Wednesday 28 February 2024

Mini Sorta-Vikings

My friends are very patient. They've been playing Blood Bowl 7s (a.k.a. the best version of Blood Bowl) for a while and allowing me to take their teams to the field while deciding what team I want to build myself. That's taken... several months.

Part of the problem was that, while I have really been enjoying the game, little of the current range of official miniatures really appeals to me. Fortunately, there's a huge range of third-party companies offering Fantasy Football miniatures so it became a case of figuring out the kind of team I wanted and hunting down some appropriate minis. Realistically, the first part of that equation was simple - running, dodging, and passing are for teams with more skill than guts - so I pretty quickly settled on the Norse for a straightforward smashmouth style. That done, I found the "Fenrir Sons" range from Hungry Troll Miniatures which were exactly what I wanted - simple, clean sculpts that would paint up really quickly.

Or so I thought. The models were brilliant and I can't speak highly enough of Hungry Troll's service - but, once basecoated, my momentum just evaporated and they sat on my desk for months. It's only this last week or so that I turned back to them and got them finished. Truth be told, they painted up really well, so I'm not sure what the obstacle was!

First out the gate were four basic Linemen to make up the numbers. Most of the time, I'll probably only be fielding three, but I figured a fourth would be useful to have just in case. The slightly crouched one in the helmet had some horns clipped off just to blend better with the other helmet-wearing model but, outside of cleaning up maybe three stray supports from the printing, that was the only prep I had to do on the whole selection.

With the basic players out the way, I then got onto the specialists. First up, inevitably, were two Ulfwereners - even more berserk berserkers. While actual Berserkers are an option, I MUCH preferred these models, so that made the team selection for me! 

Painting all of these was a doddle - flesh and dark steel for the most part, with dark grey for the trousers, dark brown for straps and belts, bone for the bone codpieces, and light grey for loincloths and fur. I wanted a very dark theme as I was, right up until the last minute, toying with the idea of finishing off the models with corpse paint to theme them along the lines of a Scandinavian metal band! I changed my plans there, but the dark scheme really works well with the green pitch and white lines, I think.

Having said that actual ball skills are for cowards, I did figure that I needed at least one model capable of scoring, so drafted a Valkyrie. I think the Hungry Troll range was originally designed for a previous version of the Norse team, so this model is 'officially' a Thrower (a role since merged into the more jack-of-all-trades Valkyrie). 'Official' Valkyrie models did come with the rest of the team (presumably, Hungry Troll updated the range in line with the new edition), but I just preferred this model - even though it is carrying a ball. In a game where an actual ball is moved about the board, it has always irked me that so many models are permanently carrying one! Tucked under the arm, though, is relatively unobtrusive compared to many, so I'll live with it.

Of course my final player is a Yeti. Given the choice, it was ALWAYS going to be a Yeti. This was the only model I thought had a bit of a flaw, however - the mane of hair on its right shoulder is very flat, with practically no texture. Looking at the stock photos on Hungry Troll's website, I think it's the sculpt itself, rather than any issue with the printing. A minor negative, but a noticeable one given the proximity to the focal point of the model and the pronounced texturing on the rest of the fur.

For basing, I actually applied my usual Polyfilla/mud effect and painted it all up. I even 'sculpted' some gouges in the earth that I left mostly free of the static grass applied thereafter. The idea here was to give the effect of a churned-up pitch. I didn't love it until I added the white lines, breaking them where the pitch was also broken. A few drops of a couple of brown washes on the lines and everything tied together nicely!

I'm really pleased with how everything came out - it was definitely worth the wait! Not sure when they'll be taking the field for their first game - hopefully soon.

I do, however, need a name for them. Current front-runner is the Djúrabý Draugar.

Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the products I have discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer or the source I used (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.

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