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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??

43 comments:

  1. These look fantastic, a terrifying unit!

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    1. Thanks Phyllion! The NG battleboard is built for the Dane Axe.

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  2. Monty, I thought of you shivering in the cold when I saw the weather report for Minneapolis last night on the news. Brrr! You have had a brutal winter thus far.

    Your axemen are striking! Nice double entrendre, eh?

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    1. Thanks Johnathan, and I do love clever wordplay. Looking forward to seeing your Ancient Spanish in another AAR some day!

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  3. These really are wonderful Monty, a fearsome looking crew indeed!

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    1. Thanks Michael, they're a bit dwarfed by your Brontosaurus!

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  4. Great work again, Monty - and good luck with the weather...

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    1. Caliban, thanks! And congrats again on finishing your Spanish army. You and Jonathan are going to lure me into painting my own one day! I can hear the siren song (in Spanish) calling me now.

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  5. You continue to turn out some fine DA work, Monty. Much to like about each one of those figures.
    I am convinced that the term "Polar Vortex" is designed to frighten sensible winter people (Minnesotans and Canadians alike) into abandoning our stoic moral fibre and and falling into abject despair. We should all run around outside barefoot, like your war band. :)

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    1. Thanks Padre! I have no right to complain about winter in front of someone who lives 500 miles farther north than I do. ;-)

      My mistake is that I lived in Arizona for 10 years. It weakened me!

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  6. Splendid work Monty! No wonder these guys are real madmen. If I had to run round barefeet at -25°C it would drive me insane also^^

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    1. Thanks Moiterei! I'm a bit crazy and I have to wear houseshoes in the winter to keep my feet warm. I am weak!

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  7. Nice painting on these barefooted Nicholsons. Just watched that movie 2 days ago and I'm a little concerned about how much my youngest boy looks like the boy in the movie.

    Its definitely been a winter for cold days, up there and in the greater rural area of Northern Iowa. When I was at ISU I met a person from former East Germany who had conducted a study on cold weather and birth rates. Supposedly, the colder the winter In Europe, the larger the birthrate in Germany in August/September. His conclusion..."The only time you can get close to most East German women is when its really cold." Academia at its best. :)

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    1. LOL on both accounts!

      That study makes sense. That is one activity that can keep you warm minutes at a time.

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    2. As a follow-up to the weather. A box of Secret Weapon washes arrived today....frozen solid.

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    3. Oooh, that's not great but with a wash, you should be ok. I've wanted to order some Foundry paint but if that got frozen, I'm afraid it would likely ruin it. Aint winter grand?

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  8. Nice work! When the first snow hit here last winter the Army actually had to deploy tanks to help out the traffic. I dare not imagine what would happen, were there some actual snow and not 2 inches. Not like anything close to that is on the forecast.

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    1. Thanks Andras! Wow, tanks to help traffic? That would be a sight...tanks on the freeway every time it snows!

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  9. Excellent Norse-Gael axemen Monty, they look suitably psychol! We've been having heat waves here down under with more to come...

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    1. Thanks Cyrus, and now we know where all the heat has made off to. If you could send just a bit of it our way, we'd be most thankful!

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  10. The Axemen cometh! Super brushwork as always, Monty. You must have quite a Dark Age collection. Best, Dean

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    1. I'm late to the 28mm game but in that range, it's all Dark Ages. I really need to work up a big collection like you Dean!

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  11. Great work Monty! They sure look like they mean business ...

    Nice colours too!

    Not much snow here in Stockholm this winter, and not too cold either – I don't envy your weather over there!

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    1. Thanks Jonas! And who would have thought that winter in Stockholm is easier than Minnesota. Enjoy that while you can.

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  12. Go norse, young man !.

    Excellent as always Monty

    Phil

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    1. Good one, I will use that down at the club. ;-) And thanks!

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    1. Thanks Andrew, you painting machine, you!

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  14. One needs to stay out of the way of those homicidal manics! Very nicely done btw Monty!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher! I'm still thinking about your amazing vignette.

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  15. I love them Monty, an excellent looking (terrifying and bloody!) set of axemen...great last pic too!
    Best,
    Phil.

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    1. Thanks Phil! If I was a bit more talented, I'd have brought it to life like you do!

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    2. Oups! I've forgotten the "+1"!
      Hé Monty, my paintjob is much worse than yours...I have to invent stories, your brushstroke is enough to bring them to life!
      Best,
      Phil.

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  16. Brilliant work, Monty, these chaps would be an ornament to any gaming table. A superbly intimidating force!

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    1. Thanks Ev! I do hope my opponent's quake when I bring them out of their box. ;-)

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  17. Hi Monty,

    well done Mate!
    your figures are Shining like Crazy diamonds!!!

    All the BEST !!!!!
    sorry I should say all the beast to be in the mood;-)

    thefrenchjester " more Allies than Axe ;-) "

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    1. Gilles! We have the same great taste in music, my friend.

      I saw your last bunch (belatedly) at Curt's blog...wow, that was a lot of figures! The dip method is a success!.

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  18. Hola
    Buenas minis,me gustan los hacheros y el pueblo vaquero se sale,magnifico blog
    un saludo

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    1. Thanks JD, I really appreciate it! And thanks for following too.

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  19. Dang, Monty, now I want to go work on the pack of these that I primed and based and set aside to do other projects. Great job.

    In sunny California, we have the opposite problem. Too warm and clear. We're in a drought because the winter rains haven't been coming this year. Its a bit damp this morning for the first time since November, fingers crossed for some rain this week.

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    1. Thanks Ed, for your feedback!

      Oh, that is a tough one. I was listening to a story on NPR about the lack of snowpack and the drought. I really hope the rains come soon. We don't want CA to look too much like AZ.

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  20. Really beautiful paint on those minis! Great blog too btw! Thanks sir!

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    1. Thanks Lord, and thanks for following! I just read about your annual LarryCon and that is the coolest thing. Too bad I don't live in Utah!

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