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Taking Land

I think it is fair to say that most hobbyists are not overly enthused with undercoating, basing, and similar preparatory work. Don’t get me wrong, these things are absolutely necessary for any well painted model, but it is usually more tedious than other aspects of the hobby. As someone who already has issues with the “fun” part of the hobby, basing and undercoating are hellish endurance tests that more often than not prevent me from doing anything with the models at all. However, I aim to overcome this crippling prep-phobia, and I’ll start with Hrodolf’s Incorrigibles

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The Colors of War

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of miniature painting. I can make plenty of excuses for why I’m not, but the main one is that I’m bad at it. The painted models never look as good as they do in my head when put the brushes down. The process itself is incredibly frustrating, especially when I just can’t get my brush to do what I want it to. Disheartened, I usually give up mere minutes into the painting session and consign myself to the drab grey hell that are unpainted models. Of course, the more experienced hobbyists out there will be able to spot my problem immediately; I don’t practice, so I never get any better. Time to put a stop to that…

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New Recruits

Whenever starting a new model project, my first unit has always been an elite centerpiece of some sort. These impressive and characterful units often represent the essence of the army, and are usually some of the army’s hardest hitters. However, for this project I wanted to resist these urges and start with a dependable line unit instead. This was difficult. Just the word “Viking” evokes mail-clad warriors with swords and thick shields, feral berserkers in animal pelts with paired weapons, or bearded strongmen swinging vicious two-handed battleaxes. In truth, most Viking warriors were actually unarmored spearmen with only a round wooden shield to protect them. Still, it was these men who put a fear of the North into the coastal towns and villages of Europe. I thought it fitting that I start my warband with a group of these hardy Northmen…

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Drafting a Plan of Attack

If you’ve read my previous post, you know that buying everything at once was a bit of a risk for me. I’ve learned the hard way that there is such thing as having too much of a good thing, at least as far as this hobby goes. In the past, having so many new models have shocked me into indecision, procrastination, and eventually complete inaction. Determined to avoid this particular brand of hobby doom, I returned to the drawing board to draft up a solid build plan…

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Sounding the Call to Arms

When buying models for a project like this, one generally goes about it in one of two ways. The first is a measured and premeditated escalation, where the hobbyist carefully purchases and builds one box at a time before moving on to the next. This certainly tends to create more controlled approach and generally leads to focused, unified units. And then there’s the second way, where the hobbyist buys a whole stack of boxes at once and builds them up piecemeal. Building this way can be a bit more chaotic, especially if one starts kitbashing by mixing elements from different kits into one model or unit. Each way has its merits, but I opted for the latter…

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To be a Jarl

Initially I groped around for a solid starting point for the project, but there is really only one way for a journey like this one to begin: a story. Without placing too much emphasis on dates, location, or even strict historical accuracy, this is what came to me…

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On Foreign Shores and in Darker Times

“This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and whirlwinds, and fiery dragons flying across the firmament. These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of January in the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, Lindisfarne, by rapine and slaughter.”

– Entry for Year 793 of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

 

As the light of the Roman Empire faded into the East, Western Europe entered a time of relative deterioration. These so called Dark Ages were fraught with wars, plague, famine, and political upheaval. Barbarian empires burst forth phoenix-like from the ashes of Rome, only to gutter out in their own dramatic conflagrations. The gulf between classes was not as wide as in later medieval ages, and deeds were more powerful than birth. It was a time of heathens before the Church had full control of the continent or the wherewithal to do anything silly like launching crusades towards the holy land. There were still wild unconquered corners of Europe…

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