|Emhar 1/32 Vikings, with minor conversions and weapon replacements|
Two of the figures had flimsy and bent swords. I replaced these by hammering and filing that 1/16" brass rod into replacement blades (the figure I think of as "The Warlord" in the front right, and the guy in the front with the club and sword). In this photo, the swords are just slipped into the holes I drilled in the hands, so one is drooping a bit...
|"The Warlord" with replaced sword blade|
Three of the figure have pre-drilled hands to take long and thin-hafted axes. Very nice, but those axe hafts are relatively thin, brittle plastic. I used them anyway, but nearly snapped one when I dropped the figure. I worry about their longevity, but I can probably swap out the hafts for thinner wire if I need to. For now, I'll handle them more gently.
A long deep dive into my garage yielded the Marx 54mm Vikings I remembered buying years ago. There are nine unique poses, most of which are (mostly) historically accurate. I'm not too worried about historical accuracy for this project really, but I did decide to remove the horns from various helmets, and to trim the heads of various axes from "meat cleaver" shape to something more Dark Ages.
|The assembled Marx Viking horde|
|Sword/axe pose, converted by swapping both weapons for javelins|
|"Norman" shield and dagger man, and his spearmen alternate.|
This spear is deliberately long. I may make him a standard bearer before painting begins.
|Marx Chieftain and his spearman alternate|
|The collected horde, on their fender washer bases, and in their storage box.|
Painting began right after all of the mold line trimming, weapon swaps and basing was finished. I decided to do this collection six figures at a time. That's a meaningful chunk of the twenty-four figures I have, and still not overwhelming.
At the advice of Rob Dean (of The Sharp End of the Brush), I bought Liquitex white gesso and their flexible brush-on matte varnish. Starting with the gesso, painting in acrylics, then finishing with their varnish yields a tough, flexible paint job that will resist cracking and peeling over soft plastic figures, according to Rob. He's painted hundred of such figures so I trust his advice. I'll let you know how that goes.
But...even after washing my figures carefully with dish soap, rinsing well and letting them dry thoroughly...the gesso refused to stick to the Emhar plastic. It beaded up and wouldn't cover. Oh well. These figures are hard plastic. I'm not worried about flexible paint on them. A quick coat of spray primer stuck very nicely (thank goodness...I thought I might be doomed to toss these very nice figures).
Painting is underway. Lots of muted colors, lots of off-whites for cotton cloth, lots of different browns for wood and leather. And soon, lots and lots of chain mail.
I'll post much better pictures as the painting progresses.
|First steps toward a painted collection. I'll get better photos up soon.|