shoulders, as the War Factory Games mail is not very good.

    About half of the second rank of spear have not been glued to the bases, to make it easier to paint them, especially with multiple figures being placed on the same long 20mm base. After painting I will adhere them to the base in the proper location. I actually mark the base and the model so I know where to put them.

    As with the previous unit, I have left many of the shields off of the models purposely, as I plan to paint a number of them separately then attach them later. As I stated with the previous movement tray, I'll be adding eye candy to the front. I still need to model that stuff and cast it up.

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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Yea, its a must in order to paint the models well. I have 3 and 4 wide 20mm bases in the second rank. In order to paint them I leave them off, mark their positions and number them. The advantage of the 3 and 4 wide bases is that you can move every thing around to get the right dynamic with the spears in the second rank.

    I love the versatility of this kit, it has a ton of different heads, that can be converted by adding hair and such hanging out of the helmets. The one thing the kit does not have is a number of unhelmeted heads. I do like my armies to look diverse and also like to add a bit of character all over in the units. I've also found that I can get a bit more variety with some head swaps using other manufacturers bits.

    Namely Warlord Games Barbarian heads and GW Empire Flaggelant heads, and more than likely some others that I don't have.

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    Chapter Master Harry's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Great stuff as always.
    I am painting a few Vikings and Normans myself to dip my toe in the SAGA waters.
    Nothing like the scale of project you have on the go here....and far less creativity.
    I am always blown away by the ammount of conversion and green-stuffing you are prepared to undertake ... even for rank and file.
    But I can see the reward of such characterful and diverse models in the units is well worth the effort.
    I shall be following this progect closely and i have no doubt drawing bucket loads of inspiration for my own little SAGA.
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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Thanks Harry, much appreciated. Hope you can draw some inspiration, I'll be watching to see what you come up with.

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    Chapter Master Caiphas Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Nice green stuffing. That's always been a problem for me.
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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Part of the thing with GS is start small and work your way to more difficult things. Tools and knowing what tools to use are the big part of it. And of course practice.

    I was looking for a good reason to use up all of these Warlord Games Barbarians. This seemed as good a reason as any: Viking Skirmishers in addition to using a few as berserkers.

    This is the first part of two units. While modeling them I thought I should give some of them beards, fairly easy to do with the heads that already had mustaches. Also added some long hair, furs, left over knives and pouches from the Gripping Beast kits, and pony tails. Some of them look like younglings. Scale wise they are very close to the same size as GBP models.

    Gradually getting the whole WAB/CoE army built, then I will build the pieces for SAGA with some of the left overs.

    ---PPC

  11. #11
    Chapter Master Harry's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Very nice.
    The one or two helmeted heads give them away.
    If I had your skill with the green stuff I might just turn those helmets into something more conical and steriotypically viking.
    Founding father of J.A.D.E.D. Jerks Against Directors Extraordinary Decisions.
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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Good point, very simple to do.

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    Chapter Master Caiphas Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Nice work. How much more do you have left to build?
    Quote Originally Posted by Litcheur View Post
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Love your attention to detail on these guys! The added hairyness to those Celts does make them look great as Vikings, although I second harry on the helmets. Looking forward to seeing this army come together!
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caiphas Cain View Post
    Nice work. How much more do you have left to build?
    Quite a few actually. I have all of the SAGA stuff to do yet. A unit of Saxons that I'm going to use as unreliable allies in WAB, a fourth unit of Hirdmen, plastic Bondi if GBP ever makes them.

    This is the third unit of my Vikings. Everything mostly complete except for the bannerman, which at the moment the spearman is just a place holder. Like the other units there is a varitey of conversions and more than just Gripping Beast pieces involved.

    Like the previous units spears in the second rank, a variety of handweapons in the front and handweapons/spears in the back. One berserker located next to the character.

    The guy on the far right front rank was part of a metal character pack, thought he looked pretty cool. Next to him a Warlord Games armored barbarian with a GBP head, weapon and shield. Next to him is a converted GBP Hirdmen with War Games Factory two handed weapon arms that mate up to the torso just fine and metal head from a GB berserker, more on him later, need to fix the mail, because the War Games Factory mail is just plain horrible. Behind them are the thrusting spearmen doing what they do, which is filling the gaps with the pointy end. I love the looks of those thrusting spears in the second rank, they look really good filling the gaps. Still have to put shields on them, but keeping them off for the time being for paintwork.

    With the extra frontage on the movement trays there will be more eye candy, still have that to build yet. Basing will probably be a spring / summer blend with rock out croppings. Most of my armies the last couple of years have had a real dead grass / fall leaves look, so this will get something different, as I'm a bit tired of that. The two-hand weapon viking on the far left has a GW Empire Flagellant head. The unit is set-up for WAB with the beserker sort of protecting the character and two-handed weapon axe man, at least until he dies. The metal GB miniatures while pretty good castings are are a real pain to clean up, lots of flash, lots of mold lines and mold mismatches, pitting. And then that silly open hand on the berserker for welding in a crooked and ugly metal weapon with glue. So I cut off his hand and replaced it with an extra plastic GBP weapon and GS's the pinned gap.

    I have another unit chock full of converting and then a bunch of left overs. I still have all of the banner men yet, have been gradually building them. And a unit of Bondi archers.....more skirmishers.
    Last edited by PsychosisPC; 04-07-2012 at 16:25.

  16. #16
    Chapter Master Caiphas Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Looking good! Other then the chainmail on the Wargames Factory sculpt, what do you think of them? I'm considering getting a pack to bulk out my GB Vikings.
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    Commander PsychosisPC's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    About all I can tell you about is the arms, torsos and heads. That's all I got as a bits order off of Ebay. I'm using the arms and torsos, but the heads are not very good at all. The detail is just not sharp, its too shallow in my opinion, much like the mail on the arms especially. They'll be just fine for bulking out say the middle pieces if you bury them in there. Its a common problem with many of their early produced miniatures, don't know about their later stuff. I'm using some of the torsos in the eye candy and also for some special shield wall conversion stuff, & one of my bannerman. The heads from GB will work on them with a little gap filling on the necks, so do the GW Flagellant heads, I would recommend using those heads over the WGF heads.

  18. #18
    Modinator Lord Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    I can second your opinion about the WGF vikings. The detail is shallow, the weapons are extremely thin and frail, and the proportions on the arms are really bizarre. I can say their newer stuff (the ashigaru, most notably) is leagues ahead of their earlier work, but nowhere near the quality of, say, the Perry plastics.

    That aside, great work here! I love the use of those Warlord celts as beserkers- they look really cool. I've got to tell you I was planning to continue work on my greeks, and then I saw your crusades log and thought: "Hey, maybe I should do a crusades army". Then you started this log and now I'm thinking: "Hey, I should do a viking army." So apparently I'm going to do some kind of blend between a greek, crusader, and viking army. We'll see how that turns out.

  19. #19
    Chapter Master Caiphas Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    Cool, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The shallow detail is something I hear about their kits quite often. Having seen the Hour of Wolves blog though, it does seem possible to get some good looking stuff out of the box.

    Lord Dan, nothing is as good as the Perry's plastics. Also, a time traveling wizard solves all historical inaccuracies. So, if you want a Viking/Greek/Crusader army, blame it on the wizard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Litcheur View Post
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  20. #20
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    Re: Messing with a Viking Saga...

    HEY....what Cain said. I have been mixing my minies for decades The best part is...that many times (since the opponents have been newbies) they did not know it.

    Wargaming is supposed to include LARGE doses of FUN. That's for me anyhow. I've never been one to "force myself" (or opponents) to NOT use a unit/army until ALL the minies are the correct ones.

    I say use standins. Play the new army. A unpainted general is plenty of "correct minies" for that new army.
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