The Vikings Are Back: 31132 Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent [Rambling Review]

In recent years, Creator 3in1 seems to be used to revive a classic theme where there are no current plans to revive it: We can look to the 31109 Pirate Ship from 2020, or last year’s 31120 Medieval Castle as examples of this. In 2022, we can look forward to 31132 Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent. I have been fortunate to have received a copy of this set from the LEGO Group to present to you today.

The Vikings theme was released in 2005, with another couple of sets released in 2006. The theme drew on both the Viking culture, as well as Norse Mythology mythology – with various dragons, serpents and other monsters. The theme incorporated a number of familiar subjects: catapults, a fort, and ships – feeling a little like a Nordic Castle theme. But, the theme was limited, and had probably explored most of the areas it was likely to cover. However, given their role in early Scandinavian culture, I suspect the LEGO Group will always be looking for ways to incorporate Vikings in the their product line on an occasional basis.

Indeed, in the last 10 years, there have also been nods to the Vikings appearing in the collectable minifigure lines – in Series 4, 7 and 20. However, despite the historical myth that Vikings had horns on their helmets, this idea was most likely developed by 19th century artists. As such, perhaps on the the most recent Viking figure should be considered historically accurate.

All of that said, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to explore the Viking duilds included in the latest creator 3in 1 set: 31132 Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent. The set will be released on June 1st 2022, has 1192 pieces and 4 minifigures. There are 3 instruction manuals: one for each build: The Ship and Serpent; a Viking house, and the Fenris Wolf. The first book is the largest, taking a widescreen format, while the others are narrower. The books feature a tan band, with pictures for the completed models on. The white bands above and below include images of various elements. In the past manuals would have included the Box Art, but this appears to have changed to this new design across themes with this new wave of sets. What do you think of it? If you are a box keeper, it is probably less of an issue. Otherwise, I cans see more of a same -same appearance of manuals, making it easier to misplace one in your manual storage area, or similar.

The bags are numbered according to the order required for the Viking Ship, and so we shall start there.

Looking at all of the elements together, a few things become apparent:

This set has a lots of elements in a few colours: Lots of plate plates, as well as bricks with studs on the sides; lots of reddish brown elements: 2x2x2/3 with studs on the side, arches, quarter circle plates in reddish brown; dark blue and bright yellow slopes; ‘Log bricks’ in a variety of colours as well as the red and white tiles, plates and arches for the sail, as well as bright medium turquoise (teral) and light azure elements for the serpent. There are lots of elements facilitating SNOT techniques – brackets, bricks and plates.

There are no new molds, for this set, although the steering wheel element is new for 2022.

The Minifigures

The set has 3 new torso prints, along with a renewed helmet mold: it appears identical to that used in the collectable minifigures in S4&7 BUT it doesn’t seem to have the same degree of clutch onto the figure’s head. The heads – 2 male and 2 female – have all appeared previously, and there is a dark orange rubbery beard element (and a spare) included. The torsos all have prints of light weight armor, and serve to remind us that just about any castle torso without plat armour, and possibly any dwarvern helmet from the fantasy castle era, or CMFs could play a role in expanding your Viking Army. As previously discussed, the cow horns attached to the helmet are not historically accurate, and a more of a historical caricature, an expectation of Vikings! One of the women haslong, light yellow hair, with a winged coronet.

In the alternative models, different combinations of torsos, legs and faces are suggested. The figures can also carry the shields attached to the sides of the ship.

The Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent

With the first steps, we also put together a brick built cow – brick built animals are a hallmark of the Creator 3in1 range, and I like the final effect achieved here, although a cow element would have also been appreciated by animal collectors.

The Viking ship is a typical long boat design. We start at the bottom, with a general outline, and build up using SNOT elementswe end up with a few long rows of Studs on the side.

As we build up the boat, we add the bow and stern detail, creating the curved layers using multiple clurved plates, as well as curved slopes. In between these aspects of the detail, we work on the bow decoration – a golden dragon head, as well as curled tail for the ship.

I really like the way the curved ends of the ship are achieved, without a premolded element.

We build up the sides of the ship using bright yellow sloped elements, which will ultimately be covered by darker elements. We erect the mast, and it is secured using some pieces of flex elements. We add in a fire burning in a fireplace to cook some fish. Clips in the deck elements provide a place for our figures to store their weapons.

This is followed by erecting a shelter towards the aft end of the ship, with a sand green sloped roof. The roof can be easily removed to set figures at the table. There is only one cup, in white ( I presume to pretend it is made from a horn. We also add a ballista, which can fire 1×1 round bricks a number of centimeters, thanks to a rubber band under a bit of tension.

Finally, we build the daily, stacking a combination of arches, as well as 2×6 tiles and curved slopes. It attached to the tardarm, while a flag and two ravens cap off the build. We then construct 8 shields, which are arranged along the side of the ship.

Finally, we take on the Midgard serpent – just what you need to provide a little drama to the world. I love the details build into the head. The front of the body is fixed, but the rear half is made mobile using technic click hinges, as well as smaller ball joints. The cover art suggests displaying it in a simple arc, but it was actually relatively easy to give the serpent a more … well serpentine look:

Being a child of the 70’s, I felt obliged to photograph the completed models on a cardboard cutout background, while sitting outside on a mild autumn’s day.

I really enjoyed this build, and it is hard to fault. The main complaint I have is that you do need to dismantle all aspects of the model, in order to put together the alternative builds, and you probably need a couple of the unused elements in the House construction (4 reddish brown 1×1 quarter circle tiles if you are curious)

The Viking House

This build starts off by redesigning our minifigures, and also the cow – bringing us a small plough, to prepare the earth for crop planting:

But I moved on to build the house: it is a single room or hall, with a simple design on the floor, and a magnificent seat for the chieftain.

As we build up the walls, we incorporate the curved tiles, to emulate the materials used.

The completed house has arches at each end as well as firm walls. the roof starts off with a frame, containing mainly SNOT elements, and we used these to mount a number of shields on the wall:

We add external decoration, as well as the roof itself. Finally, we add a very small red dragon (or is it a Wyrn?) The roof component sits snugly on the walls of the hall, with only 4 studs working to secure it.

We also add a small blacksmith’s forge, as well as a brazier, to keep warm by. A small creek completes the effect.

Ultimately, it looks a little like a smaller version of the Medieval Blacksmith, but much faster to build and pull apart, if you are looking to move onto the next build. There is a temptation to think about how this building might be extended to make a great hall… or to try and integrate it into a winter village layout.

The Wolf of Fenris

Another monster of Norse mythology, the grey world of Fenris has become a more dark blue in colour

But before we do this, we put together a small piece of landscaping, including a tall conifer. There may or may not be any tresure buried in the ground here…

We set up an axle leading up to some stached SNOT elements, and cover it over with plates, covered with sand green slopes.

The build for the wolf is relatively quick and simple: lots of SNOT bricks and technic hinges in the early phases, with some brackets extending beyond the main part of the leg.

The head is delightfully detailed, using the larger fang/tusk element to represent the wolf’s eyes.

Posing is also limited, due to the limitations of not having a not joints within the legs.

While this almost feels like a bit of a throwaway build, it is quite stable. The head is quite expressive, despite limited articulation.

In Conclusion

This has been a really satisfying build: being able to recreate a number of components from the original Vikings series is very gratifying, especially when building with a more general collection of pieces, and not using specific head molds, as was the case in days gone by.

I really appreciate the minifigure selection, and the ways that the different builds try to mix these up.

Creator 3-in-1 always endeavours to bring the core values of LEGO play, with engaging builds, including alternatives, and inspiration to rebuild your set into something else. This set comes with a wide variety of elements, particularly in black, brown and dark tan, and there are a good number of pieces in other colours represented, too. If you are interested in castle or other historical themes, this would be another set to pick up: perhaps to have the Viking horde raid the 31120 Medieval Castle.

I award 31132 The Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent 5 out of 5 arbitrary praise units. The builds are engaging, bring us great scope for story telling, and their are some interesting techniques hidden away. I would certainly recommend this set as it stands, or even as a general starter set for someone looking to build up their collection of LEGO Elements.

The set goes on sale in June, and has a recommended price of $179.99 AUD; $119 USD; and £104.99 GBP. I’d love to know what you think of this set. Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well!

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own

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