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Vikings and Saxons 40mm


 
 Products (Total Items: 15)
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PA961 Vikingar - Chieftain mold
PA961 Vikingar - Chieftain mold
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PA962 Vikingar - Huscarl mold
PA962 Vikingar - Huscarl mold
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PA963 Vikingar - Bondi
PA963 Vikingar - Bondi
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PA964 Vikingar - Viking with treasure mold
PA964 Vikingar - Viking with treasure mold
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PA965 Vikingar - Viking Axeman mold
PA965 Vikingar - Viking Axeman mold
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PA966 Vikingar - Viking carrying Girl mold
PA966 Vikingar - Viking carrying Girl mold
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PA967 Vikingar - Saxon Soldier mold
PA967 Vikingar - Saxon Soldier mold
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PA968 Vikingar - Saxon Peasant mold
PA968 Vikingar - Saxon Peasant mold
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PA969 Vikingar - Viking Archer mold
PA969 Vikingar - Viking Archer mold
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PA970 Huscarl with Raven Standard mold
PA970 Huscarl with Raven Standard mold
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PA971 Leif Eriksson - Viking Chief mold
PA971 Leif Eriksson - Viking Chief mold
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PA972 Viking Settler with axe mold
PA972 Viking Settler with axe mold
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VIKING RAIDERS The Vikings, piratical raiders from Scandinavia, first descended upon Western Europe in the late eighth century. They first raided and later settled the eastern seaboard of England and Scotland, much of Ireland, the northern coastal regions of France and Germany, and even as far a-field as the Spanish peninsula and Constantinople. The cause of this sudden expansion of the Scandinavian peoples at this time is still not fully understood, but an increase in population and a co-incidental technological advance in the art of shipbuilding were probably the main factors in causing the Viking phenomenon. Additionally, the Vikings were pagans and the wealthy Christian establishments in Britain and Ireland, such as the famous monastery in Lindisfarne which was looted and destroyed in an early raid (A.D. 793) provided rich pickings in both treasure and slaves for the northmen. 

As time passed the raiders came in ever greater numbers and gradually settled in England, Ireland and Northern France. During the ninth and tenth centuries a great part of Eastern England came under their sway and an alternating state of war and uneasy peace developed with their Saxon neighbours over the boundary known as the Danelaw. In Ireland the Vikings founded important cities such as Dublin, Waterford and Cork, while in Northern France , the territory that they carved out for themselves became known as Normandy whose later dukes, including William the conqueror ,had Viking blood in their veins .and were to prove such a power in western Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. 

The mainstay of the Viking raiding party was the chieftain or Jarl and his Huscarls, a band of loyal retainers who had sworn oaths of allegiance to him. They were his most dependable troops. The chieftain (No. PA961) would be richly dressed with a mail shirt and decorated helmet. His cloak would be embroidered and he would probably carry a double-handed axe which was a favourite weapon of the Vikings. The Huscarls (No.PA962 and PA970) would also wear mail corselets and be armed with sword and dagger. Small throwing darts were also carried as missile weapons which would be used before close-combat fighting. The Chieftain's standard would be carried by one of his Huscarl retinue and would, most frequently depict a black raven, though some depictions from Scandinavia show eagles. The standards were commonly given titles, and the most famous, mentioned in "King Harald's Saga" was a raven standard called "Land-waster". 

In addition to this permanent band, the chieftain often employed mercenaries (No. PA964, PA965 and PA966) who were attracted to his service by the promise of plunder and booty. These would generally be less richly equipped than the Huscarls but most would still have the distinctive conical helmets and mail shirts. Thick woollen tunics were also worn (No.PA964).The axeman carries both axe and shield the latter being discarded during close combat fighting. The axe was a formidable weapon of attack and when used skilfully had devastating effects on the enemy. 

Viking long ships carried between forty and sixty men and squadrons could vary in size from just three ships to the several hundred that sailed up river to besiege Paris in A.D. 885. 

In times of crisis the Bondis could also be called to serve with their chieftain. These were small farmers who owed feudal service to the Jarl or Chief but whose quality as fighters was not the best and who were regarded as less reliable than the Huscarls and mercenaries, the Bondi (No. PA963) he wears a padded leather jerkin which was a cheaper substitute for mail and carries a long ash thrusting-spear and a wooden shield. Archers were also used extensively by the Vikings both on land and in engagements at sea. They were probably drawn from either the bondis or mercenaries. The archer (No. PA969) wears a padded leather shirt and a headband known as a "hlad" which would be brightly coloured and decorated. The bows were usually made from Elm-wood were not quite as large as the later English longbow. 

Two centuries of warfare blurred many of the distinctions between the Vikings and their English or Saxon opponents. Many elements of Viking war-gear and practice were adopted by the Saxon armies. The Saxon soldier (No.PA967) wears a mail shirt which marks him out to be a richer class of warrior, he is armed with sword and shield, though the double -handed axe also became popular amongst the Saxon armies and No.965 could just as easily be a Saxon Huscarl. The Phrygian style leather cap that No.PA967 wears is his only distinctly English item of attire and is worn also by the Saxon peasantry (No.PA968). When the early raids occurred in eastern England the peasantry were often the first line of defense against the Viking marauders. Their fighting skills were indifferent and their weapons often no more than farming implements. The peasants were also liable to kidnapping and enslavement by the northmen (No. PA968). 

Viking shields during this period were circular. They would have a metal central boss and a rim of either metal or, more usually hardened leather. They were normally painted with bright variegated colours, often quartered in two different colours or having variants of cross motifs painted upon them. 

VIKING DISCOVERED AMERICA 500 YEARS BEFORE COLUMBUS. Leif (No.PA971) was the son of Erik the Red--"Leif the Lucky," the man who brought the Christian faith to Greenland. Many tales are told of Leif, including the Tales of Vinland. He is probably the first European to discover America, 500 years before Columbus. His brother Thorvald Eriksson led an expedition to Vinland (named after an abundance of grapes in the area) after Leif and encountered Skraelings, which resulted in his death by a skraeling arrow. Skraelings (No. PA974 and PA975) were the name the Vikings gave to the native tribes of Indians they encountered.