August was another historical miniatures painting contest. Turnout was unimpressive again (historical just doesn’t draw the crowd that SciFi/Modern and Fantasy do), but it gives me a great push to slowly make progress on my Vikings. And make progress I did.
I decided to embrace the grungy effects that I ended up using on the previous one, and I think the intention helped.
Good practice for my next viking. He’s not a Berserker, but one of his arms hangs a little funny.
I’m thinking I can make it look badly wounded; that way it will be hanging dead instead of awkwardly. I should be making some progress tonight, so we’ll see how it goes.
K, at least a couple of people might be waiting to see how that Berserker came out, so here goes!
I’m really happy with how he came out. I entered him in Thunder’s monthly painting contest when I finished him (that month’s theme was Historical), but it was the lowest turnout we’ve ever had. Good news is I won, but it meant a little less. Still, this crazy old Berserker was displayed in full view for a little over a month, which felt pretty good.
The wash came out a bit grungy, but mostly I just thought it made him look dirty, so I embraced it and tried to make it look like he’s actually in a battle. Hence the wounds, and the blood running into the edge of his beard. The grey pumice stuff ended up looking pretty great on the base; I added a couple of Army Painter grass tufts to give it a bit of variation.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get to play at all, but I recently picked up a Saga warband from Gripping Beast. I opted for the metal Vikings, which means I got four berserkers among my miniatures. Being historical miniatures, there is of course some variance expected from what’s shown on the packaging… the packaging let me know I might get a berserker in a loincloth, I got one in the buff.
He’s pretty amazing.
Obviously he’s not done yet, but I thought I’d share the progress I’ve made so far. First step was to clean up the miniature a bit. It’s not the cleanest sculpt I’ve ever seen, but based on the reading I’ve done online I get the impression the bar for historical miniatures is a little lower than for some other genres. Given that these guys worked out to around $2 each, I think they look pretty decent.
Next on my agenda was doing something about the base. As it’s a historical miniature, it has the traditional small flattish bar attached directly to the model’s lowest point. Yuck. To deal with that I broke out my jar of Vallejo ‘Grey Pumice’.
It’s basically a gritty acrylic medium that can be used instead of the traditional sand-and-glue method when basing models. I used it to build up the flat Renedra base until it appeared level with the top of the miniature base. Now it bevels at the edges and should dry brush nicely later.
Another cool aspect of these miniatures that surprised me (again, probably nothing new to historical fans) is that almost none of these miniatures came armed. A couple were sculpted with weapons, but most had cupped hands awaiting a weapon selection, and the warband came with a bag full of swords, axes, shields, and spears. This fellow came with one cupped ‘weilding’ hand and an arm braced for a potential shield, but I felt like any Berserker *so* berserk that he charges into battle naked was probably not going to hang onto a shield (or any particular equipment) mid-battle, and therefore worthy of a random assortment of weaponry. With that in mind I did some modification to the shield arm so I could put a sword in his off hand. At this point I broke my only appropriate micro bit, and the new ones I ordered online have still not arrived even now. Last weekend I got tired of waiting and carved the hand out using the broken remains of that last bit. It was messy, but it worked.
A coat of brush-on primer went on after that, and this weekend I started painting him. I feel like the paint is really bringing out the imperfections in the miniature, but hopefully they won’t be too obvious when all is said and done.