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Viking (800 A.D. - 999 A.D.)

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Guy, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Guy A Fixture

    Thanks Gray........we appreciate the review.
  2. Einion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review Gray, nice to see how the kit breaks down.

    I didn't see any discussion about historical issues with the kit here but the mail byrnie is fine as far as I can tell from photos of the painted model. The clothing is fine (does the painting info say anything about the wickelbander?) but there are too areas of possible inaccuracy - the helmet and shield.

    The lack of rivets around the rim of the helmet is easy to remedy if one chooses to but the shield will be a trickier fix since the hand appears to be cast in situ. Ignoring its thickness (dictated by casting considerations) the varied-width boards on the shield are notably good but the 'edge clamps' are questionable. Your pic highlights the major problem with it though - the boss; it looks far too large. But since it is largely hidden from view this probably won't be a major concern for most of us.

  3. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    The helmet and boss seems fine to me.

    Few helmets from that era have been found but there no sources that says there must be rivets on the helmet. Maybe on the inside for the lining and strap but they dont have to be visible from the outside. Other sources tells about the helmets being hammered out from one singel piece of metal.

    Many shield bosses have been found and there are many variations and sizes. My idea is that styles and size of those varied depending on local fashion and perhaps fighting style. The shield look a little bit small though making the boss look bigger. Shields had a diameter about 80-90 cm.
  4. Einion Well-Known Member

    Hi Janne, I was very careful not to say there must be rivets around the helmet rim ;) Although there are many conical helmets known to be have been made from a single piece of metal (as this one is represented) it doesn't preclude them from being punched for the fixing of a permanent helmet lining. At this scale, if there were a riveted lining the rivet heads could be small enough to be merely represented at the painting stage.

    About the boss, yes they vary quite a bit in size and style but the upper limit for bosses from finds is about 15cm including the flange - this looks significantly larger than this. There are sound reasons for hemi-spherical bosses to be kept small - weight increases and strength decreases the larger they are. For a utilitarian example like this as a general rule I'm sure they were made just big enough to cover the hole for the hand (Gokstad for example) to save on weight and metal. And I didn't even mention the number of nails holding the boss in place because I can't see them in the photos :)

  5. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    Heres one found in Finland, datet 9th century.

    Wendel-era 5th century, Uppsala.

    9th century Valbo.

    Another one.

    Reconstruction of a Wendel shield based upon findings in a grave.

    These are just a few Ive found on the net after a quick search. Im going to visit Birka the next weekend, let see what I can come up with after that. Ill see if I can get to the Historical Museum which alsa have a good selection.

    The Osprey book "Viking Hersir" has a good section on helmets which are based on actual finds. Most helmets found in Sweden are Wendel-era a cermonial as theyre found in graves and are quite ornamented.
  6. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter


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