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In this blog series, we are looking back at some of the great series books of the past that newer Osprey devotees may have missed. This week, it’s back to the mid 80’s and one of the first books in the Elite series…

Originally published way back in 1985, Elite 3: The Vikings is one of the most reprinted books in the Osprey Catalogue. It’s not hard to see why. It contains some of the best artwork by Osprey’s all-time favourite painter, Angus McBride.   How great is the artwork, well...

Our managing director has a huge print of one of the battle scenes hanging on his wall. In fact, it is so big, it almost is the wall. We even released a (much smaller) copy of the painting as a limited-edition print that was sold off our website. I think there might even still be a few of those hiding in various corners of the office...

More years ago than I can remember, Osprey held a vote to decide what artwork it should use on its Christmas card. When all of the votes were counted, the winner was this scene from Elite 3: The Vikings:

Now, one can argue about how appropriate that image is for Christmas, but there is no arguing the popularity of the piece and the painter!

And those are just two of the twelve paintings that Angus McBride created for the book. Really, Elite 3: The Vikings is a must have in any Osprey collection; it is also the perfect book to introduce a potential new fan to the range.

Post Comments

Cicerius posted on 11 Nov 2016 07:36:31
I too love the artwork from this book, (which I own). Captures to a T how a lot of people think the Vikings look like. I wonder when the artwork is going to be made available for members to download?
If ever?
Arguably McBrides best work for Osprey.
Daitengu posted on 10 Nov 2016 23:22:08
I purchased this about a year ago. I also have the hardback Vikings by Osprey. Angus McBride really made the book what it was. Back then when it first came out, Osprey books were a little rougher - certainly the newer ones are wonderful in comparison. The only problem with Angus McBride's work is set a difficult standard to emulate!
Paintybeard posted on 10 Nov 2016 22:00:36
Dark Ages isn't really my cup of tea, but "the Sea Battle" from this book is still just about my favourite battle illustration ever.

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