Morland Studios’s 32mm “Kreimhild’s Revenge”
Officially Licensed product of Howard David Johnson Line
Sculpted by Sebastian Archer
Made in the USA
When a company takes the time to do things correctly and adds care to the package, buyers tend to notice. Morland Studios of Jasper, Alabama, USA specializes in producing and selling wargaming miniatures, mostly in the 32mm to 54mm range. Most wargaming miniatures follow a certain style unique to them—short, squat, kind of pudgy with oversized guns and features—that separates their appearance from the larger model kit figures. To find a realistically looking proportional figure amongst the wargaming miniature market is really rare. Morland Studios just so happened to create such a realistic-looking figure in 32mm wargaming scale with “Kreimhild’s Revenge,” sculpted from the stunning artwork of Mr. Howard David Johnson.
“Lady Kreimhild” (453 A.D.) is a tragic character of Norse Mythology and perhaps loosely based and reshaped upon historical fact. According to Norse legend, she is the sister of Burgundian kings Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher. In a tale of revenge, this gentle princess’s husband woos Brunhild, who didn’t appreciate his flirtations, and orders Gunther to kill him. Her husband’s death drove Kreimhild mad. To impart revenge, she marries Attila the Hun, invites her brothers to court, and has them murdered before she too falls to Hildebrand, the Weapons Master of Dietrich von Bern. Some scholars believe Kreimhild’s character was based on actual history—the 437 murder of Burgundian King Gundahar and his followers by the Huns—and the 453 death of Attila the Hun in his sleep besides his new German bride, Hildico. These two tales dropped the historical names and plugged in fictitious names and changed the circumstances—the old Norse legend stated that Kreimhild murdered Attila as revenge for him killing her brothers whereas the Germanic version held Attila in higher regard and transformed the legend to make Kreimhild the murderess of her own brothers.
Morland Studios’s 32mm “Kreimhild’s Revenge” arrived in a cardboard box packaged extremely well with bubblewrap on all sides. I’ve have not seen such a level of care go towards securing such a small wargaming miniature, even from resin figure kit companies whose products cost ten times more than this one. The figure itself comes in a very well-designed box with a printed color cover and flaps that open at the bottom. The cover text says, “Officially Licensed Howard David Johnson Line, `Kreimhild’s Revenge’ 32mm, Sculpted by Sebastian Archer.” Mr. Howard David Johnson is an illustrator popularized for his amazing fantasy and fairy art, rich in color and capturing feminine beauty and nature with an occasional mix of religious overtones. Since he draws and paints with such realism, a figure sculpted after his artwork should look extremely realistic to match and sculptor Sebastian Archer did a marvelous job in such a small scale. This figure is limited to 600 copies.
The box contents are as follows:
• A glossy-printed card of Howard David Johnson’s “Lady Kreimhild” artwork exactly like the box cover.
• A glossy-printed card of Morland Studios with text describing that this figure contains sharp objects, is for those 14 years and older, and is not a toy.
• A plastic bag containing the female figure and Viking helmet and shield encased in bubblewrap.
• A plastic bag containing the thin metal spear with attached right arm and left hand encased in bubblewrap.
All parts of the figure are cast in “white metal” which appears silver to the eye. Despite the small size, the pieces are exquisitely cast with no noticeable burrs, blobs, imperfections, or sinkholes.
The sculptor did an amazing job creating the figure: folds on the lady’s dress are crisp and defined, the hair strands creases are subtle yet seen, the rock has jagged protrusions and edges, and the intricate fine detail etching around the eye sockets of the Viking helmet and her rope belt are breathtaking with no trace blobs in the etchings. For such a tiny figure, the tiniest details are captured, right down to her individual toes and fingers and even the back of the shield has woodgrain texture. The helmet and eyesockets are hollowed out, adding a nice sense of realism to the piece. The shield’s raised center boss and symbolic bas relief have a nice crisp quality I’ve only seen done well in resin as white metal has a tendency to “round out” some sharp edges. There are sharp edges to this figure such as the spearhead’s edge and tip, both amazingly thin. Best of all, the figure seems to capture the look of the artwork quite well with the artwork not looking better or more realistic than the figure. The proportions, complexion, expression, dress, scale and style of the figure seem accurate to the artist’s painting, a superb achievement by both the sculptor and casting company.
The metal appears very well-mixed, devoid of discolorations and imperfections, and also pretty light in weight and strong too. I noticed how smooth and shiny the silver metal was unlike some other metal wargaming pieces which weigh more and exhibit a darker color and rougher texture.
The second plastic bag contains the thin spear, sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and surrounded with bubblewrap. Mine came slightly bent, probably due to it being pulled from the mold. I’m sure I could find a way to make it straight or I’ll just buy a thin metal rod, cut off the spear tip and hands and glue them onto the rod. There is even a minute feather detailed with etched texture at the base of the spearhead.
One does not have to follow the legends to appreciate that this figure could represent a medieval lady disassociated from any of these tragic tales. The helmet and shield, both cast separately from the figure, doesn’t even have to be included in the vignette.
The two printed cards are nicely done with clear color and no printing offsets. The cards do not contain any wargaming or battle statistics, leaving those specifications up to the wargamer’s imagination if he or she so intends to use this piece in a boardgame.
If I have a complaint, it’s that the piece is too small at 32mm, an opinion voiced by others on a model figure kit forum. Morland Studios did take note and mentioned on that forum that a larger version of this figure, perhaps 54 or 75mm would be made available in the future. Mr. Johnson also told me that several companies will be making future figures of his artwork in larger scales as well.
Summed up, this is an amazing figure created by a sculptor who captured the Mr. Johnson’s artwork beautifully. It has got to be one of the best and most detailed female figures in such a small wargaming scale made from some of the best white metal I have ever seen and touched.
My thanks to Morland Studios for the review sample and to Mr. Howard David Johnson for additional information.
• Encyclopedia Britannica “Kreimhild”:
• Howard David Johnson’s website
• Morland Studios website