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Viking Warrior, circa 950

Discussion in 'Completed Figures' started by Ran, Dec 26, 2022.

  1. Ran Active Member

    Hello everyone!

    Here is my last 1/6 figure project for 2022; it's a Dark Ages Northern Raider and is a reworking of Olaf the Viking, a 1/6 figure by Dragon released eons ago. The figure's body is DID Advanced Slim Body while the headsculpt brand escapes me.

    The project entailed researching and sourcing individual loose parts from various retailers or from my own supply stock. The headsculpt neck joint was rejigged with apoxy putty before I proceeded to completely repaint the headsculpt, followed by whigging or 'hair rooting', bearding and braiding, paint-weathering modifications of the DML smock, pants from my surplus stock, painting the Battlefield Toys puttees and woven 'chainmail' worn on top of a COO Models weathered undercoat. A single leather belt strap helped to suspend the modified DML scabbard and a scratchbuilt leather money pouch. The slide-strap scabbard suspension technique was based on some very interesting research by Roland Warzecha (Link to his Patron article and video given below).

    How to use a waist belt to suspend a Viking Age scabbard

    By Roland Warzecha (Dimicator)

    ranvk4.jpg ranvk6.jpg ranvk5.jpg ranvk1.jpg ranvk2.jpg


    Issued in 1999, the Dragon (DML) articulated figure came in plastic, fabric and diecast material. Below image is Olaf, with his molded chainmail suit removed, while the insert on the right is the illustration of the warrior which I believe Dragon referenced.


    Intrigued by the long Dane axe that the figure was armed with, I did some research and learnt some interesting bits of trivia.

    Dane Axe
    The Dane axe is an early type of battle axe, primarily used during the transition between the European Viking Age and early Middle Ages.

    Popular during the 10th and 11th centuries as the Danes fought to gain strongholds in England, Normandy, and Ireland, the very large Dane Axes were regarded as the weapons of elite-Viking warriors. Dane axes used as status symbols might be as long as 1.5 to 1.7 m (5 to 5½ ft) while others spanned from 0.9 and 1.2 m (3.0 and 3.9 ft) long.

    They, in particular, were useful weapons because they allowed for range. The long handle meant that a Viking did not have to be close to his opponent to strike. Hiding behind a shield wall, a Viking could swing his axe over the shields. He could also use the heel of his axe to pull his opponent's shield down. Swung with two hands, the battle-axe was capable of cutting off the head of a man or horse.

    As time passed the Dane Axe became popular on both sides of the battlefield. It is said that Harold’s Housecarls (bodyguards) during the Battle of Hastings were wielding Dane Axes. The Dane Axe became so ubiqiutous that they were continued in use well into the 12th century and later.

    This style of axe, for the most part, is a deceptively light and agile weapon. It is clear that these axes were not made to be work axes because they lacked the mass and balance to fell trees and such. They were, on the other hand, perfect for killing a human.

    Watch the video below to see a Dane axe in action against a Longsword.

    Dane Axe VS. Longsword... Think You're Safe? Hah!
    by Scallagrim

    The 1/6 figure

    I wished to give new life to this figure and after copious research, managed to source for a headsculpt which I think should be suitable.

    As usual, I always begin by working on the paintworks for the headsculpt. The headsculpt was completely repainted in layers of tints. All paintwork for skin and eyeballs were done in Vallejo acrylics.



    Once done, it's time to 'root' in the hair and beard. A little knowledge about how to braid came in handy (Thanks YouTube!)


    I'm using some parts from Olaf, my 1/6 Viking by Dragon. Here. his conical helmet is given a weathering treatment with some acrylics.

    ran11.jpg ran12.jpg

    Shield (Rönd)
    The primary defensive weapon of a Viking raider was the shield. Because it was round, it was called rönd. Shields were about a yard across and was made of light wood such as linden, pine, spruce, maple or yew; a lighter and cheaper material than metal. Painting the shield coats the grain in the wood planks to prevent splitting while acting as a sealant against moisture. Shields with more intricate designs would presumably have rawhide covers glued with bone glue and rawhide edging. Rawhide improves the strength of the shields considerably and were water-proofed.

    Olaf's shield - note the heavily scribed grooves on both sides of the shield! I added some grooves of my own to the back of the shield.
    ran13.jpg ran14.jpg

    A very battle-worn shield, battered with axe slashes, weathered by exposure to the weather and battle conditions, grimy, dirty and muddied. Below image is the back of the shield with wooden vertical hand-grip. The shield's rawhide rim is showing signs of deterioration. A leather carrying strap will be attached later.

    Undercoat, Chainmail and Money Pouch
    Undercoat after heavy weathering and sleeve modifications. I used a diluted mix of raw umber and black acrylics. Chainmail after modification and heavy weathering to tone down the metallic fabric. I began by underpainting the chainmail with black acrylic, then lightly drybrushing gun metal and some steel highlights in between layers of Top Coat.

    ran17.jpg ran18.jpg ran19.jpg

    Scratchbuilt leather Viking money pouch with bone lock. This was lightly weathered with Tamiya Weathering Masters Rust Brown. I had thoughts of fabricating a bread bag with sling but reckoned that this would be left on board the longship, as would the cloak.

    Thanks for viewing!
    NigelR, Martin64, Pedro and 12 others like this.
  2. MoboSchreuder A Fixture

    Wow wonderful work

  3. Ran Active Member

    Thanks, Mobo. It was fun assembling everything on him at the end!
  4. Dr Bison Well-Known Member

    That's some serious modelling and painting skills you have. Plus some interesting historical background: thanks!

  5. Lazytodd Member

    Amazing work!

  6. Bundook Active Member

    1/6 th must be an ideal scale for detail freaks (I just wish I had the space).
  7. Ran Active Member

    Thanks very much for your kind words, everyone. Much appreciated! I enjoy learning from the research, whether it’s about history, techniques and such… truthfully I knew nothing about Vikings at the start of the project!
    Nap likes this.
  8. Henk A Fixture

    Fantastic work on the modeling, the attention to detail, weathering, and that hair, superb.

    I feel the Dane axe is overplayed though in that video, and probably in historical accounts. It is like the later halberd, a weapon for a shield wall, to hook shield and try to hit opponentz from behind the wall, but it is completely unbalanced for one-on-one close combat. Even a moderately skilled sword man would parry and get in with much more control of his cutting edge. The long handled Dane Axe is at best good for parrying, but unbalanced for quick moves.
    Ran and OldTaff like this.
  9. Dolf Well-Known Member

    Amazing work!

    He looks alive!!!


  10. Dr Bison Well-Known Member

    I found this video on the topic quite interesting:

  11. Henk A Fixture

    I like his videos, but they can be hard to watch, as he has a tendency to repeat himself. Interesting thoughts though, especially the idea that "vikings" were not very good at, and didn't like, pitched battles, but preferred the quick raiding attack.
    I still think that the long handled Dane axe was a specialised weapon, very effective in holding off opponents if you have the space to swing, but that in close combat, they would use a sword or smaller axe.
    Dr Bison likes this.
  12. Warren SMITH A Fixture

    Fantastic work and great SBS.. thanks for sharing..
  13. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Very well thought through and executed. I have found that the best chain mail comes from ladies purses from the 1920s and which can easily be found on eBay. The museum at York suggests that Viking beards tended to be trimmed neatly, but as none of us were alive at the time, it's difficult to know how accurate such information is.

  14. marco55 Well-Known Member

    Fantastic piece!(y)
  15. Ran Active Member

    Thanks so much, Mark. I learnt alot about those Dark Ages Scandinavians whilst doing this project!
  16. Nap Moderator

    Hi there Ran

    As always great to see how you work a figure , fascinating to follow through and great results

    Good to see how much pieces are improved with the work , like the shield , helmet

    IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY WHY NOT ENTER a piece into the class of your choice in FOTM here: :)(y)







    In the forum you can also VOTE in previous comp so please take the time to do so

    Thanks for sharing

    Look forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime

  17. Ran Active Member

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for suggestion. I've uploaded my entry to the Standard category, but I think because of the browser lag, I reloaded another time when I saw nothing at first! Please assist to remove the last entry Thanks a lot.
    Nap likes this.
  18. NigelR A Fixture

    Superb work, very impressive!
    Ran likes this.
  19. Ran Active Member

    Oh, thanks so much, Nigel! Cheers.
  20. Nap Moderator

    Saw that and sorted

    WHY NOT ENTER something into the class of your choice in the NEW Bimonthly comp ending 28/02/23 here: :)(y)







    There's also the Vignette & Diorama #5 comp


    Thanks for sharing

    Look forward to seeing more

    Happy benchtime


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