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Mark, good idea, but it's already reversed from the symbol in question (whose arms bend to the right, while mine bend to the left), but it still strikes both of us as resonant. However, we also both feel that (a) flaring the ends, (b) using colored pencils to mute the colors, and (c) using multiple designs tones down the resemblance enough. 

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52 minutes ago, Cathead said:

Mark, good idea, but it's already reversed from the symbol in question (whose arms bend to the right, while mine bend to the left), but it still strikes both of us as resonant. However, we also both feel that (a) flaring the ends, (b) using colored pencils to mute the colors, and (c) using multiple designs tones down the resemblance enough. 

Hello Cathead,

the shield version shown presently with its arms  going to the left is definitely NOT Nazi but amongst in many cultures a Scandinavian lucky (sun) sign for centuries and as it was for instance used by Finland's Armed Forces prior and during WW 2. Flipping the sign (mirroring) would bring the arms to the right and then it is DEFINITELY a Nazi symbol. So keep it as it is, so there is no ambiguity.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, md1400cs said:

Michael Hirst who spent years studying and making sure that the series was as close to their world as possible, would take great exception at your post.

 

He may well do - that is his right and privilege. But in common with many movies and TV series based on history, there are glaring inaccuracies in relation to such things as armour, equipment and costume, (though the swords look ok). Justin Pollard, the historical adviser on the series is a "popular historian, historical consultant and screenwriter" according to Wikipedia. But if he gave advice on such things I doubt it was followed. Unfortunately movies very rarely worry about such things - the director and costume department get a bigger say than the historical consultant. 

 

I've also spent years researching Viking history and artefacts, and though I may not be an academic, I do know when something is as wrong as this. Strangely enough, the shields are among the "least worst" of the gear on the show.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly
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Posted (edited)

Made some nice progress on the shields over a few weekday evenings. To further consider different designs, I cut apart the single sheet of six designs into individual units (like paint sample swaths) so I could shuffle them and see how different combinations looked. For example, here are two sets where each row of three is fully complementary (each shield has a fully different combination of colors between background, swirl outline, and swirl center). Between the two rows, something always stays the same (e.g., two black swirls).

IMG_2298.jpeg.7a4d662d73783ea4b9c2a3e4dcd6c93c.jpeg

 

I started with my favorite pattern and made ten as a test batch. Here's a sequence showing how I went from raw laser-cut shield disc to fully colored shield:

 

IMG_2292.jpeg.1e4e221e605cf5c3d860b47a90dff0d1.jpeg

 

From right to left:

  1. Raw shield
  2. Shield with planks scribed on using a shard-edged file
  3. Plank joints darkened with a pencil
  4. Swirl traced around a tool of the right diameter
  5. Swirl darkened in with black pencil
  6. Swirl border drawn in with red pencil
  7. Background filled in with yellow pencil

After this, I blackened the tiny metal parts for the shield bosses and attached them using trace amounts of CA, weathered the back sides using grey pastel, and attached basic handles. The final touch was using brown pencil to gently color the rim on both surfaces and around the edge,  hinting at leather binding used on the real thing (may not be visible in images,  but definitely is in person). The image below shows ten shields of the first  design (two showing their backs) and current progress through seven of the second design (Mrs. Cathead's favorite).

 

IMG_2297.jpeg.718b3a897bd0703ded76b8147b2790f0.jpeg

 

These are ending up pretty dark, as handling them inevitable smudges a bit of color and the pencils aren't as vibrant as paint. But I kind of like this deeply weathered look, it matches the model well. I think they'll look really nice in a full set. They're also not that hard to do once I worked out the production sequence.

 

I'm very happy with this approach, both because I think it looks good, and also because it means I can use the kit's shield discs. I had initially intended to make my own shields out of strip wood, thinking that would be more realistic, but this is so much less work for a result that is probably easily as good as I'd have struggled to cut clean circles and unevenness would have been pretty noticeable.

 

I'll keep plugging away at shields. I'm also starting to think about sail-making and have had a good conversation with Steven (Louie) about this over PM. I have a fun idea for making this a bit unique as well.

 

EDIT: Meant to say that I do think the plank seams show up more strongly than they would on the real thing, but I like that effect here because it emphasizes how these were really made. It might be more accurate to have these be much finer (or covered with a leather facing), but given that part of a model's role is to capture the "feel" of the real thing, I like how the strong seams emphasize the nature of shield construction. For the average viewer, this is more interesting and informative while not being "wrong".

 

Sort of the same reasoning why I think it can be ok to have sail stitching be a bit more visible than in real life, depending on the intended purpose of the model. I like the idea of average/uninformed viewers to realize "oh, those shields are planks" or "oh, those sails are stitched panels" by looking at the model rather than having to be experts about it. I guess this is the teacher in me, but I want my models to inspire interest, not just be perfectly accurate to an expert.

Edited by Cathead
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No, I don't like using fixatives as they always seem to change the character of the surface and I like the raw wood. These won't be handled much so I don't think they need any further permanence.

 

As for sails, I just responded on your log, giving away part of my surprise but sharing some links I've collected in my research on the subject.

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Eric, you might want to take a look at my post in the Rivets thread in the painting and finishing topic.  Your rivet decision got me to thinking and you can read about what I did if you care.  Love your work and looking forward to seeing the end product.  My Oseberg is in my future and want to get as much insight for this type of ship as I can.

 

Take care and be safe.

 

kev

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There are 60 shield blanks matching the 60 oars,  so that's the upper limit. I'm strongly leaning toward not wanting to display them along the gunwale, instead stacking them inboard somehow. I'm not sure how this was done in real life but there had to be a method for stowing shields. Here's one way that may be more decorative than practical but would show them off:

 

IMG_2406.jpeg.23ff7084a155eba116b6d9bc887c63d2.jpeg

 

I don't have to do all 60, but I'm leaning toward it. Thoughts from readers on whether this looks good or silly? I'd be more careful, in a permanent version, to glue them in consistently and not sloppily like here.

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Interesting idea. From personal experience with the real thing, round shields with central bosses are a bugger to stack - they seem to develop a mind of their own. Unless you tie them together somehow (and I have no idea how), they're liable to roll around the deck and get in the way and have people fall over them.

 

If each of them has a guige (shoulder strap)

 

image.png.a86e19feca763966ddaf46c6156fd1c7.png

 

and it's tied/buckled around its own thwart, perhaps that would work?

 

Steven 

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Eric,

 

IMO I’m with Steven on this one. I would think that the shields would tend to get in the way if they were stored in the benches.
 

However, if they were mounted on the gunwales it looks as though they may get in the way of the oar ports. Not sure if this is just the camera angle deceiving my view. 

 

On the other hand, you could do a mixture of both, but I did like the idea of placing some of them along the cradle. 
 

-Brian

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Yeah, this is the basic problem: there's no good place to store shields! Along the gunwale they likely interfere with the oars, and almost certainly weren't there during most normal operation. I did a quick test, and if I built a shield rack along the gunwale, the shields would have to be something like 80% above the rack to be out of the way of the oarports, which I find unlikely since that would put a lot of stress on their thin tips. 

 

However, stacked among the benches like I suggest above, they take up lots of room and are easy to trip over. So where did they go when the vessel was sailing? Along with all the weaponry? It's one thing to stash stores like food and water below the deck planking, but I rather doubt that's where the shields, axes, and swords went. One presumes they had to placed in such as a way as to be very quickly accessible but yet out of the way. Still struggling with this question.

 

Meanwhile, ten more shields done (40 total):

 

IMG_2410.jpeg.20bf044a322c5ece9ed45edca43e9af2.jpeg

 

And I did an initial set of experiments regarding sails. I like paper sails, and worked out a method that looked really nice on my revenue cutter:

cathead_usrc_final_a.jpg

So I wanted to apply that method here and made some mockups of different methods. One problem is I have no idea how Viking sails were actually stitched together. Just edge-edge panels, like this – – –? A basic overlapping edge, like this _–? Was there a thin panel over the joint to strengthen it? Can't find any resources that answer this, basically because no complete Viking sail has been found and illustrations aren't that detailed.

 

In the image below:

  • Left: separate panels joined by a thin overlay, colored red and yellow with pastels.
  • Central: same as left, but a consistent faded tan/brown.
  • Right: single large piece with fake panels drawn in (left two seams) or covered with a thin overlay as in the left-most set (right-hand seam). 

IMG_2409.jpeg.d0fd416b4a47d6478d8b201795abc233.jpeg

 

Not sure about any of these. Also, I like the idea of the finished sails showing the diagonal gridded overlay of walrus-hide strips for strengthening that's seen in many contemporary images but almost never recreated, such those shown here or this image posted by Steven in another log:

 

csm_Moenter_o_800_0a11a2df82.png

 

Debating whether I want the sail to be a colorful striped version or a dull basic version. Thoughts? It's not clear to me whether (or how often) Viking sails were actually colored; that's a lot of dye!

 

Thanks for reading and for any input anyone wants to give.

 

 

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Jack, those are great photos, but the basic point is I didn't want to hang them off the gunwale, whether by lashing or shield rack, because they'd block the oars. Looking closely, it seems like your vessel actually extended the gunwale upward where the shields are hung to get them high enough to block the oars, something not present on this model. But I'm pretty certain vessels didn't operate with the shields slung over the sides like that, except in very sheltered waters or for short distances, so I want to work out a different way  to store or display them.

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Posted (edited)

Yesterday my wife and I were was helping a neighbor and she loaned me a 1972 National Geographic book titles "The Vikings". This drawing is on the book's title page. It shows an awkwardly stored shield.

 

RX606131_1024px.jpg.376d596020fee47dfb5a504089223696.jpg

 

This is not so much to give you any ideas, but here's a quote from the books' foreword which might be of interest:

 

The Society’s tradition of telling a story with pictures has resulted in a remarkable set of illustrations for this book, both photographs and paintings. Much labor has gone into the effort to recapture Viking Age scenes. In many cases source material was vague or nonexistent, and sometimes one of several interpretations had to be chosen. I hope and believe that the pictures will convey to readers the splendor and drama of the period, and that departures from any school of opinion will stimulate further research

- Arne Emil Christensen, Jr., Curator, University Museum of Antiquities, Oslo

 

Look forward to seeing what you do with the sail. Great link from, Steven. Thanks.

 

Edited by Balclutha75
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And look at those nice  cross-hatched sails! This trading vessel has a small crew and only a few shields and weapons, I'm still not sure how a crew of  60+ would have stashed their gear in a secure but easy-to-deploy manner.

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Perhaps a compromise.  Looking at the picture Balclutha shows and the one you posted earlier with all the shields stacked along the centerline might be reasonable.  Instead of standing them up perhaps just stacked on top of whatever would have been stowed on the deck.  Possibly overlapped  as Balclutha shows?  Heavy seas might have required them to be lashed down but much is lost to history. 

 

The key is.. no one can say you are wrong.

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9 minutes ago, mtaylor said:

The key is.. no one can say you are wrong.

 

How long have you been on the internet? 

 

Seriously, though, I've definitely been thinking about other details like barrels, sacks, etc. This was a warship, not a trading vessel like the one above, but it still would have carried stores for a voyage. So you may be right that I could mess around with shields layered over that stuff. So much to think about.

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On 4/5/2021 at 4:31 PM, Cathead said:

 

How long have you been on the internet? 

 

 

Since the beginning it seems.  Actually before the Internet... ARPNET.    And just about everything since day one has been grounds for a flame war.  LOL.    Yeah.. I'm old and jaded.

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Hi Eric, maybe little late since you have done so many shields, but there are some receant archeological theories, that shields were actualy covered by rawhide from both sides, so no planks visible - well at least shields from gokstad ship:

 

 

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=cs&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fvidenskab.dk%2Fkultur-samfund%2Fvi-ved-endelig-hvordan-vikingernes-skjolde-saa-ud%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR1dGX-pgRx86NsTamNz-V_PP_hWfF3vJmkUrsQfzpyFB8pS3tqSU-wOo2Q

 

64717546_1737241073089344_6687275255376904192_o-small.jpg.cf0a43ecd5702996c240889b406809e0.jpg

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Posted (edited)

This is probably true. Not only does the leather (not rawhide but tanned leather) protect the face of the planks, but it also helps hold them together.

 

With regard to this, see https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/38925/anglo-saxon-law-banning-sheepskin-covered-shields where sheep's hide is forbidden as a covering for a shield. The generally accepted explanation for this is that sheepskin is inferior to cowhide.

 

I don't know about the Vikings, but the Anglo-Saxons had a plentiful supply of cattle, as the excavations at Hamwic (now part of Southampton) demonstrate.

 

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly
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Bigpetr, thanks for that! I'm aware that shields may have been leather-covered, but explained my reasoning for emphasizing the planking earlier in this log:

 

 

On 3/20/2021 at 9:14 AM, Cathead said:

I do think the plank seams show up more strongly than they would on the real thing, but I like that effect here because it emphasizes how these were really made. It might be more accurate to have these be much finer (or covered with a leather facing), but given that part of a model's role is to capture the "feel" of the real thing, I like how the strong seams emphasize the nature of shield construction. For the average viewer, this is more interesting and informative while not being "wrong".

 

Sort of the same reasoning why I think it can be ok to have sail stitching be a bit more visible than in real life, depending on the intended purpose of the model. I like the idea of average/uninformed viewers to realize "oh, those shields are planks" or "oh, those sails are stitched panels" by looking at the model rather than having to be experts about it. I guess this is the teacher in me, but I want my models to inspire interest, not just be perfectly accurate to an expert.

 

In a model setting, a plain face might BE more accurate but could LOOK less accurate as it won't necessarily be obvious to a casual viewer that a leather covering is WHY the face is plain. In theory I could have played around with some kind of fabric covering to suggest the right texture, but frankly I just didn't want to, and getting that stretched tight enough without the rims being rumpled could have been very difficult. Maybe in a future project.

 

This falls under modeler's license for me, as will whatever choice I make for the sails. Regardless, I'm grateful for all inputs and opinions because at worst I learn from everyone's knowledge even if I make a different choice.

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