Verlinden Viking Raider - circa 900 AD
I doubt there are many
folks in the Northern hemisphere who haven’t heard of the Vikings.
than rehash the plentiful information which is available on the Internet about
these fascinating people, please see the following link for the historical and
cultural taster contained within Wikipedia:
(while the popular view
the Vikings largely remains that
people devoted to rape, pillage and conquest
violence it seems that they were sophisticated and technologically advanced for
box contains a quantity of resin parts which comprise the figure, together with
sectional pieces of moulded plaster
that make up the
base. Rounding out the presentation is
a short section of fine chain which is designed to enable the builder to hang a
resin amulet around the neck of the figure (I
succeeded in misplacing mine and so it does not figure in the final build).
overall quality is excellent and
consistent with the fine reputation that this line of figures from the Verlinden
deservedly built up over many years.
in mind that the figure is made of resin
it is essential to follow sensible health and safety precautions when removing
casting stubs from the various parts.
I wore a dust mask
and razor sawed the
plugs outside in the garden on a
dry day. Any final sanding
was carried out wet using course wet and dry emery paper to adjust to fit
between parts until ready for final assembly.
figure itself was built up with the
legs, lower torso,
upper torso and the two jacket sleeves;
leaving the arms,
hands and head, together with the sword
and shield to be painted and finished separately.
base is a different animal entirely,
being made of plaster.
is nonetheless extremely simple and while some people will be tempted to use two
part epoxy, I took
Verlinden’s advice and joined the parts
using a medium thick
plaster ‘glue’ was simple household domestic
surfaces of the parts to be joined are
‘painted’ with the plaster and brought together.
excess will naturally ooze from the joint and this is perfect for ensuring the
easy elimination of any visible joint.
I removed the
overspill using a quarter inch flat chisel brush that was rinsed off in a jar of
water after each application. Any moulding defects like air holes, were filled
with a thinner mix of the plaster ‘glue’.
Leave the airbrush tucked
away for this one – it’s good old fashioned brush painting all the way. I
acquired Verlinden’s “The System” Volume One: Figure Painting at the same time
that I picked up the figure.
really is essential reading and helpfully contains illustrations and text
relating to finishing the jacket.
only drawback is
habit of referring to all colour call outs in terms of
Humbrol paint numbers only – follow this link for an Internet summary chart
jacket was base coated with dark green
further darkened with
This provided shadowing in the recesses of the quilted jacket when the lighter
tints were dry
brushed in later.
From there it is simply a
case of progressively
green until a suitable contrast with the
recesses is reached.
different green was used for the
trousers and the folds and
areas were painted in with a darkened version
of the same. The
was finished using the same approach,
as were the shoes.
leather belt and strapping on the
scabbard were base coated with flat
black and left to
cure for 24 hours before dark brown oil
paint was applied over the top.
access was carefully brush away leaving a gentle sheen on the leather.
buffable Metalcote paints were used for all the metal areas which had been
coated in flat black.
Using this system was an
enjoyable alternative to Alclad II and
enables the builder to finish a project without the need of an airbrush. Once
the Metalcote is
dry it is simply
with a soft, lint free cloth which transforms it from a slightly rough, dull
gray matted paint to the polished surfaces you see in the photographs.
the scariest part of building a figure like this is attempting to reproduce a
reasonable flesh tone in the hands and face.
this figure as the skin area was minimal,
given that the face is unshaven and the longhair masks the neck.
guide was again followed and Humbrol 63 matt sand was used as the base colour to
the oils that would follow. All the oils were mixed 50-50 with Liquin (Japan
Dryer in the
which increases the translucency of the oils and makes them easier to blend. It
also reduces the drying time of the oils from a number of weeks to only a day or
guesstimated a mix of several tones of
oils to both lighten and darken the basic skin tone until I was relatively happy
with the result. Raised areas, like the cheekbones, knuckles, bridge of the nose
and so on were all highlighted with the lighter mixture which was then gently
blended into the surrounding areas.
and natural shadow areas were painted with the dark mix and again blended in.
eyes were painted
an off white, with a light blue cornea, before the dark gray pupils were
carefully touched in.
I have to say
that this was very much easier under the Actulite daylight balance lamp and 3.5
base was finished in virtually the same
way as the jacket, insofar as each distinctly separate area received
before being dry brushed with various lighter tones.
were run in to help further highlight some areas and smooth the transition
between tones in others.
The edges of the base were
painted in matt black enamel to tidy
the finish. As I
said when I posted pictures in the
forum, the rat was a whimsical touch from the spares box,
in a base
coat of dark brown with some lighter oils applied; the eyes being painted black
with clear gloss varnish.
assembly of the figure was
predictably via common or garden superglue.
counting my great alien, this was my
first figure project and the first time that I had tried painting skin
areas since I was a child modeller.
Having given it a
go it has only increased my admiration
for those like Verlinden and Bob Letterman who have obviously mastered the
great advantage of doing something like this
is the fact that it makes painting a face onto a 1:48 pilot seem routine in
recommended as a change of pace.
The internet and “The
System” Volume One: Figure Painting by Francois Verlinden and Bob Letterman.
Editor's Note: For those who wish to learn more about Vikings
in general, I can highly recommend the Osprey book
The Vikings: Voyagers of Discovery
and Plunder. It should still be generally
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