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"How 'Viking' are the GB Plastic Vikings?" Topic

15 Posts

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1,350 hits since 9 May 2017
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Henry Martini09 May 2017 5:16 p.m. PST

A strange question, you might think, but…

I have the GB plastic Saxons and DA warriors, and I'm wondering if I could also incorporate the Viking set into my Saxon armies. From what I've seen in photos of the completed figures none are wearing the plain or nasaled(?) conical helmets that the likes of WRG and Osprey books assign them as typical Viking headwear. As far as I can tell none of their helmets would look out of place on a mid-Saxon figure.

Aside simply from greater pose variety, one advantage this set has is a generous supply of knives (there were none included in the DA Warriors set) that I could use to improve the look of my non-noble Saxon units.

Is there anything about these figures' costume and equipment that renders them distinctively and unmistakably 'Viking', and therefore unsuitable for my repurposing?

Benvartok09 May 2017 5:30 p.m. PST

Your Saxons sound incorrect. Based on the History channels Vikings show Saxons should wear Spanish renaissance shaped helmets with roman style lamellar armour on their torsos.

Not a bad show but those uniforms……

Glengarry509 May 2017 6:20 p.m. PST

Nothing much, except the Saxon torsos have tiny Christian crosses and the Vikings tiny Thor's Hammers hanging around their necks. Some of the Saxon helmets look too archaic German to me for the "viking age" and not suitable for Vikings, but after all this time it's hard to be dogmatic.

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut09 May 2017 6:28 p.m. PST

If you like them, you should use them. Things are squirrelly enough about the Dark Ages that no one can really say for sure, and I am positive that captured ir scavenged equipment would be used as well.

Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2017 1:57 a.m. PST

Later Saxons seem to have worn a form of puttee, and are depicted with tighter sleeves.
I think its really in shields that there was a big difference, particularly in colours and patterns, also, some Saxon shields are concave faced, where Norse shields seem flat.
It seems that Vikings tended to wear their hair and beards long, and the Saxons liked shorter hair and tidy beards.

Saying all this, I have swapped some Saxon and Viking figures into the opposing warbands!

Larry R Inactive Member10 May 2017 5:37 a.m. PST

Use them. Especially against the Normans!

wminsing Inactive Member10 May 2017 5:40 a.m. PST

Hair styles are definitely different the figures, but how historical THAT is I definitely cannot say.


skipper John Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2017 6:29 a.m. PST

It's the dark ages and no one knows for certain… do what ever you want.

Years ago a fellow told me that Vikings NEVER wore red. I happen to like red! He lost.

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member10 May 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

My belief is that hair, armor and clothing would all look much the same. Certainly the jewelry borrows and amalgamated motifs.

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

I used the viking heads to make Anglo Dane cavalry and they do look pretty good all around.

I am in the same boat for the middle of the Dark Ages (right at the beginning of the Viking era) and I am coming to the conclusion that I can use the same figures for most northern European armies – the main difference being when the cheek piece in helms disappears (which I am not sure of)

DeRuyter Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2017 10:21 a.m. PST

Your Saxons sound incorrect. Based on the History channels Vikings show Saxons should wear Spanish renaissance shaped helmets with roman style lamellar armour on their torsos.

Not a bad show but those uniforms……

LOL – exactly. Supposedly they researched the Vikings well, not so the Saxons. Gave the Saxons straight over to the costume designer with the only instruction to make them different from Vikings!

Henry Martini10 May 2017 8:03 p.m. PST

So well researched they're all in black leather – just like everyone in every other 'historical' drama these days.

I'm guessing there was probably a time lag between the Vikings turning up sporting the new continental-style conical helmets and their being widely adopted by the Anglo-Saxons – so GB's plastic Saxons would probably do for as late as the 9th century.

The consensus here seems to be that the GB plastic Viking set can be used as pagan Saxons.

I do wonder why the GB designers went against the standard, generally accepted image of the Viking warrior by completely omitting conical helmets from their plastic hirdmen set. Do they know something we don't?

Druzhina11 May 2017 11:09 p.m. PST
Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member12 May 2017 6:08 a.m. PST

Druzhina, you are pretty knowledgeable about dark age references. Do you have a historical artifact reference for Pictish shield shapes?. I have seen some rather implausible "H" shaped shields on figs and wondered where the sculptor may have gottten the idea, I have seen plenty of target like shapes on stones and squares are plausible and I may have even seen them but I have never seen the"H" shape, have you?

Henry Martini13 May 2017 5:35 a.m. PST

With a spectacular sense of synchronicity, I happened to be leafing through an old issue of WI yesterday when I came across an article by Chris Peers about the pagan Saxon army of Penda of Mercia, illustrated with a photo of painted GB plastic Vikings, the caption of which misidentified them as Saxons!

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