Viking Skjoldungen 400

The Danes have it good. They can already enjoy the second season of The Legacy / Arvingerne while here in the UK the first season only just finished.


Pencil spotting

There were of course pencils to be spotted in the first season. While previous pencils spotted in Danish TV series were either German or unidentified we hit the jackpot this time: a Danish pencil!

Arvingerne: Signe writing a note for her lawyer (Image © DR)
Arvingerne: Signe writing a note for her lawyer (Image © DR)


The Viking Skjoldungen 400

As mentioned in a previous blog post I’m quite lucky to have some Danish stationery, most from Henrik and some from Rad and Hungry. This meant that I was able to spot that the Viking pencil in question is the older, pre-2012 version of the Viking Skjoldungen 400. At that time the Skjoldungen was still offered in B, HB, H and 2H – labelled using the Thoreaus’ system, i.e. using numbers 1-4. Now the Skjoldungen 400 is only available in HB – and labelled as HB, not as #2 [1]Viking still has some old stock left though (February 2015) which can be bought on their website..

The pre-2012 and the current Skjoldungen 400
The pre-2012 and the current Skjoldungen 400


Pencil grades

The Skjoldungen 400 is a really nice pencil. My main issue is that the HB/#2 is a too soft for my taste, it is softer than most European HB pencils and  doesn’t keep the point long enough to be convenient for writing lots of text – at least not if you are writing using rather small letters like I do (That’s why I love the Deli 0635 and mechanical pencils with 0.2 or 0.3/0.35 mm leads). The #3 pencil on the other hand is in my opinion already a bit on the hard side for everyday writing. It is however not really harder than other H pencils [2]So the HB is quite a bit softer than other European HB pencils, while the H is in the same league as other H pencils.. It would be great if Viking’s HB was a bit harder or if there was an F pencil …but since they even stopped making this pencil in B, H and 2H there’s not much chance of an F pencil being made, I guess.

Skjoldungen - old and new



Even though the HB pencil is too soft for me when it comes to everyday writing, it might be suitable for many or most other pencil users – many other pencils that are too soft for me, like some Japanese HB or Palomino pencils, seem to be used and preferred by lots of people, so don’t let me put you off if you have a chance to try this pencil for yourself.

I believe that the use of the the screen shot of the Viking pencil, taken from the seventh episode of the first season of Arvingerne falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


1 Viking still has some old stock left though (February 2015) which can be bought on their website.
2 So the HB is quite a bit softer than other European HB pencils, while the H is in the same league as other H pencils.

9 thoughts on “Viking Skjoldungen 400”

  1. So it looks like Creas has made savings after they have bought the Viking brand in 2010. – I like the photos with the handwritten parts!

  2. It is a walk down memory lane to see these. Viking nr 2 was my first pencil – I haven’t noticed the change since I don’t use Vikings anymore. They are perfectly good pencils, but I prefer something softer and darker like the Blackwing 😉

  3. Thank you for your comments.

    Gunther, I hope they will reintroduce the other grades again (I assume with savings you mean that they dropped the other grades). I emailed Creas last November to get more information about their products and based on the reply I have received my guess is that they are more than busy enough relaunching Viking in Scandinavia and thinking of new products to release. I hope these new products will include pencils, but if I was a betting man I’d think these products will be notepads, leather goods, etc – not pencils.
    I’m glad you like the photos, I always struggle so much with photos and light because the windows in our house are so small, and it’s never very bright here – especially in winter.

    Henrik, do you mean the real Blackwing or the new, Palomino ones? I assume you are talking about the new ones, but how do you write with it? Is your handwriting very big or do you use extremely few pressure when writing? So many people like soft pencils, but I still haven’t understood what difference in writing makes a soft pencil a good choice (point retention vs need for sharpening).

  4. Yes, I have assumed that they have reduced the range to save money. – Quite a while ago I got some of the new pencils from Creas but so far I am not very happy with them. It is a pity because I like their design – especially the typography – and the fact that that they also offer e. g. very small pencils which aren’t common.

  5. Gunther, looking at Matthias’s pictures, the Viking 400 old and new is a rather luxe looking pencil. Do they look better-made in photos than they do in real life, or does your disappointment have to do with how poorly they write? I must say they strike me as very handsome, and handsomely put together.

  6. Gunther, the pencils I have are quite good, just that the current one is too soft for my liking. It is made using cedar wood and the paint and cap are done well.

    Junius, they do look good – if anything then the pictures don’t do them justice, it is difficult to capture the dark red and reflective label with the poor light I had on the day I took the photos. I also really like the new font they use (the italic ‘Skjoldungen’ and even more the ‘400’ and ‘HB’).

  7. A few days ago I had a second look at the Skjoldungen 400, Skoleblyant 029, Element 1 and Rollo pencils from Creas. I now have to admit that my criticism expressed earlier was unjustified – the pencils (especially the Element 1 and the Rollo with which I haven’t been happy) are much better than I have initially thought.

    I also found some old Skoleblyant 029 pencils which have been offered by Esselte back then, and after comparing these with the new Skoleblyant 029 from Creas I was amazed by the improvements, both in the lead quality and the design.

    I now have serious doubts about my pencil knowledge – if there ever was any …

  8. Pingback: Viking Skoleblyant 029 – Lexikaliker

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