Today I want to cover the elites of my army, or as the rulebook puts it - the Hearthguard. For the vikings, the hearthguard are the Hirdmen. They come in units of 4 miniatures for 1 point. You can convert up to one unit of Hirdmen into berserkers - something I will definitely do!
Altogether I have 2 units of Hirdmen in chainmail amour (in order to distinguish them from the warriors) and one unit of berserkers. In the game you can combine units of the same type up to a maximum of 12 miniatures and divide units to a minimum of 4.
I think it would be a good idea to combine the hirdmen into a strong unit of 8 men, in games of 6 points or more. In smaller games this might be compromising or inpractical - I will have to get some more games under my belt before I can comment knowledgely.
As for the miniatures, they are all from the Wargames Foundry range. As I have mentioned in past posts, I think they are the most characterful minis on the market at the moment.
The only drawback I have found in them are the shields. They are rather bulky and fit awkwardly. I had to pin them all! This made the prepping stage a bit of a hassle, but unless you want the shields to fall off all the time, it is time well invested. If you can get your hands on plastic shields - then go for it!
All the miniatures needed cleaning from minimal flash and filing, and I decided to use 30mm bases instead of the conventional 25mm bases, as I think the size increase gives them a greater sense of drama. After gluing the models to the bases, I added some Miliput (a cheap epoxy putty) to soften the gradation and help seal them in place.
As you can see from the two units of hirdmen below, the models are very well casted. The only problem was with one model in the picture below that had an eye badly miscasted. It was beyond fixing, so I decided to cover the damage with a viking visor. You can see it in the picture below - it is the mini to the far right.
By far my favourite miniatures are the berserkers. They are just class. Little gems dying to be painted up and played with. They are also slightly larger than the average viking warrior model which helps to emphasize there dangerous natures. The last picture is a comparison between a bondsmen and berserker, both from Wargames Foundry.