by: Engin Kayral [ ]
Originally published on:
Another high quality 90 mm figure from Romeo Models. The kit RM-90018 Viking Ulfhednar depicts a Viking warrior heavily armed and wearing a wolf skin.
About the figure
Scandinavian legends, mythology, history, as well as pre-medieval and medieval Germanic folklore tell us about unruly bands of warriors that attached themselves to royal and noble courts as bodyguards. It seems that these men used to go semi naked into battle wearing only the hides of wolves or bears. During the fight the Berserkers (literally bear-shirt) were characterized by behaviour that populations of Latin culture simply defined as Fury. These ferocious warriors in the thick of the fight demonstrated an inhuman physical power, they did not seem to have any threshold of pain while suffering wounds, they would massacre anybody in front of them with no distinction between allies or enemies. Since the berserkers never retreated from battle, very often they were chosen as body guards of the Viking kings. They were always kept under control and sometimes they were killed due to their mental instability as constantly on the edge of the above-said Fury.
The Ulfedhnar (wolf-men) and the Halfhundingas (dog-men) were the German counterpart of the Berserkers. Several sagas describe the Berserkers, Ulfdhenars and Halfhundingas in a way that the distinction between man and beast is not possible, thus contributing, in Europe, to popular beliefs in the existence of werewolves. The historical truth about these warriors and their behaviour finds its roots in the eating of a toxic mushroom which was very common in Scandinavia and other countries in Northern Europe. The mushroom was distributed to the berserkers and eaten before any battle. The effects of this drug while totally inhibiting any sense of pain or fear were also devastating for the nervous system. A berserker could not be stopped in his fury, unless beheaded or mutilated of all four limbs. In the year 1015 Norway declared them outlaws and by the year 1100 they were no longer heard of in Europe .( From the historical note inside the kit.)
The figure comes in 125 x 85 x 30 mm.standard Romeo Models light blue cardboard box. The front cover shows photos of the figure painted by Francesco Sapienza and can serve a simple painting guide.
Inside the box, there is an A4 paper sheet including brief information about Berserkers and Ulfhednar prepared by Riccardo Carrabino. This document is represented in 2 languages; Italian and English.
Parts are well organized and sandwiched between two slabs of thick polyfoam to avoid the risk of damage and figure base is placed under the polyfoam.
The figure is sculpted by Gianni La Rocca and made up of 17 white metal parts. All parts are cast clean and crisp in very good details. There is not much need for a serious clean up, filling or sanding. A fast clean of vertical seamlines and slightly brushing with a metal brush and washing will make it ready for priming.
Legs : He wears tight trousers fitting firmly to his legs and under-knee fur leggings providing protection from cold and mud or dirt in bad weather conditions. There are cloth or leather straps wound closely about the calf to secure the leggins. These strap leggings are called Wininga. The footwear is leather shoes made of cow hide which are called as Scoh or Gesceo. He has a narrow leather belt with metal buckles on his waist as a sword belt.
Torso : He wears a wolf pelt to his naked body. Fur texture on the backside, muscles, necklace made of wolf teeth, leather belt of second sword ,shield strap and armlets securing the pelt on arms are well defined.
Head : Facial details, hair, beard, moustache and teeth in the open mouth are well represented. Hair on the top of head is carved to make the assembly of the wolf head easier.
Wolf head : It makes a good fit to the head and shows nice details.
Right back leg of the wolf pelt : It will assembled to the backside of the figure.
Left back leg and tail of the wolf pelt : It will assembled to the backside of the figure.
Right front leg of the wolf pelt : It will be attached to the right arm.
Left front leg of the wolf pelt : It will be attached to the left arm. Note that it should be assembled before adding the shield to the figure. The assembly of the pelt parts will be easy as there are holes to asssembly them on the figure.
Right forearm : He wears a chainmail armguard to his forearm secured with leather straps.
Right hand with sword : He carries a double-edged straight long Viking sword with Semispatha type hilt .Those long swords have pommel, upper guard and lower guard built up from small components rather than cast or forged in one piece.
Left forearm and hand : Posed like a paw of a wolf. He carries a wide metal wristband. Details of the hand like long nails are well defined.
Scabbard : Scabbard of his primary weapon will be attached to the left side of the figure. It shows nice details with metal reinforcements and leather straps.
Sword : He carries another Semispatha type sword in leather scabbard hanged to his back under the shield.
Axe : He carries a short axe attached to his sword belt on the right side of his waist.
Seax : is a Vikings everyday use item which can also be used as a weapon. It is a straight, single-edged dagger or a long knife about 30 cm.s usually hung horizontally with two straps in front of the belt. Leather scabbard and wooden handle are well defined.
Strap of the shield : It will be attached to the front part of the figure.
Shield : He carries a large, round shaped, wooden Gokstad shield mounted on his back. For Vikings, shield was the most common means of defence. The Viking shield was typically round, being a successor to earlier Germanic shields with a diameter of around 8090 cm or more and a typical thickness of less than 10mm. They were made from planks of woods such as fir, pine, willow or linden. They usually had a central hole with a hand grip and the hand protected by a metal boss over the middle. The wooden texture, metal reinforcements around the shield and the battle damage on the front side even on the boss are very well represented.
A great bonus from Romeo Models. A very well designed nameplate for the figure is included inside the kit. Two battle axes crossed behind a shield and a skull with a Viking helmet .
Figure base : I think this is one of the best figure bases I have ever seen with so many details and all details are very well represented. The damage on the skull on the ground worths to notice.
The painter is free to choose whatever colours he prefers. Ulfhednars and berserkers had no rules regarding clans and uniforms.
Absolutely a masterpiece from Romeo Models. Interesting subject, great sculpt and cast, so many weapons, good fit on assembly, a very nice figure base and a nice looking nameplate.
Very Highly Recommended