Monday, December 8, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Viking Age Heroes

Once again I have to thank those lovely lads and lasses at Gripping Beast for sending my some of their fantastic SAGA Viking age Heroes for review.

These models really do help set the tone and look for your armies, even if you don't actually upgrade a Warlord to a Hero. Let's take a look at some of these fantastic sculpts...

Gripping Beast Heroes to strike Terror into the Hearts of your enemies!

Here is a must if ever you saw one! Ragnar can lead your Viking force. 
You get a single cast model except for the spear which attaches to the right arm at the wrist. There is a large round Renedra base to mount this Hero on.

The model is large and solid with no obvious mould lines or flash. Even the bottom of the base has very little flash to trim off ready for gluing to a base.

Looking at the model, there is plenty of detail for the painter to work with. 

Furs, belt, sword hilt, beard...

Ragnar has a slightly round belly and a confident pose that suggests an older more seasoned veteran.

I guess you can have fun with basing this model, the rock under the right foot can be a start point. Get those creative juices flowing!

William can be a leader of a Norman faction (no surprises there!) His name is from his parentage, though some might think that with the pose this model has - rearing up with club in hand - that he might earn it from the person about to get clubbed! 

This figure sits atop his horse and really looks the action figure. The rider is one of the best fits I have seen with metal cavalry. You can just sit the rider on the saddle and it doesn't adjust or fall of. 

Very good fit to the mount!  What else is there. Unusually, he has a club in hand not a sword. He does have a sword hilt on his belt to add some detail.

He carries a kite shield in his left arm.

There is some flashing at the lower end of the shield but only a small amount and trims off in seconds.

The figure wears a cloak and has chain mail armour, more detail to paint.

As far as I can see there are no mould lines at all to spoil the detail.

William presents a lovely little action figure that would look good heading up you Norman faction.

The horse will need to have the supports for the front legs removed, but other than that, the model looks very clean.  Just a small mould line along the horses back and saddle that can be smoothed with a sharp blade. No loss of detail.

William comes complete with a Renedra cavalry base to mount the horse on.

Brodir can lead your Norse-Gaels in battle. This model is more of the action-man pose. Sword raised, mouth open in a scream or shout. 

The model needs to have the hand weapon and shield attached. Both are easy to attach. 

The right hand is cast open and the left hand has a raised nodule for the boss to fit onto. 

Nice simple touches than make the modellers life easier.

The model has good detail, belt, dagger, braided hair to add to the painted detail.

there is a large Renedra round base to mount the model on. I think a body or two of slain enemies would be good here!

 Looking at the model for problems, I see no obvious mould lines and no flash that needs trimming off.

The small thing you will have to do is to make the models base more stable. The base is quite small and the model is harder to stand on its own than the others in this review. 

Trimming the base of the model helps a little. Super gluing to the Renedra base and/or using a "hard as nails" compound for texture will also help mount this model.

A lovely little figure that I quite like. Definitely the "One that Steel Cannot Bite"!


Maredudd ab Owain can be chosen as a Welsh Hero to lead your force. He certainly has some useful Saga abilities.

This model is shown standing with hand on large axe. You will need to glue the axe in place, but as it can be stuck to the basing material, then keeping it in place should not be an issue.

The model has no flash or mould lines that I could see and even the base was even and could stand without the need for trimming.

This model may not be the most action oriented, relying on painting the details of the clothing, armour and equipment to bring out the details.

All in, a very clean model, one of the easiest to work with I have seen from Gripping Beast (not that any of them have been "bad"!)

 Macbeth is the legendary Scots Hero made famous by a certain playwright. While the truth of his life may not have been what most of us learned from Shakespeare, this model will certainly make an imposing and aggressive leader for your Scots Saga faction!

This model comes with an axe and a shield that will need to be glued onto the model.

The Axe has the right hand and forearm modelled onto it and will need to be fastened below the elbow, probably with superglue.
Exactly where to place the shield may be something you want to experiment with. The left hand is clenched and extended, so fastening is not an issue.

Putting the shield directly in front seems to be what the model seen on the Gripping Beast website has done to it. I think it looks great. Hands ready to move to attack and protect at the same time.

This model has had a couple of mould lines trimmed down already, one on top of the raised right arm and the other down the left side of the body. There seems to be no loss of detail. It's good that Gripping Beast clean up models rather than let the customer moan - I have never had a "bad" model from the beast as a reviewer or as a private customer.  The model comes with a large round Renedra base to mount this Hero on.

This model is my favourite of this batch - I love the grim "attack" posture.


A great set of Heroes for your force. These models really set the tone and add that something "special" to a Saga army.  Why not treat yourself to one (or several!) for Christmas? Paint and base that one special figure to make your faction shine!

I hope to get to review the remaining Viking Age Heroes soon.
Please spare a thought for our modern day Heroes.... you can give to charities supporting out Veterans wherever they are.

In the UK you can give to Help for Heroes - here is a link to the page I set up for the WWPD4Vets event back in April. I have got the ball rolling by donating 20 pounds to add to this years efforts.

In the USA you can give to the Wounded Warrior Project, link is here.

You might consider using eBay to sell your unwanted gaming stuff. You can give a percentage to charity.

Thanks for reading!


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