I have been tempted by the Gripping Beast line of figures for a long time and when I read an Dux Bellorum article in Wargames Illustrated # 299 that featured at the end of the article how to build a Late Saxon era and Viking army with 2 boxes of Gripping Beast plastics I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
Gripping Beast figures mounted on GW round bases.
For Father's Day Honorable Sons #3 and #4 purchased a box of Gripping Beast plastic Viking Hirdmen plus 2 metal command sets and the individual character Ragnar Lothbrok. More on Ragnar later.
Anyway . . . the plastic Vikings are a joy to assemble and easy to paint as the detail is incredible. I am not great at conversions, but I have already converted a figure as a standard bearer and was able to cut and reposition some arms, swap weapons, etc!
That's a big horn. Horn from command sprue and the body is from "regular" sprue. The left arm is also from the command sprue and was configured to hold a shield. I carefully cut off the hand and added a hand holding an axe.
Converted banner man. The right arm is from the command sprue while the other arm is from the "regular" sprue. I drilled a hole in the hand and inserted a wire spear with a paper banner I downloaded somewhere on the internet. He will eventually have a shield on his back.
When Honorable Son #5 saw Ragnar Lothbrok he knew in his own Viking heart (it's the Norwegian blood in him) that Ragnar would be his leader of battles. Ragnar is an impressive figure. At first I though Ragnar was an example of scale creep but after doing some research I found out that he was made to be a taller, "heroic" type character in the Gripping Beast line. It's nice to see a figure that reminds us that not everyone is the same size. He will definitely be an imposing general with his loyal hearthguard around him.
Ragnor gives the enemy his "Gaze of Intimidation" . . . I have to work this into the rules somehow since I gave him an interesting set of eyes!
Plastic two-handed axeman that will be part of Ragnar's companions.
Here is the completed unit of Companions and Ragnar's steely eyed gaze.
I am really having fun with these figures and units. Eventually the "core" Viking Sea Raider army will consist of a Foot Companions unit with leader (Warriors of course!), four Noble Warriors and one ordinary Warriors making a small but elite strike force to raid Dark Age Britain.
Here is the next unit as a work in progress with more to come.