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Author Topic: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.  (Read 595 times)

Offline crafty

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Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« on: January 22, 2021, 12:37:01 AM »
Apologies for my total ignorance here.

I have have been trawling through Plastic Soldier Review site for the past few nights and I can't seem to identify these figures. I've been googling and googling as well, but without my bearings on this I'm lost.

Any help anyone here could provide would be appreciated.

I am a WW2/Modern era gamer and I am being honest when I say I have little to no historical knowledge in regard to militaria past say, the Napoleonic era (and even that is pretty scant)...

Years ago I was gifted a bag of 1/72 plastic soldiers of two opposing forces. One side I have identified as Orion 'Vikings'...but these...I have no idea. I'm not even sure if these forces could ever have fought historically, as they seem to be from different eras perhaps?







I have a bunch of questions, firstly, the nationality? Secondly, the era? Again, The manufacturer? And finally....did these guys actually fight Vikings?

The positives for me are that my 9 year old daughter has been pestering me to learn to paint figures, yesterday she has made a start here, but without a sense of era/nationality etc...we don't know how to progress with this. These two 'forces' are going to be my ongoing project for '21.

I have a bunch of questions about game systems and basing but I will leave those questions for later...

Offline HappyChappy439

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 01:37:07 AM »
Hi!

I've been doing some looking around, and looks like these are from the Airfix "Sheriff of Nottingham" set: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=413

Usually Robin Hood-era figures would put you in England in the late-12th/early-13th centuries, but from what I can tell in the pictures, a few of the figures in the set are in armour from the 1400s! Just as a heads up, in case you were looking to avoid anachronisms!

In terms of the vikings, they'd be a few centuries apart from eachother unfortunately, so wouldn't have fought historically. That said, nothing says you can't have fun with it, and experiment a bit to see if a particular era is especially appealing (given how large of a scope the medieval era has)!

Hopefully that helps!

Offline Harry Faversham

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Offline crafty

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 02:38:06 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies. I really was scratching my head about the era.

Truth be told, I completely paid off looking at the 'Sheriff of Nottingham' set because they sat next to the Robin Hood entry. I assumed that the 'Sheriff of Nottingham' set were some kind of novelty set with a smaller selection of figures.

Now I know better.

Not sure how emotionally invested in these I'm going to be now. I was looking for something to sink my teeth into this year, and was excited about venturing into a new era outside of 20th century. These figures are kind of cool, but as I really like the Orion 'vikings' set (it has two cowering priests about to be slayed...gruesome but awesome) and I was looking to run 'Ravenfeast' or even 'To the Strongest'. So now I'll have to look for some historical opponents for the Vikings....Saxons or Normans figures I am assume would work?

These figures will be good practice for my daughter though, and it will give us a little bit more information about how to paint these up, so I think we'll push on with 'The Sheriff of Nottingham'...and if she finishes them we'll still find a way to get them to the table.

Thanks again.

Offline crafty

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 02:58:03 AM »
Quote
Usually Robin Hood-era figures would put you in England in the late-12th/early-13th centuries, but from what I can tell in the pictures, a few of the figures in the set are in armour from the 1400s! Just as a heads up, in case you were looking to avoid anachronisms!

Hahaha...I just read the entry on the PSR. No wonder I was baffled.

Offline SJWi

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 05:50:16 AM »
Yes, definitely the Sheriff of Nottingham set.  When I was a mere stripling back in the 1960s I has an Airfix set that had these figures, the Robin Hood set ( in lurid bright green) and a rather nice castle....shame this was a tad anachronistic and looked more 14/15th century European.

Offline has.been

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 12:49:53 PM »
As has been said, Sheriff of Nottingham (Airfix).
Most of my early wargames armies were converted from the sister set, Robin Hood.
Thanks mainly to a series of articles in Airfix magazine (Romans, friends & foes) by
Bob O'Brien (of Wargames Research Group fame).

Nothing to stop you using the knights & men-at-arms against Vikings. Lack of
historical truth never stopped Hollywood doing just that.

Could always create a fantasy world, or borrow one.
Connan & Hyborea leap to mind.
I don't know if it is still available (online?) but Bill Lammings
had a set of campaign rules. The basis was a previously unknown
island (or islands) has been discovered three days sailing from the
coast of Medieval Britain, France etc etc.
You loaded up your boat(s) with troops & set off to take on the locals (Vikings?).
I'm sure there must be something similar out there, it wasn't complex as I recall.
 

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2021, 06:31:30 PM »
It's worth bearing in mind that the Orion vikings are more "fantasy barbarians" than historically accurate miniatures - just look at the horned and winged helmets, the mace and the double-headed axes (not to mention the one with the rocket launcher!). Plastic Soldier Review is unusually soft in giving them 8 out of 10 for historical accuracy; the site's come down much more harshly on other sets for much lesser offences!

They are great figures, though.

Given that, I'd just style them as 'barbarian raiders' and have them fight the 'men-at-arms and levies of the kingdom' or whatever.

Offline Patrice

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2021, 07:46:35 PM »
Airfix, yes! Thanks for posting. I still have some of these somewhere...  :-*  :D

And yes they are early HYW (mid 14th C.) looking, far from the Viking era...

But let not this stop you... Watch such films as The Vikings (1958) you'll see Vikings fighting "English" in 13th century clothes and shields, filmed at Fort La Latte castle near St-Malo which certainly doesn't look Dark Ages either.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 07:48:10 PM by Patrice »

Offline Patrice

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2021, 07:47:30 PM »
oops

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2021, 08:26:58 PM »
Another thought: the two sets of figures you have would be perfect for fighting 'high-medieval Arthurian' battles. In this set-up, the Vikings would be the pagan Saxons and the medievals would be Arthur's Britons (as channelled through nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century illustrators).

This sort of anachronism has a long and respectable history, and these figures are just about perfect for it. You could always add some of the more spectacular 1/72 knights; Emhar have a great set ('Crested Knights') that has the advantage of being glueable with polystyrene cement.

Think of this sort of thing:






Offline manic _miner

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2021, 08:54:49 PM »
 I am sure that i have the Robin Hood set to go with these.

 Used to have the castle too.Then my son got it to play with and it got broke.

Offline crafty

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2021, 11:59:02 PM »
Quote
It's worth bearing in mind that the Orion vikings are more "fantasy barbarians" than historically accurate miniatures - just look at the horned and winged helmets, the mace and the double-headed axes (not to mention the one with the rocket launcher!). Plastic Soldier Review is unusually soft in giving them 8 out of 10 for historical accuracy; the site's come down much more harshly on other sets for much lesser offences!

This is where I reveal my total ignorance...I thought they looked authentic hahaha...

My daughter's enthusiasm for these figures hasn't waned yet. Now that I've got my bearings we've found some photos online, and continued on. She put in half-an-hour yesterday afternoon painting the armor.

I'll probably prime the vikings/barbarians this weekend.

I am encouraged by all of your replies & enthusiasm. We will crack on and make it fun.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2021, 01:29:35 AM »
I know you said that you'd wait before thinking about game systems, but just in case it helps ...

The skirmish game Song of Arthur and Merlin (a variant on Song of Blades and Heroes) has "knights vs pagan Saxons" as one of its default settings. It's typically only played with 5 to 10 figures a side, but if you're basing them individually, it'd be a great starting point. It's written by Dan Mersey, who also wrote Lion Rampant, Dragon Rampant and The Men Who Would Be Kings.

Song of Arthur and Merlin is a great game for kids (I've been playing the Song of Blades variants with mine for six years so far), and it's very quick to set up. So it might be a good starting point so that you can get something going as soon as you've painted a handful of each side.

Offline crafty

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Re: Help identifying 1/72 medieval/dark age figures.
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2021, 08:34:26 AM »
Quote
The skirmish game Song of Arthur and Merlin (a variant on Song of Blades and Heroes) has "knights vs pagan Saxons" as one of its default settings. It's typically only played with 5 to 10 figures a side, but if you're basing them individually, it'd be a great starting point.

Thanks for the heads up, I love reading rules and I've been meaning to check out that 'Song of..' system for years now.

We have a bunch of old WizKids D&D figures with Dragons etc...that we could throw in with the barbarians, that would probably work well with my two kids (9 & 11). Arthurian knights & battles would be great, they'll love that.

Anyway, it looks as though these figures could become useful.

 

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