Alternative Norse Miniatures

Selected by the White Knight

The homeland of the Norse lies far to the North. It is not a wealthy land. The ground is hard and the winters are long and cold. This made the Norse into a hard and rough race of warriors and raiders. The most common hair colour among the Norse is blond or red and all adult men have rough beards. The women are just as fierce as the men and will often join them in battle.

The Gods of this land are modelled after its people. They are headstrong, hard as steel and quick to anger. The leader of the Norse Pantheon is Odin, God of Vikings. But the Norse worship many other Gods, like Thor, God of Thunder or Loki, the Trickster. Heimdall the Watcher or Frigg, the Mother Goddess. All of these deities play an important role in the Norscan sagas that have been passed on through the generations.

The Norse are not only formidable warriors, they are also great shipbuilders. Their longboats are said to have sailed all the seas of the Known World, and some say even beyond that. The inhabitants of the coastal provinces of the more southern nations have come to divide the year in two seasons: The time of the Norse comings and the period between comings.

This is the world you are about to enter. But beware, the path of the Norse is unlike that of any other human race. For the Norscans live for war and they have no respect for the weak...

1. The Foundry

We hardly need to introduce this company that makes historical and fantasy miniatures. They currently produce a large number of viking models in the historical range, including characters, command figures, huscarls, bondi, shieldmaidens, berserkers, some cavalry, looters, wounded and civilians.

They also produce fantasy Norse miniatures, including Norse Dwarves and these... *cough*... Valkyries.

Don't forget the older Vikings, Normans & Saxons range, once part of the GW ranges, and still available from Foundry. (The AVNS- codes)

You can also download a pdf-file with Norse flags from their website.

For more (and bigger) pictures of painted Foundry vikings you should also take a look at Tom Weiss' excellent Viking Project.

2. Gripping Beast

Another manufacturer of historical miniatures. While their web-presence is somewhat poor, there are some fansites that offer pictures of their models, like the excellent London Gamers website. The models are a decent size and great to fill out the ranks, though the amount of detail is just a bit below the Foundry standard in my opinion. Still good figs, though, with lots of variety.

They recently advertised these new 'Rus'.

"Ooh, I like those. I think a fantasy Norse army would definitely benefit from these... they'd make a good fantasy army, the Rus. Look at em, all Tolkeiny. mmm!" - Doc

"I'd like to challenge your comment about Foundry being better than GB. Have a look at some of the Anglo-Danish chaps, especially the balding leader with a pot belly leaning on his axe. In addition, GB figs rank up much better than anyone else, and actually look like they're part of a shield wall!" - Grom

3. Shadowforge

Australian manufacturer of all female models, including some very good Valkyries in their "Fantasy Historical" range. So far they have models with axes, swords and spears and a command group. Cavalry is on the way.

These models look very good in the flesh. They are nicely sculpted and detailed, well cast and come with slotted plastic bases. Excellent stuff!

I've compared these with some of the foundry shieldmaidens in my collection and they are exactly the same height and do mix well together, better than I imagined.

4. Black Tree

Or Icon, or Harlequin or whatever they've been called in the past, you know who I mean. They ae best known for their large range of fantasy miniatures, but they also produce historical miniatures. Their stuff is somewhat bigger than most historical minis (remember, they started out with fantasy miniatures), and unlike the fantasy stuff they don't come with plastic slotted bases.

The range includes command figures, berserkers, armoured and unarmoured vikings, vikings with swords, axes, spears, bows or slings and civilians. Most packs have 12 figures (4 variants) or 8 (all variants).

As a fantasy manufacturer they also have some Norse looking dwarves, which feature in the Norse Dwarf companion to this showcase.

5. Old Glory

Another manufacturer of mainly historical miniatures, but with a fantasy line called Ghost Miniatures . You will find norse models in both ranges. All models come with solid bases.

The historical models usually come in bags of 30 (you may even get a couple extras if you're lucky) and include vikings on foot with axes and spears, command figures, cavalry, casualties, a viking king vignette and a viking longboat.

The "Ghost" range includes Norse humans (Barbarians), Valkeries (think: Wagnerian Opera), Norse dwarf shieldmaidens, Ice Trolls (Skraelings) and Norse (Jottenhaim) giants.


ValkeriesGiantSkraeling Standard

Skraeling (Ice Troll)

6. Reaper

Reaper has a few suitable models in their "Dark Heaven" and "Warlord" fantasy lines. Mostly characters and a Norse giant. Great detail, solid bases.


7. DSA/Armalion

German manufacturer of fantasy models for the games "Das Schwarze Auge" and "Armalion". They make some Norse models called "Thorwalers" and some nice "Snow Trolls" and "Ice Barbarians"

8. Dixon

I've never quite liked the old Dixon historical models before. Too little detail, faces too flat,... or so I thought. With their new viking range they've made a giant leap in standard. The range also has some characterful features like a raiding party with goose, a viking with 2 captive children, a mounted viking with a young woman captive and 2 vikings carrying a treasure chest. Excellent stuff!

"They have been steadily improving, but with these they are really ready to play with the big boys!" - Doc

Click here to continue : page 1 - page 2 - page 3 - page 4 - next page

Finally, do remember that Saxons work well as ersatz vikings!

Don't forget to take a look at the Norse Dwarf showcase.

As Norse and bears seem to go well together, you should also take a look at Colonel M.'s Bear Showcase

If you feel that I left out a company that should be listed or if you represent a company that was left out or whose products didn't get the credit and appreciation they deserve, feel free to contact me on the FU-UK! Froth Forums or directly by clicking here.

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