Tuesday, January 14, 2014

15mm Viking Ships

Over the past few months I have been working on building some 15mm Viking ships and casting them with the help of one of my good friends. I've got three different ship hulls cast and have finally completed a few of the ships. I thought I would post a few pictures of them to my blog.

The reason I decided to build these ships was that all of the other "15mm" Viking ships I could find were specifically under-scaled. Meant to be used as baggage camps. I wanted ships that could actually fit my 15mm Vikings which were based on 40mm x 20mm bases. and would allow me to fight see battles. I did some research on the lengths of actual Viking ships and all of my ships are within the appropriate length of actual recovered Viking vessels. They are a little oversized in their width due to my requirement to fit my bases.

Also I should note that I did not sculpt the obligatory shields onto the side of the ships since in my case the figures themselves are holding their shields. It is also my understanding that the shields were only hung on the ship sides on formal occasions (Leaving/returning from home port) or possibly when braving bowfire. Otherwise they would either be stored away to preserve them from the corrosive properties of salt water and spray, perhaps in seal skin, or in use in the event of shipboard fighting.

Here is a picture of the 4 ships I currently have completed. (Note that I only have 1 sail finished at this time). The sail is attached with a magnet so it can easily be removed. The front ship is my large longship that holds 9 stands, the ship with the sail is the medium longship that holds 7 stands and the other 2 ships are small longships that hold 5 stands.


I built the masters for these using Balsa wood and textured plasti-card for the sides. With the help of one of my gaming friends (Thanks Trent!) we got molds of the hulls made. This next picture shows cast samples of the small and medium hulls fresh out of the mold.


I then finished the ships by sculpting tail pieces out of greenstuff and adding heads from other minitures (Note the dragon heads are from the plastic toy dragons that come in a tube). I then added masts and some simple rigging to finish the basic models.

The sail was printed on thin card with a computer printer (By yet another friend - Thanks Conrad!) and then wrapped around another dowel, glued together, and shaped. The head of a brad and a rare earth magnet allow the sail to me removed or added as needed. Our next step will be to make and cast some oar pieces that can be set next to the models to indicate they are being rowed.

Here are some additional pictures

DSC01350 DSC01349

The three sizes of longship I have currently made
Large - 9 stands - at the rear
Medium - 7 stands - in the middle
Small - 5 stands - at the front


Figure head closeup ( Plastic Toob dragon head)


Closeup of some Vikings and the ships side.


Relative sizes of known viking ships & my models:

My Large Model = 37 Meters (15mm scale)
Skuldelev 6 Ship = 36 Meters
Skuldelev 2 Ship = 30 Meters
My Med Model = 31.5 Meters (15mm Scale)
Sutton Hoo Ship = 27 Meters
My Small Model = 26.5 Meters (15mm Scale)
Gokstad Ship = 23 Meters
Tune Ship = 22 Meters
Oseberg Ship = 21 Meters
My unfinished very small Model = 21 Meters
Skuldelev 5 Ship = 17 Meters
Skuldelev 1 Ship = 16 Meters (Knarr)
Skuldelev 3 Ship = 14 Meters (Knarr)

I've also got the hull for a small knarr or fishing vessel already cast and am working on a large knarr and one more longship slightly shorter and narrower than the small one above. It will hold 4 stands.

Anyway I'll be posting some more pics of my Viking project as I get things done. Thanks for taking a look.

Up next hordes of Vikings and Saxons!


Dalauppror said...

Most impressive work you have done, looking realy nice !!!

Are you planing to sell the unpainted ships in the future?

Best regards Michael

Leidang said...

When I started on these I was just planning on using them for myself but if people want to buy some of the hulls I can pretty easily cast them. I'll have to think about prices. I'm not planning on making complete kits though. The head and tail pieces are just too difficult to cast.
Another option would be selling the hulls to a manufacturer with production rights but I'll have to wait and see if there is any interest.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those are marvelous! Great work!

Walt said...

Looks lovely. I'd buy a small and a medium hull if you were selling any time soon.

Barry S said...


The ships look great as does all your work.

Have you decided to sell any of the hulls? I would certainly be interested in buying a couple of the small ships from you.

Kind Regards,

Chris Stoesen said...

I am very interested in getting one of these. Can you send me the price? Cstoesen @corecard.com