Monday, January 5, 2009

Old Glory 28mm Vikings

A couple of years ago I began reading Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories series.  I had tried mightly to enjoy his Sharpe books, but the incongruity of a 20th century man in a 19th century setting made me put them aside.  I'm glad I gave Cornwell another chance, because the Saxon Stories are very entertaining, and they even inspired me to try my hand at a WAB Danish army.  The Danes have been on the back burner for a while, but I've been considering painting a few more men and getting that army on the table.

Danish Hirdmen

This is the only unit I've painted, and I painted it back in January of '07.  The figures are all Old Glory, and I really like them.  They're animated enough to give the appearance of an undisciplined army, and the variety of clothing and armor adds to that effect.

I started painting 28mm figures in the summer of 2006.  Before that I had only painted 15mm metal and 1/72 plastic figures.  I went through a learning period with the larger figures, experimenting with different techniques.  Some of those very early paint jobs aren't very good.  My republican Romans, imperial Romans, and Gauls aren't up to my current painting standard.

These Danes were the first unit that I really felt I got "right," and the colors and techniques I used here became my new standard.  These are probably the last 28mm figures on which I attempted to paint eyes.  I've since given it up because they never look right.  If the eyes are big enough to see, they're too big for the figure.  If they're in scale with the figure, they're too small to see.  I don't bother with eyes any more.

Hirdmen Leader

This is just one of many outstanding figures in the Old Glory line.  It's just a perfect pose: dynamic without being over-posed and with perfect period details.  The spectacle helmet, the mail neck guard, the cloak under the long mail coat, the helmet, and the fur cape.  It exactly fits my mental picture of a Viking chieftan.

Horn Blower

The eyes on this guy are just about right, actually.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should go back to painting eyes?  I like this pose a lot too, mostly for the quilted armor.

Here follow some pictures of Danish warriors.  Note the variety of armor, clothing, and equipment.

This is probably the best face I've ever done.

The standard bearer below shows the flesh tones I used for these fair Scandinavians.  I've used this same combination on many figures since.  I prime black then layer the color up from darker to lighter.  I painted the whole arm with Delta's "Dark Flesh."  You can see that shade between the fingers and in the crook of the wrist.  Then I painted the bulk of the skin with Delta's "Medium Flesh."  Finally I picked out the raised areas and knuckles with Delta's "Fleshtone."  You don't have to use expensive paints to produce a good fleshtone.  These $1 bottles of paint did the job just fine.


  1. Great explanation of your painting style, Scott. And a great job on the miniatures as usual!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Very nice indeed, Scott. All top work, but the shields stand out for me - very realistically done.

    Best wishes


  3. Nice paintwork! I am reading Cornwell's Saxon series right now. I started the first book just a couple weeks ago. The novels are inspiring me to paint up some Vikings and Saxons of my own. I'm going with 1/72 plastic. Zvezda sells an absolutely brilliant Viking set. I've long admired Foundry's Copplestone Vikings and these Old Glory Vikings are quite nice, so I may also buy a few 28mm to paint for display. I like how you brightly colored the helmets.

    I share your dilemma with eyes. 28mm models would look more realistic if the eyes were simply treated with a dark colored wash. BUT, these days the convention in mini painting is to include those big white eyes! I feel like I will be scorned as a painter of limited talent if I don't paint eyes. Peer pressure!

  4. Great figures!

    As far as eyes, it's all personal preference. I personally prefer painting eyes, but don't think that it's in any way "wrong" to leave them off. I do think you did I nice job on the figures above, and think they add something to the look of the figures.

  5. Beautiful figures , excellent !!!