The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Painting Guide: Vikings

Below is a painting guide for Vikings.  It collects information from the Osprey Elite and Warrior books, as well as Heath's "Armies of the Dark Ages".  If you're short on cash, this will get you started.  It is organized by body location for painting convenience:

Vikings dressed their best for war to express their wealth and pride, wearing their finest and most conspicuous clothing, including trademark items that were meant to distinguish them from a distance to observers. 

Headeye makeup (youth, berserkers?), hair blonde, red, brown, black with Danes tending darker, hairband bright colors / patterns,

Trunk: cloak richly embroidered, grey popular, held at shoulder with broach or pin.  Tunics red, red/brown, brown, blue, green, white, black, grey (red, leaf green, blue favorites), with colored braid or embroidery around neck, cuffs and hems.  Hem might be lengthened with contrasting colored cloth.  Belts narrow, copper decorations.  Might have Thor’s hammer around neck, or placket at neck.

Legs: garters brown (not scarlet), white/blue (fancy ones), decorated (king Cnut), trousers were of linen or woven wool, could be striped (baggy ones?  Eastern influence).  Tighter trousers / hose more popular in 10th-11th C.

Feet: cowhide or sealskin boots with hair out in cold (mottled cow / seal patterns),  shoes were hide or leather and could be in other than natural colors, ie black.

Metals / Sword: richly decorate w’gold/silver, arm bands, purse trim,

Shield: 2’-3’, light, limewood, might paint boss / rim, leather rim most common, some iron/bronze on rim.  Could be stained wood, or painted, red most popular by far, then black, yellow & white, less used are blue and green.  Iron reinforcing bands on front and back.

Spear / Axe: 1-2 light javelins ‘longer than arrows’ held in shield hand.

Other notes:  bows and some slings used (thrall?  Saxon fig?)

Standards: (Heath p.94) black ravens, white silk “Landwaster”, white with serpent / dragon

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