Friday 28 February 2020

Sheringham Viking Festival 2020


Saturday 22nd February saw the culmination of the Sheringham Viking Festival on the North Norfolk Coast.  This year I managed to have my camera with me so here's a few of the things that happened during the day...

Things started at the living history encampment on the cliffs, where one could test the weight of an axe or sword, try on a helmet or just marvel at the magnificent hand made craftwork such as drinking vessels, armour, clothes and fabrics. 

Even Vikings enjoy the odd waffle stick...

A nice range of helmets.

Hand carved drinking vessel.

One of the numerous banners.


Discussing the coming battle.

There were a couple of battles on the beach during the day.

"We shall fight them on the beaches..." etc.

Shield wall


Viking woman captures image of battle on 'phone to e-mail back to the fjords...

The day ended with a torchlit procession through the town and a ceremonial burning of a longship on the beach.

Monday 24 February 2020

Dungeon library - Mantic terraincrate review

One thing that my Hirst Arts dungeon has been lacking is a decent library.  All evil wizards need a good supply of magic spell books, gazetteers, atlases, arcane manuscripts etc.  I've been thinking about constructing one for years but haven't had a chance to sit down and do all the cutting out of balsa for the bookcases, cardboard for the books etc.  Fortunately Mantic Games have come to my aid with their Terrain Crate library, a set of which I recently picked up along with their torture chamber furniture, both for about half price.
Painted above, from the box below.
The bookcases are a hard plastic and come pre-assembled and pre-painted in a dark brown.  Mould lines are minimal but they still benefit from a quick clean up with a razor blade or very sharp craft knife.  I gave mine a good scrub with warm water and washing up liquid before painting in my usual "dungeon wood" colour scheme.

A small library.

The set include 2 complete sets of bookcases (3 wide, 1 narrow, 1 corner), a desk, pile of books and a ladder.  The torture set includes 2 complete sets of an iron maiden, trolley of equipment, rack, table, coffin, sarcophagus and skeletal remains.
Book cases and desk.
The bookcases have nice chunky detail that takes drybrushing well.  Although I repainted them completely, a quick brush of light brown would be sufficient if you wanted a fast, easy improvement.

Torture equipment and cupboard
Some of the torture equipment is a little fiddly and needs to stand in hot water to straighten out slightly warped legs etc.
Ready for the next victim!

Detail is excellent, especially on some of the torture equipment.
A few ominous stains on that wood...

Due to the moulding process, there isn't much recessed detail, eg under manacles and chains, but it's probably tougher than resin would be and lighter and cheaper than metal.

Cupboard and shelves.


The books are varied in size.  Although they don't have any spine detail, it's easy to add some with a dab of gold paint.
More bookcases.

I'd give the library set a B+ (good detail, comes ready-assembled and painted but quite chunky and a few mould lines to clean up) and the torture chamber set a B- (also excellent detail but mould lines again and also some warped legs on the rack, turture table etc.)