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28mm MoTM: Viking 'Karve' ship

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28mm Model-of-the-Month for November/December is a Viking 'Karve' ship

This model will be available from Nov 1st to Dec 31st 2017 - then it'll be "retired" and no longer for sale.

The Vikings made ships in all sizes - so there is no "right" size.   The size of our model is closest to a smaller "Karve" and would be appropriate for a small raiding party of 20 to 30 people.

Although people are probably going to call this our "Viking Longship" - it's nowhere near long enough for that.  A true longship model would be at least two feet long in 28mm scale.

The dimensions are:

  • Nose-to-tail, 35 cm, Waterline length, 29 cm
  • Max hull width, 8.5 cm, Sail width, 16 cm
  • Mast height, 16.5 cm, Prow height, 8 cm

So in 1:60th scale - it represents a 21 meter vessel.

The model comes as an unpainted kit - but includes mast and spar and a red and white striped sail.


If you purchase more than one of these kits - you'll get a FREE "add on kit" (with alternate sail and two alternate figureheads) for each additional ship you buy!  Check out: Viking Ship Add-on-Pack for more details!


Build Instructions:

As always - if you intend to paint the ship, you should paint all of the parts BEFORE assembly.  It's much easier that way.

First locate the two 1/4" dowels - one is the mast, the other will be the cross-spar.  Use a modeling knife or a box cutter to cut a curved notch halfway along one dowel:

Glue the mast into the notch in the middle of the spar - leaving about a centimeter of mast sticking out above the spar:

Wrap black thread around the mast and spar in a figure-8 pattern - then apply a dab of glue to hold it all in place, snip off any loose ends and set aside for the glue to set:

Next, locate the two sides and four bow/starn parts:

It's important that these parts are glued FIRMLY - so be sure to coat all of the interlocking surfaces with ample glue:

When you're done it should look like this...set those parts aside to harden completely.  We'll have plenty to keep you busy while that happens!

Locate the main deck part, the five ribs, the sail brace and the four small support brackets:

Glue the ribs in place - the center one is a little tight to get in (which is intentional!) make sure to put glue on both the undersides of the ribs and the little mounting pegs - these need to be firmly in place:

Glue the mast support brace to the middle rib:

Glue the four small brackets into the prow and stern of the ship:

When you're done, it should look like this:


Glue the "tail" to the triangular "stern board" support piece:

Locate the parts for the prow of the ship:

NOTE: If you have the Add-on Pack want to assemble one of the alternate figureheads or tails - follow these same instructions - but with the differently shaped parts from that kit.

Glue the triangular prow board to the front of the figurehead:

Glue the decorative side piece to the side of the main figurehead part - making sure that the notch in the decor piece sits against the prow board and that the piece is roughly centered on the figurehead: 

Glue the spacer piece to the side of the figurehead - aligning it as shown in the photo, below:

Glue the smaller winglet to the side of the dragon's head - and the larger one into the square hole in the neck:

Repeat on the opposite side of the figurehead.

Next locate the rowing bench parts:

Glue a support leg through the hole in each bench:

You can leave the long benches unglued if you'd prefer to be able to remove them later - but the "half" benches that go either side of the mast should probably be glued in place:

Note that there is one rib that has no rowing bench...this is at the STERN of the ship (because rowers sit facing backwards as they work).

Next, glue the prow and stern onto the deck as shown:

NOTE: If you have the Add on pack - Choose which color sail you want to use.  We provide a traditional red-striped one in the standard kit - but the add-on pack includes a blue striped piece in case you want to distinguish two opposing ships or something of that nature.  You could use a couple of 1/4" dowel rods - each 16cm long to make two mast sets and be able to swap out your masts as desired.  If you bought several ships - you'll also have some spare sails and could use some of them to indicate sail damage by cutting some pieces out and scorching the edges a bit!

Bend the cloth over the spar from the mast side and glue both pieces down:

Now comes the hard part!  By now, the sides of the ship should have hardened and we can attach them to the deck:

You're going to need LOTS of strips of tape - I use painter's tape but masking tape works OK too.  So pre-cut at least four pieces about 8" long each:

This job is a bit tricky for those of us with only two hands...if ever there was a time when a bunch of tentacles would be handy, this would be it!

So first, run a generous bead of glue along the top of the deck piece and along each individual rib and the bow and stern the same down the other side of the ship too:

Now, take the two sides of the ship and place them together at the STERN of the ship.  Get the two ends lined up so they just touch and are sitting on the bead of glue.  With one hand, hold them in place, then with the other hand, wrap a piece of tape as tight as you can get it around the stern of the ship like this:

Now, repeat the process at the bow of the ship:

You may think you're done - but you're not.  If you pinch the sides of the ship at either end, and the tape goes a bit loose when you do that...

Then add another wrap of tape over the old one, pulling it tighter this time!

Then go along each rib and along the line where the sides meet the deck and be 100% sure there are no gaps.  Add more tape as needed - and you should have the ship looking kinda "mummified" in multiple wraps of tape!

Now DO NOT be tempted to cut the tape yet.  I'd leave a solid hour for the glue to set...there is a lot of tension built up in the sides and if you unwrap it too soon, they'll spring off and you'll have to do it all over again!

Meanwhile, locate the remaining parts - the shields and two supports that seem to have been used for tying rigging ropes to:

When you have the nerve to remove the tape on the center section of the ship - you can glue those two T-shaped supports into holes in the deck and glue the shields to the top of the ship's sides:

The mast can be dropped into the bracket in the middle of the ship - I wouldn't glue it because it's handy to be able to take it down for storage - and you can remove it (as the Vikings would have done) for more stealthy operations - or when the wind was not strong enough.

Finally, remove the last of the tape, add the oars, and you're...





Reader Forum: 28mm MoTM: Viking 'Karve' ship

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From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2018-09-30 15:16:44  

Time to build!!!

Quick question-does this wood hold stain well???

Clamping everything down tight! Had small issue (hope it’s small) where the long side near second oar hole became brittle and broke. Don’t think it’ll be an issue but I’ll know for sure when I bend them into shape... first boat, black and silver...

Well...trying to stain the wood. No reason it shouldn’t work - right???

Think the stain looks good!!!! Not a great painter, but “Good Enough”! Now working on the BIG BROTHER, “Skeid” Longboat!!!! What a footprint!!!

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-03-09 18:11:32  

This kit (and it's bigger brother!) is now available in our kickstarter at:

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-02-02 16:25:58  

As always, there will be a mix of kits - ships and buildings and accessories - and a mix of the gigantic/impressive and the mundane and useful.

The Longhouse will be there - so will some smaller buildings from both sides of the conflict.

Ships are always a huge seller for us - so expect more ships.

But we always want a crazy-impressive monumental kit - not many people will buy them, but MANY people will come to the Kickstarter to look at them - and end up buying some peasant hovels, some walls and a cart or two.

So the Stave Church is desirable for that reason alone. But for those who do buy it - it'll need to look good AND be playable.

This time, I think there will be three of these big statement pieces - and at least a dozen more modest/useful pieces and a bunch of the usual "scatter terrain".

(Plus, I might have to confess to the guilty pleasure of designing the big kits!)

From: gondolin1  Date: 2018-02-02 08:06:54  

To be honest, I would just make some bare foors like you did for the Longhouse project without all the flim-flam. Players seem not to pay to much attention to all the hard work put into those projects which is a shame

As for the longships we used them for last week's game and the reactions of the players was positive but not as enthusiastic as my son and I were expecting. So we were a little disapointed about that but what the hey. We enjoy them very much and wont let anyone spoil our fun.

Looking forward to tha Anglo Saxon victims, err, goodies!

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-02-01 15:47:04  

Yeah - there would be no problem in making a scale-perfect model that would look great from the outside - but when you look at the interior, the various support walls and columns make for an extremely tight interior...corridors and arcades that would be about 1/2" wide. With figurines based on 1"x1" bases - you can't physically place a figurine in a 2'6" space that you or I could easily walk through.

I'll figure something out.

Meanwhile...Anglo Saxon goodies!

From: gondolin1  Date: 2018-02-01 07:42:33  

If I had to take a guess, let's say your typical viking is 6' tall...

floors 1 and 2 would be about 12 high, the third floor about 15. harder to estimate the last two parts that look like a steeple.

As for the witdh of the ground floor, looks like a regular door so what? maybe 30 to 36 inches so, I would say about 10 doors wide, so about 30 to 40 feet?!?

If made to that scale, it would look great on my gaming table.

But I'm no expert....

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-01-31 09:34:06  

Actually, the real-world building isn't really that big.

I can't find *scaled* plans for any of these bizarre buildings - although there are plenty of unscaled plans and photographs. I just assumed (like you did) that these would be GIGANTIC buildings.

But I had the idea to look on Google Maps (which has a scale) - but the places where the surviving ones are don't have satellite photography at high enough resolution to see them.

Then I found that Google's Street-View has a walk-around for one of the surviving ones...but still no scale information.

This often happens - so I usually look for a picture with an actual person standing outside next to the building and take them to be a 28mm figurine and get some idea of scale from that.

So I have some kind of an approximate scale - and I sketch out the building and...

Well, this is a surprisingly small building!

To get that insane layered roof, there is an interior room - with a corridor surrounding it and a covered walkway around THAT.

But the corridor and walkway are each only at MOST 2'6" wide...1/2" in our scale...which isn't going to work because you can't get a figurine base in there.

So I decide to apply artistic license and double the width of the narrow corridors to 1" wide so you can at least put figurines inside...but then those awesomely steep-pitched roofs become very shallow - and the entire model looks really awful.

To fix THAT I have to double the height - and now it WILL be an utterly humungous kit. Way *TOO* 2' long, 2' high, 18" wide...which would be by far the biggest model we ever made - a very costly thing to make and ship...and although everyone would lust for it - hardly anyone would buy it.

So I'm left with trying to come up with a compromise structural redesign of the real world building that keeps the interior space open enough to play inside - but doesn't blow up the exterior dimensions too much.

So maybe combine the 2'6" exterior walkway with the 2'6" interior corridor to make a 5' wide space that fits 1" figurine bases.

But that makes the interior a much less "compelling" tactical map than it was before...which is very sad because it would have been fun to have people chasing around inside it.

Ah well...maybe that's a price worth paying.

But THAT has problems too. When I redesign it that way the building loses a concentric ring interior wall - which is needed to support the second layer of that layered roof.

I can fix that by building a more complicated set of roof beams - but it's very hard to figure out how to let you remove the roof to play inside without the roof becoming too fragile and a complete bitch to glue together straight.


So for now, several half-finished prototypes are sitting on my desk mocking me!

The building's style is just too wonderful to NOT build one...I mean, wouldn't this look great in a fantasy setting? It's a Dwarven Ale-hall, or a place for the Hobbit's high council to meet or something.


But in the interests of Getting Things Done, I'm moving on to some Anglo-Saxon pieces that we want to include - and there are going to be some really neat kits for that side of things too.

As for the Wizard's tower, we thought it would sell REALLY well - but it was a disastrous flop. People LOVED the look of it - said very nice things about it - but in the end didn't buy it in any large numbers.

One person explained it that while it was a great Wizard's tower, it didn't have much replay value - even if every village has a wizard - their towers can't all look exactly the same and have the exact same tactical problems.

I think that's an excellent point...and one that I'll consider in the future.

Actually, this Viking Stave Church thing is a bit like that...but Kickstarters need a big "statement piece" and this will be that. The huge tavern model we did for Medieval, the 7 story Pagoda we did for East Asian and the gigantic HMS Surprise that we did for the Pirate series were like that. Things that not many people will be able to afford - but which pull people into the project so they'll buy more affordable/practical models.

At any rate - we DO plan to do "encore projects" in the MoTM - although that's on hold until we get our Viking/Anglo-Saxon Kickstarter off the ground.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2018-01-31 04:59:54  

Re : Stave Church

My drool meter just whent off the scale!

For 25mm scale figs, that puppy would be humongeous.

Oh and if ever you do encores of past projects, that wizard tower would be welcome.

From: Patriot  Date: 2018-01-19 04:15:39  

Ships received,just need the time for the builds. From what I can tell, it appears that the kits haven't any damaged parts and if so I will just trace and manufacture new pieces.

Cant wait to see the new offer of the month.

Thank you,


From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-01-18 13:58:01  

There are not many actual examples of Viking ships out there - and many details of them are unknown. I'm quite sure though that they didn't use a rudder because the first ever use of a rudder in Europe appears to be from around 1200 AD - which is after the Viking Era. We presume they'd have used a steering oar when under sail and by coordination of the oarsmen when rowing...but as far as I know, there is no evidence of anything like that in the handful of examples that remain.

We're aiming to launch our Kickstarter in March...but nothing is certain until it's certain!

Currently, I'm trying to make a crazy late-Viking building called a "Stave Church". It's a nightmare to design, but would look just AMAZING on a tabletop.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2018-01-09 04:22:29  

Cool. thanks for the offer. I have mentionned some wattle & daub (sp?) fences wich would be nice.....

As for the ships, they are presently all taped up. All that is left install are the two «T»'s and the shields. One question though, did those ships have a kind or rudder?

My son is a photographer, so I can ask him to take a few snaps once they are complete.

Do you have a target date for you Kickstarter?

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2018-01-08 14:50:51  

Yeah - sometimes (mercifully, rarely) we do get parts broken in the mail.

The de-lamination thing is VERY rare though - it can happen when there is a layer of softer wood in the middle of the plywood that burns horizontally when the laser hits it. I've seen that happen maybe a couple of times.

Well, as always - if you have an unrecoverable problem - email us and we'll get new parts out to you ASAP.

I'd love to see photos of your finished models - I'm definitely a bit of a klutz when it comes to actually building the models I design! So I'm always thrilled to see when someone can do proper justice to the work we put into them!

We're starting work on the designs for the Viking/AngloSaxon Kickstarter - if you have any particular building/ship/vehicle/accessory models you'd like to see in that - please do let us know. If you come up with something good that we haven't thought of doing already - we'll send you a free one when we add it into the Kickstarter.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2018-01-08 07:59:33  

Well, my son and I finally got some free time to assemble our ships.

Lemme tell y'a it is as easy as it looks in the photos.

Three pieces were broken, even though we were very careful :

one piece broken during transport (bench) and was easily fixed.

Another split in its height (half-bench), like I mean, delaminated so it was half it's normal thickness.

The third piece could not be glued back. I was one of the ships sides that broke in half even though my son says he was being very careful. But as fate would have it, we had two spares in the kit so we used one of those.

They look even better than the ones in the photographs (if that is possible) This has the drawback of my feeling sad I missed the products of previous months. ;-)

So a big thank you to Steve. This will be great for our Northlands PFRPG campaign which begins in two weeks.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2018-01-03 06:37:36  

and a happy new year to you and yours
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-12-25 17:33:34  

Thanks for your order! Happy Christmas!

From: Patriot  Date: 2017-12-25 15:37:11  


Merry Christmas

From: Patriot  Date: 2017-12-25 15:33:48  

Beautiful work on these and quite affordable, so I purchased two.

Thank you

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-12-19 04:35:57  

I'm drooling!

The idea of Anglo-Saxon villages is appealing.

What would be nice is more furnshings like wattle and daube (sp?) fencing and the like.

Will keep checking things out in upcoming weeks....

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-12-18 12:03:11  

We're not exactly sure what we'll be doing yet.

I'd like to do a huge (and possibly impractical) full-sized longboat (the Viking ship we make now is a practical ship for gaming - but it's kinda small from a realism perspective).

We'll certainly want to make some smaller Viking-style buildings.

Then we want to do some Anglo-Saxon village stuff so the Vikings have something to attack...and that'll likely involve a bunch more buildings.

It's a bit on the edge (but we like to do at least one huge "signature" kit) - but I fancy a shot at one of the late Viking era churches - right after the converted to christianity - they made INSANELY complicate buildings...quite a few of which have survived to the present.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-12-18 05:59:59  

Wise move I would say.

We are starting a Viking campaign for Pathfinder by Frog God Games called Northlands Saga in january.

So anything you want to offer so far is of interest.

Glad you decided to postpone.... I'm broke. But the wife will be happy on the 25th. Went all out for her gift.

So, for my 2018 wishlist

2 longhouses with attachement kit : check

Viking cart: check

Furniture : check

What other things are you tinking of?

Would also like to offer best wishes to you and yours and all the people who are on this site.

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-12-16 10:34:50  

We decided that too many people were saying that they wanted it - but couldn't spare the cash this close to Xmas - so we're postponing it.

We're also considering the possibility of putting together more Viking-era kits and running another Kickstarter.

But *definitely* it's not cancelled.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-12-13 12:31:27  

Hey Steve!

What happened to the longhouse project?

Postponed or cancelled.

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-12-09 12:26:21  

Euww! Nasty! Incidentally, there is an extra oar in each kit just in with any luck you'll be OK. If not, shoot an email to and we'll send you some spares. I can't wait to see how the reindeer turn out.
From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-12-08 09:07:00  

Well, my damaged package, caused by someone else’s improperly shipped “liquid vitamins” arrived today...

...which helps explains the orange goo all over the outside of the package...

...but thanks to the wonderful interior packing job (I assume by Renee), I seem to only have a couple of broken oars (which I probably be able to repair). Will keep the package for now and move these up to the assemble immediately pile (just in case there is damage I can’t see without taking the inner packages apart)...

...Will let you know!!! (But they look awesome in the wrapping!)

...oh yeah, my Reindeer!

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-28 05:54:48  

Thanks for sharing Thunder.

Maybe the shields were attached permanently to provide protection....

Anywho, my ships are headed for the Great White North. Woot. Can hardly wait.

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-28 03:53:53  

Cool! Thanks for the information. The contrary evidence comes from the lack of any obvious way that the shields would have been attached from surviving longships. But it's certainly ambiguous.

From: Thunder  Date: 2017-11-27 17:28:09  

The museum also had a really cool replica of a sail:


From: Thunder  Date: 2017-11-27 17:10:59  

You mentioned there was no archeological evidence of shields being placed on the sides of the ships. There are stone carvings from that era that show the shields on the sides. The Smiss Stone - the bottom half shows a Viking ship with 5 shields perched on the side. Of course I realize that the stone doesn’t actually say they were hanging on the side and not just being hand held, but it does look compelling.

There is a wonderful replica of the Smiss stone in the Viking display at the Salt Lake City natural history museum right now.


From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-24 12:39:19  

We don't routinely send out tracking numbers - but if you think your order went astray - you can email and we can see when it shipped. As I said, we sent a large shipment out this probably yours was among that lot.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-24 10:25:06  

I ordered at the beginning of the month.

Do you send out tracking numbers? If so, I haven't received an email whick means I was not part of the shipement.



From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-24 09:49:47  

@gondolin1: Probably not. The Model-of-the-month is still building customers and we're nowhere near capacity yet. We shipped out a huge stack of Viking ship orders just this morning. If you ordered more than a couple of days ago, your models should be in the mail.

@Limbolance: Pictures plz!

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-23 06:46:56  


Do you foresee a slowdown in production with the holidays being right around the corner?

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-11-23 01:43:52  

Thanks for helping me spend more reindeer arrived🧐
From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-16 06:23:57  

well said Steve.
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-15 11:15:22  

There is no doubt that most of what "wargaming" and "roleplaying" games are about are horrible things. We're simulating the horrible deaths, suffering and grevious woundings of large numbers of people and sentient animals.

But the point is that it's only a simulation.

Humans have simulated violence since back when we painted hunting scenes on the walls of our caves.

There are very few games that DON'T celebrate bad things happening to people. Heck, you play Monopoly - and the objective is to become an evil monopolizing corporation - to foreclose on their houses and drive them into bankruptcy...nice!

Our TV and movie entertainment is driven by similar themes - there is considerable rape and pillage in Game of Thrones - the things that happen to people in almost every drama series is right up there with "rape and pillage".

Conclusion - humans play at violence - but try hard to avoid it in real life.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-15 05:42:32  

I guess he has a point I suppose....I am glad I did not say : Rape and pillage.

But then we wouldn't have stuff like this

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2017-11-14 09:06:49  

Some of the more recent comments made me think of this:

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-13 07:36:31  

"...I’ll tell the wife it’s all Renee’s fault!"

You have no idea the number of times I've done that! :-)

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-09 12:42:20  

and I fell like pillaging and plundering.

This will be great for our Northland PFRPG path by Frog God Games.....

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-11-09 05:07:24  

I felt a overwhelming need to get a second ship...

...I’ll tell the wife it’s all Renee’s fault!

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-07 12:31:15  


Ah! A fellow Quebecer.

South shore for me..... St Jean sur Richelieu

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2017-11-07 03:53:24  

@gondolin1 Montréal

@Steve Thanks! I know it’s not going to be a recommended build, but I’ll really like to have the option to swap parts and make my two ships appear to be different vessels. I’ve done a lot of your builds with removable bits that weren’t planned that way — e.g. I can remove all deck ornamentation from the Surprise to make it more like a plain barge.

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-05 11:16:25  

Yes - exactly. The problem was in original old-school D&D when everything was done on paper - no terrain, no figurines, nothing. When some monster would pop up, a dozen fighters would leap to attack it within a narrow corridor - resulting in the DM making arbitrary "you can't do that" decisions that upset players and caused endless arguments.

To fix this problem - the idea was that you can't effectively swing a weapon in less than about 5 feet. And with 28mm (strict scale) figurines - that means 1" equals 5 feet. The grid system takes it one step further and ensures that only a reasonable number of characters can fill the width of a passageway without getting in each other's way.

But that doesn't mean that a character can't walk comfortably in a 2'6" wide passage or squeeze into an 18" wide space.

This is STILL not too much of a problem - except that physical 3D figurines are (a) modeled at "heroic scale" - meaning that they'll be 30 to 32mm tall instead of the "official" 28mm tall human. These larger figurines need to be put on large bases to accommodate their action poses and still avoid falling over. Hence 1"x1" (or 25mmx25mm) bases.

It would have been much better if figurine manufacturers resisted the temptation to make everyone 7' tall and moderated their use of some of the more extreme poses so we could more reasonably use smaller base sizes...but I think it's become something of an arms-race!

This fits OK with the 1" grid and the "needing 5' of space to swing a sword" thing...but it does prevent you packing a realistic number of people in to a confined space where (in reality) they'd be maybe 2' apart. A 2'x2' space is 4 square feet - but 5'x5' is 25 square feet. You SHOULD be able to get size normally sized people into a 1"x1" space...but one the gaming table, you can only fit one.

This does become seriously problematic in spaces like the decks of ships.

I really don't have a good solution for this. So I make 1:60th scale models - and compromise on the sizes of things where it's possible to do so without making them look terrible!

Someone once remarked that using correctly scaled terrain keeps players honest. I think that's true. If you really do want to put 35 swordsmen on a ship - you need to understand that this would be crowded...and that fighting in such confined spaces is an issue for them. There is a reason why Vikings fought with dirks and one-handed axes rather than two-handed swords!

From: Thunder  Date: 2017-11-03 12:26:21  

Regarding the scale 1/60" discussion:

Thanks for the info, it is good to know.

I agree the 1 inch base = 5 feet of space is a bit off. My understanding is when it was first implemented it was for combat purposes. Someone swinging a sword/hammer/axe roughly took up 5 feet of space.

The scale doesn't work so well when figures are just standing around packed into a building/ship/wagon/etc. Folks like me are buying these models to use with 28mm figures mostly based (because of rule sets) on 25mm bases. If the model doesn't support the use of 25mm bases it becomes less useful.

Of note: the Blood & Plunder game uses (heroic scale) 28mm figures on 20mm bases. To someone used to the 25mm bases they look a bit odd, but the bases work well and the figures are stable. I also use a lot of 20mm bases (pennies) for NPC and other miniatures that are not already on 25mm bases.

I would not bet on the industry at large moving to 20mm bases - there are way too many existing figures, maps, rules and accessories already tied to the 1 inch squares.


From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-03 06:49:14  

Ah! now I get it. My solution to this is.....

Buy more ships and glue the figure heads! ;-)

Thanks for the explanation.

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-03 05:13:43  

@gondolin1: I was talking about the pieces that are glued on to the sides at the bottom of the figurehead in the photo on the LEFT, above. Which I put there to give the sides of the ship more surface area to glue onto.

But I didn't need those parts to make it all strong at the back of the ship and the front and back are basically the same. So perhaps you could leave them off at the front and everything would still hold together OK.

If you did THAT, then you could NOT glue the figure head into the piece in the photo on the right, above...but just "dry fit it".

So you could then glue just the front part to the deck and to the sides of the ship - and when everything is dry - wiggle the dragon head free and then be able to interchange them.

My feeling is that the figurehead would be a bit loose and wobbly though.

I've never tried to do it - so you're on your own!

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-03 04:21:02  

Stev says : «Swapping out the figurehead is going to be difficult. The problem (from a design perspective) is that the plywood that goes down the sides of the ship is bent just about as sharply as it's possible to bend plywood without it breaking. (Given an appropriate safety factor because we don't want people to return broken side pieces!)

That means that we need as much surface area as possible to glue it to - so the triangular piece right at the very front of the bow isn't really enough. I added two extra flat pieces that go on either side of the figurehead to increase the surface area for the glue to bond to. »

Sorry Steve but can you illustrate this. My english compehension can sometimes be lacking. What do the extra pieces look like and where do the go? Are these, parts you added after your posted the assembly pictures?

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-02 16:06:36  

Swapping out the figurehead is going to be difficult. The problem (from a design perspective) is that the plywood that goes down the sides of the ship is bent just about as sharply as it's possible to bend plywood without it breaking. (Given an appropriate safety factor because we don't want people to return broken side pieces!)

That means that we need as much surface area as possible to glue it to - so the triangular piece right at the very front of the bow isn't really enough. I added two extra flat pieces that go on either side of the figurehead to increase the surface area for the glue to bond to.

It really is structurally important!

You might get brave and glue it together with epoxy or something stronger than white wood glue - but if you do, for chrissakes don't use the 5 minute epoxy because you won't have enough time to wiggle everything into position and wrap it with enough painter's tape. Gorilla glue is also pretty strong - but it foams up and that's bad in this case.

Failing that - I suppose you could carve a block of wood to fit between the two sides right where they (nearly) meet at the front. Sadly we couldn't to that because we can't make 3 dimensional cuts with the laser.

As usual, we're trying to push the envelope here. When I made the Elven ship (which only curves by about half as much as this one!) I had an easier time of it...but this is right on the limit.


Shipping times are likely to be reasonably fast - we like to try to get a mid-month shipment and an end-of-month shipment out - but it depends on how fast these's looking fast right now - so probably we'll be shipping mid-month if you order this week.

HOWEVER: We don't promise! Laser cutters are temperamental beasts. The rule is - "We'll do our very best to ship within the first week of the following month."...anything sooner than that should be considered a bonus!

I don't know the shipping time to Canada. I'd be surprised if it were more than 10 days - but we don't pay for extra fast is better!

We can usually provide a tracking number - but you'll have to email Renee to get it...and it's a pain for her to dig it out from a large pile of receipts from our last trip to the post please don't ask for it unless you absolutely need to! (RULE #1: Do *NOT* piss off Renee!)


Gokstad was 78 feet long - which would be 16" in 1:60th. Our ship is 2" shorter than that (probably more like 3" shorter because Gokstad doesn't have a gigantic figurehead)...and you lose that length predominantly in the widest part of the ship - so expecting to get her crew on board our ship would be possible but decidedly "cosy"!

As for putting 30 miniatures on board...not on 1" bases! I could barely fit 16...assuming you kinda level the deck out with some kind of thicker material between the horizontal beams. The problem (as always) is that a 1" base is 25 square feet in real world - and that's enough space for at least four or five people to sit or stand comfortably. So 1" bases mean that you can only fit maybe a quarter to a fifth the "correct" number of people into any given space. If you could pack figurines in realistically - you'd easily get a crew of 60 aboard this little boat...and I believe 35 would be the real-world limit for comfort.

This is one of those annoyingly irreducible problems. 1" bases are "the norm" for 28mm gamers- and even if you wanted to buck the trend and use substantially smaller bases, figurines would fall over a lot because they are almost always top-heavy.

Yet we're also tied to the 1"=5' (1:60) scale...although with few figurines larger than a malnourished hobbit actually *being* 28mm tall...You're basically going to be disappointed whatever we do!

So we tend to push the sizes of buildings to the limits - but for ships and carts and stuff - we stick to 1:60 scale as best we can.

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-02 12:34:26  

Thanks Archon

And you hail from where exactly? I'm in Quebec.

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2017-11-02 12:13:00  

Pretty fast - I expected the Elven Ships to ship at the end of the month and I had them within two weeks. Same with the carts later.
From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-11-02 11:42:01  

Hey, I ordered my two ships 10 minutes ago and still have not receivec a tracking number..... LOL

All kidding aside, what is a typical delivery time to Canada?

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2017-11-02 11:07:33  

From the pictures, it seems barely feasible not to glue the figurehead, by gluing the two pieces that the sides attach to, and perhaps reinforcing them in the front of back.

I certainly don’t hope for you to say it’s a good idea for everyone, but having handled the kit and tolerances, do swappable figureheads seem like a reasonable home modification?

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-11-02 01:42:23  

Thanks for the historical update! History is a fascinating read! I’m always amazed at what truly isn’t known and what is known (of course with only 2 specimens to study - Gokstad and Oseburg; and those buried as part of a elaborate funeral display - the non verbal evidence is a big wonky!). But, to me (and admittedly VERY Hollywood), this is the picture in my minds eye - tongue out and shields protecting from ocean spray and mounted along the rails! My biggest problem is going to be how to fit 20-30 figures on board...(Gokstad had room for 32!). I will probably not use the long benches (going for “sea trunks” to sit on while rowing and to make more room for minis...).

This was very fortuitous for me as I had just backed a “Vikings: Great Halls Burning” Kickstarter and have minis on the way shortly! (In addition to the Village!)

Glad to be first! I might order a second (or third) before end of month!

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-01 06:57:53  

(Oh - and yes, you were first!)
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-11-01 06:28:24  

What we actually KNOW is much more limited than what we THINK we know!

There are half a dozen contemporary accounts of "dragon ships" - but that could just be the name for the type of ship rather than a visual description. The carvings may have been intended to be serpents - particularly the "midgard serpent"...and that might only refer to the spiral shape like I used in the tail of our kit. So maybe no dragons at all.

There is one surviving dragon-head (pictured, above) but that's part of a processional banner carried aboard the ship - not an actual part of it...and to me, it says "Serpent".

It does give some idea of the degree of ornamentation there might have been on the ship though. We know that the figureheads were gilded and the ships were painted and decorated down to the waterline.

The archeologists did fund some iron spiral shapes that were probably fixed to along the spine of the wooden tail part of the ship...but that's *it*.

There is ONE reference that says that other animals were used as figureheads to distinguish ships in battle.

Fortunately for our mental image...there is a contemporary reference to having red/white, blue/white and green/white striped sails...although it's a bit ambiguous as to whether all three colors were on one ship - or whether different ships used different colors. Probably those would have been vertical stripes (as in more recent ships and 99% of "hollywood" Viking ships) because the stitching of the seams would have helped to keep the sail in the desired shape.

The shield thing is even more dubious. The few surviving Viking ships don't seem to have any obvious way that the shields would have been attached to the sides - and the couple of pieces of art from the time that show the ships don't make it clear that the shields were fixed to the ship rather than being some kind of indication that guys were standing along the side of the ship carrying their shields ready to disembark.

The two add-on prows are even more "artistic license" - I know that the wolf figured highly in the Viking lore - Fenris and others were magical creatures that gods transformed into. The Eagle looked nice to me - but the Vikings weren't very interested in them as icons...probably a crow or a raven would have been used in reality. I thought the Eagle looked better - so that's what I made!

There are no surviving figureheads at all.

So...I guess the hollywood version wins hands-down! The depiction we have here is PLAUSIBLE - but not definite as a historical matter.

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-10-31 23:18:14  

Unfortunately, history is a bit too bloody and “raw” when compared to Hollywood. In my heart, I believe everything the historians say - in my naughty gamers heart - there be shields! Ordered one for now - was I first?!?
From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-31 16:27:04  

Viking Ship Update: We've had a slight change in plans on the Viking ship - in order to keep the price down ($30 - including US shipping) we've dropped the idea of including two sails - but INSTEAD added a $10 "add-on-pack" that includes the blue-striped sail *and* the alternate Wolf and Eagle figureheads.

But BEST OF ALL: If you buy more than one of our Viking Ships - we'll throw in a FREE add-on pack for every additional ship after the first. So if you buy more than one ship - you can make them all look different.

If you want just one ship AND the add-on pack, then that can be purchased separately. That was the price of keeping the price down. I doubt many people will feel the need to do this - but we're trying to cover all the bases here! The Viking ship goes on sale at midnight tonight (Tuesday).

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-28 14:16:50  

Mod podge is a clear sealer...comes in flat or shiney. Main reason to use it is that it adds structural stiffness. It's also great for making water effects. They have it at Walmart.
From: Thunder  Date: 2017-10-28 06:17:31  

I like option two, for all the reasons given and I would add another - helps protect the rowers from wave spray. Assuming folks were practical and clever is usually a good route to go.

Thanks for the shield designs, I might use the suggestion of printing them on card stock, though instead of mod-podge, I might just use a gloss clear coat. I have lots of clear coat, I am not familiar with mod-podge.


From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-27 19:52:11  

The shields actually vary a bit in size - there is some debate about these shields actually existing at all. The academic argument splits three ways:

OPTION 1: There were no shields on the sides of these ships...despite Hollywood's best efforts to depict them.

OPTION 2: The crew owned their own shields - which inevitably came in a variety of sizes, shapes and patterns. They did in fact sling them off the sides of the ships. Whether that was just because they took up less space out there - or as some small additional protection against archery - or to make them easier to grab when combat was engaged...nobody knows.

OPTION 3: The ship itself was equipped with shields that would all be the same size, color, design, etc.

There is VERY little evidence from contemporary written accounts and almost zero from the who knows which is right?

So I decided that the fairly anarchic (but ruthlessly practical) Vikings would have probably gone with option (2) and so I created a bunch of round shields of somewhat different sizes and designs and filled in the unused plywood with as many of them as I had space for.

Honestly - if you want shields, I'd suggest printing the designs you like onto thin card and using them instead of the ones that come with the kit because 3mm thick shields just look too chunky. Paint them with some mod-podge to make them stiffer and shinier.

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-10-27 19:29:49  

No tongue...sheesh! Course, the ships had to be more rugged than aesthetic....

What size are the Shields? I might be doing some “pre work” whilst I wait for November...

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-25 15:22:49  

@gondolin1 The kits are made of 3mm plywood...not MDF so it's much easier to paint. I use the $0.80 per bottle acrylic paint they sell in Walmart and elsewhere. Some colors seem to need a two coats to get a really brilliant color...most do not.

We haven't fixed the price yet...sorry. You'll know when we do!

@Limbolance...I did a closed mouth dragon...hence no tongue. There is only one surviving Viking dragon prow and it's ugly as all hell...but no tongue, no teeth, no ears, nothing. Yuk!

From: gondolin1  Date: 2017-10-25 09:12:40  

Wow. This is just as good if not better than the ships for Blood & Plunder. Looking forward to buying his. At least two I think.

Any idea about how much you will ask?

Also : do you need to prime and how would citadel paints work for this?

From: Bob "Limbolance" Sweeney  Date: 2017-10-25 08:15:34  

Dragon needs a tongue! Maybe a waste section from the cork screw tail? Included in Shields (which I want!)?

Count me in for at LEAST one!!!

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-25 05:23:01  


The dimensions are:

Nose-to-tail, 13.8" (35cm), Waterline length, 11.5" (29cm)

Max hull width, 3.3" (8.5cm), Sail width, 6.3" (16cm)

Mast height, 6.5" (16.5cm), Prow height, 3.2" (8cm).

From: Thunder  Date: 2017-10-24 17:33:07  

These look awesome. Love the ships.

Do you know how long, wide and tall these Viking ships are?


From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-24 14:19:12  

Kind of you to say so!

As it happens, we're just in the process of making an "add-on" pack to provide for two alternate figureheads and an alternate "tail".

One is an Eagle - the other is a Wolf (think "Fenrir")...the alternate tail could be painted either to look like an Eagle's tail feathers or a Wolf tail.

We're not quite sure how we're going to sell that pack - but we'll know in a few days before the project'll be cheap.

I'll post photos of those parts when I get them painted nicely.

From: Archon Shiva  Date: 2017-10-24 08:29:05  

My upstairs bathroom has a full complement of every ship design from the pirates KS. Your models *are* display worthy!

Speaking of getting two, any chance for an alternate figurehead again? It seems you could keep the central part and only have a spare set of overlays to make it a very different creature. The twirl at the back might benefit from an alternate as well.

From: Steve Baker  Date: 2017-10-23 05:24:16  

Yeah - that can be a slippery slope though.

Back in the East Asian series Kickstarter, we made a HUMUNGOUS 7 storey pagoda - 10"x10" at the base and 18" tall - just a monster of a kit. We had to charge $175 for it was one of those "Wife had to OK it" things for a lot of people.

One guy told us that his wife OK'ed the cost of it - but ended up liking it so much, she put it in a display cabinet in their dining room and he wasn't allowed to use it for gaming!

I *think* he eventually bought a second one...but you've gotta watch that!


From: Thaldon  Date: 2017-10-22 23:04:10  

Count me in for two... Wife says it looks cool :P
From: Smokestack  Date: 2017-10-22 18:14:31  

Yeah this looks awesome. Will get one, but hopefully before the month finishes I can get 2.... Depending on wife Fury.... :)