Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Viking Shore; Part 1 - Longship


Hello All,

In this post I build a 28mm (ish) Viking Longship.  All good Vikings need a longship.  Which means until now all my Vikings have been quite lame.

I'm stuck in the Dark Ages, but it's a good kind of stuck you know?  Like when something is stuck in your teeth but it tastes good.  

I wanted to expand my dark ages collection but did not want to paint miniatures.  Painting miniatures is boooooring.  Decided to do something different and build this ship that I've had lying around for a few months.  It took way longer to do than expected; due to my lack of time and poor modelling skills.  The object is not to have the ship sail around carrying miniatures but to sit on a coast looking like a really cool piece of terrain.  A little Dark Ages scenery magic that will get some oohhs and ahhs and a maybe few Viking lady groupies.  The I can say something sexy like "Let me show you my Longship..." 

Here is My Longship




Whole ship

whole ship another angel


Now for fun, let's put a miniature on the deck so we can get some sense of scale...

Standing in the Bow looking awesome



On the whole, I am quite pleased how it turn out, which is why I spammed you with pictures. 

Construction Notes (for those interested):

I used the same Revell Viking ship model that everyone has.  This model is 1:50 and 28mm is close to 1:56 so it near enough in scale to the miniatures to make no big difference.  

I got the model from a nice man on TMP
who basically let me have it for free.  I just paid the postage
and gave a promise that one day I would use it.
Promised fulfilled.

The ship comes in this ugly brown plastic but has everything needed to construct it.
One problem is that the model is designed to sit on a stand so has a keel
which will prevent it from laying flat on the game table.
It had to go.

To cut it down to closer to the waterline, I first glued to two halves of the hull together.
 Then I used a dremel with a cutting attachment to slice off the keel.
And a sanding attachment to further wear it down.

I didn't do the best job of it.
The plastic was melting as much as it was cutting off or being sanded away
and I was afraid I would end up destroying it..
  It now lays mostly flat, but wobbles to the right some.
I quit while I was ahead.

The model has an anchor well in the bow of the ship (read: big open space)
that I didn't like; how can someone stand in the bow and look awesome with no deck?
I constructed some deck planks over the anchor well with card from a cereal box.

Making the furled sail was a bit of challenge and I tried a couple ways.
The successful method was taking some toilet paper and soaking it in watered down glue,
enough that it became saturated but still held together (ie, not a lot of water/glue),
then folding it over and over on top of itself like layer cake.
Let dry on some wax paper.
Then used scissors to trim it down to the size of the yard. 
It kinda-sorta-almost looks like cloth that was gathered up in folds.

I glued the sail to the yard.
I took some lengths of  'rope' included in the box and coated them with glue
and then wrapped them around the yard and sail.
Looks alright.

Used the 'rope' to tie it to the mast.
I also took lengths of the rope covered with glue and wrapped around the mast
in strategic locations (where I thought rope would be).
I did the same on the Bow and Stern parts.  

I'm pretty sure that Vikings did not climb up the mast and then go out along the yard to loosen the sail like on Napoleonic era ships; but rather had the yard stored down the center of the boat and when it came time, just raised to yard into place.  I originally tried to have the yard and sail stored lengthwise along the ship but I couldn't get it to fit, so up high it went.  

Lastly was putting the decals on the shields, paint the shields some,
and putting the shields on the ship.
The decals are fiddley and didn't always work.
I had no intention of doing every shield that came in the box (64)
but just enough to give a good showing.  

Problems That I have Made Myself

Now that I am the proud owner of a Viking longship, I've come into some BIG problems.

1) I haven't quite figured out how to store the damn thing.

2) One longship does not a Viking fleet make; now I want one or two more.  This has lead to some internet shopping and comparisons.  Any suggestions are welcome before I buy something.  

3) The biggest issue is that I currently don't have any suitable river bank / beach terrain for the awesome model to sit on.  This must be solved immediately otherwise my Vikings will continue to be quite lame because there's nowhere to put it on the table.  My Vikings can saaay they have a ship but no one will see it, just like in high school I had a girl friend in Canada.  I'd like something where the ship could appear to be partly on shore and partly in the water; like they just pulled up to do some raiding.  

I freely admit that these aren't really-real problems.  

Now More Sporadic in Nature

I want to give a notice to those who are silly enough to waste their time by reading this blog regularly that updates will likely become more sporadic in the near future.  I have too many real world concerns that are coming to head and will require time and effort.  The biggest of which is I have to get serious about moving; unless I want son #3 (now 4 months old) to share my room forever.  

Till Next time.