Sunday, August 18, 2013

paint: saga: jomsvikings

Fresh off a tournament victory, I tasked myself with getting my Jomsvikings 100% completed... and now they are!

A consistent problem I've had when painting armies is that I tend to overdo the number of steps, colors and layers to the point that I get burned out before I finish. Starting with my Rammers for Dreadball, I've been trying to simplify my process so that I can find a happy medium between time spent and aesthetic quality, and ultimately get more of these figures to the table top. With the Jomsvikings, I think I've got a winning combination.

So here they are, in all their "table-top quality" glory.

Jomsvikings Leadership: Jarl Olaf "Two Axe" and his sons, Sven and Ragnar

Every good warband needs someone to lead it, and these Joms are lead by Olaf "Two Axe", an old, grizzled warrior who stalks the battlefield more than strides it. He's flanked by his two sons, Sven and Ragnar, who lead his two units of Jomsviking while following in their father's footsteps by dual-wielding axes.

Leader's Shields: Raven, Valknut, Raven

When I first got into SAGA, I did much internet research and even read a couple physical texts about Vikings and the Viking age. While details on the Joms aren't concrete, there is some evidence that they were a Cult of Odin. I've chosen to reflect this in the leader's shields, giving Olaf a Valknut, which is often claimed as a symbol of Odin. Each of his sons' shields has a raven, symbolizing their role as Olaf's eyes and ears, much like Odin's ravens, Huginn and Muninn.

Sven's Jomsvikings: Hearthguard x6

Ragnar's Jomsvikings: Hearthguard x6

As the Hearthguard of a Jomsviking force, I wanted the Jomsvikings to stand out and look a bit more elite. Naturally they got the chain mail clad torsos, but I gave them a red and black color scheme with black-and-white shields to help set them apart. After all, these are the most experienced mercenaries in a mercenary warband, I figure they've spent some coin to get "finer" duds.

Dreng Unit 1: Warriors x8

Dreng Unit 2: Warriors x8

Dreng Unit 3: Warriors w/ Dane axes x8

The Dreng are the Warriors in a Jomsvikings force, but are younger and less experienced. I gave them a mix of earthy colors to keep them simpler, but gave them grey-and-white shields to help tie them to the force as a whole. I think the unified shields and basing work pretty well to make them a cohesive battle group...

The Jomsvikings of Olaf "Two Axe"

It's funny, the shields were the part I was dreading the most. I even looked into multiple decal solutions. But when push came to shove, I hadn't decided on decals and the shields were the only part of the figure left to do, so I buckled down and did 'em myself. Once I got going, I found the simple patterns and creative freedom quite enjoyable and cathartic. (Catching up on The Walking Dead probably helped a little too.) Here's all the patterns...

Jomsvikings Shields

Now that the Joms are finished, I'm not sure what SAGA force I might try next. I need to have a good sit down with all the rule books and battle boards and figure out what sounds the most fun... In the mean time, however, other projects await!


  1. Good to see a fellow Jomsviking player, I have only just started making mine despite having the game for ages. I will be using Sigvaldi as my leader I think.

    The painting looks really good and making the shield colours coherent seems like a good idea.

  2. Are these guys built from the GBP box "Hirdmen" ?

    1. Wargames Factory Viking Bondi (without chain mail) and Huscarls (with chain mail).