The Vikings invaded and conquered Normandy a couple of centuries before the battle at Hastings. The Vikings also were frequent invaders of England, and I image that many of the English were descendent from these unrelenting warriors. So the battle of Hastings in 1066 was a battle between fierce men with similar ancestries and with long histories of aggression and war. One of the things that made the Vikings so successful in their pursuits for riches that took them to England, Normandy and beyond, even as far as Asia, was the design of their ships.
It took awhile, but my model of a Viking ship is just about done. I’ve never built models, so this was a first for me, and to make sure I had the full experience, I even added a crew. The oarsmen were from Emhar (Viking Oarsmen 9th-10th Century) and were a close match to the scale of Revell’s Viking Ship.
One of the steps that took me awhile to figure out was the painting of the ship. I didn’t want a ship that looked like it just came out of the shipyard, and so I research how to give wood a weathered look. It took several layers, with both dry brushing and using a dark wash. The other step that I got hung up on was the sail. My first attempt at painting it was pretty awful, and I decided that I hated the sail that came with the model. Off I went on a tangent to figure out how to make a cloth sail. After reading a few dozen websites about model sails, I decided this wasn’t going to happen. It was way more of a learning curve than I wanted to engage in at this time. Back to the sail that came with the ship. I repainted the whole thing off white, and used masking tape to carefully mask the white stripes while I painted red stripes. To give the whole thing a weathered look, I used an ochre and white wash over both the red and white stripes.
Satisfied with the sail, I moved on to the rigging. It’s been years and years and decades since my little bit of sailing I did in high school, and the knots and general concept took awhile to work out.
With most of the oarsmen installed along with some oars, the ship is shaping up satisfactorily. Not perfect, by any means, but the effort accomplished my goal of learning more about the ships that were probably still being used by the Normans and Saxons in 1066.