Sunday, April 17, 2011

Viking Housing Development

Q: Along with the Vikings and their Long Ship, what else do ya need? 
A: A village to plunder and pillage, that's what!
Actual Saxon Village replica somewhere in England.
Inspiration from different sources of Dark Age villages and buildings: Man Cave among others has led me to produce in a relatively short period (four days) five generic cottages as the core of any village setting for our Viking campaign / adventures.

A few weeks back before Mag-Con 3 I called Willy (LTL Dad) Monday morning (as an added goad and incentive to myself) to let him know that I was starting on a 'top secret project' and will be completed by that Saturday of Mag-Con 3.  

Standard foam packing generously donated by Uncle Greasy. I knew that I could use these for something one day (my ethnic roots of being Filipino and part Pack Rat comes in handy). Originally Uncle Greasy had these slated for 15mm buildings but they were perfect for what I had in mind.
Gutted out the interior walls using my trusty soldering iron on the base cottage structure.
Roof done separately as a lift off. Interior was finished off with a layer of paint, water, sand and PVA glue mix to add weight and smooth surface for the minis to stand in. Alas, no interior shot to date. 

Again using scrap foam pieces (pink and blue insulation foam and styrene) as my core structure with applied balsa wood for the molding and doors.
 I used Teddy bear fur as my thatching (thank you, Man Cave!). This particular color would've work just fine in a pinch but since I had a bit more time I knew that it needed some work to achieve the look I wanted. 
And here's my obligatory disclaimer regarding Teddy Bears: 
No Teddy Bears were harmed during the completion of this project, some of them just had to go around naked and cold for awhile.

And of course, what Viking village would be complete without these requisite accouterments: rune stones. Again the inspirational credit goes to Man Cave since I saw these on his post and just HAD to get me own.
Viking Rune Stones from none other than Fenris Games!
Mounting them on some left over Flames of War medium bases, they're ready for priming and painting.

I glued a washer on the bottom of the bases for the added weight.
Churro, here, is shown for scale and the fact that he's a camera hog!
Ditto goes for this APE Grunt. 
Recently completed cottages with my Vikings in their Long Ship in the background. The thatching was sprayed liberally with a dark brown spray paint and left out to dry in the sun. Warning, letting it air dry in room temperature will take forever. After a couple hours of solar conditioning dry brushing came next.
A Dark Age subdivision any chief or thegn would be proud of.
The doors are applied on the surface and are not operable. In my earlier and foolish youth I would've made hinges to make the doors swing but since time was of the essence that idea went out the... window (sorry)!
I'll post an exclusive on my Vikings, I promise. Problem is, they're worse than those danged Goblins in terms of scheduling since they're always gone... ahem... a Viking!
I then took these buildings up to Mag-Con 3 the following day for the unveiling and was used for the first time on Willy's Napoleonic skirmish game. My part of the board was a small hamlet and these cottages worked well.
Along with the buildings and runestones, I added my carpet tiles for the plowed fields along with my scratch built haystacks. Also if you click and zoom in you'll notice a couple of anachronistic items that would've caused havoc in this battle.  
The action continues as Willy's Grenadiers advance! 'Vive l'Empereur!'
I also got to run my own Legere unit from Willy's collection.
Mission accomplished. On to the next...


  1. No teddys were injured in the making...:-D
    I´ve seen this method for making thatches before (not man cave but somehwere else..I can´t remember now) but not as well done as you have here.
    Great use of the packing boxes, they would make good mexican style houses as well...cut down some of the outer sides to make walls etc. I´ll have to get me some

  2. No Teddy Bears were harmed.. but a couple of your Vikings got smacked around a bit last night! MU HA HA HA HA

    These make a great table. I'll try to post pics of yesterdays game asap and send you some of the pics.

  3. @paul's bods - thnx!

    @ltl dad, fine - i concede the point that you did kill 2 of my band from our four way free for all but hey, they were rookies and canon fodder to boot... yeah send me the 'proof'. :D

  4. The teddy bear bit is excellent as are the buildings and set up, really magnificent work.

  5. Glad my work was an inspiration - I dont think that ever happened before! Yes, teddy bear fur is definately the way to go for thatching and its all come out wonderfully.

    I note too that youve created a bigger, better village than me in far less time. I shall have to dispatch a punitive expedition of northmen immediately. Not that mine have a lovely boat like yours yet...!

    Top notch modelling all around. I hope you guys have as much fun with your vikings as we are.

    Next up for me - wooden pallisades to defend the village: those pesky northmen seem to just walk in whenever the mood takes them!

  6. thnx all for the comments!

    @man cave, great minds think alike since i've been noodling the same idea: palisades and a keep for me, actually. we had a war band clash yesterday using my cottage set up and had a blast! lmao re: that punitive expedition - i say bring it on, mate! my boys will take on all comers. :D

  7. Yes, a Dark Ages watchtower wouod be very cool. I'm plannign on making up a church first though, being good places to find loot!

    The new 'Saga' rules from Gripping Beast sound good too - coming out in May I understand, and worth a look

  8. Bring your lads Man Cave! Jil's Wienerkings are cream puffs ;)

  9. Great buildings, you've done a fantastic job!

  10. Cream Puffs? Yum! They would go well big a tankard of mead then!

  11. @ltl dad: ok - that tears it! u got lucky w/ your danish pastries last weekend so gird thyself n prepare for a proper thrashing in a rematch! same rules of engagement, beeyotch!!!

  12. Great job. The mulitples really add to the impact.

  13. I have chosen you to receive the Stylish Blogger Award. The details can be found here:

  14. A most welcome and charming look at Viking planning. Pretty amazing how far we've come from the very clean, yet efficient planning of ancient habitation, as exemplified by these dioramas. Sure, it’s entertainment, but we don't often think about these things sometimes. It pays to remind.

  15. thanks yolande, your comments are appreciated. now all is i need is more inspiration to create and get back to blogging about new stuff.



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