Friday, 21 June 2013

Vikings were the first eco-warriors!

The vikings! Blood thirsty warriors of the dark ages, sailing the northern oceans in their dragon-prowed longboats, raiding and pillaging, extorting and robbing - that's how we probably view vikings. That's certainly the picture painted in the media, from the Anglo-Saxon chronicles to Hollywood films.

Recent historical evidence has, of course, shown us a different side to the story. They were first rate traders and merchants, using their shipcraft to navigate inland as far as Kiev in Russia, and even discovering the continent of America several hundred years before Columbus.

How does that make them eco-warriors?  Check out this building, from the viking era. Sustainable timber and green roofing! Yes, I am stretching it a little - what else would they build with? On a recent holiday to Skyrim (aka  the Norwegian Folk musuem in Oslo), I was inspired by these buildings. These are far more impressive than the usual wattle and daub stuff we see for Dark age dwellings. I am hoping to recreate this style in tabletop terrain, at a future unspecified date of course. Seeing this has finally convinced me to get started on a second Saga warband. It's early days as yet, I am still looking around for decent figures. In the meantime, here's some more pictures to inform and inspire.

Note the raised foundations, to protect from damp and frost.
Stone foundations on this example.
I don't think I will be able to recreate this level of craftmanship!
That's enough photos for the time being, I did take lots more but these give a good flavour of what I hope to achieve. I have a vague idea of using foamboard and coffee stirrers or kebab sticks, or I might just buy some mdf kits from Warbases and take it from there.


benvoliothefirst said...

Some very inspirational stuff, here! I'll be looking forward to seeing what you make of this. Have you checked out the new show "Vikings" yet? I forget what channel it's on, but there's some good stuff there.

Laughing Ferret said...

Very cool. I've been there too, many years ago, and had the same thoughts of 'I want a table of terrain like this'. I traveled past oslo to see some of the authentic stav churches too- very cool. I even saw a goat on top of one of these houses with grass on the roof, eating his lunch.. if I ever do build terrain like this, one building is getting a goat on the roof!

Old Fogey said...

Excellent idea on the goat! My mate has recently acquired some sheep minis (all gamers should have some), maybe I can borrow one of those.

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