Sunday, January 26, 2014

Howling Axes! Norse Gael axemen

The Norse were first recorded in Ireland in 795 when they sacked Lambay Island. Raids continued until 832, after which they began to build fortified settlements throughout the country.  The Norse–Gaels originated in settlements when the Norse intermarried with the native Gaels in Ireland and Scotland.  They founded the Kingdoms of Man, Argyll, Dublin, and Galloway. To this day, the Hebrides are known in Scottish Gaelic as Innse Gall, the islands of "foreigners." The Norse–Gaels dominated the region until the Norman invasion.

Gripping Beast did a splendid job of capturing the spirit of mad Viking-Irish warriors.  The warband contains a shocking number of barefoot fellows.  What they lack in fashionable footwear is made up for by the Dane axe. These barefoot axeman have a wicked look about them.  Slopping around without shoes might turn anyone into an axe-wielding maniac.  

First up are 8 warriors, followed by 4 hearthguard. Take a look at the warrior in red below. His hair is plaited and each plait is secured by a small golden ball. I knew I'd seen this look before and sure enough, Ian Heath's "Armies of the Dark Ages" has an illustration that appears to be the inspiration for this figure.   

This winter has been a brutal one, even for Minnesota.  We're going to get popped by another round of the Polar Vortex with temperatures dropping below -25 tomorrow.  Gray skies and icy cold temps are fueling a bad case of cabin fever.  It's a good thing I don't own an axe or I just might chop through a door, pop my head through and yell out "Heeeere's Mooonty!" Thank goodness for the painting table as it does keep me sane.   Stay warm and sane, where-ever you are!
Where's my SAGA warband?  WHERE??